My sister and I grew up with animals all of ours lives on a hobby farm in Wisconsin near Lake Michigan. It only made sense that after we had finished showing animals in 4-H we would have to find something else to do with animals. When my sister moved out on her own, she started showing her pug in conformation. I found it really interesting so me being the little sister had to do this too - but I wanted a dog I could wrestle with! Ah yes - the gentle giant - the Newfoundland is what I wanted.
I had to wait a few years to be on my own before I could make this dream come true. When I was finally ready I found it very hard to get a show dog from a breeder - why should they sell to a person that had never shown other than 4-H. So, I opted to be a placement home for an older Newfoundland and show obedience.
In 1992 I got my first Newfoundland - "Kismet"! Watchbear's Cerberean Kismet from Judy Miller. Granted it took us 3 years of training at our local pet care center, as it didn't make sense to Kismet why I wanted her to do this stuff over and over again. So, at 6 years old Kismet got her CD in 3 shows!
In 1996 Becky Super sold me my first show Newfoundland - Brooksides Affair to Remember "Remi". With lots of conformation training basically for me, and being mentored by Beth Johnson of Summit Golden Retrievers, Remi got her Championship by going Winners Bitch at the 1998 North Central Newfoundland Club Regional Specialty. That was it - I was hooked. After that I worked with Becky Super and showed "Brooksides One and Only "Uno" to his Championship and on to his #1 standing as shown on my Top Dogs page.
My husband Joe and I currently live outside of Green Bay Wisconsin. He can't say he didn't know what he was getting into as I was actively showing CH Seabrook Steppin Out At PoohBear - "Basil" for Kathy Griffin of Seabrook Newfoundlands when we met. He has been a trooper with holding down the fort when I am gone and adding and modifying kennels as necessary. This is really handy as he has his own business as a finishing carpenter. I had actually come home from a show one weekend to find new runs put up! How cool is that!
I work full-time as a Network Administrator for a utility company in Green Bay. Due to this I am limited on how many Newfs I can keep at one time and how much showing and breeding I can do. My first Windhaven litter was born in 2002 and I can honestly say I am still learning every day. Kathy Griffin and Peggy Helming have been great breed mentors along the way.