History of the Spokane Kennel Club

The Spokane Kennel Club was organized in July 1903 under the leadership of its first club president, Thomas Stuart Griffith, a member of one of Spokane's prominent families. He established the famous Glen Tana kennels, and the collie dogs he raised there were shown throughout the United States, winning more medals than any dogs shown from any other kennels in the United States at that time.

Thomas Stuart Griffith (1862-1934)
Spokane Kennel Club's first President

Glen Tana's Parbold Premier.

Just some of Glen Tana kennel's medals.

The club held its first point show in 1903. This show was a two-day benched show and was held at the Interstate Fairgrounds. Currently, the show is a two-day unbenched show and is still held at the Interstate Fairgrounds now called the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center. The show is held on Memorial Day weekend and is back-to-back with the Coeur d'Alene Dog Fanciers Dog Show.

Boston Terriers at the 1940 Spokane Kennel Club Dog Show.
They were owned by Kathryn Theiss of Spokane.

The Spokane Kennel Club has used several logos throughout the years. The first medal was designed over 100 years ago, when there were only four Groups in dog show competition. A local jewelry manufacturer designed the first medal, with a dog to represent each of the groups.

Louise Jackson, at the May 25, 1962 SKC Dog Show.

In 1968, Corresponding Secretary Louise Jackson designed a 2-inch gold medallion for the club's official medal. Dogs representing each of the Groups (six, by that time) were positioned around the outside of the medal, with a shaft of wheat between each dog to represent Spokane's place in wheat-growing country. The center of the medal was taken from the original logo, and featured the initials "AKC" to represent member club status, and the words "Spokane Kennel Club, Inc., Washington." At that time, the club's colors were black and white.

SKC's 1968 logo.

SKC's current logo.

At the club's 50th anniversary show in 1971, medals were strung on purple and gold presentation ribbons and given to every Best of Breed/Variety winner. Each judge was also presented with a medallion, and several were seen boarding their planes home with their medals around their necks.

In 1992 the club medallion and logo was changed again.  The newest logo shows a carousel horse. The club colors were also changed to cobalt blue
and gold. The carousel horse is a symbol of the City of Spokane and its famous 1909 Looff carousel that is located at Riverfront Park, the site of Expo '74, the World's Fair that ran from May to November 1974. The carousel remains a popular attraction. It originated in Natatorium Park, which closed in 1967, and was restored for the World's Fair.

The Public Information booth at SKC's November 1991 show.
Pictured are club members Holly Evans, Jerry Ball White,
Connie Ducket, Sara Derr, and Barbara Nelson.

The “Dog in Art Exhibition” art show, was a juried exhibition started by member Lorna Boydston in 1998 and ran until 2002. Spokane Kennel Club sponsored the event, awards, cash prizes and ribbons. The show was open to all artists of any age and was divided into amateur, professional, and youth divisions. The art exhibited had to have a dog as a subject. In 1998, 12 local artists competed; entries rose to 85 in 1999; and each year thereafter, over 100 artists have participated in the exhibition. These exhibits came from all over the world, with the farthest so far from Italy. Genres represented ranged from the usual - oils, watercolor, sculpture, photography, pencil to fabric wearable, needlepoint, woodwork, jewelry - to the very unusual. For example, one year a woman entered her truck, which was decorated with handmade Scottish Terrier decorations-it was quite a showstopper!

Since 2007, the Spokane Kennel Club has hosted the AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day at Valleyfest in September. Dogs can attend training clinics and their owners can see K-9 demonstrations. This event is a great day to learn valuable information when it comes adding a dog to your life, such as how to find the right breed, how to choose the right vet and how to spay or neuter your new companion.