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Obituary - Meriel Hitchens

It is with a great sense of personal loss that I have to report the passing of Meriel Hitchens (Ashihna) who, after battling with her illness, died peacefully at home with her family around her, as were her wishes, in the early hours of October 1st.

Meriel was, without doubt, an amazing lady, smart, intelligent, caring, honest and a very loyal friend.

Meriel first started with Afghan hounds in the 1970's, the first champion being the glamorous black masked gold, Ch Ashihna Charmaynan followed by Ch Ashihna Rikarlo owned by Helen and Brian Aldous and handled by Linda Aldous. Then the multiple CC winner Ch Ashihna Raoul owned by Chris and Jule Amoo who went on to win several hound groups including Crufts and sired the breed CC record holder Ch Soloman Seal from Karnak. Also of mention was Ashihna Charmaine, dam of the 1987 Crufts Best in Show winner, Ch Viscount Grant.

When Meriel aqquired Dachshunds it wasn’t long before the first champion was to come along, in the form of the smooth, Ch Ashihna Hot Scotch, owned by the late Angela Aldridge. This was followed by the wires, Ch Indiana Jones of Ashihna, Ch Ashihna Bucks Fizz and then Ch Cloudside Petty Officer of Ashihna who was a multiple CC winner with several group placings.

Meriel had a very interesting and varied life. As a young woman married to the famous England footballer, Gerry, they spent several years living in Italy when Gerry was signed up by Inter Milan, raising their young family and attending various functions associated with being a footballers wife. It was therefore very sad that Meriel was to become a widow at a young age and mother of five children.

Meriel served as treasurer of South Wales Kennel Association for 27 years, only retiring when to two and a half hour journey each way to committee meetings became to much.

It seems hard to believe that we will not see Meriel’s smiling face around the shows anymore and send our sympathy to Marcus, Nicola, Karen, Jason, Damian and families at this very sad time.

Wendell Moore

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