mom’s name is Diane Ryan. Like me she’s originally from Rockford, Ill., but
retired a few years ago to Laguna Niguel, Calif. She was a public school teacher
for decades before that.
always been a dog lover, but as pets, not as show dogs. Growing up we would have
anywhere from three to seven adult dogs at our house as well as various litters of puppies
at times. As the oldest kid I had a lot of dog-related chores — feeding them,
cleaning up after them, giving them medicines, exercising them. I would always
sleep with at least a couple dogs on my bed. So I’ve always been a dog lover.
it on TV so I wasn’t there with my mom. She was in the stands of the show with
the breeder of the dog and the two other co-owners who came on board when it
was clear that Sky could be a special show dog. Showing dogs at a high level
like this is a comically expensive hobby, one my mom couldn’t afford, so
she brought on partners who covered the expenses. So that’s why there are four
owners listed. I think they all hugged each other along with the handler,
Gabriel, who is known as probably the best terrier handler in the world.
Many times. Sky lived with my mom for the first couple years of her life, but
when she entered the upper echelon of show dogs she started to pretty much live
full-time with Gabriel since she was traveling to shows most weekends. The
plan has always been for Sky to retire after Westminster, and now my mom expects
to get her back living with her full-time in a couple weeks.
others] describe her as special. I think her coloring is a little unusual and
exotic. She has a way of standing at attention and bending her back to
pose that the judge last night said made the hairs stand up on the back of her
neck. It is true that the best show dogs enjoy “performing,” can feel
the eyes on them and perk up when they’re being watched. Sky certainly has
that. She loves being in shows and I think judges see that and are drawn to it.
but it featured a bulldog. Will a wire fox terrier figure in any future
might have to now. “Special Guest Canine: Sky.”
not something I would usually do if not for the personal connection.
I grew up going to these small dog shows in the Midwest, and I was always
bored out of my skull. I get why others love the pageantry, especially at the
highest levels like Westminster, but it’s really not usually my thing.
character in “The Shield,” were a dog, what dog would
Clark Johnson, after seeing Michael Chiklis‘ first audition, described him as a
“pitbull with a badge,” so I’ll go with that.