The Boxer Mailing List began out of necessity in early Spring of 1995. Several Boxer owners began communicating with each other after reading newsgroup messages. We all looked for mailing list dedicated to Boxers and there was none.
Sam Baynes, then a student at University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, received approval to start the BML on the university's server. There were fourteen of us on the original list -- all pet. Our first international member was Nir Alon in Israel. We talked about our Boxers, feeding, toys, and play time. Soon, word of the BML's existence began to spread and a few vet techs found us, followed by breeders, veterinarians, show, obedience competitors, handlers, and researchers. The conversations, as you might imagine, changed with the membership. We found ourselves discussing issues such as breeding ethics, nutrition, breed-related health problems, rescue, and standards. BML members from all backgrounds were sharing experiences -- and we were all learning.
As the membership grew near 200, UWM politely told us the BML was too large. We had to move and Maryann Watkins found a new home at a server based out of New York. Again, the list grew to the point where that business server couldn't handle the load. Maryann and Dale Ulmer worked quickly to find another home for the BML -- this time in Tucson, Arizona.
During this time, the BML made its first appearance on the Worldwide Web. BML member, Rob Stevenson, volunteered to create a web page featuring pictures of dozens of BML Boxers. It was great to be able to finally see the Boxers we were talking about!
In November of 1996, it was obvious another move was imminent -- the Tucson server couldn't keep up with the list growth. By this time, the membership was right around 300. Imagine -- 300 Boxer lovers from around the world!
Enter one of the "Original 14": Jim Clack. As a faculty member, Jim volunteered to sponsor the BML on the Indiana University/Purdue University (Indianapolis) server . . . and the entire membership made the move on December 1, 1996. Jim joined Maryann and Dale as list Administrators, and a group of about 25 members served as an advisory committee to help determine BML guidelines, policies, and rules. Member input is most welcome and appreciated. This BML home can handle a lot of growth and we plan to stay as long as we are welcome.
Sadly, Dale passed away in Januay, 2012. We miss him and his dedication to the Boxer Mailing List. The BML, however, continues to be a great place for Boxer owners and Carrie Moran has joined Maryann and Jim as a Co-Administrator.
Judy Voran, one of the first Boxer breeders to become a member, once described our list as an "electronic neighborhood" where neighbors chat over their "electronic fences." That is a very accurate description of the Boxer Mailing List.
The BML has always been (and will always remain) a list that welcomes discussion -- even heated discussion -- on any Boxer-related issue. It is also a list that requires members to participate in a courteous, non-abusive manner so everyone can enjoy our "electronic neighborhood." Freedom of speech goes hand-in-hand with personal responsibility.
If you are already a member of the Boxer Mailing List, you know we strive to be like our beloved Boxers: friendly, protective, loyal, comical, fun, dignified, serious, loveable, and joyful. If you are not a member, we invite you to join the pack!
Contributed by Maryann Watkins, BML Co-Administrator