The Joys of Being A Scottish Terrier Historian

Being Historian for the Scottish Terrier Club of America (STCA) has brought me joy and given me a new passion in my life, not to mention all the kindred spirits I’ve met.  The excitement of finding that bit of info that has been missing, like the name of the dog who won the 1925 Francis G. Lloyd trophy -- By the way, we’re still looking for the name of the 1926 winner.  So keep your eyes open for that, as I have a special gift for the one who discovers it -- or coming across a story about how someone felt similar to the way we do today about our Scotties; that some Scottie was so revered he was allowed to sleep by his master’s fireplace, because he was a master hunter of vermin, back in the day when most slept out in a shed.

Last year I hit the jackpot.  The item any historian would be over the moon to discover was waiting for me.  Can you guess what?  Well, you may have seen or heard snippets about them, but I was able to obtain the first original handbooks (1915 to 1919) ever written with the author’s signature and produced by the Scottish Terrier Club of America.  As far as being a historian is concerned, this find has brought me extreme joy.  I feel this has been my greatest achievement so far. 

The 1915 through 1919 Bulletins, as they were referred to then, may be a boring read to some, but to understand the beginning of a publication which has been produced, loved, collected and cherished, and still looked forward to today, how it came about, who started it and when, well, as Historian, it goes without say that it is a thrilling discovery.  These Bulletins verify some of the information we rely on, which is still incomplete, but we are closing the gaps.  Mentions of World War I, triggered on July 28, 1914, show a huge impact on the Club and the Scottish Terrier Breed as a whole.  These little Bulletins (handbooks) go a long way to really giving us a true sense of the Club originators’ dedication.  

Bill Berry, one of today’s dedicated aficionados of the Scottie, has donated the 1922 handbook, which is the first edition to be referred to then as a Yearbook.  The next edition I am in possession of is for the year 1929.  Is there anyone out there who can fill in the gaps?

My true joy comes from creating the on-line library for the world to enjoy at STCA.BIZ.  With the help of STCA’s Webmaster, Bob Gann and team, and members like Charla Hill, Muriel Lee, Kathi Brown and Kathy Ferris, to mention a few, who have supplied works chocked full of history and wonderful notes and articles on the Scottish Terrier, I have been able to bring you what is referred to as STCA’s Historian Library.  I would also like to thank AKC for giving permission to use the AKC Gazette collection of historical documents.

I am amazed at people who throw items of historical value away and have to remind myself that I once was one of those people. We all aren’t on this earth forever and others may not realize the importance of old catalogs, books, photos, magazines, handbooks, pedigrees, letters, dinner tickets, cards, pins, etc.  So please think about donating items you haven’t looked at for a long time to the Scottish Terrier Club of America, to be preserved and placed on-line and/or in the archives.  You can know you will be able to see them and with much more ease than lugging a box out and going through it and you’ll free up space in your home.  You can also have peace of mind knowing they won’t be thrown out by ones that don’t share your passion or knowledge of their importance.  History becomes great when it is known by many. Let’s honor our Scotties by filling in the gaps and preserving their great history for future generations.

Take a moment and write the dates, names of dogs, and people on the back of those photos.  And if you can part with them, send them to me along with any information you can find about the photo, with pedigree, if available.  Write and record your story and help create preservation of your own bit of Scottie history by sending it to me.  

I do find it interesting that a lot of our knowledge of the past comes from advertisements by show people and breeder/owner/handlers from the past.  Looking back, I find articles on dogs that were advertised and have noticed that it is very difficult to find anything on the Scotties or their owners that did not advertise.  Don’t let this be the case today.  This is your opportunity to add to the preserved history of the Scottish Terrier. 

Working with long-time member William “Bill” Berry, whose generosity has been overwhelming, donating items of great significance to benefit the preservation of our beloved Scotties’ history, is an honor.  A special thank you to Muriel P. Lee for her support, friendship, and generosity.  We have Muriel to thank for many of the items you see in the library, especially the Terrier Types, shown with permission and which are also still being published today.  Thank you to my new found friend, Steven Smith, of AKC, whose excitement about the history of dogs might actually surpass my own.  Thank you, Mary O’Neal for your hundreds of hours creating a pedigree data base, so we can trace back our Scotties ancestors - just one of its many uses.  

I wish to express gratitude and appreciation for guidance from Charla Hill, whose love of history, herself, saw something in me I didn’t know was missing, filling a void and gifting me with a cherished passion.  A very special thank you, Charla, for the hundreds of documents, ideas, and hours you have provided to help make the library something for all to enjoy, use for research, and to preserve the history of this wonderfully loyal and intelligent, feisty diehard; and, for all you do for the Scottish Terrier Club of America.  Without you the historian library would not exist as it does today and the library is only one item.  Your devotion and caring to the club, without thought to yourself, go above and beyond!

Remember that the aforementioned members are just a few.  As a club, we are many.  Write your story and send it in to me.  Become a part of the recorded history for the Scottish Terrier.  Donate what might end up in the trash.  Don’t think that anything is too trivial or not worthy of recording.  Join the Historian by contributing and feel the joy of sharing.  Please help make this the largest on-line Scottish Terrier Library in the world! 

Be sure to visit the historian library on our website.  There is a link in white letters in the upper left-hand corner. My e-mail address is historian@stca.biz. If you find something has not uploaded properly and have trouble reading it, please, do not hesitate to let me know.