John V. Ioia, of Hurley, New York, began as an exhibitor, along with his wife, Barbara, in 1974. They began with a Shih Tsu, but are today more closely associated with Lhasa Apsos and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

There have been many ring highlights for the Ioias, “But,” says Dr. Ioia, “one always remembers their first owner-handled Shih Tzu, Ch. Kee-Lee’s Om Tzo Tza-Tzi CD (Sassy), who started us and was the dam and grand-dam of champions.” Their most recent co-bred Cavalier, BIS Gold GCh. Karlees Pryme Tyme at Bar-Jon, “has made us very proud and is emblematic of what I believe a Cavalier should be.”

An AKC judge since 1982, Dr. Ioia is approved for all toy breeds and the Toy Group, 10 terrier breeds, eight non-sporting breeds, Best in Show, and Junior Showmanship. He has held high positions in local and national clubs too numerous to mention here.

“I hope to make a difference,” he says, “and truly live up to my motto: I hope to be as good a person as my dogs think I am.”