It seems everyone is talking about the BBC1 documentary Pedigree Dogs Exposed.
It's on next Tuesday evening at 9pm.
No one's actually seen it yet!
But certain people are already complaining that it's biased.
(Isn't there something ironic about people showing prejudice about prejudice? Or is just me and my weird sense of humour?)
Both weekly show dog papers are up in arms - our own famously eccentric Robert Killick is almost donning his tin hat and bayonet! He's urging people to complain to bbc.co.uk/complaints
"Fifty complaints will irritate them, one hundred will worry them and two hundred will bring tears. With the number of you out there you'll be able to swamp them. If the editor will permit it I would like to use the famous words used by Lance Corporal Jones in every episode of Dad's Army, "They don't like it up 'em. Cap'n Mainwaring, they don't like it up 'em."
So what is all the fuss about? The KC's statement shows they really do have their masonic dinner jackets in a Pug-esque double helix. Do have a read.
Passionate Productions has made a documentary about pedigree dog health and they've talked to the Kennel Club (and lots of other experts all over the world) for more than two years.
But either the KC has a very well informed mole at Broadcasting house who has put the wind up them or they just have an overpowering sense of dread that when the spotlight is put on their guardianship of pedigree dogs' health, they're not going to end up looking very good.
And this will of course be down to the edit, the bias of the documentary makers, the lighting, that TV adds a stone and of course lots and lots of conspiracy theories that everyone is out to get them for perverse reasons.
If they come across as looking half as bad as they seem to fear, it'll obviously not be because they should have got their finger out 20 years ago and actually done something (and apologies while I get the scratchy old broken record out one more time) like bringing in compulsory health tests, measures to stop inbreeding, changes to the judging system to really stop exaggerations being rewarded...(stop me when you're asleep)....I will go on and on.
And yes, we all know all about the Accredited (Discredited?) Breeders Scheme, the subtle changes to the wording of some of the breed standards and the Challenge Certificates. But we also know that actually getting any reasonable level of take-up on testing just isn't going to happen without an element of compulsion. The good will always be good even when no one's looking, but the mediocre will be the majority and simply won't bother or even realise they should be testing without some coaxing. And, until you reprimand judges for giving awards to exaggerated dogs, no one will start breeding dogs that look any different than before.
Roll on Tuesday night.
And please, if you feel the programme is balanced do let the BBC know as they've already heard from lots of psychic people who know it isn't going to be!
And again harking back to Dad's Army for a further moment I'd say to the KC, "Don't Panic! Don't Panic!"
Just sit down without prejudice, watch, listen and please, please, please don't just get the hump - take any criticism on the chin - and start doing something more effective even if does ruffle a few feathers in the show world!
Who knows, they might have been totally impressed by your efforts - if you really do believe you've done your very best what have you got to fear?
I'd personally like to see the KC lead the poor battered pedigree dog out of the health minefield before it's too late for some of the worst affected breeds.
Hopefully in 20 years time if someone does a documentary on pet health the KC of that day won't be caught with their pants down.
Get that broken record out again someone... if only they'd started doing the things the Swedish Kennel Club did 20 years ago instead of resting on their laurels and telling themselves that they are THE Kennel Club and that our sensible Nordic neighbours couldn't teach them anything!
I can't see the Swedish Chairman making all this fuss about being asked a few awkward questions! But perhaps they never showed Dad's Army over in Sweden?
PS Should anyone want to learn more about health problems and testing we have produced a chunky little booklet called "The Little Black Dog Book". It explains all the major probs in an easy to digest format, gives case histories of people who have dogs with these conditions and lists what tests you should insist on if you are acquiring a pup on a breed by breed basis. This booklet costs £2.50 inc UK postage and if you click here you'll be able to buy it on line. If you click that link you will be taken to our Furry Godmother website which offers lots of free information and contacts for anyone researching looking for a dog - but the booklet is much more in-depth on health and is a useful reference point. Our very detailed Fido Fact reports on each breed also include a full page from geneticist Dr Malcolm Willis giving each breed a very detailed health MOT that often goes much further listing conditions that you can't yet test for. Fido Facts for most breeds can be bought on line, too. Those not available electronically can be ordered by phone.