Our Past, our Present and our Future
My grandmother introduced to me to the wonderful world of dogs and dog shows as a child through her Rottweiler breeding program and attending shows.
From a very young age, I could be found sitting in the whelping box with litters of puppies. Even before they were any fun, I would sit with them and admire them as their eyes and ears opened and they developed their own little personalities. Side note - Rottweiler puppies are adorable - they look like little bear cubs as baby puppies!
I can remember on weekends that my parents sent us to my grandparents being dragged along to shows and always being so bored with nothing to do. I would watch people handle their dogs and took everything in. I would then go back to my grandmothers house and whenever I'd take the dogs out for a potty break, would 'practice' show dog with them. I'm sure they enjoyed being my test dummies but there was never a complaint!
At one particular show, I saw kids participating in a competition and asked my grandmother what they were doing. Little had I known that dog shows had classes specifically for children to hone their skills at showing their dogs. I thought maybe that could be fun so I asked if I could participate the next time.
Knowing Rottweilers may be a hard start for me in Junior Handling, Pembroke Welsh Corgi Breeder Betty Mercer offered to let me use her dog. In we went, not having much of a clue on what we were doing - but I won my class - with competition. I got a picture and I was hooked! I continued showing in Junior Handling and really wanting my own dog asked my family about getting a Golden Retriever. Of course, Air Bud didn't help LOL!
My grandmothers handler Jennifer McAuley also happened to breed Golden's and she agreed to let me help out when needed in return for a beautiful puppy. What a deal because not only did I end up with a wonderful puppy but I also ended up getting handling tips and learnt all about quality care from a very talented professional! I can say that my time spent helping Jennifer helped shape the dog person and handler that I am today!
Wilkommen's Latest Edition "Lately" sparked my interest in Springers. Lately was bred and owned by Barbara Turnbull and was handled during his campaign by Jill Taylor. He was such a pretty dog and his personality shone in the ring! At that point, I was invested in my Golden Retriever puppy and the thought of jumping from Goldens to Springers wasn't a possibility, so I continued to admire him from afar at shows.
It actually wasn't until 2009 that I reached out to breeders about getting a English Springer Spaniel puppy and my first Springer came to me in January 2010!
I haven't looked back!
SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE
A couple years later after I brought home my Golden puppy who just so happened to be the most stubborn dog ever that hated showing -haha - I would take home an 8 week old Rottweiler puppy from my grandmother. I poured all of my time and effort into socializing, training and showing Kaos and he was a phenomenal dog. Not so much a top dog but a kind dog - a loving dog - a dog that I could raise with my children. And that I did!
AOM MGP CAN CH STEENFELDT"S KAOS ON THE RISE
Kaos would then accompany me through many of my firsts.
Meeting Troy, our first house rental, car and house purchase, our first baby AND our first English Springer Spaniel!
Since then, Troy and I have welcomed 4 boys into their family.
Kohen, Weston, Sawyer and Ledger
PILOT AND OUR LOVE OF OUR BREED
Since the day we brought our first English Springer Spaniel home, our love for the breed has only flourished.
Pilot came to us from LeeAnn Gutzwiler of Gentry Springers in Chicago area. She took a chance on a Canadian girl and for that I am forever grateful.
Facebook has certainly been a way for me to develop an eye for a "type" that I really, really want to achieve and through Facebook I found Melanie King of Ocoee Springers and a picture of a very young Black and White dog who made me think "This is it. If I am going to get into this breed, THIS is what I want to strive for!".
That beautiful Black and White dog was "George" Ocoee n DSQD With A Vengeance who is currently the Record holder for Specialty wins. A beautiful dog with a temperament when I met him that made me want to take him home with me. But, in true Springer fashion, he only had eyes for Mel. They were a beautiful team!
I have been very, very fortunate and was given an opportunity to lease a bitch from Pat Wilaby after talking to her frequently about pedigrees and getting a bitch with the idea of starting my own breeding program with. Pat has been incredibly helpful and her mentorship has been so appreciated. Her honesty about health and temperament has been so important to me as those are 2 things that I cannot and will NOT ignore to produce a pretty dog! Through Pat, I have had the opportunity to incorporate some well known dogs from Top Kennels in the United States.