Breeder, owner-handler and judge Paula Dempsey has bred English Setters, with Jim Jannard under the Oakley prefix, for nearly four decades. Jim named his company after his first English Setter, Clairho Oakley Anne, back in 1975, and the products produced by Oakley, including sunglasses and apparel, have become recognized worldwide for their quality. The same may be said of the Oakley English Setters. Paula answered our Who’s Who questions.
1. Where were you born?
Wichita Falls, Texas.
2. List the roles you’ve played in the dog world: breeder, owner-handler, professional handler, apprentice, judge, delegate, writer, publisher, photographer, artist, campaign manager?
I have bred English Setters for 37 years and am an owner-handler. I am approved to judge English and Irish Setters. I also give back to the sport as show chairman for the Rainier Sporting Dog Association Group show, show chairman for the English Setter Association of America National Specialty and by serving on committees for the Tacoma Kennel Club.
3. Are you the only person in your family who is involved in the dog show world?
4. With what living dog person have you had the longest acquaintance, other than a relative?
Nancy Jenkins of Guys ‘N Dolls English Setters.
5. What breeds have you been personally involved with? What is your favorite breed?
I grew up with German Shepherds as pets, and out of high school decided Afghans were my dream, until they destroyed almost every piece of furniture I had. While I was married, we had Old English Sheepdogs that we showed. Then I saw Ch. Guys ‘N Dolls Onassis and knew English Setters were my breed.
6. Who inspired you in the dog world? In what way?
My babysitter took me to my first dog show when I was 10 years old. She had Boxers. She is the one who told me that dog shows are where you take your finest animals, to exhibit your breeding stock. She drilled into my head that you start with the best because if you don’t it will take you a lot longer to get to the top.
7. Are you taken, looking or happily unattached? If taken, by whom and for how long?
Ted Stone and I have been together for 12 years.
8. What are your current house pets?
Right now we have five fabulous English Setters living in the house.
9. What is your most prized possession?
My artwork and statues of English Setters, especially my busts of the great Ch. Oakley’s Cigar and Ch. Oakley’s Just a Minute, by Jim Gion.
10. What one thing would people be surprised to learn about you?
That I’m an extreme skier.
11. Besides dog things, what are your favorite interests or activities?
Snow skiing, golf and LIFE.
12. Other than your chosen profession, how would you like to have earned a living?
As a spy or a forensic scientist.