I grew up in a family with 6 kids and having a dog was not really practical, or so I was told, but that did not stop me. I would bring home any stray I could find on the streets and ask to keep it, but dad always said no, but find it a home, which I did. I also volunteered to walk all the neighbors dogs and fell in love with each of them.
At the age of 11 I met the Whippet breeders at the end of my street and they took me under their wings and introduced me to the show world, lure coursing, obedience and breeding. I was fascinated with this breed but my mother did not like the look of a "skinny" dog.
So...for Father's Day one year my mom and the next door neighbor went to the OC shelter and brought home the scrawniest dog I think they could find to give to dad. I was a bit disappointed that she was such a small dog, as my love was for much larger dogs, but all in all I now had a dog, or my dad did! Well, as it turned out that little dog was an apricot poodle and was afraid of men. So I began working with her and taught Susie all kinds of tricks and also learned how to groom her on my own. I completely fell in love with her and she was "MY" dog until the age of 15 when she crossed over.
After graduating high school and getting married, 1 year later in 1979, my husband John and I knew we wanted Golden Retrievers, many of them! So once we were in a secure home where we could have dogs we began our search. In 1980 while working for a Dachshund breeder/boarding facility we rescued a golden named Shugs and then bought her a friend named Sawnie. These girls were my introduction to the breed, sweet and so giving of their unconditional love. My husband and I ventured into showing (conformation) with Sawnie, not knowing anyone or what we were doing was a bit discouraging but we enjoyed it so much that we continued educating ourselves about golden's and making new friends along the way. We did some obedience with our dogs as well and joined local clubs. Our love and enjoyment for our dogs was growing so we started to get the clearances required to breed Sawnie and have our first litter. Our first litter of puppies was born in 1982 and from that litter came the first Calico Golden Retrievers. My first home bred champion was in 1992 when CH. CALICO'S BIG MAC OF McGOLD known as "Mac" finished his title with his novice/co-owner Vicki McGwire on the end of the lead. In 1993 "Mac's" litter sister CH. CALICO'S DIZZY MIZZ LIZZY known as "Lizzy" finished her championship completely owner/ breeder handled and in great style by winning winners bitch at the Western Regional.
I continued to work for the Dachshund breeder for 17 years, gaining what ever knowledge was tossed my way. I showed the Dachshunds from time to time and loved every minute of it. In 1995 I was offered a job at the Community Veterinary Hospital, Inc. where I manage the Animal Friends Pet Hotel which is located in Garden Grove, Ca. I have continued breeding and showing Golden Retrievers as a small hobby breeder and just simply enjoying this wonderful breed!
I take great pleasure in photographing pets at work for their owners and love photographing my own dogs and puppies as well.
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