Ask Not What the Club Can Do ...
Dec 2008! AKC Gazette French Bulldog Breed Column
I've heard non members ask "Why should I join the Parent Club?" and sometimes members demand "What do I get for my $25 a year, anyway?"
Membership in a breed club is a two-way street. One should ask not just "what can the club do for me" but also "what can I do for the club (and the breed)."
Here is a brief summary of the FBDCA's objectives as stated in our Constitution: to encourage and promote quality in the breeding of Frenchies and to promote their proper care; to encourage the organization of local French Bulldog Clubs; to urge members and breeders to accept the standard of the breed; to protect and advance the interests of the breed; to encourage sportsmanlike competition at dog shows and obedience trials; and to conduct sanctioned matches and specialty shows and obedience trials.
What does the FBDCA do FOR you?
In furtherance of the objectives listed above, our club is a repository of information, experience and knowledge serving novices, exhibitors, breeders, pet owners and people just interested in learning more about the breed. It provides support for those who want to show their dogs in competition by holding specialty shows (including performance events) and supporting the breed entry at all-breed shows. It attempts to educate the general public, owners, breeders, and judges by providing seminars, Meet the Breed events, and a website with volumes of valuable information about every aspect of French Bulldogs.
The club's elected Board of Directors and its many committees work hard for no compensation to carry out these objectives in a responsible, open, and interactive manner, always with the best interests of the breed as their uppermost concern.
What can the FBDCA expect FROM you?
The club expects its members to adhere to our Constitution and Bylaws, as well as maintaining high ethical standards having to do with all aspects of Frenchie ownership, showing, and breeding. Each member is an ambassador not just for the breed, but for the club, and when a member breaches our ethical standards or acts counter to our Constitution and Bylaws it reflects badly on us all and is taken very seriously.
Members are expected to support the club's goals by helping educate others about our breed in various ways. Volunteering to help at public education events (Responsible Dog Ownership Days, Meet the Breed Events, other public events) is one way to do this. Being helpful to people who inquire about the breed, and directing them to other information sources such as the club website is another. Providing dogs for use in judges seminars is very important. Acting as a mentor for people who are trying to learn about owning, raising,
breeding, handling, training, and showing a Frenchie is a great service.
Members may volunteer their time to serve on standing committees, help with specialty shows and supported entries, and provide financial support for trophies and other aspects of specialty shows and related events. Instead of saying "The club should DO this-or-that" remember that the club is its members, and if we want something done then we should volunteer to fill whatever we see as a need.
Jan Grebe, French Bulldog Breed Columnist