When David Howton asked me to do a "story" for the wonderful WhippetView I
was a little nervous. I also wanted to say a little more than I did in my
biography for the AWC National Catalog.
When I first started going to dog shows I became enamored with the whole
process of showing and breeding dogs. I did much reading, research and went
to many All Breed Shows. At that time in my life I was raising two beautiful
daughters and a wonderful husband (that's right!). Money and time for
hobbies was not always available. I have been involved with pure bred dogs
for 28 years and Whippets for 25. I became involved with the Wichita Kennel
Club, eventually serving as show chairman several times, newsletter editor,
referral service chairman and holding ever office but president for many
years. I was an original member of our County Animal Care Advisory Board,
then President. I also served for several years on the Board of Directors of
the American Dog Owners Association. I am also aware of the commercial
breeder situation in the United States. I have been on several "rescue" missions involving all breed commercial kennels.
I became acquainted with Cathy Gaidos and joined the American Whippet Club
after owning a Whippet for the required two years. Cathy was instrumental in
my becoming involved in the AWC. She took me to many AWC Nationals and
eventually suggested that I become Futurity Chairman. Cathy also taught me
much about the Whippet breed. She also got me hooked on going to New York
every year for Westminster. I was Futurity Chairman for the AWC for 8 years.
Meeting the people who nominated bitches and forming friendships was really
wonderful. Record keeping and making the Futurity Nomination process an
enjoyable experience for those involved was also important. I probably could
have kept the position for years I enjoyed it so much but felt that it was
time for new ideas.
Along the way I judged several All Breed Matches in our area, and two AWC
Sweepstakes. I found that I really enjoyed the process. Being able to have
hands on experience with many breeds of dogs and Whippets is a real
My handler and mentor C.L. Eudy talked me into a St. Manchester Terrier
puppy. With C.L.'s help, I have become a successful St. Manchester Terrier
breeder. I am also a member of the American Manchester Terrier Club. After
many years of not breeding a whippet litter I acquired a beautiful bitch
from Al Miniero. So it was on to breeding my first litter of Whippets in 13
years. After looking at stud dogs at a MAWA and Southern Specialty weekend
we decided that she would be bred to Ch. Mimbres Zuni Warrior. I loved him
so much I purchased him on a co-ownership from Owen J. Light. That litter
produced a JC, and two Champion bitches. Their quick finish and Spider's BOB
win at the first South Central Regional Specialty were a big thrill.
Judging dogs is a difficult, but fun process. I feel that knowledge of breed
standards is a must. However, breed essence is also important. Judging
sometimes depends on "what you can forgive on a particular specimen that
excels in something else", as long as it is not a disqualifying fault. While
some people deplore the term "the dog asked for it", I think a bit of
showmanship and presentation is important. It is also much easier to "see" a
well behaved dog than one that is gyrating all over the place! However,
puppies should be given more than one chance if needed. Racing around the
ring and constant baiting for ears should not be considered showmanship.
I hope everyone has a wonderful time at the 2004 American Whippet Club