Question of the Week
Fran, Carol, Honi and Jim Reisman
Baldwin Harbor, New York
Ron Menaker was an angel to our family. In 2003, two weeks after judging the Hound Group at Westminster, our sister Carol became seriously ill with little chance of survival. One call to 1-800 Ron was all it took to get Carol the top doctors. It took five months of the most amazing care to save our sister. There is no amount of gratitude we could ever give to Ron. He was larger than life and will always be our hero. I am sure he is already working on making heaven a better place. Rest in peace, Ron.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Ron relating how when he was discharged from the Army: Eons past, stood in front of Gimbels window in Manhattan watching the puppies and deciding that's what he wanted and would make a purchase with his discharge allowance. Afterward, he went to shows and talked to breeders, and those interactions changed his civilian life forever.
Broadway, New Jersey
With so many wonderful memories of Ron, one stands out. It was October 2005 at the M&EKC show when Ron and I were welcoming vehicles at the park entrance in the dark about 5 a.m. A young Mastiff came out of nowhere and approached Ron and I, wagging his tail. My first thought was that he escaped from the show, so I reached down to check for ID on his collar. While still wagging his tail, he bit me on my arm.
His owner, a park neighbor, called him back and started to walk away. I said, "Excuse me, your dog just bit me. Where are you going?" He kept walking with his dog and Ron yelled, "Hey, you! I'm the AKC Chairman and Board Member of this club and this man is the President, and I will have you arrested if you take another step!"
The man stopped.
I miss him already.
Tuscaloosa Kennel Club in April 2015. I was in the breed ring with my 9-year-old Black Russian Terrier (there was a Veterans competition that weekend). Mr. Menaker called his BOS, and seems she was in season because my old boy lunged after her, pulling me to the mat, and proceeded to attempt an amorous union with her.
One handler grabbed his lead while another helped me to my feet. Everyone laughed, but I feared being excused if not humiliated.
To my surprise he awarded us Select and Best Owner Handled. I apologized for losing control of my dog, but he just laughed and said, “It’s OK, I once had Giant Schnauzers!”
Las Vegas, Nevada
When I was a superintendent for Jack Bradshaw Dog Shows, I met Ron. I was collecting money for a dog organization to help with sick dogs. I ask many people and most gave, but a few did not.
I did not know who Ron was, but I knew he was judging at the dog show. I came up to him and he had the biggest smile in the world. I ask him if he would like to give, and give he did. He gave so much that I did not have to ask anyone else. That was the kind of man he was to the day he left us to go to Heaven. He introduced himself to me and from then on I had great times with him. When I became a delegate, he was always taking the time to speak to me.
He was a wonderful friend to me, and I will always remember him and his smile and kindness. He is in Heaven with his good friend, Frank Sabella, and one day I shall join them and I shall see his smile, and he will say, "Welcome to Heaven, and let me tell you where Frank and your other loved ones are and also all of your dogs that have been waiting to see you."
Lydia Coleman Hutchinson
One time Ron and I were at a show in Colorado where there was a Cairn Terrier specialty. He asked if I would mentor him as we watched the judging, and we had a great time together. I was impressed with his genuine interest in my breed, and even more so with his humility. Unlike some judges who are just doing it to be able to check the boxes, he was humble enough to ask important questions.
One of my memories of Ron was in Argentina, when we were on the same panel, and hearing the harrowing tale of why he refused to enter elevators. He would climb many flights of stairs to avoid them. He told the story with his usual self-deprecating charm and warmth, but his fearfulness was certainly understandable, given the tragic circumstances.
Youngsville, North Carolina
Having started showing dogs in the Northeast in the ’70s, one of the friendliest people I would run into was Ron. He always wore a friendly smile and was quick to say hello. That smile will be missed.
Julie L. Mueller
I do not have a single special memory of Mr. Menaker. But what I do have is the memory of every time I saw Lorna with Ron, her total devotion, and love. Not only love and devotion, but she was so proud of him and to be sharing her life with this man she obviously adored.
At the very first revived Morris and Essex show, I was amused to see the president of the American Kennel Club acting as an official greeter to us lowly exhibitors who were dragging ourselves in asking inane questions. At first, I thought to myself “How demeaning,” yet when I heard his oh-so New York accent greeting us with a loud “Good maw-ning!” I just knew we were in for a fun day!
I had been pretty critical of some aspects of the AKC National Championship – publicly (and deservedly, I think). I saw Ron at some show, and he said, “We really should have you judge it …” This was when I was still judging a few breeds for AKC. Soon afterward I had a written invitation in the mail! I was not able to accept, but that was the type of man he was, taking the bull by the horns. It was pretty much impossible to resist Ron.
That the AKC National Championship got so much better was probably his doing. He was a very admirable and very capable man. I liked him a lot!
St. Stephens Church, Virginia
My memories of Ron are many. He had a deep respect for our sport and purebred dogs. He wanted only the best for the AKC, and with the idea of the AKC show he made it one of the best shows in the world.