Dogs In Review Magazine October 2016 - Page 115

ICONS, CONTINUED FROM PAGE 110 Evelyn Silvernail – CrackDale Wire Fox Terriers Many promising Wire Fox Terrier puppies of the 20th century carried Evelyn Silvernail’s CrackDale kennel name. For nearly three decades, Mrs. Paul M. Silvernail bred Irish, Welsh, Smooth and Wire Fox Terriers at her home in Madison, Conn. Established in 1928, her Crack-Dale Kennels is remembered most for the many top-winning Wires it produced, including Ch. Country Squire of CrackDale and Ch. Spectacular of Crack-Dale. In her 1961 homage to the breed, The Complete Fox Terrier, Smooth and Wire, Mrs. Silvernail wrote, “I think I am most deeply indebted to the little dog who made all this possible, who taught me so much and who opened up a whole new life for me — my first ‘Wire’ — Lady Crack-Dale.” Her book is still highly regarded a half century later for its collection of photographs and pedigrees that chronicle the popularity of both varieties in early to mid-20th century America. Although Smooths took an early lead in the popularity of the Fox Terrier, Wires would ultimately win the American Fox Terrier Club Grand Challenge Cup 62 of 69 times it was offered up to 1937. Mrs. Silvernail got her start as a breeder during the Wire’s early heyday and remained devoted to the variety throughout her life. She became involved in club activities and served on the AFTC Board. She helped to found both the Kenilworth Kennel Club and the prestigious Wire Fox Terrier Club of the Central States. Mrs. Silvernail shared her knowledge and experience by becoming a multi-Group judge and a writer. She contributed to Popular Dogs magazine, among others, and was awarded an Honorable Mention from the Dog Writers’ Association of America for her article on the late show superintendent George Foley that appeared in the Baltimore Sun. On July 26, 1973, a New York Times article titled, “Breed112 COURTESY THE NEW COMPLETE FOX TERRIER (SMOOTH AND WIRE), HOWELL BOOK HOUSE INC. Mrs. Silvernail got her start as a breeder during the Wire’s early heyday and remained devoted to the variety throughout her life. ers Blamed as Fox Terriers Lose Their Allure,” allowed Mrs. Silvernail an opportunity to speak frankly about the state of Wires at the time. “Much of the trouble lies with the breeder … who is forgetting the standard,” she says to sports writer and dog man Walter Fletcher. “He’s trying to breed for the long head. With it goes a long body. He should be trying, instead, for a short-coupled body, with a well-balanced lean head. The dogs today are entirely too large. The perfect Fox Terrier should be square-cut, about 18 pounds and 151⁄2 inches at the withers.” Mrs. Silvernail goes on to suggest that “every so often” a fancier should study the results of his or her breeding program. “Perhaps it is time to go outside and introduce new blood,” she says. “There are three rules — breed to bloodlines, type and specimen.” When asked which was her best Wire, Mrs. Silvernail names Top Row of Wildoaks. “He had 14 Best in Shows and when 11-months-old won the National Specialty,” she says. “He was the only Wire to ever beat Ch. Nornay Saddler, the great Smooth.” DIR