How did you first become involved in dogs? What breeds have you been involved with and in what capacity – breeder, owner, handler?
My husband Ron and I fell in love with the Borzoi when we lived in Georgia many years ago. We were so impressed with their elegance, beauty and especially their fondness for and gentleness around young children. When we finally settled in Cincinnati we were able to fulfill our dreams of owning a Borzoi and decided that since we now owned such a beautiful creature we should also show it. It turned out that he wasn’t the best Borzoi, conformation wise, but through him we learned so much about the breed. We had a very limited but successful breeding program which produced several top winners in the breed. When our daughter Andrea was 10 years old she decided she wanted to show in Junior Showmanship and bought her own show dog, a Standard Longhaired Dachshund. Once that Dachshund entered our house we were hooked for life. Andrea was very successful in Juniors and we became more and more active in the Dachshund world as well. Our breeding program produced BIS and National Specialty winners, top producers and several top-winning Longhairs. We have also owned various other sighthounds throughout the years.
Who has been your mentor or mentors?
With the Borzoi we were mainly self taught. Since we were new to the dog world we would sit and watch breeds all day long, including the Groups, absorbing everything we could about the show and dogs in general. We happened to have an active kennel club in the area with a great training class and our friendships were made with people from all sorts of breeds.
In Dachshunds Dan Harrison has had the most influence on my dogs. Our first dog came from his first Longhair litter and we have remained friends for over 30 years. I feel that Dan is the premier Longhair authority in the world and feel extremely privileged to be able to get his advice throughout the years. In the middle years Dee Hutchinson also had much influence and in the last several years I must also acknowledge my partnership with Wally and Mary Jones. With them we produced some phenomenal litters of Standard Longhairs.
What is, or was, your profession?
Homemaker, mother to two children and chief cook and bottle washer in the house.
Do you have any hobbies or special interests other than judging?
I like the arts and crafts scene and dabble in photography, mainly birds and wildlife. I also have a home in Michigan where I spend most of my summers relaxing and working in my garden.
Do you have any pet peeves when judging?
I have more than one but will elaborate on the one that comes to mind immediately due to recent experiences in the ring. I absolutely hate it when dogs are moved at a breakneck speed around the ring. Neither the dog nor the handler look good and at times I find that I cannot even see the dog’s feet touch the ground. It is becoming more and more common both in the Group and unfortunately at the breed level also. The first thing I think of when I see these exhibitors running around the ring is that there must be something in the dog’s movement that they do not want me to see. I have much more respect for those exhibitors who are in sync with their dog and move it accordingly. Exhibitors, slow down!