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It all started back in 1988 or 89. Our neighbours had bought a new puppy, who kept sneaking under our side fence when they went to work. It was the cutest ball of fluff you ever have seen. So this little fellow would spend his days hanging out with my mum, his afternoons playing with us kids, and then go and spend the evenings with his real owners!
Needless to say we fell in love!
So we found out the name of the breeders, and went searching for our own lil' ball. We were led to the home of Ray & Marilyn Parker, who had been in the breed for over 20 years. All their puppies were sold, so we put our names down on their waiting list. And wait we did. I guess about 12 months went by and still no lil girl puppies became available, so we were offered a young adult dog to learn with. So Tom came home. Some time between now and the next chapter, we were talked into showing......
I took Tom to obedience classes, and learnt all about how to groom a Keeshond. When our foundation bitch was born in early 1992, Tom was a part of our family, and so he stayed. Lucy came home around April 1992. We started showing when she was 4 months old. Lucy was our first Champion, and Tom became our first Class in Show winner (oh I will never forget that day...but thats another story for another time!).
1994 was the year our first litter was born. My heart dog Belle came from this litter. She became a Best in Show winner, a Grand Champion, but better still she was my best friend. She was stolen from me at just 6 years of age by a sneaky, insidious illness. She will NEVER be forgotten, and I still miss her to this day.
Ok so what about those other hairy things huh?
We'd been showing for a while, and in the breed behind us were Lhasa Apsos. They seemed to win a lot, but that was not the attraction. In fact it was not until a new Import hit the rings that we decided we really liked this breed. His name was Manny, and he was a real dude of a dog! It was decided that we would have one of his sons. And so 2 years later Andre came home.
I met my partner Michael in 1999 (although he reckons it was 2000!) and we have pretty much been together ever since. We have a son together - Toby - who came the day after a dog show in July 2005. I got Michael his very own dog in 2004 - an American Staffordshire Terrier. Bart was a dog unlike any other, but he has his own page and you can read more there! We have since had a few other Amstaffs come to live with us, you will find details on the Amstaff page.
In July 2005 I began studying to become a Non Sporting Group judge! It was no easy feat, let me tell you, because in case you didn't read the last bit, I also had a baby in July 2005, which just happened to be the 2nd week into the lectures. So my new son and I attended lectures every week, judged at an open show, watched lots of shows, studied heaps.....and in May 2006 we had our final exams. And I PASSED! What a relief, I am soooo glad that is all over.
In 2013 we celebrate 21 years in the world of show dogs, and what a wonderful 21 years it has been!