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Obituary - Sheila Mary Eardley

THE DOG world is poorer for the passing of Sheila Eardley (Sherex) whose funeral on the 2nd March was well attended by many friends from the world of dogs. A native of Congleton she was well known in the town and had lived at the same house throughout her life. As a girl Sheila had a Cairn Terrier, and also a horse, Captain, whose stables were at the bottom of the garden, and years later those stables were converted to kennels to accommodate the dogs.

Sheila and her husband Rex, besides working hard in their own bakery business and bringing up their family, both enjoyed dog showing which included at various times Cairns, Australian Terriers, Boxers and Bulldogs. They were active members of the Mancunian Boxer Club and founder members of Congleton Dog Training Club. It was in the mid 1960s, having met Rene and Harold Sanderson, that they had their first Australian Terrier, a breed which she came to be closely associated with over the years, making up several Champions. In 2007 Sheila, Paul and Sheila’s good friend Sue McCourt campaigned Ayers (Ch Silhill Red Rock at Sherex) to BIS at The National Terrier Show and BIS at an all breeds show Scottish Kennel Club, both wonderful achievements.
Sheila judged Australian Terriers and Dandie Dinmont Terriers at Championship Show level, having the honour of judging Australian Terriers at Crufts and at the breed club Championship show.
At the time of her death Sheila was president of The Dandie Dinmont Terrier Club, Chairman of Congleton Canine Society, and president of The Australian Terrier Club of Great Britain, hardworking by nature even in her later years, contributed to the catering at club shows with her famous sherry trifles. No mere passing of the sherry bottle ever the top of the dish was good enough for Sheila… and due honour was paid to her memory when her daughter Sybra and her son Julian produced trifles at the funeral tea, keeping to their mum’s famous recipe!
After the sudden death of her husband Rex Sheila was introduced to the Dandie Dinmont by her great friends Billy and Jackie Shore (Swanwillow). Her friends helped her rebuild her life and she developed a busy social life including membership of the local golf club, Townswomen’s Guild and flower arranging, besides all her doggy commitments.

Anyone who had the pleasure of visiting Sheila, very quickly realised how important a part of her life the dogs were and her special favourites were two of her beloved Dandies, William and Jacob, and two of the Aussies, Ch Sherex Shiraz (Shiraz) and Woody (Ch Iandor Make My Day).

Sheila was a true dog lover, always willing to help newcomers to the breed, and to help the breed clubs she was associated with. Sheila subscribed to the plain speaking approach, but this was never unkind, and always tempered with her wonderful sense of humour. She loved dogs for themselves not for what they could bring her. Besides her love and pride in her dogs Sheila was quietly proud of her family and to Sybra and Chris, Paul and Julian we send our sincere sympathies at the loss of a special lady.

Doreen Simpkins

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