This wonderful sketch of a very famous chow, was found at a garage sale in St Louis and I purchased it from the seller who discovered it. A dog who is the holder of a record for the day of 22 Bests in Show, with only one image of him to be found besides this sketch.. Below find the photo of Yang Fu Tang and achievements
- I couldn’t help but wonder who the artist might be, as many named dog drawings usually have some personal connection between the artist and the dog owner. I went on a scavenger hunt and possibly found my answer.
- I began my search by looking at breeder and owner names of dogs shown at the same time as Yang Fu Tang
- After a frustrating time working with the name “Mel”, I researched what Mel could be short for….Merle..of course!!!
- Now back to the stud books and AKC Gazettes from 1930’s -50’s TA DA…I found Merle Thompson referenced a number of times
- The clincher….Merle Thompson was from ST LOUIS where the sketch was found at the garage sale
“Certainly the most outstanding Chow of the 1930’s was Champion Yang Fu Tang (Oct. 10, 1929-July 12, 1936), bred by the Hoffmans of Yang Fu Kennels, Milwaukee, Wisconsin –Sired by Champion Yang Fu King X Yang Fu Queenie”
CH. YANG FU TANG WAS THE AMERICAN CHOW NATIONAL BEST OF BREED WINNER IN 1932
New York City, NY – 167 entries; Judge: Mrs Wm Fitzgerald
Ch.Yang Fu Tang was bred by Richard Hoffman, Yang Fu Kennels and was sold to Louise Seamer to be campaigned
Hello, ch.Yang Fu Tang was my fathers show dog, Yang Fu kennels were my father Arthur Hoffman and my mother’s kennels we bred and raised that chow and sold him to louise. I am now 90 yrs old and its fascinating to see some one so interested. Also Mel Thompson was not the artist of Yang Fu Tang’s picture that was my uncle Richard Hoffman who drew that picture, just fyi. Any way, nice to come across someone who had such an interest it was a big deal in my family while I was growing up.
Yang Fu Tang was born in 1929 and reached only seven years of age. He died of heat prostration. Yet in that time he amassed the amazing total of 22 Bests in Show (all-breed). He held the record for 28 years until it was broken by Ah Sid The Dilettante
David G. Sox says
I grew up in Atherton, CA in the 1940s with a Chow Chow pet named Kong Wid Yee. Mother was given the dog on 20 Sep 1937 when the male pup was 4 months old, according to the Pedigree I have kept for 70+ years. We called our pet Kongyi. Mom was then 32 yrs old and childless. She credited Kongyi for relaxing her and enabling her to become pregnant by Dec 1938 with my older brother (born Aug 1939). I came out in 1941 and my younger brother in 1944. Kongyi was extremely loving to us as very young children.
Kongyi ‘s sire was Ch. De Lamar Hong Fong King (AKC # 802194) and his dam was Gin-Ya of Strattoncroft (AKC # 951445). The breeder was C.H. Stratton of 110 4th Ave, Redwood City, CA, just to the north of us. The Dam’s sire was Ch Mic-Fee of Strattoncroft and dam Babs of Strattoncroft. That sire’s sire was Ch Yang Fu Tang by Queen Wun Wey, but then Ch. Yang Fu Tang’s sire was again Ch Yang Fu Tang by Yang Fu Queenie.
Pardon me if I use the wrong terms. Does Ch. stand for Champion or Chow? And how can a dog be sired by one of the same name, both champions?
Anyway, Mom showed Kongyi, who (which) won 2nd Prize at the Marin North Bay Kennel Club Fourth Annual Show on 25 Sep 1938 (on Dad’s birthday?), a Special (Green ribbon) at the Golden Gate International Exposition Kennel Clubsshow at Treasure Island, July 15-16, 1939 [World’s Fair], and finally a First Prize (Blue Ribbon) at the Marin North Bay Kennel Club Fifth Annual Show on 2 Jun 1940.
Our beloved Kongyi died of a broken heart in the summer of 1947 after being kenneled while my parents traveled to Mexico for several weeks while we kids were put up with sitters. I have a few B&W snap shots of Kongyi in my Baby Book.
Sandra Miller says
Hello David, Thank you SO MUCH for writing about your Kongyi. I am impressed at how much you recollect about this special childhood chow and how he stayed in your live through your memories. I’ll answer a couple of things right away. Ch. stands for Champion and on your pedigree there was a mistake on the part that shows Yang Fu Tang’s father who is actually Yang Fu King. Another famous show and stud dog from the 1920’s. An easy mistake to make on hand written/typed pedigrees back then.
Is there any chance you could take a cell phone photo or scan the photos and pedigree of Kongyi and send to me at [email protected]. With your permission I would love to show him off and tell my readers about him (credit given to you of course). He certainly did some nice winning as there was very stiff competition in chows in the Bay area during those years . I actually found a snippet via Google of Kongyi recorded being at a show and a number of his fathers show records.
Again I’m so thrilled you contacted me . I look forward to seeing photos of Kongyi !!! He comes from very important Chow lines. Here is more I wrote about his father https://chowtales.com/time-capsule-ch-yang-fu-tang-first-best-in-show-record-holder/