Showsight Presents the Great Pyrenees

ADVENTURES IN HISTORICAL PRESERVATION OF THE GREAT PYRENEES BY JOAN ZIEHL

GREAT PYRENEES CLUB OF AMERICA HISTORICAL PRESERVATION CHAIR

W hen Mary Crane (the Founder of the Great Pyr- enees breed in the United States) passed away, she willed several boxes of her personal kennel records, a few paintings, a bronze FATH stat- ue, and hundreds of photographs to the Dog Museum (then in St. Louis). The paintings and FATH statue were occasionally on display within the museum, but for the most part, the papers, records, and photographs were stuck away in boxes up in the attic.

One of our GPCA Members (Jo Stubbs) who lived nearby, took it upon herself (over a ten-year period) to sort, categorize, and make some sense of the boxes hidden away. She would go over on weekends and try to match up which dog went with which pedigree, and determine who owned which dog and what awards or winnings went with whom. Part research project, part labor of love, she did a fantastic job and ended up documenting the col- lection into albums entitled, pedigrees, photos, correspondence, advertise- ments, and friends. The collection sat in the Dog Museum attic “all dressed up but with nowhere to go” for years. Sometime later, after a dog show in North Carolina, we were invited back to Judy Brown’s house (another longtime GPCA Member and Breeder) for lunch. We were talking about the HP projects and the progress made, when Judy mentioned that she had a few boxes in her attic (what’s with all the stuff in the attic?) that were given to her by Mary Crane. I immediately pestered her to show me and was thrilled to see pictures with comments on some of the earliest memories of both the GPCA and Mary Crane herself with Great Pyrenees. Judy mentioned that she had only a part of the col- lection; that most of it was at the Dog Museum. After a few phone calls (including offering my first born as collateral) we were given permission to take the entire paper portion from the museum to copy and scan, and to dis- play at our national specialties. Jo Stubbs again came to the rescue when she picked up all the boxes and hand-delivered them to me in Ohio at our next national specialty. Then we started what I thought was going to be a “month

CH Urdos de Soum, the first Pyrenees ever shown in America, and the first to become a US champion.

CH Estat d’Argeles of Basquaerie (American, European, and Tri-International Champion) is one two brothers imported to the US, and one of the foundation males of Basquaerie.

SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, FEBRUARY 2022 | 223

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