Arydith Obedience School, Inc. was
established in the mid-1970s, with the first Beginners class and a Novice I
class being taught on a tennis court at Campolindo High School in Moraga,
California. We (Judie and Gary Howard) were told we would never ever get dogs into the gymnasiums,
but after one principal took a chance on us, we were allowed into many gyms
in the area and held classes Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at three
large high school gymnasiums and St. Mary’s College. During basketball season,
we moved into the smaller gyms and accepted fewer students, but the rest of the
year we had 90 Beginners (in two separate classes) per session with a ratio of
one assistant for every four dogs. Judie taught every class.
As the popularity
of the classes increased, we separated the classes into Beginners, Novice I,
Novice II, Novice III, Open, and Utility, teaching many new things at every level.
We could not take any Open B or Utility B students because there was not enough
room. The Novice III and Open A class had over 70 students in four rings and
Utility A was limited to 26 students in 4 rings.
We had our own
building built in 1991 on their own property. It's a beautiful 2500 square feet facility with a 12 foot
ceiling, and is heated and air-conditioned. We continue giving private lessons
there after retiring from the large classes in 1995.
People often ask where the name
'Arydith' (rhymes with Meredith) came from.
When two people establish a kennel, they often combine their two names for that
kennel. The 'Ary' is from 'Gary Howard' and the 'dith' is from 'Judith Howard', whom
people know as the less formal 'Judie'.