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Obituary - Pat Jones

This is an obituary I never thought that I would write as Pat Jones was considered by those close to her as immortal – sadly it was not to be. No written words could do justice to this knowledgeable and talented stockperson. Pat had a small band of true friends who will all have various memories of her and her wonderful dogs.

I first met Pat In the early 1970‘s when we were both showing German Shepherds (Alsatians as they were then known and this is the name that Pat adhered to for many years after the change). We were rivals at the local shows and, despite many discussions on the breed where we would agree to disagree, she became a firm and loyal friend. The cruel blow of parvovirus which struck me, Pat and many others probably changed a lot of our views in dogs forever. Pat then lost Alan, her business partner, who was always referred to as ‘The Kennel Man’. She worked dawn to dusk and sometimes beyond keeping a large kennel of different breeds throughout the 70‘s and 80’s, all were quality dogs bred with emphasis on type, temperament and quality. Pat had a vast knowledge of every breed she kept and has, in no small part, been instrumental in ‘resurrecting’ the Portuguese Water Dog in this country staying true to old bloodlines in her breeding programme.

Pat was probably best known for her Bearded Collies; Skye Terriers and Portuguese Water Dogs and she bred Champions in all of these breeds as well as others. Probably her proudest achievements were to have a 4 generation unbroken male Champion line in Beardies and to have made up the first 2 Portuguese Water Dog Champions in the UK when they received CC status in 2007. Her knowledge of pedigrees was astounding as was her presentation of the dogs. This, together with her font of knowledge concerning dog and horse ailments and treatments made Pat invaluable to any number of people, all of whom hold her in high esteem. Many will be the poorer for her passing.

She was an excellent animal trainer and I personally saw her dogs work cattle and sheep and then slip off to a show to win the CC. Cattle that she kept were often poorly, unthrifty or deformed given to her by local farmers and with her gift of healing and depth of knowledge she improved their lives. Ponies were also a part of Pat’s life and she was a successful breaker and trainer of horses and a force to be reckoned with in both show jumping and hunting in her younger days. Pat loved to watch horse racing and you could expect short shift if you dared to ring her whilst the racing was being televised.

Nature was another of Pat’s passions. She was an early riser and had flocks of wild birds feeding from her array of bird tables, notably her ‘pet’ Robin (they were all called Robin throughout the years) who would come to her call and even into her kitchen. Her knowledge of the countryside, its animals and fauna was awesome.

I could write a book about Pat but would still never cover all her achievements as every day another memory of distant things is triggered. Pat herself was an author of some repute writing many articles and co-writing The Complete Bearded Collie with Joyce Collis. She would work tirelessly on dogs, despite her own failing health and also went on to instigate the formation of the Portuguese Water Club of Great Britain as well as contributing breed notes for Dog World. Her good friends Alan and Viv Stevens have been entrusted by Pat herself to carry the Water Dog and Cartmel into the future. It is a huge responsibility but, in doing so, Pat’s legacy will live on. The world of dogs will be a much poorer place without Pat and I cannot believe that we will no longer see the familiar Trilby or enjoy her pertinent and witty conversation or wicked sense of humour. We will not see the likes again.

Lesley Smith-Fenton