A Lifetime of Living , Working & Talking Dogs.
I was not sure what I was going to write here. So I thought I would dig out some old photos to help.
I was horse and dog mad from a very young age. Our family dog was a big hearted Alsatian called Prince. A constant companion throughout my younger years. When he died I wasn’t allowed another dog, so I spent my days walking friends and neighbours dogs.
At the centre of my universe were old Kim, a kindly Border Collie and retired Sheepdog from down the road, Sandy, a friend’s Golden Retriever and my Grandparents Rough Collie, Duke. I looked forward to holidays in Wales were I could lay claim to my Uncle and Aunt’s Alsatian, Danko.
On leaving home I purchased a marvellously clever Sheepdog , simply named Dot, from a farm at Finsthwaite. A truly a once in a lifetime dog. Closely followed by Fliss, a kind natured Black Labrador, whom had a great love for chasing rabbits, travelling and life. You couldn’t help but smile when you looked at her. She was also an excellent working Gun Dog.
I moved to Scotland to work with horses, starting at Hopelaws Pony Stud, Duns, Berwick upon-Tweed and later at the then, world famous Rosthwaite Arabian Stud in Windermere. I loved the outdoor life and the travelling that came with working at Rosthwaite. I was soon transporting horses throughout the UK and Europe. I fell in love with the Arabian horse and with this came the purchase of first my first horse Oliver and then the stunningly beautiful Karim.
I went on to work for the internationally renowned Pat Jones, a well known and somewhat larger than life character to be found latterly in and around the show circuit. Her great passions in life, were her Bearded Collies, ( a copy of the book she wrote with Joyce Collis can be bought here), her world famous Portuguese Water Dogs and a Skye Terrier named Ben. She bred Champions in these breeds and many others.
I spent some years working as a Dog Trainer whilst grooming and turning out Show Dogs for all the Major Championship Shows, including Crufts. I have Pat to thank for my extensive knowledge of dogs and for giving me the opportunity to learn so much from her.
She was also a very accomplished horsewoman and the knowledge she imparted to me was priceless. And for that I will be eternally grateful.
Don’t get me wrong, it didn’t come for free, I had to work long, hard hours
After the birth of our first child, we moved the awe inspiring, Snowdonia (Surely this place really is heaven on earth). Included in our lease was the care of 23 assorted horses and ponies living out on the Welsh Mountains. Our horses and dogs loved the freedom that came with 300 acres of mountain farmland. I continued to train dogs and horses during our time in Snowdonia.
From there I went on to run pubs for a number of years but having never lost my love for the great outdoors, it was inevitable that I would return to doing what I love most.
So here I am today, the proud owner of two Sheepdogs and an old Labrador. With nearly thirty years experience behind me Ohh… I am not sure I like the sound of that : )
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