Stuart and I have owned and loved dogs - and indeed other animals - all our married life but it wasnít until we moved from suburban life in Surrey to rural Lincolnshire that we finally realised our ambition to show and eventually breed our own Cocker Spaniels. We had both fallen for this wonderful breed during many years of trading at country shows and outdoor events and when foot and mouth hit the country and we were temporarily grounded, we decided to take the plunge and get started! We got our first Cocker, a black and tan bitch called Maisie (Claramand Hopskotch) from Ms Elaine Thomas. Maisie was to be our foundation bitch. She came to live with us, our children, two Greyhounds, a Great Dane and dozens of chickens and we have never looked back! What a lovely gentle dog she was and what a super mum too. Maisie was mated to Quettadene Hobsonís Choice and had a beautiful litter of 6 puppies. We kept Sophie (Fendrove Look At Me Now) a golden girl to show and two other puppies also went on to show. Kizzy (Fendrove Kiss Chase) went to America and Margo (Fendrove Iím no Angel) was very successful here gaining her junior warrant and two Reserve CCs with Elaine. Sophie was successful in her own right qualifying for Crufts and winning many BP & BOB awards and some good classes at all levels of competition. She also proved to be a wonderful mum and produced some super youngsters for Fendrove.
Our first show dog was also a black and tan. Not the most obvious colour to choose when looking to start out but Tucker (Linsloc Friar Tuck) was such a fabulous boy that I couldnít possibly ignore him and I was delighted when Elaine agreed to let me have him. What a lot we learned from Tucker and what a lot we owe to him and Elaine. After a slow start - my fault not his - (he knew how to show, It was me who needed practice) we got it together. Stuart did all the hard work at home, including the bathing and trimming and I went out and showed off. I met lots of like-minded people and found some really friendly folk to share my new hobby with. Thankfully I was given some good advice along the way and Tucker won many BOBs and never failed to give of his best. He qualified for Crufts at our first ever championship show, under breed specialist Mrs Sue Young (Canyon)and went on to be awarded his stud book number in the limit dog class at Crufts under judge Mr Moray Armstrong. What a moment! He was the most gentle and affectionate dog and a true showman. Of course with such a great start to our new found hobby, we were well and truly hooked from then on ,there was no going back! In time Tucker was mated to Sophie and a gorgeous Black/tan bitch puppy Fendrove Joy Rider (Sadie) was retained. Sadie was a super show girl and was the first home grown Fendrove to be awarded her stud book number and a RCC. She was also awarded BPIS at The Cocker Spaniel Club Ch.Show 2006 The fist time ever a black/tan had been awarded such a honour. Although I now show all colours, understandably black/tan is a special favourite!
To complete the picture in 2007 four Miniature Long haired Dachshunds joined us ( see Dachshund pages) As a lifelong lover of this wonderful breed I was delighted to have the opportunity to welcome these special little dogs into our lives again and to be able to enjoy a whole new showing adventure with a whole new selection of dog loving people.
We have always had rescue dogs in our lives, from retired racing Greyhounds and Great Danes, to a little Chinese Crested dog and a couple of Border Collies and it is only in recent years that we have not also had a JRT or two as part of the family. I have always wanted to rescue a German Shepherd dog but somehow this lovely breed has escaped me.....one day I hope.