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Monday, February 13, 2012

The Australian Poppleschnotz Breed History

The Australian Poppleschnotz is a very, very ancient breed, believed to have been developed in Ancient Eygpt as a companion for temple cats. Several rare tomb paintings depict the APS along with Gods and Goddesses and as companions for wealthy ladies. The short legs were desirable and carefully bred, as was the distinctive spotted coat.
Through trade, the APS went then to Cyprus and thence onto the European continent where the short legged dog became the rage of what is now Germany in the Dark Ages, having been brought from Rome by the conquering Franks. This dog, relatively unrefined, became the Deustch Poppleschotz.
Another branch went from Eygpt to what is now modern Jordan, thence to Persia and then India. If you look carefully, there are some highly rare pottery portraits that show this journey. East India traders then brought several APS to Australia where refinements where done to the breed. Down Under they were called Short Legg'd Mates.
In the late 18th century, a German immigrant Baron Heinreich von Schtopp brought a pair of Deutsch Popplesnotzen to Virginia. Unfortunately, this pair was lost in a card game to an unscrupulous Whiskey distiller from Kentucky, Max "One Eye" Darrow in 1792 in Williamsburg.
The breed was thought extinct until the early part of the 20th century, when Frau Freida Schtopp (one of the early women automotive pioneers), having lost a tire in the Blue Ridge Mts. saw a little short legged dog and immediately recognized it as indentical to dogs she had seeen in etchings and paintings at her Great Uncle Carl's schloss, in the Black Forest. She bought the little dog back to Pennsylvania and called him "Popple." The little dog was being used to turn bourbon stills.
At a party Frau Schtopp attended on Long Island in 1912, she met an attractive Australian from a sheep ranch near Alice Springs, Mac McFeirson. He noticed her portrait pendant of Popple and declared that he, had a "bloody bonzer little dog who looks like yours, sheila! And she's a Sheila too!" Mac, at great expense, brought his female over to the US. Popps and Pippi produced 3 fine ltters; Mac and Freida produced 2 fine sons, Mac Jr. and Fritzie.
Alas, for the APS, as the breed in known amongst inner circles, Mac Sr. was lost at Gallipoli in WW1, Freida was never the same and the boys were eventually adopted by their Nurse, Nanny Darrow along with the entire known stock of APS in America. Nanny Darrow and the McFierson sons went back to her home state of Kentucky. Fritzie returned to Germany to try and regain control of the Schtopp fortunes but was lost during the Second World War. Mac Jr. upon his majority, sold off the remaining APS stock that he had to settle gambling debts incurred by his foster mother, Nanny Darrow (who was a lineal descedent of that same 19th century gambler, Ol' One Eye.)
Once thought lost, specimens were spotted by rare breed fanciers here and there, mostly in the back woods of PA, KY, VA, and W. Va. A resilient woman, Martha Winsom, a great world traveler, recognized the little back woods' dog for what it truly was, the rare Poppleschnotz. In 1960, she bought 5 APS, (2 males and 3 females) and 3 cases of fine Kentucky bourbon. With a stud she found in Australia, near Adelaide, began a very controlled breeding program.
Her granddaughter, Matty Windom-Zoblocnik is the current President of the APSCA (APS Club of America).

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