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Remembering Bobby Barlow

1981 - Best In Show - Westminster Kennel Club Ch. Dhandy’s Favorite Woodchuck - Handled by Bobby Barlow, Owned by Robert Hauslohner and pictured with Judge Mr. Langdon L. Skarda

From the archives of The Canine Chronicle, March, 2012

By Lee Canalizo

Forty years ago we had in our dog show presence a veritable example of Clifton Odets “Golden Boy”. His name was Bobby Barlow. He was a handsome, talented, freckled-faced young man who looked somewhat like a young Robert Redford. Well, maybe not quite like Robert Redford, but you get the idea!

It all started for Bobby in 1953 with his first Basset Hound. He had as good a start as one could have with the Hardy’s as his mentors. Both Frank and Dorothy were at the top of their game in that era.

Bobby started out as a handler in 1958. His first big winner was an English Setter named Ch. Friends Blue Knight. He impacted just about any breed with which he was involved. I can’t recall if he actually did any breeding on paper, but there wasn’t anything in the sport Bobby couldn’t contribute to. He guided many a great dog, great owner and great breeder with his wisdom. His regard in the dog world was matched by his other love… horses. Somehow he managed to make his mark in both arenas.

He showed many good dogs to coveted wins at all of the big shows of the day. I vividly remember him showing the wonderful Pug, Woodchuck, that belonged to one of his best clients, Robert Hauslohner, to Best In Show at Westminster. Before that, it was hard to beat him in hounds when he had Len Skolnicks Basset Hound, Ch. Slippery Hill Hudson, who was campaigned by another of Bobby’s top clients, the Robsons. Bobby had numerous great ones in just about every group.

He was equally successful with the ladies and over the years he would have married more than his share of those who caught his fancy.

1975 - Ch. Slippery Hill Hudson Owned by Len Skolnick and Mr. & Mrs. Robson

At this point in his handling career, the MB-F organization convinced Bobby to work for them, which he did most successfully for some time. He became a familiar fixture behind the superintendent’s desk at the dog shows. He was so impressive in this position that the American Kennel Club convinced Bobby that he was just what they needed and they were just what HE needed! He became an Executive Field Rep and was also extremely well-received in this position. Bobby had a great way with people and was much liked and respected for his vast knowledge and experience in the world of dogs. This was a great fit for all concerned… BUT life has a way of throwing people a curve. As Bobby’s marriage to his beautiful wife Candy came undone, so did his position at the Kennel Club, much to the dismay of the AKC and all the people who knew and loved him.

The excitement of a new, younger wife and the prospect of going back to handling were too much for Bobby to ignore. Despite his friends’ advice, he gave up his secure, promising future with the AKC to go back to handling. This was a bit later in his career than was feasible, according to those who cared the most about him and his well-being.

Unfortunately, as the story goes, you can’t go back again and his later handling career was not as rewarding or illustrious as his first go-round.

He went on to live in the bluegrass state of Kentucky along with a Boxer friend until his untimely and extremely sad passing almost eight years ago.

Bobby was a wonderful dog man with so much promise, talent and charm. I always thought his life story would have made a wonderful movie. I, along with most of the opposite sex involved in our dog world, was probably a little bit in love with this “Golden Boy”.

From the archives of The Canine Chronicle, March, 2012

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Posted by on Jul 4 2020. Filed under Current Articles, Dog Show History, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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  • August 2020