The induction of one of the dog sport’s luminaries into the Anne Rogers Clark Hall of Fame is always a highlight of the Show Dogs of the Year dinner. This year the Hon. David Merriam and AKC President and CEO Dennis Sprung shared the honor of inducting a man who truly embodies the very best of the dog sport, Skye Terrier legend Walter Goodman. Mr. Goodman was invited onto the stage to view his life flash before his eyes on DVD. From his baby photos to his first champions, a few of his 99 Best in Show wins, and touching and funny moments from his illustrious career as a dog man brought laughter and tears to the friends and colleagues assembled. Walter Goodman has been “in” dogs for his entire life; it started with his mother, Mrs. Adele Goodman, and her Glamoor Skye Terriers, the name that became synonymous with great Skyes the world over. The height of Goodman’s career came in 1969 when he steered the only Skye Terrier in history to Best in Show at Westminster, Ch. Glamoor Good News, under judge Louis J. Murr. Mr. Goodman’s service as president of the Montgomery County Kennel Club, along with 2001 Hall of Fame inductee Dr. Josephine Deubler, helped establish that show as one of the nation’s most prestigious.
Judge Merriam could not resist launching into a couple of classic “Walter” show dog stories, including the day Mr. Goodman was carrying his Skye Terrier over his shoulders across Seventh Avenue in a horrendous snow storm to get to the Garden. Mr. Goodman’s aging mother was trudging slowly behind him, hardly able to keep up in the 2 feet of snow. Someone asked Mr. Goodman why he didn’t carry his mother and let the dog walk, to which he spontaneously replied, “I’m not showing my mother!”
Dennis Sprung’s genuine remarks captured the good nature and integrity of his friend Walter Goodman. Mr. Sprung aptly compared Walter to his chosen breed, quoting the Skye Terrier standard which describes “A dog of style, elegance and dignity.” Always the best-dressed handler in the ring, Mr. Goodman indeed is a man of “style, elegance and dignity.”
Mr. Goodman spoke briefly to accept his award, confirming that all the testaments and even the stories were true.
From the March 2013 issue of Dogs In Review magazine. Purchase the March 2013 digital back issue or subscribe to receive 12 months of Dogs In Review magazine.