Nadine Johnson of Rising Star Borzoi was a force to be reckoned with, a never ending source of knowledge of her beloved Borzoi and, oh, the stories she told!
From her beginnings in Belgium where she witnessed the horrors of WWII through her adulthood spent in the United States, Nadine became an accomplished and polished woman. She raised two children, Marianne Hastings (Paul) and Robert (deceased). She and Marianne enjoyed traveling through the years to dog shows, taking cruises and driving to cities far and wide. Nadine rode and enjoyed her horses and carved out a notable place in the purebred dog world when she began Rising Star Borzoi. Nadine became an internationally recognized and sought after AKC judge and Borzoi breeder. She travelled to judging assignments all over the world as well as in the United States. Nadine and her second husband eventually settled in the Black Forest area outside Monument, Colorado where she remained until her passing.
Many friends and fellow exhibitors recall Nadine showing her own dogs until nearly 90 years of age. Once she turned the leash over to a handler, she was a familiar face ringside, surrounded by dog show friends. Her many champions went on to Hound Group and Best in Show wins. The trophy room in her home was something to behold. The Borzoi Club of America and Rocky Mountain Borzoi Club in Denver (of which she was a founding member) were beneficiaries of her generosity and mentorship throughout the years. The Rising Star perpetual trophy is awarded at the fall RMBC Specialty to the Best of Breed in her honor. Her presence at many many BCOA Nationals was a staple to all of us in the Borzoi world. Her 90th birthday party at the 2012 Nationals in Richland, Washington, was well attended and standing room only. Many of her friends offered toasts and accolades to a life well lived.
We miss you, Nadine. Your spirit and determination live on in the Rising Star line, as affirmed by the countless borzoi pedigrees around the world. You were a Rising Star, now you are a bright star shining down upon us all. The large gathering at The Rainbow Bridge to greet you must have been something to see!