Obituary - Mrs Brenda Judson (Carabrae)
3 OCTOBER 1933 TO 27 NOVEMBER 2007
Brenda Judson, best known for her Carabrae Pyrenean Mountain Dogs and Sheepdogs, passed away peacefully at home on 27 November 2007 after almost a year long battle against cancer.
Widow of Alan Judson, Brenda was a loving mother to Robert and, after tragically finding herself a single mother whilst still in her early thirties, she sought and found a way to make an independent living that became the focus of her whole life. Even before the premature death of her husband, dogs, as well as cats, horses and other animals, formed a key part of Brenda’s life.
She was born in China and from her earliest days almost every family photograph shows her with at least one type of animal by her side. Small wonder then that the Carabrae line was born as far back as 1958 when the Kennel Club first granted the affix, which was made up from an anagram of the family initials and had its first association with Shetland Sheepdogs.
It was, however, Pyrenean Mountain Dogs that put Carabrae on the map and, in addition to numerous Carabrae dogs being successfully shown in the UK, between 1966 and 1996 no less than 36 of Brenda’s dogs were exported to 19 countries. Brenda always did her utmost to improve the quality of her dogs against the breed standard to achieve this she imported dogs from both the USA and Belgium to expand the gene pool from which she was breeding. The results were highly successful and Carabrae dogs are behind a large percentage of the winning Pyrenean Mountain Dogs in the UK today.
As the years moved on, Brenda saw the need to downsize her dogs and, consequently, in 1991 she was amongst the first to introduce the Pyrenean Sheepdog to the UK scene. Having imported some foundation stock from France, the first litter of Carabrae Pyrenean Sheepdogs was born in 1993 and over the ensuing years she bred more than 150 puppies. Although the challenges of showing them during the early years have meant that most of the Carabrae dogs are in pet homes, a good number are competing in the agility world and some have been exhibited very successfully in the show ring. Brenda’s aspiration was to build up a kennel of Pyrenean Sheepdogs that would equal the quality of her Pyrenean Mountain Dogs. She was acutely aware that only time would tell if she had succeeded, and recent moves by the Kennel Club to give greater recognition to the breed can only help in this respect. One thing seems certain; the development of the Pyrenean Mountain Dog and the establishment of the Pyrenean Sheepdog within the UK will form a large part of Brenda’s legacy. She was absolutely passionate about her dogs and reaction since her death has shown that she was greatly respected and loved by many within dogs. She will be missed by all who knew her, and especially by her family; however, the greatest tribute she could be paid is to see the continued growth and long term success of the breeds she loved.