THE NEWS that my great friend of many years had passed peacefully away on 25th June came as a terrible shock. Frances had been ill for a short time and when I spoke to her last we thought that she was recovering well from her treatment.
Frances Started judging at Championship show level in 1971 and since that time along with her husband, Gerard, has judged all over the world, judging all breeds, groups and Best in Show; she also had the honour of judging at most of the Shih Tzu Clubs’ Championship shows both here and overseas.
Frances was a great ambassador of the breed and always ready to help the novice breeder, breeding her last litter of Shih Tzus earlier this year. She acquired her first Shih Tzu in 1968 and bred her first ever Irish-bred Champion, Ch T’wang of Lyre, made up in 1970; and in 1973 owned and made up the first bitch to become Champion in Ireland, Taonan Tasmin of Lyre - since then she has bred and made up numerous Champions in Ireland and around the world also breeding the top winning bitch in 1987/88 Ch Kareth Kismet of Lyre, owned and shown by the late Jim Peat.
Prior to the arrival of the Shih Tzu Frances bred, owned and showed Cocker Spaniels, Labradors, German Pointers, Yorkshire Terriers, German Shepherds and made up several Scottish Terrier Champions.
I first met Frances in 1970 and for a number of years we ran our two lines of Shih Tzus together, I have many happy memories of holidays spent with Frances and her husband both in the UK and Ireland - these always ended up at a dog show.
Frances was an Honorary Life Member of the Shih Tzu Club of Ireland, a Secretary of the Club for some years.
Sadly, the breed has lost a knowledgeable and truly honourable person and to Gerard, her devoted husband, and her three sons, David, Howard and Andrew and her two daughters, Carolin and Joyce, we send our sincere condolences.
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