Club History


Arlene Badura

The year 1963 holds different memories for each of us. You may be hard pressed to say what was so special about 1963. Here are some events that may jog a fading memory. November of 1963 saw the assassination of John Kennedy ending the era of Camelot and placing the homespun LBJ in the White House. The movie Tom Jones won the Academy Award for Best Picture, & quote; Call Me Irresponsible" was the Academy Award winning song, the Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor romance on the Cleopatra set was the scandalous gossip of the year, while Ed Sullivan and "Lassie" were the wholesome entertainment of every Sunday night. 

Speaking or Lassie, that famous MGM star put the breed of Collies on the map, as well as serving to create the role-model

for Collies and Shetland Sheepdogs for years to come. How many of us grew up with a "Lassie fixation?" How many were entertained and inspired by the writings of Albert Payson Terhune? How many of us cried when we either read the book
or saw the movie "Lassie Come Home?"
Some of our Club members can say that they were already active in the breed; others of us might have only been children daydreaming of one day having a Lassie of our own; and then there are our members who were toddlers watching the Mickey Mouse Club, cartoons and playing with a Slinky toy; or just a twinkle in their parents eyes.
Wherever you were in 1963 or whatever you may have been doing, one event that occurred that year that brings us together was the creation of the Shetland Sheepdog Club of Greater Detroit.
Jan Brodt, one of our charter members, shared the fortune (or fault) of saving everything. Through Jan's vast storehouse of information and library of Club material she was able to locate copies of the first minutes of the SSCGD.
Jan writes: "For sometime there had been talk among the local Sheltie fanciers about organizing a regional club. The first meeting was held September 27, 1963.  At the time we discussed the area to be covered and settled on the name Greater Detroit Shetland Sheepdog Club (when the name was submitted to the
printer, it was inverted to Sheepdog Club of Greater Detroit), and so it remained. We decided to welcome anyone interested since we were the first club in Michigan. Acting officers at this time were Chairperson: Lynn Wells (Anderson), Corresponding Secretary: Helen Zavalney, Treasurer: Lois Smith (Mosher)(the Club had a balance of $92.62), Recording Secretary: Janet
The late Frank Grant, an all-rounder judge and Doberman fancier, spoke to us at our next meeting, October 25, 1963. He made suggestions for preparing for AKC approval such as establishing an official area with a map locating members' addresses and setting up a constitution. He also gave us an AKC
outline for writing a constitution and said when we sent in our credentials we should apply to hold a match. He also informed us that the ASSA was holding the National with the Oakland County show on May 17, 1964. At the November meeting, the constitution was adopted, and at the December 27th meeting the first slate of officers was elected.
They were:
President: Lynn Wells (Anderson)
Vice President: Lois Smith (Mosher)
Recording Secretary: Janet Hicks
Corresponding Secretary: Jan Brodt
Financial Secretary: Jean Lyle
Treasurer: Millie Pitylak
Board of Directors: Helen Zavalney
Glen Zavalney
George Woodford
In January, 1964, we made plans to hold a fun match in April. Among those applying for membership at this meeting were Mrs. Edgar Desy and Julie Desy, and Dorothy and Larry Burns and William and Mary Stout.
In early February 1964 we sent our credentials to the AKC for approval and their receipt was promptly acknowledged. Then we became busy hosting the National. Our fledgling Club was not exactly prepared for such a responsibility even though Nationals were considerably smaller in those days. Nevertheless, we brought it off to the applause of the ASSA officers. Having heard nothing further from AKC, we applied for a "B" match in July only to find that AKC had never heard of us. It was September before we finally got things straightened around and received our approval. Fortunately we could duplicate all our credentials which the AKC apparently had lost in the process of moving to their Madison Avenue address.
So now we were finally in business officially. After the usual requirement of "B"and "A" matches, we held our first Specialty on November 24, 1968, with the Motor City Specialty Clubs."
Original members were:
Arlene Beebe
Jan Brodt (Colvidale)
Larry and Dorothy Burns (Teaberry Lane)
Joan Chipelewski
Mrs. Edgar Desy
Julie Desy (Ilemist)
Joanne Dirette
Carol Harrison
Janet Hicks
Lynn Hope
Glenna Huffmon (Valle Mayo)
James Hughes
Maryann Jeffery
Dick and Jean Lyle
Millie Pitylak (PeriMist)
Marilyn Schultz
Judy Sirois
Lois Smith (Mosher)
William and Mary Stout (Fanfair)
Pat Stowe
Lynn Wells (Anderson) (Laurolyn)
George Woodford
Helen Zavalney (Lindhurst)
Dorothy Zucal