Interview with a Professional Handler, Renee Rosamilia
Where do I live? How long have you been in dogs?
Renee Rosamilia: I live in Dunnellon Florida. I have been in dogs for over 20 years.
When did I decide to become a Professional Handler?
Renee Rosamilia: I am 51 years old, a divorced mother of one son. I decided to become a Professional Handler when my ex-husband was showing. I figured that if I had to go to dog shows, I was going to get a show dog. Then I decided that I loved it.
Who did I apprentice under and for how many years?
Renee Rosamilia: I apprenticed with Laura Coombs and Brian Tuel for about four years.
How many shows do I typically attend each year?
Renee Rosamilia: I show almost every week. Soooo… a lot.
How many dogs do I generally show on a given weekend?
Renee Rosamilia: My normal string is 12 to 14 dogs.
How do I decide which all-breed shows to attend? What about specialties?
Renee Rosamilia: It truly depends on the clients I have at the time and the needs of each dog.
Can I talk a bit about my facilities? Do I have a kennel?
Renee Rosamilia: I have turned my home into a home for the dogs. I have 10 yards for the dogs, with two being over half an acre.
What’s it really like to be “on the road” with a group of show dogs?
Renee Rosamilia: To be on the road with show dogs is something that is so much fun, but also the hardest thing in the world. There’s early mornings and late nights, and flat tires and bad hotels. But then you have the amazing dogs and fantastic clients that make the tough days so worth it. It is something you do for the passion, not for the paycheck.
I started off in show horses, so changing to show dogs was an easy transition that I cherish every day. The travel we do is hard on relationships and on a personal life. However, the bonds we build with our four-legged charges and the clients who become our family are well worth it.
Am I going to Orlando? If so, what are my goals for my current string of dogs?
Renee Rosamilia: I am going to Orlando. My goals for my dogs are to finish the year with the same amazing dogs I started with, to keep them happy and loving what we do together. This is truly what I love.
Just for laughs, do I have a funny story that I can share about my experiences as a Professional Handler?
Renee Rosamilia: There are so many funny stories, depending on which end of the funny you are on. Like the dog that decided he was having too much fun in the exercise yards to come in until… 45 minutes later. Or the time we went to a show and I forgot my whole suitcase, so Walmart in Georgia became my best friend.