Sharon Smith Myers was an active member of the FCRSA from approximately 1970 until her premature death from cancer in 1990. She served the Society in numerous capacities, including as its President and as a key organizer of the first National Specialty held in Illinois in 1978. She had a strong influence in building the FCRSA into the strong national organization it is today.
Sharon was born in the Chicago area and lived there almost all her life, with the exception of her college years and her last 2-1/2 years. In 1963 she married Jerry Myers. They had two sons, Michael and Todd, who were her top priorities--she was enormously proud of them.
I met Sharon in 1975, when I was attending college in Wisconsin. She was my sponsor for the FCRSA, helped me with my first Flat-Coat, and introduced me to competitive obedience. We became very close friends, spending endless hours talking dogs, doing dogs, and sharing our personal lives. Our friendship continued, even when I moved to Texas in 1978 and when she moved to Cleveland in 1987. There were always weekly phone calls and yearly visits.
Her last two years were difficult, as cancer limited her activities. I fondly remember her driving somewhere in the Midwest in the summer of 1989 to attend a hunting test. The photograph of Sharon that appears here was taken during her trip to Thailand; this was a trip she had wanted to take for many years and was the last time she and Jerry were able to travel together. Sharon shared her life with four Flat-Coats: CH Rascher of Robicia CD, Mantayo Black Watch Reckless Am Can CDX, Windfall Preferred Stock JH WCX, and Destiny Going in Style JH. Her first activities with her Flat-Coats were obedience and conformation; later she became interest in field training, but she was already ill by the time she began to enter field events.
Her activities with the FCRSA illustrate how a person who is neither a breeder nor a serious competitor can have a profound, lasting, and positive influence on the breed, and perhaps more importantly, on the people in the breed. Sharon had impeccable ethics--she never gossiped about anyone or their dogs, she did not repeat information without verifying that it was true, and she did not let politics or petty personal differences interfere with her efforts to improve Flat-Coated Retrievers and the FCRSA. She always treated people graciously and warmly, whether they were longtime members or newcomers.
Sharon was very concerned about improving the working ability of Flat-Coats, maintaining type and soundness, and in safeguarding their health. It was with this in mind that Jerry Myers presented a sizable donation to the FCRSA in Sharon's memory. This gift was made at the 1990 Specialty in Massachusetts, five months after Sharon's death. Thus, Sharon's influence on Flat-Coats and the people who love them will continue well into the next century.