Edith Izant was introduced to the Kerry Blue Terrier in the 1940’s, going on to become a renowned and respected owner, breeder, exhibitor, author and AKC judge. She and her husband, Heard, bred Kerry Blue’s under the Townshend kennel prefix, producing numerous champions in conformation and obedience. She was a pioneer in training Kerry Blues in obedience, learning from practical experience. Although she occasionally used handlers, Edith did most of her own trimming and handling.
Edith had a keen eye for a Kerry. Her “marked” catalogs, with a description of each dog being shown, were famous among the fancy. Beginning in 1945, she wrote columns for Popular Dogs. She also served as breed columnist for AKC Gazette, and wrote The Kerry Blue Terrier (William W. Denlinger, 1982) with a foreward written by Dr. E. S. Montgomery. She also served as an AKC judge of conformation, obedience and junior showmanship, honored by AKC for her 50 years of service.
Edith was always willing to share her knowledge and experience. She was a founder of the Kerry Blue Terrier Club of Southern California, remaining active until the last few years. She worked actively for the USKBTC, serving multiple terms on the USKBTC Board of Governors; she contributed her expertise to the 1958, 1968, 1976, 1985, and 1992 editions of the USKBTC’s Kerry Blue Terrier Handbook. Edith also allowed the USKBTC to sell her grooming chart, and donated all profits from the sale back to USKBTC Charitable Funds. Edith was a true icon of the breed.
Note: Heard Izant, Edith’s husband of 67 years, died one week after Edith’s passing.
Condensed from the dedication written by Carol and Rich Basler, Margo Steinman, Barbara Beuter, and Gretchen Quinn, which appeared in the USKBTC National Specialty Show section of the 2005 Montgomery County Kennel Club catalog.