Saint Lazar Kennel is the continuation of the Walker family tradition of Toy Manchester Terriers, and is operated by Charles and Wanda Walker of Newborn, Georgia. A Toy Manchester was a member of the Walker family when Charles Jr. was born in 1940. Charlie received his first personal Toy male in 1950, Shull's Mr. Wu, which Charlie Sr. obtained from Mr. "Shorty" Schull of Chattanooga, TN. Charlie Sr. and Naomi were active in showing Toy Manchester's at the Birmingham Kennel Club shows in the mid to late Fifties. Charlie Jr. gained his first show experience during that time.
In 1967, Charlie and Wanda were residing in Indianapolis, IN and desired to obtain a Companion Toy Manchester. The Sr. Walkers had retired from active breeding, and had nothing to offer. Charlie obtained a copy of DOG WORLD magazine and contacted Carla Chrisman of McHenry, IL, who had an advertisement there. On July 4th, 1967, Charlie, Wanda and their three young children traveled to McHenry, where they purchased a young Toy female from Carla. This nifty little gal was promptly named "Georgia Girl". This was the beginning of what ultimately became Saint Lazar Manchester's.
Charlie and Wanda's real dog show experience began with a trip to the American Manchester Terrier Club National Specialty in Vallejo, CA in July of 1975. Combining a vacation trip with a couple of dog shows, the new club members entered a very young male Toy, which they had just acquired from Leland Lamb of Lincoln, AR, in the Puppy Class. Wanda, never having shown a dog in her life, and only having even been to a couple of dog shows, promptly went Winners Dog for a 5 point Major. It was a long dry spell before the Walkers achieved a win of that magnitude again.
As a side note, it was at that Vallejo show that the Walkers saw their first Standard Manchester Terriers, there being virtually none in the South at that time. They were magnificent! It was also at this show that the Walkers were befriended by Standard exhibitors Myrtle Klensch, now deceased and Jim Conley, great Manchester people.
While attending a show in Athens, GA in 1977, the Walkers met a fellow by the name of Bill Becker. Bill was showing a very nice Toy, Ch. Golden Scoops Patrick Henry. "Patrick" way outclassed the Walker dogs in quality. In talking with Bill, he very graciously offered to have his partner, Mrs. Ellie Puleo of Golden Scoops fame, contact the Walkers with the thought of perhaps assisting them in their breeding program.
As a result of this meeting with Bill, and subsequent conversations with Ellie, an eight week old female Toy pup came to the Walkers in December, 1978. They named her Golden Scoops Kassandra, and she became the all time winning Toy Manchester in history. This accomplishment was particularly noteworthy because she did it "on her own", i.e., she was not extensively advertised in all the dog show tabloids sent free to dog show judges, and all of her Best In Show wins came under judges who had never held judgment on her previously. No flying all over the country to show under "favorite" judges as is now the custom.
Kassandra was bred to the Walker's Ch. Golden Scoops Calypso and produced the litter that made her AMTC Brood Bitch of the Year. This was the foundation that led to the domination of the Toy Variety, during the decade of the Eighties, and pretty much every since then, by Saint Lazar Manchester's. This highly successful breeding program was achieved with the assistance of Mari Beth O'Neil, of New York City, who is currently with the American Kennel Club heading the highly important Judges education program. The assistance of Bill Pace, a Professional Handler from Wake Forest, NC, was also invaluable during this formative period.
This team effort produced littermates Ch. Saint Lazar's Monterey Jack, and Ch. Saint Lazar's Romano. These barely seven month pups went Winners Dog and Winners Bitch, from the Puppy Class, consecutive days, against a huge entry, under esteemed Judges William Kendrick and Frank Sabella, at the two largest dog shows ever held. This was at the American Kennel Club Centennial Anniversary Show weekend in Philadelphia in 1984. (Billy Kendrick judged at both the Fiftieth and One Hundredth anniversary shows.) Seven month old "Jack" went on to Best of Opposite Sex at the Centennial Show. The Walker's had five invitations of the only twenty available for the first Purina Invitational show (for the top 10 dogs in each AKC variety) in Saint Louis in 1986. Jack prevailed over the Toys, and Ch. Saint Lazar's Paula, flying in from Reno, NV, where she, handled by Wanda, had just won the 1986 American Manchester Terrier Club National Specialty show, beat the Standards at this very prestigious first invitation show.
In the early Eighties, the Walkers obtained a Standard Bitch, "Millie" from Ann Schock of Spartanburg, SC. Millie, Ch. Car-O-Mys Gentle Amelia, produced Ch. Saint Lazar's Paula, National Specialty Winner, and littermate, Ch. Saint Lazar's Patton, Best of Opposite Sex at the National Specialty of 1988. Ch. Saint Lazar's Patricia, daughter of Paula, went Best of Winners (Standard) from the Novice Class at this same Specialty. A feat never equaled!
The Walker's "eased up" some in respect to Dog Shows during the Nineties, due to work and life style changes, concentrating on the breeding of quality Toy Manchester Terriers. Having said this, the Walker's took Best of Winners Toy, at the 1999 National Specialty, and Brood Bitch of the Year (Toy) for 1995, and Toy Stud Dog of the Year 1998 and 2000. Saint Lazar's Clarice was Best of Winners at the Des Moines, IA AMTC 2003 National Specialty show, and Ch. Fwaggle's Tap Man At Burmack, "Jake", won Best Of Breed. Jake was sired by Ch. Saint Lazar's Klay, HOF, ROM. Jake is owned by Jim Burrows and Pat Mackesey, our two closest breeder/exhibitor friends. Jake has been the number one Toy in the nation for five years, and the only to win "back to back" Best in Show. The Walkers are no longer breeding Standard Manchester's, frankly due to the lack of co-operation of other Standard breeder/exhibitors.
Manchester's have been the dog of choice by "prominent" people for many years. Some years ago, Governor Earl of Pennsylvania had Toy Manchester's. Long time Executive Vice President of the American Kennel Club and American Manchester Terrier Club member, Mr. Charles A.T. O'Neil, recently deceased, and his daughter Mari Beth, had many great Chesters. A current prominent owner of a Saint Lazar Toys is multi-billionaire Microsoft Co-Founder, Mr. Paul Allen of Bellevue, Washington. The Walker's were pleased to have Paul and his very gracious mother, Faye, visit with them during the recent Atlanta Olympic Trials. Faye made a special trip to Atlanta to choose a Saint Lazar pup for Paul. Naturally a Kassandra Grandson.
Paul and Faye since obtained their second Toy Manchester from Saint Lazar Kennel. Paul sent his personal Boeing 757 to the Atlanta airport in late December 1997 and picked up one our of nicest female pups. These folks who obviously can afford the very best, continue to choose Saint Lazar for outstanding Toy Manchester Terriers. Both of these fine Toy Manchester's have recently achieved their AKC Championships. Congratulations to Faye and Paul.
Thanks to the co-operation and assistance of a few good friends, Saint Lazar's continues to be the top ranked Toy Manchester Kennel in the world. Visitors are always welcome at Saint Lazar.
PS Yes, in response to the many questions, that is Wanda holding the late great Ch. Saint Lazar's Action Jackson and his sister, Ch. Saint Lazar's Just Amber, at the end of the AKC Manchester Terrier Video.