AP...Well Marsh, tell me a little about yourself;
where did you grow up, something about your
professional life, your family and how did you become fond
of Great Danes?
MS...Iím a retired teacher and
basketball coach. I fell in love with the game of
basketball when I was in the 4th grade, and decided then to
someday become a coach so I would never be found too far
away from the game. I enjoyed a fairly successful high
school career, good enough to earn a scholarship to Western
Illinois University. With no father around, and a mother
trying to raise 3 kids on waitress wages, this was
absolutely the only chance I had for a college education.
My hometown of Henry Illinois is
on the Illinois River. As a youngster I spent a lot of time
out of doors and gained a huge appreciation for nature and
wildlife, especially of birds. I still love bird watching,
and am always aware of the bird activity going on around me,
no matter where I am.
At Western, I played all four
years for the basketball team and high jumped for the track
team. I became the schoolís leading career basketball
scorer in 1956, and am still #5 on the list, after 50 years,
with 1526 points. We had some really good teams, probably
some of the best in the Westernís history.
After graduation I became the
coach and teacher I had promised myself. Thatís how I made
my living for the next 35 years. I met my wife, June, at
Western and she, too, is a retired teacher. We have 4
children, who for the most part, followed us into the
teaching profession. They, in turn have produced for us 7
Weíve always had a Great Dane in
the family. My brother bought us our first one, a fawn
bitch. Strictly a pet, she was the first of all five colors
we have enjoyed during our 50 years together.
I always had in the back of my
mind, the idea of becoming a breeder of Great Danes. So
when I retired from coaching, we became serious about
raising quality Danes for competitive purposes. I plead
guilty to being somewhat over competitive, and this was one
way to satisfy my competitive juices. I just switched from
dealing with referees to dealing with judges.
AP...Were you always an animal lover?
MS...Unquestionably! Iíve always
had pets, ranging from reptiles, raccoons, owls, and the
usual array of dogs and cats.
AP...How did your interest in dogs
and specifically Danes develop?
MS...There is something mystical
about the look of the Great Dane that strikes a chord in my
inner being. I nursed the idea of acquiring one for a long
time before we finally brought one into our home.
AP...Who first introduced you to
MS...My wife and I purchased our
first show-potential Dane from Ralph & Mimi Graff of St.
Louis, Missouri. Her name was Von Graffís Gingerbread Lady.
She was a brindle. This came about after I retired from
coaching and we decided to become more serious about the
exhibiting of Great Danes. We were such novices. Ginger
was her call name and in retrospect, we should have finished
her. But we couldnít get one ear to stand and thought we
were not allowed to show her without both ears up. Thatís
how little we knew.
did breed her and produced a relatively successful litter.
There were three champions in the litter. The sire was Ch.
Rojonís Oh Boy v. Mecca Dane.
AP...Do you remember your first dog show?
MS...We attended a show in St.
Louis, in which Gingerís sire was going to be shown. I
remember how confusing the show itself was, not
understanding the various classes and how the show
progressed. My selections rarely coincided with the judge.
I thought the biggest dog in each class shouldíve won!
I do remember how shocked we were as we
crossed the street after the show and found a 3rd
ribbon on the ground. We couldnít believe someone had
carelessly lost such a valuable award!
AP...Discuss your early dog show life and
your first show dog.
MS...In the process of placing
Gingerís litter, we met Mr. Ray Cataldi, who owned the sire
of her litter.
Ray was actively breeding Danes at that time
and had several show-prospect male puppies available. Among
them was a big, dark brindle youngster. His price was well
above what our budget would allow, but common sense did not
prevail and he found his way into my heartÖÖ.. and my van!
Needless to say, the purchase price was just the beginning.
BISS Ch. Rojonís Don-Sue LUKE v. Lost Creek was to become
one of the top winners and producers of his era. During his
show career we really became hooked on the dog show
AP.....Who guided you through these beginning times?
MS.....For obvious reasons, Ray Cataldi was very interested in the
success of Luke, and he made many invaluable suggestions as
to how we manage his career. In addition, prior to acquiring
Ginger, I attended numerous dog shows, and especially
enjoyed and learned from Lake Shoreís Daneorama. Before the
National came along, Daneorama was the ďSuper BowlĒ of Great
Dane competition. I was particularly interested in observing
handlers. I think I became a fairly good connoisseur of
handlers. One person who I was particularly impressed with
at that time was John Stusek. John agreed to handle Luke and
a whirlwind campaign began. Luke acquired his 15 points
starting in April and finished in May. He went Winnerís Dog
at the Lake Shore Specialty in April 1985 under one of my
favorite judges, Claire Lincoln. He finished in May with
another 5 point major under another of my favorite judges,
Mr. Bob Gregory.
you have any mentors?
MS.....I guess itís rather obvious. I have spent hours
listening to Ray Cataldi share his wisdom and expertise on
all facets of breeding and exhibiting. There have been many
others, but none that we took so much from.
have they influenced you?
MS.....Itís difficult to put into words how a person is
being influenced by his mentors. We learn by trial and error
and we learn by applying principals established by others
before us. My image of Great Danes changed considerably
early on. I remember admiring at first the photos of Great
Danes in the Great Dane Quarterly and The Reporter. Those
old magazines always had photos of Danes in Europe. It took
me a while to get away from the ďbigger is betterĒ syndrome.
As I look back, I think I had a picture in my mind of what a
Great Dane should look like, but it took a while to actually
be able to fill in the parts. I still consider myself a
beginner, and in that roll you continually soak in
information from successful people around you (mentors) and
add your own experiments (trial and error). Together you
formulate the kind of breeding program, which gives you
has your career as a coach aided you in competing with your
MS.....First of all, I enjoy competition immensely. My
family would probably say too immensely. But, whether in
athletics or dogs, there is something very fulfilling in
preparing a plan, perfecting the plan with practice, and
then seeing positive results. One huge similarity is that in
athletics you have referees and in dogs you have judges. You
rely rather heavily on their subjective decisions.
Unfortunately, in both sports, there are some decision
makers who really donít know their business. But to answer
your question, my coaching background has helped me
understand for one thing you canít win all the time.
Sometimes there are better dogs out there than yours, and
over the long run the good and bad decisions even out. One
has to be satisfied with the occasional high from the big
win and feed off that warm fuzzy until the next one comes
AP....What part do professionals play in the sport?
MS.....I learned very early that professionals dominate the
sport of dogs. Whether is be in handling or breeding, the
people who make their living in dogs are naturally going to
be better at it than we amateurs. As I mentioned above,
early on I studied handlers. I noted their styles. I learned
some were better than others with different types of dogs.
They all have their strengths and weaknesses. I learned that
the more artist they had in them, the better handler they
were. I consider myself a fairly good athlete, but that
doesnít help much. Among other talents the good handlers
mold their animal into a pretty picture and then get the
judge to look at it at the right time. Needless to say, this
requires much repetition to go along with artistic talent.
Professionals take our sport to the highest level possible.
Whether in presenting our dogs or breeding them, I hate to
think where dog shows would be without them. They force us
to lift our efforts to our very best or to forever sit on
the sidelines in the loserís section.
If there is one aspect involving the professionals in the
sport that I donít appreciate, it is on those occasions when
they are rewarded by a judge who knows they are likely to
bring more dogs to them in the future, than the
owner-handler. Of course, that is not the fault of the pro,
itís the judge.
AP.....Have you campaigned a special, and how did that
influence your perspective of the dog show?
MS.....Campaigning a special has its good points, but it
doesnít happen to be my favorite part of the game. Iím not
sure the all out push to be number one, or even to just get
into the Top 20 is good for the sport. For one thing, I
would much rather win a specialty than a group placement.
The reason being that chances are the specialty judge is
judging their own breed and should know more about that
breed than a group judge spending 2 or 3 minutes looking at
26 different breeds trying to pick the one that most closely
fulfills the requirements of its own standard. For group
judging to be completely fair, the judge would have to have
an absolutely even knowledge of the standards of every
animal in the group. I donít think there are too many of
those people out there. So in my opinion, group and best in
show judging is for the spectators.
Regarding the Top 20, we all know that the animals that end
up in a given year with the most points are really not the
20 best Great Danes exhibited in a given year. They are
merely the dogs whose owners were willing to shell out the
thousands of dollars and many hours of time to have their
animals out there weekend after weekend, no matter the
distance/dollars involved. Add to that the expense of having
their dog and handlerís picture all over the many dog
publications, and youíve got a formula for eliminating the
small budget individual who frequently has a deserving
enough candidate, but not the dollars.
Iím as guilty as the next in playing this game. Call it ego
or whatever. But, if the Top 20 competition was set up to
contribute to the betterment of the breed, I donít think
that is happening. For one thing, when you have three judges
you have a committee. I believe that too often you have
judges neutralizing each otherís opinions, and you end up
with mediocrity rather than the best animal available. I do
believe Top 20 judges should have to make their sheets
available to the participants, and possibly to all the
observers. Maybe the Top 20 should just be an exhibit. That
way every one would still be able to get all dressed up and
the animals on the list would have an opportunity to be
honored and be presented in all their glory.
AP.....Do you feel the
quality of judging has improved or declined in recent years?
MS.....Iím not sure. I know I feel, as Iíve learned more, I
tend to be more critical, but as to whether judging has
deteriorated over all, I donít know. The increased number of
shows hasnít helped. More shows require more judges. More
judges require clubs to reach deeper into the judge supply.
There are not enough good judges to go around, as it is.
I really am disappointed in the judging by many of the all-rounders.
I definitely believe there is a huge gap between what
breeder judges and all-rounders regard as the ideal
specimen. I think the area where non-breeder judges seem to
lack knowledge is in the area of type. They, especially,
struggle with heads. Many group judges really donít
understand how important Great Dane type plays in the
overall scheme of selecting our breeding stock, which is
what they are supposed to be doing.
you think the standard sets a clear expectation of
priorities in the judging of Danes?
MS.....Anytime you have two people hearing or reading a set
of words, then interpreting what theyíve heard or read, you
are going to get two different versions. No two people
translate the meaning of our standard the same. We all have
our prejudices as to what we think the most important
ingredients for the make-up of the ideal Great Dane, so when
weíre reading the standard we tend to give those parts we
like, the most emphasis. We tend to favor qualities we have
in our own breeding programs. For example, people who donít
have good heads on their dogs, tend to discount the
standardís emphasis on the head. Iíve heard more than one
breeder claim they can get a good head in one generation.
Thatís ridiculous, and is just an indication that the person
doesnít really understand the finer nuances of what makes a
should movement be weighted in the ring?
MS.....In the standard gait is described in the second to
last paragraph. The description is fairly clear and easy to
understand. The problem is that many judges, especially in
the group ring, are not able to factor in the fact that the
giant breeds are never going to be able to move like the
smaller more compact breeds, especially those developed to
pull sleds up north. Another problem when judging movement
is that of all the facets in the standard, it is the most
subjective. Itís easy for a judge to see light eyes, or
straight hindquarters, or bad top-lines. The really good
judges can determine whether a dog can move or not, even
when he doesnít have a good down and back, more because the
dog just doesnít want/like to do it at that moment. If the
dog is put together correctly, chances are it can move well.
Judges who really donít know much about type are more likely
to go over board on movement. I once over heard a breeder
judge at a large mid-western specialty state she regarded
herself as a movement judge. This was the day after she had
awarded a BOB to a dog with the least type of all the dogs
in her large Best of Breed class. I believe this was the
dogís only specialty win in its career.
So to answer your question, movement should be given the
same amount of consideration as all of the other parts of
the standard. I love a statement I recently read on this web
site that pointed out that a dog with no type is just as
unsound as a dog that limps across the ring.
you feel there is a particular area of Danes which has
deteriorated or improved?
MS.....I see far too many Great Danes lacking type attaining
their championships. We have too many Danes being shown,
that lack good angles. (Angulation). Top lines and croups
could be better.
AP.....What can be done to educate judges properly?
MS.....Thatís a tough one. Our sport, as it now operates, is
not very conducive toward educating Great Dane judges.
Fortunately, there are a few people out there who work very
hard at helping others learn about our breed. Dana Cline is
consistent and persistent in doing this. I wish there were
more like him. The GDCA needs to make more use of him in
their education efforts.
recently judged the Futurity, what did you learn from it?
MS.....Let me first answer the question by stating how
appreciative I am for having been given that assignment. To
those who voted for me, I thank you from the bottom of my
heart. The experience will always be the highlight of my
life in Great Danes. In addition, my thanks go out to the
people that made the job so relaxing and relatively stress
free. Those would be the ladies who made up the judges
committee and my four wonderful stewards.
I learned that there are a lot of good breeders out there
trying to do their best to improve the breed. And despite
what some are trying to do to change the Futurity, it works
very well the way that it is. I learned that some classes
are easy, when you have an outstanding specimen in it; that
some classes are difficult when youíve got more than one
outstanding animal in it; and equally hard when you donít
have a great one in it. I had all three of those kinds of
classes. I was especially pleased with my final selections.
AP.....Do you have plans to become a fully licensed
MS.....I really enjoy the breeding and exhibiting parts of
the sport. I struggle with the idea of exhibiting and
judging in the same breed, especially if you are specialing
a dog. Any time you are judging a breed in which you are
trying to campaign a dog into the Top 20, you are asking for
negative thoughts and statements from the competition, no
matter how honest and unpolitical you are. A few years ago
we showed a bitch we were specialing to a judge who also was
campaigning a bitch special. The two bitches were running
neck and neck for the top bitch in the country. The judge
gave the BOB that day to a class bitch. Makes you wonder! So
as of now, Iíll stick to being an exhibitor only.
AP.....Speaking of the Futurity, how did you feel about the
recent health testing initiative?
MS.....As I stated in my Futurity program biography, one of
the reasons we get so heavily involved with this great
breed, is because of the youngsters. The Futurity is most
peopleís favorite part of the National. ďIf it ainít broke,
donít fix itĒ.
AP.....Do you believe
health screenings are used properly?
MS.....I know of a fairly well known breeder who tries to
imply they are testing experts. I, also know when a dog of
theirs being tested does not have high enough results, they
donít send them in. On at least one occasion, they still
bred the bitch, finished a male pup out of the litter, and
then used him frequently to produce more pups.
I wish it were so simple that health tests would eliminate
health problems. But, when you can breed two
animals itís possible to get no dysphasic pups, and then
breed two high scoring animals and get a box full of
dysplasia. One has to wonder if testing is the answer.
I really believe that careful monitoring of all pups a
breeder produces is a much better way to go.
AP.....Have you noticed any changes in the structure and function
of the Parent Club?
The people who serve as officers, chairmen, and board
members for the Parent Club should be commended for all the
financial and time sacrifices they make. You have to be a
person of some means just to be able to afford to be on the
board or an officer. However many meetings they are required
to attend, at locations all over the country makes
participating very expensive. I know I couldnít handle it
financially. From that standpoint, the people who serve are
to be applauded.
However, and I donít know if these comments falls under the
heading of structure and function, but there is a perception
out there that there is too much distance between the GDCA
leadership and the rank and file.
It doesnít help that the last 3 or 4 presidents of the GDCA
are not actively involved in breeding. To my knowledge, they
may not even have Great Danes living in/at their homes.
Maybe they donít need to. The ďnuts and boltsĒ of our
avocation are the breeders. Somehow some way there has to be
a closer relationship between breeders and the GDCA
Then there is the ďgood old boyĒ syndrome. There are a lot
of judges who serve as officers and on the board of
directors. When judging, if one board member awards another
board member or officer, past or present, a win, then they
are just asking for an increased amount of ringside
negativity, even when the award was a deserving one. Itís
sort of like judging and specialing at the same time. We
already have too much gossip at ringside.
AP.....How do you feel
about the state of the National?
MS.....I look forward to the National every year. The
National is a huge undertaking. There are some underlying
causes that make its management somewhat cumbersome. It may
be moving toward an impossible financial situation. Some are
predicting its demise, as we now know it. I know there
are those who feel the National has become too much of a
social event; that many enter and attend, just to have a
good time. I donít see anything wrong with that as long as
they take home with them a better idea of how to breed,
exhibit, train, and care for our breed.
AP.....When did you first become involved in the breeding of
MS.....Iíve always believed that exhibiting and breeding go
hand in hand. I didnít always want to be showing animals
that I bought from someone else. You have to start with
someone elseís dogs, hopefully good stock, and then start
breeding on your own. Breeding was definitely an outgrowth
of my showing activities. Fortunately, I got lucky with some
early acquisitions and some good advice. I selected my
foundation dogs from successful breeders who produced
animals that I liked, and went from there. My priorities
were fairly simple-----to produce beautiful, healthy and
sound Great Danes. Iím sure every breeder believes this, but
Iím proud of the Great Danes we have produced, and rank some
of them up there with the best.
To me, itís just as important to be able to look out in my
back yard at beautiful healthy Great Danes during the week,
as it is to earn a win on the weekend.
does type play into all of this?
A Great Dane should have a distinctive look. Our hobby likes
to call it ďThe Look of EaglesĒ. There should be no hint of
common. No snipey muzzles, no short thick necks, and no
doubt as to what breed it is. Elegance personified. I see
too many mastiff looking Danes and on the other side of the
spectrum, too many Doberman looking Danes. Those breeders
who donít have good heads like to say ďthey donít run on
their heads.Ē But, if they donít have a good head, they
donít have breed type.
AP.....Describe your ideal dog.
Well surprise, surprise, you have to start with a great
head. This is a must. It should be rectangular, long,
distinguished, expressive and finely chiseled, just like the
standard suggests. The planes of the skull and muzzle must
be parallel. The length of the muzzle from the nose to the
stop is equal to the distance from the stop to the occiput.
The muzzle from the top should be wide at the bridge and
flat on the sides. The head should be angular, not rounded,
from all sides. The eyes give the head its expression. They
should be almond shaped, dark, and tight. There should be no
doubt as to the dogís sex. The maleís head leaves no
question as to his masculinity, and the bitch is more
I love a long, muscular, well-arched neck with a correct
set. It should flow into the back smoothly with no hint of
dips or roachiness. In other words, the back is flat and it
too, flows into a croup, which is broad and slightly
sloping. The tail, broad at the base, falls straight and
reaches the hock. When the dog gaits, the tail should not be
raised above the level of the back.
The front and hindquarters should be well angulated. We have
far too many straight fronts and rears in our breed today.
Front angulation is probably the most difficult part of
structure for observers to discern, but the shoulder blade
should form a right angle with the upper armÖThey should be
equal in length. A full chest and brisket should reach to
the elbow. At the other end, I love a well let down hock
that is perfectly straight with the other leg. Well-arched
toes on all four feet are desirable.
Temperament wise, the dog should fit your personality. My
favorite home companion is a dog that when you want him near
you, heís always there, and when you want him out of your
hair he knows it and goes and lays down.
AP.....How do you
formulate your breedings to try and achieve this, in other
words, what do you take into account when contemplating a
MS......I have found that the characteristics I really wish
to maintain can best be produced in a litter by doubling up
on it. In other words, if I want to be sure I donít lose a
long arched neck connected to a good/great head, I breed two
animals that have that attribute. If I am attempting to
acquire a feature, you must do your homework and breed to an
animal which fairly consistently produces the trait you are
attempting to acquire. Usually you wonít get a litter box
full of what youíre attempting to acquire, but youíll get
some of it. If your base animal is good enough, youíll still
have a quality litter.
AP.....What weight do
you give the pedigree?
MS.....Almost, if not all, our breedings are line-bred. So
obviously, we pay close attention to pedigrees. I think this
is especially important when dealing with health issues. The
line that we have been dealing with has been amazingly free
of major health problems.
AP.....Give an example of something you feel you have improved upon
in your dogs, and explain your thought process in
I like to think my dogs are fairly consistent in exhibiting
breed type. Our fronts have gotten better and angulation has
improved. We continue to be concerned about just about all
our parts and temperaments.
AP.....What are the qualities of a good brood bitch?
MS.....She produces fairly consistent get. By that I mean,
she almost always produces the qualities you do not want to
lose. Hopefully, she allows the attributes you are
attempting to glean from the male. The get are as good as or
better than she is. We have been very fortunate in this
regard, as we now have living with us a bitch, which has
produced 11 champions, and still counting.
The same as for the brood bitch.
managed several stud dogs successfully, how did you
MS.....I really enjoy seeing Great Danes produced by my dogs
compete. I get as much of a charge seeing one of those,
owned by someone else winning, as I get when my own have
success. Iíve been very fortunate to have acquired and
produce some very prepotent males. Then itís a matter of
being willing to deal with the stress, time, and work that a
good breeding requires. No two breedings are the same.
Bitches cooperate at different levels/degrees. Stud dogs all
have different levels of expertise. All bitch owners bring
differences to the table. Some times everything goes very
smoothly. Some times they donít.
When you have a really good stud dog, which Iíve been
fortunate to own, they can really make the whole business go
more smoothly. Those are the ones who know much better than
the bitchís vet, the bitchís owner, and you, when the bitch
is really ready to be bred.
AP.....Do you feel you
have developed Lost Creek into a bloodline?
MS.....No. However, I would like to think of Lost Creek as
an extension of Rojon.
AP.....What is a
bloodline and how has its roll changed in the breed.
MS.....A long time ago I heard a prominent breeder refer to
the need for large numbers of uteruses as a means of moving
their breeding forward. That was just their way of saying
that in some ways, breeding a bloodline is a numbers game.
Each individual breeding can only accomplish so much. So
that in order to take a bloodline from point A to point B,
there has to be a lot of animals involved. The day of the
huge kennel with a hundred dogs or more is long gone. So
today, in order for a bloodline to be developed or to exist,
several breeders with similar likes and beliefs have got to
coordinate their efforts, so that at the end their
partnership produces dogs that can qualify as a bloodline. I
think Mary Anne Zanetos, Paula Heller, the Texas connection,
the Lynns, Sue Mahany, Lost Creek and some others, come
fairly close to fulfilling those requirements for the Rojon
does the mentality of building a bloodline differ from
MS.....The main difference is that the bloodline breeder is
looking at 2, 3, or more generations down the line, to
acquire exactly what the want in a dog. Too many of todayís
breeders do convenience breedings. They breed two animals
just because they have both dogs in their home, or nearby.
Or one of the animals belongs to a friend. Or they just want
to see what Specimen A will produce. Theyíre hoping for a
miracle, and those donít happen very often.
you believe there is a correlation between cropping, color
MS.....Yes I do. Itís not rocket science to do the
percentages. Too many rescues are either uncropped or of
color or both.
AP.....Who do you
MS.....There are a lot of people in Great Danes that I
admire. I still consider myself a novice, and I look up to a
lot of people. A breeder that I donít know that well, but am
an admirer of her work is Pat Ciampa. Her dogs just keep
getting better and better. She has especially improved her
heads in recent years. She had several entered in the recent
Futurity and the pup she had in the 5-7 month puppy dog
class I would have loved to have taken home. He was Reserve
Winners Dog in the Specialty the next day and I believe has
since finished. He has a sister who is now being specialed
and is doing a lot of winning, even though she is still very
Hardly a year goes by that Pat doesnít win some of the
breeding awards at the National. Her breeding comes as close
to producing a bloodline as anyone.
I admire Dana Cline. Despite his having some serious health
problems recently, Dana has not missed a beat in his
tireless efforts to educate judges about Great Danes. Iíve
seen him on numerous occasions take an all-rounder or a
provisional aside, with someoneís dog as a subject, and try
to explain the strengths and weaknesses of the animal. With
his background, he brings much more to the table than this,
but that is one example. He frequently speaks out on what
makes a good Great Dane. What a great handler he was.
I admire Jeff and Patrice Lawrence. Not surprisingly, their
early lives growing up in families with lots of Great Danes
around them, has given them invaluable insights regarding
the breed. They run their business of caring for and
handling Danes with great expertise. After spending enough
time with a dog, I believe they both can get inside the
dogís head and bring out its best performance as well or
better than anyone. They are impeccably honest and will tell
an owner when the owner is wasting their money. They have
very enviable records. Together, at the National they have
won either Winners Dog or Winners Bitch or Best of Breed
more times than anyone, including the last several in
succession. Jeff, also, has won a Top 20, as well as two
Best of Breeds and a group placement at Westminster. They do
all this without being political. They are first class in
every way. They have a good working knowledge of judges, and
wonít take a clientís dog to a judge where it canít win.
I admire Ray Cataldi Jr. I truly believe Ray knows more
about the Great Dane than anyone in the country. His Lynn
Lowy interview, which appeared in the Great Dane Reporter
several years ago, ought to be required reading for any
person starting their exhibiting and breeding careers. It
still appears on the Rojon Great Dane web site. I go back
and read it every so often.
There are others I admire. These are just a few, and Iíve
learned from all of them. The list would go on forever.
AP.....Who are some of
the dogs which you thought were exemplary?
MS.....Thatís a tough one because there are so many. With my
terrible memory for names, Iím sure to goof up on some of
them. Anyhow, here are my ďFab 5Ē dogs and bitches not in
any particular order. Dogs: Ch. Rojonís Captain Fowler, Ch.
Shannonís Tycho Brahe, Ch. Temple Dellís Odin v Branstock,
Ch. Rojonís Oh Boy v Mecca Dane, and Ch. Lost Creekís Joseph
Dane Lane. Bitches: Ch. Rojonís Rachel Rachel, Ch.
Brierdaneís Indian Amber, Ch. Rojonís Rumor Has It, Rojonís
Daiquiri O Mango, and Ch Lost Creekís Candle N The Wind. Oh,
and I would have to add Ch. Tinkerís Tulip Time v Brislyn to
my bitch list.
As I consider the list, one characteristic that they really
jumps out, is they all have tons of type.
AP.....Looking back what are some of your most memorable
times in dogs?
Iíll give two. The first one was finishing our first
champion. The dog was Ch Rojonís Don-Sue Luke v Lost Creek
and the show was in Collinsville, Illinois. John Stusek
handled Luke, who had accumulated 10 points starting with a
5 point major under Clare Lincoln at the Lake Shore
Specialty in April. So Luke needed 5 points to finish and
one of my all time favorites, Bob Gregory was the judge. The
show was a 5-point major and Luke won to finish in two
months, before his 18-month birthday. The thing that made it
so very memorable was the fact that my wife and all my kids
and their spouses were there to witness the event. Thatís
the only time in our exhibiting
career that they were all there at the
The second memory is being selected to judge the 2005
Futurity. As I said before, I will always be thankful to
those who made it possible.
AP.....Reflecting back, if you could start over, what would
you do differently?
MS.....Wow, thatís a tough one, too. Really, I wouldnít
change much. It has really been a great ride with lots of
highs and some lows. The lows just make you appreciate the
highs that much more.
AP.....How about your
Any time some one implies
that their way of doing things is the only way. The BARF
people tend to be a little that way, but this applies to
anyone who tries to suggest that their method of feeding or
inoculating or training or any other method of dealing with
their dogs is the only way.
Advertisers who include in their ads the statement ďas close
to the standard as you can getĒ.
Advertisers who touch up their photos to eliminate obvious
Owners of uncropped dogs, who when they win, feel obligated
to announce that the dog is uncropped. So what. Can you
imagine what would happen if every time a cropped dog won
the owner announced Ďíand itís cropped!!Ē
Judges who try to pimp for entries.
Exhibitors who go back to the same judge with the same dog
an excessive number of times. Iím talking 5 or 6 times.
At the very top of this list go the rescue people. Pookie
Kostuk has a leg up in Heaven for all the time and effort
she has give to this very important undertaking. There are
many like her all over the country that do a fabulous job
and we need to help them all we can. After a long period of
service, I understand Pookie is stepping down and will be
replaced by Mary Barnett.
I am really impressed with the obedience and agility people,
also. Iím jealous of the level of rapport they must develop
with their dogs in order to get them to execute all those
And finally, all the great Great Dane people we have
metÖpeople who we consider family and would never have known
were it not for this wonderful breed of dog---The Great