Like Debby, my love for animals, dogs in particular, was obvious from a small child on. My parents were also animal lovers and encouraged all of their children (all 8 of us!) to have a pet of their own. I grew up in a menagerie of dogs, cats, ducks, chickens, coyotes, and even the occasional alligator. I became a well rounded person in my love for animals and have taken that love and turned it into a career.
Age 2, with sister’s dog Timmy.
(Too young to have my own real dog, notice the plastic dog).
3 years old, Gaylord was a Christmas gift.
He was battery operated and actually walked on a leash.
Finally, at age 8 I received my very own pet,
Buffy, a peek-a-poo.
(I owned a designer dog and didn’t even know it!)
After my husband Tim and I bought our first house, we immediately went out and bought a dog. “Chelsea”, was the first AKC dog I had ever owned. I had never been to a dog show before in my life. I didn’t have a clue what they were about. After putting a CD title on Chelsea I thought I would like to breed her. I contacted a few breeders of Collies and they each told me I should go to the Collie Specialty which was going to be in town and do some research on breeding. I went to the Specialty and I will tell you, I immediately knew that I wanted to show dogs in conformation. And not just show – I wanted to be the breeder of these beautiful dogs.
Living in the city, I knew I did not have the space to actually breed Collies, and hence, I found the Lhasa Apso and Debby Rothman, in 1984.
My first Lhasa Apso, Timbers’ Ribbons and Lace, “Punkin” and her son, Champion Timbers’ Alive N’ Kickin’. Kicker was my first champion and my first bred-by champion.
Champion Fleetfire Shiver Me Timbers’ ROM* was my main foundation bitch.
In 1995, I was asked to handle a Lhasa Apso for Donna Sonnenberg, She Tsabo’s Cheers. I loved this bitch so much, I asked Donna if I could co-own her when she finished her championship. You will find Cheers and the She Tsabo kennel name in many of my recent champions.
Donna had started breeding Chinese Cresteds a couple of years earlier and asked me if I would show them for her. Ch. Unicorn’s Toy Clydsdale was the first of many Chinese Cresteds I have finished.
Ch. Unicorn’s Toy Clysdale
At home, my husband and son decided they wanted a “real” dog and bought “Phantom”, our first Weimaraner. We now have 4, 3 in which we bred. Our Weims also have their Junior Hunter titles. I love being outdoors with the dogs, watching them do what they were born to do.
Weim National showing Ch. Alpha Remero (owned by Jill Piechowski)
By 1996 I was showing Lhasas, Weims, Cresteds, and Alaskan Malamutes (which my sister-in-law bred). I was asked by Snowshoe Golden Retrievers to work for their kennel as a trainer and kennel manager. I have worked for Sue and Steve Schnarr for over 10 years now. Their Golden Retrievers have made a statement within the breed, having the #2 golden for 2 years and breeding over 24 champions, in 10 years. I am so happy to say I have been a part of this wonderful breed.
Snowshoe Taylor Made Classic
Ch. Snowshoe Classic Cowboy
Ch. Snowshoe Classic Cowgirl
By 1997 I was handling full time.
In 1999, I was asked to join the staff of “Pet Junction” as an all-around conformation trainer. I enjoy sharing my knowledge and teaching others to show their own dogs. I love the look on my students faces when they come and tell my how well they did at a show. I like knowing I am contributing positively to our sport.
After 22 years of breeding Lhasa Apsos, 10 years as a professional handler, 10 years as a personal trainer/kennel manager, 7 years as a conformation instructor, I have decided to take my knowledge and experience to the next level. As of March 2006, I have been granted provisional status to judge Lhasa Apsos, Tibetan Terriers, Weimaraners, Chinese Cresteds, PBGV, and Junior Showmanship.
Who would of thought that a little girl’s love for animals,
would turn into so much more!