Our Club's History

A woman by the name of Carol Hapke & her friend Merle Marsh had an idea and on January 10th 1988, the PUGET SOUND SHIH TZU FANCIERS held their first meeting at Merle Marsh's home in Bellevue, WA. These two ladies were both Poodle people but, also, they both had Shih Tzu & felt the Seattle Shih Tzu people needed their own club. At the time, the nearest Shih Tzu Club was in Portland, Ore. They set a date, placed an ad in Ranny Green's Column in the Seattle Times as to the time, place, and a phone number to call for more info and waited for January 11 to come. 

I remember that first night quite well. There were about fifteen or sixteen very enthusiastic Shih Tzu owners who showed up to talk about their beloved dogs. We all agreed we were there to form a club, so we set a regular meeting day for our monthly. Carol had a rough draft of by laws which we approved with a few brief minus's and plus's and we were formed.

The meetings were to be held on the first Tuesday of each month for the time being and until we could settle on a permanent meeting place. We met a Merle Marsh's for about six or seven months then moved from Merle's to the downtown Issaquah, WA, Fire Station. (Carol lived in Issaquah, so, we could were able to meet there for free!) After about a year or so, we alternated between a couple two or three of the members’ homes from the north end to the south end. Our membership grew and we outgrew home meetings, so we went to having "dinner meetings" at local restaurants- which we still do.

Our first AKC - A-OA Match was held at the Manhattan Center in Burien, WA, on January 30, 1993. The second A-OA Match was held at the King County Fairgrounds in conjunction with the Olympic Kennel Club’s Dog Show on August 21, 1993. Our first Annual Specialty Show was held at the King County Fairgrounds on August 19th, 1994, again, in conjunction with OKC Dog Show. We now host our Specialty on an annual basis, and always on the Friday preceding the back-to-back Olympic Kennel Club shows.

We had sixteen charter members at that first meeting in 1988 and of those we still have eight charter members. Carol Hapke was President of the Club from 1988 to 1992, Beverly LaCore from 1992 to 1999 and Carole Delaney from 1999 till 2001.

Respectfully submitted- Beverly G. La Core