My relationship with the Bouvier des Flandres started in the early 1970’s as the owner of a large boarding and training facility in southern California. My trainer-in-residence, Dan La Master, did protection training and police work specializing in the Bouvier and it is when my admiration and attraction to the breed began. I obtained my AKC Professional Handler’s license in 1976 and joined the Professional Handlers’ Association shortly thereafter. I was also a charter member of the AKC Registered Handler Program.
After my marriage to Corky in 1981, we were fortunate to have campaigned a number of Bouviers; 9 ranked #1 in the nation. Some career highlights for Corky and I included being awarded the last Best in Show on a Bouvier from the Working Group in December 1983 before the formation of the Herding Group with Ch. Galbraith’s Faire La Roux. A few years later came the Top Dog All-Breeds award for Ch. Galbraith’s Iron Eyes with 101 Best in Shows making him the top winning Bouvier in breed history, a record which stands to date. We handled both Iron Eyes and his son, Ch. Ariste’s Hematite Dragon to Herding Group I’s at the Westminster KC, then, a first for the breed at the Garden.
Bouviers have played a huge role in my life—191 all-breed Best in Shows and 4 National Specialty wins. I have enjoyed close relationships with many of the top breeders of the breed. It is due to their dedication that Bouviers have been beloved family members for 40+ years. I have been the breeder of record on 1 Bouvier litter – the result was an all-champion litter of 6. I served as show chairman for the SCdFC for 8 years, was in the position of JEC from 2009 until 2013 and have been a member of the SCBdFC and the ABdFC since 1993 (?). Having bred 100+ champions of several other breeds, I am currently a member of AKC’s Breeder of Merit program.
Since my retirement as an all-breed handler in February 2005, I have been employed by the American Kennel Club as an Executive Field Representative. My professional affiliations include the AKC’s Global Services program; I work closely with American parent breed organizations, compiling their JE materials for the purpose of presenting breed educational programs internationally to foreign judges. Currently, I am the coordinator/presenter of Breed Education Institutes in China. I am one of the coordinators/presenters for AKC’s JEC Symposium held annually to aid in educating parent club chairmen to design, implement and coordinate their breed educational programs. I am a free-lance writer for Purina’s Today’s Breeder magazine, Dog Fancy and various related publications.
We luv Bouvs! Learn more on the American Bouvier des Flandres Club website at bouvier.org.