I pursue my vision of the Labrador retriever through conformation showing, obedience training, and training and participation in AKC Hunt Tests.
My journey in Labrador retrievers began with a German shepherd 4-H Guide Dog For The Blind project in 1968. Unfortunately Portia “flunked” out of the program due to her protective nature but my second project was a Labrador retriever named Les who did graduate as a working guide in 1969. My 4-H Guide Dog project leader was an AKC obedience judge who encouraged us Puppy Raisers to show our Guide Dog puppies at AKC matches to help socialize them. I was hooked on obedience competition!
After Les graduated I talked my parents into spending the grand sum of $75 for a black Labrador retriever purchased from a pet shop in Santa Barbara. In showing at local shows in Santa Barbara County I met a gentleman who had imported a Labrador from England during his military service. He allowed me to learn to show in the conformation ring with his dogs during my high school years as well as continuing my obedience work with my own bitch.
I took a break from dogs while away at UC Davis earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Science. After college I began working in the veterinary field eventually becoming a California State licensed Veterinary Technician in the San Francisco East Bay area. One of the veterinarians I worked with was going to the Golden Gate Kennel Club benched dog show so I asked her to check out the Labrador breeders. She brought me a card from Jane Borders, Braemar Labradors. Jane did not have any puppies available at the time but referred me to Ginger and Don Campbell, Campbellcroft Labradors, who had recently bred to one of Jane’s stud dogs.
This began my association with Ginger and Don through my first Campbellcroft Labrador—Campbellcroft Bristol Cream UD JH in 1980. That collaboration continued for many years including my acquisition of more Campbellcroft Labradors and co-breeding several litters.
1980 was also the year I joined the Golden Gate Labrador Retriever Club. Since then I have served as Club Secretary for seven years; Assistant or Specialty Show Chairman 20 years; and on the Board of Directors, Match Chair and a variety of other positions throughout that time. I am currently the GGLRC Treasurer.
In 1982 I married my husband, Paul Marcotte, and in 1986 bred my first litter using my new prefix—Marstad (MARcotte and HerigSTAD). We moved from Walnut Creek to Livermore, CA in 1988 to a horse boarding stable as I had too many dogs to live in town.
Over the years I have met many wonderful people who have become fast friends and loved many special Labrador retrievers.