created on Wednesday 8 September 1999.
At Crufts 1998, I briefly met a young and very immature American boy by the name of John Thompson. Shortly after my return home a few weeks later, he started making lengthy telephone conversations to me during which we discussed many dogs, thoughts and ideas. Eventually, some months later, after he said that what he really needed was a "good foundation bitch", I agreed that he could borrow my and Rusty's best brood bitch - Mindy, aka Ch(SA) Crossbow Emma Peel. We felt that Mindy was the most likely of our bitches to actually produce a foundation bitch for Thompson. He was not interested in keeping any males from Mindy.
The deal was that Mindy would fly to the USA and that some of the English semen that was available would be used on her when the time came. We agreed that she would be shown whilst waiting for her to come into season, as for her to come back as an American Champion would be rather nice, although this was not essential. Mindy would be returned to us once the litter was successfully reared and she was fit and ready to travel. All costs involved were to be borne by Thompson. Mindy was to be registered in the USA under both my and Thompson's names, and thus the litter would be jointly bred by us. From my point of view, this ensured that Mindy was never out of my name. From Thompson's point of view, this made no difference because of the peculiar rules applying (or should I say, NOT applying) to affixes in the USA.
Although the "deal was done", I suggested that Thompson come to South Africa to view some our Staffords here and make sure that Mindy was what he was looking for. He duly arrived, via England, at the beginning of October 1998 and stayed for about ten days. On his arrival he announced that he had purchased a new dog in England - Dumbriton Double Diamond at Berlscarg - a dog which I knew, having judged him in England in 1997. He thought that this new dog would be the right one to use on Mindy.
Thompson was hosted by us in true South African fashion - running him all over the place, without him taking a cent from his pocket. He confirmed that he did indeed want to borrow Mindy as originally agreed. So, we transferred Mindy into our joint names with KUSA as planned whilst John was here. I telephoned KUSA to find out what was needed to export a dog to the USA - "only an export pedigree" was the answer. Thompson assured me too that this was all that the AKC required.
Mindy flew to the USA in the first week of November 1998, where she stayed at Thompson's house in Virginia for a few weeks before flying to Lynn Heimbuch in Washington State to join Dumbriton Double Diamond at Berlscarg at Lynn's house. At Lynn's she was to be conditioned and shown whilst waiting for her to come into season. Thompson's responsibility was to meet all costs and expenses incurred on Mindy's behalf by Lynn.
In January, Thompson telephoned me to ask me why I had not had Mindy micro-chipped or tattooed before sending her to him. Of course, I said that I was never told to do this. In fact, both he and KUSA had said that the only thing that was necessary was the 3-generation export pedigree. He denied this and said that he told me to get it done. Words ensued. I discovered later that before 'phoning me, Thompson had also tried to lay the blame for this registration "mess-up" squarely on Lynn's shoulders - and she had nothing whatsoever to do with it.
Under a 30-day extension whilst her registration was sorted out by Thompson with the AKC, Mindy did a total of 9 shows in January and March 1999, with wonderful results:
Terrier Assoc. of Oregon (Jan 20); Judge K M McDermott; Winners Bitch
& Best Of Opposite Sex (2 pts);
CELEBRATION TIME!! Mindy was a new AKC Champion with 19 points! Adverts were placed, articles were written - Mindy was the first South African bred Staffordshire Bull Terrier to achieve Championship Status in the USA!
By this time, Mindy had come into season and was successfully mated to Am Ch Dumbriton Double Diamond at Berlscarg (UK Imp) on 14 March 1999. Lynn asked Thompson whether Mindy should stay with her for the litter, and Thompson said that it was up to me. So I discussed it with Lynn, and agreed that she should stay with her.
Then in late April, the bad news came. Thompson had failed to extend Mindy's 30-day extension, so the AKC were withdrawing all except her first 5 points and she lost her new-found Championship Status. Of course, I was as mad as a rattlesnake - and told Thompson so in no uncertain terms. He refused to accept any responsibility for the mess-up with her paperwork, and just said to Lynn, "So? Just do it again."
The worst crisis, however, was that Mindy was now pregnant - and unregistered in the USA. However, with Lynn's invaluable help by liaising with the AKC and pushing Thompson constantly, Mindy was eventually registered with the AKC at the end of April, only two weeks before her pups were born.
Her registration paper actually arrived at Thompson's house whilst I was in the USA for a judging appointment. Thompson, in my presence, handed the paper over to Lynn so that we could ensure that nothing went wrong with the litter registration when the time came. At that point, Thompson asked me whether I would like to have the pick dog (presuming there was one) from the litter as some type of recompense to me and Rusty for lending him Mindy. I didn't need much time to think about that offer, and accepted immediately! We also agreed that Lynn would get Mindy back into shape as soon as she could after the litter was born, so that she could go after the AKC title for the second time.
The big day came - 16 May - and Mindy whelped 7 gorgeous puppies (4 boys and 3 girls). I was going to get my pick dog, and Thompson was going to get his pick bitch.
Lynn was wonderful - she sent photos on a daily basis (thank you e-mail and digital cameras) and beautifully prepared videos of the pups at every stage. After a while, it became quite clear that our little boy, Jimmy, was in fact one of the finest pups of the litter!
In the meantime, I had given Power Of Attorney on Mindy to Lynn, not wanting the hassles of dealing with Thompson from a distance any longer. At one point, he had tried to persuade me to give him PoA, but that was obviously quite out of the question under the circumstances. It took weeks for Lynn to get the litter registration done with Thompson constantly delaying things. In the meantime, Lynn had managed to get a signed contract out of Thompson that the "blue slips" for the two pups she was keeping, and our Jimmy, would be signed and sent to her by him without any restrictions in place.
Mindy was back in the showring only 7 weeks after the birth of her pups, armed with 5 points and 10 more to go. It took only 4 more shows to win back her American Championship:
Mt Bachelor Kennel Club (Jul 3); Judge R S Shaw; Winners Bitch (4pts);
NEW AMERICAN CHAMPION (again!) !!
Also, there were her Canadian shows. Thank goodness, right from the beginning, Lynn had handled Mindy's showing status registration with the Canadians, so there was never any trouble with her points or title there. She was only shown 7 times in Canada (where 10 points are needed, not 15 like in the USA):
Lower Mainland Dog Fanciers of B.C. (Mar 5); Judge A Peach; Winners Bitch
& Best Of Opposite Sex (2pts);
CANADIAN CHAMPION!! Another first for South Africa! And also, in between all this, Mindy had achieved her UCI International Championship Status (I haven't listed those shows here, or detailed the costs involved that Lynn spent on those shows). Sigh of relief, wiping of sweat off the brow - the saga was over. Or was it?
Within days of completing her North American show career, Lynn contact Thompson about transferring Mindy back into my and Rusty's name so that she could come back home to us. Of course, he said that, to be on the safe side, the litter registration must be through first. Fair comment. Lynn asked him about payment arrangements for Mindy's, and now Jimmy's too, airfares. Thompson said that he was not paying for Mindy's airfare unless I gave him Jimmy back, or unless I compensated him for Jimmy. When Lynn asked him why he was taking this attitude, he said that he "refused to be sucked dry".
So let us examine exactly WHO has been "sucked dry":
2,520 = Boarding @ $12 daily (standard in her area)
541 = Shipping of Mindy to the USA, including paperwork and veterinary
US$ 700 = Sale of
one dog puppy (Magnus) to a pet home.
THEREFORE, THOMPSON'S PROFIT = US$ 13,570.98.
Even if Lynn's and my costs, for which he is liable, are not taken into account, Thompson has still made a profit of at least US$ 3,246.98 out of our Mindy.
The irony of the whole thing is that Thompson has repeatedly said that the bitch plays little or no part in the quality of a litter. Well, Mindy's genetic influence on her 7 puppies remains to be seen. But the one thing we know for sure, is that she has made one heck of a lot of money for a young man who always likes to shout "for the good of the Breed".
In the meantime, taking advantage of this sorry situation to launch an attack on us, Mr Robert du Plooy of South Africa saw fit to lodge a complaint with the KUSA against Rusty and myself for "discreditable and unethical conduct". This complaint was based on the fact that an advert and a show entry form reflected Mindy as an American Champion in the time period which occurred between her "1st American Championship status" and her "2nd American Championship status". The Disciplinary Hearing against us was heard by the KUSA on Thursday 9 September 1999. Incredible though it is to believe, we were FOUND GUILTY of failing to sign the correction of the entry form and WARNED and REPRIMANDED. KUSA made no comment about the "false advertising" claim of du Plooy's. Obviously, Thompson was DIRECTLY responsible for this action.
Thompson also made a threat to "get Mindy spayed" without telling me, and then send her home. Needless to say, Lynn ensured that Thompson never again got an opportunity to touch a single hair on Mindy's body. Lynn got Mindy out of the USA and flew her home to us via Canada at the end of September 1999. Almost $ 1,000 of further costs to Lynn to achieve this.
THANK YOU, Lynn, from the bottom of our hearts!
In January 2000 we decided to lodge a formal complaint with the AKC against Thompson - based on the discovery that he had forged my signature on one of the AKC documents. After a protracted investigation, we are delighted to say that the AKC found Thompson GUILTY AS CHARGED and disciplined him appropriately! It is just a pity that they didn't give him a lifetime ban - the Breed needs to be rid of such scum as Thompson.
A couple of weeks after they had finished their investigation, at the end of September 2000, the AKC transferred Mindy back into my sole name of their own accord! Now we are able to "re-import" Mindy into South Africa after she's already been home for a year.
THANK YOU, AKC, from the bottom of our hearts!
Despite all these goings on, In the meantime, the three puppies which Lynn and I have between us from the litter are doing very well indeed and growing up to be everything that we'd hoped for.
Amy (AM CH CROSSBOW CLASSY AMY ANDANEY) achieved her American Championship Status on 13 February 2000 - three days before her 9 month birthday! Amy is loved and cared for by Mary Gaffney.
Guy (AM CH CROSSBOW'S FINAL JUSTICE) has also achieved his American Championship Status on 21 September 2000. He is loved and cared for by Lynn.
Jimmy (AM CH CROSSBOW JUNGLE POWER - also being loved and cared for by Lynn) has also just achieved his American Championship Title on 20 October 2000.
Fred (AM CH BANG ON DROP DEAD FRED - the dog which Thompson kept) has also recently achieved his American Title.
Mindy herself is doing beautifully hers at home. She is such a wonderful, loving dog and I'm not afraid to admit that it was a very hard time for us when she was in the USA. She has gone on to achieve further success. At the end of 1999 she was awarded Brood Bitch of the Year by two Stafford Clubs in South Africa - the KZN Stafford Club, and the Stafford Club of the Transvaal. She was also awarded Provincial Colours by the KZN Provincial Council of KUSA - she is the only Stafford bitch to hold Provincial Colours. She now has 3 South African Champions, 3 American Champions and 1 further American pointed progeny her credit. In addition, she has 2 South African Champion grandchildren, and 1 further grandchild with 5 CC's at under 18 months of age.
We are so proud of her - words just aren't enough to express how much!
Yes, it's truly wonderful to have you at home, Black Bitch!
So, how do things stand at present? :
Thompson has failed to inform me of the whereabouts and registration
details of the four puppies he got from Mindy, despite the fact that AKC
Regulations require him to do so;
Thompson has also continued to tell lies and be deceitful about anything to do with Mindy and her progeny. For example, he is now trying to spread the rumour that the bitch, Molly (BANG ON GOOD GOLLY MISS MOLLY), he kept from Mindy is coming to somebody in South Africa once she has achieved her American title. This is the email he sent to someone in South Africa in order to try and spread this rumour (the name of the person has been deleted (and replaced below with "xxxxx") to protect their identity as that person is completely innocent and has nothing to do with any of this):
> > John
>> I can understand that.
> > John
Thompson time and again proves himself unworthy of owning and being involved with Staffordshire Bull Terriers.
Until the day when every aspect of this whole saga is resolved to my satisfaction (and points 1. and 2. above are complied with by Thompson, this story will remain on-line for the world to read.