Dogs In Review Magazine October 2016 - Page 109

ICONS OF THE PAST MASTER BREEDERS WHOSE LEGACIES LIVE ON The Terrier Group BY DAN SAYERS ‘Robin’ stands front and center in this portrait of acclaimed photographer and Norwich Terrier breeder Constance Stuart Larrabee. “V ariety is the very spice of life, that gives it all its flavour,” wrote the 18th century English poet William Cowper. Although this familiar quote preceded the advent of dog shows by a century, its message was no doubt embraced by Victorians who took great delight in classifying the natural world — domesticated animals included. For dog fanciers, the sorting of regional types into recognized breeds reached its highest standard of perfection, perhaps, in the Terrier Group. From hardscrabble farm dogs, today’s distinctive collection of short- and long-legged tyrants developed, owing to a succession of very clever English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh — and American — breeders. This month, Dogs in Review honors four individuals whose recipe for success in purebred dogs was concentrated in a single variety of “earth dog.” Constance Stuart Larrabee – King’s Prevention Norwich Terriers 106 companionship to their vast acquaintanceship at their farm,” discloses Read. Among the couple’s close local friends were Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Massey, who imported the first unregistered Jones/Norwich Terrier to the area from Lady Maureen Helen Stanley, daughter of Charles Stewart Henry Vane-Tempest-Stewart, seventh Marquess of Londonderry. As Read points out, “It did not take long for Constance Larrabee to become intrigued with the Norwich breed, for its diversity and scope held a new challenge for this gifted photographer.” In time, the photographer’s darkroom also became a “dogroom,” where Mrs. Larrabee produced both Norwich Terriers and a breed newsletter. “By now champion after prick-ear champion was being spawned at King’s Prevention, which provided foundation stock for breeders from coast to coast and kept nursery pens at home fully occupied,” writes Read. In 1975, Mrs. Larrabee made a trip to England, where she visited with Norwich breeder Joy Taylor and returned home with a “drop-ear” named Nanfan Corricle. The import provided Mrs. Larrabee with a foundation for the breed that would eventually become known as the Norfolk Terrier. As Read explains, “James E. and Anne Rogers Clark received ‘Ahoy’ by Ch. Wendover Torrent from Corricle’s first litter… Corricle’s other daughter, King’s Prevention Belinda, by Eng. Ch. Ickworth Peter’s Pence, before ‘masquerading’ as a Norwich, produced King’s Prevention Jolly Roger, the premier black-and-tan stud for the Clarks’ Surrey Kennels. CONTINUED ON PAGE 108 COURTESY THE NORFOLK TERRIER, JOAN R. READ. On September 20, 1998, an exhibit titled, “South Africa 19361949: Photographs by Constance Stuart Larrabee” opened at the Smithsonian’s African Art Museum in Washington, D.C. Featured were 79 black-and-white images of vanishing cultures taken by a free-spirited 21-year-old. “I was young and enthusiastic,” Mrs. Larrabee is quoted as saying in the show’s program. “It was the love for photography, the people and the land, with no commercial or scientific purpose in mind. It was for the sheer delight of it.” Thankfully, fate brought the lady and her lens to Maryland and Virginia hunt country, where she recorded the establishment of the Norwich Terrier among the region’s horse and hound fraternity. In 1949, Constance Stuart wed Colonel Sterling Larrabee, a former US military attaché to South Africa. The couple settled on a farm in Chestertown, Md., where they were joined by Mr. Larrabee’s pack of Beagles and a pair of imported Jones Terriers. As Joan Redmond Read writes in The Norfolk Terrier, “These game little bolters were immediately embraced by the Warrenton sporting set, and in 1926 Colonel Larrabee was able to acquire a Jones bitch for himself.” Known as ‘Mink Mouth,’ the foundation of King’s Prevention Kennel and her descendants were expected to work, ridding the barn of sundry pests. “Occasionally a terrier was packed into the leather mailbag and carried by a mounted groom to bolt hunted fox,” notes Read. Mr. Larrabee was Master of the Old Dominion Hounds and well-respected as both a competitor and a judge. “The ever-courtly Colonel was an opinionated charmer, who, with the irrepressible and creative Constance, offered stimulating