Friday, October 8, 2010

Best of Show: Lara's Friend, AKC Judge Mike Dougherty on TV This Sunday

One of the first people to sign up for Lara's team after being rescued was Mike Doughtery (pictured above, left) and his wife, Michelle, owners of the upscale Windsong Resort for Pets in Escondido. They have been very generous in spoiling Lara with extravagant beauty makeovers as The Biggest Loser: Canine.

In addition to owning the pet resort, Mike officiates at about 78 dog shows each year as an AKC judge. This Sunday, Oct. 10 at 2 p.m. he'll be appearing on San Diego's XETV Channel 6 (the CW) at the Oklahoma City Kennel Club Dog Show. Mike will be judging the Hound group at 2:10 p.m.

On Thanksgiving Day, Mike will be appearing at 12 p.m. on NBC TV, following the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. He will be judging the Terrier group at the National Dog Show/Philadelphia Kennel Club.

Mike learned about purebred dogs from his parents, Jack and Marion Dougherty, who built and opened Lemon Grove Kennels which became one of the three largest in San Diego, along with Mission Valley Kennels and Fon Jon Kennels. He acquired his first Whippet in 1963. By 1974 Mike was approved by the American Kennel Club for a limited handler's license, attaining all-breed status in 1977. While concentrating on handling he also bred and owned, with his family, Miniature Schnauzers, Smooth Fox Terriers, and Keeshonden, as well as Whippets. As a professional handler, he guided the careers of many top winning dogs, including Best in Show winning Whippets and Bichon Frise. His handling focused mainly on breeds in the Hound, Terrier, Non Sporting, and Toy Groups, but also included many breeds in the other three groups.

In 1985 Mike retired from professional handling to pursue a dog judging avocation. He is currently approved by the AKC to judge Best in Show, the Hound Group, the Terrier Group, Manchester Terriers (Toy), Bichon Frises, Boston Terriers, Dalmatians, French Bulldogs, Keeshonden, Lhasa Apsos, Poodles, and Tibetan Terriers, plus Miscellaneous Classes and Junior Showmanship. He has judged at shows across the nation such as Westminster(including the Hound Group in 2007), Montgomery County(including Best in Show in 2007), Westchester, Bucks County, Eastern, Ladies, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Hatboro, Devon, Old Dominion, Greenwich, Maryland, Detroit, Beverly Hills, Del Valle, Great Western Terrier, Sir Francis Drake, and Santa Barbara. His international judging assignments have taken him to Australia, Taiwan, Colombia, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Finland, Canada, and Mexico.

Mike and Michelle have been very kind to Lara in contributing to her rehabilitation and lavishing her with compliments.

The Windsong Pet Resort is located at
1412 Windsong Lane, Escondido. Phone: (760) 233-5060.

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