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Junior Exhibitors - Papillon Breeders Of The Future

by Ruth Ann Ford – Forevr Papillons - Published TNT Magazine 2006

 Longtime breeders influence the trends, style and changes in a breed.  Some breeders are fortunate enough to hand the future of their breedingMrs Clarice Babbidge, Jaclair Papillons Canada,1969 program down to their children to carry on their tradition in dogs.  In many cases, these families have made a significant impact on their breed while working hard to produce a look by their own breeding.  They have improved the quality of the breed by many sleepless nights, whelping litters and putting countless miles, by road, and by air attending dog shows.  The end results are their kennel names maturing into icons to be held in great respect.  A few of those notable Papillon breeder families that have had decades of breeder distinctions are:Mrs Clarice Babbidge, Jaclair Papillons Canada,1974


The late Mrs. Irvine R. Cromwell, who joined P.C.A. in 1948, bred and showed in partnership with her mother, Mrs. Dallas Rupe.  In 1993, The Papillon Club of America National Specialty show was dedicated to Mrs. Cromwell.  At that time, she was 80+ years old and still sharing her home with the Irvine Petites Papillons.  

 Clarice Babbidge, of Jaclair, imported her first Papillon in 1960 and the Jaclair Kennel has 5 Best In Show winners to it’s credit. Today, the Jaclair name is carried on by her daughter, Carol Babbidge McLaughlin, who co-owned Winners Dog and Best of Winners with Mary Jo Loye (Josandre’) at the 2004 Papillon Club of America National Specialty Show in Portland, Oregon.

Mra Carol McLaughlin, Jaclair Papillons, 1969

 Occasionally, influential breeders also leave their legacy to their adopted dog family that they mentor.  That was the case for Mary Jo Loye of Josandre Papillons’.  Mary Jo, another legacy in Papillons, was just a teenager in the 1960’s and about the same age of Carol McLaughlin (Jaclair) when Mary Jo, and her mother, first visited Jaclair Papillons.  Clarice Babbage took her under her Judge: Ms Michelle Billings, Handler, Ms MaryJo Loye Josandre, Mrs Pearl George, Kvarwing and soon Mary Jo had become part of the Jaclair clan going to dog shows with them regularly.  When Mary Jo was ready, Clarice Babbidge made sure that she had a good Papillon – Can Am BIS Jaclair's Doodles of Josandre'. Including Doodles, Mary Jo has owned or bred 6 Best In Show Papillons.  Like Jaclair Papillons, Josandre’ has also given back to the breed by playing an influential part in many breeding programs and is still a successful Papillon/Breeder/Owner/Handler.  Pictured is Mary Jo Loye and Pearl George (Kvar) BOB P.C.A. 1982 with BIS CH Kvar Gone A Hunting.

 Tracy Halverson Burdick, of Denzel, started her love for the dog show ring at the age of 13, and purchased her first Papillon in 1975.  Pictured iMrs Tracy Halverson Burdick, Denzel Papillons, 1975s Tracy, just a mere 30 years ago, winning Best Jr. Handler, showing CH Kavar Athena’s Nimbo UDT,who was bred by Pearl George, of Kavar Papillons, and purchased in 1974 from the late Lee Drexler (Pago Papillons, Ohio) as a three-year old, retired champion.  Today, there are over 150 homebred (or co-bred) Denzel champions and performance titleholders, including two Multiple Miss Krista Burdick, Denzel Papillons, 2005Best In Show Paps, CH Denzel Tiger By The Tail, and CH Denzel Loteki Crown Prince.  In 2004, Tracy’s daughter Krista was seen showing a lovely Denzel representative at the PCA National Specialty in Portland, Oregon. Pictured is Krista, her first weekend out as a junior handler and just a month past her 9th birthday, when she became eligible under the newly changed Jr. Showmanship rules (lowering the age limit from 10 to 9 years).  This was at the Plum Creek KC of Colorado in February, 2005 and she is showing CH Cadaga China Rose (Kirby daughter).  Will this new family team jointly carry on their kennel name for many years; eventually handing the future over to their daughter?  Only time will tell that story. Ms Gia Garofalo, Involo Papillons, 1998

Thinking about famous breed family teams made me wonder what drives the child of a Papillon breeder to want to carry on as a breeder/owner/handler.  My thoughts went directly to a young lady Michael & Donna Garofalo, Involo Papillons, 1999that I have watched grow up around the Papillon and I decided to interview this young lady.  The first time I noticed her was in 1998, her parents fairly new to the breed themselves who had not too long before this been bitten by the show bug, and knowing none of the trial and tribulations of being a successful breeder/handler.  The family was just out to have fun with a weekend at a local Papillon Specialty.  The young lady I am referring to is Gia Garofalo, of InVolo Papillons.  In the past year, she has solidified herself as a contender in the Papillon ring.  Her wins in the past are an impressive resume for any 14 year old competing in the sport of dogs.  

Returning to the spring of 1998, my first memorable vision of Gia was a pleasant one.  She seemed to be a happy kid with a quick smile, expressive eyes, pleasingly plump and lovely long dark hair that draped her shoulders while sitting in the grass ringside watching her father compete in the Best of Breed ring.  Gia had a young, lovely Papillon bitch sitting with her that eventually would be the foundation of InVolo Papillons. 

2000 PCA National, L-R June Peterson-SernaStedt, Ruth Ann Ford - Forevr,
Gia Garofalo-Involo, John Oulton-Cadaga, Paula Ray, Marquis

By the year 2000, she had her own show dog and I found myself competing against her for BOB at the PCA Kansas City National.  She and I were pulled out by Mr. Shaw and considered for Best In Specialty, with Gia’s dog Peter, and my dog Bravissimo, both earning Awards of MMiss Gia Garofalo, PCA 2000erit that day.  At that time, she was just 10 years old, and I at 40 a seasoned handler at that point in time, couldn’t believe I had to work so hard to compete against this kid who stood out with her big bow standing barely a foot higher than the judge’s examination table.  Moving on 4 years, and after many training classes, numerous conformation Champions, and a slew of Best Junior Handler in Show wins would find her present at the 2004 National Specialty in Portland, Oregon.  After observing her winning Best Junior Handler in Specialty the prior day, she would show her newest protégé, Tallulah, in the open bitch class.  With a lot of competition from more experienced handlers, she would hold her own and win the class giving her the right to compete for Winners Bitch.  The day would come full circle for Gia as she and Tallulah would eventually go on to capture the honor of Winners Bitch to complete her championship, and possibly the youngest person to ever do so at a Papillon National Specialty Show.  The following day she would take her rightful place alongside the other Champions and compete for Best In Specialty Show at the follow-up show.  Although there were many All Breed Best In Show winners present, Gia competed as she had so many times Mrs Donna Garofalo, Involo Papillons, 2003 with future BIS Bitch Tallulahbefore.  With complete confidence in her abilities, and her bitch, they went on to win Best In Specialty Show at this prestigious show.  Even more impressive was the fact that Gia finished her weekend undefeated; winning every class she competed in while exhibiting with the composure of a person three times her age.  She, and her “Tallulah”, have gone on to many Best of Breeds, Group Placements and they finished last year as the Number One Papillon Bitch (All Systems).  Even though this resume is impressive, it does not give you any insight into what makes the daughter of a Papillon breeder want to continue in this growing and competitive Pap world we revolve in.  With that in mind, I spent some time recently after a local regional specialty and asked Gia a few questions.  I hope you enjoy reading the answers as much as I enjoyed getting to know her a bit better during our short interview.

 1)  When was the first time you realized you wanted to show a Papillon?Ms Gia Garofalo & Tallulah WB 2004 PCA

The first time I realized that I wanted to show a Papillon was when my first show dog, Peter, was born.  I fell in love with him and knew that I’d just love to show and finish him.

2) How old were you when you were first showed a pap to a winners dog or winners bitch award?

 I was eight when I first showed a pap to a winners dog award.  I finished Peter in less than two months with three straight majors.

3) How many times have you competed at a Papillon National Specialty show?

 I’ve competed at the Papillon National Specialty Show three times.

 4) Besides your parents, what one person has influenced you the most in dogs?

 There are so many dog people that have been kind enough to teach me things such as handling advice, ring procedure, grooming tips, and good sportsmanship feedback that it would be tough to name just one.  But, if I had to name one person, it would be William (“Billy”) Miller of Bayard Kennels, for all of the hours he spent helping me and for never being too busy.  I think all of his patience, friendship, and continued support will affect me forever and make me a better dog person in the long run.

 Ms Gia Garofalo, Best Jr. PCA, 20035)  When your family is planning a breeding, do you ever play an important part on the decision of what mate to use? and if yes, How?

 Sometimes I am part of the decision….  There have been many nights that we all put our heads together and brainstorm. I give suggestions on who I think will cross fault and what I think would be a good choice. We look at pedigrees, discuss past litters, and evaluate puppies to help decide what we would change. 

6)      Have you ever whelped a puppy on your own?  If so how old were you

The first time I whelped a puppy on my own when I was seven years old and it was by accident.  My mom asked me to watch a bitch who she thought was finished delivering puppies and, while she was in the bathroom cleaning up, another was born and I was there all alone to deliver the baby! 

7)       If you had to pick one which would you rather be. A handler? or A breeder? 

If I could only pick one, I would probably want to be a handler but I’d love to be do both in the future.

 8)       If you had a dream that you could go anywhere in the world to show your Pap and win, what place and win would that be?

 If I could go anywhere in the world to show my Pap and win, it would be the Westminster Kennel Club with the World Show being a close second.

 9)       What other breeds of dog have you shown besides the Papillon

I’ve shown a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, a Miniature Schnauzer, an Australian Shepherd, a Chinese Crested and Chihuahuas.

 No interview would be complete about without mentioning Gia is a straight A student with all honors classes.  She loves dance and choir, is a student council representative in school, and volunteers in the community.  On any given day if you ask this lovely teenager what she wants to be, she will smile up at you, toss her long, dark brown hair and tell you she wants to be a handler and a breeder!  With that same smile still in her eyes, she has been heard to say I love the dogs.  Win, lose, or draw, there is nowhere else Gia would rather be than at a dog show.  I can only wonder what encore her future will bring to the sport of dogs and know I will enjoy watching this young lady, and others, evolve into prestigious breeder – owner - handlers with esteemed legacies to share.  

The future quality Papillons will remain intact as long as we have young new faces wanting to follow in the foot steps of their family and new fanciers looking for a mentor who will adopt them as part of their Papillon clan. 

*All rights reserved, No part of this article, pages, either text or image may be used for any purpose other than personal use. Therefore, reproduction, modification, storage in a retrieval system or retransmission, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, or otherwise, for reasons other than personal use, is strictly prohibited without prior written consent of Danny & Ruth Ann Ford and Forevr Papillons. 


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