Beagles have been a part of my life for more than thirty-five years. Like many, I was first introduced to the breed through a family pet, “Barney”, and eventually, when time and motherhood permitted, the breed drew me back to my lifelong interest in breeding quality animals. I had grown up in 4-H and FFA, showing and judging horses and livestock. I was consistently among the top judges in the state in horse, livestock, and meats judging and earned a bronze medal at Nationals in 1979 (Livestock Judging) and a silver medal in 1980 (Meats Judging). After high school, I went to Washington State University as a pre-vet major, studied livestock judging and competed on the livestock judging team, and graduated with a degree in Agriculture Education. I completed the requirements to apply for an AKC Judge’s License in 2008 just days before surgery to remove a tumor in my stomach. Complications that resulted from the surgery put those aspirations on hold but perhaps one day in the future I’ll pursue that goal again.
I purchased my first show beagle from Twainheart Beagles and Hershey became my first owner-handled champion. I showed beagles bred by other breeders for several years – Starbuck Torbay, Echo Run, Beowulf, Bayou Oaks, MSK – before whelping my first litter in January 2002. The first puppy whelped in that litter was the first to bear my kennel name, “Talbot Hill”, and she went on to become my first homebred champion, CH. Talbot Hill’s Overture, “Rosie”. “Talbot Hill” is a local reference as well as an historical reference to the all white Talbot Hound, an ancestor of the beagle from centuries ago. My first litter was a litter of five red & white bitch puppies, born completely white, with not a single marking until they were two weeks of age.
Since that first litter in 2002, I’ve bred numerous champions and had several nationally ranked dogs; most notably, back-to-back 13″ Best of Winners/Best Bred By Exhibitor at the 2005 and 2006 National Specialties, CH. Beowulf Talbot Hill Grace Note and CH. Talbot Hill’s Razzle Dazzle, both breeder/owner-handled and both just seven months old at the time. Most special to me is Herbie, multiple BIS/BISS CH. Talbot Hill’s Thyme After Time. Herbie was the #2 15″ Beagle in the U.S. in 2008 (All Systems), Select Dog at the 2010 Nationals, and the first red & white beagle in the history of the breed to win multiple Best in Shows.
I enjoy the sport of purebred dogs not for the ribbons and the rankings, but for the opportunity to travel, to see friends who share a similar passion, and to see beautiful dogs. My battle with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2008, and its aftermath, has caused me to focus less on the “sport” of purebred dogs in recent years and more on the “art” of breeding purebred dogs….which, to be honest, is where my heart truly lies. From a very early age, much of my life has been devoted to the thoughtful, objective selection of animals for their intended purpose. I’ve been blessed with many wise and generous mentors over the years and I’m grateful for their guidance and counsel.
I returned to breeding in 2015 through the gift of a bitch from my own bloodlines and I strive to breed healthy, happy, beautiful dogs that can excel in the show ring, the field or performance arena, and on the family couch. Thank you to the breeders who have made Talbot Hill beagles a part of their breeding programs and to the families who have made Talbot Hill beagles a part of their homes.