I HAVE BEEN VERY fortunate in my life.  When I was about 18 years old, I owned a number of large breeds and did a fair bit of A.K.C. and Rare Breed showing. I laid my eyes on my first American Pit Bull Terrier when I was picking up a Mastiff.  The little dog was Shivar's Toddy, a son of Cotton's Bullet.  I had to have one, then two then I bought the entire yard.  I ate drank and slept dogs.  The phone bill was ungodly.  I spoke with all the greats, Maurice Carver, Ralph Greenwood, Howard Heinzl, Andrew Giroux, Jack Boellard, Don Maloney and Irish Jerry to name a few, and most of them really did their best to help me.


Renee and Ralph Greenwood helped me the most and tRalph and  Ralph and Renee Greenwood treated me as if I were their daughter.  They decided that it was time for the A.D.B.A. to sponsor dog shows.   The breed badly needed help.  Since I had experience with conformation they sanctioned me as one of the first A.D.B.A. judges.  It was quite an honor. I married Bert Sorrells in the 80's and took over the daily care and management of the dogs.  The 12 years I spent with that group of dogs, compounded with the years with A.P.B.T's of other strains has taught me a lot.  I am one of the few that really knows how their dogs are bred.  Life goes on and as I said, I am lucky.  I met my husband, Marcel Winchester, when I was judging a show in New Zealand.  We have started a new life together, with our son, Jon-Marcel.

The dogs are ALL bred from those good dogs I had for 12 years.  They are Sorrells dogs, dogs that I know forwards and backwards.  I know the dog's brothers and sisters, cousins, aunts and uncles, fathers, mothers, grandparents, great grandparents and so on. 
I have scores of people to thank for my successes.  Those that have stood with me through thick and thin, thank you all.  The A.D.B.A. has played a special part in my life.  Without the dogs and the
Greenwoods, my life may not have been so lucky



.


Here I am receiving the DOG MAN OF THE YEAR award from Kate Greenwood, also pictured are Frank Rocca and Gary Hammond.

 

ADDENDUM 2006

In the year 2006 I was lucky enough to receive the highest honor the American Dog Breeders Assoc, and the fanciers can give.  I was inducted into the DOG MAN HALL OF FAME.  All I can say is thank you from the bottom of my heart.


2006 HALL OF FAME at the American Dog Breeders Assoc. Convention.
Enjoying my success with those that made it possible, my husband Marcel,
my son Jon-Marcel
and Kate Greenwood, president of the A.D.B.A.

October 2009
Not being one to "toot my own horn", I have left out many of my accomplishments. 
Recently, the American Dog Breeders Assoc. honored me in asking me to be lead judge in their Invitational Show in Utah, the first of it's kind.  Having judged dogs and horse shows for over 30 years I didn't think there was much new stuff for me.  I was wrong.
This was a wonderful exercise, and teaching new judges was more interesting and fun than I could have imagined. 
I became a CGC evaluator about a year ago by the AKC.  This allows me to help American Pit Bull Terrier rescues and local all breed rescues.  The American Dog Breeders has certified me as a Safe Dog Program evaluator, something I am very excited to do and plan to do soon.  Being able to help people in this breed and others has become a major focus in my life.
Our dogs have also done remarkable things.  From getting a CGC, to Ace weight pull titles to therapy dog titles, to Conformation show titles, this breed and our dogs in particular are becoming the dog of choice for trainers and families.  Our program helps to get these dogs in the hands of Law Enforcement and Military people that could not otherwise afford a well bred dog.  We are proud of our commitment to the breed and to the service people that protect us.
Having years of Humane work in my resume (I held the position of foreman at the Manhattan A.S.P.C.A. shelter in N.Y.C., on the board of directors for the Walton County Humane Society, and currently doing what I can to help a local breed rescue, I understand the need for education and for raising the standard of care for our breed.
Marcel and I are also lucky enough to lead the youth of today in Boy Scouting.  I never thought I would be a Boy Scout, let alone the Committee Chair of a Troop (Marcel is the Scoutmaster) or a Black Belt.  Funny how things go.
 

What happens now?  It only gets better from here!

 

TATONKA KENNELS  P.O. BOX 432 DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, FL 32435
Joanie and Marcel Winchester, Owners
(850) 836-5183
Email: 
tatonka@ampitbull.com  

25 August 1999 - All photos/information copyright Tatonka Kennels - All rights reserved

 

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