My canine obsession started with a birthday celebration. My husband, always good at creatively marking milestones, had an idea to take me to the Piedmont Kennel Club dog show as a special birthday date. This was April 2011, Charlotte North Carolina. What we discovered on arrival were gorgeous dogs all displayed to perfection thanks to an industry of grooming: owners and handlers primping and fluffing; massive hair blowers readied for use; sprays, powders, chalks for the fine touches; silk hairbows with emeralds and rubies; and squeaky toys and treats to capture each dog’s attention.
Within this grand scene, something more immediate caught my eyes and captured my attention: an exquisite, brilliant white Pekingese, posing on a large pillow cloud. Immediately, a friendly voice invited me to approach and extend my hand so this little treasure could sniff me. Not aware then, but in the mellow eye of retrospect I now see that this was the beginning of an affair. I was about to fall in love.
The invitation to approach was extended by that friendly handler, Ruth West. The dog was BIS BISS GCH Windemere’s Different Shade of White, “Silver Streak”.
In short order, I did some research and eventually placed a phone call to Joy Thoms of the famous Windemere Kennel and Windemere white Pekingese in Molalla, Oregon. We spoke at length, and she generously took the time and summoned the patience to educate me on the breed and encourage my first steps. This experience has demonstrated to me one of the most notable marks of a quality breeder: to use each interaction to engage and build rapport with a potential new owner, all the while promoting understanding and know-how.
I eventually acquired my first Pekingese: Windermere’s Touch of Frost, Paddington. He was the first of my many champions. And over more than a decade now, this shared love of the breed has blossomed into a deep and rich friendship with Joy Thoms herself. And it is an honor to share and attempt to carry on the legacy of these wonderful white Pekingese. As a mentor and now a partner, Joy and I have finished many more Windemere champions. We have slowly been transferring her kennel out here to the East Coast to continue these white Windemere lines here in the Carolinas.
A little information on myself. I grew up overseas, South America and Africa. I speak English, Spanish and French. Eventually my family settled in Washington DC where I completed high school. I then went on to college at McGill University in Montreal Canada and then medical school at Drexel School of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA. I currently reside in Charlotte NC and work as a specialist in the field of medical oncology/hematology with Levine Cancer Institute.
My husband and I have raised 5 children. Our family has been my greatest joy and all been in the show ring over the years. We are active in our church and our faith is evident in all areas of our lives. This includes the naming of Pekingese from time to time: Father Abraham, Moses, and of course a Mary and Joseph from a litter born over Christmas. We are also passionate about the Carolina Panthers and Pekingese have been named after NFL football greats, a fun talking point when I was new to shows.
The biggest excitement for me over the last year has been the opportunity to breed back to the original Singlewell Tonic from Pam Edmonds in the UK. This was a beautiful white puppy boy Joy Thoms imported from England and is the foundation of much of her white line. We used frozen semen from 1998 for a breeding with a glamourous bitch CH Windemere’s Hope Diamond to produce Windemere’s Tonic 2.0. He is actively showing and currently being used in our breeding program and is a great addition to continue the legacy of the glorious white Windemere Pekingese.