BREEDER INTERVIEW: WILLIAM H. (“BILLY”) MILLER, BAYARD CHIHUAHUAS
Toy Poodles), we campaigned her to a record number of BIS wins for long coat bitches. Diminutive little Chahachi was the second long coat to place in the Toy Group at Westminster Kennel Club. Teddy was owned by Kathleen Hardison and, at the time of her campaign, she co-owned Chahachi. We will be forever thankful for the wonderful retirement life she gave Teddy. Please comment positively on your breed’s present condition and what trends might bear watching. Like many breeds, the loss of the big kennels and families of dogs has made it challenging. We have some clever ladies breeding Chihuahuas and some wonderful foreign breeders. Like many breeds, we need to focus on the breed hallmarks. The large ears cannot be ignored and need to be a priority in our breeding program. Beware of heads that are too extreme and almost give the appearance of being another breed. The muzzle should be moderately short and slightly tapered. One of our most favorite Chihuahuas was Number One for several years. She was beautifully made and was my most cher- ished companion. Story had one obvious fault. Her tail was held too tightly on the back. One of the unique facts about our breed standard is that it allows for three tail carriages: out, up, or over in a loop with the tip just touching. When she retired, we learned the hard lesson—a bad tail is hard to remove from a breeding program. Lesson learned. Proportions are always crucial to keep in mind. The sport has changed greatly since you first began participating. What are your thoughts on the state of the fancy and the declining number of breeders? How do we encourage newcomers to join us and remain in the sport? We need fewer dog shows and more activity in local breed clubs. Match shows and club picnics allowed us to make friends and build relationships. People should get involved in local clubs and make pals. My advice to newcomers is to make friends. I have so many lifelong dog pals. Join clubs. Volunteer. Smile. Dog ownership is a right. We need to work hard to fight anti- dog breeder legislation. Where do you see your breeding program in the next decade or two? We took some time off to focus on family. Kenny and I are judging the Toys at the Puppy Sweepstakes in Orlando. I am excit- ed to see the beautiful puppies. We have just started talking about using our frozen semen. It is exciting. Each generation keeps our old dogs alive on this earth. Finally, tell us a little about Billy outside of dogs... your profession, your hobbies. I have been an educator for 31 years. For most of that time I was a middle school World History teacher. Now, I work in restorative practice. Teaching is my passion and I love my school community. While my parents did not show dogs, they were dog lovers, and their home always had an array of canine companions. My father was an educator for 39 years and the local high school stadium was named after him. Like Daddy, I cherish my dogs as pets and make my career my first passion. Kenny owns a hair salon, and I am hoping he will decide to spend more time at home. He is passionate about his work and loves his occupation. After the passing of her husband, Melanie has taken a break from dog show activity. She created a legacy, and our breed is better because of her efforts. Erika Lanasa is a busy professional handler and is out and about traveling to shows. Once her kids left the nest, she relocated to Florida. We miss having her in town.
While Teddy was not bred by us, he was born in Erika’s home. Ripley was his sire and he was out of a Bayard bitch, Ch. Bayard Coretta Genbrook. Coretta was an amazing dam and this cross produced seven champions. Ripley was an amazing stud dog and we were so pleased with his kids. Mary Jane Frederickson, mainly known for her exceptional Chinese Cresteds, was Ripley and Coretta’s owner and we enjoyed working with her to promote the breed. Ripley’s first BIS win was in 1997 at the Harrisburg Kennel Club. There were more than 3,800 dogs entered. Wowza! I can still remember Mary Jane almost going weak at the knees and passing out. At the time of his campaign, Ripley was co-owned with the late AKC judge Sam F. Burke and his wife, Anne. We had so much fun! Teddy was the first long coat to place in the Toy Group at the Garden. We were so excited. Erika’s children ran down from their seats and the guard would not let them in to have their picture taken with their dog. The judge was kind enough to insist they be allowed in for the photograph! These three dogs brought us so much joy. Ripley set a new BIS record for the long coat variety and his son Teddy accomplished the amazing feat of becoming the BIS record holder for both coats. It was awesome to cheer Erika on as she set a new all-time record with Sonnito. Sonnito’s breeders, Romulo Torres Sanchez and Manuel Bousieguez, are like family to us. Janet Lange was his gra- cious owner and we were thrilled for them. As a handler, Ch. Jo-El’s Calendar Girl was my first BIS winner and she will always have a piece of my heart. Ch. Wissfire Chaha- chi was a Ripley great-granddaughter. Bred by Joan Scott (Wissfire
180 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, NOVEMBER 2021
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