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Have been involved in the sport, one way or another, since the mid 1950's-family showed Boxers and I went along for fun. Started breeding pet Miniature Poodles in the '60s and got first Afghan Hound in '65 while working for a groomer. In the late '60s I was a founding member of Owner Handler Association with Pattie Proctor and her Dad, the Sturz family, Charlie Westfield and Erwin Hutzman. Recently gave local OHA handling classes and still maintain my national membership.
In 1970, two other hound fanciers, my ex and I founded the Liberty Hound Racing Association. We hosted weekly "out of the starting box" straight-a-way sighthound races (the precursor to today's lure coursing) that saw Sunny Shay, the Leaps and Canalizos bring Afghans; Joan and Bob Goldstein and Diane Moore bring Whippets; Harry Murphy and Mardomere Kennels with Greyhounds; Gayle Gerber Bontocou and her Scottish Deerhounds; Karen Staudt-Cartobona with her Borzois. Many of the great hound fanciers of the day and today came to watch and bring excited puppies to play. We also had exhibitions at the annual Westbury Kennel Club show where Ch. Gayleward Paps and Ch. Holly Hill Desert Wind competed against each other at the beautiful Phipps' Old Westbury Gardens estate wearing their purple and turquoise racing silks and muzzles. No contest here- "Windy" hands down!
Have always enjoyed ring stewarding and was a member of Stewards Club of America for over 15 years. Recently founded Stewards Club of Long Island and serve several clubs here at the annual shows. Great stories and education from stewarding assignments for Raymond Oppenheimer, Henry Stoecker, Alva Roseberg, Percy Roberts, Billy Kendrick and J. Council Parker. But, that's for another bio!
While showing some Afghans (not very successfully), a Skye Terrier, Mini Wirehaird Dachshund, Ibizan Hound, White and Colored champion Bull Terriers, I helped pro handlers Jane Kamp Forsyth and D. Roy Holloway. Along the way, I met New York Times dog reporter, Walter Fletcher, and began "stringing" for him - reporting on shows from telephone booths along the route home to Long Island while he was in another part of the east coast doing the same thing. Happily reported Chet Collier's first Best in Show with Bouvier, "Naris".
I raised two children while keeping a full-time job at the Suffolk County Police Department, was president of their civilian employee union of over 300 and represented the 10,000 county civilian employees as their secretary. Always reporting on dog events and local exhibitors in sports, I got my first weekly newspaper column when noted Dachshund fancier, writer and DWAA Hall of Famer, Lois Meistrell retired in 1971. When the Press closed, I wrote weekly for the New York Post until the commute became too much (this was long before fax machines and internet!). Newsday picked up the column for their Sports Department and in 1978, I left for Dallas, TX and my job as an AKC Field Rep. I have been a member of Dog Writers' Association of America since 1971 and occasionally write for Dog News and have written for Dogs in Review. Currently serve on Board of Directors of DWAA.
Bred some Afghan Hounds and English Cocker Spaniels (two specialty winners here). Began judging in 1972 and went on hiatus while employed as Field Rep covering shows over 40 weeks a year. Have had the privilege of interviewing some of the greats in our sport - Maxine Beam, Dorothy Nickles, Lou Auslander, Dr. Robert Smith, Denis Grivas, Lee Reasin are just a few. In 1988 I returned to Long Island and picked up the pieces of my life becoming a grandmother of two great kids. While working for AKC, I was encouraged by then-president William Stifel to obtain an international license from the Federacion Canofila Mexicana. This was to give credence to judges' evaluations - being approved to judge by two recognized kennel clubs. This began in 1980 and I have judged all-breed international shows since then, including the World Show in Mexico in 2007 and shows in Cuba, India, Sweden, Canada, most of South and Central America, Puerto Rico, Nova Scotia, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa - quite a privilege! I have judged sweeps and Best Puppy classes at shows here and judged the last specialty match shows, before inclusion to the AKC ranks, of the Shar Pei and the Leonberger.
Currently approved for Afghan Hounds, Borzois, Whippets, Greyhounds, Scottish Deerhounds, Dachshunds, Salukis, Irish Wolfhounds, Bull and Miniature Bull Terriers and Junior Showmanship. Delighted by the current success of some of "my" Juniors - Scott Proctor, Donald Sturz, Debbie Butt and Scott Somer to name a few. Am an active member of the Riverhead Kennel Club (since 1967 and currently on their Board), Afghan Hound Club of America, Afghan Hound Club of Long Island, Ladies Kennel Association of America, Long Island Kennel Club, and Heart of the Plains Kennel Club where I am proud to serve as their Delegate to the American Kennel Club. Elected to Class of 2016, American Kennel Club Board of Directors.
Although I retired from New York State service, I also was Sales Manager of radio stations on Long Island and upstate New York - managing staff and budgets in the millions of dollars range. Currently, I serve on the Board of my homeowners association.
Thanks for taking the time to read my bio. Know that I appreciate my time in this sport and the opportunity to give back. The ups and downs; the people that have become like family; the loved ones lost and the people who have welcomed me into their countries and their lives; and, the people who have been there when things were not so good for me and mine have made it worthwhile. If there is anything else you would like to know, give me a call - not sure I want to 'fess up everything, but I'm pretty straightforward as many of you may know. I'll be happy to chat.
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