No, am not with fever. There really is something that the KC has done recently that is phenomenally good.
The object of my (almost) unfettered praise is the launch of two key documents. The first is a step-by-step guide to improving breed health and the second a toolkit for breed health surveys. Intended for breed clubs and Breed Health Co-Ordinators, both are a breath of fresh air - containing the most inclusive language ever to come out of the Kennel Club.
Both talk about the important of real data, not anecdotal evidence. They refer not just to the Bateson report (which the KC co-commissioned) but to the RSPCA and APGAW reports too (both of which the KC dissed at the time) as evidence of the need to take action. They even urge breed clubs to embrace breed campaigners and pet owners, stating that "If there are individuals or groups campaigning for breed health improvement, this may be a clue that you need to do more."
If you haven't read them, please do (and if you're not from the UK, please nick them for your breed clubs in your own country).
So who do we have to thank for this new dawn? Stand up Kennel Club geneticist (the new Jeff Sampson) Aimee Llewellyn and, in particular, the main author of the documents, Chair of the Dachshund Breed Council, Ian Seath (a future Chairman of the Kennel Club?)
Eighteen months ago, in answer to the charge that I am quick to diss, but don't come up with anything constructive, I wrote Ten Steps To Save The Pedigree Dog. The new breed health documents embrace several suggestions I made here. Not of course that I'm making any great claims - the suggestion were pretty damn obvious.
But I'll venture another one - and it's the reason why my praise for the new breed health strategy documents - as good as they are - is qualified.
It is obvious to anyone reading the new guidance from the Kennel Club that they are asking an awful lot of most of the volunteers that man - and woman - the breed clubs. I am not remotely surprised to hear that, although welcomed by some, others have found the new toolkits daunting.
So here's my suggestion to the KC: put your hand in your pockets and fund the key health positions in the breed clubs. If you truly believe that the breed clubs are the key to improved breed health (and I agree they are critically important) funding them will allow you to demand more of them and make them more accountable. I believe that money spent here is at least as important as funding the development of new DNA tests.