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Posted 02/10/00




Phyllis Fagan's first association with Norwich came in 1912 when she acquired a cropped black and tan bitch from a pack of "Jones Terriers." As a founding member of the Norwich Terrier Club in 1932, she was influential in having as colors black and grizzle and tan, plus both ear carriages included in the first breed standard. Well known as a most successful prick-ear producer for fifty years, Mrs. Fagan was also a sporting-horse woman, a respected judge, and the pioneer line-breeder with a double influence on today's breeds.

The sale of a pair of bandy-legged drop ears, Snuff and Sneeze, to a young American bride in 1930 planted the seed which 20 years later bloomed in Bernardsville, NJ. Today at Castle Point, Mary Baird, has maintained her successful kennel since starting with a descendant of her original Fagan-bred pet. Currently, all black and tan Norwich and most Norfolk of this color can claim either Snuff or his black-backed show winning sire, Smudge, as an ancestor.

On a visit to the Dean Bedfords in the early seventies, Phyllis Fagan attended a Norwich match at Mrs. Bairds. Before her game departure by land rover, she had the pleasure of seeing a Norwich puppy sired by the last of her line win Best in Show.

Though an avowed prick-ear enthusiast, Mrs. Fagan approved of the winning Norfolks here. Throughout the years, she preferred a dog with substance, said no good dog was a bad color, and forgave squirrel tails (i.e., carried over the back) as they do not interfere with field work. The breed owes much to Phyllis Fagan, and long will her influence endure.

ANTIC, Winter, 1982


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