I suppose I am not the only one who during this last year has had too much time on my hands. It has given me the opportunity to browse through older dog magazines like the British Dog World Annual, where I can go back in time to the years when I first was caught up in this incredible sport.
And of course the memories come flooding back, some greater than others, but also with much sadness, as so many of the people who influenced me from the start are no longer with us.
Marriages, partnerships and alliances we thought were meant to last forever by now broken or forgotten – plus so many dogs that I personally loved, both my own and others, remind me that once: “I had a dream …”!
Living in a part of the world where dog shows and dog people were rare commodities, a lot of inspiration came via magazines. I so looked forward to getting that monthly Swedish Hundsport (as the Norwegian one was rather sad at the time …). Then of course it was a blessing that my Terrier mentor Mrs. Nagelgaard subscribed to both Dog World and Our Dogs magazines, which arrived weekly and seriously affected my school homework, culminating at the end of the year with the Christmas annuals, which offered never-ending entertainment.
No wonder family and friends had serious issues with this young guy’s mental status.
After a number of years I was introduced to American Dog World, plus a number of all-breed U.S. publications – all part of creating that dream of one day working with these fabulous professionals in the United States.
And it got worse!
I would say that being introduced to Terrier Type and Schnauzer Shorts was the most exciting thing ever – and it was very obvious that this magazine was created by a person sharing my addiction.
Some lovely ads, which will always remain in my head, but more important: Results from all the important shows – with sires and dams included for all dogs listed!
(I have always argued that any ad in any magazine should require the inclusion of parents and not least of all breeders!)
Then sometimes you wondered about previous generations, which were then listed in an issue where the main focus was top-producing sires and dams. The magazine listed all champions of all terrier breeds during the year, with names of sires and dams of course included.
The highlight of the year was the October stud-dog issue, where breeders advertised their dogs at stud with photos and complete pedigrees. Which was all absorbing!
And studying how people were thinking and planning the future of their breeds was probably some kind of a never-forgotten learning experience.
It was more than obvious that this was the initiative of a person who was at least as absorbed in this sport as I was (am?).
The creator of Terrier Type was of course Dan Kiedrowski, whose own breed in reality was Miniature Schnauzers. In Europe the breed is not really considered a terrier, but I am so happy they are over here, as otherwise I think Terrier Type would never have existed.
I was lucky enough to get to know Dan after a few years. He came to Montgomery every year, and my favorite memory was one year when he dragged me from the Fox Terrier ring as the Min Schnauzer specials had just entered the ring. And there was a Veteran dog at 10 or 11 years of age from California that I HAD to see and imprint in my mind as the ideal if I ever started judging the breed!
I still have that picture in there, but the name? Gone …
I know that whenever I mention “inspirators” in Scandinavia, Hans Lehtinen’s name comes up. My generation had very few terrier addicts in Norway, but in Sweden there was a whole bunch of them. Most of them later in life became extremely successful breeders, exhibitors and later judges – and it was through them I found Terrier Type. And the amount of inspiration and dream-making created by those American terrier magazines was unbelievable.
Not only dreams, but also making us try to copy the way dogs were groomed – and even how the handlers dressed!
Danny always spent time in Bowmansville after the Montgomery show, and my picture of him will always be him sitting on a high chair surrounded by a group of disciples listening, but also having high-level discussions about anything terriers.
I always wondered if he ever knew the effect his commitment to this publication had on fellow enthusiasts all over Europe. If he did, he would be extremely proud.
Creating Dreams and High Hopes for the future for so many of us.
I remember so well one year, sitting at the base of his high chair, when he told his life story, which was in no way mainstream. It surprised many when we found out that he also in reality was a genuine “Dog Whisperer,” which he probably was unaware of himself.
I know there have been attempts to revive Terrier Type, but so far nothing has appeared that could match the original.
Once when discussing the good old days, I told him that many of my issues from the early days had vanished during my many moves. “Why don’t you just hire a truck, drive to California and I will give you all the magazines still filling up my garage?” he responded.
I never took him up on that offer, which will forever be one of my many regrets …
What is amazing is all the content, including ads and photos, is still fresh in my mind.
Sometimes, however, it is difficult to decide: Did I really see that dog “in person” or did the memory come from a photo or an ad?
Reflecting on old memories and the influence of ads, as well as the written word, makes me aware of how important clever and skillful advertisements can be.
I think a lot of photos today are airbrushed to something beyond the recognizable. Maybe especially in the UK, a majority of ads – including photos of my breeds in days gone by – were so cleverly retouched that from a historical point of view they are basically worthless.
Danny probably did not accept heavily improved photos; as far as I can remember the photos included all represented “the real deal.” Which is what made this publication so unique and attractive.
And seriously: Is there anything more disappointing than after you have been overly impressed with the photo of a dog in an ad, the animal then turns up in front of you being nothing but a huge disappointment?
My advice has always been: Never use a photo showing a dog’s fault if you can avoid it. But never use an image the poor dog cannot match in real life.
If you ever come across some of the original Terrier Type issues – just reading them and looking at pictures can be a learning experience.
And regarding my own dreams involving the dog world – I think most of them became realities. And I will forever thank Danny the Dream Maker for the inspiration!
Until next time …