DEKARISTOU, Maria-marionka Athens,
Born 1956 in Athens, Maria has studied business tourism and interior decorating. She has one daughter and 2 grandchildren. As a child, she grew up with dogs (both purebreds and half-breeds). From the 1970's till today she is heavily involved in the efforts being made to solve the problem with stray dogs, mainly through the "St. Francis of Assisi Dog Rescue Shelter". Her kennel is named "KAMARI MOU" and she breeds English Cocker Spaniels, Papillon and Phalene. She has owned Grenendahl Belgian Shepherds, Boxer, St. Bernard, Cocker Spaniels, Japanese Spitz and Papillons. Her Papillon "INKIES VOYAGER VICTOR" became an International, Greek and Bulgarian Champion and by the age of three. However, the breed, which has truly captured her heart from the moment it entered her life, is the Cocker Spaniel. She was one of the founders of the Spaniel Club of Greece, founded in 1996, and has been repeatedly elected as its President since its foundation till the present day. To date, the Club has to its credit 3 dog seminars, 11 successful dog shows and is presently preparing its 12th. She is also Secretary of the British Sheepdog Club of Greece, and a founding member of the Retriever Club of Greece and a member of the Kennel Club of Greece, the Athens Canine Society, the Old English Sheepdog Club of Greece, the Schnauzer Club of Greece, the "London Spaniel Society", "The Cocker Spaniel Club", amongst other clubs both locally and abroad. She was the speaker at the seminar regarding "Rage Syndrome" at the "Star Dogs" school for dog trainers. Maria is an all breed judge (all rounder) and is authorized to judge finals and Best In Show. She has judged in both Greece and in several European countries. This year she has been so far asked to judge in Holland, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Sweden and Finland. She also has a regular monthly column in the Greek dog newspaper "TOP DOGS" (which specializes in dog shows) as well as in the Greek dog magazine "Our Dogs and Us" where she writes articles dealing with breeds, shows, judging, handling etc. and is also a member of the WDPA (World Dog Press Association).