:Marlena’s Bette…

This is a story I’ve wanted to tell for some time. The problem is I don’t know the details of a story that I think represents the best of what competition with purebred dogs embodies on the human level. This past weekend marked another milestone in this story, so I’m going to jump in with what I know of the story and maybe others’ comments will fill in the details. Or correct my mistakes. Or add parts I don’t know about.

Some ?? four years ago, during Minnesota Specialty weekend in August, I met Marlena for the first time. She had recently moved to Minnesota to live with her long time friend Val (current president of TCLAC). Marlena told me one day she was going to have a Lhasa Apso. She would be named Bette after Bette Davis. I politely nodded my head, told her Bette Davis Eyes was one of my favorite songs and went about the weekend thinking no more about the encounter.

The following August there was Bette sitting in Marlena’s lap. I don’t think Bette was old enough to be shown. Maybe… But Marlena couldn’t show her. Marlena had a hard time simply moving, never mind being able to move fast enough to gait Bette in the show ring. Marlena told me she was going to lose weight and show Bette. I again politely nodded my head, told her how pretty Bette was (her head is exquisite!! – no big round Bette Davis eyes!!) and went on with the weekend.

Together Val and Marlena attended Weight Watchers. The next August when I saw Marlena she had lost weight. While the rest of us were chowing down on chocolate and other goodies from the vast spread of food offered both days of the TCLAC Specialties, Marlena and Val ate scrumptious looking salads. I did actually covet their salads!

Val had been showing Bette, accumulating points, but Marlena told me she was determined to show Bette once. And she did. She reached the goal she’d been working on. Then she upped her own ante. She wanted to put at least one point on Bette

Val and Marlena met years ago. I think it was in Utah. Marlena helped Val during a difficult time in her life. After Val moved, they remained friends. Years later, discovering Marlena was going through some difficult times, Val returned Marlena’s generosity, insisting she move and live with Val. Val got her interested in dog shows. And the rest, as they say, is history.

This weekend Marlena did it! She handled Bette to Winner Bitch for Bette’s 12th point and Marlena’s first! These photos aren’t from this past weekend, but here’s Marlena showing Bette…

Congratulations Marlena!!!

7 Comments on “:Marlena’s Bette…”

  1. Julie says:

    Marlena, I am so glad you proved me wrong!!! You have worked hard to achieve this accomplishment and deserve a big round of applause.
    It has been a pleasure and an honor teaching you and becoming your friend. I have a feeling you have a lot more to accomplish, keep going, don’t ever give up. You are an inspiration to all of us to remember the joy showing dogs should mean to us, it is something many of us take for granted. I love you.

  2. shelley says:

    I’ve had the pleasure of some wonderful company in the past 18 months. My Mentor (and boy have I have I taken advantage of that title!)and trainer, Julie Timbers comes to mind first. I have also met Melissa, Deanna, Val, Jeanne…I’m sure I’m forgetting several). I have also been blessed by the graciousness of Marlena. When I have shown Iris, she has complimented me. She shared comments that made me feel really good in the ring. At one point late last summer she and Julie came to my home…Julie gave us a lesson in grooming (I wish I could say it was my first). I became aware of Marlena’s sense of humor, patience and insight. She is, indeed, a very special woman. I look forward to our continued acquaintance…you go, Girl!!!

  3. Congrats and well done, Marlena and Betty. You should be proud of the *both* of you! I’m betting we hear more good things as you continue in the ring. Wishing you many more successes!

  4. lhasalhady says:

    This morning I corrected my spelling. Baby Jane was one of my favorite movie. I should have known how to spell Bette Davis! I also got an email from Marlena, which I’ll share as a comment by her. Marlena and Bette did it again Sunday! Marlena has now put 2 points on Bette!

  5. Marlena says:


    i never believe that i could fulfill my dream. bette davis is a special dog especially to me.
    thanks to julie. she never realized by saying i couldn’t do it, i decided someday i would.
    someday came. besides, i did again on sunday. bette won winner bitch and best of opposite both days. with my overweightness and other disabilities and bette being a very spoiled princess, i surprised myself, too. deb, thank you, too. you gave me encourgement, too.

  6. Christi says:

    Congratulations to both of you. What an inspiration you are to those of us new in the ring. Keep up the good work!!!

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