Page 203 - ShowSight - April 2020
P. 203

                kennels where novices could go to learn about the breeds are, for the most part, no longer in existence in our breed.
CAU: I recall that actual research was done on this once with no real conclusions that could be supported by hard data. Fashion versus function perhaps? We all know that breed popularity swings radically—breeds that were once highly popular decrease in popu- larity and vice versa.
What are the trends that we’d like to see continue or like to see stopped?
REL: I’d like to see the breed and kennel clubs’ creativity that could add new dimensions and bits of excitement to dog shows con- tinue. This year, for example, some of the changes added to the Top-Twenty Dane Event went back to the original components that were tried during the first five years of the event. It was a pleasure to see how the new Dane fancy welcomed the changes because, after 33 years, most of the new exhibitors were not present when it was created in 1987. It was also nice that Louis and I were recognized by the committee for having created and started the event.
CAU: I see many more people working their dogs in Agility and Obedience, and I think that is terrific.
Everyone loves their dog and feels their dog is the best. You come to a show with the best dog you currently have and show for the pleasure of it. I would encourage exhibitors to continue to remem- ber that win, lose or draw, you leave with the same dog you came with. You paid for an opinion and you received an opinion. That doesn’t change your dog. Be supportive of the day’s winners, be respectful of the judge’s opinion that day (even if you don’t agree with it), respect your competitors and the sport.
Any health concerns in our breed?
REL: Genetically, with all of health testing now a requirement for most breeders, I have less concern about traits and certain imper- fections being hidden. Thanks to science and technology, we don’t have to rely on the word of the breeders/owners. It’s now in the data that’s reported. The rest is basic. Good movement is good move- ment and correct angles in the front and rear are easily recognized.
CAU: With all the testing that is now performed, one no longer has to rely on the breeder regarding his/her dog’s health issues as the data speaks for itself. That’s not to say there are not issues. However, the testing that is being done is a wonderful resource and I trust that good breeders are using those results wisely.
To whom do we owe the most?
REL: The late Rosemarie Robert of the original Dinro Kennel. I spent my summers when I was in college learning everything I could from her. She was like a grandmother, but in the dog world. She had a tough side to those who didn’t know her. However, if you were willing to learn; she was willing to teach.
CAU: In my case there are three. First, Marilyn Lovett, Lovett Great Danes and second, Lois Michaels, Murlo Great Danes. These two remarkable ladies spent countless hours with me when I was a very young woman. They welcomed me into their kitchens, kennels and whelping boxes. They shared their knowledge with me about pedigrees. They would sit with me ringside and discuss the dogs.
We would go over magazines, page by page, dissecting each speci- men and discussing each dog’s pedigree. What the old-time breed- ers knew about pedigrees was amazing. It was a different world back then with breeders having large kennels where much of the focus was on breeding. Of course, showing was also a focus, but careful breeding was paramount.
Then, thirdly, the many years spent with my dear friend Robert Layne and his partner, Louis Bond. They had a beautiful large ken- nel and facilities which I could only dream of. We all worked very closely together for many years. After each litter, we would decide what we wanted to keep—which were the most promising and these would live in my home with my family. In my home we raised the puppies and socialized them. The three of us collaborated well and shared many experiences over the years.
Many people may not be aware, but Louis and Bob were respon- sible for bringing the first Top 20 to the Great Dane fancy and Louis had the vision to introduce the first independent National for Great Danes held in York, Pennsylvania. It was my pleasure to work alongside them and help bring all that creativity to reality.
Together, the three of us brought our expertise and experience to our breeding program and through that friendship and col- laboration we were able to produce a very long line of champions, including American, Puerto Rican, South American, Champion of the Americas, International Champion Dinro McKenna’s Against All Odds, aka Brother. Brother, who was in the Top 20 for three consecutive years, culminated his show career as Number One in 1991 with the help of the skillful handling of our dear friend, Eddie Lyons.
The most amusing experience we’ve ever had at a dog show?
REL: The most exciting and amusing experience for me was meeting Greg Louganis, the great American Olympic Diving Gold Medalist. I had always admired his successful achievements. In 1992, Greg attended the GDCA National Specialty Show. At the Parent Club’s Awards Dinner, Greg was asked to present Carol and me with the breed award for The Brother Dog’s finishing first in the breed ranking for 1991. It was definitely the icing on the cake for this team’s wonderful accomplishment.
CAU: I was in the ring at the start the Cherry Blossom Circuit. In those days, I traveled to shows with my beloved daddy. I was showing a Dane I had bought from Lois Michaels. At that time, I still thought I could be a handler. It was pouring. I couldn’t seem to keep my arm band up nor my rubber shoes on. My shoes continued to get stuck in the mud. I felt so discombobulated and I am abso- lutely sure—even to this day—I must have looked like an absolute clown to everyone unfortunate enough to be ringside. This was my first encounter with Eddie Lyons who later became a dear friend and handler of all our dogs. He came storming up to me and said in a way that anyone who knew Eddie will understand, “If you want to win, give me that darn dog.” And just like that the dog began winning and finished. And just like that I realized a handler I would never be.
“Everyone loves their dog and feels their dog is the best. You come to a show with the best dog you currently have and show for the pleasure of it. I would encourage exhibi- tors to continue to remember that win, lose or draw, you leave with the same dog you came with.”

   201   202   203   204   205