Page 188 - ShowSight - November 2019
P. 188

                Breeder Interview
  Where did you grow up?
I was born in Brooklyn, New York.
Did you come from a dog- gy family? If not, how did the interest in breeding and show- ing dogs begin?
Fortunately, my dad was a dog lover; my mother came to love them because truthfully she had no choice. When I was a young child, we didn’t have a dog that I could call my own but Dad kept a guard dog at his busi- ness. When I was seven, we moved to Holliswood,
Queens, actually across the road from a tiny farm. The couple who owned the property was Irish and constantly telling me about Irish Setters. Ultimately, someone gave me a book, Big Red. My first dog was an Irish Setter that I named Penny. She lived with us for two years before she was sent to live on a farm owned by friends of my parents in upstate New York. She was a lot for me to handle as she loved to run in the woods.
By the age of nine I begged my parents for a Rough Collie. Think Lassie, didn’t every kid want one? One evening at dinner, Dad announced we were going to visit a Collie breeder in Smithtown on the weekend. I thought I had just landed in Collie heaven. To me it looked as if there were well over a hundred gorgeous Collies, adults and pups.
Unbeknownst to me the breeder was extremely well known. I selected a tricolor young male but was told he wasn’t for sale because he was a show dog. I had no idea what that meant. My dad and I drove home in complete silence. I was sad, he was annoyed. As I got out of the car Dad announced that tomorrow I would have a dog. Back in the day advertising puppies in the local newspaper was a given. Just as he said the following day we drove to Glen Head, Long Island and Edith Levine, another top breeder. At this point my mom and brother joined us for the quick ride. I selected a tri male but in my mind the one I saw the day before was still tugging at me. After school the following day I pulled up my boot straps and called the Smith- town breeder. I don’t know where I got my courage, after all I was only nine, but I made a deal. Dad was in construction so I offered the talents of his employees for the dog of my dreams. The deal was made. At dinner that night I had to tell my dad. We picked up Paddy the following weekend. He was my con- stant companion. He was my Lassie and passed two months after I gave birth to my daughter.
I married very young, studied education at a local college and moved to Roslyn, Long Island, a stone’s throw from Edith Levine and her Collies. She would invite me to bring my baby and help feed the pups. I knew this is what I wanted to do. I might add it was Edith who introduced me to fun shows when I was a kid. To cut to the chase I continued to have a Collie until about twenty years ago.
Along the way, in 1966 or so, I read an article about a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier. A good friend of mine had just lost her Airedale and I suggested the Wheaten to her. A few phone >
   186 • ShowSight Magazine, noveMber 2019

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