The Dalmatian Club of America
<BGSOUND SRC="auldlang.mid">In the Beginning . . .

A look into the past at one of the early pillars of the DCA.

There can be no review of the beginning days of the Dalmatian Club of America without much recognition of one of the early pillars of the DCA, Mrs. Flora MacDonald Bonney. Her influence was felt in the Dalmatian world in many areas. Since the vast majority of DCA members today know only her name, it might be interesting to share a few stories and anecdotes. 

An unpretentious person, Mrs. Bonney usually sat in the benching area with the other exhibitors, or enjoyed sharing a tailgate picnic. The photo below was taken in 1962 at the Somerset Hills KC show in New Jersey. Mrs. Bonney, in the center of the group, is seen visiting with Evelyn Nelson White, Dagny Nelson Darling, Amy and Elli Lipschutz, among others. 

Picture of Tailgate Picnic At Dog Show

Mrs. Bonney was ever thoughtful and generous. If it came to her attention that a DCA member were ill or hospitalized, a bouquet of flowers was often delivered in her name. 

In Mrs. Bonney's time, the DCA offered at every show, an award for BOB, WD and WB. This consisted of a $2.50 cash award. One could accumulate cash awards which could be deducted from the annual dues. Many times these awards were paid out of Mrs. Bonney's pocket when DCA treasury funds were low. 

By the early 1960's, Mrs. Bonney's judging was quite limited due to mobility problems. When she did judge, there was usually an impressive entry for her. The following picture, form the Best of Breed class at the Windham County KC show in Connecticut in 1963, was typical. Many modern pedigrees boast lineage of these dogs. 

Picture of Mrs. Bonney and others in the Show Ring
Mrs. Bonney is seen judging a class of "specials", from left to right as follows:
Ch. Rickways's Topper
Ch. Dottidale Jo Jo
Ch. Banco Regis In The Valley
Ch. Skipper of Rabbit Run
Ch. Williamsview Calculator

Mrs. Bonney was most influential in her day, often quite forceful in her way of getting things done. Her personal accomplishments in the breed were definitely a part of the base from which breeding programs took off. Above all, she was a most gracious lady, and the Dal breed today owes a great debt to her, as one of its pioneers. 

Her kennel was started at her home in Flushing, New York. It was in 1912 that Mrs. Bonney acquired her first Dalmatian, Windholme's Kip. A creditable, though not great show dog, it was his success at Nassau County KC at Belmont Park in 1912, that started the Tally-Ho kennel. 

Pictured below was the Tally-Ho kennel, 
originally the stable and carriage house of the estate.
Picture carriage house

All the dogs were mainly pets, but the dogs stayed in the kennel 
building at night. Below is a picture of Mrs. Bonney with her pets.
Picture of Mrs. Bonney and about 8 Dal's

Amoung Mrs. Bonney's great dogs were the following:

Ch. Talley-Ho Last of Sunstar (dog) . and . Ch. Talley-Ho Star of Sonia (bitch)
Ch. Talley-Ho Last of Sunstar (dog) & Ch. Talley-Ho Star of Sonia (bitch) 

Eng. Ch. Midstone Ebony (bitch, Eng. import)
Eng. Ch. Midstone Ebony (bitch, Eng. import) & Ch. Eng. Ch. Atta Boy of Stubbington (dog, Eng. import) 

The care of her "pets" was a serious matter to Mrs. Bonney, who employed a resident kennel manager and assistant. Aside from the main kennel building, were special "colony houses" for bitches with puppies, as well as several huge enclosed paddock areas. Proper nutrition was of prime concern to Mrs. Bonney and she maintained a small herd of Guernsey cows whose milk was incorporated in the dogs' diet. 

Mrs. Bonney's involvement with her dogs was not limited to the Dalmatians themselves, but extended into the area of fine arts. Her collection of Paintings was extensive and well known. 

Oil Canvas of unidentifed bitch belonging to Mrs. Bonney

Oil on canvas of unidentifed bitch belonging to Mrs. Bonney. Artist: Dorthy Lola Kekler From the personal collection of Dr. N. Sidney Remmele

Mrs. Bonney found a great deal of pleasure in running her Tally-Ho Kennels and in breeding Dalmatians along with some famous Chow Chows. As late as the 1960's Mrs. Bonney was still actively importing dogs from England. However, she often stated that she did not want to breed solely for the purpose of turning out successful show specimens and that there were other things to consider as well. She felt that a hobby is something which fulfills its purpose only as long as it is entertaining. When one becomes too competitive or too serious or tries to be too professional to the point that all the fun is gone, she believed, a hobby is no longer a hobby. 

The preceeding was adapted for the public on the World Wide Web from an article written by Amy S. Lipshutz, DCA Historian, that appeared in the Spring 1990 issue of the Spotter, the official publication of the Dalmatian Club of America. It should be noted that in Mrs. Bonney's day, Dalmatians were still somewhat of a rare breed.

Note: Special thanks to DCA member, Glenda C. Hall, who provided material from the American Kennel Gazzette, Vol. 50, No. 9, Sept. 1, 1933, from which text and pictures have been excerpted. 

Thanks also to Dr. N. Sidney Remmele for sharing his Kekler painting with us. 

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Page last modified on Feb. 22, 1999