Social Media Challenge
Randy Benns and Luke Baggenstos are both members of the Professional Handler's Association.
Luke literally was born into dogs. His parents and stepmother are all dog people. He worked for dad, Rick, and stepmom Dinah, both PHA handlers, and followed in their footsteps. In fact, the bulk of his extended family are "in dogs." His wife, Rowan, is the daughter of Canadian Akita, Shiba Inu & Japanese Chin breeder Susan Norris-Jones. His brother is married to professional handler, Jen Holmberg.
I began in dogs at birth. My parents bred and showed Old English Sheepdogs and Afghan Hounds. I first went into juniors at a Fun Match with my Afghan at the ripe old age of 4. Needless to say I was hooked. As soon as I was old enough I participated in junior handling, showing my mother’s Afghans. My parents divorced when I was 11 but I continued to attend shows even when my mom did not. I would travel to the shows and work for my Dad, Rick, and Stepmom, Dinah. I apprenticed for 13 years with them. In the mean time I also put myself through school earning my Associates degree in Business Management. I then went to work at New England Financial and then Met Financial but I missed the dogs too much. I quit a great Career to be a dog handler, a job I truly love," Luke says.
Randy is "first generation" dog man who, with wife Lisa Haney, is a noted all-breed handler. In his words, he started in dogs because someone told him he couldn't. He started with chow chows in the late 1980s. He graduated from University of Utah with a degree in political science.
Later Randy apprenticed under the renowned all-breed judge, Dorothy Nickles. Over the years he's shown top ranked Beagles, Giant Schnauzers, American Staffordshire Terriers and, more recently, American Eskimo Dogs.
Social Media, Dog Shows and Instant Influence
Luke and Randy tackle the thorny issue of social media and how it impacts the purebred dog fancy.
Luke is not a "Social media superstar," but participates. Randy is a strong opponent of the medium. We hear from each side of the aisle as these two opinionated friends share their thoughts.
Take a minute to really think about their common message.... If you won't say it to somebody's face directly, *don't* write it for 1000 of your "closest" friends to read....
As always, we'd love to hear from you! Share YOUR thoughts on ways our sport can improve... with or withOUT social media!