The World of Dogs
I was born and raised in Hawaii. As the oldest of five children I have a lot of practice getting along with everybody. My parents homeschooled me from kindergarten to twelfth grade and I enjoyed this form of education because it allowed me to study at my own pace. I have enjoyed the transition from individual learning at home, to classes and studying with peers at the University of Hawaii Manoa. I chose UH because I enjoy living in Hawaii and I wanted to go to a college close to my home. I also wanted a school with an affordable tuition so I would not have to take out excessive student loans to fund my education. My parents are unable to pay for my schooling so I have to finance it myself. The 2005-2006 school year will signal my fourth and final year of college. I am majoring in History and have two minors, one in English and the other in Asian Studies. After I get my Bachelor of Arts, I plan on attending Law school and then practicing law in Hawaii. I am looking forward to contributing to my island home. When I am not studying I enjoy attending dog shows where I show several different breeds of dogs.
My family bought our first dog, a German Shepherd, when I was eleven years old. To prepare for this new addition to our family, we visited dog shows and talked to many different breeders. I was fascinated by this new world with its diversity of breeds and abundance of knowledgeable dog fanciers. When Tiger joined our household I eagerly began reading show books as well as breed manuals. I also attended two different conformation training classes, one taught by Tiger's breeder and the other by the late Peter Ankersmit. I was incredibly blessed to be tutored by Mr. Ankersmit, with who I attribute almost all I know about Junior Showmanship. His weekly instructions, always kind but strict, helped me develop into the handler I am today. After about a year of training and the occasional show, I realized Tiger was more of a pet than a show dog. This recognition came around the same time as other people began to ask me to show their dogs. I eagerly accepted many different breeds which gave me the opportunity to train and work with a variety of dogs and I learned to adapt my handling approach to the individual dog. I also became good friends with James and Sandee French, papillon breeders, who allowed me to use one of their dogs for Junior Showmanship. With Norman, I was able to finish my final two years of Juniors, qualify for Westminster in my final year, and garner several group placements. Since aging out of Juniors two years ago, I have continued to handle as much as possible in between studying and attending school. I have also begun handling a Best in Show Akita and I look forward to perhaps showing him on the mainland now that the Hawaii quarantine laws have changed. I would also like to get my own dog and begin a breeding program. I am still searching for a suitable West Highland White Terrier but I know I will eventually find the right dog.
Dogs have not only been my companion and morning running buddy, but events such as dog shows have also allowed me to experience many new activities. I have journeyed to shows in California and New York, places I might not have visited if dog shows had not given me the chance. I have met many wonderful people and made new friends over the years of showing. Junior Showmanship gave me goals to work for such as training my dog to show perfectly or qualifying for Westminster. I am so grateful for this important part of my life and I want to maintain my involvement with dogs and showing. I want to continue to handle and my goal is to return to Westminster with a dog for the breed ring. I would also like to establish a Westie breeding program so that I can raise my own Best in Show winners! Finally, I would like to give back to the dog fancy by teaching conformation or Junior Showmanship training classes. My handling instructors had such an important impact on my life and I would like to help other beginners in the same way. I am excited about the opportunities ahead of me and I am glad that I have the rest of my life to participate in the wonderful world of dogs.