The Essence Of The Afghan Hound
(In collaboration with The Afghan Hound Times)
Tribute to Georgiana Guthrie (1923-2009)
(First Printed and Reprinted with Permission by the AKC Gazette)
Author Patricia H. Gilbert
Even though it was a shock to all of us, we knew that Georgiana Guthrie, known to her friends as Georgie, was not one to linger.
Catherine Harker, a dear friend of Georgie's, wrote, "With great sadness, I confirm that Georgie died yesterday (Saturday, August 15, 2009), at about 6:55 pm. It was very quick and sudden."
Georgie was the Afghan Hound Club of America's breed columnist for the AKC GAZETTE for decades. She was an institution. She never did have a computer or e-mail! She did it the old-fashioned way, relying on a typewriter and "snail mail."
She was an incredible presence in the U.S. Afghan Hound world, not only as a breeder but also as a conformation judge. She and her Charikar Afghan Hounds were famous for over 50 years. She dearly loved them and had more than 20 at one time during her heyday. She was a dedicated breeder and exhibitor until the day she passed away. She was also instrumental in helping to establish the Pharaoh Hound in this country.
"Georgie was a fearless, independent, and intelligent woman … quietly being the person she wanted and chose to be," wrote Harker.
Georgie chose many paths throughout her life.
In 1946, when she was 22 years old, she chose to marry Richard (Dick) Guthrie, an American bomber pilot. They moved to Biloxi, Mississippi. She deeply loved Dick and lived with him for more than 63 years.
The Guthries loved to hike in the Joshua Tree desert of California, as well as the deserts of Utah and Colorado. They covered much of Mexico as well.
Georgie was compassionate and passionate about land and animal conservation, and she specifically loved tortoises.
Not many people knew Georgie had a degree in anthropology. She was profoundly concerned about the plight of the American Indians. She raised funds and worked with the charity Southwest Indian Foundation in New Mexico.
A few months ago, my husband Ed and I sat at dinner with the Guthries. Even though we were at the Ibizan Hound national, the subject turned to Afghan Hounds. We talked about ideas for her column. We talked about the past and the future of the breed.
Georgie was very touched when I remarked that regardless of fashion or what anyone thought, she had a vision of the breed according to the breed standard. This has been very evident in the Charikar Afghan Hounds through the decades. Georgie never wavered in her commitment to the breed and always stayed true to her vision.
She was almost lost for words. She thanked me with a twinkle (or was it tears?) in her eyes. You could still occasionally surprise her.
I will miss sitting ringside with her. Her one-liners were always great.
God speed, Georgie.
Sadly, late-breaking news brought the following addendum:
Richard H. Guthrie, devoted husband to Georgiana, Afghan Hound judge and enthusiast, World War II veteran, attorney, and naturalist, passed away quietly on December 24, 2009
Patricia H. Gilbert, Columnist
Afghan Hound Club of America
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