Some years back, I was approached by a family in Colorado Springs, CO, looking for a Lakeland Terrier as a junior showmanship dog for their eldest daughter, Annessa. The family happened to consist of eight children, their experience was primarily limited to Bouvier des Flandres, they were a very long way from Pennsylvania, so perhaps not surprisingly I needed sufficient convincing to get me on-board with such a request. I explained the grooming challenges with presenting this breed as well as all of the other qualities that make the Lakeland unique, particularly in the show ring. The familys matriarch, Alysha Towell, was totally undeterred and because of her persistence I began to think about letting them have one of our show-quality puppies. It didn't hurt their cause that I myself had started in Junior Showmanship in 1992!
After about a year of determined and frequent communication from the family (during which they promised to meet with any concerns I might have), along came a puppy from our beloved Marin (Am/Cdn CH. Wakefield Maestra) that I felt would suit, and the Towell family acquired her as a 9-week-old. In every sense they exceeded my expectations as co-owners. Meticulously grooming and training Envy (G.Ch. Wakefield Gonna Be Popular) for a show career, she finished easily at a young age. When I first met Annessa I was immediately struck by her poise, talent, and also by her incredible fashion sense! She knew and loved dogs, and they knew and loved her! Soft hands, kind and unassuming demeanor, perfect sense of timing, excellent rapport with the dogs, she really knew how to connect with a dog and make a perfect picture. Juniors wins were racked up, and she qualified for both Westminster and the A.K.C. National Invitational shows.
Impressed, I next offered them a promising red male puppy, Melchior (CH. Wakefield Spring Awakening. Annessa finished him quickly and additionally enjoyed many great wins in junior showmanship. It was so gratifying for me to see them together in Orlando at the A.K.C. National Invitational, where with more than 100 handlers in competition, Melchior (then a puppy) and Annessa made it to the final eight. What an achievement, and I was very pleased.