Page 70 - ShowSight Express, June 8, 2020
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 Ch. Deja Vu Purple People Eater
got a horse that I did Combined Training with, joined a Schutzhund club and taught myself enough by watching at dog shows to show a training client’s Mastiff in conformation. She was of decent quality and finished easily with wins over specials. I was getting hooked on conformation. Next was a client’s wayward, wild Briard who, at our first show, won a four- point major under judge Dr. Don Jones. Bingo! I was ready to find my own show dog. That was in 1979 and I started the search first for the right breed, next for the right breeder.
Who were your mentors in the sport? Please elaborate on their significance.
Boy was I lucky. I had extraordinary men- tors who had impact on all aspects of my dog life and my personal life. It started with a house I unsuccessfully tried to buy. The sellers were retired handlers Dick and Phyllis Becker, the realtor was Chuck Herendeen. I was a starry- eyed, naive 23-year-old dog trainer. The three of them pushed me through the threshold into the dog world with hours of stories until my head was swimming. I didn’t get the house, but I got lifelong friends and mentors. I considered several breeds and then finally, after looking at
 Am. Can. Ch. Deja Vu Ruffles Have Ridges PT
Old English, Gordons, Springers and Bernese Mountain Dogs, I met Mary Lou and Art Tingley showing the Briard Ch. Phydeaux What’s Happenin’ at the Cleveland dog show. I had already had some exposure to the Briard from a few crazy ones I had trained. Maybe crazy, but the breed’s complexity intrigued me. Finally, when Mary Lou looked me in the eye and answered my doubts about the breed’s bad reputation by saying she would stand behind any dog for life, I knew I had found the breeder of my first show dog and the mentor I was looking for.
In 1982, came Phydeaux Take The Money N Run from the Tingleys. Woody finished his championship in short order, placed in a Group, later won a few Groups and was BOS at the 1983 Briard National under judge Joe Mellor. He was not the best dog I ever had, but he was a great introduction to the wonders of Briards and to showing my own dog.
To say my friendship with the Tingleys was life altering would be an under- statement. Their altruistic devotion to dogs, the dog world, and the Briard was the gold standard. I learned animal husbandry, judgment, ethics, genetics, his- tory, pedigrees, lore, work ethic and sportsmanship. The Tingleys, known for their genteel presence in anything they did and Mary Lou’s passion for teaching others, were omnipresent in my life. I was privileged to be the recipient of their undying dedication to the Briard and their true love through friendship.
There were many other mentors who have had a great impact during my time in dogs. Regina Keiter, from whom I bought my first bitch and whose daughter, also Regina, grew up to show many of my Group, National Specialty winners and Best In Show dogs, including the two record-breaking bitches, Ch. Deja Vu Purple People Eater and Ch. Deja Vu Ruffles Have Ridges PT, who each broke the all-time BIS record for bitches. Another mentor, whom I met locally, was not a Briard person, but the accomplished breeder of the Brightcut Old English Sheepdogs, Cass Moulton Arble. One of the smartest people I know, a great breeder with tremendous ethics, values, and another great sport. Cass has been a tremendous friend and mentor not only in making good judgments in breedings, but in teaching me future pedigree creations and plans with foresight. Cass is a genius about structure and movement. She infused in me irreplaceable lessons about understanding, creating and reinforcing structure and gait, which is of critical importance in an athletic Herding dog.
The Deja Vu Briards are widely known, highly successful and well respected. What breeding philosophies do you adhere to?
We do mostly inbreeding and line breeding. One of my favorite dynamics is the “diagonal ladder,” for example, breeding a bitch to her sire’s brother. It has
 Am. Can. Ch. Deja Vu In Like Flynn CD, PT winning Group 3 at Westminster under Mrs. James Edward Clark

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