This section is from the book "All About Dogs - A Book For Doggy People", by Charles Henry Lane. Also available from Amazon: All About Dogs: A Book For Doggy People.
I remember meeting a friend, many years since, whose wife was rather a fine woman, who had been younger and better looking, but still "fancied herself" a good deal, and had a decent Pug, which she made a point of taking to any shows held in their neighbourhood, and as I knew he had entered the Pug in two or three classes at a local show where a reverend gentleman, at that time very well known as an "all round judge," at many shows throughout the kingdom, was officiating, I said, "Well, old fellow, and how did your wife get on with her Pug?" "Oh, very badly," said he, "there was a smart looking girl, with pink roses in her hat, had a dog in the ring, and the judge couldn't look at anything else, although our Pug was ever so much better!"
As I happened to hear, casually, that another reverend judge, who had been not only a very successful breeder and exhibitor, but one of our ablest judges, particularly of the non-sporting breeds, was about to decline further judging, I considered, especially at that time, when there were few judges of ability and standing, that he could be ill spared, so I wrote to ask him, if I obtained a strong expression of opinion from some of the leading exhibitors in his section, whether he would reconsider the matter, and he wrote me a very courteous letter, agreeing to do so. I then had a facsimile letter, of my writing, prepared, and sent a copy to all the leading breeders and exhibitors of non-sporting dogs, and I do not think I had one refusal. I doubt if any judge ever had such a requisition, and the result was, that for many years, the public had the benefit of his valuable services, until, I regret to say, ill health compelled him to give up all such matters, but he retained his popularity to the last, and his retirement was universally regretted.
I have often met him since as a looker on at shows, and we have occasionally corresponded.
LAPLAND- SLEDQE-DOG "PERLA". H.R.N. PRlNCE OF WALES. OWNER.
As I have mentioned in the earlier pages of this work, for many years I was a very keen breeder and exhibitor of Dandies, and kept a great many of them at one time, perhaps the strongest kennel of the breed in the kingdom, and won scores of prizes, etc. I remember, on one occasion, when I had a team of dogs at a show in Gloucestershire, I had one of my best Dandies entered either in a "Rough Terrier Class," or a class composed of "Winners of so many Prizes" (in those days, all sorts of peculiar classes and conditions were introduced into the schedules), and there were two judges to officiate, neither of whom, I very much expect, had ever had a Dandie before him previously. I was, at first, much amused to see how they were puzzled over him, and I could see them taking counsel together (I may say, they were men of the highest class, as straight as gun barrels, and both deservedly respected and esteemed by the whole kennel world, one amongst sporting, the other among non-sporting classes, but as I hope and believe they are both still living I will not mention their names, although I have told the tale to one of them to his intense amusement and delight). But afterwards, I began to fear they would, from not being sure what manner of animal I had in tow, pass me over, or worse still, give some inferior notice to my dog, who was a noted champion, and about the best specimen of the breed at that time.
After a while they came back to me and made a more detailed examination of my dog, asked me his number, and awarded him First Prize and Special, to my great relief, as I had been thinking what a fool I had been to enter a "Champion," to have such a chance of a "knock-back" at a county show!
Sometime after that, I was taking a short exhibiting tour, with a team of my dogs, following three or four shows, held close together, and not more than one or two days each in duration. Amongst others I had an excellent Dandie Bitch with me, who had never been "out of the money," and was in excellent form at the time. I showed her at one place (Reading, I fancy,) and took first under the Rev. W. I. Mellor. The next show was, I think, Swindon; there I met almost the same lot of Dandies, this time under the late Mr. W. Lort, who, after he had looked through the class, came up to me and said, "lam sorry to say, Mr. Lane, I cannot give you more than 'Very Highly Commended/ for your Bitch." I replied, "In that case, sir, I shall be greatly obliged by your passing her over altogether; she took first prize yesterday in the same company under Mr. Mellor, who is reckoned one of our leading Dandie judges, and I am going to show her under him tomorrow at Henley (I think it was) where I have every hope she will do the same, so that I should not like her to take 'V. H. C for the first time in her life in between." So the bitch was passed over and duly won another first prize the next day.
The first time I had the honor of judging any dogs belonging to members of the Royal Family was many years since at Warwick, where, I believe, H. R. H. the Prince of Wales exhibited, for the first time, Skyes, and foreign dogs. He may have shown others, also, but those were the classes with which I was concerned. I remember the Committee and Chairman of the show were, quite properly, much impressed with the honour of the Royal patronage to their show at that time, nearly or quite the best held out of London and admirably managed by a well organised and most capable and courteous committee of "real workers," whom it was always a pleasure to meet. As I judged, or showed, at all their shows, I can speak from experience; and I may further say that I consider it a positive calamity for the kennel world when these shows came to an end. For, not only were they most delightful gatherings, of the "Flower of the Fancy," both dogs, and people, but, held in well adapted buildings and premises, near the quaint old Midland Town, almost under the shadow of the historic castle and under the active patronage of the late Earl of Warwick, and the present Earl, then Lord Brooke (both able and devoted " Dog