The Dog World Mourns the Loss of Joe Sanchez
The dog world was stunned by the sudden passing of longtime Mastiff breeder/exhibitor and purebred dog fancier Joe Sanchez last night. Nearly everyone in the sport knows the Sanchez family, and Joe was beloved by everyone who met him. Joe and his wife, Carla, started breeding Mastiffs under the Southport prefix in 1982. The produced numerous #1 Mastiffs, Best in Show, and National Specialty winners including many of the top winning Mastiffs in the history of the breed.
Along with their success in Mastiffs, Joe and Carla campaigned many other top winning dogs including the Giant Schnauzer, Spirit, who was #1 All Breeds in 2008, the Harrier, Chet, one of the top winners in breed history, and Vinny, the top winning Boston Terrier of all time who is being currently campaigned by Jorge Olivera. Joe and Carla’s passion for purebred dogs and those who love them is legendary. Their competitive spirit is celebrated.
I have a personal story about Joe. I came to know Joe & Carla Sanchez in 1993 when I was campaigning a Mastiff named Jackson. There was a tight race for breed points and I flew to California for a supported entry weekend at Burbank KC. Joe and Carla had a beautiful bitch I was very fond of named Maddy. She was being specialed by Gretchen Schultz and right on Jackson’s tail in the breed race. As fierce as the competition was each day, we got together afterward and socialized. We went to dinner a couple of nights, too. We were fast friends, and by the end of the weekend had formed a bond that would strengthen over the decades. We would talk on the phone from time to time and sometimes see each other at shows when I found my way to the West Coast or they made their way East. I watched their children grow over the years and become the outstanding young adults they are today. It is a friendship that transcended our shared interest in Mastiffs.
Joe loved animals. Carla wrote on her Facebook page today about her loss. She also mentioned Joe’s love of animals saying, “He loved his dogs and we shared our love of them, our wonderful Mastiffs and even the small creatures, our Other Show Dogs and our ruling “CATS”. In life, he roared loudly…” That sums it up. We will all miss Joe’s ‘roar’.
I feel fortunate to have known Joe Sanchez. I wish I had known him better. He was a great man, great husband and great father. The sport will have no better champion than Joe Sanchez and it is poorer today without him.
Short URL: http://caninechronicle.com/?p=121175
Comments are closed