Remembering Julie Desy

Julie Desy
Julie Desy Ilemist 1946-2021

On February 29, 2020, Julie Desy entered my ring at the Chicagoland Shetland Sheepdog Specialty Show. It had been some years since we had seen each other and I will always remember what I said to her as I reached the table to examine her dog: “Wish I could give you a big hug right now!” Of course, that was not possible, but I said it anyway. (Julie was the only one who heard me and, yes, I know that may not have been an appropriate thing for a judge to say to an exhibitor.) It wasn’t until the afternoon that we were able to catch up on hugs, but it was a treasured reunion between two old friends.

Also, on the judging panel that day was our friend, Brian Cleveland. Sadly, the Chicagoland Shetland Sheepdog Specialty turned out to be the last Specialty show attended by these two great icons of the breed. In less than a year, the dog world lost both Brian Cleveland and Julie Desy.

Julie Desy’s passion for Shelties spanned more than 60 years. She finished her first champion at the age of 12. As a small hobby breeder, she went on to breed or co-breed nearly 60 more champions, including four Register
of Merits:

  • Ch Ilemist As You Like It ROM
  • Ch Ilemist Gorgeous George CD ROM
  • Ch Ilemist Impossible Dream CDX ROM
  • Ch Jade Mist Memorandum ROM

Her devotion to the breed and to the sport extended well beyond her own kennel. She was an accomplished handler, an active and longtime contributor to the American Shetland Sheepdog Association as well as a dedicated educator and mentor to fellow breeders and judges.

As a handler, Julie finished well over 300 champions for clients, and she successfully campaigned seven Century Club Winners:

  • Ch Starphire Lochlyn Takin Over 3CC (359 BOB’s)
  • Ch Brandywine Imprint 2CC (215 BOBs)
  • Ch Sundial Midas Revelation ROM 2CC (233 BOBs)
  • Ch Willow Layne Makin Out ROM CC (138 BOBs)
  • Ch Norwood Nenana CC (101 BOBs)
  • Ch Marikohill Sunblest Captiva CC (106 BOBs)
  • Ch JusDandy Devine Ms M CC (119 BOBs)

She was a 50-year member of the ASSA and served the organization faithfully since joining in 1968; as a Board Member (1968-1970), Recording Secretary (1989), Life Membership Committee Member, a member of the Judges’ Education Committee (2008-2021), and Judges’ Mentoring Program (2006-2021). Her greatest honors were to receive the ASSA’s inaugural Sportsman Award (2008), to judge the Futurity (1991), to be inducted into Life Membership (2015), and to judge the first Veteran Sweepstakes (2019).

Perhaps Julie’s greatest gift to the sport was as an educator and mentor. Formally, through her Objective Evaluation seminar and, informally, in countless ways, she inspired, guided, challenged, and supported generations of Sheltie enthusiasts. That will be her enduring legacy.

Julie Desy

 

“Perhaps Julie’s greatest gift to the sport was as an educator and mentor. Formally, through her Objective Evaluation seminar and, informally, in countless ways, she inspired, guided, challenged, and supported generations of Sheltie enthusiasts.
That will be her enduring legacy.”