Fri, 03/03/2023 - 10:32pm

Dennis M. McCoy

Friend, mentor, advisor, professional handler, breeder, judge and stylish dresser!

May 18, 1948 - February 18, 2023


Dennis was born in Buffalo, New York, a graduate of Canisius College with a degree in accounting. His involvement in Poodles began in 1968. Dennis established Randenn Kennels with his partner Randy Garren, where the two quickly rose to the top as professional handlers and breeders of Poodles, Norfolk Terriers and most recently Chihuahuas. Dennis was the breeder of 34 champions — most notably Ch. Randenn Tristar Affirmation, the top-winning black Poodle of all time, all varieties.

A few of Dennis’s handling accomplishments include BISS at Poodle Club of America, Best in Show at Westminster Kennel Club in 1991 with Ch. Whisperwind on a Carousel, and five consecutive years handling the Non-Sporting Group winner at Westminster. As a successful team, Dennis and Randy piloted more than 1,000 dogs to their championships with more than 500 all-breed Bests in Show.

Throughout his career as a professional handler, Dennis had the good fortune to exquisitely present top-flight dogs for many notable breeders in the United States, including top-producing Standard Poodle Ch. Maneetas Del Zarzosa Fuego Fatuo, who lived out his life at Randenn; Toy Poodles Ch. Fairview No Nonsense and Ch. Broad Bay Hell’s a Blazen Revue; Standard Poodles Ch. Primetime Kristofer and Ch. Vallhalla’s Jacquelyn; Chinese Crested Ch. Lou-Ell’s Exotic Dancer, and the Dalmatian Ch. Spotlight’s Spectacular.

With his meticulous attention to detail and extraordinary talent as a handler, Dennis McCoy immortalized a handful of sensational show dogs, and they are well remembered by all who live and breathe our sport. The breathtaking Standard Poodle Ch. Whisperwind on a Carousel won more than 100 Bests in Show, and the unforgettable Standard Ch. Lake Cove’s That’s My Boy became the top-winning dog in the United States for 1998 and 1999 with 167 Bests in Show. As for the magnificent Dalmatian Ch. Spotlight’s Spectacular, her record still stands as the top-winning Dalmatian in breed history.

Dennis and Randy retired from professional handling at the 2000 Westminster Kennel Club show. Dennis became an American Kennel Club-approved judge for the Toy, Non-Sporting and Terrier groups, as well as the Miscellaneous Class and Junior Showmanship. His judging assignments included judging the Toy and Non-Sporting groups at Westminster Kennel Club, the Poodle Club of America, the Kennel Club of Philadelphia, and numerous notable foreign assignments.

Dennis contributed in many ways to our sport. He was an active member of the Poodle Club of America, serving as its president for three terms and overseeing its glamorous show as show chairman for years. Most recently Dennis served as the club’s delegate to the AKC. Locally, Dennis was an active member of the Raleigh Kennel Club, serving as president, show chairman and chair of the Tar Heel Cluster for years. He will be remembered for his director’s chair, which sat in the corner of the ring, and his regular use of his microphone.

Dennis loved fashion and was a colorful dresser, with beautiful ties, matching pocket squares and his favorite Pradas.

Dennis McCoy was a friend, mentor and confidante to so many in our sport of dogs. Daily, he spent hours listening, consoling, advising and offering guidance to those seeking his input. His telephone was always ringing, and he was always there, ready to help. It is difficult to fathom the loss of his influence.  His passing leaves a great void in those active in dogs today, and we can only wonder at how the loss of him will affect the future of the sport of purebred dogs. Who will we call for advice? Where can we find solace now that Mr. McCoy's phone is silent?

When I moved to North Carolina in 1997, Dennis and Randy became my local family, dining together most evenings and traveling together to shows throughout the country and for vacations. My personal loss of Dennis is unspeakable.

Dennis McCoy was a dedicated supporter of Take the Lead. Donations may be made in his memory.



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