I have some very sad news, on April 15th, 2015 us Ragdoll breeders, owners, fanciers, and anyone that knows about the Ragdoll breed said goodbye to one of the most famous people that helped create the Ragdoll breed, Denny Dayton.
Denny Dayton and his wife Laura Dayton worked very closely with Ann Baker (Ann Baker was the creator of the Ragdoll breed), but she couldn't do it alone without the help of many people, including the Daytons. In fact, without the Daytons there would be no Ragdolls! Ann Baker was a very strict and business-like woman, she laid down a contract for every Ragdoll kitten sold under the name of "Ragdoll", if people did not pay Ann Baker a $5 dollar fee for ever kitten they sold they could not legally call their cats "Ragdolls", the Ragdoll trade mark expired in 2005 and has not be renewed since then. Lucky for us modern Ragdoll breeders and owners, a couple people broke away from Ann Baker and her breed trade mark, they could not get the trade mark off of the name "Ragdoll", many breeders moved on to making their own breed (the Ragamuffin in 1994). Lucky for us, the Daytons started breeding Ragdoll cats before Ann Baker traded marked the name "Ragdoll", so they were legally able to name their cats "Ragdolls" without Ann Baker's say. Ann Baker died in January 1997 of lung cancer, so she was unable to renew the Ragdoll breed trade mark in 2005. Denny Dayton's wife (Laura Dayton) died on February 10, 2010 of old age. Denny Dayton died on April 15, 2015 of congested heart failure. He was cremated shortly there after.
|Denny Dayton holds Floppy, a male Seal Bicolor (left), Laura Dayton holds Happy, a male Seal Colorpoint (right), and Phil lying by their feet (male Seal Bicolor).|
Without Denny Dayton (and Laura Dayton, and many, many other people) there would be no Ragdoll cats, no RFCI (Ragdoll Fanciers Club International), no The Lovable Ragdoll book, no Nico and Anya, and no Life with Ragdolls! Denny Dayton said that: "No matter where the Ragdoll breed ends up, I would love to see it remain a blue eyed and pointed breed, no minks or sepias or solid variants". I am a future Ragdoll breeder and I have been an owner and a Ragdoll fancier since March 2004, I will not let the minks, sepias, or solid variants accepted into our blue eyed and pointed breed!
Denny Dayton was a wonderful man, always happy to help others and lived a long and happy life into his mid 80's. I cannot thank Sue and Dave enough for their information regarding the Ragdoll breed to me, Sue bred Ragdolls in 1987 and Dave and his wife bred Ragdolls in 1977 (and are still active to this day!). Christina of Ritterkatz informed me of Denny Dayton's sad passing, life is lived short, but hard work is never forgotten.