Snowbear Great Pyrenees

Mary and Francis Crane
A Tribute
A History
An Special Feature Article
Steve Berman

Mary Crane brought the first Great Pyrenees from France to American shores for the purpose of establishing the Great Pyrenees breed in America.

Mary Crane brought the first Pyrenean Sheepdog from France to American shores for the purpose of establishing the Pyrenean Sheepdog breed in America.

French breed authority M. Senac - Lagrange selected Houzard des Fontanettes for Mary Crane as the ideal Pyrenean Sheepdog to introduce and launch the breed in America.

Mary Crane would later import several additional Pyrenean Sheepdogs from France to her home in Needham, Massachusetts although she did not actively pursue a true launch of the Pyrenean Sheepdog breed in America.

Houzard des Fontanettes was the first Pyrenean Sheepdog entered at an American Kennel Club show.

Mary Crane brought America's first Pyrenean Sheepdog to her Ladies' Dog Club annual social gathering two weeks prior to the prestigious Eastern Dog Club show.  

Houzard des Fontanettes and his Pyrenean Sheepdog breed of France were ”formally introduced” to prominent Boston area breeders and exhibitors, dog lovers of Boston society and of course

to the prestigious Boston press corps including....
The Boston Herald
Wednesday, February 6, 1935
Sire: Cabri de Lucvielle

Houzard des Fontanettes
w. June 10, 1933
Breeder: Emma Roux
Owner: Mary and Francis Valentine Crane

Dam: Babette

At the Eastern Dog Club show the promising young Pyrenean Sheepdog was entered in the Miscellaneous Class, entry number 2052.

The Miscellaneous Class was judged Thursday evening, February 21, 1935 by prominent judge Mr. Alfred Delmont.

Houzard boasted a beautiful blue-gray coat and caught the eye and admiration of many dog fanciers with his striking appearance and his energetic personality.

One writer, quite taken with the young French import, affectionately referred to him as "Paddle-paws".

Houzard had received an enthusiastic response by the American dog public and his selection by Mons. Senac - Lagrange as an "ideal" specimen to launch the breed in America was upheld.

In 1935 the future of the Pyrenean Sheepdog breed in America showed bright promise.

Fate in the form of distemper, that taker of dogs and the scourge of breeders, was to break the

bright promise of the Pyrenean Sheepdog future in America.

Distemper claimed Houzard just a few months after his heralded arrival in America.

Although Mary Crane had her bitch Susie (Soumise, imported to be bred to Houzard) and later in 1940 her puppy Berger, Mary did not pursue a true breed launch and AKC recognition for the breed.

Mary Crane, Basquaerie Reg., Needham Massachusetts
was the first to import and to exhibit two breeds at American Kennel Club shows,
the Great Pyrenees and the Pyrenean Sheepdog.

This  original article appeared on a website we designed and  authored
as a Basquaerie Great Pyrenees tribute and memorial website.

Select pages from our Basquaerie website have been relocated to this website.

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