Much like every dog person, there is always a story of how we fell into our chosen breed and I am no different. Here is my story...
I always enjoyed watching dog shows and competitions on television and in 2006, my friend and I decided for my birthday we would attend the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City. We had a fantastic time on the green carpet in Madison Square Garden watching all of the breeds being judged, going backstage to meet the dogs and then to watch the televised Group Competition in the evening. On the plane ride home, I knew I was going to show a dog at Westminster. I didn’t know what breed of dog, but I knew then I would be back and inside the ring next time!
It was happenstance that I met a breeder of Saint Bernard dogs in my hometown with puppies available who agreed to show me the way. It still brings tears to my eyes remembering the day I brought home Redoak’s Going for the Gusto (aka Gus the Bus). I had visited him no less than 20 times in the three weeks I had to wait to bring him home and was already in love.
Gus and I started training right away and attended our first show as soon as he turned 6 months old and was eligible to compete. Gus passed away in 2016 at 10 years old and while I was never able to earn his AKC Champion designation, he is the dog that inspired my love of the breed and the dog fancy.
I did fulfill my dream of showing a dog at Westminster in 2011 with Gus’ nephew Ch. Redoak’s Little Dude. The experience was awesome! We didn’t win a thing, but got to prance around on that green carpet, meet and greet people and even pose for a photo shoot for National Geographic Magazine!
Redoak's Going for the Gusto
CH. Redoak's Little Dude