We are proud of our Top 20 Dobermans, Country, Swinger, and Charlie. Click on each dog’s photo to visit their page.
We are proud of our Top 20 Dobermans, Country, Swinger, and Charlie. Click on each dog’s photo to visit their page.
By Mary Jane Ladd
The Walkaway story began when I was a senior in high school in St Louis in 1961. I met Ann Lee and Will Konneker of the prominent High Halo kennels through my mother who taught a sewing class which Ann Lee attended. Konnekers had been in Dobermans for some time and their foundation bitch was Brown’s High Halo, one of several dogs they had obtained from Jack and Eleanor Brown.
High Halo was named Trudy and she was the most wonderful Doberman I had ever seen. Ann Lee let me take Trudy home one weekend. We went shopping and did many things together and I was sold. There would be no other breed of dogs for me.
When the family cocker spaniel died, Ann Lee offered me a grown Doberman , but I really wanted a puppy. Ann Lee called Eleanor Brown of St. Charles, Missouri, who lived in a great stone house overlooking the Missouri River, to reserve a puppy for me. (Photo at right)
Jack and Eleanor were quite extraordinary breeders. Their record included four DPCA National Specialty winners: 1961 with Ch. Brown’s Bridget; 1971 with Ch. Brown’s A-Amanda and 1973 and 1975 with Ch. Brown’s B-Brian. It wasn’t so much the records they achieved but the fact that generation after generation they produced wonderful dogs which had an historic impact on the breed. Eleanor was really the breeder and Jack Brown was the handler of the Brown’s dogs. Jack had soft, magic hands. He could show any dog and even the most unsettled seemed to melt and behave with Jack.
In October 1961, my first year at St. Louis University, I went to Eleanor’s to pick up my first Doberman. Eleanor always raised her puppies in the dining room. She picked me a black bitch I would call Angel.
Breeders of that generation did more close breeding than you find today, especially the Browns. Consider this: Angel’s litter was a half-brother, half-sister mating, a double up of Ch. Brown’s Eric, himself the in-bred son of the immortal Ch. Dictator von Glenhugel. Dictator was bred to his incomparable daughter Ch. Dow’s Dame of Kilburn to produce Eric. Angel’s sire was Ch. Brown’s Dion and the Dam was Ch. Brown’s Samantha of Dameric. To show how close this breeding was it is suffice to say that Samantha was sired by Eric out of a double granddaughter of Eric!
The Brown’s, like many older breeders, alphabetized their litters. Angel was from the “W” litter and Eleanor allowed me to give her a name starting with “W.” I loved the name Walkaway which the dictionary quoted as “A Prize Easily Won.” So Angel became Ch. Brown’s Walkaway Airily C.D.(1961-1974) and my kennel prefix, now registered with the American Kennel Club, is Walkaway. (Incidentally, when the Brown’s went through the alphabet one time they started at the top again but placed the letter in front of the name, e.g, A-Amanda, B-Brian, etc).
Angel was a lovely black bitch who was an ambassador for the breed her entire life. I learned many things with Angel. She and I went to our first puppy match together. She was handled by Will Konneker and won her first blue ribbon. That was the beginning of dog shows for me. Angel was normally shown by Will but when he couldn’t go to a show; Keith Walker of Marks-Tey would show her.
One can imagine the thrill I had when Angel went Reserve Winners bitch at the first DPCA National Specialty show held in St. Louis in 1962. She completed her championship before her second birthday. I remember the weekend Angel went Best of Breed from the classes at Lima, Ohio. What a thrill for me and my friends who showed her. First show dog , first champion, this was a great beginning. Obedience was yet another part of dog shows that Angel helped me learn. She attained a C.D. in three shows. I traveled to many dog shows with the Konnekers and most enjoyed the many DPCA nationals we attended. Ann Lee and Will have always been family to me.
After I finished college, I bred Angel to Ch. Derek of Marks-Tey, a lovely red son of Ch. Brown’s Eric. So that was an Eric son to a double Eric grand daughter, giving the pedigree six entries of Dictator in four generations. These dogs are undoubtedly the reason for my preference for bone, dark eye, tight feet and moderate size. It is a look that my dogs feature to this day.
Angel and Derek produced Walkaway’s Ablaze of Mark-Tey (1965-1977). Blaze was owned by Bebe McManus, now of North Carolina. He was not shown, due to a foot injury, but has had a great effect on many of the Dobe lines of today. He was a champion producer. Rod Humphries from Australia and Mike Bradshaw from England came to the United States to see Blaze. A friend just wrote to me that she” bred to Blaze because of his great temperament, deep forechest, elegance combined with strength, and effortless movement. He carried all the traits we still look for in the breed today.”
Bred to Ch. Marks-Tey Vale, he produced Ch. Marks-Tey Blue Velvet U.D. and Ch. Marks-Tey Alfie of Rads. Alfie finished in four straight days with four majors. Blaze is behind some of dogs in the following kennel names: Silent Sentry, Mikater, Marks-Tey, Brykris, Bikila, Scudamore, Brigadobes and Ziegerest (England) . He is the grand sire of Ch. Marks-Tey the Maverick, the Top 20 contender who was shot and killed defending owner Stewart Goldsmith’s father while walking in the Chicago area.
I graduated from St. Louis University with a degree in geography and began working with a Federal Government Defense Mapping Agency which charted the maps for the Apollo Mission Project. I have been with the agency since 1965 and worked on all the charts for the missions of Apollo 8 to Apollo 17. Today I am involved with charts for government military projects. I met Noble Ladd in 1968 while we were working on the Apollo Mission . Noble had graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in geology and our work brought us close together. He also loved dogs and was easily won over to Dobermans. We married on April 11, 1970 , the date of the Apollo Mission 13 launch. The date was chosen because we knew we would not be working overtime on the launch date. Apollo 13 was a failure but our marriage is not. Our children, who have at time been either active in dogs or at least supporters, are Frank age 25, Julie 21 and Mark 19.
In 1970, we purchased from Joanna Walker, Marks-Tey Bow Bells C.D. ” Cricket” was a daughter of Ch. Damasyn the Troycen x Ch. Marks-Tey Melanie. Our plan was to breed her to Walkaway’s Ablaze of Marks-Tey. Cricket is still one of my all time favorite Dobes. She too was a great ambassador and, as we say here, sold Dobermans wherever she went. The union of Blaze and Cricket produced my first homebred champion Ch. Walkaway’s Trace of Fire C.D. I showed Tracy and put 6 points on him including a major under the great Dobe judge Allen Shi. I turned Tracy over to Roger Thompson to finish, as I was pregnant with our first child, Frank. Friends say that they don’t know whether I was more thrilled with our first child or with the points Tracy got that weekend. Another brother, Walkaway’s Thunder, secured both majors but was forced to retire with injury before he could complete his championship. Thunder was owned by Virginia and Bill Saunders and shown by Bill Gajdosik and Howard Herring.
Walkaway’s Bittersweet, Lorelei and Limerick all completed obedience titles with Bittersweet obtaining a C.D.X. Noble did much of the obedience work with the dogs, especially with his favorite Bittersweet or “Velvet” as she was called.
Another beautiful bitch from this litter was Walkaway’s Strawberry Wine co-owned with Bebe McManus. “J.J.” was reserve 15-18 month bitch in the DPCA National Futurity in Washington DC in 1973. It was at that National that Noble and I first met Rod Humphries after we had corresponded for some time. This began our long-standing friendship.
Another littermate to Trace of Fire was Walkaway’s Wildfire who was owned by Bebe McManus. Bebe later sold Wildfire to Mike Bradshaw of England. Mike reported that “Kevin” has had an outstanding career as a stud in England in limited breeding. Rod Humphries, thwarted by quarantine regulations from the United States in those days, imported a Wildfire son, Blazeaway of Zeitgeist, from Mike Bradshaw in England in the mid 70’s.
As our children became an important part of our lives, the Dobermans and Show dogs took a back seat. We always had Dobermans and showed some, but we just could not be as involved as we would have liked. We purchased Redyn’s O’ Glory from Gloria Snyder, Vondura’s Amy of Marks-Tey from Karin DeGrazia, Bikila’s Nitro of Marks-Tey and Bikila’s Lacey of Marks-Tey from Rod Humphries. These were wonderful family members.
In 1991, I read an Article by Mary Hawkins in “Doberman Quarterly” about a proposed breeding of Ch. Primary Cinnabar to Ch. Platinum’s Back In Black. I called Rod Humphries to see if he thought Mary would sell me a puppy from this litter. Rod encouraged me to call Mary and I did, but there were no puppies from that mating. Anyway. I guess I passed the test as Mary called when Cinnabar had puppies out of Ch. Star Tyme Field of Dreams. I purchased, on a co-owner basis, a black bitch puppy who became Ch. Primary Guilty As Cin. Cinder was shown by me for seven points and a major. Sara Patton finished her championship.
When it came time to breed “Cinder,” Mary and I had many discussion about the perfect stud. All discussions led back to Ch. Maco’s Sugar Twin. Maco had that certain look that both Mary and I liked. The faith we had in that breeding turned into our ALL champion litter of five. Common among the siblings is incredible movement, beautiful head pieces, great toplines and correct angulation.
Ch. Walkaway Nothing Comes Close, a red male, was the first to finish out of this litter. “Country” was originally shown by our son Mark in conformation and junior showmanship. He is the first dog Mark ever showed. He showed Country to ten points including a major. We turned Country over to Dawn Honneker to finish, having had the misfortune of one dog not completing his championship, I didn’t want to take any chances with this red dog.
In February 1999, Dawn and Country began a Specials Career and reached the Top 20 in two and a half months. He has had an incredible career which includes 15 Best In Shows, 154 Best Of Breeds, 112 Group placements, 7 Best In Specialty Shows, and a Top 20 contender for 1999, 2000 and 2001. He won an Award of Merit the only time he was shown as a special at the DPCA National. He received a Westminster invitation in 2000. Country was ranked Number Two Doberman and Number 10 Working dog in 1999 and Number 8 Doberman and Number 18 Working dog in 2000.
Country is co-owned by Mark and me. Sherry Riley was a co-owner of this great dog during his specials career until her untimely death in September, 1999. I really can’t say enough about how beautifully Dawn Honneker presented Country throughout his Specials career. They were a perfect match in love and devotion. A good friend, Kathy Jungewaelter, kept a running record of Country’s career, printing from the different web sites the results of his wins at each show. The two huge books Kathy presented to me after we brought Country home were wonderful. Kathy also compiled a spread sheet for the shows and judges where Country was shown those 19 months from March 1999 to October 2000.
Second to finish out of the Maco x Cinder litter was Ch. Primary Charlie Pride a black male who is owned by co-breeder Mary Hawkins. He is currently being Specialed and has a Best In Show among his many wins. He qualified for Top 20 for the 2001 DPCA and was an Award of Merit winner at the 2000 DPCA national. Charlie is now co-owned by Mary Hawkins and Carol Hoeker.
Third to finish was Int. Am. Ch. Walkaway’s Boot Scoot ‘N Boogie WAC, a red bitch co-owned by Bebe McManus. Dixie, as she is called, was handled by Dawn Honaker. She is a multi Best of Breed winner and Group winner in limited showing as a special . Bebe plans to breed Dixie to Multi Best in Show winner Ch. Marienburg’s Repo Man.
Ch. Walkaway’s Something in Red, a red bitch, was co-owned by my daughter Julie and me. She was named after the singer Lorie Morgan and was the fourth to finish out of the Maco x Cinder litter. Morgan died this year as a result of a blocked intestine. This is a loss I will never forget as Morgan was a wonderful girl. She was a wonderful big sister to my next litter, inventing her own games and having six of her little brothers and sisters play follow the leader after a rope in our yard. I can only image what a great mom she would have been.
Ch. Walkaway’s Jolene, a red bitch owned by Kathy and Frank Jungewaelter, was the last to finish. Kathy waited to show Jolene until the others of the litter were champions and Dawn had time to take her out. Jolene is a great deal like her brother Country. She has great style, movement and a wonderful front. Kathy plans to line breed Jolene in November.
With the success of our first breeding of Ch. Primary Guilty as Cin to Ch. Maco’s Sugar Twin, I decided to repeat the breeding, partly because I wanted a black bitch. This litter has so far produced three champions and two others with points.
Ch. Walkaway’s Shameless, our black bitch, began her show career on her six month birthday by going winners bitch for three points owner handled. She attained her championship at eleven months with Dawn Honneker. Shameless is co-owned with my daughter Julie Ladd.
Ch. Walkaway’s Pickup Man, a black male, is owned by Noble Ladd. We call this boy “Florida” because he just didn’t want to brave the cold winter. He finished his championship with Dawn at eleven months.
Ch. Walkaway’s Thunder Rolls, a black male, is co-owned by the late Mel Dold, Will Konneker and me. Thunder was shown by Dawn Honneker and then finished by Cindy Huckfeldt. Millie Dold plans to special Thunder when he grows up a little. Thunder’s main job this last year has been to be his owners love during his last days. Thunder spent his time on the couch in the family room at Mel Dold’s while Mel continued to be a vital part of the family. Mel died this year of ALS. A wonderful dog person, great friend, Mel is missed by many, especially in the Wichita area.
Int. Ch. Walkaway’s Burning Bridges C.D. is owned by Claudine Hickam. He is being shown exclusively by his owner and has points toward his championship. Walkaway’s McGwire, a pointed red male, is now living with friends, Jean and Norm Adams in Montana. McGwire, too, was pointed from the puppy classes. The sixth puppy, Walkaway’s Midnite Cinderella is owned and loved by Dan and Jenny Ehrhart and their three children.
To be the breeder and owner of “Country”, Ch Walkaway Nothing Comes Close, and to be there when he won so many best-in-show awards, is an exhilarating experience, a dream come true. I appreciate the fine judges who awarded this mid-west Doberman so many wonderful wins and the breed and group people who supported him so strongly.
Country’s litter brother, Ch. Primary Charlie Pride is also a best-in-show winner and that is truly icing on the cake as a breeder. The Top 20 competition at the DPCA National Specialty this year will be very special for our family: Ch. Walkaway Nothing Comes Close “COUNTRY” and Ch. Primary Charlie Pride “CHARLIE” out there together. The great red and the great black dog.
At Walkaway, our litters from Maco and Cinder have laid foundation stones for yet another era of our breeding program. We will plan wisely. It has been a long journey, 40 years to be exact, from Angel and Cricket and Old Blaze to Country and Charlie and the gang, but it has been a truly rewarding one. Not only have we loved and learned from our dogs, but we have met many cherished friends along the way.
Thank you for allowing me to share my experiences and friendships in the greatest breed of all.
Iwo Jima Map of the operations Plan for the invasion of Iwo Jima October 1945 was donated by Mary Jane Ladd to DPCA Centennial Committee Chairman Jeff Helsdon. It was signed by WW II vet and war dog handler Walter Marx who with his dog invaded Iwo Jima in 1945. The signed map was purchased for $5,500 in the auction for Rescue and health funds at the DPCA National Oct 2008 Topeka, Kansas.