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Obituary - Audrey Dadds 1914 - 2007


With the recent death of Audrey Dadds (Snaefell Shih Tzu ) at the age of 93 the Shih Tzu world has lost a formidable champion of the breed.

Born on the Isle of Man where her father was the local GP, her prefix was from the mountain of Snaefell on the Isle of Man. Her early life was spent in England, meeting her late husband John whilst both were training at Kings Hospital London during the war. Her nursing training was to stand her in good stead over the years as a doctor’s wife and also when she contracted TB when both her daughters were very young and she had to go to a sanatorium for a year to recover.
Audrey came into Shih Tzus in the 1950s, breeding her first champion in 1956. Her great friendship with Mona Lady Brownrigg gave her the in-depth knowledge of the early Shih Tzu imports and instilled in her a strong sense of what was the original type and nature of a Shih Tzu, and this she strove to maintain throughout her life. On Lady Brownriggs death she was bequeathed all her papers and photos along with her two remaining Shih Tzu who soon adapted to living with Audrey. Audrey at this time was based in Hampshire but moved to Kent in 2002 following John’s death to be nearer her daughter Jackie, choosing the house largely for the benefit of the dogs because of its large garden.

Her early successes included Champions Li Ching Ku of Snaefell and Champion Susi of Snaefell. From her early days in the breed she was keen to grasp any opportunity to improve her lines and to this end she was one of the few to use the Swedish import Jungfaltets Jung Ming in the 1960s. This produced her a consistently successful line of champions, and then again in the 1980s she felt the need to use an import and used Am Ch Din Ho Rupert T Bear to produce what she always felt to be one of her best dogs in Ch Snaefell Limited Edition. Her last champion was Ch Its Me I’m Jemima of Snaefell made up in 2000.

She was generous in her willing to share her breeding with others, and Monique Colombe in France founded her very successful kennel on Snaefell stock. She served on the committee of the Manchu Shih Tzu society for some years, and was a committee member of the Shih Tzu club for many years. She was delighted to become President of the Shih Tzu club, an honour she took very seriously, trying to attend as many shows as possible and even when her failing sight made it difficult she enjoyed her days out at Shih Tzu club events. She was keenly missed at the Shih Tzu Club Championship show when she could not attend due to illness.

Her real legacy to the breed however has to be the book she wrote in 1974 ‘The Shih Tzu’ the bible of the breed. Such was the demand that further editions followed, with the last one in 1995, all fully updated and researched. Greatly in demand to this day as it reflects her knowledge and love of the Shih Tzu. Indeed at the time of her death , virtually blind from macular degeneration and severely deaf she was still working on a further reprint of the book .

She was a fighter right up to the end and until the last couple of days was determined to get home to her dogs, and to this end she was becoming very adept with her Zimmer, which she insisted on calling her strimmer!

To her daughters Jackie and Alison go our thoughts.

Anne Pickburn