I came to America in 1949 and I married a Norwich Terrier! My husband had a Norwich and a Schipperke. I thought the Norwich a scruffy thing so I would only walk the Schipperke down Connecticut Avenue. When we moved to the Eastern Shore, I met Gordon and Gwendolyn Massey and I bred my first litter through one of their dogs. They were wonderful people and very kind. I didn’t go into the ring until 1961, and then it was a Match Show in Connecticut where Barbara Fournier used to live. She showed me how to groom, really showed me the ropes. I got my first really good brood bitches from Mrs. Howe Lowe of Upland Spring. She had a wonderful strain in those days. You have to breed good dogs to have a good reputation.
When people call me for a puppy I ask them, why do you want a dog, how did you hear about me, do you have a fenced-in area? You use a lot of common sense, after all you owe it to the dog that you have raised. There is no doubt about it, no matter how many litters you breed you are just as fond of the last one as you were the first. We must be so careful whom we sell to. There have been three dogs that I will never forget: Hardy Bear, he won the Match in 1963; Serena, a wonderful dog – she came from an entire litter of black and tans and my husband said “what have you bred?”; and Butterscotch, who would never have won in the ring, but he was my first puppy. I believe in dogs being natural, they should be able to take care of themselves. In my opinion, and it is just my opinion, our breeds would die if it weren’t for people and I don’t believe we should be breeding dogs that have difficulty whelping. We should breed sturdy dogs and not just pretty dogs. And they should lead a dog’s life, a good life and not just be a substitute for someone’s child. You learn a lot by experience, nothing takes the place of experience in raising dogs. I often wonder why we stay in it, but if there is anything that makes me think I am a survivor it is having had the good times and the bad times raising puppies.
We should be aiming for sound dogs with teeth in their head in the right place. Soundness and temperament, without these you’ve got nothing as far as Norwich or Norfolk are concerned. They should never be shy and when puppies are small you should expose them in the earliest stages to the outside world. Never pamper, allow them to go out as soon as they are old enough. One must remember what they were bred for – sporty hunting dogs who must lead a sporting life insofar as possible. Do not crate them except at a show. They need exercise. And never breed to supply the demand. I think we must never lose sight of the fact that you breed a sound dog with good temperament first. That’s the best advice I can give anybody today.