In the mid-50’s, Marcia Wheeler decided to start breeding Dachshunds. Although just out of college, she was lucky enough to acquire some outstanding breeding stock, all of whom had been very successful in the show ring. With this great start, Marcia became a staple of Dachshund events in the Metropolitan Washington DC area along with Mary Howell, Fran Colonna and Barbara Lovering, her great friend and breeding partner.
First came CH Saber of Gera, an all-breed BIS winner who had been campaigned by Woody Dorward on the west coast. He went on to win several more groups under the Willo-Mar banner. Saber was sired by CH Badger Hill Nobby and out of Lisa of Gera. He was also a littermate brother to BIS CH Sinbad of Gera.
Marcia’s foundation bitch was CH Hainheim’s Olinda. Olinda, who had been acquired from Jeannette Cross, was a multiple group winner and Westminster BV winner. She was sired by the great CH Hainheim’s Lance out of Adora v Marienlust, who was from another strong-producing line. Bred together, Lance and Adora produced seven champions, several of whom became group winners and placers.
Above is Marcia with (later CH) Willo-Mar’s Lucky Strike (a Saber son), judge Jeannette Cross, CH Willo-Mar’s Queen of Spades (Saber ex Olinda) and owner Barbara Lovering at an Old Dominion KC show in 1958.
Marcia also acquired CH Zwei v Dorville. Zwei was yet another group winning dog and had been shown by Woody Dorward for owner Faye Dorville of California. Bred to CH Saber, Zwei produced the BIS winner CH Willo-Mar’s Firebrand, who was acquired by Faye Dorville and shown, like his dam, by Woody Dorward.
Bred to CH Willo-Mar’s Ace of Spades (Saber ex Olinda), Zwei produced the glamorous CH Willo-Mar’s Night and Day, DCA 1962 Best of Breed winner. Co-owned with Barbara Lovering, Night and Day was also the granddam of legendary CH Crosswynd’s Cracker Jack.
Saber’s third BIS winner bred by Willo-Mar was CH Willo-Mar’s Lucky Star, who was owned by Pat DeBrun and handled by Jerry Rigden. One of three champion littermates, Lucky Star was out of Bayard Elise, a Bencelia/Calyla/Gera-bred smooth.
With that great beginning, Marcia set the foundation for breeding top quality smooths. She bred them well into the 1980s. When the Willo-Mar “family” arrived at shows, it was normally four generations deep, consisting of Mrs. Florence Parker (Marcia’s mother), Bill, Marcia, their daughter, Sharon Kachouee (who preferred standard longhairs) and Lisa, Sharon’s daughter. Always pleasant, impeccable and fun with great senses of humor, it was a pleasure when they attended, either judging or exhibiting.
At her final DCA judging assignment, Marcia awarded Best of Variety to CH Laddland A Wing and A Prayer and remarked how reminiscent he was of CH Crosswynd’s Cracker Jack.
Dan Harrison, July 2012