Following the pivotal Joan Read Lecture delivered by veterinary cardiologist, Dr David Connolly, in February 2007, it became clear that it has become a matter of urgency that we determine whether we have a problem with Mitral Valve Disease in the Norfolk Terrier or not. There is a distinct possibility that the disease is no more significant in our breed than in the terrier group as a whole, and that we are worrying unnecessarily.
But until we have actual data, we have only anecdote and guesswork to go on. Individual cases are heart-breaking and sometimes catastrophic, but may be, in terms of incidence, no more than expected in any terrier population.
The Club has the good fortune that it has veterinary surgeon Andre Hess MRCVS among its members, who has offered himself and his stethoscope for free. He has proposed that over a period of 12 to 18 months he auscultates (listens to) as many Norfolk Terrier hearts as possible. He will auscultate each dog once only. Since it is a matter of random sampling, there will be no selection of particular dogs at all, and the dogs will remain completely anonymous for the purpose of the survey. Whenever Mr Hess is present at a Norfolk Terrier show or gathering of any sort, you will have the opportunity to have your dog(s) auscultated. The result will be recorded for the purpose of the survey. It will be up to you to volunteer, however. He may also be available to visit larger kennels at their request. The owner of the dog will have the right to hear the result on the day if they wish.
Andre Hess writes -
'The aim of the study is to find out how many Norfolks are showing early onset heart disease. If, in the end, we find out that the incidence is indeed higher than that of terriers in general, Mr Hess will, with specialist help, produce a proposal that will go along these lines: if, and only if, we find that we have a clustering of ‘positive’ cases at around 5 years of age (for example!), we will advise that breeders/owners stop using these dogs for breeding forthwith. Little can be done about litters already produced, but this single act alone could have a massive impact on the incidence of heart disease in the breed as a whole. The survey may also provide the opportunity to dispel rumours and suspicions for good.
PS. we know already that since the disease is very likely ‘polygenetic’, it is unfair to blame certain stud-dogs or breeding lines!
The 2007 Joan Read Lecture represents a significant moment in the breeding of Norfolk Terriers. For their sake we must take advantage of the important work done by Dr David Connolly.'
For further information on Dr Connolly's lecture please look at Health on this website.
The AGM of the NTC of GB
The AGM and Spring Open Show of the Norfolk Terrier Club of GB took place on 1st April 2007 .The President opened the meeting, thanking those who have worked for the Club over the past year and the Chairman of the Committee and the Treasurer gave their reports.
Mrs Dorothy Dorkins was welcomed as the new Club President, John Mackison is Acting Secretary, Juliet Knight continues as Treasurer, Elisabeth Matell as Newsletter Editor and Carole Goldsmith Membership Secretary.
The members of the committee are Mr Allenby Stevenson, Mrs Patsy Green, Mr Andre Hess MRCVS, Mrs. Cherry Howard, Mrs Helena Jupp, Mr John Mackison, Miss Elisabeth Matell, Miss Gail Simpson, Mrs Cherry Stones, Mrs Sally Willbie .
The Cup Stewards continue in office, Cherry Stones for the Open Shows and Jane Lloyd the Championship Show.
The judge for the Championship Show in 2009 is Ruth Corkhill and at the committee meeting which followed, Allenby Stevenson was elected as Committee Chairman.
Cherry Howard presented the trophies for the 2006 show season to the winners.
The club's newsletter, Norfolk Terrier News, has been posted to all members. In it John Mackison, the club secretary, gives us his latest news which is reprinted below.
Norfolk Terrier News – Secretary’s Notes – February 2007
Welcome to the Norfolk Terrier News Spring 2007, the first newsletter of an extremely busy and eventful year.
Our Annual General Meeting and Spring Show will be almost on us when this drops on your doormat. Sometimes, the AGM brings small changes to the Club’s Offficers and Committee; sometimes the changes are more significant.
This year our President, Mrs Cherry Howard, will be retiring having completed her three year term of office. Cherry has been a ‘hands-on’ President having submerged herself in all the club activities. I do not recall a single committee meeting without Cherry’s presence and guiding hand. With Sally Willbie she has been jointly responsible for setting up and maintaining our superb website. In addition she has single handedly kept the Points Table which identifies the best dog, best bitch, and best kennel of the year. Thank you Cherry for your considerable contributions to the club .
Chairman, Dorothy Taylor, has decided that this is the time to hang up her collar and lead and retire from many busy years of club committee work including several years as Secretary. We will be forever in your debt Dorothy. However, she is a most active lady who plays an active role in her local amateur dramatic society. She will not be short of ways to fill her days. Thank you Dorothy for everything.
Since Elisabeth Matell moved house from Kent to Malvern in Worcestershire, Margaret Ruffles has had difficulty getting to all the committee meetings and has reluctantly decided to retire. We will miss Margaret’s enthusiastic commonsense contributions backed by considerable experience in the breed. Always willing to lend a hand, I hope she will agree to any future requests for help.
You will read about the new committee people in the next ‘Secretary’s Say’. Whoever they are I’m sure they will bring considerable experience to the committee and the Club .
2007 will also be memorable in other ways. Our membership will almost certainly reach one thousand! All members are very special but Member One Thousand will indeed be very special. Our 75th Anniversary Celebration weekend on 22 and 23 September, jointly arranged with the Norwich Terrier Club will be the highlight. We are expecting a very large entry for the Championship Show on the Saturday and a good number of people have already made their dinner reservation for the evening. Whether you plan to come singly, as a couple, or in a party, you will be made most welcome.
Overseas members planning to attend the week-end are reminded that overnight accomodation must be booked direct with the hotel and payment made by credit card. Remember to say that you are attending the Norfolk and Norwich Terrier Celebrations to get the special rate. The Club is unable to accept credit card payments for the dinner and show entry fees for your dog(s). We must receive payment in pounds sterling (GB pounds ) and the easiest way to do this is to ask your bank to transfer the correct amount of money to our Club account. Will members wishing to do this please contact me by e-mail ( email@example.com ) and I will let you have our bank account codes. Kindly ask your bank to ensure that your name appears with the amount. It the total amount is for dinner(s) and entry fees please make sure that we know how many dinners are ordered and what amounts refer to each. Any questions to me, please.
The Fun Day this year will be very special. Jon Rudkin and his team are busy planning a full programme of activities. The date is Saturday 25 August; the place is Baginton Village Hall, so please put this in your diary now.
As I write, the present committee has not yet found anyone to take over from me as Secretary. I know that within our membership there will some who will do the job very well. Perhaps, reading this, you will know that you are just the right person. Please don’t wait; pick up the phone or dash off an e-mail, to register your interest. I will be very happy to tell you all about it. You will sometimes find the job challenging but always fascinating and full of interest. I have even been proposed for the next committee. If I’m elected, I will be around to offer advice and hold hands when necessary; so please, don’t hesitate. I await your call.
I wish to thank all the members who have encouraged and supported me during my period in office. I have enjoyed every minute.
20 February 2007
We are pleased that since this was written we have received several offers for the post of secretary but please contact John if you would like to be considered.