How Science Is The Ruler of Halcyon's Famous Dogs


 George Clark and Brian Boru
 George Clark and Brian Boru of Halcyon

Like a fragile vase, rising from potter's clay, life may be molded into any beautiful form; or, like the choicest clay in the hands of a clumsy potter, it may never attain distinction.

The formation of character, the segregating of individuality, and the achieving of mental balance are as gradual as the art of the potter. They arise from the simple beginnings and become recognizable quite unexpectedly; bursting into full bloom because of myriad, infinitesimal forces.

The happiness of the present is dependent on the past; yet the past and the present are always the future. No action is without value; yet all actions are valueless if they do not follow a pattern — if they are not imbued with character.

The pre-conceived pattern always is the paramount issue in any walk of life. That is why these thoughts were uppermost during my recent visit to the Halcyon Kennels of Mr. and Mrs. Edward T. Clark, at Goshen, New York; for this is a kennel that follows a worthwhile pattern in all its endeavours.

Halcyon stands out from many of the other great kennels in the United States because of the manner in which it not only conceived a plan, but pursued that project, unchanged, to its fruition. And then there is another factor which makes Halcyon an unique institution, of which something will be said later.

Mrs Clark 
 Mrs. Clark with Ch. Halcyon Play Boy, and Ch.
Halcyon Baronet, two of the finest Halcyon home-breds

It often is a matter of chance that a kennel raises a certain breed of dog. Many times there is a sentimental background behind the most famous kennel. It goes back to a pet dog, often a nondescript fellow, that became so endeared to his owners that they decided to raise that particular kind for exhibition purposes. But that is not the case with Halcyon.

As Mrs. Clark explains, she had owned dogs from earliest childhood. Most were excellent pure-bred specimens; indeed, some 25 handsome and lovable pure-bred varieties were in the number. Still, when the idea arose to start a serious breeding kennel, about the time the Clarks acquired their beautiful 400 acre farm in Goshen, New York, not a single one of those dogs of former years came up to the all-around ideal.

One day, Mr. and Mrs. Clark set out to choose their breed of dog. They took a list of all the recognized pure breeds, and a huge pad of paper. Some breeds were eliminated immediately, as being obviously not what was desired. But finally, the pad contained less than a dozen names. On one side of these names were placed the outstanding qualities of the breeds represented; on the other the drawbacks.

One by one, the breeds were eliminated, until, finally, just a single name remained. That was the Welsh terrier.

To Mr. and Mrs. Clark, theWelsh terrier is the finest all-purpose dog of the 103 pure breeds recognized in the United States. They reached this decidion on paper in 1924 and they reaffirm it today. In disposition, intelligence, size, coat, and general health, he meets every one of the exacting requirements the owners of Halcyon promulgated as their preference standard.

From the show standpoint, the Welsh terriers of Halcyon have been in the forefront of the breed for many years. Starting with imported stock, Mr. and Mrs. Clark have the supreme satisfaction of seeing their home-bred, Ch. Halcyon Play Boy, as the greatest winner on the bench today, and one of the most consistent winners of all time.

The debut of Irish wolfhounds at the Halcyon Kennels came some years later. The history of this breed is somewhat different. Indeed, Mr. and Mrs. Clark admit that the gigantic size of this breed eliminates him quickly from any designation as an all-purpose dog, but they say also that anyone can keep an Irish wolfhound if he lives where the dog can get plenty of exercise.

Felixstowe Kilmorac Halcyon 
 Ch. Felixstowe Kilmorac Halcyon

The Clarks had long nursed a desire to own some Irish wolfhounds. The big, awe-inspiring dogs appealed to them, not for any logical reason, but just because these hounds were impressive and possessed of marvelous temperaments. Yet no opportunity had been presented for the owners of Halcyon to indulge their desire until 1927. Mr. and Mrs. Clark were on an extended European trip at the time. They had visited practically all the kennels in England, and some on the Continent. In the du Prieure Kennels, at Aixe-les-Bains, France, they had seen a splendid lot of hounds. Some of this strain had been used for boar-hunting, and the dogs were all upstanding, well-conditioned specimens.

Unfortunately, the particular dog desired by the Clarks was not for sale.

Mr. and Mrs. Clark then went to Geneva, Switzerland. While there, they wired another offer for the wolfhound. Apparently this was having no effect, when, just a few minutes before the owners of Halcyon were due to take the train for the coast and their ship, there came a telephone call. It was to the effect that they might purchase Chaliapine du Prieure. They delayed their sailing; bought the dog; also acquired a bitch, and the mighty Ch. Felixstowe Kilgarth, which carried the best blood of a long line of winners bred at the Felixstowe Kennels in England.

At the time of my visit to Halcyon there were some 40 Welsh terriers, 20 Irish wolfhounds, one greyhound, and one poodle. The greyhound is the result of another long entertained desire, and she was chosen principally because of her beauty. She is none other than Ch. Southball Moonstone of Halcyon, winner of the hound group at the 1935 Westminster show, and just about the greatest greyhound winner in America this year.

Southball Moonstone of Halcyon 
 Ch. Southball Moonstone of Halcyon

The poodle is a good black bitch, Parasine of Stonywall, kept, principally, as a house dog, where she shares the place of honor with that grand old Welsh terrier bitch, Eng. and Amer. Ch. Coch-y-Bonddu, now 13 years of age, which was one of the greatest winners of her time, and the mother of many of the early Halcyon winners.

The breeding of pure-bred dogs is found in its finest expression at the Halcyon Kennels. It is something more than a mere pastime on that large, well-planned farm in beautiful, rolling, Orange County. The residence sits on a commanding spot hear the main highway, and the acres of Halcyon stretch out behind and below the house. The kennels are nearly a quarter of a mile distant from the house, while still farther — about half a mile from the main residence — is another venture that has come to play a leading role on the estate. This is the Halcyon Farms School.

The Halcyon Farms School was started four years ago, and its purpose is the education of children from the ages of four to 15 years along the most progressive lines. Essentially, this means broad interests, a well-balanced program, and good environment. The pattern for such a school revolved in the minds of Mr. and Mrs. Clark for many years, so that when it started they were well convinced of the high possibilities of the plan of study they had outlined. Their 12-year-old son has studied in the school since the beginning.

It is of exceptional interest that a school and a kennel of pure-bred dogs are located in such close proximity, for the association is of mutual benefit. A good dog is the finest possible companion to a child; and a dog raised with a child attains not only a remarkably equable temperament, but a finer sort of physical perfection. There is a marvelous bond of understanding between children and dogs.

Of course, the children at the Halcyon Farms School meet all the animals of the farm, but it is with the dogs that they seem to find their greatest pleasure. It is the custom to take some of the dogs down to the school yard early in the day, and let them remain there for several hours. The Irish wolfhounds seem to enjoy this especially, for this big breed is particularly fond of children. There is no gentler dog than this giant of a fellow. And the Welsh terriers, too, are close friends and gay playfellows of the children.

The routine of the Halcyon Kennels is a happy blending of scientific care and charming informality. On the one side, the dogs have most rigid supervision in health, and on the other they are treated, as nearly as possible, as one would treat a favorite house dog. The kennels are spotless. The dogs have the finest food, and, when needed, the best medical attention. But they have, also, the fullest measure of freedom in the fresh air and sunshine. For the most part, they use the kennels only for sleeping.

The main kennel is about 25 feet wide by 70 feet long. At one end it contains the kitchen and the work room. Then comes the pen room. At the other end, a covered, but otherwise open, show room. There also is a room on the second floor, over the kitchen, that serves as a food storage room, and as a winter whelping room for the Welsh terriers.

Despite the commodious nature of the main kennel, there are three smaller, unheated buildings that are reserved for Welsh terriers, and a series of rough, unfloored and unheated sheds where most of the Irish wolfhounds make their homes. The increasing use of unheated quarters has achieved splendid results at Halcyon. When the kennel first started, an attempt was made to keep all the dogs under one roof, and in a moderately warm temperature. But Mr. and Mrs. Clark discovered, a long time ago, that it was a mistaken kindness to attempt to raise dogs, successfully, in that sort of kennel. Therefore, the main kennel is reserved mainly for whelping pens, and during the winter for those dogs that are being shipped back and forth to the indoor shows, where they become accustomed to heat. Still, even in the coldest weather, the temperature inside the main kennel is kept rather low — between 50 and 60° F.

The kitchen is a large room, 15 feet 9 inches wide, by 19 feet long. It is as neatly and efficiently laid out as a modern biological laboratory; indeed, one thinks, immediately, of a laboratory for such is the impression it gives to the visitor. Everything is arranged with such precision, and the whole is so attractively painted and varnished, that it hardly seems that this can be, actually, a work-a-day ki8tchen.

In the center of the kitchen is a huge table, about 5 x 10 feet, and opening over this are the food chutes that extend down from the food-storage bins on the second floor. Underneath the table, on the two long sides, are drawers and cupboards that contain most of the shining, aluminum utensils.

Hulloa of Halcyon 
 Eng. and Amer. Ch. Hulloa of Halcyon

On one side of the kitchen is a long sink with a drainboard, while above this sink is a large rack, with wooden pegs, upon which repose a variety of test tubes, beakers, and other frail glassware ordinarily found only in the scientist's workroom. They are an important part of the equipment at Halcyon, because this kennel believes that by making frequent tests, it can avert a great deal of trouble.

On the opposite side of the kitchen are two full length closets, and the electric refrigerating chest. This refrigerator can easily accommodate a side or two of beef, in addition to whatever else needs to be kept at low temperature. At one end of the kitchen is a Quiet May oil-burning furnace that supplies heat for the kennel; and at the opposite end, under a window, is a small work bench with an electric coil heater. Also, at this end of the room, is a large blackboard, and a big clock. The clock is large enough so that there can be little excuse for not keeping up to time schedule. The use of the blackboard is for keeping a visible record of the vital statistics of the various dogs, such as matings, whelpings, injections, wormings, and so forth. There are four doors in the kitchen. One is the main entrance; another opens to the runs; the third is into the pen room; and the fourth is to the work room. Incidentally, the Dutch, or halved, door has been used throughout this building.

The work room is rather more glorified than its name might imply. In fact, it gives the appearance of the appropriately decorated tack room of a great stable — but its colorful aspect relates to dogs. The room is the same length as the adjoining kitchen, and about 9 feet 6 inches wide. Entering, one's eye is caught by an orderly array of show leads and collars and double coursing leashes. In one corner is a specially constructed wolfhound bath. Really it is only a space about 5 x 8 feet. It has a concrete floor, with drain, hot and cold water faucets, and a five feet high concrete partition separating it from the rest of the room. Since a heavy, blue, waterproof paint has been applied to the partition and the wall of this bath, the whole lends a cheerful note to the room. Adjoining the bath is a large closet. At the opposite end of the room, is a built-in cabinet that takes up the entire width and reaches from floor to ceiling.

The built-in cabinet is one of the show points of Halcyon, for this exemplifies better than anything else the strong linking with science that has made possible the breeding of such pre-eminently healthy and successful Irish wolfhounds. In this connection it should be mentioned that the wolfhound needs a bit more than ordinary care in puppyhood, because the breed has such an extremely rapid rate of growth. A wolfhound weighs only 1½ lbs. at whelping; yet at six months, that puppy tips the scale at 100 lbs. It surely is phenomenal; but, being phenomenal, that growth requires supervision.

When Mr. and Mrs. Clark first undertook the breeding of the wolfhound, they did practically all their own work. Aside from sweeping and cleaning the kennel building, they did everything else that was necessary for the dogs. It was arduous, but it gave them a knowledge of the big breed that has proved invaluable ever since. They soon discovered that it was necessary to have within easy reach, and in orderly array, all the equipment needed.

There are four large cupboards in the upper section of the built-in cabinet. In these, one may find the syringes and needles required for different types of inoculations; antiseptics; first aid equipment; glass for making slides; surgical instruments for performing minor operations; medicines; and a host of other items.

On the glass topped shelf or bench, the eye is caught by the finest type of microscope, glistening beneath a huge bell jar. Underneath the glass top of the bench — just to soften the somewhat austere appearance of a laboratory — are placed some of the ribbons the Halcyon dogs have won in bench show competition. The cabinet also contains four drawers, under the bench, and then four more cupboards near the floor. The cabinet, like all the trim in the room, is highly varnished, as is the maple floor.

A handful of champions 
 A handful of champions: Halcyon Tamara; Halcyon Dana;
Felixstowe Kilfree Halcyon; Steyning Sorrel Halcyon and
Felixstowe Kilcully Halcyon

The pen room is about 24 feet long and 15 feet wide. On one side are four pens designed for wolfhounds. Each is about 6 x 9 feet. The partitions are of solid wood, to a height of 7 feet, but they do not reach to the ceiling. The pen doors slide on tracks, and are considerably wider than those used for ordinary dogs. Dutch doors give access to sloping concrete runs about 25 feet long. The owners explain that, today, three of these pens are used for show specimens and for whelpings.

In the case of whelping, the puppies are transferred to one of the big sheds as soon as they are old enough to take exercise. Incidentally, the whelping boxes used for wolfhounds are gargantuan affairs.

The fourth of the big wolfhound pens has been converted into a box room for the Welsh terriers, containing a dozen 2 x 2 x 2 ft. sleeping boxes. At the start Halcyon did not use sleeping boxes. It soon discovered, however, that a terrier likes a box. Also, he is less likely to suffer from drafts — the bane of all kennels. Still, there are five terrier pens across the aisle from the wolfhound pens. These are 4 x 3 ft. each. They are used principally for whelping, and each contains a suitable box. These pens have access to concrete runs. All puppies are removed from the main kennel as soon as their activity warrants, and, as mentioned, the Welsh have three small structures available to their use. Each of these structures may be heated. In the winter, when there is snow on the ground, and in spring when rains have made the ground soggy, the grown dogs and the half-grown youngsters take their exercise in the covered run. This has a concrete floor upon which wooden overflooring may be placed. Very young puppies get their sun and air, and the slight amount of exercise they need, in an specially constructed coop placed in one of the runs. This coop is about 6 feet square, and is enclosed with wire mesh. Set on legs that raise it about three feet, it may be placed outdoors even when there is a blanket of snow on the ground.

Halcyon Kennels 
 Halcyon Kennels as seen from the air. In the central foreground is the big
wolfhound shed, and back of that the main kennel and the runs

The healthy appearance of all the Halcyon dogs, both wolfhounds and Welsh terriers, strikes the visitor immediately. It is achieved only by a very rigid diet, coordinated with exercise. Mr. Clark gives the Halcyon schedules as follows:-

"Our feeding schedule for Irish wolfhound puppies from nine weeks to five months old is:
7 a.m. About one quarter pint of milk. One-half an egg. 1 teaspoonful of cooked cereal is desirable. 1 teaspoonful of lime water.
11 a.m. One-half pound of raw meat, about half being liver mixed together with No. 1 and a small amount of No. 2 Saval. Tomato juice or the juice of one orange. 1 teaspoonful of canine yeast.
4 p.m. About one-quarter pint of whole or skimmed milk, one-half of an egg.
9 p.m. Meats as at eleven. 1 teaspoonful of Codliver oil. Milk as at four. As much whole milk as the puppy will drink with real relish.

"The amount of Saval to be fed should be determined upon the appetite of the puppy, and should be changed to nothing but No. 2 Saval by 14 or 15 weeks old. This whole diet should be gradually increased so that it works easily into the five months' feeding chart.

"The feeding for the five months and older wolfhound puppies as as follows:
7 a.m. Up to a pint of whole or skimmed milk. One-half an egg. Large spoon of cooked cereal.
11 a.m. One pound of meat about half liver. 2 cups of Saval No. 2, 1 teaspoonful of canine yeast. 1½ ounces of bone marrow or suet. Tomato juice or juice of one orange. Milk as at 7 a.m. without cereal.
4 p.m. Three cups Saval moistened. 1 teaspoonful of canine yeast, 1 tablespoonful of codliver oil, sometimes to be omitted. Milk as at eleven.
9 p.m. One pound of meat about half liver. 2 cups of Saval. As much milk as will be taken with real relish.

 The residence of Mr. and Mrs. Clark at Goshen, N.Y. sits on the
highest part of the Halcyon Farms. The dogs love their turns as
house pets

"Never overfeed. Cut down on the eggs if the whites of the eyes are getting murky. Codliver oil is not so much needed in the summer time, and might be eliminated. Give vegetables such as cabbage, onions, beets, carrots, lettuce and tops of vegetables. If such vegetables are being regularly fed, the tomato juice, or orange juice, is not so necessary. Never feed potatoes, peas, beans, or corn. We offer canine yeast to the puppy every day, and try to make fresh horse manure available to him every two or three days. We have found that so regularly a wolfhound puppy, from four seven months old, will be digging in the ground and eating dirt and stones, and this habit is dropped when they have been near a stable where manure is available to them. We now make it a part of our routine for these two or three months. It is our belief that the dog obtains, from this source, some element of diet which we have not otherwise provided.

"Increase meat to three or more pounds by six months old and decrease after one year old. Cut out Saval first, if necessary to reduce ration. Give green, uncooked bone every day or two. Occasionallycook the raw meat, which should generally be raw beef. Vary from time to time to much cooked liver, fish, et cetera for variety one or two feedings each week. We reduce feedings to three times a day when the puppy is a year old. Two feedings are used when the dog is a year and a half old. One feeding a day is only used for our mature hounds.

"Our advice to those buying dogs is that after getting the dog home, do not feed more than one-half of the rations, or even less, until the dog is really keen for his food over a period of two or three days. Allow the puppy as much freedom as possible, ideally two walks a day, and from a mile or two miles in length each, either on a leash or heel as advisable. A certain amount of exercise on a hard or concrete road improves the feet. It is essential for the next few months to be sure that exercise is regular but never too strenuous.

"We order No. 2 Saval from Har-Tru Corporation, New York City, sole American distributors for Spillers, Ltd. We get the canine yeast from the Devine Laboratories, Goshen, New York. We believe it is very essential to achieve good results with the growing puppies.

"The following is our feeding schedule for the Welsh terriers: Puppies from weaning to three months are fed cows' milk with lime water three times daily. A small portion of raw egg being added once daily. Twice daily, raw meat and Saval puppy food in equal portions with a pinch of mineral yeast once a day, and codliver oil once a day.

"From three to six months: Milk and egg once a day. Milk once a day. Equal portions of Saval and raw meat twice a day, with the mineral yeast and codliver oil added. From six months to one year: Milk and egg once a day. Meat and kibbled biscuit twice a day. After one year, the feedings are reduced to one milk feeding and to one solid feeding per day."

 When the day is done
 When the day is done, the big Irish wolfhounds are glad to head back
toward the kennel, a generous dinner, and their comfortable beds

When Mr. & Mrs. Clark first started raising Irish wolfhounds, they discovered that this breed was quite susceptible to a serious disease that most of the veterinarians called distemper, or a form of distemper. After Halcyon had lost two litters, four to six months old, it was decided to make a thorough investigation. This was done by Dr. J.F. Devine, who conducted a bacteriological study of the brains of dogs whose death had resulted from the disease. He succeeded in isolating a streptococcus, but was not successful in growing it until he found that the Lockhart Laboratories, of Kansas City, were working on the same problem. Dr. Devine joined forces with the laboratories, where there eventually was produced a serum to combat the disease, now known as cerebritis. Incidenally, it was discovered that this disease affects only large dogs, from the size of shepherd dogs upward.

It is seven years since there has been a case of either distemper or cerebritis at Halcyon. The owners credit Dr. Devine who laid down a careful schedule. Without attempting to give the full medical details, the treatment of the puppies is as follows: at six weeks, series of three inoculations of the Ashe-Lockhart serum; seven to nine weeks, wormed; 12 weeks, series of three injections of a mixed bacterin; 15 weeks, take specimens and worm as needed; 18 weeks, second series of Ashe-Lockhart inoculations; 21 weeks, take specimens and worm as needed; 27 weeks, series of three injections of the mixed bacterin; 37 weeks, series of three injections of the mixed bacterin.

To some, this care might seem a great deal of trouble, but to Mr. and Mrs. Clark, it is fully compensated by the splendid dogs they are raising. Just how remarkable are these wolfhounds may be seen in their record of consistent winning. Since 1929, with the exception of 1930 when a kennelman did not get the dogs to the show in time, Halcyon dogs have taken best in show at the national specialty of the Irish Wolfhound Club of America every year. It was Ch. Felixstowe Kilfree Halcyon in 1929; in 1931, Chulainn Rajah Halcyon; in 1932 and 1933, Ch. Halcyon Baronet; and in 1934 and 1935, Ch. Felixstowe Kilcully Halcyon.

It was Halcyon that sent an Irish wolfhound to best in show for the first time in America. The dog was Ch. Felixstowe Kilmorac, and he accomplished the feat at Tuxedo in 1930. Since then, Ch. Felixstowe Kilcully Halcyon went best of all breeds at Middlesex in 1934, and the same year Ch. Steyning Sorrel Halcyon topped them all at Ridgewood. A trophy that vies the owners of Halcyon some satisfaction is that offered at Westminster by the Irish Wolfhound Club of America for the tallest hound. Permanent possession of this prize was gained with Ch. Felixstowe Kilgarth in 1928, Ch. Felixstowe Kilmorac in 1930, and Chulainn Rajah Halcyon in 1931.

When looking over the Halcyon Kennels, one is bound to be greatly impressed by the Irish wolfhounds, for they are marvelous dogs. They have wonderful dispositions, and in their imposing bulk one can sense the traditions of the breed going back more than 2,000 years to the days of a wild, primitive Ireland — when these dogs were the most coveted presents given to royalty, and when they were imported by the Consul, Quintus Aurelius Symmachus, because of their impressiveness, for gladiatorial contests in the Amphitheatre in Rome.

And yet, the Welsh terriers of Halcyon are a celebrated lot, and they have a heart-warming appeal of their own. Playful, happy, never even quarreling among themselves, the Welsh alone would make this kennel famous. There are many good ones, but the leader of them all is Ch. Halcyon Play Boy. His record is so good it is almost unbelievable. He has been best of breed 86 times; best terrier three times; and second, third or fourth in the terrier group 30 times.

It would take many more pages to tell the full story of Halcyon, but it all may be summed up in one sentence. This kennel represents the most careful execution of all the splendid ideals of its owners: and once attained, there is no relinquishment of those high standards. On leaving Halcyon, one carries away a picture whose colors will live forever.

American Kennel Gazette, December 1, 1935

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