Noreen Clark and Helen Hewson-Fruend

Noreen Clark

Noreen ClarkNOREEN CLARK grew up in Wallacia, a dairying area west of Sydney, New South Wales. During her childhood she knew and admired many excellent working Cattle Dogs and her first dog was the pup of one of them.

Noreen trained first as a Librarian but eventually found this a rather limiting profession. She went on to take BA (Hons) and later MSc (Hons) in Geology from Macquarie University. She found life as a Geologist with the Geological Survey of New South Wales much more to her taste particularly when it involved petroleum exploration in the far northwest corner of the State.

Interest in obedience training drew Noreen into the pure bred dog world in the 1970s,when she acquired her first registered Australian Cattle Dog "Fang" - faithful companion during her degree fieldwork. Noreen bred her first ACD litter in 1982 under the Tirlta prefix. A pup from this litter was to become Aust Ch Tirlta Rexie.

Noreen soonNoreen bred her first ACD litter in 1982 under the Tirlta prefix. realised that she lacked the knowledge necessary to develop further as a dog breeder. She enrolled in the Dog Breeding Certificate offered by Canine Evaluators of Australasia and through it gained both a greater understanding of dog breeding (particularly of genetics) and the friendship of Dr Helen Hewson-Fruend.

A Dog Called Blue, is dedicated to Helen Hewson-Fruend. Quite unintentionally she started it all by inspiring an interest in tracking heritable disease (particularly prcd-PRA) in ACDs.  She gave her editorial experience to the book and contributed three important chapters.  She died in 2007.

From 1996, Noreen was in regular communication with Dr Greg Acland (Cornell University) and organised collection of DNA from Australian ACDs to support his research on prcd-PRA.

In 2001, Noreen's negotiations with OptiGen resulted in OptiGen establishing an agent laboratory in Australia, to facilitate DNA testing for Australian dog breeders.  She organised the first Australian OptiGen 20/20 Clinic, in 2002.  Noreen also established coat colour DNA testing with VetGen.

Helen Hewson-Fruend

HELEN HEWSON-FRUEND was born in Benalla, Victoria, and raised on a farm in the nearby district of Barjarg. Stock dogs and other farm dogs were an integral part of her life. She was a student at the Universities of Melbourne and Sydney; majored in Botany gaining First Class Honours in genetics. Her PhD combined her interest in the taxonomy of plants together with their genetics.

While on a field trip in New Guinea she met Leon Fruend, and so began a more serious involvement with stock dogs. In 1969, they purchased their first Australian Cattle Dog Hardview Topflight for stock work on a property near Yass, New South Wales, and in 1970 Narango Skipper (Bos). With Bos, Helen began a show and pure-bred dog-world career.

Leon Fruend and Helen,
with Bos, Narango Skipper.

She decided to give the dog-world what she was best at, her knowledge of genetics combined with experience in education. She began writing and lecturing on the canine genetics and related subjects.

Leon's death left Her writings for the Pal Digest won for her the Pal Pulitzer Award for dog writing. Helen unable to promote the Australian Cattle Dog successfully to the rural industry, so she discontinued the Freuson prefix and concentrated on breeding and exhibiting Hungarian Pulis under a new prefix, Pusztapuly.

In 1980, Helen gained her Working Dog Licence and began a judging career while actively pursuing her writing and education contribution to the pure-bred dog world. She became a member of the Dog Writers Association of America and in 1988 won an award for her article, Dingoes, Domestication and Delusion, published in the Pal Digest. Her writings for the Pal Digest also won for her the Pal Pulitzer Award for dog writing.

Helen went on to gain a Dog Judging Diploma with the Canine Studies Institute, UK. This led to her setting up Canine Evaluators of Australasia to run Canine Studies Institute correspondence courses (under licence) in the Australasian region. In this way, Helen helped numerous people to make a much more satisfying career for themselves in the dog world.