626 – Kelly Lyn Marquis Shares Her Insights from the Masters

Kelly Lyn Marquis Shares Her Insights from the Masters

Kelly Lyn Marquis Shares Her Insights from the Masters

Kelly Lyn Marquis in the ring.

Host Laura Reeves is joined by Kelly Lyn Marquis to discuss the stories in Marquis’ new book Behind the Scenes of Best in Show: Intimate Moments with the Masters.

“When I started writing (the book),” Marquis said, “I was seeing some dissension, sometimes some frustration where I would hear people saying things about handlers doing all the winning and you know I really really wanted to show all of the work that goes into those wins.

“And even even for many of us that you see in the book, for so many of the masters, it’s not about the wins. Actually, not one of them, not one of them, mentioned about the win being something that matters to them. It’s the behind the scenes things that matter to them whether it’s making their clients happy or the connection that they have with that dog. And that was a motivation.

In her conversation with Michael Scott, Marquis admits struggling to understand his thinking.

“…(T)o Michael, it is his job to handle the dog to the (best of his) ability and to bring that dog to the right judges. And he knows his judges well. He knows what they like, as did Gwen (DeMilta). (B)ut Michael’s job was to handle. Well, there wasn’t the messiness that I would see in Gwen, and that also was active in myself as well.

“So when I interviewed Michael and Michael said, ‘My job is to handle the dog and to bring it to the right judges. Period.’ And he even went on to say that, ‘Look, it’s a game.’ And that really triggered me ’cause I thought, ‘No, this is serious business!’ And it isn’t that Michael doesn’t take it seriously, but he’s very clear on what his role is as a handler.

“That was one of the things that really struck me interviewing Michael, was if Michael had been my mentor and if I operated and navigated the dog show world with Michael’s mindset, how might my… my life be different? So that is one of the values that I think a reader can get from reading this book where when you see where someone’s priorities are and how that shapes how they navigate the world…

“When it comes to the passion and the emotional attachment, I always give credit to the owner handlers and let them know that when it comes to my own dog, I have to have another handler show it because it gets messy.

“One of the things that I love about handlers that I think is a lesson for, well, even for ourselves to bring  out into the world, but we’re masters of our emotion. It’s like you, okay, we look at this, what do I need to be? How do I need to show up for this dog?

“And we’re very clear about that. We have a very clear role and we’re able to be in integrity and we’re also able to look at that dog and go, okay, what’s going on with you? You and I, we need to… make this work. We don’t have the luxury to have an emotional moment,

“Which also gets me thinking about another motivation for my book. I wanted to show our humanity because when we’re at a dog show, we need to be in business mode. We’re not showing our… our feelings.

“You know, Michelle Scott talks about how difficult it can be for her at times, managing her expectations and how she knows she wants to make people happy. And it can be so disappointing when you’re not able to make that person happy. But we can’t show that we have to show up and we have to be professionals. But it doesn’t mean that we don’t feel things. It just means that we’re in business mode, we can’t be getting caught up in those places, but we do have feelings just like everyone else.

“Another motivating factor for me is this is our community. I’m looking around it it’s scary it looks like a dying community. I believe that this is an underlying theme in my book as well is that we are people. There are people at the ends of those leads and we need to be taking care of ourselves and our community better. One of the things that I’ve learned. Being a mom is my number one priority. And if my work is getting me so strung out that when my daughter comes home from school I can’t hold space for that because I’m too agitated myself, then I’m not able to be the mom that I want to be. And so even as handlers, when we show up at our job, are we making good choices for ourselves so that we can serve not only ourselves but more people?”


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