I am honored and overjoyed to have represented the Welsh Terrier at AKC Meet the Breeds in New York City this year alongside Bruce Schwartz and Caitlyn Schleifer! It was an absolute pleasure sharing my heart dog, Juni (Bayleigh’s Beloved Tamed CGCA CGCU TKN ATT BCAT), with hundreds of dog-loving attendees from across the country.

Even though the Welsh Terrier is a breed hundreds of years old with so much history and influence in other modern terriers, it is not one well-known to the general public! Many folks were charmed by my “mini-Airedale,” and even more interested to find out that the Airedale actually originated from the Welsh. Juni’s coat texture, with its mix of coarse wire hair on her jacket and fluffy furnishings on her legs and face, also surprised most people who petted her. I even introduced several people to the art of hand-stripping – why and how we terrier-lovers do it, what tools we use, and even how often we must maintain the coat so it looks like the pups people see on TV every Thanksgiving!

Some people were drawn in by Juni’s cute, plushy face and calm, friendly temperament at our booth, and were convinced they wanted a Welshie, too, purely at face value! It was hard to explain that, while Welshies can be the perfect dog for the right person, they aren’t necessarily for everyone. When a few families heard about typical terrier temperament, energy level, grooming requirements and training expectations, they came to the conclusion that the Welsh Terrier would likely not be a good option for them. That being said, there were a few people who, after hearing the ins and outs of our breed, were even more interested in exploring a possible future with a Welsh Terrier!

While I wish everyone could experience the wonderful Welshie, I believe that my purpose as a breed advocate — as was every volunteer handler of every breed that day — was to educate the public about the reality of dog ownership. We were there to ensure that our beloved breeds stay in the hands of people who understand them fully and have the ability to care for them in the way that both dog and human will be healthy and happy for life!

I am truly inspired by this opportunity and look forward to getting more involved with the WTCA and future events as I continue my journey as a Welsh Terrier owner, lover, and preservationist. See you at Meet the Breeds next year!