Take a bow (wow)
Television anchor Randy Price, 61, on why show dogs are like show people – born to it.
How did you and your husband get your start in this?
We had a cocker spaniel and decided to get another. By accident, we ended up buying this dog, and [he] had a great pedigree. We decided to show this one dog.
What was his name?
His registered name was Cutts Island Happy Hooligan. His name around the house was Burt. So he started winning. One thing leads to the other. Then we got another puppy, and we had three dogs, then four dogs, then five, six. . . . At one point, we had 20 dogs.
How do you know who’s who?
I know their barks. I know their poops. I know everything about them. They are all totally unique.
Is it true you built a customized kennel in your home in Kittery Point, Maine?
The lower level is all dog. We have 11, mostly retired champions, that live downstairs. People ask, “Don’t you have a dog that you bring upstairs and give special treatment to?” And we’re like, “And torture the rest of them?”
Who has been your biggest winner so far?
Rudy. He would be invited to Westminster every year. He now lives down in Carver. He does a lot of therapy work. We wanted him to have a nice retirement.
Rudy’s son, Boston Bruin, competes this weekend in the National Cocker Spaniel Show in Sturbridge. Any predictions?
He is a far more dynamic dog. Whether he ever has the acclaim, we [don’t] know. They need to be “show” mentality – “on” the minute they get out there. Some are naturally like that. It’s just like with humans.
Was Bruin named after the hockey team?
We’re not necessarily fans, but it’s a neat local connection. The irony is, on the day the Bruins won the Stanley Cup, a Canadian judge gave him best in the sporting group award in a show.
This sounds like a full-time job.
Oh, it is. There are shows almost every weekend. We don’t go [to them all]; the handlers do.
What’s kept you going?
It just fascinated us. You’re drawn to the magic in the showroom. When you get in, there’s a lot of dirty work. It’s political, like any competition. It always starts with the love of the animal.