Edith S. "Dee Dee" Wood
Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011
For contribution to the Breed
Edith mentored many newcomers who adored her beloved cocker spaniel. She taught them what a cocker should look like, should act like and should be; she taught them to recognize the essence of the breed she loved. She would spend many hours talking to people interested in getting a puppy, even if she knew they were not going to buy one. She realized information was never wasted; it would always be used later. She spent many hours mentoring future breeders, who later became friends. She was the driving force behind the formation of the Cocker Spaniel Club of Orange County and she was a founding member. She was Edith S. Wood, better known as Dee Dee.
Dee Dee encouraged the beginning of health testing in Southern California. Some of the first eye clinics held in California were held in her garage. She contacted and arranged for a veterinary ophthalmologist from Seattle to run eye clinics for several years until a DAVCO was available in Southern California. She x-rayed hips before it was a fashion to do so in small breeds. Later she helped make blood clinics available along with the eye clinics to encourage breeders to check for blood disorders like Factor 10. In addition to testing, she believed that cockers should be at least two years of age before breeding. She practiced this beginning in the 70’s requiring that her stud dogs be at least two as well as all bitches be at two years of age at the time of being bred. She believed that waiting until they were older would help determine health problems in our beloved Cocker Spaniels before they were to be passed on to their puppies. The ASC adopted this age standard in 2003 for futurity nominated puppies.
Sharing and teaching about breeding better dogs epitomizes one of Dee’s most essential qualities. If anyone really wanted to learn she was there willing to teach and discuss. At meetings of the CSCOC she would do impromptu programs and just grab a puppy, put it on a table and talk about what we were looking at. Her knowledge was demonstrated most by the quality of dogs that carried the Frandee prefix and the legacy they left. Many of the top dogs today can be traced directly back to the Frandee line.
Dee Dee bred over 100 champions, including multiple ASC Variety winners, ASC Futurity Variety winners, Best in Show winners, Best in Specialty Show winners and Group winners. In addition to winning, Frandee dogs produced as well. Ch. Frandee’s Susan, with 14 Champions, Ch. Frandee’s Celebration, with 9 Champions and Ch Frandee’s Forgery with 60 Champions, are top producers in the breed and examples of the Frandee producing legacy.
In addition, Dee Dee has left a human legacy that begins with members of the CSCOC. Her daughter, Julie, went on to breed, handle and judge cocker spaniels as well as many other sporting breeds. Dee Dee also mentored and became close friends with Doug and Marleta McFarlene (Marimac), Hap and Bea Jones (Jo-Bea), and Lois Wilson (Glenmurray) to name a few. They are all long time members of CSCOC as well as of the ASC. If you have not been influenced by Dee herself, you have probably been influenced by one of those she mentored.
At Dee Dee’s insistence the Cocker Spaniel Club of Orange County asked the American Spaniel Club to institute a Best Bred-by Exhibitor in Show award at the Annual Flushing Spaniel Show held each January. Prior to this, only the Best Bred-by Exhibitor Cocker Spaniel was awarded a ribbon. Dee Dee recognized the uniqueness of this special show and even though she was an outstanding Cocker Spaniel breeder, she had owned, showed and loved other Flushing Spaniels as well. After her death, a Perpetual Memorial Trophy was established for this award in memory of Dee Dee.
Dee Dee left a lasting testimony to the Cocker Spaniel breed and her name was added to the roster of the American Spaniel Club Hall of Fame at the annual Flushing Show, January, 2011.
Spaniel Sleuths and Friends