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.”
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.
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)