10 Questions ...
Profession: College student
Dog-sport involvement: Breeder and exhibitor of Labradors
Hometown: Washington, D.C.
Astrological sign: Gemini
1. Do you have any dog-show superstitions?
Armband numbers for dogs that end in 3 or 5 are lucky, and bitch armband numbers that end in 0 or 8 are lucky.
2. TV-show guilty pleasure?
“Dog the Bounty Hunter.” Only reality TV show I’ll watch. It’s like crack!
3. If you were president of AKC for one day, what would you do?
This is a tough one to answer as I have no authority, just a self-supported opinion! Due to the ubiquity of dog shows, creating a major every weekend in a breed that needs 22 bitches in some states is challenging. If there were fewer dog shows, there would be larger entries and judges could cherry-pick their assignments. As it is now, judges are burned out from judging almost every weekend and the entry is usually small (unless there is a foreign judge, supported entry or a pandemic). I would like to see fewer shows with greater-quality judges and animals.
4. Most valued material possession?
My most valued possession is a piece of art made by a high school friend. She sold it to my family when we went to school together. Since then, it has been in the D.C-based National Museum of Women in the Arts and now hangs in my apartment in the city. I cherish it immensely. It is one of my favorite things I have ever seen.
5. What is something no one would guess about you?
Few people guess that I am as young as I am. I guess that’s good, but also boring. I stopped being asked to show my ID for alcohol when I was 18. When I turned 21 and went to the liquor store for a party I was having that night, the clerk didn’t ask me … I offered to show him just because it felt like a rite of passage.
6. Who would you compare yourself to?
Comparison is challenging! I think there are several people I am quite similar to, but I don’t have one person I can point to.
7. What are you “famous” for?
Nothing really! I’m 21. I have done several TV shows with Martha Stewart on various animals and pets – so that’s pretend-famous, I suppose. And I’m the son of a very famous attorney. I showed my first Labrador Retriever when I was eight. I showed dogs up until high school and then took a hiatus. Once I finished high school, I began breeding and showing dogs on a much larger scale. During my hiatus, though, I kept breeding show chickens (animals have always been the primary focus of my life). I bred three or four birds that won the equivalent of their group at Westminster, a few BIS winners, and started my own line of birds that have since been handed over to my dog mentor, Karen Helmers, who won five major wins her first year breeding and showing the birds.
8. What website do you visit most often?
Because I cannot go to dog shows due to my matriculation at American University, I obsessively check www.infodog.com to see catalogs, results, winners, losers, points, etc. It’s the only feasible way to participate in dog shows until I graduate.
9. What was more memorable, your most satisfying win or disappointing defeat? And what was it?
My favorite loss was the Junior Showmanship competition at the Labrador Retriever Club of the Potomac’s annual specialty. For Labrador breeders, this is our Westminster, our AKC National Championship, and our national – it’s everything. It was me and one other competitor – slim pickings. I was 11 or 12 and had just spent the past three days watching the big boys show. One exhibitor who was handling beautiful Labradors kept stepping on their front paws to get them to stack perfectly. For me, however, it was my Kryptonite. The Juniors judge, now a friend, Susan Willumsen, relentlessly teases me about stepping on my bitch’s front paws. She likes to also tell me that she wanted me to win – just to haunt me further.
10. What do you wish someone would ask you?
“How can I help you?” OR “What do you need?”