In Memory of Michael Allen
the effect is that the dog world will never be the same...
Michael Allen passed away November 2007. In addition to breeding her world-famous Baliwick Cocker Spaniels, Michael was known for her artistic endeavors.
As the former owner and publisher of "The American Cocker" magazine and for the past 11 or 12 years, of "The Royal Spaniels," for Cavalier and English Toy Spaniel fanciers.
Michael was well-known as an artist, not only in paint, but in pencil, chalk, and other mediums, and last but not least, as a superb photographer. "Who's Who in American Women" reported her to be the "most published dog show artist in the world."
She edited several books, including Rick Beauchamp's latest effort on type, and both editions of Barbara Garnett Smith-Wilson's books on Cavaliers in North America. Michael was featured in an instructional video on grooming the American Cocker, both for show and for pet......Her book, "The American Cocker" has long been out of print, but when a copy becomes available, the competition to purchase it is very heavy...when one recently appeared on the market, the final selling price was stunning...it is still considered the best book on the subject by serious students of the breed.
Michael and her long-time companion, John Garrison, co-owned a few Whippets in recent years, "Face," won the National Specialty, and then Michael turned her attention to field competition, where she fell in love with lure coursing and other field events. She continued competing in lure coursing with all three of "the boys," "Face," "Higgins," and "Dougie," and loved that she was competing in an entirely new arena, and doing it herself, as usual. She was very proud of her Whippet boys and their titles, both in the Field and in the conformation arena. In addition to breeding wonderful Cockers for herself to show, toward the end of the 1990s, Michael sent an American Champion cocker bitch to the UK, in whelp - one of the sons of that litter was top gundog in the UK for 2000, and a bitch was top gundog there in 2001 and 2002...this bitch took time off to have a litter herself, and returned to hold on to her title of top gundog, number two all breeds, in 2002. Another from the litter was top gundog in Ireland in 2002. The original bitch that Michael had shipped over was top brood bitch all breeds in 2002.
Michael's life in dogs included Afghan, German Shorthaired Pointer, Norwegian Elkhound, Chihuahua and Whippet champions (the GSP a Group winner); National Specialty winners including a High Scoring Cocker; 8 listed in the top ratings nationally; 4 Westminster winners; the breeder of the first Cocker to win BISweeps AND Best in Show Specialty the same day, and she enjoyed every minute of it!
Any conversation with Michael was enlightening, particularly about her beloved Cocker Spaniels...she was a bottomless font of breed knowledge, more than willing to share that knowledge with those she deemed deserving of such education...
Michael fought this last illness as best she could for the past several months...however, the surgery of a few weeks ago proved to be too much, and she passed away today -- not yet 70... too young for such a vibrant personality........
The dog world has lost a unique and valuable member...the Cocker Spaniel has lost possibly its greatest advocate... and some of us have lost a dear, much loved friend.............
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