|Greater Houston Golden Retriever Club|
From the Constitution of the Greater Houston Golden Retriever Club:
The objectives of the Club shall be:
a) To encourage and promote the quality breeding of purebred Golden Retrievers and to do all possible to bring their natural qualities to perfection.
b) To urge members and breeders to accept the standard of the breed as approved by the American Kennel Club (“AKC”) as the only standard of excellence by which Golden Retrievers shall be judged;
c) To do all in its power to protect and advance the interests of the breed by encouraging sportsmanlike competition at dog shows, obedience trials, field trials, tracking tests, hunting tests, and other events.
d) To conduct sanctioned and licensed specialty shows, obedience trials, field trials, tracking tests, hunting tests, and other events for which the Club is eligible under the rules of the AKC or the Golden Retriever Club of America (“GRCA”).
A Brief History of The GHGRC
In the summer of 1976 a group of Houston-area Golden Retriever fanciers gathered and formed a new club: the Greater Houston Golden Retriever Club.
When Lew Baker took over as Treasurer in January 1992, he was handed a shoe box containing a few receipts, a couple bills and some change. That was the extent of the club’s treasury at that time! Lew immediately set about incorporating the club with the State of Texas and setting up proper bank accounts! Since then the club’s financial assets have steadily grown, due in no small part to the success of the club hunt test and the well dog clinic, as well as careful management. For the past decade, GHGRC has made annual donations to the Golden Retriever Foundation, Houston area Golden Retriever rescues, and the Responsible Pet Owners Alliance Texas Outreach.
GHGRC has hosted WC/WCX field events since its earliest years. The first AKC hunt test was held in 1995, and has been held annually since.
In 1986, the club was planning its first AKC sanctioned A-OA match. A second A-OA match was held in 1990, and afterward GHGRC received formal approval to hold AKC licensed specialty shows and obedience trials. The club joined the Houston Combined Specialties and has held biannual specialties every year since.
GHGRC held its first tracking test in 1992 and held annual tracking tests until 2004 when the club stopped offering tracking events due to decline in interest within the club.
The club has sponsored an annual Well Dog Clinic since at least the mid-1980’s. The Well Dog Clinic was originally started to encourage Houston area Golden Retriever breeders to get eye exams done on their breeding stock. Demand from the local dog community lead to the clinic being opened to all breeds. As the need for cardiac clearances in Goldens was recognized, cardiac exams were added to the Well Dog Clinic offerings. In the early days, tattooing was offered as a means of permanent identification; later replaced by microchipping. The popular blood panel and thyroid test offerings were a more recent addition.
In 1992, GHGRC founded a rescue program for homeless Golden Retrievers. The rescue program continued until about 1999. Golden Beginnings (GBGRR) had been formed a few years before and was proving to be a thriving, capable program. GHGRC felt it was best for the club to discontinue its own rescue program and instead support local organizations such as GBGRR that were specifically dedicated to rescue work.
From its earliest days, the club offered speakers and programs at meetings, with the goal of educating Golden Retriever breeders and fanciers about health concerns in the breed, responsible breeding practices, and topics of interest to serious breeders and fanciers. Traditional social activities of the club included a Spring Picnic, Halloween Party featuring a costume contest (for the dogs!) and games (for the dogs too!), and a Christmas/Holiday Party. Other activities have at times included an Old Dog Valentine’s Day Party, fun matches, and grooming day/picnics. In June 1996 and 2006, the picnics were held in June at Belvedere Kennels to celebrate the club’s 20th and 30th anniversaries!
Today, the GHGRC membership numbers approximately 80 members. GHGRC is a
member club of the Golden Retriever
Club of America. GHGRC hosts specialty conformation shows in July and December, as well as rally and obedience trials in conjunction with the July specialty at NRG/Reliant Center. In April we hold an AKC hunt test offering Senior and Junior stakes, and a WC/WCX test the following day. The Well Dog Clinic is held each year in early January. Social events are held at various times of the year, as volunteers offer to organize them.
GHGRC has always been what its membership has made of it. Past members worked hard to build an enduring organization, dedicated to the well-being and future of the Golden Retriever breed and those who love the breed. The future of GHGRC is YOURS, to create, to build, to make it your own.