Excerpts from "Who's Who"
Published by English Shepherd Club of America
Mr Frederick Search & the Gold Nugget line
“During the last big depression Mr. Search lived in San Francisco where he was bandmaster of the Federal Concert Band for six years. During that time he had only on dog nammed Sammy, a fine black and tan and white English Shepherd. Sammy delighted to ride on the street cars of the big city and to go to band concerts. Sammy and Mr. Search distinguised themselves by being on a run-away cable car which jumped off the tracks and slid down a steep hill sideways. Search was very scared, but Sammy thought it was great fun and barked his head off…
When Mr. and Mrs. Search sold their home in San Francisco a few years ago, they had no place to live because of crowded conditions during the second World War. So they decided to move down to their 300 acre ranch in the Jonesburg cattle district up in the Santa Lucia Mountains 30 miles east of their old home in Carmel by the Sea. Mr Search had always wanted to breed fine working dogs. Of all the breeders of English Shepherds, he considered Mr. Tom Stodghill the most successful breeder of high class working dogs. So great was the enthusiasm of Mr Tom Stodghill for the black and tan English Shepherds, that Mr. Search could not exist wihtout having the finest of these unusual stock dogs on his ranch…
Mr. Search and his father were very successful with a strain of Gold Nugget Bronze Turkeys when they lived in Carmel by the Sear many years ago. Mr. Stodghill also raised the Gold Nugget Bronze Turkeys at that time.
It seemed most appropriate that the fine strain of black and tans owned by Mr. Search and Mr. Stodghill be called the Gold Nugget Strain of English Shepherds… The tan of our finest specimens is a brilliant gold color, and they found that “gold” in the name brings them wonderful sales at high prices.
The outcome of friendship between Mr. Stodghill and Mr. Search was the speedy formation of the English Shepherd Club of America which started out in a small way in 1950. In a very few months it had grown to a club of very important proportions and was absolutely independent of any other organization.
Judging from the letters people write us, it seems that ranchers and farmers have a difficult time finding high class stock dogs that are natural born cow heelers. Our dogs have been highly successful with sheep and other stock as well as with cattle. The high intelligence these dogs need to do their job has made them exceptional as companions in towns and cities as well as one farms and ranches.
The English Shepherd Club of America has a large and happy family of fine members in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. It has been most fortunate in having enthusiastic officers and a board of directors of high worth. Most of our members are in favor of the Black and Tans as they consider these the most beautiful and superior in working ability to English Shepherds of other colors.
Mr. Search is very much in favor of an obedience training program as it will bring our breed to greater popularity and to a more unviersal knowledge of their true value…”
The Blankenship’s Best Friend
by John Blankenship, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
“The King of the Cattle Dogs,” the Gold Nugget Strain of Black and Tan English Shepherds, is associated in the minds of Tennesseans with progressive farming. Both are fast becoming associated with the name of John Blankenship. To us, the history of these superior dogs parallels the history of our families, and it is the history of our best friend.
Trotting beside my father, Charles B. Blankenship, as he rode to town on the old gray mare in Wilson Country, Tenn., some seventy years ago, the Black and Tan family pet was on hand to drive home cattle, sheep or other livestock purchased. When father went to the field to work, the faithful dog was there beside him, his “right hand man.”
Mother, too, recalls mention of the Shepherd dogs that her father’s and her grandfather’s slaves used to help in rounding up the stock. My wife’s people migrated to Cannon County, Tenn., from Virginia and North Carolina. Both of her parents, Altte Simmons Wilson and Aubrey H. Wilson, were raised on the farmlands near Woodbury, Tenn. Her father’s helper in capturing the wild hogs that roamed the woods was “Jack”, a sturdy Shepherd…
It would follow naturally that when my wife and I set up housekeeping on Dad’s farm in 1941, we would include some of these dogs on the list of necessary stock. Hard work paid off during the years that ensued, and we saw real progress both in farming and indog breeding. In 1946, we added our first registered English Shepherd — “Stodghill’s Mary Ann”, whom we nicknamed “Tex” because of her Texas origin.
“Tex” felt it was her mission in life to serve as companion and guardian to our two children. Henry and Mary Ann never needed to fear a sow, a horse, or even a registered Jersey bull — old “Tex” kept them all away. We needed a working dog, too, and the next year we bought a pair of Black and Tan pups to help herd the dairy and beef cattle, the sheep and hogs…
High on our list of proven matrons of working stock dogs is “Old Shep”, a low-heeling expert with cows and hogs. One night when a stray dog got into the flock of sheep in the barn lot, “Old Shep” waded in after him and brought him out, preventing the possible slaughter of some lambs.
Another good worker is “Duchess of Windsor”, a perfect-marked Black and Tan matron sired by Falla. The ancestry of his mother, “Queen”, can be traced back 100 years through a line of purebreds in Tennessee. When Duchess was about grown it became her well performed duty to keep rats away from the baby chicks in the brooder-house. “Lassie”, another select dam, excels in keeping the farm rid of skunks, o’possums and other rodents.
Mechanical faming has replaced the horse and mule age. With the shortage of farm labor, the Shepherd dog is taking the place of farm hands in bringing up the cows, loading stock from a chute, and herding the sheep. He is also your companion and nightwatchman. Small wonder he is called “The world’s best all-purpose dog.””