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Mrs Lauer Froelich - Elcoza Afghan Hounds USA
(Lyall Payne and Steve Tillotson July 2013)

Lauer Froelich with Rani El Kabul (Left),
Yusseff of Bandra Ghur (Center), Sardar Khan El Kabul (Right) Elcoza Afghan Hounds Photo Yusseff Rani and Sardar

1. BIO/SUMMARY (Written and researched by Lyall Payne)

Mrs Lauer J Froelich (Anna L Zaring) known as Sissy, bred cocker spaniels. Lauer was very active in the dog world at club level. An insurance executive he was just 52 years old when he died in October 1938.

Sissys first afghan hound was Yusseff of Bandra Ghur whelped in August 1937. He was bred by Margaret L Nison. Margaret was instrumental in assisting a number of new breeders get their start in the breed. His litter sister Flo Flo of Ghazni was important to Riverside and Bevero Downs breeding. Generally, Margarets dogs gained kennel names after they were sold. She bred of Artheas of Dr Coombs while others never acquired kennel names such as Shaitan Bedar (bred by Margaret) and who became the dam of Far Away Loo.

Advert for Margaret Nison's Bandra Ghur Kennels, 1938

Just as others gained or failed to gain kennel names as affixes or prefixes Yusseff is best known today as Ch Yusseff CD the use of his affix ("of Bandra Ghur") while never a kennel name (though perhaps intended as such at some time in his early life) was dropped. Yusseff was sired by Ch Tufan of Ainsdart out of Shabra (a daughter of Ch Badshah of Ainsdart and Zahera of Prides Hill (Westmill Omar Asra of Ghazni).

At the outset of war in Britain, Dr Betsy Porter (a medical doctor who visited the United States frequently following annual holidays with her parents in the Caribbean) and who was almost certainly well known to Sissy, sent two 15mth old youngsters, the brindle littermates Sardar Khan el Kabul and Rani el Kabul to join the Elcoza kennel, in Reading, Berkshire County, Pennsylvania, arriving in October 1939.

A popular myth often repeated in breed books and writings is that the ship the young afghan hounds arrived on, the SS Samaria, was torpedoed and sank on its return journey. Rather than this spectacular demise, the Samaria was refitted for use as a troopship on its return and after a continued career as a Cunard passenger liner after the war, was sold for scrap in 1956.

Sardar Khan produced for a number of kennels, notably the Riverside lines. Rani produced important litters at Elcoza and at the age of eight years old produced a litter for veterinarian Dr Gertrude Kinsey at Altoun kennels.

Dogs were a family affair in the Froelich household. Lauer and Sissys only child, Marianne (1918 - 2007) married Vincent Kelly in August 1942. Vincent was also heavily involved with the dogs often handling in the show ring. The Robert Bogers (also prominent afghan hound enthusiasts of the day) also attended the wedding.

Sissy (Anna Zaring Froelich) died in November 1990. She was less than three months from her 101st birthday.

(With thanks to the Henry Dietzgen archives for the source)

Mrs. Froelich gave an interview, conducted by Lyn Snyder Hoflin on November 9, 1984 which was published in the breed magazine Afghan World. Herebelow are some extracts.

Lyn - How did you get started in dogs?

Sissy - My husband and I had Cockers. He was president of the Cocker Spaniel Club in Pittsburgh. After he died, Marianne and I took a trip. We went to Santa Fe and we met Mrs. Nison. She had Yusseff. We bought Yusseff and brought him home. I showed him to everybody and they said 'Oh he's going to give us all plenty of trouble!" which, of course pleased me, and he did. I got a letter from Dr Betsy Porter (El Kabul, England). She had two El Kabul dogs for sale. I bought the male, but she wrote and said, "No, she was sending both of them." Overnight I'm in the kennel business A the time we were living in Reading Pennsylvania, Ernest Greul was our kennel manager, he had a big beautiful farm and he had Daschunds. He was absolutely wonderful. He took charge of things and we started from there with the imported dogs and Yusseff. We went to collect the dogs off the boat, they were brought out, and they were BRINDLES! We had no idea! All I was used to was Yusseff, who was blond. I looked and looked at them. We went up on the pier and all the little newsboys were running around. one little boy said "what is that?" Rani (Rani El Kabul) was small. Harry Hill showed her once or twice, but they said she was really too small. I didn't think so; I just loved her. The male was Ch Sardar Khan El Kabul. Marianne (Sissy's daughter) chips in "He went up at the Garden"

Yusseff and Zenaphon Of Elcoza Elcoza Afghan Hounds Photo Yusseff and Zenaphon Of Elcoza

Sissy - He made his championship and he sired some lovely Afghans. He was a great asset to the United States. After that Dr Betsy Porter visited us and she was just magnificent. We became the best of friends.

Lyn - What year did you first get involved in Afghans?

Sissy - The war was on and Marianne was in boarding school, it had to be the early forties. What I think started us in the dog show game was Cockers, because my husband inherited a Cocker from his best friend who had died. We showed him. That little dog hit the syndicate. I didn't know anything about showing a dog, so the first show we went to we had a handler, Mabel Powell, Showed him. We went to Wheeling, West Virginia. Marianne tore her handkerchief to pieces because she was so excited. When he won the blue ribbon, we said "Well now we'll go home," because it was quite a jaunt back to Pittsburgh. Mable said he had to go in again and we said "Why". We didn't see how he could get more than that! Then he hit the syndicate and went to every big city in the whole United States. That was fun.

Lyn - When did you actually get involved in the breeding?

Sissy - When the Afghans arrived. Rudolph Gruel took charge and we had seven champions in the first litter. From there on in we thought we were in Heaven.

Marianne - it was funny thing in Reading when we got the Afghans. This one woman said, "Well, they flooded the town with Cockers, now I suppose they are going to flood it with Afghans."

Sissy - We had lots of great luck. We just adored Yusseff and he really had no Afghan temperament at all. After my Husband died, we moved from the big house into a smaller apartment until we knew what we were going to do. We put Yusseff out on a little patio and we would put a string around his neck. He thought it was a leash and would just sit there! I've got pictures of him

Lyn - Do you have any idea how many litters you have bred

Sissy - Oh, Heavens, I couldn't tell you. Our litters were all spoken for before we made a breeding. If you could see the big books we have kept for all this information, they are all going to pieces after so many years! Kay Finch was in it before I was, although not in as big a way as later. Braden was such a big help to here, and was so adorable. Marion Florsheim did a lot, too, and Sunny Shay later on. I did later join the Afghan Hound Club.

Marriane - when we lived on Long Island, Sunny also lived there. Those were the days.

Sissy - Back to the litters, I have no idea.

Marianne - I bet it was close to twenty five

Sissy - I think less than twenty because we never bred a lot from the little female Rani. I think we bred her a couple of times. Sardar was out at Public stud. And Yusseff sired beautiful dogs.

Braden Finch with Taejon Of Crown Crest Elcoza Afghan Hounds Photo Braden Finch and Taejon Of Crown Crest

Sissy - The sire of the Bitch Zanya, that Kay bought from me was sired by Yusseff. We called her Sissy.

Marianne - What dog are you talking about?

Sissy - The dog that we gave to the maid and the puppies were born on Derby day and we weren't there. She had these beautiful puppies and Zanya was one of those puppies. I love the picture of Braden and Zanya. That dog produced for Kay beautifully. I had sent her to Mrs. Conroy (Rudiwin) and Kay went and got her. She had the blackest mask.

*****Ed Note. I believe Mrs Froelich confused the bitch Zanya of Elcoza with the dog Taejon Of Crown Crest. Zanya was not born on Derby Day (Springtime, probably May), Zanya was born in December. Taejon was born in May. The photo above in the article is entitled "Bradon Finch and Zanya". I believe this famous Joan Ludwig photo is in facT "Braden Finch and Taejon Of Crown Crest". Taejon was bred by Mrs Conroy, who wrote Kay Finch to tell her about the breeding. Kay and Brandon visited Mrs Conroy, picked out Taejon and took him back to California with them. Other sources suggest also that Mrs Froelich had informed Kay Finch about the litter so it may well be that Kay Finch visited Mrs Conroy on the recommendation of Mrs Froelich. In any and all events, Kay obtained Taejon from Mrs Conroy. A photo of Zanya is shown below.

Zanya Of Elcoza Elcoza Afghan Hounds Photo Zanya Of Elcoza

Sissy - The imported male from England carried coat black masks. He was a big dog, but his sister, Rani, was little. We never had a lot of dogs because as soon as we had a litter, we were very careful of them and they were al mostly spoken for. We sold one to Senator Pepper, and we sold a lot to breeders. We were just lucky. We hit a streak. We gave it a lot of time, we also had good help, it was easy, a nice time, and we did a lot of winning. One thing that made me like Afghans was Anna Maria Paterno, who had Salukis, I just loved her and the way she showed that Saluki. I always liked something with hair, like the Cocker, and the Afghan had the hair. Ross Hamilton was in Reading. He was quite a judge. He knew a lot about all dogs and Ross helped us pick out different dogs. Rudolph handled the dogs often, himself. I would show them and Marianne would a little too. It was all done for fun

Lyn - Do you have any idea how many champions you bred?

Sissy - I would even know that! I paid no attention to it; it was just a hobby with us.

Marianne - I think that Mother did a lot for Afghans when they came over. She belonged to the Afghan Hound Club. I remember all the people that I was more or less brought up with' Marion Florsheim, Muriel Boggar, Anna Maria etc

Sissy - The first show that I judged was Afghans in Washington, D.C. I'll tell you how I happened to remember this. I had 39 Afghans and that was a specialty! That Washington show was beautiful and I did it three or four times

Lyn - What were your goals when you were breeding?

Sissy - It was just sport. I would much rather have bred one litter a year with two or three champions than to have had five or six litters. Your ratio is better, your bound to get something if you play a hand of bridge every hour; but that was not my goal. I had studied it and I could see what the dogs were. However, no matter how hard you studied you didn't hit the jackpot every time. The people who owned them made it fun. You could join any club and the people were congenial and ones that you loved to be with. Everybody seemed to love you and you loved everybody and it was fun. There were some people who you didn't like as well as others, but I don't know that anybody was ever nasty to us when we won. I don't think quantity is essential in any breed; once a year breed something good. We pared no expense on food, and we had plenty of help to take care of the coats. We loved a lot of coat, but not like it is today! we did a lot of reading about them. It wasn't a business, it was a fun time.

Lyn - what would you consider to be your best litter?

Sissy - That is a hard question because they were all so even and were all bred practically the same way. We never had a lot of litters. It was purely a hobby. It was not for any money gain at all, I'll tell you that! It was fun belonging to the Afghan Hound Club and everybody was kind to us and did many nice things. It was at a time when I was very blue because my husband died when he was in his thirties and Marianne was only eleven or twelve years old. There were very few people that many years ago in the breed, and it was easy to know them all.

Lyn - Do you have an all-time favorite dog?

Sissy - Yusseff, because he was the first one. He kept us in the limelight. Everytime we had a litter, people came and bought them all. I don't think we ever advertised. If we had stayed in Reading with Ernie, he could have managed more dogs, but the dogs were only in our own private kennel. We often had nothing for sale but "show quality." We had seven champions in one litter out of Rani El Kabul

Lyn - What is your kennel name

Sissy - Elcoza. I'll tell you why. My father had a cattle farm as a hobby because he loved Jersey cattle and liked to breed them. It was called Elcoza and that's how we came up with the name.

Lyn - When was the last litter you bred in Afghans?

Sissy - We haven't bred a litter of Afghans in the last ten or twelve years. I think the Afghans have become too common, like Poodles. They are much too popular. I was asked to do the specialty a year ago, but I couldn't. They had many, many entries. The specialties are tremendous; the breed is just entirely too popular Having one litter a year enabled us to give them marvelous training and decide who they should go to and who should take good care of them. We didn't have any trouble with dogs running away or anything like that

Lyn - Did you ever refuse to service a bitch with one of your stud dogs?

Sissy - No, it was a very small kennel and we knew everybody in the breed would be likely to ask for a stud service. We were very careful. We bred to Rudiki once, but outside of that, I don't believe we used an outside stud. I think they have ruined the Afghans by taking away the difference in how they look. To me, that faraway look, the coat... it is an entirely different picture now. I love the topknot combed the way we used to do it

Lyn - How would you describe the ideal Afghan

Sissy - When you look at any animal the first thing you see is the head. An Afghan has that faraway look, he is a different dog. You look for something in an Afghan that you hardly look for in any other breed. They seem to say to You, "I have to be properly introduced." I think that was true of every Afghan I ever knew until recently. You couldn't Just rush up like you do with the Poodle

Lyn - Do you have a color preference in Afghans?

Sissy - No.

Marianne - She used to like red with black masks

Lyn - When did you start judging?

Sissy - I did my first judging of Afghans in Washington D.C with Louise French. That was the first show I had ever done. Henry Stoecker was in the ring next to me, and he was so sweet. You had to have three people write in, and I REALLY dont think I was qualified to do it. I don't think a lot of people are qualified! I think a lot of judges try to find the same things in dogs they judge that they have in their own dogs. Possibly that is why I love the keen expression, and why I think there is too much hair when I judge today. It is work to do a good job of judging, and you want to do the best you can.

Lyn - What is good movement in an Afghan?

Sissy - I prefer a long stride, if they are able to do what they were bred for, they have to have good strong legs. Afghans were not shown as much years ago as they are today

Lyn - What is the ideal temperament for the Afghan?

The temperament is hard to describe. Cordial, but hands off. No problems any more with them snapping at you as you examine them. And let's give the handlers credit, they know how to handle them a lot better than they used to. Ours used to be at Rudolphs but we would take turns bring a couple of them home. We had a huge run in the back they would get used to people and families. The afghan disposition used to be entirely different than it is today

Lyn - What individuals past or present, do you most admire for the job that they did in breeding Afghans?

Sissy - In the past, I think Kay Finch' her dogs were kept like children. Some breeders were doing it on a shoestring. Kay wasn't; that makes a difference. At present, I can think of any one person, they all do quite well.

Lyn - How do you feel about professional handling?

Sissy - The handlers don't have it easy. They cover up the faults, and they are used to it. When I look at pictures of my dogs that I handled and then we up (and this was before I ever did any judging) I wonder why in the world that dog won! For example, the winner of Crufts in England, the dog had good points, but I didn't bring them out on her. Later I got a handler. "Why that cant be my dog!" I don't know how t groom or fix a dog up. Today even the owners know how to groom. If people are honest, that is all I ask

Lyn - What advice would you give to someone just getting started in the breed?

Sissy - Check for the qualities in the breed you like, and check the pedigrees. Say that you breed a good dog, and then it is up to you to bring out the best in that dog. That is where people have fallen down. If you have seven or eight children, you couldn't give the time they each deserve. Kay had plenty of help, so she was fortunate. You have to have good stock to work with to produce good dogs. Every litter is a responsibility and you have to do a lot of work. That is one reason why I don't judge anymore. I had a slight heart attack and there were some judges dying in the ring, and I just wouldn't want to do that. I just quit. They asked me if I would just do specialties or things like that, but I hate to say yes and then have to go in and say no, I can't. Every year you get older, and I feel that I've done my share. It was fun and I loved it. I met wonderful people all through life.

Lyn - Tell us about yourself.

Sissy - I was born in New York. My grandfather was a Methodist preacher who had fine sons and his wife had died. Do you know, everyone of those boys graduated from college. My father was in the importing business. Senator Watson was his room-mate in college. My grandfather was a captain in the Civil war. I was raised with a Newfoundland dog when I was four or five and he pulled me in a little pony cart. I went to private school. I met my husband in Evansville and he was very handsome and very marvelous. I married young, when I was just past seventeen but it was the most beautiful marriage. He never had a sister and thought a girl was the most beautiful thing in the world. I had a wonderful life; I could never marry again after those few years of married life. Marianne was an only child. Dog shows were great fun and I never would have met the people I did or done the things I did without them. You do meet charming people. I've enjoyed every bit of it and loved it, especially after my huband died, I was seldom ever at home.

Lyn - If you had it to do all over again would you?

Sissy - Yes!

Lyn - I figured that might be your answer

Just meeting you is something that has added to it: it really has!

Lyn - Thank you.

Your Welcome

****UPDATE 7th February 2014 - AHT found a 1946 newspaper photo of Zenobia of Elcoza, shown below

Zenobia of Elcoza

******** AHT also found a 1944 newspaper photo of Sardar Khan El Kabul which is shown below, and a newspaoer report of his shipping and arrival in October 1939

Sardar Khan El Kabul

NOBLES (Dogs) Flee Bomb-Threatened Home on Liner. Await Mt Penn Owners
(Reading Eagle - Oct 1939)

Two nobles, descendants of the companions of rulers of the mysterious fastness of far-off Afghanistan, waited today aboard the Cunard White Star Liner, Samraia, in New York harbor for the first glimps of their new home in Mt Fenn.

The visitors are twso royal Afghan hounds, ancient hunting dogs of the Near East, raised in England and purchased for show and possible breeding in the United States by Mrs Anne Froelich and her daughter Marianne of 2601 Hollywood Court, Mt Penn.

The Afghan is one of the oldest known breeds of dogs, but has only reached western countries since the World War. They were first introduced in England by British Army officers returning from India and Arabia, where they had received them from princes or gifts of gratitude.

In their far-off home they are raised and bred only by the ruling classes and are not permitted as property of the commoners. The dogs are used for hunting leopards and have the body lines of a greyhound. They stand about 26 inches high, with long legs and body covered with a thick siky coat. A topknot of long hair is one of the marks of the breed

The Froelichs already own one Afghan, Yusseff of Bander-Ghur (little house on the hill) which took best winners ast the recent Berks County Kennel Club show topping the reserve winner at the Morris and Essex affair

The dogs are brother and sister, and although just one year old, have taken firsts at the famousA Cruft shows in England, the largest exhibition of this kind in the world. They were purchased from the el Kabul kennels, owned by Dr Betsy Porter, who has sent several of the breed to this country. One from that kennel, Kadi, was the winning dog at Morris and Essex

The original plan was that Mrs Froelich and her daughter would go to Englad for the dogs, but the war put an end to that, In fact they had only expected toget one hound and that as a mate for Yussef.

But Dr Porter, anxious to hve her dogs shown here and fearful of the danger to her pets from airs raids urged that they take a pair. The animals were placed on the Samaria - although when Mrs Froelich learned that they had been shipped she was not told on what boat or when they would arrive - in care of the chief butcher.

Yesterday morning two telegrams arrived, one that the dogs could be obtained at the boat and the other from the butcher, saying that his charges were well and in good spirits

Mrs Froelich, with her daughter plans to spend the winter in California, but the dogs will remain here and be shown at shows in Philadelphia and New York

A couple of vintage Elcoza nwspaper photographs

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