Articles Index/Meet Nicky Conroy
I live in Newtown, CT with my husband Tom. We will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary on Montgomery County weekend. (I didn’t do my research on show weekends back then!) We have two sons, Michael 22 and Brian 21, both of whom attend college. I also run a small grooming business in the basement of my house. This allows me to be at home with my dogs most every day.
As a child, we had hunting dogs. I grew up hunting with my family and eventually started training Labradors for fieldwork. I dabbled in field competition until I realized I couldn’t be a mom to my kids and continue to field train my dogs every day.
We moved to the St. Louis area in 1992 where I joined the Edwardsville Kennel Club. I would bring my neutered Jack Russell Terrier to handling class just so I could learn how the whole ‘show thing’ worked. I became friendly with a few women in the club and proceeded to buy my first show dog … a corgi. I was able to finish Yankee and actually specialed him as well.
It soon became apparent to me that small children and corgis were tough to contain. The corgi felt he was supposed to herd (and rightly so) all the neighborhood kids. Some of the other moms did not appreciate this, so I started researching another breed.
How About Norwich? Norfolk? Both?
I met Sandra Stemmler, Larry Adams and David Guempel and fell in love with Norwich Terriers. Larry and David were kind enough to let me have my first Norwich, Desmond, who will be 17 in July.
The rest is history!
After being introduced to Lori Pelletier’s Norfolks, I decided I wanted to own one. She always said, “Nicky, you can’t handle one!” But, after about seven years of whining, I wore her down and she got me in touch with Jayne Dubin who had a little bitch available. Mia is now two years old.
The first night I got her home as a young puppy, I called Lori around 8 p.m. and said, “She is wearing me out!”
In the span of a few hours she had figured out how to go over, through, under, and around every barrier I put in front of her. (She climbed up every flight of stairs, as well.)
My Norwich had never even considered challenging any sort of gate or a flight of stairs. If a barrier was put in front of them, they accepted the fact that they weren’t supposed to go around it. Not Mia!
She can occasionally be found up on my tables if I am careless enough to leave a chair near them. She also found that if she could get a grip on a tablecloth, she could bring everything down that was sitting on top of the table.
Norwich and Norfolk are so different. Norwich treasure their toys and can keep a single one for years with the squeaky intact. Not so with the Norfolk; the toy is dead and disemboweled within minutes!
When I only had Norwich, I could hand out cookies and everyone would eat their own without any fighting. Not any more! Then there’s that ‘hunting instinct’. When the breeds split the Norfolks took all if it with them.
To sum it up … Norfolks are the problem solvers. Norwich are quite happy watching the Norfolks doing all their busy work while they just sit on the lap of their human and watch.
ANTIC, June 2010
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