To tell you something about myself, I have been active in dogs all my life, but in 1973, I began working at a pet shop in the San Fernando Valley, California, and learning the dog grooming business. I worked at the pet shop until I graduated High School and came back to it after I graduated college awaiting my “real” job. These 7 years of experience allowed me to learn from those who were active in the show circuit and taught me how to properly groom and care for the dogs.
Then, in 1981, I became active in Rottweilers and wanted to learn the handling end of things. While I took many handling classes and showed my dogs myself, it wasn’t until I met Cheryl Cates – a well respected professional handler here on the West Coast, that I really started to learn to handle dogs. Cheryl started showing my dogs for me back in 1984 and through the years, she has taught me about handling and professionalism in the world of dog sports. All those years of watching and studying her as well as seeking her input whenever I could, I learned how to handle dogs. To date, I owe her all my gratitude for her time and patience with me and am thankful that she is my friend.
In the conformation ring, I have had the pleasure of showing several dogs to Group wins and placements, multiple AKC National/Regional Specialty and USRC National/Regional wins, as well as several to their championships and pointed many more. In 2003, I traveled to New York for the first time to Westminster and was fortunate enough to show the dog that won Best of Breed and that was quite a thrill. I use the word pleasure because it is an honor to show many of these dogs and the dog itself is the winner, not me, and I am just a means to presentation to these awards and recognition.
At this point in my life, I love showing dogs; however, my life does not revolve around dogs or dog shows. My family is my first priority and dogs are my passion, but in between, I try and hold down a full time job. So to that end, I show dogs professionally on a limited basis and occasionally board dogs that I am actively showing. I show actively in the AKC as well as USRC and occasionally go to Canada and Mexico. I try to emphasize local shows and when I travel, it is usually for a specialty.
When the dogs are with me, I treat them as one of my own. They eat holistic dog foods, typically Acana Wholesome Grains Red Meat Diet and raw Small Batch Chicken, unless a special diet is requested. If you would like your dog to eat a special food, please bring it with them. I will medicate with any vitamins or medication needed. The dogs have indoor/outdoor runs and have an acre to run on for a few hours a day. The dogs sleep in crates inside the house. The dogs are bathed the night before shows unless time dictates otherwise.
A link to my rates is below. All fees are due at the time of service unless other arrangements have been pre-arranged. All cash awards are retained by Nighthawk and all other the awards go to owners. When traveling, all expenses are divided equally among all dogs being shown. Expenses include travel, hotels, parking, and rental cars, if applicable.