The recipients of the AKC 2003 Lifetime Achievement Awards were announced at the December 10 Delegates meeting in Orlando, FL. The Lifetime Achievement Awards honor those individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the sport of purebred dogs on a national level. The recipients were selected by votes cast by AKC member clubs for one of the three nominees in each of the following categories: Conformation, Companion Events, and Performance.
The awards, engraved Tiffany and Co. sterling silver bowls, will be presented to the winners by President and CEO Al Cheaur at the AKC Open House on February 9, 2003. A larger-sized version of the award, engraved with the names of all recipients past and present, is on permanent display at the American Kennel Club Library in New York.
The AKC is proud to announce the recipients as selected by constituents in recognition of their dedication to the fancy.
Dr. M. Josephine Deubler was the first female graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, receiving her V.M.D. in 1938. She later earned an M.S. and Ph.D. and has been a member of the faculty of the Veterinary School for over 50 years (now Emeritus). For many years she wrote the “Ask Your Doctor” column in Popular Dogs and continues to write “Animal Crackers” for her school's publication, Bellwether.
Her career in dogs started with Dandie Dinmont Terriers. She has served as secretary of the Dandie Dinmont Club of America and judged their specialty twice. Dr. Deubler is a three-time winner of the Gaines Fido Award as Dogdom's Woman of the Year, has been show chairman of the Bucks County Kennel Club since 1969, show chairman for Montgomery County Kennel Club's All-Terrier Show since 1977, and has served as show chairman for the American Fox Terrier Club.
In addition, Dr. Deubler has received numerous professional awards. She has been involved with Animal Rescue League of Philadelphia for many years and presently serves as its secretary. To honor her longtime devotion to the welfare of companion animals, the University of Pennsylvania established The Josephine Deubler Genetic Disease Testing Laboratory.
Dr. Deubler began judging in 1962 and is approved for the Terrier and Hound groups. She says the highlight of her judging career was the honor of selecting Best in Show at the 1998 Westminster Kennel Club show.
Dorothy M. McCauley began her lifetime love of dogs in 1960 with the enrollment of her smooth-coat Chihuahua in obedience. Shortly thereafter, she became the obedience instructor for a local kennel club, instructing Novice, Open and Utility classes, which she continues to do to this day.
Ms. McCauley was approved as an AKC obedience judge in 1973, and in 1978 was honored with the Richard H. D'Ambrisi Award. She has been an AKC Delegate from 1980 to present, first representing the Santa Maria Kennel Club and now the Sandia Dog Obedience Club of Albuquerque, New Mexico. In addition, she has been the liaison to the Associated Obedience Clubs of Northern California and is currently an officer of the Southern California Dog Obedience Council.
Ms. McCauley's additional accomplishments include helping to form the California State Obedience competition, which she was involved with until 1997, and the Western International Obedience competition, which brings together teams from western states and Canada.
Ms. McCauley enjoys all aspects of judging, including helping exhibitors achieve their performance goals and mentoring those individuals who aspire to be obedience judges. Perhaps her greatest pleasure is derived from meeting diverse groups of people and their dogs.
Kenneth L. Ruff and his wife, Linda, brought their four boys up in the sport while competing in the field with Irish Setters, which he began raising in 1971. His first hunting dog was an Irish Setter that he obtained from The Anti-Cruelty Society. After obtaining an AKC-registerable dog in 1972, he attended his first field trial and went on to become a field trial judge in 1975. Over the years he has owned, bred, trained and handled twenty-two Field and Amateur Field Champions and fourteen Irish Setter Club of America (ISCA) National or National Amateur Champions.
An active member of the ISCA since the mid-1970s, Mr. Ruff first served as chairman of their National Championship in 1981. Since then he has chaired this event eight times. He is a past chairman of the ISCA's Field Advisory Committee and the Field Executive Committee. An active ISCA board member since 1984, Mr. Ruff currently serves as the club's first vice-president. He is also a founding member of the ISCA Foundation and of the Blue Mountain Wildlife Association.
Mr. Ruff is a member of the AKC Field Advisory Committee and strong supporter of the AKC Field Program. Mr. Ruff supports current efforts to solidify field trial grounds through federal and state legislation and is actively pursuing the acquisition of land through private funding for the benefit of future generations in the sport.