As we gather every year for our Annual Convention of Delegates there are new faces missing. Janet Lotz passed away April 4, 2016 and for the second year she is not among us. Janet, along with her partner of 57 years, Willa Chambers, began lure coursing their Afghan Hounds in 1985. Their bitch Olive was the number one Afghan in 1995 and accompanying Olive in the ASFA Top Ten were her kennel mates, Ashlee number three Afghan and Loren number four Borzoi. For the next 5 years their dogs were in ASFA top ten.
We are gathered here today in the ASFA’s fifth decade because of people like Janet. Her love of sighthounds and dedication to the ASFA has helped to maintain this organization. I nominate Janet Lotz for election to the American Sighthound Field Association Hall of Fame.
Janet was a member of Ohio Kentucky Indiana Gazehound Organization (OKIGO). As pressure from other dog activities caused attendance at lure coursing trials to fall, it was not uncommon for OKIGO to host 100 plus hound trials. This was not an accident of geography, OKIGO is a wonderful ASFA club and Janet had a lot to do with that.
Janet served as lure operator, trial secretary, or anything necessary at trials. She completed her judge’s license in 1993. Her first judging assignment was March 27, 1993. She became a popular judge and for the next 22 years completed 378 assignments judging 12,165 hounds.
Often when someone no longer has a hound to course they lose interest and we don’t see them on the field anymore. Other times we meet individuals that attended trials for the pleasure of watching sighthounds and working at trials because of their love of the sport of lure coursing. They attend trials, help anyway they can and mentor people new to the sport. Janet was one of those special people. As her hounds became too old to compete Janet and Willa decided that, because of their own age, they would not look for another coursing hound. Janet remained active in OKIGO and continued judging at trials all over the country.
In 1994 Janet fought a long battle with cancer. She won her battle and was pronounced cancer free. 2013 found her fighting again when it was discovered that the cancer had metastasized to her bones. She courageously fought the disease, but sadly lost the battle and passed away April 4, 2016. During 2015, as she fought, she accepted and completed 4 assignments judging 195 hounds. She cautioned the clubs that she would judge but, in the event she could not complete the assignment they should have someone that could step in. She completed her last judging assignment on May 10, 2015. Janet passed away 10 months 25 days after her last assignment. She had stopped accepting requests to judge saying, “I would like to judge for you but I’m not sure I will still be alive then”.