Showsight December 2017

The Cheerleaders

Interviews with the Partners of our Better-Known Judges, Breeders and Professional Handlers MICHAEL RAWLINGS, HUSBAND OF AKC JUDGE MICHAEL FAULKNER BY ALLAN REZNIK

What is your profession? As an attorney I have cho- sen to anchor my work in mediation and negotiation with a focus on executive leadership development, specializing in conflict man- agement, complex facilita- tion, coaching and train- ing. I’m also an Accredited Genealogist ® and over the

attend Westminster and our club’s annual show (Middle Pen- insula, Virginia) whenever possible. Michael and I try to com- bine a short vacation with many of his international judging assignments. I look forward to attending more after returning to private practice in the coming years. I miss watching all the action—and the dogs are interesting, too. Have you ever exhibited a dog in the ring or wanted to become active in the sport? No, sir. No, sir. How does Michael decompress when he gets home from a show? Michael loves to decompress by cooking. He’ll often dream up a recipe on the plane, stop at the market on his way home and prepare a delicious meal we can then enjoy together, often with our friends. He also loves running. What hobbies and interests do you enjoy together? We enjoy travel, being out on the Rappahannock River on our boat, and the fellowship and service of our Rotary Club. Most of all we enjoy being together at Holly Springs, the 18th Century cottage we’ve restored, gardening, entertaining our friends and family and being at peace. Is there much dog show “pillow talk,” rehashing the weekend's events? Yes. Me: “How many dogs did you judge?” Michael: Answers with breeds and number of entries. Me: “You know that oil from the dogs seeps into your skin. Did you wash your hands? Please go wash your hands.”

past 20 years I’ve assisted the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force in locating next of kin and DNA matches for the remains of more than 500 Killed in Action service members from 20th Century wars. Where, when and how did the two of you meet? We met in Saratoga Springs, New York on June 19, 1999 at the wedding of mutual friends. The groom made the intro- duction and the newlyweds insisted that we dance together at their wedding. We’ve been together ever since. How was it to marry into the dogs? Did you know anything about the dog show world prior to meeting Michael? I’d grown up with dogs, but the entire dog show world was in my blind spot until I met Michael. I love animals and enjoy the logic of classification systems, so that part of marry-

ing into dogs was easy. The hardest part has been that I have always had to share week- ends with Michael’s other passion when I’m off from work. It didn’t take long to meet most of the real-life characters that were the basis for the film Best in Show. That’s when I realized how rich a life this was going to be. How many dogs do you currently own? Although we have typically lived with both Golden Retrievers and a rescue, we currently live with our Frenchie, Murphy French. We also own several Goldens. Who does most of the cooking? Have you seen Cooks vs. Cons (a show

Michael: Smiles and rolls his eyes at me for repeating the same thing for the past 18 years when he returns from a show. For more than four decades, Allan Reznik has been immersed in the world of pure- bred dogs: as a breeder, exhibitor, award- winning journalist, editor, broadcaster and occasional judge. He has been the Editor-in-Chief of multiple show dog pub- lications, all of which have won national magazine awards from the Dog Writers

Association of America while under his stewardship. In 2011, he won the prestigious Arthur F. Jones Award for Best Editorial Column of the Year, given by the Alliance of Pure- bred Dog Writers. Allan appears regularly on national TV and radio discussing all aspects of responsible dog owner- ship and is quoted widely in newspapers and magazines. He has successfully bred and exhibited Afghan Hounds, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Tibetan Spaniels, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Afghan Hound Club of America and the Tibetan Spaniel Club of America. He is a member of the Morris & Essex Kennel Club, the Western Hound Association of Southern Califor- nia, the Gateway Hound Club of St. Louis (charter mem- ber) and his two local all-breed kennel clubs.

on the Food Network that featured Michael Faulkner on a recent episode—AR)? Did you know I’m 6'3" and had main- tained a 35" waist until I met Michael? He does. I’m lucky and grateful, and it shows! Who does most of the grooming? Goldens—100% Michael. Murphy French is a spa dog. Michael grinds his nails and I give him his baths. Does Michael indulge in any particular rituals before leaving to judge a show? Mostly he reminds me of our next vacation plans. Do you attend many dog shows? When my schedule allows, though not nearly as many as during our first several years together when I was self- employed and had more flexibility. At a minimum I try to


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