Over the years, I’ve shown a good many basenjis – 46 of 68 that have had my name associated with them. I can’t begin to count those that I’ve helped along the way – showing for others, someone needing another taken back into the ring, etc. I’ve shown a bunch of other breeds too fuzzies, not fuzzies, short ones, tall ones, some that I had no business show showing (one was an Akita that would have dragged me across the moon if he wanted to… and thankfully he was well behaved and wasn’t prone to want to nibble someone). Have helped my share of pro handlers when they needed a hand… whether just holding a dog or taking in their extra that needed to go back in.
I normally show my own dogs when possible (95+% of the time). I’ve taught people to show – some of which went on to be quite successful and some beat the stew out of me. I’ve served on show committees (chair, assistant chair, many committees and chaired many committees, bench committee member and chair, etc.) I’ve served on field committees (same roles as above). Chaired major events – nationals, international invitational. Coordinated 3-7 day events and managed to arrange for feeding, watering, adult beveraging, etc the entire event and with the committee working beside me managed to make it look effortless.
Along with all of this – have been the cheerleader when needed, the shoulder to lean on, the ‘come get me my car died’, Fort Knox when a secret needed holding and the old kennel veteran that sat on the sidelines to watch others be successful (and cheer on the inside), fail miserably (and sometimes snicker on the inside when appropriate) and the most satisfying – watching someone not afraid to stumble but get up and stand on his/her own feet and be successful.
My mentors – there are a bunch of you – who stood beside me, helped me, listened to me, gently propped me up when I needed it, fixed me when I was broken… I’m thankful you’ve been there. The old folks that have passed on – Jimmie and Jean, John and JoAn, Ed and Lee – they were AWESOME. They didn’t ever (never ever never) lead me by the nose and demand that I follow their instructions. They religiously gave me choices and made me make my own decisions – letting me stumble and recover on my own while being for me if I needed help.
Judging? Well. Not crazy about wanting to be a conformation judge but have been seen judging a match on occasion. I’ve felt good about my match judging with a good percentage of my group winners going on to best in match. Judged a sweeps for Basenjis, Dachshunds and Shar Pei – no one chased me out of the building so think I make folks happy with my choices.