The first dog show Kate attended was the 1948 Ladies Kennel Club, where she showed her puppy in obedience. Her second show was out on Long Island, a benched show, as most were in those days. Kate and her dog “Rikki” actually qualified in obedience that day.
While sitting on the bench at that show, an English Setter benched near Rikki fell off its bench and
was hanging itself. Teenaged Kate and a nearby American Cocker Spaniel breeder rescued the dog and became friends. That American Cocker breeder was Kay Marchel, mistress of the Hickory Hills American Cocker Spaniels from West Reading Connecticut.
Kay Marchel gave Kate her first show cocker, again an American Cocker Spaniel, Hickory Hills High Shadow, and began Kate on her path to breeding spaniels.
Later, while living in England, Kate acquired “Peanut”, a black and tan English Cocker Spaniel. Peanut,
who we know little about, other than that he was a Grandson of Eng Ch Collinwood Cowboy, arrived for Kate by train, unaccompanied, as was very common in those days.
Back in the states Kate, went back into American Cocker Spaniels but ran into cataracts. This setback is what brought her to English Cocker Spaniels and, weren’t we lucky it did!!!
Writing about Kate is not easy! How does one sum up the life of such an extraordinary person? A debutante, a writer, a sailer, a music aficionado, an artist and a historian.. Kate was always a fierce and devoted friend. Our Kate could occasionally be prickly and, to the uninitiated, she could be a bit intimidating. Once you earned her respect though, you were friends for life and, if you didn’t call often enough you were in for a scolding. Conversations with Kate could quickly turn into fascinating, hours long discussions about dogs, history, politics, family, and the New York Times, which she had delivered and read daily.
Kate was one of the most unique humans most of us have ever met. There have already been so many times that many of us have wished that we could call her and ask for her help with an English Cocker Spaniel history question or just to talk politics. We are going to miss her amazing Christmas cards every year with her fun comments and a photo of her current “gang at Merrydown!”
When you asked Kate what her life’s career was she always said ”Dog Historian.” She is
irreplaceable and we miss her every day! We think she would be very pleased with these new historical pages which could never have been created without Our Kate. We dedicate these pages to her with great gratitude for all that she shared with us, and for her unwavering dedication to the English Cocker and the English Cocker Spaniel Club of America.