I became involved with Junior Showmanship because my older sister, Sara Bruton, showed in juniors. When she was learning how to show I watched and also learned from Jennifer Alston Pahl. When I was old enough to show (then the age was 10) Jenn encouraged me to show in Juniors. I quickly received my three Novice Junior wins with my mom’s Golden Retriever “Mikey”. My sister had stopped showing in Juniors to pursue dancing, so we stopped going to dog shows. I still wanted to be involved with the sport of dogs so I trained and showed “Mikey” in agility.
Eventually, I was allowed to have my own dog and I got an English Springer Spaniel named Nicholas. With Nicholas we returned to the conformation ring and Kelly Shufflebottom encouraged me to show Nicholas in Juniors as well as Breed. With my English Springer Spaniel “Nicholas” I have had enjoyed accomplishments in many different areas of competition. Nicholas is CH. FirstJoy Time to Celebrate, RN, NA, NAJ, CGC. He also has a leg in OA and RA. We earned the AKC Junior Performance designations for all of our performance titles. I began showing Nicholas in Junior Showmanship when he was a puppy. Together we qualified for The Westminster Dog Show 4 times and the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship 5 times. In 2004 Nicholas and I received the great honor of being a Finalist at the National Championship. I have also enjoyed taking Nicholas to various Canine Ambassador Events for Salisbury MD Kennel Club which includes nursing homes and school visitations.
In 2006 I began showing a Smooth Coated Dachshund puppy “Chadwick”. I finished Chad in 3 months in limited showing with back-to-back 5 point majors. In his first weekend out as a special he received back-to-back Best of Variety wins. In 2007, with selective showing Chadwick and I received our very first Group One, Group 3 and Group 4. He also finished off the year in the top 20 of his breed and Number 12 all breed. I was pleased to show Chad at the 2007 National Championship in both Breed and in Junior Showmanship. Chad and I also had a very special year in 2008 earning more Group placements and finishing the year Number 16 all breed with limited showing.
In 2007 and the beginning part of 2008 I showed our home bred Golden Retriever “Tanner” to his championship. The highlight of Tanner’s show career came when we took the Breed over Specials and went on to receive a Group 2. I was pleased to qualify for the AKC National Championships with Tanner in 2007, my last year in Junior Showmanship.
I hope that my future involvement in Purebred Dogs will be forever. My future goals are to continue to show dogs while attending college and after I graduate, I want to stay involved in a local kennel club and teach the community. I also plan on applying for my Junior showmanship judging license once I graduate from Messiah college.