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Obituary - Ruth Hughes

Mrs RUTH Hughes (Kalbikhan) died peacefully in her 91st year on the 11th August at Downlands Park Nursing home, Sussex, where she had been resident for the past seven years. Sadly in more recent times her health had deteriorated but her interest in the breed never faltered and she loved to talk dogs at every given opportunity. As well as family and friends gathering to celebrate her 90th birthday party in 2006 a number of dogs were in attendance, including the Afghans!

Ruth obtained her first Afghan in the 1950s, Woodland Lassie, a Ch B Hillsmen daughter from Peggy Riley; Lassie founded the Kalbikhans. From her first litter, in 1959 , this produced Ch Jali of Vishnu for Muriel & Charles Harrison & Geoff & Betty Annis' first Afghan, the winning bitch Zarudini; In her second litter she produced the home based Ch Ravi, sired by Ch Ali-Bey Of Carloway, who gained his title in 1964.

Breeding from Ch Pina of Carloway in 1965 she bred another winning litter which included Fred & Jean Severn's CH kara; Ann & Brian Allen's foundation bitch Kabella; & the Annis' silver dog Khala.
This litter was also sired by her very special love ‘Clive’, alias Ch Ali-Bey of Carloway whom she had campaigned to gain his title at six years of age. He was top dog in the breed 1968 which is when I was introduced to Ruth, as he was the sire of my own first Afghan, born that same year. Our friendship was to flourish over the ensuing years & together with my parents we were to remain friends for almost 40 years, finding we had much in common, apart from our interest in dogs. Ruth had also trained as a nurse in London & later was an operating theatre sister during the difficult war years.

Ruth & her charming Welsh husband Lou, who was a solicitor by profession, both worked tirelessly for the breed, giving their time most generously, serving as officers of the AHA & the Southern Clubs, Lou particularly guiding the clubs through some difficult periods.

Ruth judged the breed many times including Crufts 1978 & I believe her last CC appointment was in 1990 for the Welsh club. Although she had ceased to exhibit her hounds toward the end of the 60s, she retained the breed & her last pet Afghan died around '77.

Ruth was very much a people person, she was a warm & generous host & she took a keen interest in all aspects of caring & this was carried through in her deep concern for the long term wellbeing of the breed.She was one of the breed's first rescue officers for the AHA when the population explosion of the early 70s resulted in a surplus of hounds requiring urgent re-homing. Very much of the "Old School" she was meticulous to detail, very particular on how things should or should not be done. She spoke as she felt & you always knew where you were with Ruth. She will be much missed by those who knew & loved her & the breed has lost a true & loyal custodian & many of us a dear friend.

Our sympathies go to her daughter Janet, husband David & grandaughter Karen.
The funeral service took place on Friday 17th August at the Surrey & Sussex Crematorium.
Donations in memory of Ruth, if desired, can be made to the Talking Newspaper Association as Ruth gained much pleasure from their tapes when her eye sight failed.

Cheques payable to T.N.A.UK & may be sent c/o P.S.Gallagher, Fraser House, Triangle Rd, Haywards Heath, W.Sussex, RH16 4HW.Tel 01444451166.

Sylvia Evans (Amshura)