I have always been an animal person for as long as I can remember. Growing up, we always had a family dog that I enjoyed training and caring for, but my other passion was horses. As I grew up, I trained and competed in the hunter jumper circuit for years with my horses. As I got older I eventually sold my horses and started working at a horse farm. I did just about everything that came along with it, which included working out horses for my trainer and her clients. A few years later I got a job as a veterinary technician at Middletown Veterinary Hospital which, for me, was a dream job. Soon after I seemed to fade out of horses and set out on a new path. One month after moving into my own place I got what I always wanted, but was “not allowed” to have, a Saint Bernard.
My first Saint, named Kahlua, was straight out of the paper. She had every problem a saint could have but was one of the best dogs I have ever owned. I decided to take Kahlua to obedience school as a puppy. That is where I met my friend and obedience mentor Susan Tucker. I took basic obedience lessons. I can remember that, after our class, there was an advanced class which was the show prep class. I would stay and watch and thought this is something I would be interested in pursuing. With Susan’s help and guidance, I went on to receive my first CD title with Kahlua. We also took first place at an all breed show for her third leg. I loved the training and the competition. I eventually purchased my second Saint named Tango. Tango also received his CD.
A few years later, at an obedience trial, I met Tom and Terry Nuss. I purchased my third Saint from them and they convinced me to show him in the conformation ring. I owe a lot to Tom and Terry. They guided me and helped me learn about a quality Saint and everything about showing a Saint in the conformation ring. I finished “Linus” at sixteen months and that was it, I was hooked! I went on to finish two more Saints. I co-bred and whelped my first litter, all thanks to Tom and Terry. They gave me such a great opportunity, and introduced me to the wonderful world of Saint Bernards.
As of today I have been with Middletown Veterinary Hospital for eighteen years and am fortunate to work with a great group of people. I usually only have about three or four Saints at a time, as I am a one woman show. My Saints are my kids. They are my family first and then show dogs. I do all my own grooming, training and handling. I usually have a lot on my plate with the Saints and working full-time at the veterinary hospital. However, I have great friends and a wonderful family who love and support me. I started with my first Saint in 1998 and my first show Saint in 2003. Since then, I have shown many of my saints to receive confirmation, obedience and rally titles. I am very proud of what I have accomplished with my dogs and look forward to a bright future.
Salty, Savannah, Quest & Shelby 12/2011