“The Meeting” at National Terrier was due to something that happened at National Terrier 1996. It was a few voices and a few people that, within a short time, became a shout and a crowd; the Enthusiasts & Fanciers of Glens was up and running. The EFG remarkably quickly established its credentials of transparency and openness-what its people wanted its people got and people they all were. Other breed clubs had members but the EFG had their people and their people called the shots. Officers, for the sake of ease, were established but the “the committee” was whoever turned up when decisions needed making and those occasions were quite an event. Not for the EFG the boring (and often avoided) AGM; it was the Grand Soiree. The Committee meeting was held with a Soiree so there was never a shortage of willing volunteers to keep the Club on the right track.
Glen of Imaal Terriers need to think on a world-wide basis so “The Factfinder” was quickly established. EFG groups happily travelled all over the world to spread the gospel with international Glen owners; many overseas owners still remember the visits with awe and admiration. The Soiree became acknowledged as a standard of excellence in many countries. The EFG people said we should be “more involved” so involved we became. We were on both Countryside Marches and actively lobbied about docking. The National Working Terrier Federation welcomed us and the breed booth attended any event it was asked to. The EFG did the first health survey for the breed and started the first health fund which is where we came into our own.
PRA had been discovered in the breed and it didn’t conform to any known variants so big trouble loomed. The US Glen Club had started fund raising for Optigen but it was agreed two heads were better than one so a European answer was needed. Bochum in Germany had previously found success in the gene exploration field so a request was made there. The answer was yes, but money is needed. Terry Thorn, an EFG person, suggested a few paragraph application to the Charitable Trust and they would respond if they wanted to know more. We did, they did and the rest is part of Glen history. A family tree was drawn up on a roll of wallpaper and EFG people began travelling to Europe to illustrate connections of families and ask for support. Glen people supported. The EFG people also supported with an outlandish suggestion; they dedicated themselves to raise, pound for pound and within five years, a match for any grant given. £5,000 was raised in four and the rogue gene discovered.
Grooming seminars, breed seminars, even more breed seminars have gone on over the years. Talking Toplines, the successor to Grope A Glen, reached new heights when a hotel was hired and Frank Kane was the chief speaker. The EFG has arranged (and organised) eye testing for years and the Companion Shows grow ever more in popularity each year. In the early years of the EFG Kennel Club registration and recognition was mused upon and even provisionally looked at. The letter is still held that said try application in five years but there was never any need to bother-why should we? Last year though, 15 years old, the suggestion came forward again and, as at the beginning, as the weeks passed the odd voice became a shout. The EFG people were speaking so they had to be listened to.
Last December Christmas cards went out with a note attached asking for opinions. The opinions were positive. In line with always asking the idea was mooted for the National Terrier of 2012; what about….? The reaction was positive so letters went out again. The EFG website and blog invited anybody and everybody who might be interested. It appeared in a dog paper but would people, in these hardened times, come? Thirty actually sat at the meeting, others appeared later, and the word from the people matched what had already been heard. After 16 years the undoubted recognition for the EFG should be taken to the next step. Sponsoring societies have stepped forward; judges and group judges have sagely nodded. We shall be seeing if the Kennel Club will listen