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DB: Nazism, Adultery and Drunk Texting: The Melodrama Roiling the Dog Show World


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Nazism, Adultery and Drunk Texting: The Melodrama Roiling the Dog Show World


The Belgian laekenois (pronounced lak-in-wah), originated in the town of Laeken, the seat of the Belgian monarchy. It is the “rarest of the four Belgian herding breeds,” which include the Belgian malinois, Belgian tervuren, and the Belgian sheepdog, according to the American Kennel Club, which calls the laekenois a “survivor.”


“The Laeken was deployed as a messenger dog in both World Wars and was the target of a bounty by Hitler in the latter, resulting in a sizable drop in its numbers,” the AKC says in an online explainer about the hardy, wire-coated canine.


While wary of strangers, the laekenois “is affectionate and friendly with those he knows well,” states the AKC. The same cannot be said of the small American community of laekenois enthusiasts.

Nancy Guttenberg, 65, is the founder of a national organization for fanciers of the laekenois, a “virtual unknown” among canine breeds. She is also now the central character in an extraordinarily hostile melodrama roiling the usually collegial purebred dog world. The dust-up is just the latest twist in a saga that has involved accusations of everything from extramarital affairs to substance abuse, antisemitism, drunk texting, and targeted shootings—and it shows little sign of letting up.


Guttenberg—a tax lawyer, cybersecurity entrepreneur, and self-described paleoarchaeologist who calls herself the “top dog attorney in the country”—lives mostly in New Mexico but has homes in New York State and elsewhere. She and the show-dog community have been at each other’s throats for some time; in 2019, Guttenberg sued the Chihuahua Club of America over claims she called their president “a Nazi.”


Last year, Guttenberg took control of the American Belgian Laekenois Association (ABLA), after being brought in to settle a dispute among members. Now, she is hauling ABLA president Jennifer White (who is also the president of the Oklahoma City Kennel Club) into court, accusing White of, among other things, casting doubt on her mental faculties and calling her a substance abuser with a drunk texting problem.


Guttenberg, who does not herself own a Belgian laekenois, became highly exercised when discussing the situation, telling The Daily Beast, “It’s hard not to be emotional when somebody is doing a character assassination… I’m shocked she didn’t put more things in there. What, that I’m devil spawn?”


White said in a court filing earlier this month that Guttenberg would often call her, slurring her words, would badmouth her to the AKC in an attempt to ruin her business, and had disparaged her by saying she “pick[s] up **** for a living.” At the same time, White, a former 911 operator with a master’s degree in forensic psychology, told The Daily Beast that Guttenberg was fond of telling people she had an IQ of 165.


On Jan. 5, White decided she had finally had enough.


“I’ve asked Guttenberg numerous times to not contact me,” White wrote in an email to Guttenberg’s son Nicholas, also an ABLA board member. “Yet she continues and picks and chooses what she copies to people. As the president of ABLA I will be filing a complaint with AKC with concerns for the mental stability of Nancy Guttenberg. She yet again last night drunk texted people. Be assured I have screen shots.”




Click on the link for more of the drama

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