COLVIN ON MARY WILD
Owner of Akita that died in handler Mary Wild's care following gross neglect when left
with other show dogs in Wild's van in blazing sun.
Barbara "BJ" Andrews, Editor-In-Chief
First, tell us something about yourself, Gekko Akitas, and
the Akita bitch so tragically lost. For example, your
profession, when and why you got into Akitas, do you owner
handle, and especially, what was Jersey like to live with?
am a graphic designer, I designed for print but now work
from our home on a freelance basis designing websites on
a small scale. My first encounter with an Akita was in
1980, as a 19- year old college student in NYC. As I was
waiting for my bus one afternoon, I met a beautiful Akita
named "Teddy". He was so calm, dignified and accepting of
love -- I fell in love on the spot. However, I had to wait
until (in my mother's words), I was grown up and out on my
own, in order to have a dog. Two years later, and I had my
"Pablo" was a companion, and we shared life for the next 12+
years. Showing and breeding was a dream for the future. I
wanted to learn about the breed by owning an Akita for his
lifetime so I waited and got my first show prospects in 1994
and 1995. I love showing in conformation, yet the first
title I put on a dog was a CD on "Thor" when he was 2 1/2.
The best feeling of all is to show breeder/owner/handled! I
currently enjoy competing in Rally and am training our "BB"
in agility, as well as showing in conformation.
Why did you choose Mary Wild as your handler?
Mary Wild was a very talented handler that lived relatively
nearby, about a 50-minute drive. I didn't like the idea of
sending a dog off with someone for weeks or months on end.
Short weekend trips to shows allowed Jersey to go show and
come home to keep happy and fit. I had frequently seen Mary
Wild show and her talent could not be disputed. She
presented dogs beautifully and always worked while in the
ring. If she were headed away, I got Jersey to Mary's home
and back. If she were coming this way, we would meet off an
interstate en route. And if I was going Jersey would show
with Mary and come home. Jersey was always happy to go, and
equally happy to come home.
long did she have your dog and was it Mary Wild who built
Mary put the majors on Jersey, which were ringside pick ups.
Since Jersey was likely to finish the year in the Top 20 so
we did a variety of ringside pick ups, and sending Jersey
for a couple of weekends. I put a couple of Breeds on her,
but Mary's presentation of her surely built Jersey's
career. December 2008 my father passed away, he lived in New
Jersey, so I needed to go back east early in 2009 for a bit
of a long trip. Additionally we had a long-planned trip to
California surrounding a wedding the end of June and I
knew Jersey would not get to many shows with me. In 2009,
other than normal show weekends, Jersey was in her care for
2 weeks in early March, and in June it was to be slightly
more than 2 weeks when we had our trip out west. It ended up
being a mere 4 days.
Did you ever have any reason to be concerned about your dog?
had no reason to be concerned about Jersey. Mary really
loved her, and Jersey loved Mary. Mary had recently acquired
a new Sprinter van to replace her older Ford van. I
mentioned earlier how happy Jersey was to go. The last day I
saw Jersey we met Mary off I-55 nearby in Illinois, Jersey
happily greeted Mary and jumped into the crate in her
Sprinter, and off they went.
Is that why you weren’t called to testify against Mary
was not called to testify against Mary Wild because I was
across the country at the time of the crime, therefore not
witness to anything. I was in Montana enroute to a family
wedding in California when Mary Wild called to tell me
Jersey had "gotten hot" and was on I.V. fluids at Dr. Laura
Ivan's clinic but that she would be fine. The next day,
when we were at Yellowstone, Mary called and said Jersey had
passed away. It wasn’t until the day after that, that
Jersey’s breeder called to tell me that the 6 dogs were dead
on the scene, 2 days earlier, at the Wild residence.
couldn’t have testified anyway because Samba was due to
whelp during the trial and my husband was out of town. I
have never left dogs outside during hot weather so I have to
walk them and keep a close eye on my bitch that was due.
This is CH. Gekko's Dancin' In The Moonlight, CCG, little
did we know she was carrying our future when Jersey was
I understand you have a new litter. Are they related to
Our new litter is only very distantly related to Jersey.
However, our November litter was sired by Jersey's
littermate, CH. Mystik's CowBoi. In that breeding we knew we
could not bring Jersey back but at least we had a shot at
capturing those great characteristics that CowBoi shared
with his sister. From that litter we kept "Morgen", who has
a look in her eyes that is so similar to Jersey, it makes me
think there was some spiritual transference! We can't
change the past, but we can be happy for today and tomorrow
based on a loose linebreeding on some greats from the Minda
line, we are really excited about them.
I know it’s
hard to talk about but can you tell us something about
was as close to perfect as an Akita bitch can be in form and
spirit. What people don't know is what a dear sweet girl she
was. She was a perfect pack member, never petty, came when
called, never did anything wrong (other than destroy a bed
or two). If there was a person she felt was not good enough
to approach me, she would bark in her wonderfully deep and
compelling way. This was rare, and I trusted her
assessment. I called her our "good little duck" -- one day
my husband was working in the yard, sort of marching here
and there. She tracked steps behind him as he walked and
followed his steps foot by foot just like a duckling behind
the duck! She was truly a joy to live with, cute, loveable,
entertaining, beautiful inside and out.
Will you campaign another dog?