The Role of Pure Bred Dogs in My Life
Hi, my name is Lisa Toth and I have been showing dogs for five years.
Before I started showing dogs, I didn’t have the motivation
I needed to excel in school. I have a learning disability and was
always in the LD classes. I was very shy and lacked confidence. I
only looked forward to summer vacation and playing softball. Then,
we got out first Siberian Husky, Tasha, a pet we got from one of my
dad’s co-workers. To learn more, we got in touch with a local
club, the Siberian Husky Club of Greater Kansas City and applied to
join and we were accepted. We did some activities with Tasha and the
club. Then my mom decided to get another Siberian and he is an all
white Siberian, Preston.
The members in the club talked my mom into showing Preston at the
fun match they had in Gardner, Kansas. She won her class and this
was her first show. I watched in amazement, then I asked my mom if
I could show in Junior Showmanship, because I watched it at the regular
show earlier that day. If mom could do it, so could I. She agreed
and I showed Tasha, not knowing anything except to keep the lead in
my left hand. We didn’t place but I had fun. And I was hooked
on showing dogs.
After some handling classes, my mom made an agreement with me that
I had to work harder in school, get better grades and work my way
out of the Learning Disability classes and she would let me go to
more and more shows. So I slowly worked my grades up and worked on
getting out of the Learning Disability classes. We had come to understand
in middle school that the LD classes were just dumping grounds for
kids that were not interesting in learning, or kids that misbehaved.
I was not in either category. In eighth grade, I finally tested out
of LD completely! I was conquering one thing at a time. I started
making friends at dog shows and they taught me how to handle better.
They also taught me that I don’t have to be shy with other people
and how to be confident in my abilities.
In 2001, I was offered a dog of my own by one of my friends. He was
a seven year old Siberian, Baree’s Enchantment, “Yanni,”
who had been in many homes. But when I met him, I was in awe. A dog
of my own that I can show! He taught me so much, how to care for him,
how to show him, he was kind of a mentor in a dog body. He helped
me communicate with other people and dogs, how to understand what
they are feeling and what they are about to do. I showed him and got
out of the novice classes and into the open classes in Junior Showmanship.
In 2003, Yanni was at the St. Joseph Kennel Club dog show and he
had a heart attack on the grooming table, without any warning. It
was the worst thing I had ever experienced. People thought he was
having seizures but later the vet said it was a heart attack. I did
not show that day, I sat by his crate and made sure he was doing ok,
until we could leave. We went home and my mom made me go to school.
She took Yanni to the veterinarian’s office. They did all the
heart tests and determined he did have a heart attack. So we took
him to low stress shows and he did gain one more major when he was
ten years old. I was so happy and he looked like he was a happy dog
that day. He is now retired from all showing, an honorary champion.
Then, I was offered Maverick, Ch. Kantasia’s Diamond Maverick,
as a Junior dog. I jumped at the chance. Maverick taught me how to
be flashy, confident and how to have the most fun in the ring. Maverick
is a joy to show in Juniors. He is sometimes unpredictable and he
will jump up for bait, but we have such a great time at every show.
Maverick also went to school when I did a presentation on showing
dogs. I had to do a speech in front of the class on a topic of my
choice. So I figured nobody else shows dogs in this school, I can
do my presentation on showing dogs. I asked the teacher if I could
bring Maverick to demonstrate things and she approved my idea. The
day came and he was so excited. When he went into the school, he pulled
my mom through the parking lot and through the school but when she
gave him to me, he was a perfect little Siberian. That was fun and
we got a very good grade on the presentation, an A minus. Maverick
and I will continue to show in Juniors until I age out.
Many times at shows, I am requested to show dogs for other people.
This is such a great opportunity and I consider it an honor. I have
shown breeds from all seven groups with success, putting majors on
dogs I have only known for 10 minutes or less. It is such great fun.
I hope in the future to show dogs for a living, working for myself. I plan on majoring in business in college. I will work hard for the rest of my life and be with the things that motivate me the most, the dogs. The dogs got me through high school without being in the Learning Disability classes. They helped me keep my priorities straight. I have to think before I act, make good decisions and plan ahead. Without dogs, I would be a lost person in the world and now I have a place to call my home, the world of Pure Bred Dogs.