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Q&A with dog and horse enthusiast Jim Lowry

By Staff | May 7, 2010

Jim Lowry, a seasonal Sanibel resident, is an avid dog and race horse enthusiast. The once thoroughbred horse trainer and breeder attends horse races every summer in Saratoga, N.Y.

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Where did you grow up?


I was born in Atlantic City, N.J. and lived there until I was nine-years-old.  We lived in the northern part of the island right across the street from the then famous seafood restaurant, Hackney’s.  When I was in the fourth-grade, we moved to the mainland and lived in Northfield, N.J. between Atlantic City and Ocean City.


What brought you to Sanibel?


In December 1991, we first came to Sanibel.  I had a week-long business course at the Sundial and my wife Denise drove around the island in a little red convertible for the week and just loved the island.  We did not make it back again until Jan 2000 when we started to rent a house on Captiva for two weeks.  We did that until 2003 when we bought a house on Sanibel.  Now we come down in mid January and stay until the end of April.


We hear you live on Sanibel Part-time.  Where else do you call home?


When we are not on Sanibel, we live in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.  It’s a small town on the Brandywine River south of Philadelphia and north of Wilmington, Delaware.  Our most prestigious resident, Andrew Wyeth, recently passed away.


What do you appreciate most about living on Sanibel?


We, of course, love the weather in the winter compared to up north and love to walk the dogs on the beach in the evening.  Once you cross the Causeway bridges, it’s like a different world and time seems to slow down (we refer to it as island time).  And, of course, the people are very friendly and helpful.






Word has it that you and your wife Denise are animal lovers.  We hear you have four Scotties, several of which you show in competitions.  What is your canine adventure like?


My wife Denise got her first Scottie (and dog) for her 40th birthday.  His name was Tuppence.  Over the next several years the clan grew to four Scotties:  Tuppence, Doon, Dash and Piper.  They are all gone now but be still have four Scotties:  Topper, Owen, Ian and Scotchie.  (The first four Scotties have engraved bricks around the flag pool as you come onto the island as part of the Sanibel Beautification efforts.) Topper and Owen came from a litter in Naples, FL and are our show dogs.  Both are champions.  Owen was bred last year and Ian was one of the results.  Scotchie is a rescue dog that was an undiagnosed diabetic and blind, and near death at 11 pounds.  After cataract surgery, insulin twice a day, Scotchie now sees and is up to 24 pounds.  We have only ever had male dogs.  Our first breeder told us that the Scottie males get along better than the females. 


How do you handle a multiple dog household?


Our Scotties have always gotten along well with each other.  I think the key is to treat each one as an individual but make sure each one gets equal attention.


Any advice for those looking to get a Scottish Terrier or other strong-willed dog?  How about multiple dogs?


You have to be willing to put in the time to make them part of the family.  You also have to make sure that they see you as leader of the clan.  If  everyone gets equal attention, no one is left out and they do not have to vie for attention.


Aside from the canine portion of your life we hear you are a horse enthusiast and used to train thoroughbreds.  Can you share some of you experience?


I got hooked on thoroughbreds while I was in graduate school at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.  I had thoroughbreds until the late 80s.  I owned a small farm in Maryland and bred, raised, broke and raced in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Delaware.  I loved grey thoroughbreds and owned many of them.  My fondest memory was a grey thoroughbred filly which was my first to race and win at Pimlico Race Course in Maryland.


Do you attend horse races during season?  If so where?


I don’t have horses any more but I still get my “fix” of horseracing each year by going to Saratoga Springs, N.Y.  in August for racing.  We sometimes also go to Delaware Park to watch the races.


What else do you enjoy doing in your leisure time?


I enjoy gardening and going to the dog shows and horse racing.


What is your family life like?


There is never a dull moment with four Scotties!  Feeding, insulin injections for Scotchie, teeth brushing, grooming, walks, treats, vet appointments, confirmation classes for the show dogs, dog shows……….


You seem to be pretty happy-go-lucky soul.  What do you consider the secret to being happy?


The secret is taking one day at a time and looking at each day as an adventure.  I stopped having horses after an illness that was partially brought on by stress.  I learned at that time that life is short and work is not everything and that you had to accept life as it unfolds and not try and control everything.