Fri, 10/20/2023 - 9:14am

Question of the Week

What are your memories of Stanley Flowers?

Robin Stansell

Clayton, North Carolina

Stan was an exhibitor at one of my first Boxer judging assignments. When it was his turn for the individual exam, I couldn’t believe my eyes. He started with an average dog and built a beautiful picture before my eyes. He was extremely talented. He and Jane were always serious competitors and accepted the judges’ placements politely.


Sulie Greendale-Paveza 

Fort Pierce, Florida

His INCREDIBLE hands on dogs. Many, many years ago, I saw him pick up a ringside Weimaraner puppy that had never been to a show. It was barely leash broke, scared to death and wouldn't let Stan touch it. He took it over to a quiet corner, slowly approached the puppy, gave it a massage while looking straight into the dog’s eyes, speaking softly to it. Five minutes later, he was in the ring showing like a superstar, and won the class! I learned a lot watching that.


Richard Reynolds

Tenafly, New Jersey

Many, many years ago, Stan Flowers and I bore a slight resemblance to each other. Both of us were handlers involved with Beagles — tall, light-colored hair and prematurely balding. One fateful day there was absolutely terrible weather while leaving an indoor show. Everyone was in a hurry to load up and hit the road. One unfortunate gentleman had his car stall in the loading area. After some tries to start it, it was decided that we should tow it out of the way. I volunteered to get muddy and crawled under the front of the vehicle to hook up the tow chain. I kind of missed the mark, though, and when the tow vehicle moved forward, it pulled the radiator, fan, hoses and a bunch of other stuff out from under, but the car moved not an inch. The owner kind of looked at me and then smiled. “Aren’t you Stan Flowers?” he asked. I shook his hand fervently, said, “Very pleased to meet you,” and got out of there as quickly as possible. Years later, Stan asked me about it, and I had to ’fess up. 


Bill Burggraaf

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Stan had a very soft touch with the dogs he handled; they trusted him.
Many interesting conversations with him as show chair and at shows in the Midwest.


Julie L. Mueller

Tulsa, Oklahoma

I started going to dog shows as a little girl with my mother, showing Poodles. I became fixated on several professional handlers, believing they embodied what a dedicated, successful handler exemplified. Stanley Flowers was one of those icons. I would come home after a show and pretend I was Stanley Flowers showing a dog in our living room at our home in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. No dog on my lead, just an image of what I saw Stanley Flowers do that day at the show. He was always focused on his dog, or what was going on in the ring he was showing. I am quite sure that anyone who studied his methods learned a great deal about showing dogs. Stanley Flowers could stack a tree trunk and make it look like a Best in Show-winning Boxer — he was a super talent.

Years later, after I met Eugene Blake, we were at shows that Stan and Jane were attending. He walked up to us, and said to me, "What are you doing with this guy? He is nothing but trouble!" Stan always had jokes, and he loved to give Gene a hard time. Stanley Flowers, thank you for the invaluable lessons and the example you gave of a true professional. 


Bob Urban 

Greenwich, Ohio

Several years ago, I was showing one of my Black and Tans up in Michigan. Stan came up to me and said, “This is a really good dog you’ve got here — he should be winning.” Completely unsolicited, and the next day we went second in the group. I never forgot that little conversation.


Margie Wilson

Racine, Wisconsin

I have a lot of “Stan” memories.

The first time he spoke to me, I was just a kid in Junior Showmanship. He told me I ought to do something about my hair.  

I remember when Stan was showing his special Weimaraner female in the Best in Show ring — lead off, she was stacked standing all on her own, with Stan kneeling well behind her. All of a sudden, just like that, she walked away to the center of the ring.

Another memory is when a friend’s box truck started on fire while driving on the highway, and he pulled off to the side of the road. Stan saw the smoke and pulled over behind him, and went into the burning truck to help him get all the dogs out to safety.

At a crowded dog show, two dogs got into a fight. This was many years ago, so I’m not sure of the two breeds, but I think it was a Bull Terrier and a Miniature Schnauzer. The owners were screaming and didn’t know what to do. Stan came up behind the Bull Terrier, grabbed his “privates,” and broke up the fight.

After Rollie died, I put a “for sale” sign in our Canine Traveler truck, hoping someone at the shows would buy it. At a small show in northern Wisconsin, Stan told me I should take the sign out of the window — he sold the truck to Jimmy Moses!

Once we needed another hand showing an English Cocker, and this dog was inexperienced and a little uptight with new people. Stan said he would show him, knelt down and spent some time with him. Within minutes the dog was fascinated and in love with Stan, and they won a major that day!

Stan had a greeting for Rollie that made us laugh every time. Stan would shake Rollie’s hand and say, “Hello, f… face.”  

At the shows, Stan was always the first one up and exercising his dogs outside the bus. That’s how I’ll remember Stan, one of the nicest, most talented handlers ever.


Daniel M. Mehling

New Orleans, Louisiana 

Stan and Jane with the big bus at the Midwest shows. Stan was always very soft spoken. I was amazed at how he handled and brought out the best in any dog he showed. 


James L. Eden

Woodbridge, Virginia

I remember Stan at the American Boxer Club National Specialty in 1978, at the Woodbridge, New Jersey, armory, winning BOB with Ch. Sarazak’s Moonglo under judge Donald Starkweather. The other contender was Ch. Salgray’s Market Wise with Jane Forsyth on the lead.  The armory was filled to capacity with exhibitors from all over the U.S., Canada, Japan and Hong Kong. Moonglo “Glory” was a stunning dark brindle bitch with near perfect flash. Market Wise, a well-conditioned, flashy fawn dog.

Each trip around the ring elicited more cheers from the large crowd around the ring! Stan was at his best and somehow got more energy out of “Glory” each time around the ring. She was on fire, and the crowd knew it. Market Wise was showing well, but this night belonged to “Glory”!

The last time around the ring, Market Wise in the lead, judge Starkweather pointed to Stan and Glory — the crowd went wild, cheering, whistling and applauding the beautiful typey bitch that had just gone Best of Breed over an entry of 385 boxers! It was a great night for Stan and a great night for the sport! It was the most exciting show in my memory and would be a wonderful highlight in Stan’s handling career. 


Mark Jaeger

Mason, Michigan

He wasn't afraid to go up against conventions. I remember seeing him at Grayslake with a beautiful Boxer that had uncropped ears.


Barbara Burns

Freeport, Illinois

Stan was a big presence during my time in Gordon Setters. I was showing a special in the Midwest during the time that the number-one Gordon was also shown in the Midwest. We were constantly showing against each other. They were different styles, and the other one was on a big, well-known handler.

I asked Stan at the International shows in Chicago if he could show my dog, and he took one look at him and said, "Now, that is a Gordon Setter." He agreed to show him and continued to show him a few times. After being shown, again, against the number-one Gordon, Stan came up to me after a show in Illinois and said that he thought the other dog has such a strong hold in the breed that he didn't think he could break the hold the other Gordon had. 

I appreciated his honesty, and I took my dog home and sent the money I owed him. A few weeks later, I got the money back. That displayed a real ethical behavior that I will always remember in Stan and Jane. They really liked my dog, and Stan was so good with him, which also impressed me immensely. RIP, both Stan and Jane now that they are together.  


Beverly Capstick

The Villages, Florida

Stan the Man with the golden hands! Always present in our area with the flowers hanging from the mirrors of his beloved Provost Bus. His getting up EARLY to exercise his dogs and getting all dogs nearby joining in the chorus. He was a true friend if he liked you, but heaven help you if he didn’t! A true dog man who I will dearly miss. The dog world has lost an icon. RIP, my friend.  


Susan Howell Hamlin

Elmira, New York

The funny thing is — I’ve never met Stanley Flowers. However, our paths kind of crossed more than 70 years ago.

Back in 1953, I was named by the Gaines Dog Research Center as “Girl Show Dog Fancier” of 1952. That same year, Stanley was named “Boy Show Dog Fancier” by Gaines. We both started out in dogs as kids and have both stayed involved in dogs all our lives. Stanley became well known as a handler, while I bred and showed Afghan Hounds, probably best known for BIS and SBIS Ch. Ninth Turn Argus in the 1970s. I also judged and became an emeritus judge this past summer after judging for 52 years. I’m still involved with dogs by hosting Cornell vet students attending the Wine Country Circuit in upstate New York. 

Pat Trotter also won the Gaines award — I believe the year before my award. It would be interesting to learn the names of all the teens who won those awards and if they stayed with their wonderful love of their dog hobby.


Christina Freitag 

Louisville, Kentucky

Stan and Jane taught me the correct way to photograph bully breeds. You should see two legs or three; never four. 

I enjoyed talking politics with Stan. He had great political commentary and insight.


Shilon Bedford

New Germany, Minnesota

Before I applied for Boxers, Stan would spend time mentoring me in the breed, and he was always available to talk about the breed and continue my education. Have missed seeing him in the ring.


Rhonda J. Chesley 

Shelton, Washington

Despite being a very busy handler, Stanley Flowers took time with a novice owner-handler and gave me tips to improve. Stanley was always helpful and friendly to me. 


Delores Burkholder

Rockton, Illinois

We had known Stan long before he came to Minnesota. Stan and Jane would save us a parking spot near them. We often helped each other at shows. At our last kennel we lived close to a wonderful butcher shop that made their own sausage. Stan loved the bologna they made, and we would get it for him. So many shows where we spent time together.

One thing that so many people say about Stan was he had great hands on the dogs. He could make every Boxer look like a BIS dog.



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