My introduction to dogs began at a very young age. My brother and I grew up in the family business at a boarding kennel (and then two and later came a grooming shop) and filled each day after school with new adventures with the dogs. I was active in junior handling and 4H, placing at the state 4H dog show. The best part of the whole year for me was 4H dog camp! My family raised herding dogs and we eventually spent every weekend at the local Schutzhund club with our German Shepherd dogs. When we weren’t doing dogs, I traveled the country showing American Quarter Horses in All-Around events on the very competitive 14-18 Youth circuit. I qualified for the Youth World Show with many of my equine partners, and exhibited and placed at the Quarter Horse Congress. I went on to ride for my university Equestrian Team and was Captain and President while there.
Fast forward to life as an adult and I wanted to re-enter the dog show world, as horses were too expensive a hobby for me to re-enter. As a professional groomer, dogs seemed like the “right” fit. I had always had a dog, knew I would always have one, and dabbled in performance events nonstop. I wanted a dog that I could use for grooming competitions and landed on a white (cream) miniature poodle for the coat and what it could teach me in my profession, and for the temperament and the intelligence. “Violet” was the best first “real” poodle I could have asked for– a trusty companion and a forgiving partner, Violet opened many doors and for that I will be eternally grateful.
Guided by great friends and mentors, Ann Rairigh and Julia Kinsey of Litilann’s Poodles, I took over the show lead for FroYo in Fall 2020 and began campaigning my first special. 2021 was a year that exceeded all of my expectations in the show ring. In the beginning of 2021, I set a goal to be in the Top Ten of the National Owner Handled Series for Miniature Poodles, and we ended 2021 at #2! FroYo also maintained a space in the Top Ten Breed and All-Breed for 2021, much of the year being in the Top 5! This year will go down in history as a huge learning experience, and solidified what I love about the breed, while allowing me to expand my horizons and really see where the Camarada dogs can have an impact on Miniatures in the future. While Violet opened many doors for me in the poodle community, FroYo opened many doors for me in and out of the show ring, and taught me a lot about being a partner. I look forward to building upon this with generations of Camarada dogs in the future!
When I am not at a dog show, you can find me at home managing teams of groomers in Louisville, KY for See Spot Grooming, as well as representing Wahl Animal USA as an Elite Team Member educating groomers across the globe. I also offer private coaching to groomers, and am a Mentor for Paragon Pet School, and compete in grooming competitions. My life really is all about grooming, and you can always find me brushing, scissoring, or planning a new hairstyle for somebody!
Why “Camarada”? Violet’s journey introduced me to so many amazing poodle people which ultimately led me to my kennel name. Camarada is the spanish word for camaraderie and I chose this as my moniker because there is no way I would be where I am today without the help and support of so many wonderful friends I have met in poodles. My kennel is a tribute to all of the amazing women who helped me build the foundation for my breeding program, and shaped me into the dog person I am today, as well as continue to guide me for years to come.