Eugene Blake: This veteran of the dog fancy enjoys judging around the world.
“Judging dogs is a privilege for me. I would enjoy judging a puppy match in the parking lot of Kmart as much as the most prestigious show in the world,” says Eugene Blake, breeder (Aurora Kennel), professional handler, American Kennel Club judge and active member of the dog-show world for more than 50 years.
Despite his modest requirements for judging assignments, Blake has judged in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Finland, Sweden, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, China, Mexico, and Colombia. He is approved to judge all Sporting, Hound, Toy and Non-Sporting breeds, as well as Standard Manchester Terriers, Junior Showmanship and Best in Show.
Before knowing his love for dogs would take him around the globe, Blake had a humble beginning in dogs.
Q: How were you introduced to the dog fancy?
A: I was a delivery driver for a drug store, and a fellow employee and friend asked if I wanted to help him bathe dogs at The French Poodle Shop in Houston, owned by Hazel Hamm, famed Poodle and Maltese breeder. In January 1954, I started working at The French Poodle Shop and attended my first dog show in March 1955. I was 19 years old.
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