Meet Nancy Shaw
Nancy Shaw is a member of the Board of Directors for the AKC Canine Health Foundation. She is an AKC Breeder of Merit who also sits on the board for the AKC Museum of the Dog. Nancy’s presence in the dog fancy includes her position as an AKC Delegate, as President of the San Antonio Kennel Club and as a member of the board for the Morris and Essex Kennel Club. She is also active with the French Bulldog Club of America, Papillon Club of America, Greater Kerrville Kennel Club, and Mission City Steward Club.
Nancy always had a family dog as she grew up and an Irish Setter was her first dog as an adult. As she and her husband started their own family in Texas, Nancy wanted a large dog that would be protective of their children. An avid competitor in Hunter-Jumpers with Thoroughbred horses, Nancy met a litter of English Mastiffs at a horse show and fell in love with the breed. The couple always had a Mastiff while their children were growing up and bred a few litters over 25 years. When Nancy’s son was in college at UCLA, he asked for a French Bulldog puppy as a Christmas present. Nancy researched the breed and did find a companion for her son. She came to love the breed while visiting her son and his Frenchie. She liked the option of a small dog that could easily travel with her for horse shows between the coasts. Nancy acquired her own French Bulldog with the potential of showing her with the guidance and friendship of her breeder.
Nancy became an AKC Breeder of Merit with her Frenchies and they did well showing with various professional handlers. One dog, Griffin (MBIS MBISS GChP Bandog Bayou’s The Warrior), provided Nancy with many firsts – including Best of Breed and 3rd place for Best in Show at the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 2013. Because Griffin’s handler had experienced cancer, Nancy was introduced to Take the Lead, a charity that provides direct services, support and care for people in the sport of purebred dogs who suffer the devastation of life-threatening or terminal illness. Nancy started to support Take the Lead and at their various social events learned about the AKC Canine Health Foundation.
Trained as a nurse, Nancy’s medical knowledge helps her understand the nature of disease and medical research. Plus, her experience as an equestrienne provides a great appreciation for biomechanics and the movement of dogs and horses. Her unique perspective is welcomed on the AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) Board of Directors. Nancy notes that CHF-funded research can benefit all dogs and humans. “Canine health research is important because dogs develop spontaneous disease just like humans,” she says. “But their shorter lifespan allows us to better understand health concerns that also affect humans in a shorter period of time.” She cites the groundbreaking research on night blindness in Briards that provided a cure for the same disease in people as a great example of this translational medicine benefit.
Now living in her native state of Texas, Nancy is particularly passionate about research on Chagas Disease – an infection spread by kissing bugs that damages the heart in dogs and people. Nancy’s own dogs participate in Chagas Disease research studies at Texas A&M University and she helps recruit more dogs for participation in addition to collecting and submitting kissing bugs for study. Nancy says “The AKC Canine Health Foundation is a great place to put your money because they’re going to find answers for us.” Thanks to the dedication and participation of people like Nancy, there is certainly hope for that.
Thank you, Nancy!
Help Future Generations of Dogs
Participate in canine health research by providing samples or by enrolling in a clinical trial. Samples are needed from healthy dogs and dogs affected by specific diseases.