Ever since I was little, I have loved being around dogs. I received my first Papillon, Shammy, when I was four as a birthday present. I have come a long way since that first day I started showing. I began showing in Fun Matches and in 4-H. Then I started showing in Junior Showmanship and Conformation at AKC shows. I have accomplished much in my years of showing dogs. Not only have I received many awards and recognition, but I have become a role model for many other juniors. Even though I spend a lot of time working with my dogs, I still find the time to excel in my education. I plan to continue to be an active Papillons breeder, show in Conformation and Obedience events, and someday pursue a judging license.
I was part of 4-H for 11 years; during this time I had many major accomplishments. I won Top Junior Handler three times in Washington County, the only person ever to do so. Also, in 2004 I received the Good Sportsmanship Award. At the Wisconsin State 4-H Dog Shows, I won “Top Overall Junior Showmanship Handler” in 2003, and I had “Highest Scoring Dog in Obedience” in 2004. These accomplishments were very important to me, because I proved to myself that I could excel in both showmanship and obedience.
When I was ten, I started showing in AKC Junior Showmanship. I have qualified and showed at Westminster seven times, the only Papillon junior handler to do so. Also, I have qualified and entered the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship four times. Unfortunately, I only showed the past three years, because the first year I had bronchitis. I have also received many other awards such as: Top Toy and Papillon Junior Handler in 2002 and twelfth in All-Breeds in 2002. These awards have been very gratifying, because I have shown many Papillons in Junior Showmanship that I personally bred. Younger juniors look up to me and watch my actions carefully. I am glad when I can help other junior handlers.
I started breeding Papillons when I was twelve. I have bred six champions. I have personally finished six champions: Chantel, Enid, Divi, Dina, Eclipse, and Frieda. Chantel was my first champion, and my foundation bitch. In 2004 Chantel received the “Dam of Merit” award for producing six champions. Divi was my first bred-by champion. Dina was finished completely out of the bred-by class and received a Group Third. Frieda received a Group Two and Group Three, a Puppy Group One, and multiple Best of Breeds, finishing at nine months of age. I co-own Elliot with Junior Handler Rachel Hardckopf. Rachel finished Elliot in May of 2003. I was very proud of her accomplishment. I have been training Fonzy for Obedience, Agility, and Rally. Fonzy has won many 4-H obedience titles. He is one of the first Papillons to receive an AKC Rally Novice title. Recently I have put two points on my newest bred-by puppy, Ivan, at his first show.
In addition to showing my dogs, I have worked for a professional handler, Carol Miller. Also, I have started to judge matches, and I am a member of Kennel Clubs. When I worked for Carol Miller, I was given the opportunity to learn how to groom poodles. She has taught me how to do the top-knots and how to scissor poodles. In June of 2004, I judged the Greater Chicagoland Papillon Club sanctioned B-Match. This was my first time judging and it was a great experience. Also in August of 2004, I judged a fun match; I judged the Toy and Non-Sporting Groups. I am a member of the Papillon Club of America where I hope to become involved with the Junior Showmanship Committee. Also, I am a member of the Sheboygan Dog Training Club where I practice agility and obedience. Being a member of the Kennel Clubs allows me to be more involved in different aspect of dogs besides just showing them.
Even with all the time I put into doing well with my dogs, I still realize how important school is. I am currently attending the University of Wisconson-Parkside where I am majoring in biology. I have finished my first semester with a 4.0 GPA. I am planning on continuing my education by getting a Masters in Genetic Counseling. I learned about Genetic Counseling through one of my biology teachers last year, and after hearing about the profession, I knew that’s the profession I wanted to do. I love biology and math, and Genetic Counseling incorporates both of these fields of study. In the future I plan to extend my knowledge of genetics to Papillons and the dog fancy.
In high school I graduated with honors and was ranked seventh in my class. I was also a member of the National Honor Society. As a member of NHS, I had the opportunity to chair the PTO Fun Night. I was involved in Cross Country and Track. Also, I was a member of the Yearbook and Science Clubs. I was on the Math Team, where I earned multiple medals and was on First Team All-Conference my junior year. Also that year our team placed fourth at the state competition.
Everything I do, I do it to the best of my ability. I hate when I
fail at a task, but the next time I try even harder, and usually can
accomplish it. Having this personality gives me the drive I need to
accomplish anything I want. If I put my mind to it, I can do it. I
feel that I have given my all with my dogs and my education, and my
accomplishments have shown this.