Photo Getty for Westminster Kennel Club
Fri, 06/28/2024 - 10:06am

Editorial: June 28, 2024

Goodbye, Kaz

The June 14 issue of Dog News contained columnist Barbara Fawver’s “Simply the Best,” a profile of Kaz Hosaka that had the tag line “For Kaz Hosaka and his Miniature Poodle Sage, Westminster 2024 was a Fitting Finale.” Who knew those words would have a double meaning?

On June 22, Kaz passed away at home. In Barbara’s Dog News story, everything was written in the present tense, and now, devastated by his passing, everything about our long-time friend Kaz will be in the past tense.

As was widely known, Westminster was the show that Kaz decided would also be his retirement show, capping a long and storied career as a professional handler. His cool and even demeanor, professionalism, talent and shyness made him a most popular competitor, and the one fellow handlers and exhibitors always cheered for. As we have written before, we were one of the first to meet Kaz when he arrived in the United States to live with Annie and Jim Clark as an apprentice to learn the ways of canine care and conditioning, with a strong emphasis on Poodles. Kaz quickly took to the American way of life and, following some soul searching, decided to make his life and fortune here in the United States. Bolstered by his relationship with the Clarks, Kaz stepped out of their shadow and developed into the man we have all loved and admired over the years.

His recent Westminster Best in Show win — his second — was celebrated around the world, and every accolade included just what a great dog man he was. Kaz leaves behind a legion of friends and admirers, but none greater than his wonderful and supportive wife, Roxie Wolf Hosaka, who has stood by him all these years. As Westminster was his last official ring appearance, they looked forward to a long and happy retirement, a relaxing life where they could spend time together and travel. Kaz was a valued part of our dog-show community, and he will be missed but never replaced in the hearts and minds of all those lucky enough to have known him.

Rest in peace, dear friend.


© Dog News. This article may not be reposted, reprinted, rewritten, excerpted or otherwise duplicated in any medium without the express written permission of the publisher.

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