I'm interested in hearing about any experiences of black folks who show dogs in obedience, agility, or field trials. (Conformation, I'm not so interested in--different mindset entirely.) I'm planning such a character for my next novel.

I emailed my sister, who has one of the top 25 obedience dogs in the country right now and has shown all over the Midwest and into the mid-Atlantic, and I asked her if she knew any people she could e-introduce me to if I had questions on issues of race in the dog ring. She said, in twenty years of showing in 13 states, she has never once seen a black face at a o. trial. I'm still getting over my dumbfoundedness at this. I know that there's a history with black people and dogs being sicced on them, particularly in the South, but...I dunno, I thought, Obama is President and I've seen plenty of black people walking dogs, and the world has changed and surely by now. But no! Not surely. (We are endlessly reminded the world isn't changing that fast.)

So if you know of anyone, I'd be interested in hearing about her (probably her, as fewer men do this) life in the ring. I'm sure some gazes linger longer, there are people who are rude and people who are over-solicitous (oh goodie, look, a black person to befriend!)...but I'm surely not imagining other details that would add to my character. Please let me know if you know of anyone who might be willing to answer an email full of questions, or better, who blogs about it so I can read about what's on her mind. Thanks!