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Julia Gasow – Salilyn’s Gracious Lady

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242 – April, 2017

By Joan Harrigan

Elliott Weiss remembers when he first met Julia Gasow. It was 1967, and he was handler Ted Young, Jr.’s apprentice. Gasow, known as “Julie” to her friends, had been breeding her Salilyn English Springer Spaniels for three decades. Weiss, Young, and Gasow met at an airport, where they were booked on the same flight. “I was just a kid,” Weiss recalls. He was in awe of her—“she was a brilliant breeder—one of the best of the century”—and he was content just to listen to her conversation with Young.

 Twenty-five years later, Weiss, who had retired from handling in 1993, was in his first or second year as an AKC judge. He was asked to participate in a panel discussion at the Detroit Kennel Club, and was seated between Julia Gasow and Ruth Cooper. Looking at the two women, Weiss said, “What the hell am I doing here—I’m the junior varsity!” His voice catches as he remembers Gasow’s quick response— “you have a lot to offer, and you don’t even realize it!”

Julia Gasow lived a long life—she passed away at age 94, on April 10, 1999. Her kennel, Salilyn (named for her daughters Sally and Linda) lives on the record books and the pedigrees of today’s Springers. Her Ch. Salilyn Condor (“Robert”) won Westminster in 1993, handled by Mark Threlfall. Ch. Salilyn Aristocrat (“Risto”) is still the top-producing sire of all time, in all breeds, with 188 champion offspring. Aristocrat’s son, Ch. Chinoe’s Adamant James, was the last dog to win successive Westminster Bests in Show, in 1971 and 1972. Robert’s daughter, Ch. Salilyn ‘N Erin’s Shameless (“Samantha”), owned by Carl Blaine, Fran Sunseri, and the Gasow estate and handled by Kellie FitzGerald, won Westminster in 2000. And another Aristocrat descendant, Ch. Felicity’s Diamond Jim, was BIS at Westminster in 2007, also handled by FitzGerald.

Gasow was the first female delegate to the American Kennel Club, representing the English Springer Spaniel Club of Michigan. She was the president of the Detroit Kennel Club. She literally “wrote the book” about her breed—The New Complete English Springer Spaniel was published by Howell in 1984. Three years later, she was the first inductee to the Quaker Oaks Ken-L Ration (now Pro-Plan) Hall of Fame. She won many other awards, and qualified as an AKC judge. However, the mere listing of the awards that she won for her breeding program and that her dogs won in the conformation ring doesn’t do Julia Gasow justice. As impressive as her accomplishments were, the person behind them is far more interesting. And, as her friends remember her, Julia Gasow represented the kind of “doger” (her word) who is hard to find today.

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242 – April, 2017

Short URL: http://caninechronicle.com/?p=220940

Posted by on Jan 4 2022. Filed under Current Articles, Dog Show History, Featured, Remembering Our Past?. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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  • June 2024