The impact of the Bethways kennels' move to Santa Fe from Connecticut in 1973 was awesome. For more than twenty years, Barbara Fournier dedicated her efforts to breeding and exhibiting drop ear Norwich while managing boarding facilities for horses, dogs and cats. Many owners of Bethways stock missed Bobby's coffee klatches, hospitality and help almost as soon as the dog-laden motor home crossed the Hudson.
For ten years Barbara voiced her conviction that breed separation would benefit both prick and drop ear Norwich. Her YES votes for separation in sweepstakes classes and at club specialties were building blocks toward Norfolk recognition.
However, it was Jane and Everett Anderson that cultivated the seeds of separation in 1975 as hosts for a spring drop ear match in Mystic, Connecticut. The record breaking turn out for Judge Anne Winston emphatically supported the need for breed recognition.
During the next three years there was little positive action generated by the Norwich Terrier Club. On the negative side, the board withdrew a financial commitment toward an educational Norwich and Norfolk pedigree publication.
So in the spring of 1978 at a Connecticut meeting of Norfolk owners, the initiation of a separate breed club was discussed. Urging an AKC visit, Barbara Fournier cited the happy memories of help and information she received upon joining the Norwich Terrier Club in 1952.
Exploring the possibilities of a new breed club, Jane Anderson and Joan Read found AKC President Stifel and Secretary Mooty cautiously encouraging. As a first requirement toward Norfolk recognition, fifty names of drop ear supporters were needed.
Before the list was submitted, an odd coincidence occurred. Pressure from a Canadian breeder galvanized the existing Norwich Terrier Club to action. The cause: an "illegitimate" (mixed breed) litter sired by an American Norwich Terrier D.E. x a Canadian Norfolk Terrier dam. The solution was the recognition of drop ear Norwich Terriers as Norfolk Terriers by NTC board members, a move which gained AKC approval as of January, 1979. This landmark decision by the AKC set a precedent by allowing two breeds in one club. This decision also obliterated ANTA's chances of Norfolk Terrier parenthood; i.e., being the club which protects the standard and provides the AKC Gazette column.
Undaunted, Barbara's "Connecticut Connection" held a well attended spring event in Hamden, Connecticut, which included a drag hunt after road kill. The fall teach-in with Joy Taylor in Oyster Bay, NY, attracted AKC judges, professional handlers, as well as a full complement of Norfolk owners.
In a final try as Norwich and Norfolk Terrier Club member, Barbara succeeded in correcting the glaring errors in the proposed breed standards and then headed the club's separation poll. Though the membership found in favor of separation, the board would not accept a simple majority vote. Realizing it might take years for Norfolk owners to receive the guidance, education and communication they deserved, she agreed to activate ANTA and assumed its presidency.
ANTA's first efforts were to publish a quarterly information circular, called ANTIC, and put on its first event in October, 1981, in Bedford Village, NY. Since then, ANTIC has continued to educate and inform and flourished with subscribers worldwide. Each year ANTA now holds three major events and occasional smaller ones, which include conformation and sporting activities along with instructional clinics. Early on the Club produced a comprehensive brochure and distributed a video on all facets of the breed. In 1989, founding ANTA Board member Joan R. Read authored of The Norfolk Terrier, the first American book devoted to this breed. A revised Second Edition came out in 1994 and is available from ANTA. Additional accomplishments have been 1990 and 1995 editions of the Norfolk Terrier Pedigree Book, the 1981-1993 Yearbook, and this web site.
In 1995 ANTA began an annual educational seminar to honor the memory of the late Joan Read. Subjects have ranged from "Form and Function in Short-Legged Terriers" in 1995 with noted terrier judge Mrs. Lydia C. Hutchinson to "The Terrier In Sporting Art" presented in 1997 by noted canine art historian Mr. William Secord.
Adapted and Updated from ANTA Yearbook 1981 - 1993
For those of you whose enthusiasm for Norfolks is of fairly recent origin, the importance of breed separation may seem of little consequence. However, for those involved in establishing the Norfolk Terrier as a breed separate from its prick-eared cousin, the Norwich, the path was lengthy and often circuitous.
As with the breed, the origins of a club specific to Norfolks started in England. The Norfolk Terrier Club (England) 1986 yearbook contained a fascinating history, portions of which follow:
As stated in "Norwich Terriers USA 1936-1966" by Constance Stuart Larrabee and Joan Redmond Read, it is apparent that differences of opinion regarding the prick ear and drop ear versions of this small terrier had been in full swing for a long time:
ANTIC, September, 2005
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