Question of the Week
Bridgeport, West Virginia
When in the Maryland area, I keep my eye open for Damara Bolte — longtime mentor and friend. I always enjoy talking with her, as well as picking her brain at ringside.
Poplar Grove, Illinois
I have been teaching handling classes for adults, 4-H and junior showmanship for many years. The most joy that I find at the shows is watching these students gain higher and higher achievements through their trust, hard work and dedication. There are also tips from many handlers that have helped me guide my students along when we have come to a problem; they have offered a quick remedy that straightens out our dilemma. Dog-show people are some of the best anywhere.
Douglas and Michaelanne Johnson
Colorado Springs, Colorado
We look forward to always seeing Bill and Taffe McFadden ... our family loves them!
I always look forward to seeing John Miller from Site Control. He always greets you with a smile and is willing to help with any problem that might arise!
Brookville, New York
I can’t single out just one person as there are many: handlers, judges, competitors. Good times at shows are sitting ringside in conversation with those I find interesting and knowledgeable on whatever breed we might be watching. There are many who have passed on, yet I still can hear their words of years pertaining to their interest in many breeds. There will always be one I would love to chat with one more time. In my own mind, possibly I do.
Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
The judge, of course, so they can give me points!
Flint Hill, Virginia
Bill Shelton (Steve and Becky also), Joseph Vergnetti (Ellen, Bonny and Glen), Tim Lehman, David Fitzpatrick and David Murray are my top five picks. But I love it when I can spend time with any of our greats. Elliot Weiss, Kelly Fitzgerald, Mike and Karen Kurtzner, Leslie Simis, Lisa and Harry Miller, Kali and Bobby Fisher as well as Peter and Beth.
I feel very blessed and lucky to call all these people friends, and I love listening to them. And I love when I can spend time with any of them away from dog shows.
The best, most fun time ever is when I can spend time with Bill and Joseph together.
Tabernacle, New Jersey
A judge who truly judges the quality of the dogs … not who is on the other end of the lead, or who owns/bred the dog.
Charleston, South Carolina
Hands down: Tyler Crady-Roche. First, because I've never seen more perfection in a handler. And now there's the perfection as a show photographer. As a portrait photographer his photos pave the way for greater things, guaranteed. Tyler knows dogs inside and out, he shares his knowledge, and he's tapped into every aspect of showing, grooming, handling, photography and breeding. He's always a helping hand, no matter what needs done. But, mostly, I enjoy Tyler because he's a hoot. He is a genius, and he's just plain fun to be around.
The joke used to be that, for Janie Forsyth, the first and most important person she would look for at a dog show was the treasurer!
For me, I always look forward to seeing the local talented juniors at our local dog shows; they know I love them to pieces and in addition to their parents and breeders, I support them … Most of them also know I am a no-nonsense grandma, sooo they need to keep their dog showing fun, but in the sportsmanship lane …
Next in my wheelhouse are the regular ring stewards (my friends) who work hard at the shows and always have a smile on their face. To me great, happy, fun ring stewards are what makes most dog shows even better …
Lately, as a newer judge my focus has shifted more of my time to watching great judges work their entries and ring to find their final line-up of winners. (There is lots of unspoken education if you sit and watch, and I aim to soak it up.) And when majors and mentors are present, I am tapping into those wonderful educational and mentoring opportunities …
I think it also has to be said, I avoid the junior high stuff and people who are drama queens and blow-up kings … I just don’t have the tolerance for that!
Daniel M. Mehling
New Orleans, Louisiana
Usually, I look for the new, exciting dogs on the campaign trail. Always interested in seeing the dog in person. So much Photoshop is done nowadays!
Stafford Springs, Connecticut
Penny Kretchmer. In the Northeast, Penny is the person who (in my opinion) makes the shows run with some semblance of order. Although she may seem “hard as nails” on the outside, she has a heart of gold.
Have a problem? See Penny. Have a question? See Penny. Need grooming space? See Penny. When Penny is on the scene, things run much better. When shows don't use her help, chaos is more apt to occur. She is truly a Penny from Heaven!