The Great Ones


Am. Can. Bda. Ch. Cummings’ Gold Rush Charlie OS SDHF
Call Name: ‘Charlie’
Whelped: Oct. 13, 1970
Died: Nov. 12, 1982
Sire: Ch. Sunset’s Happy Duke
Dam: Am. Can. Ch. Cummings’ Golden Princess OD
Bred by Dr. Lynn Cummings
Owned by Larry C. Johnson and R. Ann Johnson with the help of Mrs. R.V. Clark   
 Handled by Bill Trainor

3 Best in Specialty Shows
37 All-Breed Best in Shows
Number 1 Golden Retriever in 1974 and 1975
Number 1 Sporting Dog in 1974
Best of Breed — Golden Retriever Club of America, 1974
Best of Breed — Westminster Kennel Club, 1975
Sire of 57 American champions
Golden Retriever Club of America titles for outstanding achievement: OD — Outstanding Dam, OS — Outstanding Sire, SDHF — Show Dog Hall of Fame.

A Scotsman’s Tale

Through the low-lying mist of long ago Scotland, agile upland dogs of black and yellow hurry through blazing autumn heather, eager to tenderly deliver game birds to hand. Meanwhile, in the clear lakes and streams deep in the wilds of this same high country, liver-colored spaniels with weather-resistant coats dutifully wade into frigid waters, fetching up fallen game at their handlers’ bidding. Rugged and self- reliant, Highlanders are a proud people who love a good story. Sitting now at day’s end, the firelight flickers as one hand tips back a brandy while the other falls to a beloved dog as the Scotsman spins a yarn. Whether the caressing fingers ran through a coat of thick waves or one of dense curls we can be sure there was love in the hand. It was a love that transcended time and place; eventually the old wavy-coated retrievers were crossed with Tweed Water Spaniels, giving way to something new for both land and water. Today, anyone who has ever wrapped their arms around the sturdy, beautiful neck of a Golden Retriever and felt their own heart skip a beat  is tapping into a love that first sprang to life in the Scottish Highlands of long ago. This tangible essence remains alive and spreads wherever the Golden wags its tail. More than a century has passed since those old Highlanders sat by their fires but yarns of this magnificent breed are still being shared. Today we lift our glasses and toast a more recent hero of the Golden breed. Though he never ran on the Scottish Highlands, he captured the imagination of an entire generation of American dog lovers; this is his tale.

Anyone who ever saw the dog in life will admit that Ch. Cummings’ Gold Rush Charlie  was one of the greatest show dogs to ever grace American rings. A showboat of a dog, Charlie never met a stranger and lived a carefree existence, like a prince gliding through life with a smile. Happy-go- lucky, with a great flag for a tail, the dog had a strut that caused ringside fans to shout out his name as he sauntered by. AKC judge Donald Booxbaum gave Charlie one of his early Best in Shows. A real dog lover, Booxbaum warmly chuckles as he recalls the big Golden, saying, “Well, I guess anyone who ever saw the dog has memories about him. He was unforgettable. He had a big presence and you felt it long after he was gone. A marvelous showman, good coat, completely sound and a very joie de vivre personality. When Charlie was in your ring, you knew it.”

Want to read the full story? Order your January 2008 issue of DOGS IN REVIEW today, or subscribe to receive the best show dog articles and dog news every month!


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