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Remembering: Ric Chashoudian

Remembering One Of The Great Dog Men of Our Time: Ric Chashoudian

By Amy Fernandez

From the archives of The Canine Chronicle, January, 2012

It’s often said that the dog world has changed radically in recent decades. The greatest lament is the disappearance of truly great dog people. They shaped the sport, discovered breakthrough dogs, and passed on their knowledge to subsequent generations. We lost another one of them on September 20 when Ric Chashoudian passed away at age 80.

I met Ric in 1993 through his career as an artist. He had been commissioned to do a Chinese Crested bronze and had to get it just right. Critiquing the wax inevitably led to general discussions about dogs. I was immediately impressed by his willingness to share his knowledge and ongoing desire to learn. He was more interested in Crested head type than most of the breeders I know.

He had the sensitivity, dedication, pragmatism, and sense of humor that define a true dog person. Although his experience in the dog game far exceeded mine, he never played this card with me. I was also aware of his reputation for having a temper, but only got one glimpse of that legendary trait. I asked him to critique some of my terrier drawings, and the feedback was immediate. I picked up the phone and he launched into a spirited lecture on Scottie conformation, repeating “Honey, the tail is shaped like a carrot.” I will never forget that art lesson.

Ric was opinionated, but this was an inevitable aspect of absolute dedication. Although he achieved enviable success in two extremely competitive fields, dogs and art, he always derived the greatest satisfaction from sharing his knowledge. Most of all Ric was a teacher.

Gabriel Rangel met Ric during his first Montgomery weekend in 1986. He was new to dog shows, doing his best to cope with the muddy, rainy conditions, and bathe a Sealyham in two little pans. “I didn’t realize that Ric was set up at the end of the tent, watching all of this.” Eventually, Ric strolled over to say hello, and Rangel first noticed his “very shiny shoes, I mean unusually shiny shoes. I thought, wow, all this rain and mud, and this man is so impeccably dressed. Then I looked up and saw the biggest smile on his face. Everybody was cold, miserable, and complaining about the weather. But he was so happy to be there, like it was his first day and he loved every bit of it.”

Ric commented on Rangel’s hard work and offered advice and encouragement throughout the weekend, but never actually introduced himself. “I knew who Ric Chashoudian was. In Mexico, he was known as Mr. Terrier.” Rangel eventually made the connection. “I always admired him, but didn’t know how special he was until I learned a little more.”

Born in 1931, and raised in Hollywood, California, Ric’s devotion to the sport commenced the day he set foot onto the grounds of a dog show. His intro to terriers came via a neighbor’s Airedale in 1941. He got his first Airedale pup, Lucky, a couple of years later. Lucky went to Ralph Friedman to be groomed, and this astounding transformation introduced him to the art of terrier trimming. Ric’s fascination was obvious to Friedman who told him about the upcoming Los Angeles Kennel Club show. This is where he saw his first Wire, the breed that became the love of his life. I can’t improve on his description of this life-changing revelation. “I saw a Wire Fox Terrier standing on a table all choked up and ready for the ring and I never thought a dog could look so beautiful. I believe it was at this moment that I fell in love with dog shows.” His sudden and complete dedication is startling because his family had absolutely no connection to the sport. His father, Marshall Chashoudian, was a classical violinist who worked in radio, film and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

At age 12, Ric began showing Lucky and he never looked back. Youth and inexperience were against him, but these factors were outweighed by enthusiasm, natural talent, and determination rare for a kid his age. These traits would last a lifetime. In 1948, he picked up his first Best in Show on an Airedale, Ch. The Sheik of Ran Aire, at the Golden Gate Kennel Club. By the time he was 17, he also had a multiple specialty winner, Ch. Roy El Tiger Lily.

Ric entered the sport during a transitional phase. Over the next two decades, purebred dogs underwent an unprecedented explosion of popularity in America. Thousands of middle class exhibitors entered the sport, founded small hobby kennels, and increasingly relied on professional handlers to present and promote their dogs. However, in the late ‘40s it was very much a closed shop, dominated by a handful of major players. Most terrier talent was concentrated on the East Coast, where top handlers managed huge private kennels specializing in one or two breeds. It was almost impossible to break into this business without connections, but Ric’s reputation opened doors for him. Early in his career, his mentors included Phil Prentiss, then handling for Foxden, Tony Neary, who showed for the Rockefellers, and the legendary Scottie authority, Bob Bartos.

Bartos met Ric when he relocated to the West Coast in 1947 to manage the Scottie kennel for Carnation Farms in Oregon. On arrival, his first task was getting acquainted with local handlers and sizing up the competition. “This young kid, maybe 18 or 20, was doing a damn good job putting the dogs down, not only correctly, but beautifully.” Bartos was equally impressed with Ric’s handling skills.  “We battled like hell in the ring, no quarters asked. But we became the best of friends and would go to dinner and discuss dogs after the show.”

Along with talent and dedication, Bartos also points out that “Ricky had two pretty good teachers.” Ben Brown was a top handler of the era. He showed countless important dogs such as the 1939 Westminster winner Ferry v. Rauhfelsen purchased from Giralda Farms by Dr. L.R. “Jim” Randle’s Randahof Kennel in San Francisco. Among others, Harry Sangster and Corky Vroom got their start with Brown, and Ric referred to him as a second father. “He was a Scotsman, one of the original Scottie breeders” says Bartos. “Ben had a tremendous eye for dogs, but he was not a good trimmer.” According to Bartos, “The best trimmer on the West Coast was Harold Duffy, out of Chicago.” Ric began working for Duffy when he was 16, a job he held until both entered the service during the Korean War.

In 1953, Ric returned to handling after his two year stint in the Army. He also married his first wife, Yvonne, had two daughters, and purchased Bonnie Brier Kennel in Sun Valley, California, now owned by Bergit Coady Kabel. His family and kennel provided plenty of incentive to succeed in this tough business and a Kerry special ultimately put Ric on the map as a top handler.

Bartos emphasizes that Ricky “did Kerrys just beautifully.” In fact, he revolutionized Kerry trimming. According to Rangel, he influenced grooming trends in quite a few breeds. “He was way ahead of his time. The dogs that Ric showed 30 years ago look like the dogs we show now.” At the time, Kerrys were the hot new breed in the terrier group. Brown’s protégé, Harry Sangster, recommended Ric to his client, Joe Urmston, to handle his new acquisition, Marberlane Minuet. Urmston also owned the phenomenal winner of the era, Ch. Bumblebee of Delwin. Ric subsequently showed Misty to a phenomenal specials career. She also became the source of West Coast Kerry quality, and Ric always rated her as the best moving bitch he ever showed. Her first time out at the Harbor Cities Kerry specialty in Long Beach she took breed from the open class and group second under Bill Kendrick. Her next time out at the Los Angeles Kennel Club Show, Misty went Best under Bea Godsol.

A year later, the Urmstons asked Ric to show one of Misty’s pups. This turned out to be Ch. Blue More High Fidelity. However, he had spent his first year in a kennel, unsocialized and matted to the skin. The project didn’t look too promising. Even Ben Brown pronounced it hopeless. But Ric was determined. His first time out, High Fidelity took breed from the open class. He not only went on to a successful show career, he was an important producer. Ric campaigned his grandson Ch. Melbee’s Chances Are to 49 BIS and 100 groups. He was top dog all breeds in 1968 and sired 66 champions. Throughout his career, Ric cited Tommy as the best dog he ever showed. Among others, George Ward admitted that this was one dog he would have loved to show.

This wasn’t the only milestone in Ric’s life that happened while handling for the Urmstons. After several years of showing Urmston terriers, Ric decided to strike out on his own. To replace him Mrs. Urmston hired Peter Green. “Peter came along in the late ‘50s” recalls Bartos. “He and Ricky got to be really good friends.” Ric met Peter Green on September 13, 1958. In 1960, Harry Sangster arranged for the two of them to travel to Westminster aboard Flying Tiger Airlines. Green returned to Wales shortly after this trip but ran into Ric again at Westminster in 1963, and then began handling for the famed Pool Forge Kennel in Pennsylvania. The two remained close friends from that time on. A few weeks after Ric’s death, Green gave a beautiful tribute to him at the Bell Tower, the morning of Montgomery.

During these years, Ric earned a reputation as one of the country’s top handlers. “Terriers are the toughest group,” says Bartos. “They need the most conditioning and the temperaments are so varied. I classify Ricky with Bill Prentiss and George Ward as the best terrier men we ever had. He had the temperament, ability, and the hands to work with dogs.” Dubbed “the Mad Armenian,” Ric arrived at shows in his in customized dog truck, the War Wagon, and prided himself in being the first on the grounds and the last to leave. He made his name in terriers, but he was an all breed handler and gained a notable reputation in several breeds. He handled up-and-coming breeds like Bichons and Bouviers, and some of the first Basenjis campaigned in America. He showed for Hollywood celebrities like Carol Burnett, George Kennedy, and Paul Lynde, as well as iconic breeders like Miriam Breed.

Breed’s Barmere line produced watershed dogs in both Boxers and Brussels Griffons. Born in Pittsburgh, she was a much-married heir to the multi-million dollar Hostetter fortune. She founded her Barmere Boxer kennel in the 1930s based on foundation stock purchased from Henry Stoecker. In 1934, she imported the dual Seiger Champion Sigurd vom Dom, widely acknowledged as one of America’s most important Boxer sires. His winning earned accolades for the breed at a time when AKC still classified Boxers in the Non-Sporting group. His grandson was the legendary Bang Away of Sirrah Crest, the 1951 Westminster winner and the first West Coast dog to capture the big prize.

Through her family’s interest, Breed had been involved with Brussels since childhood, but didn’t found her Barmere Brussels Griffon kennel until 1951. By then, she knew dogs and she knew this breed very well. In 1955, she sent Harry Sangster to England to purchase the best stock money could buy. He returned with ten dogs including Ch. Gaystock Le Dauphin who became one of the most influential Brussels Griffon studs. Barmere dominated Griffons throughout the ‘60s and ‘70s. Ric kept all of her Griffons at his kennel and handled for her until her death in 1968. His biggest Barmere winner was the legendary Ch. Barmere’s Mighty Man, who remained the breed’s record holder for decades. Ric handled him to 29 BIS wins and group placements at the Garden in 1962 and 1964.

By the 1960s Ric’s handling career was going full-tilt. He employed up to five assistants, typically handling 20-25 dogs per show and often 40-50 at major terrier events like Montgomery and Great Western. He ultimately racked up a career total of more than 600 Best in Shows. More importantly, most of his top dogs also made a major contribution as producers.

His most famous winner was Ch. Jo Ni’s Red Baron of Crofton, grandson of the first Lakeland to win Westminster, Ch. Stingray of Derryabah, handled by Peter Green. Ric spotted The Baron as a four month-old puppy and began showing him when he was eight months-old for his longtime client Virginia Dixon. He ended 1974 as top dog all breeds, and placed second in the group at Westminster in 1975. Finally, all the pieces fell into place at Westminster’s 100th Anniversary show in 1976. He described the win as his “dream come true. I was in my middle forties and it had taken me twenty-five trips to New York to do this.”

Ric won another Westminster group in 1981 with Ch. Ttarb the Bratt. He was shown to top terrier that year, breaking the BIS record held by the legendary Ch. Norway Saddler since the early 1940s. Ric first saw the Bratt going fourth in a class of four, shown by Ed Dalton, who had brought him from New Zealand. He recognized the dog’s potential and handled him at no charge until he found a backer. Famed for his head, expression, and outline, The Bratt went on to sire 137 AKC Champions.

Of course, Wires were Ric’s favorite breed, and throughout his career he compared every one he showed to Miss Skylight, an Irish import he handled to top dog all breeds in 1961. Ch. Sylair Special Edition, called George, also ranks among his most cherished Wires. George did a lot of big winning, but to Ric nothing compared to the satisfaction of handling him to Best of Breed at the Garden when he was a veteran of eight. This win was not a matter of luck.

Rangel notes that Ric spent months preparing for this show. “He knew he needed to lose some weight but he wasn’t doing it before that came up. He didn’t do it for himself, he did it for George. He got himself on a diet and lost 60 pounds. He trained this retired dog and put him in the most beautiful condition you can imagine. He had so much passion. He always got the best out of the dogs.” And on this occasion, Rangel notes that “his dog was undeniable.”

Ric discovered George while judging in England, instantly recognized his quality and purchased him on the spot. Ric bought many dogs over the years and, by his own admission, George wasn’t cheap. However, he always maintained that he was worth every penny. He exceeded expectations as a show dog, and more importantly, he proved to be a very dominant sire, stamping his progeny with his unmistakable long, graceful necks, short backs, and beautiful, balanced heads.

In total, Ch. Sylair Special Edition sired 90 AKC champions, two obedience titleholders and one earthdog titleholder. George’s impact on Wire type is seen in  Louline in England, Willowwood in Argentina and Brazil, Beinnein in Canada, Starring in Finland, Dartline in Sweden, Fox Chelines in Spain, Foxcreek In Japan, and many American lines, most notably, Ric’s Santeric breeding program.

Airedales were Ric’s first love and he showed many remarkable dogs over the years. Possibly the most famous was Ch. Bravo True Grit. Ric spotted his sire, Ch. Bengal Turith Comet, while judging in England and ultimately purchased him for a client in California. Comet arrived in Baton Rouge just in time to breed Kathy Findlay’s bitch at his kennel. This was fortunate because that would be his only litter. Two days later he was discovered dead in his crate.

The litter produced Ch. Bravo True Grit, who went on to an incredible career,which included one of Ric’s most memorable wins, going Best at Montgomery in 1982. Unfortunately, Ric was suspended at the time. True Grit was handled to this win by his 14 year old protégé Phillip Fitzpatrick. To Ric, teaching a young kid to expertly handle this big Airedale in top class competition was the most satisfying aspect of the win.  Fitz went on to show dogs professionally throughout his college years, which helped to pay his expenses until he graduated from Tulane and became a doctor.

Several top handlers got their start working for Ric like Wood Wornall, Richard Powell, Sandy Paulson, and Klayton Harris. Second generation terrier breeder Pat Snodgrass admits that Ric was not easy to work for and he could be very demanding. “I remember him screaming at Klayton at a show, and later he admitted to me that he didn’t even pay attention to it.” Ric had high expectations for himself and he demanded the same from everyone else.

On the other hand, Rangel notes that Ric’s exacting standards were inspiring. “He had so much passion for the sport and the dogs, it was contagious. Being around him made you want to do better.” For instance, Rangel knew how to do flatwork on dogs, “But Ric could make it look like velvet. I wanted to do it like that.” Ric didn’t believe in shortcuts like using sharp tools for trimming. “But he made you feel so proud of doing it the right way and getting every detail perfect, you didn’t care about hours and hours of work standing on your feet trimming dogs. You didn’t even care about winning. You didn’t want to let Ric down. You gave 100 percent just to hear him say that you did good.”

Ric also had the ability to recognize potential in the people he mentored. Bartos points out that, “You can show people how to do something but ninety percent will never be able to do it.” The other ten percent “might as well learn something from you.” Ricky was a true dog man; he made great sacrifices in order to pursue his dreams. His devotion to the sport never faltered. “He was very outspoken, even if it got him in trouble. If he saw what he felt was an injustice, he had the guts to speak up.” These personality traits also made for a very loyal friend, but it goes without saying that Ric wasn’t a friend for the faint-hearted.

In 1978, Ric relocated his kennel, handling business, and family to Baton Rouge with his beloved mother, Nooshig, who passed away in 2001. A California native, she was never that comfortable in Baton Rouge. “But she is now returning to Fresno, back to her mother, father, brother and sister” Ric wrote in the eulogy for her funeral. “To our knowledge, she never had a disparaging word said about her, which is a rare trait. She was like a saint to her family and will be remembered as one of the finest human beings to grace this planet.”

Martha Smith and her husband met Ric after acquiring a Sylair Special Edition daughter in 1993 and attending one of his grooming seminars. “He was crazy about our little bitch,” says Smith, “We were not young, and as green as grass when we started in this game.” Ric immediately invited them to Baton Rouge for grooming lessons. The Smiths not only chose a complicated breed, they opted to handle their own dogs. “Ric knew we weren’t going to hire him, but he still shared his knowledge and time. I think he respected us for going head to head with the big guys.” They also opened the door to a double dose of Ric’s blunt criticism as their grooming and presentation skills slowly improved. Smith admits that Ric could be abrupt sometimes. “Other people may have been intimidated, but I grew up with a father with similar tendencies. It was a day to day affair for me.”

She recalls the time Ric and George Ward fell in love with one of her 12 week-old Wire pups at the Fort Worth show. “Ric and George carried that puppy all over that show all weekend.” When he later asked to buy the bitch, Smith turned him down flat. “He looked at me and said ‘Honey, I guess you didn’t understand me. I want to buy that bitch’.” Smith wouldn’t budge. “Oh my goodness. His face turned every shade of red and purple. He was accustomed to getting his own way.” By the next morning everything was well and good. Their friendship weathered the storm, and Smith counts herself lucky to have benefited from Ric’s mentoring. “The people who learned from him are exceptional,” and she describes Gabriel Rangel as a perfect example of someone following closely in Ric’s footsteps. “The first time I ever really noticed this was at Central States. Gabriel went around helping people with their final trims, and it reminded me of the way Ric always shared his knowledge.”

Ric’s dedication to helping new fanciers was especially evident in his fondness for teaching young kids, who he called the backbone of our sport. Rebecca Warner, then age ten, met Ric when she asked for a job walking dogs. This probably struck a chord with Ric who had done the same thing as a child. Warner was soon exercising Wires after school, an arrangement that lasted until she entered college. “They were a great support to me, almost like grandparents.” Ric took her under his wing and encouraged her interest in dogs even agreeing to come to her school for a Show and Tell presentation on dogs.

Warner’s fondest memory is “the huge gift” she received from Ric and Nicole. Ric noticed that Rebecca had become attached to one of the pups she was working with. “She was beautiful. One day he put her in front of me and asked if I wanted her. He always called me Becky. No one else would get away with that. He kept pushing me to name the dog. I was very shy. I kept stuttering and could not think of anything on the spot. He finally said ‘call her Becky, after you.’” Becky finished, whelped three litters, and remained Rebecca’s beloved pet until she passed away last year.

Warner also learned basic grooming and handling from Ric and helped him out at shows. “When I was about 12 he had me take one of their bitches in the ring at the Baton Rouge show.” Ric had taught her well. Warner fondly recalls showing her charge to Group First from the classes under Anna Wanner. “For a kid, that was quite a thrill.” Most of all, Warner admits that she was impressed by Ric’s dedication to his craft. “I’ll always remember him at home sculpting and working with the dogs. He put everything he had into it.”

In the early ‘80s Ric retired from handling, sold the kennel, and began judging. Like everything else, his judging career was lively. Eventually approved to judge all terriers, toys, working, sporting, non-sporting, and juniors, assignments took him to South America, Australia, Taiwan, Japan, and Europe. He presented the first grooming seminar and judged the first terrier show group show in Spain. However, his international judging career actually began in 1953. While in the army, Gen. Clark ordered him to Tokyo to judge the Japanese Kennel Club’s first post-war show. He awarded Best in Show to Kongo-Go, a foundation sire of the Dewa line as well as most of the breeding stock subsequently exported to America for years to come.

Jon Emerson has successfully bred Scotties under the Beauregard prefix for 20 years. He initially contacted Ric in 1991 seeking expert advice on a Sealyham he had recently acquired. A novice at the time, Emerson attributes all of his subsequent success to Ric’s guidance. “It was amazing to find someone with that much knowledge and background right here in Baton Rouge.” After helping Emerson get started in Scotties Ric helped him plan breedings, grade litters, and place dogs with the right handlers for the next 20 years. “He was an international judge who traveled all over the world, and I could call him any time for advice.”

Ric’s game plan never included conforming to the status quo. He called it like he saw it. He was known to put puppies over specials and, despite gossip to the contrary, could never be counted on to put up his friends unless he liked the dogs they brought him. “A lot of people wouldn’t show under him because they thought he would only put up George Ward,” says Snodgrass. Ric shrugged it off saying “when they can groom and present like George Ward, then they can fuss.” To illustrate her point, Snodgrass recalls Ric giving her mother Reserve Winners Bitch over many top handlers at the Fox Terrier Centenary. “He liked a good dog when he saw it. One year he was ringside when I showed a Wire puppy in the 6-9 class at Montgomery. He kept calling me over. It didn’t matter that I was in the ring. He saw a Wire that he liked and he wanted to see her.” Ultimately Snodgrass decided “it was better to have the judge mad at me than Ric, so I went over and showed him the pup.”

In the late ‘70s Ric’s combined skills as a trimmer, breeder, and judge set the stage for his next career as a sculptor. He did countless bronzes on commission that are now in private art collections all over the world. A few of his notable works included a life-size bronze of Barney for the Presidential Pet museum. He also sculpted The Katrina Survivors, a life-size cat and dog perched on a barn door, now displayed at the New Orleans City Hall. For many years he sculpted the Quaker Oats awards. “He was a perfectionist,” says Bartos. “He worked tremendously hard at his sculpting.”

The traits that made Ric an expert handler, trimmer, and artist also made him a genuine dog breeder. Over the years he bred countless winners in many breeds for clients, but his fascination with Wires never wavered. “I was always disappointed when I sat with him at ringside at a Wire specialty,” Snodgrass admits. “I thought I would learn so much, but you might as well sit next to a block of wood. If you asked him something he wouldn’t even hear you. He was so focused on the dogs.”

Ric had well-defined ideas about breeding before founding his Santeric breeding program in the late ‘70’s. He was a great advocate of straightforward type to type, rather than meticulously planned paper breedings. He often quoted advice given by his mentor, Ben Brown, who had successfully bred Boxers, Dobermans, and Danes. “He advised breeders to breed good ones to good ones to get good ones.” Needless to say, this method won’t work unless you are armed with an accurate eye for dogs. His experiences also gave him great faith in outcrossing, which had produced many of his best dogs like Ch. Melbee’s Chances Are, Ch. Jo Ni’s Red Baron of Crofton, Ch. Bravo True Grit, and Ch. Ttarb the Bratt. Despite their open pedigrees, all were noteworthy producers.

Ric was armed and ready when he began breeding Santeric Wires with Kathy Reges Carlson, a partnership that endured until her death in 2005. Santeric became known for beautiful heads, long necks, good shoulders, and short backs. Ch. Cunningfox Santeric Patriot was one of the notables to come from this breeding program. Handled by Gabriel Rangel, his wins included Group Second at the Garden in 1994.

“Santeric Patriot had a beautiful beard when he came here” says Rangel. “Suddenly he started losing it.” Rangel emphasizes that “whiskers are like gold, you have to be very careful.” Despite his TLC, Patriot kept losing beard. Rangel was mystified, and Ric didn’t have an answer either, but “He wasn’t okay with that. He had to know why.” To solve this mystery, Ric devoted an entire day to watching the dog’s every move until he discovered that Patriot was rubbing his chin against the water bottle inside of his crate. “Can you imagine a man like that spending the whole day watching one dog?” says Rangel. “He was so involved, he had the patience to do that.”

Ch. Santeric Y2K of Kathridge, known as Ricky, was Ric’s favorite Wire. Now age 14, Ricky went BIS at Central States in 2001, and became a very influential stud. Ric’s longtime friend Laureen Kegel, of Hollywood, Florida also recalls that he was at Ric’s bedside during his final illness. “He loved Ricky. The Saturday before he died we got a call that a Ricky daughter in the Memphis area had taken a Group Third. The next day an eight month-old Ricky grandson got a group fourth under Peggy Beissel. It is all Santeric breeding, and it was so neat to give him that news. He smiled and the tears came to his eyes. It meant so much to him.”

Kegel has worked with the Santeric line for 18 years. She initially contacted Ric for advice after her first homebred Wire died suddenly at age two. “I was very upset. He said ‘don’t worry honey; I’m going to get you the best damn bitch that I can find.’”

Kegel admits that she was initially skeptical of such a promise, but Ric kept his word. Kegel’s first BIS winner came from the bitch he found for her. “He gave me such a good start in Wires. Over the years, we hit on some great breeding combinations. We have so many wonderful young dogs coming up; I wish I was ten years younger,” she says. Despite his failing health, Ric continued mentoring her. Last July she brought a show prospect to him for evaluation. Although he was bedridden, “I put the puppy on his bed and he used a pointer to show me what needed to be done with his grooming.”

She admits that one of Ric’s best ideas was teaming her up with Linda Goddard, her longtime friend and co-breeder. Goddard, a special education teacher in Garland, Texas got her start in Wires through Ric twenty years ago. He also taught two of her students to groom and handle. According to Goddard, this experience improved their social skills and academic performance. Ric began working with Roxsan Kaaa, who is hearing impaired, when she was 13. Within a year, she had finished her first Wire with four majors. “When she started she was the shyest little girl. Now she is so confident, she does it all, whelping litters, handling, trimming. Now 18, Kaaa finished her first special, Enchantment Patrick of Santeric, at 11 months and plans to take him to Eukanuba this year. “He brought young people in and worked with them. For him, it was so important to see this knowledge carried over from one generation to the next.” Goddard adds that when Ric became too ill to continue working with Roxanne, he arranged for her to spend summers working for Gabriel Rangel.

“We have seven or eight people in this country who really know how to groom terriers because of Ric,” says Rangel. “People come from all over the world to learn from somebody who learned from Ric, like me or Woody, or Bill. His influence in terriers was worldwide. I do not believe that this sport will be as good without him.”

 Material for this article was kindly contributed by Ric’s common law wife of 30 years, Nicole Chashoudian.

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