History of the Pit Bull/American Staffordshire Terrier
As I mentioned before, my great grandfather, Howard Hadley, left boxes of his collection of research. In his collection are photos of his own dogs, other breeders dogs, fighting dogs, and misc pictures he was able to obtain from various people in the showing and fighting rings. He left hundreds and hundreds of pedigrees; letters written by him and by others in the dog world. He saved his notes on breedings, possible breedings, desired breedings, notes on whelped pups and who he sold each pup to. I personally find the photos the most interesting. There are some old photos in the collection. Most have some sort of identifying notes on the backs, but not all. I have looked through some of the pedigrees, but there are so many... I have looked through quite a few of his personal notes and correspondence--it is all very interesting to read to me anyway. I was very small when he passed away. I remember him sitting at the head of the dinner table in his home-- his last staff dog, Ruffian Rudy, would lay at his left side (Rudy was so obedient). Then after dinner they would both move to the living room with grandpa sitting in his red leather easy chair and again, Rudy laying at his left side. Rudy was always with him, wherever he went so went Rudy at his left side. I remember grandpa being serious, stern, stoic and a bit grumpy. To tell you the truth, my brother and I where a bit afraid of him--not because he ever did anything to us, but just because of his demeanor and his deep voice I guess. He commanded authority. We were a bit afraid of Rudy too for that matter--he was very friendly, but very strong and excitable! Grandpa was always there to control him, but Rudy would get so excited when he saw us kids--he wanted so badly to play with us. But Grandpa would not allow it. We were not allowed to pet him or even talk to him most of the time for that matter. Grandpa was "funny" about his dogs. I remember when he got sick and had to go into the hospital. We went down to Glendora so my mom, grandmother, and great grandmother could all go to see him in the hospital. I asked if I could go (I knew he was very ill even though no one would talk to me about it), but I was told children were not allowed in hospitals because they carried germs and I might make him even more sick--funny what we remember as children isn't it? I remember watching them all get into the car and leaving for the hospital while my brother, my dad and I stayed back at the house. It was only a day or two later I think, I remember being back at my house...the phone rang, my mom answered it in the kitchen. I knew something was wrong by her expression and tone, but then she started to cry. I didn't know what was wrong. After she got off the phone my brother and I asked what was wrong and she told us the grandpa Hadley had passed away. I understood what dying was, but not really the implications I guess--I was only 4 or 5 years old. I remember going down to Glendora after that to see my great grandmother, Janice Hadley (we called her Grandma Jan), and being bowled over by Rudy when we walked in the door. Without grandpa there to control him, he made that a habit when we visited. Grandma Jan let us pet him and feed him "Liver Snaps"--that was always an adventure! We never knew how far down his throat our little hands would go before he realized he hadn't just swalled the Liver Snap whole. On walks, if he wasn't on a "heel" command he would pull so hard on the end of the leash I thought he was going to pull Grandma Jan right over! He was always so happy! I remember when he died too. I believe he came up with some sort of mouth or throat cancer. He had to be put down. Grandma Jan was very sad. He was the last of the staffs that they (or she now) had and ever would have. He was Grandpop's (that is what my mom called her grandfather) dogs. My mom grew up with all his dogs, the pups, the kennels, the shows...she was very sad to say good-bye to that era. Ruffian Rudy was the end of Hadley's legacy.