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Wendell Sammet – A Life Dedicated to the Poodle

Click here to read the complete article
98 – September, 2020

 

By Amy Fernandez

AKC calls this game a great equalizer. Theoretically, everyone–regardless of breed, background or expertise–competes on the same level playing field. We all know that’s nonsense. Five minutes into it, every novice recognizes that all powerful undercurrent of success, the hierarchy of breeds. The rankings shift now and then, but there’s always a contingent of breeds signifying entry level competitor. In every Group they rise through an increasingly competitive pitch until you reach those cutthroat breeds guaranteed to make mincemeat out of seasoned pros. And then there’s Poodles.

As noted, those competitive dynamics are somewhat fluid. At one point in time, NOBODY with any expectations of winning would be caught dead showing a Poodle. Those days were over when Wendell Sammet arrived shortly after World War II. As he recalls, “It wasn’t easy to breed champions like it is today. I can remember classes of 25 Poodles.” Think on that number next time you feel like whining. “I really never did have second thoughts. It was hard work but I enjoyed it. Of course, every dog you create is something different, always a new challenge. Always a new experience.” That’s an exceptional viewpoint these days; a perspective has all but disappeared from the game.

Wendell’s first taste of this experience came in 1958 when he piloted Ch. Hollycourt Elegance to that BIS sweet spot. An exciting achievement for anyone, although it’s doubtful that he–or anyone else–suspected what was ahead, especially because every step of his long and incredibly illustrious career truly defied fate.

After WWII, like legions of other returning veterans, he embarked on an optimistic life plan; and nothing brings that into crystal clear focus like surviving a war. By 1948 he had his degree in graphic arts and proceeded to add some fun to his life by acquiring his first competitive purebred, which was… not a Poodle.

Click here to read the complete article
98 – September, 2020

Short URL: http://caninechronicle.com/?p=189711

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