As in so many of my finds, this exciting little article depicting a smooth chow being strolled about in Philadelphia’s Washington Square, led me down another very interesting path!
- The first thing that stood out is the early date of this “smooth” Kai Tai being mentioned in the article. So far this is the earliest record I can recall in my archives so far of a smooth coated chow in America
- Kai Tai was brought from China directly to America by Mr. W.R. Furness ( Walter Rogers son of the famous H H Furness) . The few smooths that made it to America in these early years were mostly imported from English breeding stock
- The next thing I did was to research Mr. W.R. Furness. He and his wife were on the board of directors of the Philadelphia Zoological Gardens (the OLDEST ZOO in America) and donated many rare and exotic animals to the collection. This would explain how they came to bring home the handsome Kai Tai for their own house pet. W.R. Furness seemed from my findings to be an avid dog lover and collector of exotic breeds.
- The Zoo was enclosed by a stone fence, and the Victorian stone facade columns and wrought-iron gateway, designed by local architect Frank Furness , which still stand today. Frank Furness was one of Philadelphia’s most well known architects of the day.
And finally, I get obsessed until I can find a face to go with the names. To me it brings these people , and the relationship to the Chow to life