Showsight - March 2022


ourselves to put as few puppies as possible on the ground with the highest possible consistency of quality. I’m very proud to say that I think we were very successful in this effort. We have only produced 16 litters under our roof over these past 50 years, totaling 112 puppies with more than 50 champions... just slightly under 50% of the puppies we have put on the ground. We have bred, owned, and handled National Specialty BOB and BOS recipients, and one of our dogs sired the BOB winner at the largest IWCA National ever (close to 500 Wolfhounds entered) in 1995. Our dogs have also sired four BOS winners at IWCA Nationals. We have been award- ed Select Dog and Award of Merit at a National, and we have been awarded Best Puppy at a National. We have also won many, many BOBs at regional specialties around the country. We have campaigned many dogs to the Number One ranking in the country during the past 50 years and mentored both owners and the public about our breed while waiting all day for Group competition. We have also owner- handled three different related Wolfhound males to all-breed Bests in Show. In 2013, the AKC awarded us Hound Group Breed- ers of the Year. We were thrilled. Janet was still alive to attend Orlando with us and receive the honor, since she was the one who started it all—a night we will never forget. Janet passed in 2016 at the age of 89. We still miss her very much. In 2019, I was “knocked off my chair” at the Purina Pro Plan & Dog News Show Dogs of the Year gala dinner in New York when they announced I had won the Owner Handler of the Year Award, which is voted on by your peers—another night I will never for- get. My dear friend, Bill McFadden, was the MC that night. There was lots of ugly crying from me that night! Who were your mentors in the sport? Please elaborate on their influence. Our most significant mentor in Irish Wolfhounds was Suzanne Tierney McCombs (Destiny Irish Wolfhounds). Our very first breeding was to a handsome male who resided with her. He was sired by the 1967 IWCA National Specialty winner, Irish import Ch. Ballykelly Colin, bred by Sheelagh Seale and owned by Mrs. H. Sheppard Musson. Janet and Suzanne became the dearest of friends. Suzanne had some lovely dogs, good breeding instincts, and a fantastic eye for a wonderful dog. Many hours were spent assessing dogs and their pedigrees. We all learned so much from Suzanne, and our pedigrees became intertwined much to both of our benefits.

when I found this out years later! Janet enjoyed showing Roaree for about a year when she realized she kept going Best of Opposite with her beautiful, smaller bitch. She then decided that instead of trying to find a male to buy, she would breed her own male to show. And so it began. In 1973, Roaree produced her one and only litter of 12 puppies, free-whelped. We had no idea how lucky we were with that first delivery. To this day, every dog we have bred goes back to Roaree in one way or another. She was far from a big girl but about as perfect as we could have asked for as a foundation bitch. She was pure luck for us and lived to be eight years old, with a temperament to die for. It turns out that 1975 was a very spe- cial year for my husband and me. We were informed by my doctor in May that we had a baby coming in December. We also broke ground on the first of two houses we built in bucolic Woodside, California. Our daughter Jamie arrived at Stanford Uni- versity Hospital in December 1975 and we moved her into the first Woodside home in February 1976. She was two months old. We lived there for eight years, then moved into the second, larger home that we built in June 1984. We lived there for 13 years. We sold that house after Jamie went off to UC Berkeley, and my husband and I decid- ed to downsize and move south of San Jose into San Martin, where we resided for 24 years. We moved to Driggs, Idaho, in June of 2021. My husband fully retired in 2012 and I retired in 2008. In April 2020, because of COVID, my daughter Jamie and her husband (of 17 years), Will Bartlett, purchased a second home in Jack- son Hole, Wyoming, to get their three children out of San Francisco until they could return to the classroom. The second home in Jackson is only 35 miles from our new home in Idaho. They spend all their summers and holidays there, so we felt we wanted to spend that time near them. The children are very busy during the school year in SF, so being closer to them in Wyo- ming for summers and holidays was the best choice. We are loving our new home in Idaho (yes... even the average snowfall of 100 inches per year). The Wolfhounds think they died and went to heaven with the cold temps and snow. They hated the triple-digit heat of the California sum- mers. They exercise so much more will- ingly here. It’s the perfect place for them. And no fleas or foxtails! All during the past 50 years, we showed our Irish Wolfhounds consistently and bred our dogs infrequently. We challenged

Ch. Roaree of Limerick at eight years

all living next door to each other. Janet went to obedience classes with her AmStaff male, and the instructor convinced her to enter an obedience trial at a local all-breed show sponsored by the Santa Clara Valley Kennel Club. Naturally, I accompanied Janet to the show for moral support, no matter which way the dog was going to perform. Fortunately, the AmStaff did not embarrass her. After the obedience com- petition had ended, we drifted over to see what this thing called “conformation” was all about. The rest became history! By 1971, Janet decided she liked watch- ing the Irish Wolfhounds at the dog shows because of their calm demeanor and com- manding size. She began an extensive search for a grown bitch because she had already learned that purchasing a puppy for show came with risk and it might not turn out. Janet only wanted the Wolf- hound for companionship and the sport of showing, but had no intentions of get- ting involved with breeding. As luck would have it, Janet found an 18-month-old Irish import bitch with 10 points, including one major, owned by an attorney in Santa Rosa. His wife decided she didn’t want that “big dirty dog” in her house anymore. We were so happy he chose the wife over the dog and we got the dog, The bitch had already been registered and named by the breeder in Ireland. She was Roaree of Limerick, and Janet took possession of her at the Santa Clara Valley Kennel Club in February 1972, exactly 50 years ago. The Limerick in her registered name did not refer to an Irish kennel name but rather to her place of birth in Limerick County, Ireland. Hence, Limerick became our kennel name. We obtained her cham- pionship quickly and her second major was awarded by Desi Murphy’s uncle, John Murphy, which was a fabulous surprise


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