This is by far one of the most unique and amazing photos in my personal collection, I can’t begin to tell you how intriguing this is to me…..the story this tells just screams out for more research. Eleanor Roosevelt is in the center of the photo with her Chow? Was this a Red Cross aid or search dog….did the Roosevelts have a chow of their own. Eleanor Roosevelt did a lot of work with the Red Cross during WWI, so it comes as not surprise that this is her. Many peoples pets were donated to the war cause. I have first hand correspondence from the daughter of actor-director E.K Lincoln’s, that her father donated many of his celebrated GREENACRE CHOWS to the war effort.
Behind the soldiers on the wall is a sign which reads “BRITISH RED CROSS SOCIETY”, so this was obviously taken in England. At least I have a country to start searching for answers. The time frame was EXTREMELY early in the history of the Chow being introduced to England and America, which makes this even a more mystifying scene to have such a rare breed in this image. In England, as well as America there were a handful of breeders making a mark and importing from China including Lady Faudell Phillips and Mrs Granville Gordon.
ALSO FROM THE SAME DECADE, THESE FOUR KEY SIRES WERE CONSIDERED AMERICA’S FOUNDATION FOR THE CHOW BREED (ORIGINATING FROM ENGLISH/CHINA LINES)
- CH. CHINESE CHUM (Owner:Mrs Proctor Blue Dragon Kennels USA) 48 lbs
- CH. LORD CHOLMONDELEY (Owner: Mrs John Z. Adams USA) 54 lbs.
- CH. WIN SUM MIN T’SING (Owner:Frank Hutton Win Sun Kennels USA)
- CH. YUEY (Owner: Mrs Adnah Neyhart Cossack Kennels USA) 62 lbs
- The first American Standard for the chow had only been penned a mere 9 years prior to this photo in 1906
Enlarging and cropping out the man and woman from the large photo reveal that this is certainly Eleanor Roosevelt . The man behind her looks quite a bit like Grover Cleveland, I’ll keep searching for more clues as to who the many and woman behind Eleanor are !!!