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MEET THE JUDGE: SUZANNE FABECK

My interest in Collies started with a neighbor who owned a "big" tri bitch "Queenie." She was trained to perfection, never leaving her unfenced yard. I was impressed and when we purchased a dog it was a "small" tri bitch with Ransom breeding behind her. We soon acquired a sable-bitch pup with local breeding. I investigated and found the Midwest Collie Club and attended a meeting. I met Carole Stanley that night -- it was her first meeting also, and we became close friends, although we sure look at dogs with a different eye!

At the Collie Club of America National Specialty in Louisville (1972), I found the dogs I wanted mine to look like -- Twin Creeks. From there a lifelong friendship grew with Joyce Houser. She became my mentor, showing me "how to" everything -- from conditioning, loading and unloading to the finer points of the skull, eye, legs and always coat.

My claim to fame was Ch. Myriah's Westwend (a "Grit" daughter). In 1979 she became the first rough bitch ever to be ranked No. 1 in the Hawkins System. Her litter sister Ch. Westwend's Paper Rose was Winners Bitch at the National in 1979.

My breeding program was small, maybe six collies. I only bred for me, and never after the month of May. Past that we would miss the specialties in our show season. I never cared much for all-breed shows. I exhibited mostly at the specilaties. The Summers were for raising puppies.

I have one Collie who is my house dog and companion and I am grateful every day to be involved with these magnificent dogs.

Why did you become a judge?
When I felt I could not longer breed and exhibit, I applied for my license. I didn't want to lose contact with the dogs. I wanted to see the puppies each new season, to put my hands on them and see how they matured as they became adults.

What is the measure of a successful judge?
--Knowledge and to be true to yourself.

What dog have you seen that comes/came closest to embodying your vision of the Standard?
Paraders Top of the Hill. He filled my eye. I thought he was the most beautiful dog I had ever seen. He had a classic head, a soft, correctly placed, dark eye. He carried a correctly textured and fitting coat. He was a true picture of his type of Collie. I have to be honest here, he had one glaring fault and that was temperament. But, in his puppies that I had, I never experienced a temperament problem. Ben and Joyce (Houser) owned this dog when I knew him. They had acquired him as an adult from Steve Field.

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