|Joan Weiskopf and CH Velvety Angel Eyes|
The sport of purebred dogs has lost another important contributor. Author, veterinary clinical nutritionist, and longtime Bedlington Terrier breeder, Joan Weiskopf, died on Monday after a long battle with ovarian cancer. We first met Joan back in 2008 when she was campaigning the Best In Show winning Bedlington, CH Velvety Angel Eye, aka Loppan. We named Loppan a Dog2Watch after Joan piloted her to a BIS over Crufts and Montgomery County Kennel Club winner, the Sealyham Terrier, CH Efbe's Hidalgo At Goodspice.
Loppan was not Joan’s first BIS winner. To much of the show going public, Joan was the face of the Bedlington Terrier breed, representing the breed at AKC’s annual Meet the Breed event in Manhattan and appearing on TV several times as the breed winner at multiple Westminster Kennel Club and Kennel Club of Philadelphia shows. Joan was a woman of many talents. She designed jewelry for her cousin Davie Yurman before he became the industry icon he is today. She had attended the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinarian Medicine and penned a bestselling book on pet nutrition, Pet Food Nation: The Smart, Easy, and Healthy Way to Feed Your Pet Now. More recently she had developed a probiotic, BOOST-n-GO, a supplement especially for the show dog to bolster the immune system against the stress, pathogens and disease encountered in the sport.
However it would be in whelping box and show ring where Joan would have the most impact. Joan’s Peremi Bedlington Terriers were always refined, balanced, and beautifully presented. Where most Terrier breeds are a series of planes, straight lines, and sharp angles, the Bedlington is a sensuous collection of curves. One slip of the scissors and the Bedlington can look chopped up and coarse. Joan was always happy to share her knowledge with any serious dog person, but she could be impatient with those who were looking for a shortcut to success. She mentored many new Bedlington owners and several of the judges active today.
Joan was a persuasive lobbyist for the international sport. She believed that the World FCI Show, twenty times larger than the average American show, was a venue that could build alliances that would ensure the future of our sport. Joan and Loppan would return to Europe for the World Shows in Bratislava, Slovakia in 2009 and in Herning, Denmark in 2010, where Loppan successfully defended her World Winner titles. Joan took her home bred liver colored dog, GCH CH Peremi Roll the Dyce, to the World Show in Salzburg, Austria. Dyce would follow in the footsteps of Loppan and take home the World Winner title. In 2013, Dyce’s littermate, GCH CH Peremi I’m a Player, would travel with Joan to Budapest, Hungary where he would be the breed winner at Interra, the FCI Terrier World Show. Joan’s health would prevent her from attending the 2014 World Show in Paris, but she bravely rallied this year and, with a little help from her friends in Italy, she attended this year’s World Show in Milan, showing Player’s daughter, CH Colcoda American Express, bred and owned by Raffaella Gammella.
On a personal note, we have missed our weekly phone calls from Joan with show reports from all over the US. She gave us results, behind the scenes anecdotes, and most importantly, encouragement. She thought that giving back to our sport was essential to being part of the game. The Bedlington breed and the game at large is poorer for her absence. Godspeed Joan. Contributions in Joan’s memory can be made to Take The Lead.