(Koonim Shih Tzu)
is with great sadness that I advise that, following a long
illness, Wendy Brown passed away on February 21st.
Wendy had been involved with the breed since 1969, when on returning from Germany following husband Alan's tour of duty there, she decided she wanted to have a dog and after some thought, settled upon a Shih Tzu. This was soon followed by another one from the late Josephine Johnson - "Dusty" was quality and so together they ventured into the world of dog shows.
Dusty did not set the world on fire with her solitary Reserve CC but she was an excellent brood bitch and produced many nice puppies under the Koonim affix. Husband Alan's occupation as a meteorologist is well known, but when told by Alan that the name of cloud number 9 in the weather world was Koonim (short for cumulonimbus), Wendy immediately adopted the name Koonim for her KC affix. She always said that her dogs lived on "Cloud 9".
In the seventies, Wendy became an early computer convert and before very long was producing the Manchu Shih Tzu Society newsletter on her home computer. Not long after that she joined the Manchu committee, eventually becoming Chairman. She also served on the committee of Leicester City Canine Society and ran a very efficient Awards Office. This was long before computers came into widespread use at championship shows and it was Wendy's proud boast that - with a little help from her team - she could produce a fully marked up catalogue for each group shortly after that group had been judged.
On moving to Bracknell in the late 80s, she gave up the Chairmanship of the Manchu but with a bigger and better computer she took on the task of Breed Archivist and regularly assisted people in their pedigree checks, especially for the Book of Champions. It was then that the writing bug bit and after a lot of research and hard graft her book "The Shih Tzu - an Owner's Companion" was published and well received.
Wendy enjoyed and was a good judge of Shih Tzus but freely admitted that other breed judging did not appeal, although she always had a deep interest in Afghan Hounds. She judged many times in Europe – where her knowledge of the German language was very useful – and she officiated at Crufts in 1997.
With the rise in popularity of computers and electronic mail, she was instrumental, with the aid of Sue Thatcher, in setting up the popular "Dogsbody" column on the Bakalo web site, which regularly attracted visitors from around the world - in other breeds as well as the Shih Tzu. Sadly, following her operation early last year, she was unable to keep up her contribution to the column but enjoyed reading it to the end.
Although she didn’t attend many shows over the last few years, she was always pleased to offer help and wise advice over the telephone to old and new exhibitors and pet owners alike.
She will be a great loss to the world of dogs and very deeply missed by all her friends.