My Story in Dogs!…

When I was eleven, I was finally allowed my very first longed-for dog. Timmy was a street-bred, black and white collie cross who cost 10 shillings and taught me so much! I’ll never feel quite the same about any other dog.

I was lucky enough to have served my “apprenticeship” with Jimmy Auld and Jinty Wilson (now Mrs Gill-Davies) at the Glencora kennel of Cocker Spaniels in Newmilns, Ayrshire, from 1970 to 1975, until Jimmy died. I learnt so much there and will always be grateful to both.

Jimmy gave me my first Cocker Spaniel, Lulu – Glencora Meadowsong (a black and tan) – with whom I did obedience and had some nice wins at local and championship shows. To keep Lullu company, Jinty Wilson gave me Star, a beautiful Irish Setter, who produced a lovely litter to Sh Ch Twoacres Troilus out of which I kept “Siobhan” (Roscombe Briony). Siobhan did very well at open and championship shows and was the first of my dogs to be shown successfully at Crufts in 1977.

In 1978, Shady (Lochranza Shady Lady) a black and tan American cocker spaniel, came to stay and gave us a lot of fun and two beautiful litters of puppies. Her daughter was one of the four American cocker spaniels to be entered at the very first Gundog Breeds of Scotland show at Kinross.

Since those days I have been fortunate to have known, owned and bred many good Cocker who, due to various other commitments I was unable to show as much as I would have liked: Rosecourt Regal Flair, Regalia of Rosecourt, Bitcon Charisma of Carmelfair, Carmelfair Captain Hook, Carmelfair Fiasco, Carmelfair Carry On ( who went Res BIS at the Greenock Kennel Association summer Open show in 1992), Daydawn Alaska ???? Daydawn Tapestry, Lochdene Stolen Kisses, Carmelfair Penny Drops, Butterburn Going On at Carmelfair ( Blue roan and tan dog who went BPD at The Cocker Spaniel Club Ch Show in 1994) owned and shown by Linda Duncan; my beloved “Puddle” Lynwater Water Lilly (kindly given to me by Mrs Elizabeth Maclean) and her daughter, Breeze (Carmelfair Winter Blues over Kinvale). Both blue roans with fabulous temperaments and character, Puddle gained one CC and one Res CC while Breeze gained one Res CC. I am grateful to Pat Neilson of Noslien Cocker Spaniels who gave me a lovely little black bitch, Summer (Noslien Netta) in 1996. Summer was mated to Sh Ch Canyon Classic Gold and a black puppy bitch from that litter was exported to George Cross in Malta. We are delighted that she won her champion title with him over there. Carmelfair Talitha (Sh Ch Lennoxgrove Sadly Sober x Daydawn Tapestry of Carmelfair) was born in 1996 but for some reason(!) I decided to let her go at around five months of age to a then 11 year-old young lady from Maybole! One year later Kirsty Torbett and her family and ‘Bonnie’ appeared at a local dog show and they have never looked back, now being totally hooked. Bonnie has won her stud book number, numerous BOBs and looks fantastic at thirteen years old. She is now winning well in Veteran classes at open shows and Kirsty was thrilled to be placed fourth in Veteran Bitch class at Crufts 2006. Kirsty now has been very successful in breeding on from Bonnie and has won many BOBs and Groups with daughters and granddaughters including Kilrinjis Ghostly Glow and Kirlinjis who has just at the tender age of 11 months won a Res CC and also BP in Show at the April 2009 Cocker Spaniel Club of Scotland.

Pointers! Oona (Ferndel Lucky Charm of Carmelfair, bred by John Thirlwell) is my liver and white pointer who joined us thirteen years ago from Newcastle and has given us a lot of fun at the local shows. (She was best puppy in show at the Pointer Club of Scotland open show at her first time out and was shown at Crufts in ’98). In 2001, Oona was mated to Sh Ch Dervorsteh Ravenelli and I kept Carmelfair Sari who has gained her stud book number. Sari’s first litter was born in 2001 to Sh Ch Meadowgold Midnight Romeo JW, which produced some stunningly handsome dogs and bitches. Black and white bitch, Carmelfair Bliss went to live with Kirsty Torbett (Kirlinjis) who has worked hard and travelled far with Bliss to gain a Res CC., her Junior Warrant and Show Certificate of Merit. Bliss produced Kirlinjis Indigo Moon who has now won many gundog puppy classes and a few BP in Show. Currently I am showing Carmelfair Evian. “Belle” is the most charming, loveable and happy lemon & white daughter from Sari’s second ‘accident’ litter by Carmelfair Cabernet (Bliss’ brother by Sh Ch Medogold Midnight Romeo). Belle has had a super puppy career in the showring, and won Best Puppy Bitch in Breed at Crufts 2006. She is now enjoying agility and if we can get her to stay focused, hope to compete in a beginners class at a show one day soon!

The current Cocker team includes the irrepressible Mac – Kirlinjis Trick or Treat at Carmelfair, a blue roan dog bred by Kirsty Torbett out of Kirlinjis Blue Bell by Manchela Pioneer at Kinvale. Mac has had some lovely wins and has qualified for Crufts. I have two daughters of Mac’s: Kenmilleven Perdita of Carmelfair (out of Bitcon Misty lady) and Rosie Surprise Surprise of Carmelfair, whose mother is a half sister of Sh Ch Carmelfair Silver Chalice JW. Rosie was mated to Classicway Chinwag of Rosbercon and produced a lovely litter (including two liver roans).

Which brings us up-to-date with dog- of-a -lifetime, Lisa , now, I am very proud to say Show Champion Carmelfair Silver Chalice JW! Lisa made her debut at the Gundog Breeds of Scotland championship show in 2006 where she was awarded Best Puppy in Breed and went on to be shortlisted in the final ten for BP in Show. The following year, 2007, at the same show she won Best of Breed (without CCs) and went 4th Best in Show. That summer, Lisa had also won the August SKC heat of the Petplan Junior Stakes and in the autumn was BIS at the East of Scotland Cocker Spaniel Club open show. However 2008 was to get even more interesting – Lisa won 2nd in Limit at Crufts, Best in Show at the Southwest Scotland Gundog Association’s open show, Res CC at the August SKC, the Bitch CC and Best of Breed at Belfast Championship show followed by the Bitch CC at Ulster Cocker Spaniel Club and again BIS show at the East of Scotland Cocker Spaniel Club’s open show and Res BB at the Cocker Spaniel Club of Scotland’s open show. 2009 started fantastically well with Lisa winning the Limit class at Crufts followed by the Bitch CC and Best in Show on home ground at the Cocker Club of Scotland, thus gaining her crown. She is now nursing the most exciting litter sired by Shanaz Sporran, four blue roans and one black and white.