If you’ve ever given your entire heart to a dog, then you know the price you must eventually pay. The only thing that can ever cure the loss of a great love is another love, and even though it’s not easy to understand this when your heart is breaking into little, shattered pieces, the best thing to do is to get another dog. Don’t look back, just throw your heart over and bring home another somebody to love.
Sometimes people are not as brave as dogs, and they live long, barren lives after losing their best friend. Lucky for all of us, Mrs. Ann Roberts dared to love again. When her beloved Springer died, she listened to her heart and brought home a puppy that would grow up to be known as Ch. Canarch Inchidony Brook.
In her lifetime, Brook produced a short but powerful list of winners, and she lives on today in the blood of some of the best Springers in the world. What was it about this terrific dam that caused her to pass along greatness to her children? We need look no further than her sire, the immortal Ch. Inchidony Prince Charming. Known as ‘Charlie,’ he was bred and shown to his championship by Mr. Becher W. Hungerford, who owned Ch. Salilyn’s Cinderella II, a bitch which he bred to Ch. Salilyn’s Citation II. Since both sire and dam were linebred on the immortal Ch. Rodrique of Sandblown Acres, one suspects that Mr. Hungerford was operating on a hunch that greatness was in the mix. He was right, of course, and prior to Ch. Salilyn’s Aristocrat’s explosive entry into the stud dog hall of fame, the most respected breeders of the day spoke of Prince Charming as “greatness personified.”
Indeed, Charlie’s biggest fan was Mrs. Julia Gasow of Salilyn herself, who sang his highest praise. She called him “the greatest stud and producer of champions since Rufton Recorder.” If these were powerful words to stand against, Charlie did so with ease. In his lifetime he sired 50 champions, including the gorgeous black and white Ch. Charlyle’s Fair Warning; the immortal sire of sires, Ch. Salilyn’s Aristocrat; and the lovely Ch. Canarch Inchidony Brook, who in her turn produced the unforgettable Aristocrat son, Ch. Chinoes Adamant James.
Karen Prickett Miller, professional dog show handler and breeder of English Springers under the prefix Loujon, remembers ‘Brook’ well. “She was a gorgeous, gorgeous bitch,” says Miller. “She was a gift to Mrs. Roberts by her breeder, Mrs. Hendee, who owned Canarch Springer Spaniels, and who was also Mrs. Robert’s sister. When Brook grew up to be so gorgeous, Mrs. Roberts had a hunch that she would make beautiful music with ‘Aristocrat,’ so she approached Julie about doing this breeding. Julie was hesitant to allow this breeding because Brook and Risto were half siblings and, to tell the truth, the first breeding was not successful. But Mrs. Roberts still had that hunch, and she begged Julie to let her try it again and, well, she sure knew something, because that’s how Adamant James came to be.” Although nothing is remembered about the other babies born to Brook and Aristocrat, one lovely liver and white boy would not be denied, earning him the name “Adamant” for his purposeful persistence in demanding attention from the very beginning, and “James” for his stately bearing. Here was a pup that could never be called “Jim” or “Jimmy.”
Chinoes Adamant James came bouncing into the late Dr. Milton E. Prickett’s world as a chunky 8-week-old puppy, and it was love at first sight. Prickett was no stranger to the special love of a Springer. He’d had one as a child and, as he once told a newspaper reporter, “I shot my first pheasant over a Springer and have loved them ever since.” Dr. Prickett (known as Micki to his friends) was an assistant professor at the University of Kentucky and for the first year of his life, little ‘DJ’ — short for Diamond Jim (so named for the diamond-like patch of white on his hip, but also because “adamant” means “diamond” in old English) — lived an enviable campus life, at bliss in the presence of his greatest love, the professor. Dr. Micki once told newspaper reporters, “DJ was my best student ever; he slept through all of my lectures.” True enough, for the dog did go to school with the teaching veterinarian, where he’d sleep on a rumpled sports jacket and snore while Professor Prickett competed for the attention of his amused students.
When Dr. Prickett realized that DJ was growing up handsome, he took the puppy over to Mrs. Roberts to get an honest evaluation. We don’t have a recollection of those first prophetic words, but we have to imagine that what Mrs. Roberts said was positive, for very soon Dr. Prickett was taking DJ to conformation classes, and instead of sleeping through the lessons, DJ was learning how to gait and stack. Micki was learning how to groom, and soon he realized that he’d found a hobby that suited him.
Dr. Prickett showed the young DJ, starting out in puppy matches and proceeding to the serious endeavors of AKC point shows when the puppy turned 6 months old. In the classes, DJ immediately began turning heads. They must have had some very early encouragement, because the Kentuckians were soon traveling for the National Specialty of 1968, where DJ won his first ribbon under esteemed breeder-judge, the late Raymond Beale. One of DJ’s very first fans, Dr. Beale recognized the dog’s quality right away.
Great Ones: Eng. Am. Ch. Courtenay Fleetfoot of Pennyworth
Dog of the Year 1964 and the first “Triple Crown” winner, “Ricky” left a lasting impression both on his breed and the sport as a whole. Read More>>