At this year's National Specialty, Mr. Bernie Howard was presented the prestigious American Kennel Club Outstanding Sportsmanship medallion to honor a lifetime of dedication, contribution and commitment to theCollie. This award is meant to recognize and appreciate those rare individuals who go beyond what is asked of them, decade after decade. Bernie has the gratitude of all of us for his tireless efforts on behalf of our belovedCollies.
Top Photo: A kiss from Nugget, a Parader puppy
and Phyllis brought home from a visit with Steve Field. Bottom Photo: Bernie and Phyllis at the 1998 CCA National Specialty in Virginia Beach.
Perhaps CCA Treasurer Mike Esch said it best, in his letter of support for Bernie's nomination:
"When ever I think of Bernie Howard I think of a movie announcer, an active member of CCA, a good dog person and a support to our Juniors and everyone in the ring. Just like Harry Caray is the voice of the Cubs or Bob Sheppard is the voice of the Yankees, Bernie Howard is the voice of the CCA.
Bernie begins every show in his deep, distinguished voice with those word “Let’s get those puppies in the ready ring” just like he’s announcing the lead-off batter in the World Series.
And when you hear his slow, dignified speech, which has such cadence you think every class or every dog is part of the Gettysburg Address, you wonder whether its divine quality is holding the show together. I can’t imagine trying to pronounce the names of some of our dogs like he does during the Top 20 Invitational night.
But enough about his voice and demeanor . . . Bernie always talks to people in the ring during long BOV classes, he is always smiling and he is always there to help find a missing kid or owner to a loose dog found roaming in the set-ups.
But most of all he is honest, lovable and a good man whom I’m proud to say is my friend. I can’t imagine anyone more qualified to receive this award than Bernie Howard. He embodies the AKC Code of Sportsmanship."
Many thanks, Bernie and Phyllis, from your friends and admirers.