Mary and Gary Meek have had Curly-Coated Retrievers since 1989, and in this comparatively short time their
breeder/owner-handled Riverwatch Curlies have made important contributions to the breed and helped establish recognition of the breed on a Group and Best In Show level.
SL: When did you first become involved with purebred dogs? What was the first breed you showed?
MM: As a child I had a Cocker Spaniel named ‘Penny.’ She was my third birthday present and I grew up with her as my best friend. As a teenager, my father acquired a Weimaraner and I had the privilege of helping to train him for the field and then hunt behind him during my teenage years.
I think I have almost always had a dog at home. My children spent their early years with an Irish Setter bitch and a Siberian Husky bitch. Shortly after I became a single mom, I rescued a lovely white Afghan Hound and through a friend got involved with showing. During the late 1970s, Linda and I would pack up our station wagon with two dogs, seven kids, picnic lunch and dog paraphernalia and travel all over Michigan attending all-breed and specialty matches. I bought my first show prospect Afghan Hound in 1981 and learned to show him. Since I was a single mom with four children, going to shows was a treat and when I retired him at age 6 he was one major short of finishing. During that time I acquired my second Afghan and bred her once for her breeder.
Want to read the full story? Order your December 2007 issue of DOGS IN REVIEW today, or subscribe to receive the best show dog articles and dog news every month!