Afghan Hound Times
(Afghan Hound Database and Breed Information Exchange)
Dr and Mrs Frank Porter Miller
(By Steve Tillotson, January 2016)
Dr Miller stated that "The inherent love of a thoroughbred" was the reason for taking up dog judging. The "dog game" was his No1 hobby and 'definitely not a business". Dr Miller practiced medicine in California, he was a specialist in tuberculosis and had a sanitorium near Los Angeles. He also bred thoroughbred racing horses and ranks with the top breeders in the US. A thoroughbred horse bred by Dr Miller ("Count Turf") won the Kentucky Derby in 1951.
Dr Miller was a Charter member of the San Bernadino Valley Kennel Club and judge of their first show held in January 1930. Dr Miller was an All Breed and BIS Judge. He was also President of the Pasadena Kennel Club. As well as breeding and exhibiting Afghan hounds, Dr Miller also exhibited Wire-haired terriers, one of which Keythorpe Pansy went BIS at the San Frascico Show, Feb 1933. Dr Miller was a judge for over 30 years and was an exhibitor long before that (starting around 1917). He chose Afghan hounds and Wire Fox Terriers as his two favourite breeds.
We dont have a precise date of when Dr and Mrs Miller became active in the breed, indications are this occured around the late 1930's. Dr and Mrs Miller obtained three Afghan hounds that form the nucleus of their kennel -
-Blue Mist Of Egypt (Tazi Of Beg Tute x Saki Of Paghman), a bitch, whelped 1937-08-13
-Sahib Of Prides Hill (Badshah Of Ainsdart x Shireen Of Prides Hill) a dog, whelped 1939-01-12
-Fatima's Queen Of Sheba (Nadir Khan (1937) x Fatima's Daughter Peri) a bitch whelped 1939-07-05
Dr and Mrs Miller bred only two litters from the above foundations, but as we will see, this breeding activity proved to be very significant
Before we get into Dr Millers breeding activities let's take some time to reflect upon the Afghan hound situation in the USA around the time that Dr and Mrs Miller became involved in the breed -
While Afghan hounds arrived in the USA in the early 1920's these early lines expired and do not exist in our pedigree history. The breed started to become established several years later, around 1932 via the Prides Hill Kennel when the breeding pair Westmill Omar and Asra Of Ghazni, imported from England via Zeppo Marx ended up at Prides Hill. Their first litter being bred at Prides Hill in 1932. Pre-dating the Prides Hill imports there was Fatima who was imported from India four years earlier. But when Fatima arrived, there were no other active Afghan hound kennels to acquire breeding stock from. After Prides Hill the next arrivals were Laurence Peters breeding pair Tazi of Beg Tute and Saki Of Paghman which arrived from Afghanistan in 1934 The remaining founding kennel was Kandahar in the South West who imported Tufan of Ainsdart (brother to Badshah of Ainsdart who went to Prides Hill on the east coast), both imported to the USA in 1932. So when Dr and Mrs Miller, decided to get into the breed they really had limited choices due to the small population available that was scattered around the USA. We should remember that by the mid 1930's Dr Miller was already an establshed breeder of Wire Coated Terriers, and he had been a judge travelling the breadth of the USA for the previous 20 years. Thus, Dr Miller would likely have known what Afghan hound kennels existed and where they were located, and likely knew about their origins and differences in type.
It appears that Dr and Mrs Miller first hound was Blue Mist Of Egypt bred by Laurence Peters in Washington. Their second hound was Sahib Of Prides Hill bred by Q A Shaw Mckean of Prides Hill kennels in Massachusetts , their third hound was Fatima's Queen Of Sheba bred by Caroline Hall Richmonds Fatima kennels in southern California. Whether this was a planned sequence of acquisitions, or whether it was just how it worked out as a matter of pragmatism, availability and opportunity, we don't know. But it is noteworthy that this first time Afghan hound breeder established a kennel which included ALL the available bloodlines of the era. (We note he didn't have Kandahar lineage in his collection, but he had Kandahar's Tufan of Ainsdart lineage via his Prides Hill stock).
It is generally understood that the origins of the USA breed trace back to Prides Hill via Badshah of Ainsdart, Westmill Omar, Asra Of Ghazni and their offspring, but that is too simplistic a view, because the signifigance of Laurence Peters imports (Tazi and Saki), and Caroline Hall Richmonds Fatima import cannot be discounted. As we will see shortly. Smals kennel, such as those of Dr and Mrs Miller were influential in the development of the breed in the USA. Let's review a couple of pedigrees....
So in the first pedigree we can see that Dr and Mrs Miller stud dog Sinbad the Sailor is the sire of Kay Finch's foundation hound Felts Thief Of Baghdad. Also Dr and Mrs Miller bred Big Carmelita, doubling up on the influence of Dr and Mrs Millers breeding in this famous Crown Crest pedigree.
In the second pedigree, very similar, except the breeding is to Felts Fatima (litter sister to Big Carmelita). Producing yet another famous and important hound for Kay Finch at Crown Crest
The final pedigree to mention at this stage. The Late Henry Dietzgen (Mahimmar) explained to me once where the key to Grandeur breeding was to be found. He informed me - "Sunny said to him when he asked her that same question - ""follow the string of pearls"". We note that Blue Pearl of Grandeur (coming out of Dr Miller's breeding) is the beginning of that Grandeur string of pearls.
Given that Dr and Mrs Millers hounds were significant to both Kay Finch and Sunny Shay's breeding programs, it is logical to conclude that Dr and Mrs Miller's small kennel is also deserving of recognition for their contribution to the breed development.
To conclude this brief article, below is a photo of Dr Miller shown in a famous Joan Ludwig photo judging Virginia Withington's Am Mex Ch Pandora Of Stormhill at Glendale Kennel Club Show in 1964
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