I hadn’t ever thought about writing a brief biography of my involvement with dogs and dog training, but this is a great opportunity to do so. I’ve had dogs all my life, starting when I was born. My parents had Chesapeake Bay Retrievers and a German Shorthair. Later on they fostered a Bloodhound, Weimaraner, Blue Tick, and German Shepherd. We also had an Australian Shepherd. There were a few dog-less years when I went to college. And then I met my future husband, Randy, and we started a long-term interest in sled dogs. We’ve had as many as 35 and as few as 10 over the years. I had a team awhile back, but now they are his interest. I started obedience work with a Malamute, and quickly realized that was an effort in futility. I then trained a field Golden to his Am. Can. CDX and he went to live with my parents as their house dog. After a doing a substantial amount of searching, my breed of choice was Belgian Sheepdogs. My first dog, Lasar, earned his Ch. UDT. We were the 13th UD in the State of Montana and he was one of a small handful of tracking dogs. I had a female, Z, who earned her Ch. CD. I also trained and showed several other Belgians to their CDs for a breeder in the area and taught local obedience classes.
Many years ago I attended the Belgian specialty in Las Vegas, and they had a demonstration provided by the local police with a Belgian that knocked my socks off – I knew then that what I really wanted to do was Schutzhund. At that point I was an affiliate member of NASA (North American Schutzhund Association). When Lasar died, I looked for another dog with a temperament that would allow me to do Schutzhund and realized it was not to be. That led me to the Malinois, and I have had them ever since. I’ve owned five and trained four from puppyhood to SchH/IPO 3 and two have earned their FH. I hope that someday Bekqa will also have his FH.
The youngest (Aahzi) is still in training but I have every confidence that he’ll make the grade as well. We also have Australian Shepherds as housedogs and to make us laugh.
Otherwise, we have a grown daughter (Hali), Leicester Longwool sheep, a variety of chickens, and a couple of cats. I’ve been a gardener for my whole life and have a love/hate relationship with what Montana weather does to our ability to grow things.
Dog activities and organizations:
- Member of USA since 1990
- Past president, current training director of the Big Sky Schutzhund Club and founding member
- Founding member of the American Working Malinois Association
- Past membership chair
- Current president/
- Founding member, Galloping Dog Agility Club
- Current member of the American Belgian Malinois Club and United Belgian Shepherd Dog Association
- Obedience and conformation judge, Australian Shepherd Club of America