Dr. O'Brien was born in 1928 and literally grew up with the Chow Chow breed. Her parents bought their first Chow in 1931 and established the Linnchow kennel a year later. Based in the Chicago area, Linnchow produced 35 champions by 1957 with 50 more bred by others from Linnchow stock.
In 1952, Dr. O'Brien was granted her DVM degree by the University of Minnesota and went into small animal practice. She married and moved to Washington DC in 1958 where she met Dr. Imogene Earle of Pandee Chows. They began a 20 year partnership that resulted in at least 33 champions, numerous national and regional specialty wins, an all breed Best In Show with the bitch, CH. Pandee's Red Sing, and the retirement of several challenge trophies.
A member of the CCCI since the age of 12 as a junior member, Dr. O'Brien served the Club in many capacities. She was on the committee in the 1960's that thoroughly revamped the Constitution and By-Laws, and a member of the Breed Standard Council since its inception, including working on the major standard revision that was approved in 1986. She was the National Specialty show chair in 1997 and 2001. JoAnne was a beloved and hard working member of the Southern Chow Chow Club as well, serving as president, officer, and board member.
JoAnne loved to travel abroad and did so extensively after her retirement from veterinary practice. She judged the Chow Of The Year show in England. Her CH. Linnchow Maximillian won the CCCI National Specialty in 1989, breeder-owner handled. Another homebred, CH. Linnchow Cinnbad was Winners Dog at the National in 1992. She remained active in breeding and showing until the end.
Memorials may be made to:
Virginia Tech Foundation, Inc.
on memo line put- "Dr. Joanne O'Brien Fund - 87-2612"
Dr. Frank Pearsall
College of Veterinary Medicine - MC 0442
Blacksburg, VA 24061