In July of 1987 an unusual group of people gathered voluntarily to discuss the possibility of establishing a club devoted to the showing, training and enjoyment of the Rottweiler. The ultimate goal was to work with the public for purposes of education and, in the distant future, perhaps attain the necessary status to hold a recognized AKC Sanctioned Specialty Show.
Club names were submitted for consideration. All of them reflected something special about Florida and the proximity to the state’s capital, Tallahassee. After discussion it was agreed that the inclusion of the name Seminole would be appropriate, the Seminole Indians being the most well-known of the various Indian nations that inhabited the peninsula of Florida before the eventual take-over by the Europeans. The Seminole Indians were an ancient tribe. The Rottweiler is an ancient dog. Perhaps the Rottweiler antedates the famous Indian name by a thousand years, but the combination of the two, and the fact that many people in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama associated the concept of Seminole with the Big Bend Area of the Florida Panhandle seemed appropriate. The Seminole Rottweiler Club of Tallahassee had been identified!
The next step was to establish a way to identify the organization publicly, with a club logo. Several drawings were submitted. The popular choice among the small group was that of a full-bodied, powerful male Rottweiler superimposed over an arrowhead. The newly identified name was indicated in a banner beneath the drawing.
Meanwhile, Charlie and Betty O’Hara had established the various committees and conscientiously followed the AKC guidelines in so doing. By September 1987, not only did the club have a roster of officers and a Board of Directors, but also the first Fun Match was being discussed. By November the group approved the Code of Ethics and Constitution.
The First Fun Match, held in late January of 1988, was a tremendous success. The enthusiasm was infectious and before the year was completed two more Fun Matches were successfully held, in June and again in November.
In 1989, Dr. Mary Burch helped to launch the club to national recognition. By her untiring efforts she negotiated with the AKC and successfully established the first fully Rottweiler oriented Good Citizens Test. Nationally the role of the purebred dog, especially of the Working Breeds, was taking a nose-dive as legislation and local ordinances were cropping up everywhere to prohibit the ownership of fine working dogs, or to restrict their activities. To counter this anti-dog attitude that was sweeping the nation, the AKC developed a new test to demonstrate to the public at large that not ALL large dogs posed a threat to the well being of society. Rottweilers were among the breeds that were becoming feared though ignorance. At the November 1989 Fun Match and Good Citizen Test, the club was honored to have a witness to our activities none other than Mr. James Dearinger, Secretary for the American Kennel Club. This was also our first recognized Match by the AKC!
Thirty Rottweilers, most of them from the Seminole Rottweiler Club of Tallahassee, took the test. All 30 passed with flying colors! What a feather in our Seminole cap!
By early spring of 1990 the membership had almost tripled. That in itself was good news. Then the long awaited announcement from the AKC came to us. We had been recognized! At their suggestion, we changed our name to The Seminole Rottweiler Club of Greater Tallahassee. In March 1990, the club held its second officially recognized BOB Match.
Equally as exciting was the news that The Seminole Rottweiler Club of Greater Tallahassee was the first Rottweiler club in the state of Florida to be recognized by the AKC. Many clubs for the Rottweiler had come and gone in the more densely populated central and southern regions of the state. None had gained AKC standing. And, happily, about 80 percent of the original group that gathered that hot July day in 1987, was still actively involved in the club’s activities.
The club has a Code of Ethics. It is not as stringent as some. It is not our intention to be exclusive. Neither is it unnecessarily lenient. We expect responsible ownership. The wonderful Rottweiler, of necessity, must look to us to keep him pure-in-the-strain. Join us in this effort? You don’t have to live in the Tallahassee area to participate with us in some of the happiest moments you might have with your Rottweiler. It has been our experience that some of the nicest people in the world are holding the other end of a six-foot lead attached to what is, certainly, the most wonderful dog in the world, your Rottweiler!
May you always have a Rottweiler with whom to share your dreams.