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Obituary - Rita Dack (Gordonsmere)

Many people are shocked and saddened by the passing of Mrs Rita Dack, who died on Thursday 26th April. Rita and her husband Ian were the ideal doggie couple with an immense love of dogs. They were introduced by a childhood friend of Rita’s who was a WPC colleague of Ian, who was still in the Police Force at that time and celebrating his 46th birthday.

Their first dog was a pet Cavalier which they acquired in 1979, and they soon realised they had been bitten by the bug which meant a life-time devotion to their chosen breeds. Rita and Ian both showed their Cavaliers and then they met Mrs Lee from Enfield. It was Mrs Lee who introduced them to Papillons. Their first Pap was not the best quality but had a huge personality; she then introduced them to Chinese Crested Dogs and by 1982 they had their three breeds.

Rita was not a breeder of dogs, but they had a retirement home for very many Champion Papillons over the years. She had a passion for the Phalenes and championed them at every possible occasion, including at Discover Dogs in London each year.

Rita would also champion the Powderpuff Chinese Crested whenever she could, affectionately nick-naming the hairless variety as ‘oven-ready’. Her best show day was when she won the DCC at Crufts with Nanimo Huckleberry Fin at Gordonsmere in 1996 under breed specialist the late Mrs Marina Broadhead; but it wasn’t her achievements in the show-ring which endeared Rita to everyone, it was her love of dogs, her depth of knowledge and her devotion to the clubs she worked tirelessly for.

Rita would read the dog papers from cover to cover and as Ian said, her mind was like a sponge, and she would just absorb it all. She would meet people from many other breeds and have in-depth conversations having retained what she had read about their breed.

Ian and Rita were founder members of the South of England Papillon Club and were on the Committee of the Chinese Crested Dog Club since 1994 with Ian serving as Treasurer and Rita on a Committee of both Clubs; she was also Membership Secretary of the CCDC. Catering at the Chinese Crested Dog Club will never be the same again. I cannot image not seeing Rita’s face ready to serve a drink with one of her quick-witted remarks, few people had her cheeky sense of humour, and no-one could better her cottage pie or pavlova.

They really had the perfect relationship; Ian’s interest is the conformation and movement of a dog, having been in the mounted division of the Metropolitan Police for several years, while Rita was interested in most other aspects.

Ian said he has lost his best friend; he has our deepest sympathies, as well as her two sons and their families.

The funeral will be at noon on Wednesday 9th May at Boston Crematorium, PE21 9HA .The Funeral Directors are F E Addlesee, 44 Castle Street, Boston, PE21 8PN, 01205 311303 and they will know who donations can be made to.