Showsight July 2020


James Holliday, President of the Quarter Century Collie Group was thrilled to recognize Gwendolyn Means for his group’s high honor.

In the 1960s, during the height of racial unrest, whenever Gwen would return to Louisville, she always had a safe haven in the home of Dorothy and Howard Schulman. Dorothy and Gwen became close friends. Gwen would often spend the night at the Schulman house- hold until the early ‘90s when Dorothy’s champion Doberman Pinscher stared Gwen down and kept her awake all night long. Due to that long stare-down, and the recent passing of Dorothy Schul- man, Gwen now stays during visits in Louisville with Butch and Robin Schul- man, Dorothy’s son and daughter in-law. During the last 57 years, as a CCA member, Gwen has bred and owned numerous Collie champions, but believes the addition of champion title to many Gwyn-Marc Collies has not been over- whelming, which she credits to ‘the times,’ as well as to the fact that the exchange of information, a limited breeding program and the opportunity for education in the sport of dogs was very limited. Gwen has stated that correct mentoring, becoming a member of Collie Club of America and several all-breed clubs, in addition to visiting such shows as Westminster Ken- nel Club enhanced her understanding of the Collie standard...verbally, visually and written. In 1971, the American Kennel Club granted her a license to judge Collies. Gwen was born in Texarkana, Texas, to parents who each held PhD degrees. Her father supported his family and put himself through college on a janitor’s salary while living in the Pittsburg area. Gwen has a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology and a Master’s Degree in >

Janine Walker-Keith; Gwen; and her daugher, Teresa.

CCA member living today has experi- enced such a struggle. When asked how she survived such treatment Gwen credits three great Col- lie men for their vigilant support and who had the ‘Right Stuff’ at the right time; John Honig, Noel Denton and Chip Atkins, all of whom are inductees of the Quarter Century Collie Group Hall of Fame . Through her strong faith, Gwen credits God for being on her side as well. There were only a few ‘minorities’ showing dogs in those days so most exhibitors, in Gwen’s own words, ‘Didn’t know what Gwen was,’ as if it should make any difference, but unfortunately, in those days it did. As mentors, John, Noel and Chip watched over Gwen and became her close friends when friends for her were scarce at dog shows. These brilliant men included her in their dog show tasks, instructed her in the finer details of grooming and showing Collies and mentored her on the Collie standard. From a distance, other Collie exhibitors

watched these four good friends inter- act which slowly helped break down racial barriers allowing Gwen to eventu- ally become a fellow Collie fancier. In the early years when Gwen and her husband, Morris, would attend the Collie Club of Georgia they happily stayed at Noel and Helen Denton’s home (Deep South Collies) where they were always treated kindly. Skin color was not an issue with the Dentons, nor the Means. A mutual love for Collies was the issue. Gwen met her first mentor, Walter Enquist, in the early 1950s. As a member of the Collie Club of Indiana he watched Gwen show her first Collie, prick-eared “King.” Walter was a very kind man who took Gwen under his wing for a time and advised her to buy the best bitch she could afford. So, when the time was right, and being no fool, that’s just what Gwen did. Her foundation bitch, Brand- wyne Destiny’s Star, dam of the great Ch. Brandwyne Pandora, was a very fortu- nate beginning for Gwen.


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