The Ken-L Ration Medal is specifically designated to honor those members, often "behind the scenes" workers, whose contributions are so important to the success of any dog club. Often these are members who put in many hours, weeks, months, years-without recognition. The Ken-L Ration people make only one of these medals available each year to a dog club. This year's winner is joining a select group.
Nancy Nevin has an outstanding record for promoting all those attributes that classify the Newfoundland as a "working breed." For many years obedience training was her forte, from puppy kindergarten through advanced sessions, and for two decades, accolades from dog owners spanning the breed alphabet have been abundant. Working primarily in the area near home, her reputation for professionalism and success rippled outward from coast to coast. Repeatedly and consistently, there has been testimony of her ability to train owners "to communicate" and "to play" with their dogs in a quiet, confident fashion that produced remarkable results for hundred and thousands of owners and their dogs. Many "dogs at risk," destined for placement with the SPCA for misbehavior were saved through Nancy's guidance and training of both owner and dog.
With Newfoundlands, Nancy brings a new and truly operative dimension to the working part of the working breed definition. Certainly her own Newfoundlands are extremely well trained in all aspects of obedience, but her achievements in the particular categories of the working dog are exemplary. One of her dogs was the second Newfoundland in the country to achieve a Utility Dog Excellent title. Throughout the full calendar year, the 1997 Good Sportsmanship winner is engaged in training working Newfoundlands to their full potential and consequently they thoroughly enjoy the lifestyle for which they are bred. In agility, water work, carting, drafting and sledding, she has demonstrated that the fully trained Newfoundland on both land and water is a wonder to behold not only for the joy and fun of a human audience, but for the exquisite magic that occurs when a beloved animal is in active synergy with its potential, when it is fulfilled because it is at its best.
Selfless in her efforts to bring Newfoundlands and their owners to that place where both can find harmony in a shared union that taps the best of both, Nancy has been an invaluable apostle for the Newfoundland breed. Ever the cheerleader for what is possible, she has been a quiet, but powerful influence on owners and their dogs not only to perform and achieve, but also to share that joy with a larger community. Countless hospital-bound patients, young school children, and a wide array of charitable organizations have benefited from her visits with Newfoundlands and interactive demonstrations of their working abilities.
A true beacon, Nancy's extraordinary understanding of Newfoundlands and her pure desire to bring out the best through deeds not words have given us all a wonderful example to which we can aspire. It is with great appreciation and pleasure that we award the 1997 Ken-L Ration Medal for Good Sportsmanship to Nancy Nevin.