Remembering Geir Flyckt-Pedersen
Others will write about Geir as the excellent judge he was, how funny he could be, the solid dog background he had, his genuine interest in and knowledge of all breeds, how he had to turn down the opportunity of judging Best in Show at Westminster just a few weeks ago, etc.
I want to write about the Geir Pedersen I knew in the early years.
Geir with one of his Louline Wire Fox Terrier champions in 1983.
Geir first entered my consciousness in the mid-1970s, when he still lived in Norway and was only in his 20s. He kept winning Bests in Show with his Welsh Terrier Ch. Deveraux Janore, imported from England and top dog in both Norway and Sweden in 1974. I was then in charge of the Swedish Kennel Club magazine's Top Dog competition, so I saw and heard a lot of Geir in those days.
Geir was an excellent handler, and his dogs were always perfectly groomed and trimmed. One my best dog memories is when Geir won the Swedish Terrier Club's 75th anniversary over about 700 Terriers under Peter Green in 1978 with a Norfolk Terrier, Ch. Hubbestad Wee Johan, owned by his wife Gerd (“Nenna”) Flyckt. Geir received the BIS trophy from the hand of Princess Christina, sister of the present king, and happily posed with her and Johan for the cameras.
Then Geir did it again in 1980 with a Wire Fox Terrier, Ch. Blackdale Starbright: number one of all breeds in both Sweden and Norway. Starbright was (as far as I can remember) imported from the great Harry O'Donoghue in Ireland. By then Geir had moved to Sweden; he and Nenna combined his Louline Wire Fox Terriers with her Hubbestad English Cockers and Norfolk Terriers. They were pretty much unstoppable at the shows; I remember once in Finland when he won BIS over about 4,000 dogs and she was Reserve BIS …
They then moved to England and were highly successful there, too: Among much else they received the Tom Horner/Dog World’s Award of Excellence for contributing to the British dog world. I remember they lived in Henley-on-Thames; they had added Greyhounds and Whippets to their other breeds, and also had a Lakeland Terrier champion.
Geir exported a number of top-winnning Wire Fox Terriers to the U.S. Two of the most outstanding were Ch. Louline Head Over Heels, who won 24 BIS during 1989 and 1990, and Ch. Louline Stringalong, who also won 24 BIS in 1994. Between them those two alone won almost exactly 200 Terrier Groups during those years; I am sure there were other exports as well. Eventually Nenna and Geir moved to North Carolina in the U.S.; Nenna predeceased Geir by several years.
If anyone had told me in the early years when we lived in Scandinavia that we would both end up in the U.S., although on opposite sides of the continent, I would not have believed them. A few weeks ago, Geir confirmed to me that for health reasons he had to cancel the appointment to judge BIS at Westminster, something he had been looking forward to very much. It must have been some comfort to him that the eventual BIS judge was a good friend of his.
I wish we had lived a little closer, but I will really miss Geir.