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The ‘Godless Girl’ Who Went to the Dogs – Remembering a Colorful Life

Lina in her prime as a professional handler with Ch. Heather of Braeside, one of the top dogs in the Working group in 1976. Photo Booth

The dog fancy has always attracted more than its share of colorful, even outrageous, individuals. Dog shows have their roots in serious livestock competition, but they soon developed elements of glamour and high drama that would naturally appeal to people with a sense of the theatrical. There’s no question that when you show dogs you’re on stage, performing in front of an audience. There’s a lot more to dog shows than that, of course, but certainly this must be one reason that we have so many colorful personalities in dogs. It’s a sort of show business, no question about that.

Nobody in dogs lived a more colorful life than Lina Basquette. To those whose memories go back a couple of decades in dogs her name lives on. She was the most successful handler and breeder of Great Danes ever, but she started out as child actress, starred in Cecil B. De Mille’s last silent film and headlined the Ziegfield Follies on Broadway. She married seven times, once to film studio owner Sam Warner, and was groomed to become a star in Germany before World War II. She rebuffed romantic advances from Hitler and was involved in high-level espionage circles in South America. There were court battles, a fortune lost, child custody fights, suicide attempts and appalling violence — and after all that Lina Basquette found her greatest success, and some say her true calling, as a breeder and handler of show dogs. She did not, like so many celebrities, just dabble in dogs: she made a serious study of breeding and showing, produced homebred Best in Show winners, handled Great Danes that were among the top Working dogs in the U.S. for many years, and placed among the Top Dogs of all breeds several times. She won two Groups at the Garden, became an AKC judge, wrote a popular column in “Kennel Review” and authored several books about her life and her dogs.

It is now almost twenty years since Lina Basquette died. Many dog fanciers still remember her from the 1980s and ‘90s, but few know the full story of her experiences before dogs. Let’s recap her long and remarkable life.

Lina was born in San Mateo, California in 1907. Originally her name was Lena Baskette, but a producer told her early on that “Lena is the name of a cook — Lina is an artiste,” and Basquette just looked better in lights. Her mother was the ultimate pushy stage mother, later blamed for driving Lina’s father to an early grave. Her younger half sister, Marge Champion, became more famous in movies than Lina: she was the original dance model for Disney’s “Snow White” and other animated films, and in the 1950s she and her husband Gower were a legendary dance team in movies and on TV.

Ziegfield Follies and the Warner Brothers
Lina secured her first film contract at age nine and was featured, with her name in the titles, in five Universal silent “featurettes.” Florenz Ziegfield soon snapped her up for his Follies on Broadway, where she was officially dubbed “America’s Prima Ballerina.” Her technique must have been good, because the legendary Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova foresaw a great future for Lina as a classical dancer and offered to mentor her, but mother didn’t think there was enough money in ballet and turned down the offer. (Lina said later it broke her heart.)

In 1925 Lina met film producer Sam Warner, co-founder of the Warner Bros. studio. The youngest and, according to many, the smartest and most decent of the brothers, Sam pushed for the novelty of sound film. (It was older brother Harry who once said, famously, “Who the hell wants to hear actors speak?”) The studio’s biggest star in those days was Rin-Tin-Tin, the German Shepherd Dog, which must have appealed to Lina, even then usually surrounded by a few dogs. She married Sam, very much against his brothers’ wishes, had a daughter, Lita, and lived happily until Sam’s sudden death two years later, on the night before his pet project, “The Jazz Singer,” opened and made film history. (Lina says she got Al Jolson the part in the “first full-length talking picture ever.”)

With her husband gone, a widow at 20, Lina lost almost everything: the greater part of her 25% share in the Warners fortune, the guardianship of her child (whom she didn’t see again until she was an adult), even most of her career. Unofficially blacklisted by the Warner family in Hollywood, Lina was rescued by the great director Cecil B. De Mille, who in 1929 chose her for the lead of his last silent film, “The Godless Girl.” Today it’s a footnote in cinematic history and plays as high camp, but the film did well enough in Europe for Lina to establish a following overseas. The next few years included a romance and near-marriage to heavyweight boxer Jack Dempsey, and a real marriage to Dempsey’s trainer, Ted Hayes (literally a shot-gun ceremony: he threatened to shoot her if she wouldn’t marry him). She gave birth to a son, Ed, in 1934, but there were continued lawsuits, at least one suicide attempt, hospitalization, and a string of forgettable parts in minor movies.

Since the Warner family made it difficult for Lina to get good parts in Hollywood, help was offered from an unlikely source. The memory of “The Godless Girl” was still fresh in Europe, and Lina was offered a chance to become a star for the UFA studio in Germany, giving rise to one of the most bizarre and potentially damaging episodes in her life. In January 1937, when Lina was in London, she was invited to Germany to discuss a contract. She had been told she was Hitler’s favorite actress, and once he heard she was in the country, Lina was driven in a bulletproof limousine to have dinner at Berchtesgaden.

Rebuffing Hitler
Lina remembers the meeting in detail in her memoirs: “I was annoyed with myself for not finding Hitler utterly repulsive… The mustache and that funny slicked-down hair weren’t my style — but those damned eyes!” Hitler reminded her that he had written a fan letter after seeing “The Godless Girl,” but in 1930 not many Americans knew who Hitler was. (Lina certainly didn’t.) The plan now was to make Lina into a great star of German film, and although Lina, as she said, “needed a job” and would have been happy to thumb her nose at Hollywood at that point, the possible repercussions suddenly hit her: “I thought, Jesus Christ — Hitler and Sam Warner’s widow! What a scandal. I was terrified.”

In her guest room, Lina found a framed photo of Hitler with a Wire Fox Terrier in his lap. “I thought, ‘The son of a bitch loves animals, he can’t be all bad.’ Of course, some of history’s biggest bastards loved animals; they’d cry over a dead horse while they sliced people’s heads off. But I didn’t think about that then.” After dinner, while Hitler kept telling her she was even more beautiful than her photographs, Lina and Hitler walked in the gardens, and it was there, once he had dismissed his bodyguards, that he “pounced” on her, she said. She resisted, at first politely, then forcefully, at one point employing her knee. The Führer let out a shout of pain, the guards reappeared, Hitler bellowed a command and Lina froze, certain she was going to be killed on the spot. She was out of Germany by the next day, and, as she said, “I was lucky to be deported in one piece.”

When she told the story to The “New Yorker” magazine in 1989, more than 50 years later, the writer addressed the question of how true it could be. Nobody was alive to corroborate or refute her statements, but the “general precision” of Lina’s memory made it difficult to discount them. As her sister, Marge Champion, said, “Lina has total recall. Except, of course, it’s her own recall.” And it’s important to note that this was before the war, when America was still divided about Hitler, before a Final Solution, and before “all the horror stories” came out. And the most likely reason she wasn’t killed on the spot was that her meeting with Hitler took place in early 1937, not late 1939: he was at that point not yet prepared to liquidate a well-known American actress.

For both professional and personal reasons, Lina kept the experience in Germany secret during and after the war, never attempting to exploit it and afraid of the reaction if people found out. And regardless of whom she was dealing with, she says, “I really was a bitch. If I weren’t eighty-one, I’d still be a bitch. Now I’m just a dear sweet old lady. I was just going to tease him, and there’s nothing I hate more than a tease.”

A Spy Intrigue in South America
Lina went back to Hollywood, married and divorced again, worked in minor films and toured in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. On the boat going back to the U.S. from Capetown via Rio de Janeiro she fell in love with a Japanese-Manchurian engineer who called himself Kuri Hurichi. He put up Lina and her son in luxury at the Copacabana, but Lina soon discovered that Hurichi was in fact not an engineer, but a high-level intelligence officer with a goal to prevent war between Japan and America. When Hurichi was ordered back to Japan he left Lina a set o documents to be turned over to American intelligence in the event of his death. Instead of risking execution upon his return, Hurichi chose a traditional suicide on the way back to Japan. Lita transmitted the documents as promised, was warned to get out of South America immediately, and arrived back in the U.S. shortly before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Sometime during the South American interlude, there was also an affair with the exiled crown prince of Albania, who gave her emeralds, and a meeting with a still very young Eva Peron, “just a little cantina girl then, really.”

Lina’s last film in Hollywood, a tawdry murder mystery in 1943, was made even more lurid by newspaper headlines that she was raped and beaten unconscious by a G.I. in California. Lina recovered, but the soldier was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Lina showing Ch. Honey Hollow Stormy Rudio to BIS in Watertown, NY in September, 1958. The judge was Miss Kathleen Staples.

Saved by the Dogs

It was at this low point in her life that the dogs literally “rescued” Lina Basquette. She once said that many get reformed through religion, but she was reformed through her dogs. She had always loved animals, and the memory of Sam Warner’s big black Great Dane, Fritz, lingered. He had been imported from Germany during a business trip; the dog reportedly hated everybody else but loved Lina. Later there was a Wire Fox Terrier, Jinx, and several other dogs, but she did not forget the Great Dane.

In 1948, Lina moved back to New York, married Warner Gilmore, and began to attend Westminster at Madison Square Garden. She was hit hard by the “dog craze” and used what was left of her settlement money from the long-drawn-out suit with the Warners to purchase a place in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. This was where she founded Honey Hollow kennels. She worked hard: as she said, she became “a slave” to her Great Danes, studied pedigrees and breed history day and night, and the kennel grew to house, at its peak, as many as sixty dogs.

The success of the Honey Hollow breeding program was undeniable. In less than ten years Lina had finished at least a couple of dozen champions, and before she quit, Honey Hollow had bred over a hundred Great Dane champions. Some were bred by Lina but owned by others, such as the brindle Ch. Honey Hollow That’s Jim Again, shown by Harry Sangster on the West Coast for the owner, the Craig Oil Company in Long Beach, Calif. The first of Lina’s great stars that she showed herself was the fawn Ch. Honey Hollow Stormy Rudio, whom she handled to a place among the Top 10 Working dogs in the U.S. for three years in a row, in 1957, 1958 and 1959, with a Group win at Westminster in 1959 as the high spot.

Becoming A Professional Handler
Other great homebred winners followed: Ch. Honey Hollow Golden Donner and Ch. Honey Hollow Broadway Jim, both bred and shown by Lina, were among the Top 10 in the Working group in 1962 and 1965, respectively. Their show careers were sponsored by helpful owners, and it must have been around this time that Lina realized how her talent for making her charges look good in the ring could be turned into a profession. For the next two decades Lina was among the country’s top professional handlers, winning with other breeds as well (Old English Sheepdogs, Dobermans, Pembroke Wels Corgis, etc.), but always with the focus on her beloved Great Danes.

Ch. Heidere’s Kolyer Kimbayh, pictured winning BIS at Mahong-Shenango KC in 1972, handled by Lina under judge William L. Kendrick. Kimbayh was No. 5 All Breeds in 1971 and No. 3 All Breeds in 1972.

Lina was famous for whenever possible showing just one single top winner. This paid off handsomely: among her charges were such Great Dane winners as Ch. Big Kim of Bella Dane (No. 7 All Breeds in 1969), Ch. Leslie’s Thumper V Barnhardt (No. 6 All Breeds in 1971), Ch. Heidere’s Kolyer Kimbayh (No. 5 All Breeds in 1972, No. 3 All Breeds in 1973), and Ch. Heather of Braeside (a Top Ten Working Dog in 1976). Finally, there was Lina’s last great star, perhaps the most beloved of them all, Ch. C & B’s Special-K Gribbin, who first appeared in the top Great Dane rankings in 1981, remained among the Top 10 Working Dogs for the next three years, took the Working group at Westminster in 1983, and won her last couple of Best in Shows in 1985. Lina was quoted as saying, “Special-K, when she was living with me — I swear to God, that dog knew every word that came out of my mouth and every mood I was in. We were a marvellous team in the ring because of that rapport. She responded perfectly to my showmanship.”

And what a showmanship that was! Lina was chosen All Breed Handler of the Year in the “Kennel Review” awards in both 1971 and 1973. In “The New Yorker” interview, author Barry Paris describes Lina’s handling style: “The secret of that showmanship was a lifetime in entertainment — the performer’s sense of audience and the dancer’s unerring grace, which she demanded of her dogs no less than of herself.” Over her career, it is estimated that Lina won well over 125 all-breed Best in Shows with Great Danes (and this at a time when there were barely half as many dog shows as today), 500 Working groups, and over a thousand Breeds.

Lina showing her last top winner, Ch. C & B’s Special-K Gribbin, to BIS at Tuxedo Park KC in 1982. The judge was Kay Finch of the famous Crown Crest Afghan Hounds in California. Trophy presenters were Glorvina and Sandy Schwartz. Photo Gilbert.

It’s worth noting, too, how competitive the Working group was in those days. This was before the Herding breeds were split off from the Working group, and in the early 1970s the list of the Top 10 dogs of all breeds frequently contained three or four from the Working group.

The Final Achievement: Judging!
By 1975 Lina had closed the kennels, and when Special-K retired from the show ring Lina embarked on her final new adventure. In 1988, when she was already in her 80s, Lina was approved to judge the entire Working group, Junior Showmanship and Best in Show. This was apparently achieved without most of the preliminaries that are considered necessary for such an elevated status today. How would someone like Lina have fared today, one wonders? The thought of Lina Basquette submitting to tests and interviews with an AKC Executive Field Representative frankly boggles the mind.

Lina’s judging career was not long, but it was brilliant. She judged twice at Westminster: somehow, long before her 1988 regular judging approval, she had officiated there in 1970, and then again in 1991. Not surprisingly, whenever she judged over the next few years she invariably drew a crowd of onlookers. She knew what was expected of her and never disappointed her fans, invariably putting on a show that made it clear even to those spectators who had no idea what her background was that they were watching a true performer.

It was also at this time that Lina’s now almost forgotten film career was rediscovered. She was invited to special screenings of “The Godless Girl” and her other movies, and she was interviewed, feted and treated like the true star she really was. (Her interview in “The New Yorker” marks only the second time that a dog person, as far as I know, was given this signal honor. An earlier interview had been devoted to Anne Rogers Clark in the 1960s.) A single print of “The Noose”, a 1927 melodrama for which she stole the lead part from Barbara Stanwyck, was discovered in an Eastern Europe film archive and flown to New York for a special viewing. And there was Frank Capra’s 1928 “The Younger Generation,” where Lina had the female lead agains Jean Hersholt and Ricardo Cortez. When seeing these early films for the first time in sixty-something years, Lina, typically, was both intrigued and amused by her youthful self. Her comments ranged from, “Boy, was I gorgeous!” and “She’s a tough little broad, isn’t she?” to “Watch out for the over-acting”…

Lina Basquette died on September 30, 1994. We have had many dramatic personalities in the dog world, both before and after her time, but I am quite sure we’ve never had anyone with a background as colorful, and few have equaled her success in the dog show world.

Special thanks to Ruth Crumb for providing a copy of The New Yorker interview with Lina Basquette.

Written by

Bo Bengtson has been involved in dogs since the late 1950s and judged since the mid-1970s in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Great Britain, France, Germany, Austria, Holland, Italy, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Japan, China and Russia. He has judged twice at Westminster, twice at Crufts and four times at the FCI World Show, as well as the U.S. national specialties for Scottish Deerhounds, Whippets, Greyhounds and Borzoi.
  • Susan Sprout September 27, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    I remember her well! She was a hoot!

  • Lynda Beam (Canine Candids by Lynda) September 27, 2013 at 10:03 AM

    Remember her showing her danes, and then becoming a judge, she was very nice to show to and quite glamorous even then. I was lucky enough in the last few years to find a copy of her book which is a fascinating account of her life.

  • Leonore September 27, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    before my time – and I feel I *really* missed out on one of the greats. thank you SO much for sharing this story of an incredible force.

  • chrita
    Gail Ferguson September 27, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    Love reading about Lina and her life! I lived on the west coast but remember hearing about and seeing photos of Lina and her Danes. I hope you continue to write about the “old timers” of our sport and how they became who they were/are.

  • Mark J Bekel MarBer September 27, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    Living in New York in 70’s thru 80’s, I got to see Lina a lot. Even ran into her at a restaurant in New Hope Pa.circa 1977……….Had friends from Europe with me. She was a hoot, even asked me if I was going to be at sundays show,(knew I worked most Saturdays) Great lady…..Always a joy…………..

  • Desmond J. Murphy September 27, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    Loved the story about Lena. She was truly a legend in her own time! Seeing the picture of her winning under Bill Kendrick reminded me of a funny incodent. It was at the Camden K.C. Billy
    judged B.I.S., Vernelle Hartman was in there with a Mini Poodle, and she and Billy were about to be married. When he pointed to Lena she turned and said to Vernelle, “You got the proposal , but I got the B.I.S.!!!!”
    Lena was such a fascinating character and charmed all who came in contact with her. She could show a Dane like nobody else ever did, or better than anyone today! She was very difficult to beat under so many judges.

  • Jeffrey Pepper September 27, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    Just a quick note – since I don’t get to see you as often since I moved to Florida – to say how much I enjoyed your article about Lina. You brought back some fond memories as I read about her again. Lina most certainly was a unique personality in our little dog world. There were several other judges who were in the entertainment field over the years, but none as flamboyant as Lina!

  • Charlene Stone
    Charlene Stone September 27, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    I remember Lina quite well. She wore little ballet slippers when she was in the ring, all the time. When she moved a dog it was if she were floating around the ring. What a woman….

  • Cheryl Boyer September 27, 2013 at 6:11 PM

    It may take a really great writer such as Bo Bengsten is to bring history to life sometimes. In this case his talents are icing on the cake as Lina Basquette’s remarkable story makes her seem lively still. I really enjoyed this article!

  • Jo Ann Emrick September 27, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    Wonderful article about an amazing woman!

  • Linda Ayers Turner Knorr September 28, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    Thank you, Bo, for remembering Lina!!! She was always a part of my dog show and personal world! My entire Roy Ayers Family loved her! She always put me First in Juniors! The Handlers judged them way back then. As a little girl, Lina was my movie star! Then when I grew up, we loved being on judging panels together. She visited in all of The Ayers family homes all over the country. I have a large box of cards and letters she sent throughout my life. Yes, I adored Lina!

    Some years ago I too penned a feature article on Lina! I have always kept up with her son and daughter. The Campbells, owners of Special K were always supportive of Lina.

    There is also an unpublished manuscript written by Lina. Wouldn’t you all love to read it!?!?

    Following her death I contacted a member of the Board of Directors of the Dog Museum of America regarding their receiving the memorabilia of Lina. Certainly her life story and contributions to our sport deserve to be there! I was told they would want nothing to do with remembering Lina. WHAT A SHAME!!!!!

    Perhaps some of your readers could generate interest to change that!!!

    Linda Ayers Turner Knorr
    AKC Judge
    AKC Delegate

  • Diane Mallett September 28, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    I enjoyed reading this. Beautifully done.

    This is long but I hope you don’t mind that I share my story……and “Lena”

    I remember Lena Basquette from winning at the Garden. Many years later, I was showing dogs at the New England summer circuit show. She was judging Jr Showmanship classes and I went to support the Jr’s, plus see Lena in action. You had to be there…….

    She was ready for her next class, and asked her ring steward to call the Senior Class in the ring……..

    The parents and observers knew what was about to happen. We were all waiting to see her re-action! We watched the senior’s enter the ring, Lena dressed to the “9’s” gracefully smiling, glancing at the armbands numbers as they entered. However, what she didn’t know at first, was many Professional handlers (senior) were slipping in between the Jrs’. It was Hysterical!!! She started her assignment by asking them to circle the ring! As the class circled the ring, she realized what was going on. (The crowd was roaring). She was smiling but did not blink! She was center stage and it was……. “Show time”!

    She started her judging assignment first by going down the line to view each dog. She smiled, as she went down the line viewing each dog enjoying every moment. She then pulled out a few “senior” Professional handler, and sadly excused them – Aged out! She then asked the class to circle the ring. They all stop and “work” their dogs. She then signaled to two “senior” handlers to bring their dogs to the center of the ring. One free baited his dog and began throwing $$$$$$ bills at her!!! Another, had rolled his pants up, his shirt unbuttoned and was “strutting” HIS “stuff” – not his dog). IT WAS HYSTICAL!!! She graciously smiled. People went crazy, whistling and clapping. Inevitably, ALL obvious “seniors” were
    “Excused”. (Note: No people or dogs were hurt in this exhibition… Egos, maybe!)

    After all that great entertainment, not only for her, but the attendees, she moved onto her “official” assignment and placements of her Senior Class. I will never forget that day!! Nor will anyone that witnessed it, including her Best Senior!!!! We were ALL “in the moment”. I never had so much fun. She was a class act. I know it made her day! FYI – some of those Senior Jr Handlers are now “Top handler’s” of today.

    God blessed her with a wonderful dog life and people who truly were “touch” by her presense. I know I was.

    Diane Mallett, Sirrocco Boxers, Reg. Est. 1968

  • Patricia Dollar-Araby Boxers September 29, 2013 at 8:15 AM

    I remember how Lina loved the color purple and sequins. Lina was so tiny that when she showed large male Danes it often appeared as if the dog was alone in the ring when gaiting. All you could see was the top of Lina’s head and her hand on the lead! And the sequins when she stopped!!!! Great fun – great times.

  • Patricia Collins Briasco September 29, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    I remember in the early 70’s going to Bucks County Pa. to Lina’s Honey Hollow Kennel to breed a bitch. It made for a great day and she welcomed us into her beautiful home. Her Great Danes were all lounging on their beautiful big comfortable beds in front of the fireplace. It made for a memorable day and allot of fun.

  • Betty Regina Leininger September 29, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    Just a quick note to tell you how very much I enjoyed your article on Lina Basquette. It brought tears of joy, because she and I had a special friendship for many years. She stayed at my home when we judged Waukesha together in the mid 80’s. I was married then and living in Wisconsin. We remained friends and stayed in touch until her passing in ‘94.

    I have several mementoes from Lina…a pair of faux earrings given to her by her half -sister Marge, a huge amethyst ring from who knows whom, and of course an autographed copy of her book with a lovely note which I treasure. (She had signed off on real jewels and furs a long time ago). The best gift of all was when I accompanied her as her guest, along with a young man by the name of Barry, who was helping her with the book and another fellow whose name escapes me – both with the William Morris Agency – to the screening of “The Noose,” which was shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art during the week of the “Garden.” The sub-titles were in Czech so we had no idea what was being said. The film had been found in the Film Archives in Czechoslovakia. I’m uncertain whether she could recall what was being said either, as it had been so very long ago.

    Also, I have some wonderful candid shots of Lina and me taken together at various dog shows. Next time we meet I can share the story about how the book “Lina” and the article in the New Yorker magazine came about. It’s most unusual.

    Needless to say, I was most interested in your article. Many thanks for writing it. There are some of us who have been around long enough to remember Lina. She was an amazingly talented woman… a true character for sure. So very happy you wrote this.

    • kayla
      kayla September 30, 2013 at 7:15 AM

      Mrs. Leininger will be judging Best in Show at the 2014 Westminster Kennel Club show.

  • Trudi September 30, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    I remember one show where she had a camera following her around all day, in the rings and out. She won the breed, group 1 and went into the BIS ring, where she got beaten when a friend of mine with a client Schipperke went BIS. The photographer then tried to sell the to my friend. Lina wasn’t a happy camper that day.

  • Ruth Crumb September 30, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    What a superb article: You were able to condense the information that was in the New Yorker article into a most complete picture of a figure who was very fascinating in so many ways. You also captured all the history that went into the making of this person. Thanks for sharing your truly remarkable writing skills. I believe the number of comments reflect a vast number of “dog people” who have many stories to tell about Lina, as well as their appreciation to you for a job well done.

  • Sarah Gaunt October 2, 2013 at 7:06 AM

    I remember in the 80’s Lina did a Great Dane specialty. I met her through Rose Roberts (Dinro Kennels) and thought I’d watch her judge. At the time I had Siberian Huskies and had bought my Dad a Great Dane for his companion. After the judging, I asked why she spent so much time on particular examples and almost no time on others. I’ll never forget her reply…..paraphrasing…….”Unless they have the type and size of a Great Dane, I don’t waste my time on the pet population no matter how sweet they and their owners might be” Yes, there was no grey or PC with Lina……think judging could use a little more of that conviction these days to replace generic decisions with recognition of breed nuance.

  • Richard Hellman October 9, 2013 at 7:55 AM

    Thanks so much for remembering Lina Basquette, one of my all time idols in the sport! Your wonderful ability not only brings her back to life for those fortunate enough to have known her, but will surely intrigue those who never had that honor!

  • Linda Alexander January 28, 2015 at 8:01 PM

    Lina Basquette was an integral part of my childhood. My family owned and showed Ch. Heather of Braeside, and I got to know her hanging out around the fairgrounds of countless counties across the Midwest. When she began handling “Funny Face” (Heather) she became part of our family. Lina was smart, confident, and flamboyant; always with an interesting story and a smile. She also made me into a Steelers fan 4L.

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