Tom Crowe, Super Man

AKC Gazette, “Times Past”: Tom Crowe occupied a unique place in the sport of dogs.

He was an Air Corps pilot during World War II and later a high-ranking officer in the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. He held a medical degree (though never practiced) and spent 14 years as a top professional handler. But he’s best remembered by many as chairman of MB–F (Moss-Bow–Foley) show supers. Crowe and his wife, Lois, superintended countless shows together between 1963 and his retirement from day-to-day operations in 1985. Crowe discussed his eventful life in a 1998 Gazette profile.

Here are some highlights.

On the show super’s job: “People come to dog shows to have fun. If they don’t, we’re doing something wrong.”

On dog shows: “One of the best things about dog shows is the people you meet. In no other sport can a gas-station attendant rub elbows with Rockefellers and du Ponts and compete with them on an equal basis.”

On a particularly tough day at work: “There isn’t anything that hasn’t happened to us: tornadoes, floods, the collapse of the food tent, you name it. The worst was at the old Montgomery County site, the year the grounds flooded. Dogs were gaited on rows of tables laid end-to-end on the ground while their handlers lost their shoes in the muck. Some of our chairs are still buried in that field!” That rainy day in Pennsylvania gave rise to a classic show story Crowe loved to tell. He was standing on three layers of tables in the leaky superintendant’s tent as an irate club official slogged toward him. “Do you realize that traffic is backed up for five miles because the main entrance is under four feet of water and the mud is so deep at the rear entrance that nobody can get in?” “Yes, sir,” Crowe responded, “I know that.” The official demanded, “What I want to know is, what are you going to do about it?” Crowe thought about it, turned his gaze heavenward, and began, “Our Father, who art in heaven …”

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