Star and me at one of our early Shows. Star was my first Bichon, and my best Friend. I was lucky enough to be her human for 18 years.
It all started when I was just 7 and half years old.
My parents bought a Bichon for my older sister. Thank goodness they knew enough (back in 1979) to research a reputable breeder. “Becky” arrived in our home and it was love at first sight. My mother thought it might be nice to get her daughters involved in dog shows as a hobby. Little did I know then that these white powder puffs would become part of my life forever. Of course, I never would have been able to accomplish all that I have with this breed if it wasn’t for the partnership of my mother. Thank goodness for my mother. I was too young to compete in dogs shows at first, so I watched and absorbed as much as I could. We developed a good friendship with our breeder and other Bichon breeders. I tried to learn as much as possible about caring for, grooming, showing, raising and loving Bichons. The next thing I knew, I was showing in Junior Handling classes. I won the Best Bichon Junior Handler in America award for several years during my youth. It was very exciting. I could never have been so successful without the love and dedication of my first, very own Bichon – “Star”. She was my best friend growing up. Star lived to be 18 years of age. I was so blessed to have her in my life. We were an amazing team.
As time went on, I decided that I had outgrown juniors and wanted to compete in the breed confirmation ring to earn championships on our dogs. I was hooked! Out of all the memorable moments I’ve had, there are a few that stand out above the rest. Winning Best of Winners from the Bred-by class at the 2004 National Specialty; Handling both the Winners Dog and Winners Bitch at the 2006 National Specialty under Breeder-Judge Ann Hearn; and winning Best of Breed at the 2002 Eukanuba Invitational. One of the all time greatest and most exciting days for me was winning Best of Breed at the 2005 Westminster Kennel Club dog show handling my boy “Austin Powers”. (To learn more about Austin – click on “Austin’s Story”).Traveling and meeting new people afforded me the opportunity to develop great friendships throughout the world. I imported a male from Finland and became friends with his breeder. She was kind enough to allow me to stay with her and study the bloodlines behind my boy “Perry”. I was even able to attend a World Winner Dog Show in Helsinki, Finland with my baby girl “Isis”. She won best female and was awarded World Winner 1998 title. It was very exciting and rewarding. (Click on “Isis’s Story” for more information on my girl. She is still stunning today at 14 ½ years of age!) Over the years, my mother and I became good friends with a breeder from Brazil. I was able to spend time in Sao Paulo and learned about the heritage of some of our lines and brought in new lines.
A breeder from China contacted me and we developed a friendship. Eventually, I was flown to Beijing to teach him how to groom and show. I can honestly say that my dogs have given me so many great opportunities to learn. Over the years I have developed such incredible friendships with people. I thank them for their continued support and loyalty.
The Doriann Team -
Stephanie, Carol, Michelle & Gordon
I have been grooming Bichons for just as long as I have been showing. I entered an International Grooming Competition for the first time in 2008 and won my division. However, showing is what I really love to do.
In 2009 I was nominated by the Bichon Frise Club of America to judge the National Sweepstakes Competition in St. Louis Missouri. The recognition and invitation was an incredible honor. It was a wonderful experience. I understand how important our breeders are to the welfare of our breed. Incredible work and devotion to the breed drive our breeders to continue to strive for excellence. That is why I was extremely proud, honored and excited to be judge the 2009 BFCA Sweepstakes. Keeping it in the family, my mother was asked in the fall of 2009 to judge the Pennsylvania Specialty. My mother was also President of the Bichon Frise Club of NY for many years.
I have since expanded my human family. My husband Gordon is a wonderful partner in life and supports and loves our dogs. My new son (our little miracle) will grow up to love and respect animals as we do. As you will see in our photos, our dogs are a main part of our life. We will always have Bichons in our life.
We strive to raise healthy, happy, beautiful Bichons. This is my passion and a hobby, not a business. We take the best care possible in raising our dogs and future offspring. They are our pets and family members first and foremost. I can’t imagine my life without my Bichons being a part of it.