breeders influence the trends, style and changes in a breed. Some
breeders are fortunate enough to hand the future of their breeding
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:
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
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.
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
wing 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 is
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
Best 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.
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.
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
that 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
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.
National, L-R June Peterson-SernaStedt, Ruth Ann Ford - Forevr,
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 Merit 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
before. 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.
When was the first time you realized you wanted to show a Papillon?
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?
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?
competed at the Papillon National Specialty Show three times.
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.
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?
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
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!
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
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?
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.
What other breeds of dog have you shown besides the
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.