Oral History Project

Interview with Sharon Gerling – 2019

In this recording, Sharon Gerling shares over 70 years of history in Cocker Spaniels that along with her late mother Dorothy Christiansen earned both of them Hall of Fame honors for Contribution to the Breed in 2013.

Their interest in Cockers started after they attended a Richland Kennel Club show when Sharon was just seven years old. That day someone handed Sharon a black Cocker to show in Junior Showmanship and Sharon went Best Junior Handler. From then on, mother and daughter were hooked. In this recording Sharon shares some great experiences on the road showing the My Ida Ho Cockers with her mom as well as stories about Dorothy’s drive for knowledge leading her to drive all over the country to learn and observe from some of the best breeders of the day.   (50 minutes)

Interview with Carl J. Anderson – 2019

(Photo upper left – Ch. Carro’s Parti Crasher portrait by Michael Allen.   Photo upper right) – Carl and Rosalie celebrating their wedding anniversary.

Carl Anderson has been involved in the sport of Pure-Bred dogs for over 65 years as a Breeder, Exhibitor, AKC Licensed All Breed Handler and an AKC approved judge of several groups.  Carl along with his late wife Rosalie (who was an active all-breed judge herself) dedicated many of those years as active breeders and fanciers of Cocker Spaniels. Breeding under the Carro’s kennel prefix with the red and white Ch. Carro’s Parti Crasher being one of the more famous of his time, Carl and Rosalie were also life members of the American Spaniel Club, the West Coast Cocker Spaniel Club and the Cocker Spaniel Club of Southern California. Carl also served as President of the American Spaniel Club from 1992- 1995. In this recording Carl shares with us some stories from that long successful history and his perspectives on breeding and exhibiting. (28 minutes)

Interview with Marilyn Spacht – 2019

Marilyn Spacht grew up with a Cocker Spaniel as her companion dog and so it seemed only fitting that when she married Hugh Spacht they would get a buff six month old Cocker Spaniel they named Max. What was unusual about Max was that he became more than just a house dog but also their first champion in 1974.   That started a lifelong love affair with the breed that eventually made their Hu-Mar kennel name an icon in ASCOB cockers and the two of them ASC Hall of Fame members for their contributions to the ASC. In this Oral History Podcast Marilyn shares some of the memories of how she and Hugh got started, the people and dogs she met along the way and the many things she values about those years as a still active judge and ASC Board member today. (43 minutes)



Interview with Laura Henson – 2019

The Kaplar prefix of Laura Henson has long been familiar to the fancy. With over 200 champions mostly breeder/owner/handled by Laura herself, Laura has been a mentor and friend to many within the breed for decades. Inducted into the ASC Hall of Fame in 2004, what started with a family pet over 50 years ago for the Henson family on the West coast and progressed from those initial breeding, has left a mark unprecedented in contribution to the breed.  While a serious competitor in the ring, Laura is well known at the shows for being ever ready with thinning shears and scissors to share her trimming expertise when asked. A mom to three daughters, second mom and a dear friend to many, a great cook, and an excellent baker, Laura shares in this interview her memories and learnings from her many decades in the breed. (30 minutes)

Interview with Bettie Campbell- 2019

(Photo Upper Left – Bettie and Tom Campbell showing client dogs.  Photo Upper Right – Bettie at a show with coffee and a brush ready to go)

Bettie Campbell has been a positive presence in cockers for decades. She started her success as a breeder in Ohio with her homebred Bellburn Cockers and in later years after her marriage to well-known handler Tom Campbell, Bettie and Tom formed a dynamic duo handling many top winners for clients around the world working from Tom’s  P’Gells kennel in New Jersey. Always ready with a morning cup of coffee and a brush in her hand and with Tom always up for the best after show restaurants with fellow dog folks, Bettie has not only been an active mom to her combined family, but a second mom, mentor and friend to many others. Still active in the Southern NJ CSC, Bettie served on the ASC Board of Directors and was show chairman for the Flushing Show for many years when it was held in Valley Forge. In this podcast Bettie shares with us some of the things that she finds important to be a long time successful breeder and have fun while doing it. (39 minutes)

Interview with Tom O’Neil – 2018

Famous for his Dreamridge Particolor Cockers,   Tom O’Neil and his Hall of Fame partner handler Ron Fabis became synonymous for beautiful type and quality   Cockers for decades in the last half of the 20th century.  An ASC Life member, former ASC President and friend to many, in this interview Tom shares some of the highlights of his decades of success within the breed and some of the things he learned along the way. (28 minutes)

Interview with Bill Mixon – 2018

(Pictured above Bill & Cindy, Hot Rod Lincoln with Cindy and Bill’s Parents in 40’s and 50″s with their companion cockers)

With a love for cockers since childhood, Bill Mixon and his wife Cindy bred cockers under the Denali Cockers prefix for over 30 years. Breeder of 32 US champions and many more in foreign countries, for the past 13 years Bill has been a licensed judge. He is a life member of ASC, member of  the Ft. Vancouver CSC and an author of numerous articles. In this podcast Bill shares with us valuable insights he gained from his many mentors and offers advice on lessons learned over the many decades he has been in the Cocker fancy. (30 minutes)

Interview with Bill Gorodner – 2018

Bill Gorodner began his lifelong love affair with cockers as a 9 year old with a black cocker he was looking to show. Years later, together with his partner Lloyd Alton he went on to breed more than 70 Parti and ASCOB champions under the Ging’s prefix. Bill and Lloyd became noted authors and published in the 90’s the famous encyclopedic book on our breed “The World of the Cocker Spaniel”. Bill is a life member of ASC, an ASC Hall of Fame inductee and has a great knowledge and appreciation of the history of our breed which he loves to share as a noted author/story teller. His Butternut Wisdom column ran in breed publications for many years entertaining us all. But perhaps more than anything, Bill is a friend to many within the dog world always sharing his warm greetings and bright smile no matter the outcome of the day. These days you can find Bill active with Doxies and Japanese Chin but his constant love for the cocker and his memories of the people are  clearly apparent in this conversation. (28 minutes)