Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Leon Whitney's Brood Stock of Cockers

Dr. George Whitney, son of the late dog author and eugenics proponent, Dr Leon Whitney of Orange, Connecticut, describes how his father came to own a supply of cocker spaniels:

“It was in the 30’s that at daybreak one morning 3 flatbed trucks drove up behind our home in Orange with me sleeping in a second floor bedroom. When the trucks stopped it must have been a signal for close to about 100 of OB Gilman’s dogs to all bark together. There were crates on crates of cockers. Along with the animals came a trunk of trophies, paintings and papers concerning cockers. All, a gift to my father.

"Mr Gilman had reached an age at which he had to dispose of his dogs and since my Dad had been helpful in suggesting diet and breeding advice over the years and since Dad was interested in coat color inheritance he agreed to take all these beautiful animals with the understanding that all past breeding age would be euthanized. Mr Gilman did not believe in killing his animals just because they were old. Each of those dogs had love and caring and each one it’s own personality with not one with a personality problem. In a few days the numbers had dwindled to about 50 as Dad must have eliminated the others. I was the kennel help in those days but Dad did not expose me to that unfortunate duty of euthanasia at my tender age of 12 years.”

George D. Whitney, like his father before him, was also a veterinarian and dog author, adding some to Leon Whitney's 1937 book on dog breeding, and authoring his own texts: This is the Beagle, published in 1955, and The Health and Happiness Of Your Old Dog published in 1975.

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