Barbara Chappell, a long time Bichon Frise fancier and frequent exhibior, passed away today of heart failure. She was 89 years old.
Coming west from New England in the early 50’s, Barbara started her show days handling her own standard poodles. In the early 80’s she discovered the Bichon Frise and was introduced to Kathie Vogel, Mayree Butler, and Danielle Ardagna who became her early mentors. Soon after that Jim Lockwood and Alison Hardy were her local sounding boards. Barbara then turned her experience and insight into becoming a mentor for others interested in the breed.
Barbara’s breeding program involved some of the earliest lines and her kennel name was Taywyn. I’m sure many of you will recognize her line in pedigrees of dogs still in the show ring today.
Her petite, positive, energetic personality and big smile were most evident when you’d see her around the show ring. Win or lose, Barbara was happy to be at the shows surrounded by other Bichon fanciers. She absolutely loved the breed and was always happy to share her insight and experience. For many that came after her, she was more than a mentor and ambassador for the breed. She was someone whom everyone called their friend.