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The American Kennel Club® (AKC) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2010 AKC® Lifetime Achievement Awards. The awards, engraved Tiffany and Co. sterling silver bowls, will be presented to the recipients on Tuesday, December 15, 2009 at the AKC Delegates luncheon held in conjunction with the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in Long Beach, California. A larger version of the Tiffany and Co. bowl, engraved with the names of all recipients past and present, is on permanent display at AKC headquarters in New York City.

The AKC Lifetime Achievement Awards were created to honor those individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the sport of purebred dogs on a national level. The recipients were selected from votes cast by AKC member clubs for nominees in each of the following categories: Conformation, Companion Events and Performance.

The 2010 recipients are:


Sandra Goose Allen, St. Petersburg, Florida
Goose Allen began her steadfast commitment to purebred dogs more than 45 years ago when she established her renowned Windflower Skye Terriers. She later branched out to Scottish Terriers and has served as the Scottish Terrier judges’ education coordinator for the Scottish Terrier Club of America and judges’ breeder-mentor for the Skye Terrier Club of America. She recently developed an educational seminar that is given by the Skye Terrier Club of America.

In 1976 Goose Allen became an AKC-licensed judge and is approved for Sporting, Terrier, Toy and Non-Sporting Groups, ten hound breeds, and Best in Show. Important assignments include Westminster, Montgomery County and countless Specialty shows. She has judged the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship three times.

Goose Allen is a published author whose works include The Complete Skye Terrier, The Terrier Lover’s Cook Book, and a myriad of terrier articles. Her Study of the Scottish Terrier, published by the Scottish Terrier Club of America, was awarded a Maxwell Medallion by the Dog Writers Association of America. Other honors include the Sterling Silver Service Medallion and the Anstamm Achievement Award, both presented by the Scottish Terrier Club of America.

In 1994, Goose Allen was honored for her charitable service by the National ALS Association. She has been involved with many charitable organizations over the years including homeless and animal rescue organizations. Goose Allen divides her time between judging (worldwide) and dog rescue and placement.

Companion Events

Sharon Anderson, White Bear Lake, Minnesota
Anderson will always be remembered at the American Kennel Club for her hard work in bringing the sport of Agility under the AKC banner. When she earned her first agility title on a Golden Retriever in 1988, there were no AKC sponsored Agility events.

Anderson was invited to serve on the first AKC Agility advisory board for AKC in 1993, then joined the staff as AKC Agility Field Representative and subsequently became the Director of AKC Agility, retiring from AKC in 2008.

Anderson was also the driving force in establishing the AKC World Agility Team and the criteria for world competition. She served as its captain since 1996, during which time AKC team members have earned numerous individual gold and silver medals. The crowning achievement was winning the Team Gold Medal, defeating 30 countries, in Portugal in 2001.

In addition to her extensive experience in agility, Anderson holds many obedience titles, including Obedience Trial Champion. Her involvement in the sport ranges from puppy class to competitive obedience, agility, flyball, tracking and fieldwork. She honed her skills by working with virtually every breed of purebred dog while owning three large obedience training schools. She has helped over a thousand handlers achieve obedience titles.

Anderson has held club offices ranging from President to Trial Chairperson. She is a lifetime member of the St. Croix Kennel Club and the Land O’Lakes Kennel Club.


Jacquelyn (Jackie) Mertens, Madison, Florida
Mertens has been a dedicated retriever enthusiast since establishing Topbrass Retrievers in 1968. She has bred or owned more than 130 Field Champions and Amateur Field Champions, Master Hunters and Qualified All Age retrievers. She won the 1985 National Amateur Championship with FC NAFC Topbrass Cotton. Cotton is also the hi-point Golden of all time and was inducted into the Retriever Hall of Fame in 1993. He remains the only Golden Retriever to ever win the National Amateur title.

Mertens has judged almost 100 Open and Amateur Championship stakes, as well as the 1996 National Amateur Championship and 2003 National Open Championship. She also participated in numerous Judges’ Seminars and the Golden Retriever Club of America breeder symposiums.

Mertens was Chairman and Chief Marshal in AKC licensed Field Trials for over 30 years. She is past president of the National Open Retriever Club, served as Chairman and Chief Marshal of their Championship, and is the National Representative for the Golden Retriever Club of America. She was President of the Women’s Field Trial Club from 2000 – 2007 and was also a past president of the American Amateur Field Trial Club. She is currently on the Board of the Snow Bird Retriever Club and Women’s Field Trial Club.

Mertens has written many Retriever Training articles and created the training video, Sound Beginnings. Mertens was inducted into the Retriever Hall of Fame in Grand Junction, Tennessee in 2006.