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Remembering Judy Anderson

By Fred Vogel

How do you write about a person who was like a parent to you? You know life is finite but it is never expect that there will be a void in your life with a loss of such a special person. Judy was that to me and more.

Judy and I met in January of 1977, the year before I met my wife Carol. I was new to West Redding, Connecticut, had just moved into my first home in with two borzoi and was urged to call Judy, who lived about six miles away in Ridgefield to get the name of her veterinarian. Her home was the site of the original schoolhouse in Ridgefield, hence the kennel name “Schoolhouse.” I recall going there and meeting Tom and Peter, both vibrant kids that kept her on the run. The home was filled with family treasures, the dogs were in the kitchen and the large kitchen table was used as a desk, covered ‘shoe boxes’ of index cards with the latest wins of dogs thoughout the country. Judy kept the statistics for Kennel Review before computers became a household tool.

Judy took me to my first handling class where I met many of the members of Longshore/Southport Kennel Club, where she was a member. She and others urged me to join. There was a match at Peggy Westphal’s home in Bedford, New York, that Spring. I took my borzoi, Kitya. I recall Judy drove me, a dachshund and her son Peter who was the same age as Peggy’s son Graham. At the match I met Peggy for the first time as well as Charles Barris and John Hart. I think I recall Jean Hetherington being there because Peggy owned a bulldog, “Baby B” with the Hetheringtons. Baby B crashed the match… charging the various match entrants. Typical of Peggy, chaos ensued with much hilarity as Baby B was rounded up and returned to the house.

As time went on Judy and I frequented shows together. I met Carol in 1978 and we married in 1982. On New Year’s Day this year Carol and Judy were talking and Judy remarked that our marriage was the best thing that happened to the three of us. Carol and Judy became fast friends, Judy was like a big sister to Carol. Before we married she and Judy would spend time together. Judy came to our wedding dinner at Joan Fisher’s (Show Biz Bulldogs) home in Redding. That was shortly before she moved to California to work for Richard Beauchamp and Kennel Review. We never lost contact, but calls were fewer because none of us had cell phones. Visits were a bit more infrequent until Judy secured a job with Friskies, which ultimately was bought by Purina, and she travelled extensively for the company, affording us the opportunity to catch up with Judy. About this time Carol and I had moved to Pomfret, Connecticut. Judy asked if we ever had a good wirehaired puppy she would love to have it. In 1986 Peggy Westphal gave us “Tommy”, who became Ch. Westphal’s Tomten at Brodny. We did have a litter sired by Tommy out of Ch. Brodny’s Night Life, and gave her a male puppy who was ultimately to become Ch. Brodny’s It Happened One Night, “Gable”. Judy showed Gable to Winners Dog at the 1993 DCA National but had to get back to California before the variety was judged so Lorene Hogan showed Gable in the variety the next day. As they say “the rest is history.” The following year we gave Judy “Brodny Schoolhouse Applause”, “Betty’, a female from the repeat breeding and thus our kennel name was formed and our ideas on breeding were cemented and continue into the 21st Century. “Bacall” was Winners Bitch at the 1994 DCA National and the following year at the DCA National Centennial Show she was Best of Variety. Bacall was piloted to variety wins at Westminster 1995 and 1996 by Wood Wornall.

Oh, there were the Nationals and the parties….Judy shared a suite with Kaye Ladd and Jack Karcher. If the phone rang it was answered as “Kaye, Jack, and Judy.” Kaye would send a case of wine ahead to the hotel, and Judy and I frequently were sent out for cheese and crackers and to procure our drinks of choice. Toasts were offered to all present before judging began. Then there as the infamous coffee pot for Judy’s morning coffee. I have that coffee pot here. It made many trips to hotels in New York for Westminster so Judy could make coffee the way she liked it before beginning her day.

Along the way, Judy met a junior handler, Emi Williams, and they formed a friendship and a bond, and a love of the variety that continues. Emi’s Juniors dog was “Brodny Schoolhouse Street Smart”, ‘Vito’, who came to Connecticut when Emi went to college. We would show Vito at the local New England and East Coast shows and all the Juniors who knew Emi would come to see Vito and send photos from their cell phones to Emi at college in California. Vito went to Westminster with us and Emi showed him to Best of Opposite Sex at there February 2006.

Judy and Emi had a special bond, and the past few years Emi was a big help to Judy lead breaking and showing puppies, driving her or with her to shows. I know that at the end of the weekend or on a Monday Judy would call and give us a report on how Emi and our dogs did at the shows.

Christmas 2018 the three of us gave Emi the kennel name Brodny Schoolhouse. What better a tribute to Judy to know that Emi, now married to Herman Pedraza, will carry on the kennel name and breeding program and once again it is three people dedicated to breeding great Dachshunds. Hopefully in 2020, we will have a litter from our Tommy daughter, Carly, conceived from thirty year old frozen semen, and the almost thirty years of breeding wires will continue.

I used the poem Good Bye My Friend by Karla Bonoff, set to music by Linda Ronstadt, as a tribute to Tommy in a 1999 DCA Newsletter. Judy and I composed the ad. It is only fitting to repeat the first two stanzas of the poem to end this tribute to Judy:

Oh we never know where life will take us

We know it is just a ride on the wheel

And we know when death will shake us

And we wonder how it will feel

So goodbye my friend

I know I will never see you again

But the time together through all the year

Will take away the tears

It’s O.K. now

Goodbye my friend

Short URL: https://caninechronicle.com/?p=177214

Posted by on Jan 14 2020. Filed under Breaking News, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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