Showsight July 2020


Where did you grow up? I grew up most of my teen years and beyond in Waverly, Iowa. We lived in town, but had a row crop farm in Rudd, Iowa. Do you come from a doggy family? If not, how did the interest in breeding and showing pure- bred dogs begin? I always had dogs in my life and I come from a hunting and fishing family. We had mostly Beagles for rabbit hunting and Labs for duck and pheasant hunting. I was kennel help at a local vet as soon as they would let me and have always had some kind of pet. I had a large aquarium, parakeets, hamsters and a cat, but by far my favorites were our dogs. I also spent a lot of time on my cousin’s dairy farm and loved bottle feeding the calves. They also had pigs so I learned how to cut tails and teeth which I hated! I always knew I would live on a farm with as many animals as possible. I met my husband, Scott, in my junior year of high school. He is a farm boy and loves ani- mals, too. He had a Border Collie, a German Shepherd, and raised ducks for an FFA project. His family tractor pulled and row crop farmed a lot of acres. We married in 1989 and soon purchased acreage and started raising a niche breed of beef cattle. Our first purebred dog was “Silvi,” a beautiful Weimaraner, that we bred to a male from Daroco Kennel. Years later we realized that was [professional handler] Doug Carlson’s mom. Our Weimaraners were field, sport and family companions. We raised them for 15 years. Our breeding and nutrition knowledge comes from our cattle background. The breed we raised had some special needs for selenium and other minerals and due to pure lack of quantity, we did a lot of embryo transfer and artificial insemination to produce full-blood breed stock Belgian Blue cattle. These are high-yielding, fast-finishing cattle that are lower in fat and cholesterol than chicken. With a small gene pool to pull from, breeding could be a challenge to achieve a good cross without being too close and line breeding, because in livestock you don’t go as close as you do with dogs to avoid complications. We bred cattle for more than 30 years and did show. I did most of our vet work myself, we had many champions and our main bull was a top all-time producer. Scott is also a certified cattle judge. We find so many things from our cattle background that translate to the care, nutrition and breeding of dogs. A large animal has to have proper skeletal structure to last and to do its job for years


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