Westminster was in 1986. I traveled to New York City with
Leona Domino and had planned this trip for a long, long time.
Two days before we were to leave, I accidentally tore my
cornea and ended up with a HUGE eye patch and had to have the
dressing changed daily. My doctor was not going to allow me to
go, until I explained that Leona was a RN and could keep a
close eye on it. I know that the taxi ride from the airport
was scary, but thankfully I could only see out of one eye!
We went on a paid bus tour of New York, had fun in China town,
went to the Dog Writers' dinner and had a great time. At the
Dog Writer's dinner, Maxwell Riddle came up and introduced
himself to me. As I was wearing a black eye patch, he told me, "You
are cutest pirate here." Of course, I was the ONLY one wearing
an eye patch. By Monday morning, excitement was rising as I
realized that I was
actually going to be on the floor of Westminster! I felt a bit
off but did not realize I was running a temperature of 103. I
showed my dog, Hallmark's St. Nicklaus to WD/BOW (who I
co-owned Tracy Halverson and breeder, Jerrilyn Naylor). I was
thrilled to see my own breeding, Loteki Laser Beam, win WB to
finish her championship title, shown by Leona. I sat on the
bench all day, fought the incredible crowd of spectators and
much later, went back to the hotel.
The next day, I was even sicker and had to
maneuver through LaGuardia. Leona was resourceful and hired a
wheelchair to get me through the crowds and down the long walkways. There were some weather related delays but we did get
off the ground with a change of planes in St. Louis. I spent
the next week in bed with a horrible case of the flu and great
memories of my first trip to New York City and Westminster.
In 1993, I spent a long day speculating the outcome of
BOB, as CH Loteki Supernatural Being, a.k.a. Kirby was being
shown by his co-owner, John Oulton, for his first time at
Westminster. It was later that evening that I discovered that
Kirby had won BOB, while watching him enter the ring for the
I, personally, did not return to New York for 10 years, until I
made the trip in
1995. This time I traveled alone and brought CH
Loteki The Winds Of Fortune and CH Loteki Royal Endeavor. I
did meet up with a friend, Diane Vasey, who at the time was the editor
for the AKC Gazette. We went to Brooklyn and also attended one
of the many Westminster functions.
Meg Klein arrived the next day and we spent a busy
weekend going to Westminster parties and taking a car tour of
some of the state of New York. Sunday night, Meg and I left
New York City to ride the train back to Diane's home, so we
could get the two Papillons groomed and ready for the next
day. We also were going to groom Diane's American Cocker, so
she could take him into the city for a handler to evaluate. We
arrived at the station after midnight, took a cab to the
house, and realized we had not been given a key to get in. It
was cold; We went around the house several times, checking
windows and doors in case one was unlocked. The three- season
room was unlocked but the door into the house was locked. Meg
and I managed to 'break' in using brute force on an aluminum
door! Meg was laying on the floor laughing and I couldn't
believe what she had just done! We laughed about it for quite
some time and referred to our trip as "Meg & Lou Ann's
The next day, 19 month old CH Loteki The Winds Of Fortune,
a.k.a. Gusty, was BOB and shown by Wendell Sammett.
In 1996, I returned to Westminster with Cindy Crowder who
showed Gusty. We had a grand time, enjoying the city, seeing
the sights, going to some shows, buying merchandise from
street vendors and just having fun. Kirby won BOB again and
this time he went Group 1! I had planned to return home on
Tuesday, but made alternative arrangements so I could watch
him in the group, being handled by his co-owner, Mr. Oulton. It was
so incredible to feel all the excitement and tension on
Tuesday night while the Best In Show judging was going on.
Yes, it was a disappointment not to win but just to be one of the 7
finalists, well, that is something that one just cannot describe!
In 1997, Cindy Crowder and I once again returned to New York,
this time joined by Pamela Norberg and Jan Bottorff
(Candid Labradors). It was a wonderful trip and we thoroughly
enjoyed ourselves. That year, CH Loteki Good Time Charlie,
a.k.a. Charles, was BOB handled by Jan. It was quite a media
stir as Kirby was the 'favorite' to win the Breed. I found
myself in the middle of it, as I loved and supported both
Loteki dogs! What a thrill!
In 1998, I made the trip again with Cindy Crowder. She showed
her bitch, Rorralore Quintessa, to WB at the Progressive KC
show on Friday. We attended the 1st-NE Regional Papillon
specialty that was held at 'The Pier'. I was fortunate to show my
puppy dog, Loteki The Colors Of The Wind to WD and an AOM for
This trip was particularly stressful, as I had just been
served with legal documents notifying me that John Oulton
was suing me in order to break our long-standing written agreement
concerning Kirby. I had spent the day before I left trying to
engage an attorney in Connecticut over the telephone, wiring a
retainer, while getting ready for my late afternoon flight.
In 1999, I once again made the trip to New York and again met
Cindy Crowder. We attended the 2nd NE Regional Specialty on
Saturday where I handled Loteki Royal Heir to WD for 5 points.
Cindy handled CH Loteki Beach Party to BOS and Kirby was BOB.
It was a lovely day for Loteki owned and bred Papillons.
On Monday, Kirby, shown by Oulton, was BOB and Group 1. History
was made as the only Papillon to win the group at Westminster
had now done it again! I got up on Tuesday, made my way to the
airport and flew home. I knew I could view the Best In Show
the televised coverage and watched Kirby win Best In Show at a
friend's home. CH Loteki Supernatural Being had once again
made history! This time, however, I was his breeder alone, no
longer his owner. The phone rang off the
wall practically immediately and continued for a couple weeks.
In 2000, I headed for New York with CH Loteki Beach Party and
met up with Cindy Crowder and Laura Koncel. Bikini loved NYC and
took to walking in the crowds like she had been doing it all
her life. She never missed a beat nor slowed down when
entering our hotel... just went right through the front door
when the doorman opened it. Cindy, Laura and I enjoyed some
shows, some shopping, and the food! Cindy's mom and her
husband also came to New York for the excitement. We really
had a terrific time. Sunday, we made the trip out to Long
Island for relaxation at Barbara Manno's home, enjoying both great
company and superior food.
Monday morning arrived and we were off for the Garden, Cindy with
CH Loteki Royal Heir, "Alex", and me with CH Loteki Beach
Party, "Bikini". We had
no expectations other than to have a nice time and put on a good
show. Others around the ring were displaying their nerves and
excitement but Bikini and I remained calm. We put on our 'show'
and enjoyed it but I was quite unaware that Mrs. Kendrick
was considering us until the moment she pulled us out and put us at the
front of the line and sent us around. I cannot begin to
explain the adrenaline rush, the excitement, the sheer panic!
Standing in the BOB spot, I was just shaking! It was something
that I had dreamed of and watched, but it just isn't the
same. This was the real thing; the thing that dreams are made
of. I was very lucky to have good people with me, Cindy and
Laura, and we took turns on the bench with the dogs. Later that
evening, Bikini and I did our 'thing' in the group ring and
were pulled out for the final cut. It was wonderful and
an experience that will not be forgotten soon. Taeko "Meg" Suga
was Bikini's co-owner and we had fulfilled her dreams too. It
will always be one of the best times in my life in Papillons.
Cindy and I returned in 2001 with Alex and his litter-sister,
CH Loteki Her Royal Highness, a.k.a. Xena. Laura was once
again with us. We had stayed together at the home of Mike &
Donna Garofalo. We had a wonderful time but brought home no
ribbons. Mike and Donna did bring home an AOM with one of
their boys, so it was a good trip. I always say, if I can't
win, I want my friends to!
I have not returned to New York since then but who knows what the
future has in store......