Heartbreak and hope

Posted By on September 17, 2017

Less than a day after my last post celebrating Melody’s three surviving puppies- we lost two more. It felt like being hit in the gut with a sledge hammer- twice. At 10 PM on Monday night, Mel Jr., Roland, and Jilly were all nursing and looking great. By midnight Mel Jr was dead. A couple of hours later Roland died in my hands. I don’t know why. They were not crushed or smothered. They just stopped breathing. I suspect that maybe the drugs Melody got during her C-section might have damaged them. Thankfully, little Jilly survived, and is doing fine. She is a week old now, so it appears that she will make it. She eats like a little pig.  It’s so sad she won’t have siblings to teach her to share. Melody will have to show her the ropes. Jilly is precious and we are very happy she seems to be thriving.

Here are some pictures of Jilly today as she turns one week old. Click on the pictures for an enlarged view.

Jilly 9 17 17


jilly profile 9 17 17


Jilly close up 9 17 17


Jilly nursing 9 17 17



I also took a couple of pictures in the backyard of my almost 9 month old pups from our litter from Poppy sired by Samson.  I’m still very happy with them. Willa and Patton are very sweet puppies and are looking pretty for this time of year. I hope we will be able to get them to some shows this winter.


Patton 9 17 2017


Patton resting 9 17 2017



Patton face 9 17 17


Willa 9 17 2017


Willa front 9 17 17



Willa head profile 9 17 17


Summer has come back full force for now, but I know cooler days will be here soon. We are all looking forward to that.













Three new lives begin!

Posted By on September 12, 2017


Melly's 3


Breeding collies is not for the faint hearted.   I had been getting things ready for Melody’s big event for weeks.  I checked my list of all the stuff I use at whelping time, gathered it together, and ordered the things I needed to replenish. Finally we were all set. I started taking Melody’s temperature and recording it a week before she was due. I got the fast read thermometers, but she still began to go the other way when she saw a thermometer in my hand.  Her temperature read the same day after day, until last Friday. There it was – a drop of almost 3 degrees below normal. That usually means whelping is around the corner – usually less than 48 hours away. 

Melody seemed uncomfortable Friday night.  I slept near her so she could alert me if her labor started. She woke me up numerous times, but she was not in labor. She just wanted to be pet. All day Saturday Melody laid around sleeping, moaning, and trying to get comfortable with puppies visibly moving around in her tummy. Melody has always been a moaner, always tending towards being a bit of a drama queen. By Saturday night she had to go outside and relieve herself a dozen times or more. I knew puppies would be coming soon.  Neither of us got much sleep, Friday, or Saturday night.

Sunday morning her contractions started for real. Before too long her first pup was born. He was a sad sight. I thought he was dead at first. The poor little guy looked like something the cat drug in. Melody and I worked on him until finally he was squealing. He was a white factored, sable merle boy. I called him Possum.

The next pup to come was a very white factored blue merle boy, similar to Melody except probably rough coated. With color and markings similar to his mother, we are calling this boy Mel Jr. He is a cute and apparently healthy boy. He was ready to eat from birth!

So we were waiting on the next puppy because I could feel at least two more in her belly. Melody had good strong contractions that went on and on and on. After a long while of contractions but no puppy we called our vet. Of course it was a Sunday. It seems like most emergencies happen on Sundays or holidays. It so happened that our reproduction vet was going to be open on a Sunday afternoon and would see Melody as an emergency.

With construction traffic, (do they ever finish fixing roads?) it took me almost an hour to get Melody to the vet. The poor girl was still pushing but no puppies came out during the trip. The whole time at the vet poor Melody was pushing with each contraction. No uterine inertia here. She was pushing HARD! 

The vet did a sonogram and x-rays. The problem was that one puppy from each of the two uterine horns had come down toward the birth canal at the same time. They were in a road rage battle that neither could win. There was just not room for two babies to come out at the same time, and they were both stuck.  At this point there was no choice but to get a C-section. Melody had done her best. It was a matter of bad luck for her pups to come down at the same time. She fed her two already born babies until it was time for the C-section. She was still trying to push the others out on her way to surgery.

The good news is: Melody is fine, and the C-section recovered two live puppies. One of the stuck puppies didn’t make it. I stayed close to the vet office while Melody recovered, and fed the two babies born earlier while we were waiting on their mamma and siblings.

The vet walked out holding a tricolor boy pup and a sable girl. I thought they were two of the cutest newborn puppies I had ever seen. I didn’t know if the C-section would recover any live pups, so I was overjoyed to see these babies!

Back home, Melody has been able to feed the pups. Thank God she is such a good mother. The three bigger pups all latch on to nipples like little pigs. The small boy we called Possum couldn’t latch on without help. I tube fed him puppy milk every couple of hours. Sadly by Sunday morning, little Possum is gone. It’s so sad to lose a new baby. I would rather never meet the babies than to hold them, and do all I know to keep them going only to lose them. It’s a sad part of breeding dogs.

Now we will focus on the three new lives. Let me introduce, Mel Jr- a very white factored rough blue merle boy.

Blue boy aka Mel Jr


blue boy Mel Jr face


And the sable girl involved in the birth canal traffic jam- Miss Jilly.  For all the people waiting on a rough sable girl- I am very sorry about that… I would bet the farm that Miss Jilly is a SMOOTH. I think she’s beautiful!

Jilly- Sable girl side


sable girl Jilly face close up



And lastly we have a tricolor boy, called Roland, after the Dark Tower series. He was the last to be born- wondering what was taking so long, I suppose. He is a perfect little boy. I am not sure yet if he will be a smooth or rough, but it won’t take too long to tell.


Tri boy Roland side



And that is that. There will be no more puppies from Melody, so these babies are extra special. In case you can’t tell, we love our Melly. I am mostly a rough collie fancier, but Melody is a unique character that made me love a smooth as much as any rough collie that ever shared my couch.  I hope to share our couch with Melody for a lot more years to come.


Melly with her pig before she went into labor.


























RIP Bruce

Posted By on August 14, 2017

Bruce as a pup starting his show career

I got sad news today from Judy Gorham. Her pretty sable boy Bruce passed away today. He was twelve years old. In a way twelve years is a significant amount of time, but when you are talking about the life span of a friend it is painfully short. I know Judy and Steve will miss Bruce. I will miss seeing him when I visit Judy too. He was an easy going boy with a lovely temperament. Losing these wonderful collies is the hardest part of having them in our lives. Each dog lost takes  “another little piece of our heart” – to borrow the Janis Joplin song lyrics. It’s true though.

Bruce, aka Ch Avalar Tairis Triumphant,  was a significant dog for Tairis Collies as he was the first champion to come from our whelping box. He was a son of Ch Avalar Windcrest Breezin, out of Tagamor Tairis Leona. Bruce inherited the nice head planes of his parents and finished his championship with  3, 4, and 5 point majors. He was a combination of mostly Parader families, such as Vennessee. We have since gone a different route in our breeding program, but Bruce is one I will never forget. RIP Bruce. 















Good news, bad news, good news

Posted By on August 12, 2017

I absolutely love our collies. I love playing with them, chilling out with them, going to shows when I can, and having puppies. On the breeding side of this hobby, I’d say my luck at having puppies averages about 50:50. That’s how it worked out this time. 

I took Merci and Melody to the repro vet this morning for sonograms to see for sure if they were expecting puppies or not. It turned out that Merci is NOT having puppies. This is very disappointing. It’s a long drive to Missouri. Merci is a very pretty girl, and Pride is a big handsome boy. Physically and pedigree- wise they were so complimentary to each other. These things happen. We will try again. Unfortunately, Merci only seems to come in season once a year.

The GOOD NEWS: Melody, my uniquely awesome smooth girl,  IS GOING TO HAVE BABIES!  I don’t know exactly how many, but we saw multiple puppy hearts beating on the ultrasound. Yea Melody! She is such a wonderfully sound, good moving girl, I am hoping to get her dynamite body on these babies, as well as her endearing personality. Melody is a wonderful mother so I am hoping all will go well. Melody was bred to the handsome Bridgit son, Adam, (Ch Avalar Tairis Autumn Gold.) Adam should contribute his pretty type, elegance and happy attitude. We could have some real beauties from this breeding, and some fun personalities too.  Melody could have sables, sable merles, blue merles, or tricolors- some white factored. Statistically, half the puppies should be smooth, and half should be regular, rough coated pups. I can usually tell at 2-3 weeks which pups are smooth and which are rough. By five weeks there is no doubt.  She should have her puppies around September 10th, 2017. I will be putting together a pedigree and posting it. Ch Heatherri Let It Be will be on both the sire and dam side of the pedigree. Melody is a strong example of Cheryl’s breeding program, and Adam has Ch Windhaven Stranger in Paradise predominately in his pedigree through his parents, Bridgit and Miguel. I can’t wait to see Melly’s babies!


Adam at Nolan River show




Melly Jan 2016




Adam in the show ring with Jay




















Speaking of Adam … I am excited about some other potentially good news that happened this past week concerning Adam’s daughter, Carina. Carina, (Tairis A Cara Bonita) was bred this past week to Cheryl Kobularcik’s breathtaking yearling boy, Landon (Cherann’s Cherokee on Sacred Ground.) Carina is a beautiful daughter of Nick Moyer’s Ch St. Roch’s Moonlight Serenade (Flurry), and Adam. Carina is now in Missouri, co-owned with Cheryl. Landon is a son of Ch Wyndlair Cherokee Exclamation. Landon’s dam is Cherann’s Luv the Contessa. Landon is a drop dead gorgeous young dog owned by Cheryl and Susan Joslin. He garnered 10 points and two majors already as a puppy, going winners dog at three collie specialty shows. He has the makings of a superstar. Landon and Carina could produce some over the top pretty babies. If we do get puppies from this breeding, they would be due about October 10, 2017. All the puppies would be sables, most white factored, or we could possibly get some sable headed white puppies too. I would expect puppies from Carina and Landon to be exceptionally pretty. We should know in a month or so if the breeding took. Carina will probably be coming back to us in Texas to whelp her puppies if the breeding takes.


Landon at Kansas CC

Landon WD at OK Specialty












































The dog days of August and an invitation

Posted By on August 6, 2017

8 -6 -2017 Bridgit, Willa, and Melly

Click on the pictures for a better view


We’ve made it to August. Summer is my least favorite time of year. I just don’t like hot weather and neither do our collies. But air conditioning makes summer days in north Texas bearable. I don’t know how people used to live here without A/C. I don’t want to speak too soon, with most of August and all of September to go – but this summer has not been that bad. We have certainly had hotter June’s and July’s here. More than usual rain has helped I guess.

I’ve been so busy at work, I don’t feel like doing much when I get home but chilling on the couch. After the initial greeting  I get from our collies when I come home from work, our dogs are quite content to chill with me, nap, and maybe gnaw a bone. (The dogs gnaw the bones – not me- although I have been known to chew a well done baby back rib.)

As I have gotten older, I’ve realized more and more that it’s important to enjoy every day, and to also act in ways that have a positive effect on people. None of us know if we will be here for the next day. This is especially true for the people driving on I 35, Loop 820, I 30 and I 20, etc.!  The growth of the Dallas/ Fort Worth Metroplex area has created a situation of overwhelming traffic problems. Wrecks are an everyday thing. Thank God, I plan to retire the end of November! Less than four months to go!!! Yippee! I’m sorry for the people stuck in the freeway rat race. My exit is coming up!

Hopefully, retirement will give me the time to enjoy more things with my family, including our dogs of course. I’m looking forward to showing Poppy’s puppies, Patton and Willa. They are sound and pretty pups, and I think they will do well when cool weather brings more coat. Layla is taking a vacation with her breeder/co-owner Cheryl Kobularcik in Missouri. Hopefully Layla will put on coat and go to some shows with Cheryl. It tends to stay much cooler in Cheryl’s neck of the woods than in Texas.

My autumn dog show plans are going to depend on whether Merci and Melody are pregnant. I’m getting sonograms on both of them on August 12th. Neither of them are huge- so we will see what the sonogram shows. I can’t wait to find out. I hope both girls took. Both breedings have great potential.

Here are a few au natural snapshots of our collies I took this weekend. Most of them could use some brushing. 


8 6 17 Love my Bridgit


8 6 17 Patton - looking like his mamma Poppy


Poppy 8 9 15- compare to her son Patton's face


Poppy last year. Patton definitely has his mother's face




Here is Poppy at about the same age as Patton


8 6 17 Patton




Poppy's girl - Willa


8 6 17 Willa




Pretty Tracer FINALLY starting to shed.



Merci and Melly prefer it inside!


Here is a current picture of Evie (aka Celeste)

I received this picture of Celeste- now called Evie from her new owner. Evie is the little white sister of Willa, Patton, Maxi, etc from the Poppy/ Samson litter. She sure has grown! I’m crazy about the puppies from that litter. 


Open invitation to any collie lovers in the general Fort Worth/ Dallas area:

You are invited to join us for a Sunday afternoon get together - usually held bi-monthly at the Ol’ South Pancake House on University Drive in Fort Worth. We will be there this coming Sunday, August 13th, 2017 at 3:00 PM. Feel free to join us, indulge in some Ol’ South food, and talk about collies and club activities.  For more information email Debbie at:



Go Maxi and Lea!

Posted By on July 14, 2017

Maxi first point 7 13 17

Click on the picture for a bigger view.


Our internet at home has been down since yesterday. AT&T said it may take a while to fix. It’s a TEXAS problem. Whatever… So I’m doing a very quick post from my work computer.

Our Poppy/Samson pups are 6 months old now. They are looking lanky and not too coaty in this blazing Texas heat. Willa and Patton – that I kept  – play outside in the mornings when the temperatures are mild, but spend most of the day chilling in the A/C like our adult collies. Maxi, the sister that is now co-owned with Lea Bertsch and living with her, has been busy while Willa and Patton are lazing around.

Lea being the show trooper she is, is still going to shows this summer, and finishing more champions all the time. She finished another smooth champion today- another champion from the combination of Conan and Eve. It is hard to keep a count of how many champions Eve and Conan have produced.

Six month old Maxi went to her first shows this week with Lea. I’m proud to report that Maxi was winner’s bitch at her first show on 7/13/2017 for her first point, and repeated her win today at her second show for her second point. Great job Lea!       Update: third show – third point!

I’m hoping to get Willa and Patton ready for their first show by this fall. I still have high hopes for these pups. I think almost the whole litter had show potential. I wish I could inspire more people to get out to shows. It’s a pretty fun hobby that families can enjoy together.

I will be burning up the highway between Fort Worth and Missouri this weekend. Ms. Merci has been bred to the very handsome Pride, and I am anxious to get her back home. I think it is a great match, and hope to have puppies born in September.  I appreciate Jeanie  Driscoll taking care of Merci and getting her bred. I appreciate my friend Cheryl for letting me spend the night at ‘Chez Cherann’s.’  Collie people are the best!



























Road Trip +

Posted By on June 28, 2017




Only a great husband would be so understanding about his wife taking off to Missouri without him on the 37th anniversary of our wedding! After all these years, my sweet husband has come to understand that doggy stuff can’t always fit into a preferred schedule. Mike stayed home to hold down the fort and take care of our doggies while I visited my collie friends, Cheryl and Jeanie. It was a quick but enjoyable trip.

Cheryl is a superb hostess!  No one goes hungry at her house! It was a treat to be able to talk face to face about collie stuff and a hundred other things. Cheryl has some beautiful collies and her yearling dog, Landon, is one of the prettiest young collie boys I have ever seen. She didn’t want me to take pictures as it was raining off and on and her dogs got a tad dirty. But dirty or not –  Landon looks like a painting of an ideal collie type.  His sister Tracy that I co-own with Cheryl is a pretty and elegant girl, but Landon is going to be a show stopper! I can’t wait to see what he looks like next winter. Watch for him. His AKC name is Cherann’s Cherokee on Sacred Ground. Here is a picture of him from last February. He has only gotten prettier as he is growing up. Cheryl is going to have fun showing him.


Landon as a pup in February 2017

Click on pictures for enlarged view.


I also got to visit with Jeanie Driscoll and left our girl Merci in Jeanie’s care. Merci has finally come in season, and the plan is to breed her to Ch Jjaed’s Pride of St. Roch, bred by Nick and Ellen Moyers, and owned by Jeanie and Nick. Pride is an outstanding son of the beautiful Flurry. Pride is a sable merle headed white – like his mother Flurry- and moves as well as his momma! He has excellent structure and a pretty face too. I hope things work out, and that Merci will have some pretty puppies sired by Pride in September. Puppies from this combination will all be white factored, but no whites as Merci is not white factored. We could have sables, sable merles, blues and tricolors from this breeding. It is a complimentary breeding of two nice collies with excellent pedigrees.


More updates to follow on Merci and the rest of our collie family soon.




Pedigree for Merci Pride breeding

Click on the link above to see the pedigree.

































The Dog Flu

Posted By on June 13, 2017

I generally go the conservative route on vaccinating our dogs- heeding the advice of esteemed vets such as Dr. Ruth Dodds on such matters.  But there is a relatively new threat facing our dogs in the form of canine influenza. And it is not just one strain of flu, attacking dogs in America, but two.

In 2004, a strain of influenza A that was affecting horses apparently mutated and became capable of infecting dogs. This is the strain of dog flu called H3N8. It has popped up in outbreaks sporadically since then in numerous states across the USA – including racing greyhound kennels. 

In 2015, a new strain of canine flu strain called H3N2 appeared in Chicago. H3N2 apparently came to the US from birds imported from Asia. 

Neither H3N8, or H3N2 have been found to affect humans, but they are wrecking havoc in the dog show world.  Places where dogs gather together in large numbers are a perfect storm for spreading canine flu. Dogs attending recent dog shows in Georgia and Louisiana have died. Dog flu has been confirmed in at least 40 states. According to Texas A & M Veterinary Laboratory, because this is a new disease, almost all dogs exposed to it will catch the virus.  20 % of dogs exposed to the virus will have no symptoms. 80% will show symptoms, although most of them will only have a mild form of the disease.  20% will develop the severe form of the infection – showing acute respiratory illness including pneumonia and difficulty breathing. The fatality rate is reported at only 10%, but if you are the one to lose a beloved pet, that is little consolation.

Many vets are not recommending that the average dog be vaccinated for dog flu. But I don’t consider my dogs to be the average dogs. If your dogs never leave your home, they may be safe from dog flu, but show dogs are definitely at risk. Dogs going any place where large numbers of dogs gather, may be exposed to the dog flu viruses and bring an infection back home – exposing other dogs. This is a highly contagious disease.  Dr Dodds (that I admire greatly) feels that dogs do not need this vaccine if they are healthy and have strong immune systems. I usually agree with the idea of doing minimal vaccinations so as not to overwhelm the dog’s immune systems. But my gut feeling on the canine flu is that a 10% fatality rate is scary. I’m vaccinating our dogs with the bivalent flu shots, covering both H3N2 and H3N8. I suspect that the bivalent dog flu shot will have to become part of our routine vaccination protocol. Merck Labs have made the bivalent vaccine containing both H3N2 and H3N8 in one shot available to vets and some companies handling vet supplies. Boxes of 25 have been available from Revival Animal Supply, Lambert Vet Supply, A to Z Vet supplies and other companies. Due to an overwhelming demand, the supply is scarce, and the prices are not cheap.

Dog show folks are taking the threat of canine influenza seriously. The Texarkana shows scheduled for June 17-18, 2017 have been cancelled due to concerns about the current outbreak.




dog flu

Click on the picture for a clear view.






It’s June now, and we are looking at highs in the 90′s this week. There is just no avoiding the heat for very long in Texas. I thank God for air conditioning every summer. Our Poppy/Samson puppies are 5 months, going on six months old. They are looking gangly right now,but I hope by winter they will coat up and be ready to make a splash at some shows.

Here are a few pix I took today. Click on the pictures for a enlarged view.


Patton sit 6 12 2017


Patton Left, Willa center, Maxi right- 6 12 17


Willa 6 12 17



Willa front, Castle back 6 12 17


Willa in group 6 12 17


Maxi sit 6 12 17


Maxi side 6 12 18



Merci with Mike 6 12 17


Merci in front 6 12 17


Tracer head study 6 12 17


Melly resting 6 12 17

 Melody says “Goodnight!”


It’s not that easy.

Posted By on May 23, 2017

Roger 5 21 17



Roger with new owner 5 21 17


People coming to see our puppies often ask me, “How can you stand to let them go?”  Well, it isn’t usually easy. They are lots of tugs on my heart when our puppies leave with new owners. I would never let a puppy go unless I was convinced it was to great people that would give the puppy the care he or she deserved. It’s so easy to lose your heart to puppies you have nurtured for so many days and nights. Roger left us today. We had him about three weeks longer than we usually keep puppies going to pet homes. As the new owners were driving from a good distance, it worked out that way. Roger was always a special one. He didn’t necessarily have the most show potential, but he was probably the sweetest puppy I can ever remember holding. I will certainly miss that little guy.  ♥

I sometimes think about the money we spend on dog food, dog supplements,  heartworm preventative, and all the rest, and I realize that with what we spend on our dogs, we could have had a lot of nice vacations, and a lot of other niceties. I rarely take a vacation that doesn’t involve dogs- usually either going to dog shows, or doing a breeding to a special male. It’s been my choice. I fell in love with collies as a kid, and got hooked on going to dog shows as a teenager. I have no regrets. My collies are a constant in my life. Some of them drive me crazy at times, but their love and companionship are something I hope to never be without. 


I ran over a big cement thing that messed up my car causing me to miss the Saturday Denton show. I got it fixed Saturday so that my daughter Caitlin, and grandson Camron and I got to go to the Denton show on Sunday. I didn’t have time to get Merci groomed  like I wanted, so we just took Tracer to the show. She looked pretty, I thought. It was Tracer’s first show, and our daughter’s first time to ever go in the show ring. They did pretty good considering the small amount of practice they had. Caity and Camron were both surprised at the amount of work involved in going to a show. There is so much stuff you have to load, unload, reload and unload again. Camron was super useful! He has gotten so big and strong! Helping me at the show was part of their Mother’s Day gift to me, and we had a lot of fun! It was probably our last show until fall as almost all the collies are dumping their coats now. 

Tracer 5 14 17 Denton

Getting ready for our 3 minutes in the show ring.

Tracer and Caity at Denton 5 14 17


Merci MAY 2017

Next time Merci!


 Our Poppy/Samson puppies are almost 5 months old, and in the not so cute gangly stage. I can still see lots of potential in them, and plan to take them to some shows when cool weather rolls around again next fall and winter. They are big, rowdy puppies with angel faces.  It’s all I can do to keep up with their ears! They tear the tapes out about as fast as I can get them in– the little brats.


PATTON 5 22 17



Willa 5 22 17



Maxine in the old flowerbed 5 22 17

I can’t wait to see what Patton, Willa and Maxine look like next winter!















Mini update

Posted By on May 8, 2017

Mike and I have been a little under the weather so I didn’t get a chance to take any pictures this weekend. Bart and Betty are in their new homes and Roger’s new owners will be picking him up soon. Roger is the sweetest puppy. It will be tough to let him go.  I got a couple of cute pictures of Bart before he left for South Texas.

4 29 17 Bart


4 29 17 Bart with new owner Courtney


4 29 17 Roger and Bart resting


Most all our collies are doing a big shed now, but Tracer and Merci still look nice so they are going to the Denton show next weekend for a little fun and socialization.

Poppy’s puppies that we kept here are doing good to be in the gawky, leggy stage. I still think they are going to be awesome. I was going to get some pictures but by the time I got their ears done, I ran out of steam and out of daylight. I like outdoor pix of the collies so much more than indoor shots.

I heard exciting news from our friend Nick Moyers, in Tulsa, owner of the one and only Flurry- aka, Ch St Roch’s Moonlight Serenade. Flurry is in PA with Alma Metz for a litter. She was bred to Tahoe, Alma’s new white champion male. Alma helped Flurry bring 9 beautiful white rough collies into the world! An all white litter with sable, tricolor and sable merle markings. I’ll bet they are beautiful!



We may possibly have one more litter from our beautiful Bridgit. We bred her to Chance, aka Gr Ch Scalloway’s Take A Chance, last week. Chance is the brother of Samson who sired Poppy’s beautiful litter. Chance and Samson have 8 champion siblings, and two other siblings that should also complete their championships. That is outstanding! Here is a little snapshot of Chance from the 2016 CCA in Kentucky. He is a handsome, white factored sable merle boy with excellent movement. I really hope our Madam Bridgit takes.

Chance at CCA 2016