RIVER BEND AND MAPLEHURSTTHE FOUNDATION YEARSCompiled and written by Margaretta WoodThey say sisters are different flowers that grow in the same garden, and so it was with the sisters Warren. Sylvia Warren was humorous and outspoken, Katherine Warren Thayer, orderly and diplomatic. Separate yet equal, these two ladies of strong New England stock are part of the tapestry that weaves its way to the present.Sylvia Warren’s River Bend Farm was located, by no small coincidence, in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, and it was on this farm, in 1939, that her first drop-ear Norwich “Bruff” came to live. By Trump of Boxted out of Muffin, this dog was a gift from the Partree Kennels of Josephine Spencer, and while he only sired one litter it proved the point that from small acorns come mighty oaks. The result of breeding Bruff to Henry Bixby’s “Jenny Pinch” was CH. Tuff, CD, who proved to be an outstanding and prolific American-bred sire. A power at both River bend and Partree this dog of sound type and temperament also laid the foundation for, among others, the premier kennels of Bethway and Castle Point. Mary Baird loved to tell the story, “I bred to Sylvia Warren’s Tuff not only because he was an exceptional dog, but balso from sentiment. His grandfather was my original (drop-ear) Norwich, Snuff, a black and tan I had owned in England in 1930. CH. Tuff contributed a dark eye, bone, a perfect scissor bite, harsh, red coat, intelligence and independence. He sired my very first champion, Castle Point Simon”. Barbara Fournier attributed her success line-breeding to CH. Tuff. “I bred my foundation bitch, Kedron Cobbler Biscuit, back to her grandsire Tuff. The result of that unionb produced my first champion, Bethway’s Brigham Young, a cornerstone stud at Bethway”.In 1946, Tuff was mated to Kedron Dorcas which resulted in two bitches, Pippet and Solo. This event might have proved insignificant were it not for the fact that Sylvia Warren gave Pippet to her sister. And in very short order our breed had its first goodwill ambassador.
Sylvia Warren (1897-1972) pictured with Ch. Puff, CDX and her daughter, Ch. River Bend Pepper. Puff was Miss Warren's first prick ear Norwich bred from drop ear parents .“Few of the present NTC members can quite appreciate what were our beginnings in the show ring-class after class with one or two entires and judges who glanced at them with a ‘what-breed-is-that’ look.”