My interest in Obedience started in 1982 when I purchased my first Miniature Schnauzerpuppy. Expecting that all dogs would be well behaved, I quickly learned that obedience training was needed. Since that time, dogs and the sport of Obedience have been an important part of my life.  Two of my dogs were invited and participated at the National Obedience Champion Event. Cody, my youngest dog, is getting started with his obedience work and hopefully will be earning his Companion Dog title later this year. 

Over the years I have trained six Miniature Schnauzers through Utility; three completed the Utility Excellent (UDX) title; and two earned the coveted Obedience Trial Champion (OTCH) title. Several dogs have also earned Rally titles.  

Along with training and showing my dogs at AKC events, I take them to elementary schools and share information with young children about being responsible dog owners.  The dogs also perform some of the exercises learned in Obedience.  Children really enjoy watching the dogs do their work and then sharing their own dog stories with me.  

One of my dogs, Fury, is a Therapy dog that makes visits to hospitals and care centers and goes to school each week and listens to second grade students read books.   The kids love reading to Fury and Fury loves all the attention that comes her way.  It's a win-win for everyone.  

Becoming an Obedience judge is another extension of the sport that I love.  My first Novice assignment was in 1993 and I have been approved to judge all classes since 1997.  I am also approved to judge all Rally classes. Traveling the country and judging has been an added bonus to this great sport.  But meeting and working with so many other dog lovers (and dogs) has really made this a wonderful experience.  

Having retired from teaching and coordinating K-12 district curriculum programs several years ago,  I now have a more flexible schedule to train and show my dogs, and also more time to travel, enjoy outdoor activities, read, do volunteer work and more. 

It is an honor for me to be judging your Specialty this year and I look forward to seeing each team in the ring.  Good luck to everyone and have a great time.