ShowSight January 2019

Showsight Interviews… Daryl Martin, “Martin’s... Puff” Kennels BY ALLAN REZNIK

1. Where did you

wanted a Lhasa Apso. I had letters from the great Grace Licos, who owned Ch. Licos Kulu La. I used to read Popular Dogs , Dog World and The AKC Gazette from front to back, and back again. Marsha Hall Brown wrote a column about Juniors in Popular Dogs , and I was always reporting my wins. She did a biography about me, too. I studied everything, no mat- ter what breed. I used to go to all the national meetings of the American Maltese Association that originally were held in New York during Westminster. I also attended the American Lhasa Apso Club meetings that were held at the Americana Hotel. That was back when Keke Kahn, then Blumberg, was just a new member, as was my mother. As far as following in my mother’s footsteps, we were joined at the hip and I absorbed everything like a sponge. In those days there was so much to learn, and I was a student. I also used to keep records and I would go through the Gazette, recording all the winnings of all the Maltese! I still have my handwritten index cards, long before computers! I was successful at our Nation- al Specialties as a youngster, too, winning Sweepstakes with various dogs. As a teen I was my mother’s AKC assistant han- dler, and showed many dogs to Group wins and champion- ships. I actually was the youngest person to win the Quaker Oats Award, with the Maltese, Ch. Joanne-Chen’s Mino Maya Dancer, owned by Blanche Tenerowicz. I obtained an AKC license back when professional handlers were licensed in the early days. 3. Who were some of your mentors? Elaborate on what they taught you about the sport. My parents always stayed for the entire show, and we always went to dinner with the handlers of the day. I assist- ed Larry Downey in brushing dogs; I was cheap help. I lis- tened to all the stories at dinner, watched all the handlers and observed how they showed their dogs. I used to do impressions of them in the day when they all had their own style. In the Midwest, we had dinners with Larry Downey, Stan Flowers, Jack Funk, Charlie Prager, Dick Cooper, Doug McClain and George Ward. My mentor was my mother, who always was a very black-and-white person like me. She always taught me to be fair and honest, and never lie. The care and welfare of the dog was more important than the win. She always wanted to breed a better dog. Since we started in Maltese with not the quality she wanted, I have a very good

grow up?

I was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and lived there for the first three years of my life. My parents were Chicago people, but at that time my father’s job loca- tion was in Tulsa. In 1955 we moved back to the Chicago area, in Highland Park. I never moved again, as I live in the house I grew up in. 2. You were born

into a dog show family as your mother was Rena Mar- tin, a successful breeder-exhibitor of Maltese as well as a professional handler. When did your own interest in breeding and showing begin? Was there ever any doubt you would follow in your mother’s footsteps? I was always involved with the breeding and showing of our dogs, other than the Collies and Pulis, as I was too young at the time. But I have home movies of me at the age of three, taking the Collies around the backyard on leash! I also have pictures of me at the same age holding Puli puppies. I was showing dogs as a child, finishing my Maltese Martin’s Jolly Puff to his championship. I was very active in Junior Showmanship. I couldn’t wait to show in my first Juniors Novice class at 8 years old. I won first place that very first time, and then the rules said you had to go into the Open class. Unfortunately, you couldn’t compete in Open until the age of 10! Besides showing in the breed ring and in Junior Showmanship, I showed Maltese braces. In those days there were many shows that offered that class. I had several Best in Show braces, and won the Toy Group at Westminster and the International Kennel Club show on a number of occasions. As a youngster I helped with the whelping of litters. I vividly remember one time our vet came to help whelp a litter, and there I sat on the floor of my parents’ bedroom, right next to our vet, while we waited for puppies. When I was still young, not even a teenager, I was corresponding with breeders, as I

182 • S how S ight M agazine , J anuary 2019

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