Leaving Pawpeds, one thought or two


Today I write to you about PAWPEDS, a chapter of my life that I ended with pride. As usually, I speak freely about the subject.

PAWPEDS has entered my life long before 2009 has a source of information and work. But in that year I started as a student in G1, the year after came G2. In 2010, Ulrika Olsson, a judge, a MCO breeder and also main leader of the project, invited me to be a teacher/course leader. Four years have passed and I cannot say I don´t feel richer with the contact with all these people and with the possibility to help others, one of the things that moves me on. And I was tried to give my personal view of the subject when required. I oriented G1 and G2, and I was also a successful student at G3, the final level of the courses. In the meanwhile I was also invited to organize/start a NFO course, a new project of PAWPEDS. Due to the lack of time to everyone involved this project never passed first drawings.

During these four years, I was never been paid anything, and I´ve paid all the courses where I was a student. I don´t recall the correct amount but it was something like 30€ (G1), 45€ (G2) e 90€ (G3). The money, they say, is to maintain dokeos, the backoffice that supports the courses and its server. I have never complained about it, but if you sum all the money and multiply by all the students we can easily agree that is a very expensive business. Perhaps, PAWPEDS has now different goals, I don´t know.

Also during these years I´ve helped spreading the word about the courses, so many Portuguese came answering the call. Meanwhile, some other Portuguese graduated students were invited to be course leaders. The decision was entirely from Ulrika and the others, even when you consider it´s a normal procedure ask for references. My answer would be «no», of course, but not because I didn´t like them (and I don´t), but the lack of experience and the correct purpose of being part of the project were not the correct ones from my point of view. And I also wondered why suddenly all the best candidates were in Portugal. Of course, I told this to Ulrika, but accepted the decision without further critics.

The teaching period was quite pleasant. I had students I like a lot, others that I knew during the courses and, yes, still others that were not friends and don’t like me and I treated all the same way, with the consideration that a PAWPEDS student deserves. This was underlined by Ulrika last time we´ve talked. They had nothing during the courses to point at me. Period.

Last year, the courses were starting to be not as many as before. The excuse PAWPEDS gave was that the students were friends of the other Portuguese teachers, and even if I was always been a correct guy, there was no use to expose me to trouble. I´ve understand, even if it was not a problem to me to work with anyone as before. Why it should be? Perhaps these students would find it easier with their teacher/friends leading, but I´m sure with me it would not be harder than any other student. I also said, and it´s true, I have friends that don’t want to be oriented by such course leaders, breeders who only have had one litter or two, and – their words, not mine – who don´t their assignments corrected by teachers who «follow every time a guideline of corrections, with no personal adding to the subjects».

Well, but as always, I have a lot of things in my mind (and hands) and time passed by. Honestly, it was good to put my mind in other stuff and dedicate to kids, cats and at the office.

This year, I´ve felt it was time to get back. But now, even Ulrika Olsson was surprised that no one of the other course leaders wanted to work with me. How do you explain that people who always talked to you, have pleasant conversations about cats and you had no problem whatsoever don’t want to work to you? In a word: gossip, of course. And such a difference can only be explained by a professional gossiper, who makes her life from this. But OK, I always haf plenty of ideas.

I´ve suggested I could work alone. My only goal was still to try help newcomers and others searching for knowledge. The suggestion was very welcomed by Ulrika, but 48 hours later the problem was other.

I said right then, without knowing the reasons yet, I quit! PAWPEDS never stood by my side in all these years, the project was becoming a badge for status and not knowledge, and the teachers are now almost (there are exceptions) newcomers, with so little to add to the documents every student is obliged to read. Plenty of reasons to not be part of it.

One of those Portuguese breeders/course leaders/pdf readers has a cat from me. It´s called Shadow Eyes Wolverine. We don’t talk anymore. I´ve made a huge mistake in selling a cat to her, who seemed a lot different some years ago. I really don´t like her as a person and as a breeder, so the contact is purely visual in shows. But, even if it´s not in the contract, I asked her to not stop sending pictures of him. The answer was, and I quote: «Don´t worry, pictures from him will not be missed.» The pictures stopped when the relationship broke. So, I´ve seen one picture of him in Facebook, and used it in our Facebook page, with our logo, as I did with all the other cats before, because he was breed by me and my wife. Her logo was covered because I think the bad people should not get that kind of publicity. Perhaps it was wrong, but it was a personal matter. Anyone thinks breeding copyright stops when you sell the cat? It does not concerns you?

Facebook removed the picture, and it was solved. I used my own pictures of him, and I´ll use them when I want. I don´t think the owner has lost money or the prestige she has (if she has any) when that picture was used.

The problem with PAWPEDS was now this one: «violation of copyright laws». Not Pawpeds laws. General laws. One picture, in a personal matter. I was dismissed, they say. But is it really possible to dismiss someone who was already quitted? And one who has said clearly to its leader: «Pawpeds is not for me anymore, I´m sorry.»

The story ends here. There is no possible comeback, this project has ended for me even if its leaders would ask me to return. I will not.

This text is to advise people of what PAWPEDS is right now. When I was there I stood silent even with things I didn´t agree. But I have no obligation whatsoever anymore. If you want to still take courses there go ahead. There are still some valuable teachers, people who really know that much, and you can get lucky.

My personal point of view is that local feline associations should advance, like in Denmark, to some courses by their own as a breeding requirement. In their language, possibly with face to face teaching. That would be wonderful, don’t you think?  And then, you would have real teachers with so many to teach you.

I say goodbye to PAWPEDS knowing, and feeling free and happy. Feeling I´ve give much more than I received. And, now, the future starts. J

Luís Mateus, member of Shadow Eyes, former Pawpeds course leader.


~ por Luís Mateus em 18/08/2014.

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