In Honor of Past PCA Presidents
Mrs. James E. Clark
Her East Coast location served her well, as that was the center of dog breeding and showing at that time. Many of those early Poodle breeders were her competitors when she and her mother were showing their Poodles. And her mother's interests in several breeds likely led Annie toward her own involvement and interest in dogs of many breeds, although her long-term love was Poodles.
And so she was able to observe and learn from not only of Poodle breeders, but of handlers and breeders of many breeds. Henry Stoecker, Howard Tyler, ands Ruth Sayers had strong ties to Poodles. Many others working with other breeds and groups were also her mentors. And she always cited William Kendrick, Percy Roberts and, of course, the dean of them all, Alva Rosenberg, as dog people of great stature who became respected dog judges.
Their influence on her - as well as the influence of friends and colleagues such as Bob and Jane Forsyth - was immeasurable.
Those who came to the sport - and to Poodles in particular - saw her as a legend - whether she saw it that way or not. Her years of involvement ranged from the early years, the 1940s and 50s, to 2006. She was a breeder, a handler, a judge, an author, a teacher, and in a dozen other ways contributed to the well-being and improvement of Poodles, of several breeds, of dog clubs and associations, and in fact of nearly everything influencing the sport of dogs.
She was all that. But she was also a person who would help a young girl learn to put an English saddle trim on a pet-quality dog.who would stop in an open area on her way to the ring where she was judging to help a young girl work on ring training her Doberman.who would keep a young man lying on his belly in the gravel of her driveway while she moved a Miniature Poodle and yelled, "Watch him move and think about what you see! If you can't see it, you can't fix it!"
Annie reserved to herself judging juniors at the Poodle Club of America specialty each June, and delighted in that assignment at the Garden. Her influence on young handlers - in learning respect for the sport, their dogs, and themselves - cannot be easily measured. Without her stewardship and ultimate authority, the sport as we know it would not be the same.
It is impossible to acknowledge all of her contributions and all of the dimensions of her personality and character that made her so special. She was a great character. Quick with a remark, often a joke directed at herself, she at the same time suffered no fools.
And now she is gone.
Those who know her are confident that when she arrives in Heaven, she'll give her Jimbo a quick kiss on the cheek. Then she'll turn quickly to Festoon to see how she really compares with Spice Girl. Then it will be Dancer, Horse, Lofty, and Ruffian, and the others in turn. Mousie will get a quick check. If ears and teeth are in good shape, and if the runs seem properly cleaned, all will be well.
But if there are issues on any of those fronts, stand by. Higher authorities will be called in, and new protocols will be soon put in place. "Those are just the basics of good dog care," she'll explain. If Ruth Sayers joins her in that effort, "Thy will be done" will forever mean that Annie and Ruth got their way.
The Poodle Club of America will miss her.
Mrs. Doris Cozart, President, PCA (2004-2008) and Mr. Del Dahl, Publicity Chairman, (2006-2009)
Dr. Jacklyn Hungerland