On March 8 Joe Frazier proved to be a tough, relentless fighter. Moreover, by defeating Ali, he proved to be an iconoclast. He destroyed the image of a superhero. He crushed an idol. He toppled an icon.
Yet Frazier should not rest on his newly fattened bankbook. Ali may be vanquished and silenced now, but he'll rise again after the eight (month) count. In the inevitable rematch the icon shall break the iconoclast.
As one of those millions that he moved deeply, let me say that Ali is hardly as near his own end as Mark Kram would have it. Ali is still the great artist and man we knew he was all along. He is still a symbol that boxing will not, and certainly should not, forget. Like Arnold Palmer in golf, Ali has made an otherwise mediocre sport into something majestic and exciting. Joe Frazier and Jack Nicklaus are champions, but Muhammad Ali and Arnold Palmer are kings, and nothing will ever change that.
KRIS D. ESSLINGER
Palo Alto, Calif.
BARK OR BITE?
Your writer, Robert H. Boyle, has captured the true nature of Robert Abady ("Nobody Touches Me with Impunity," March 15) and has accurately portrayed the personality hiding behind his bravado. It should be obvious to your readers that the true reason for Mr. Abady's lack of success in gaining admission to the Bouvier des Flandres Club of America lies not in the fear of his wiping the floor but in the club's good judgment in not allowing ourselves to be placed in the possible position of giving approval for his unconventional actions. He has applied for membership on more than one occasion and has never been accepted.
Lest the public be confused, the bouvier is a working dog. He is a superlative guard dog, but he is also an ideal pet for children. He is used for all kinds of herding and for draft chores. He is not basically an attack dog but is possessive about his family and its interests.
Mr. Abady may be considered by some as an expert on condition and nutrition, but his explanation for lack of good health in dogs does his "expertise" little good. He is the first dog breeder I have heard of to ever have a 60% loss of newborn puppies. We rarely lose any, and we do not employ any supplements. A good veterinarian is worth far more than some wild-eyed theory from a former spoiled brat.
ARTHUR M. PEDERSEN, M.D.
Bouvier des Flandres Club of America
Council Bluffs, Iowa
I am disappointed in Robert H. Boyle's presentation of the bouviers des Flandres. As one of Robert Abady's first trainers and his assistant, I know the breed better than most. I feel that the article misleads the public as to the breed's capability as a family pet, friendly neighbor and family protector. It gives the unknowing reader the impression that the bouvier is a vicious, bloodthirsty breed rather than a protective and loving animal.
JOHN F. O'BRIEN
Before your article our bouvier was being invited to neighborhood birthday parties. Parents are now warning their children to stay away. This article has done nothing to advance the breeding of these wonderful dogs.
Mr. Boyle should be commended for one of the best articles you have ever done. Could you tell me where I could get literature on this dog and where I could get one for a reasonable price?