Fri, 04/08/2022 - 5:02pm

10 Questions ...

... asked of Mary Dukes


Profession: Currently AKC conformation field rep

Dog-sport involvement: Began as a Whippet owner/handler in the mid-’70s; then breeder/owner/handler who turned into professional handler (and still a breeder) over time. I left my handling career in 2005 to go to work for the AKC as a conformation field rep.

Hometown: I grew up and went to school in Fullerton (Orange County), California.

Astrological sign: Capricorn


1. Do you have any dog-show superstitions? 

Not now so much, but when I was handling two things: Always start your morning at the show by picking up two rubber bands at your first ring, and Lou Harris once told me to never wear red at important shows (he told me this on the day I went BOS at Westminster). Never wore red to show in again.


2. TV-show guilty pleasure?

Intervention, Hoarders, the First 48, HGTV. Having said that, I rarely watch TV at home, just on the road.


3. If you were president of AKC for one day, what would you do? 

I plead the fifth.


4. Most valued material possession?

I have an old wooden crate that belonged to Meander, one of the foundation Whippet kennels in the U.S. who were active in the ’50s and ’60s. It still has the railway labels on it from when it was sent to Louis Pegram (author of the first definitive book on the Whippet in the U.S.) in St. Louis. Also has Whippet chew marks around the ventilation holes. It's a treasure.


5. What is something no one would guess about you?

That I was a zookeeper in my former life and worked with elephants and various other exotics in several different zoos.


6. Who would you compare yourself to?

Ya ... I got nuthin'...


7. What are you “famous” for?

Probably "Oscar" – Ch. Delacreme de la Renta, ROMXX, a Whippet dog born in 1983 that I bred, handled and owned. He won a fair bit, but more notably went on to sire more than 100 champion get and has become one of the most influential sires in the breed worldwide.


8. What website do you visit most often?

Ugh ... Facebook.


9. What was more memorable, your most satisfying win or disappointing defeat? And what was it? 

Most memorable win wasn't even a win; it was a group second at the old Channel Cities show under Ann Gallup Marsh. Little me, owner-handler, stood second in the power-packed Hound Group (with Oscar's dam) behind Ed Abblett and Borzoi Kishniga's Dalgarth and behind me in third and fourth were Pat Craige Trotter with Elkhound Ch. Vin Melca's Nimbus and Corky Vroom with Greyhound Ch. Aroi Talk of the Blues.


10. What do you wish someone would ask you?

To answer Dog News’ 10 Questions. WIN!




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