Question of the Week
Pike Road, Alabama
I have many fond memories of Joe because he was always so friendly, nice and helpful to me after I began judging. But I especially enjoyed introducing him to my husband William at the Westminster Kennel Club’s judges dinner last June and hearing the two of them animatedly discussing common interests – SEC basketball and chainsaws! I will be thinking of Joe tomorrow when the Kentucky Wildcats and Auburn clash.
A comment he made to me after giving my dog the breed in a short coat after being questioned by another exhibitor: “You can grow coat, but you can’t grow a better dog.”
His kind ways, knowledge and spirt will be missed by all.
Lewisville, North Carolina
My first meeting with Joe was in April 2000 at our very first show for the North Arkansas Kennel Club. He was so warm and friendly to us all. At the end of the weekend when we went to pay all the judges, he tried not to take his pay from us because he knew this was our very first show and our budget was tight. He was that kind of a man, very giving and involved.
Port St. Lucie, Florida
It was the early ’70s, and I was new to the sport and completely terrified of all the older judges to whom I had shown. I kept thinking, “I don’t like this. The other exhibitors never speak to me. I don’t even like the food at the snack bar.” I went into the ring vowing to forget this endeavor and find something else to do. Maybe my dog and I would like obedience.
The handsome young judge smiled at me, and he even rewarded my dog. I felt welcomed and worthy to be there.
That was more than 50 years ago, and I’m still here. This is my world. Thanks, Joe.
La Habra Heights, California
I was a steward for Mr. Gregory many years ago … a building in Southern California in January … NO HEAT … 7:45 a.m. ... He was wearing a lightweight suit. I asked him if he needed a coat … He smiled and pulled out two handwarmers from his pockets. He said, “These will do ... But ...if you need to be warmer … JUST KEEP MOVING!”
And he quickly danced across the ring.
To this day … I keep handwarmers in my bag. And, if I’m cold … KEEP MOVING.
A cherished memory was created each and every time we were in his presence! The attached pic was a candid we took at Westminster 2021. I think it speaks volumes!
As I was a ring photographer for 50-plus years, he was one of the easiest judges to work with, occasionally bantering to keep the dogs and handlers at ease during the photo process. A great judge who will be missed.
Carl J. Anderson
Simi Valley, California
I go back a long way with Joe Gregory, both as handlers and fellow judges. We were on several panels together and Joe always brought a smile to ringside.
I believe it was in the ’60s that Joe and Mamie came to the West Coast for a pygmy goat show. They came to the Santa Barbara Kennel Club show, and Mamie brought a pygmy goat into the ring. (She almost won.) It brought quite a laugh to the ringside.
Joe was quite an asset to the dog world and lived a long, full life. May he rest in peace. Joe will be missed.
Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada
Like 90 percent of those who remember Joe, it will be his sweet little twirl and that glowing smile on his face as he did it. I had the privilege of being on many panels with Mr. Joseph Gregory; the last time was in 2018 in Oregon. Evalyn was also on the panel. It was the first time I had met her, and I was so impressed with her great eye and polished performance. But then, she had the best mentor in the world. Joe was so visibly proud of her!
Joe would have been approaching his mid-90s, but he was as energetic, personable and charming as the first time I met him. And that dear man continued to do his famous twirl and little dance, despite a couple of long days of judging.
What a remarkable, memorable soul he was!
Hales Corners, Wisconsin
The first time I was in the ring with Joe, he got down on one knee and sang me a song. I was showing an Afghan at the time in Wisconsin. I thought, what a nice judge! He had a large entry, and I was so amazed at him and his judging. I got RWB that day.
The second time in the ring with him as my judge he did the same thing, only he pulled me out in the center of the ring. I politely said if you are going to give me reserve again, please don't. I would rather have someone who is novice with a nice bitch to get it – I only need this major to finish this bitch. He laughed and said OK. He bowed and sang me a great song as he gave the reserve to a major to another beautiful bitch.
When I became a judge, he was always so very friendly and helpful. You will be missed by us all so very much!
Port St. Lucie, Florida
As the dog world mourns the passing of one of our greatest ambassadors, I reflect back to the judging panels that I shared with Joe. Always a gentleman, and his lighthearted demeanor never failed to ingratiate him among everyone at the show. There were times when I wondered if he had been born without an aging gene. He was prone to jumping up and clicking his heels at an age where some are lucky to stand without assistance. He will be missed by so many.
Mount Airy, Maryland
One day, Tommy Glassford was showing my dogs in Medina, Ohio. I remember Joe was judging a group. Between groups Tom walked in with a miniature goat. Everyone broke out in laughter when Joe turned around and saw Tom with the goat in the group.
I’m not sure that would happen today without some sort of repercussion.
My first points showing dogs came from Joe Gregory more years ago than I want to admit to. He was encouraging then as he was the last time I saw him. I had the privilege of stewarding for him on several occasions and learned more during those times than I could imagine. Always a gentleman, always smiling. Keep on jumping, Joe.
Was always happy to see that Joe was judging the hounds.
Acworth, New Hampshire
Elin and I always “jumped for joy” when Joe was judging at a show we were going to. He made being an exhibitor a treat and was always a gentleman. So long, friend.
Besides being a great judge professional and engaging, a true gentleman. An immense loss for the dog fancy and all the world.
Martinsburg, West Virginia
My favorite memory of Joe Gregory was when we were on a judging panel together in Huntington, West Virginia.
At lunch, I introduced myself to him and told him I’d always enjoyed showing to him, and also watching him judge – and jump – in the ring. He looked at me with a twinkle and a smile, and replied, “I’m going to jump extra high this afternoon because they served us beans for lunch!”
Lamont, Alberta, Canada
My favorite memory of Joe is the weekend I met him and Ev at EKKOC in Alberta, Canada. The love Joe had for ALL the dogs showed in his eyes with every new dog that came into his ring! And his daughter: Every time he winked at his daughter and how he told me she goes everywhere with him whether she is judging or not, just so much fun to have her around.
Victor, New York
Joe Gregory: Such a positive model for the sport! Showing under him was an honor; he so knew what he was doing, was so respectful and considerate with exhibitors, and he was fun!
Newmarket, New Hampshire
Over the decades, I have many recollections of wins under Joe with my Italian Greyhounds. Among these, the most memorable are winning the group (!) from the BBE class and winning the IG National in California.
Apart from the wins my IGs received, I remember Joe as a gentleman and as a very knowledgeable dog man. Godspeed, Joe.
Joe Gregory was a class act with a sense of humor. He treated exhibitors with respect. He sure did admire a well-angulated front end with balanced rear. One memory of Joe that will always stick in my mind is, after examining all the dogs, he would stand in the middle of the ring and twirl his arm up in the air, signaling everyone to "take them all around." He will be missed.
My memory of Joe Gregory is from the late 1980s. I was show chairman for the Louisiana Kennel Club and Joe was one of our judges. My husband, Paul, was ring-stewarding for him. I received a message to go to Joe's ring, and when I got there, my husband asked me to find a pair of scissors as the judge asked for a pair. We could not figure out why he wanted a pair of scissors, but I located a pair and took them to the ring. When there was a break in judging my husband gave him the scissors. Joe immediately took off his coat and had my husband help him cut off his shirt sleeves. Joe said that his wife always packed that particular shirt when he judged, which he disliked because the sleeves were too long. He guessed now that she would not pack it again. He then continued on with his judging.
What a loss for all. We’ll mourn him forever. Such a high-spirited judge, friend and leader. I will remember him best for his ringside compassion for judging, humor, and each and every dance step.
What a loss to the dog fancy. Always a gentleman. A mentor to those coming into the show world. I loved to show to him, win or lose. He will be missed. One of the great ones.