Susan Brooksbank

After graduation from FSU with a BA in Social Sciences, I was a stewardess for Delta Air Lines for a couple of years before returning to Sarasota to teach.

Eight summers of my 36 years of teaching I enjoyed six week summer travel/study trips all over Europe with high school students and a couple of spring break trips to the Soviet Union and Mexico. It is a real hoot traveling with teenagers as they see things from a different viewpoint than adults and are much more flexible with the screw ups that can occur while traveling in a group. One such screw up occurred in Rome when the second tour guide for the city tour didn’t show up so I told the first bus load of students and teachers to go with the guide that did show and I did the speaking part of the tour on the second bus. The Italian bus driver thought I did a good job and the kids would have believed anything I said so it worked out! While teaching I was honored to receive Teacher of the Year awards from two different schools where I was teaching at that time. Some where along the line, I earned a MA in Curriculum and Supervision from Nova University. Three of the years I was an educator, I was the right hand man (much like an assistant principal) for the principal at the alternative education school where I taught for 17 years. I learned a lot about school administration and couldn’t wait to return to the classroom.

I have also traveled extensively not with students. My favorite trip was a 16 day safari in Kenya. I filmed 5 hours of video, edited it down to one hour and have a great overview of the different parks and animals there. I also enjoyed New Zealand but the flight back to the states was very long especially if you are in tourist class. In Alaska I danced with the Indians which just happened to be filmed by a Phoenix TV station that was on board the Princess (Love Boat). I rode camels in Egypt and floated down the Nile. My favorite Eastern Europe city is Prague, especially fond of sitting in the big square drinking Pilsner dark beer—the best ever. My favorite location in the USA to visit is Grand Teton National Park and I have been there several times soaking up the scenery, watching the animals and enjoying the tranquility of the area.

34 Years ago I got interested in showing dogs partly because I had shown horses for several years and my dog, a Dalmatian which have a natural affinity with horses, would go with me when I rode the trails and country roads near my 8 acres. I figured I could show him since I was familiar with showing horses but he really wasn’t show quality so I purchased a female from a former Delta stewardess friend who was showing her champion Dalmatian. To make this long story shorter, I have bred, trained and shown 34 Dalmatians to their championships and had the Top producing Dalmatian female in the country in 1980. Several of my dogs have been in the top 20 and top 50 Dals in the country over the years.

From the interest in Dalmatians, I became a co-author of The Official Book on the Dalmatian which won the Maxwell Award from the Dog Writers Association of America’s for the Best Breed book in 1997. I am also the author of a smaller book, Dalmatian, in the Kennel Club Book series.

So here I am at this point in my life, retired from teaching and breeding and showing Dalmatians but still training other people’s dogs and enjoying when they win with professional handlers showing them. I also have been known to cook a succulent meal! So I hope you poured yourself a nice glass of wine before you began reading this as now is the time to take a big sip---cheers.