Killarney Lady

Week 11: #52 Ancestors – Fortune

By Eilene Lyon

The Struss family may have hailed from Germany, but not their dogs. The Putterer’s grandfather, Carl F. Struss, bred Irish setters. One of them, Killarney Lady, achieved a tiny measure of fame. In 1937, she “whelped thirteen of the finest pups that any breeder could wish to see.” Call that the “Luck o’ the Irish.”

Frances Struss with Killarney Lady and her pups in July 1937. (Family collection)

One of the pups didn’t survive the first night, but most of the rest were sold “to men and women who are good judges of dog flesh.” Carl fed his purebreds only one type of dry food: Lucky Dog Food. But he was a bit peeved that he had to make a 90-mile round trip from Peoria, Illinois, to Bloomington to buy it.

You could say that as a breeder, he was spending a fortune on kibble.

Carl F. Struss with his daughter, Fran. (Family collection)

Naturally, he wrote a letter to the company, touting his brand loyalty and requesting that they find a distributor in his home town. It was the only dry food Killarney Lady would deign to devour and her pups, too. And as Carl put it, “I don’t believe you could find any dogs in the country that are any more healthy and happy than those twelve pups.”

Hales and Hunter Co. ate it up. They put the letter, a photo of Carl, and a picture of some of the pups on a marketing flyer.

Let’s hope they also sent Carl a few free bags of dog food and set up a supplier in Peoria!

Feature image: Cleo M. (Gee) Struss and Frances Struss with two of their Irish setters. (Family collection)

35 thoughts on “Killarney Lady

Add yours

  1. That’s a great story! That company had a smart marketing director. I love listening to “Under the Influence” It’s a CBC Radio documentary by Terry O’Reilly. It looks at the shift in advertising and marketing, sounds dry but it is actually quite interesting and sometimes humorous. This is the kind of story would be great on his show.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Advertising really has changed over the years wars, but in some ways still relies on customer testimony. Except now the testimony is through social media “influencers” that I don’t think I’d trust at all. Carl’s testimony seems more genuine to me.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, I am leary of social media testimonies, who are these people?? They may be genuine, how knows. But, when you take the time to write the letter there is just something more trustworthy about that.

        Liked by 2 people

Please share your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

Eilene Lyon

Author, Speaker, Family Historian

bleuwater

thoughts about parenting and life from below the surface

Northwest Journals

tiny histories

Writing in Progress

... stories of significant others ...

Coach Carole Ramblings

Celtic, Mythical and More ...

In So Many Words

Creative writing inspired by life, love, laughter ... and a horse named Shakespeare

Forgotten Ancestors

Tracing The Faces

The Patchwork Genealogist

Uncovering Family Legacies One Stitch at a Time

Family Finds

Adventures in Genealogy

What's Going On @ ACGSI

Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana Blog

sue clancy

visual stories: fine art, artist books, illustrated gifts

Ask the Agent

Night Thoughts of a Literary Agent

Joy Neal Kidney

Family and local stories and history, favorite books

UNREMEMBERED

A History of the Famously Interesting and Mostly Forgotten

Gerry's Family History

Sharing stories from my family history

Rhyme Schemes and Daydreams

Things That Interest Me

Women Writing the West Blog

Writing about experiences of women and girls in the North American West.

Author J.v.L. Bell

Exploring the Past to Improve the Future

thedihedral.wordpress.com/

Climbing, Outdoors, Life!

%d bloggers like this: