She wasn’t a breeder, or an exhibitor. She wasn’t a player in AKC events, and most dog people would not have batted an eye at the mention of her name. But her arguments were sound, her judgments credible, her legislative skill natural, and her ability to deliver results uncanny. Never one for the spotlight, she was a determined warrior who did more to protect the rights of dog people than almost anyone else.
On January 23, the dog world lost one of their great warriors with the death of Diane Makinney.
A native of Chicago and a longtime resident of Florida, Diane was an aficionado of Golden Retrievers. Driven by her love for animals and a professional background in public relations and research, she focused intently on legislative matters targeting dog breeders and owners.
Long known as “one of the Dianes” of the Florida Association of Kennel Clubs—the other being the late Diane Albers—she was a master at managing the art of Florida’s legislative process, and played crucial roles in defeating many proposals that would have been detrimental to the sport of purebred dogs in Florida, including due process infringements, onerous breeder regulation bills, and a state-wide mandatory spay/neuter proposal.
Most recently and until her death, she served the Golden Retriever Club of America as its Legislative Liaison. With an ever-growing interest in protecting Americans’ freedom and liberty, she was also involved with Congressman Ron Paul’s campaign for the White House and studied history and economics with the Mises Institute. Outside the political realm, she was a “foodie” who was always ready to share a recipe (her tuna puttanesca is now a “go-to” dish in my house), and found great joy working in her garden, providing organic ingredients for her cooking and beauty in her neighborhood.
Diane was one of a kind. She was the type of legislative advocate you wanted to clone, and the type of friend you wanted to debate political science with over a good lunch and bottles of wine, and let both the meal and the debate last way past dinner. The dog world may have sadly lost a star; but those of us lucky enough to have known her, if only a little, are forever better off because of it.
True warriors fight until the end, and so did Diane. We miss you already, Diane. Rest in peace, dear friend.
— Phil M. Guidry