History of Dunade Shelties
I grew up loving Rin Tin Tin. My sister, Meredith loved Lassie. In 1977, Meredith was looking for an apartment sized pet and found a sheltie. Being very interested in animals, she was the type that Breeders love to bring into the fold. Barbara Hansen, Kidwelly Shelties, took a chance on selling a “newbie” a show quality bitch. Meredith took “Sandy”, Lady Sandra Gem of Kidwelly, our foundation bitch, to handling classes with Fran Tracy. For the last class, Meredith called me and said, “You’ve got to come learn how to do this. My back won’t take it.” So after I attended that last class, we took off on the match circuit. Sandy was a moving machine and a little on the doggy side, but we had a lot of fun winning. Barbara then sold me my first sheltie, “Tigger”, Shelando Kidwelly Reflexion, who was a year old male, shy, and a bit bitchy. Our kennel was born and the name was a natural combination of Meredith DUNnigan and Libby wADE, DUNADE.
We were very lucky in the first litter where Muppet, CH Dunade Kidwelly Galactica, our first champion, was born. However, being a novice, bred by exhibitor did not mean anything to me, so while I owned Tigger, the stud, and Meredith, owned Sandy. Doing the breeding, whelping, raising and showing the pups does not mean a bred by champion, if your sister owned the mother. In the meantime, I had purchased another Tigger daughter, Kanga. She had gone thru a very ugly 12 week old puppy stage. (See the UGLY duckling HERE) But I could not sell her because she was my husband’s German Shepard's best buddy. They played Frisbee together and had a great time. Right after finishing Muppet, I was looking in the backyard and wondered who the beautiful looking bitch was. The ugly ducking had turned into a swan and I finished CH Kidwelly’s Kanga between April and September, 1981.
Thru the early 1980’s, my husband, Dennis, daughter, Debbi, and I traveled in a motor home and Dennis would come along to sell dog food at the shows. Meredith and Jack, her husband, faded in their interest and I teamed up with Fran Tracy. I would handle my own dogs or the ones that we co-owned and Fran would handled for other people. Having a full time career, as a Geodesist, being a wife and mother, and having the dogs was a real balancing act. So with Meredith out of the picture, I started having fewer and fewer litters. But, I would find cute puppies to buy and I do like my boys. My first Tri, CH Wits’ End Nite Shadow of Dunade, was bought from Erica Venier and I’ll never forget the thrill I had finishing him in 1983 at the Old Dominion KC show with all of the big handlers there. I couldn’t even get nervous when Linda Foiles measured my bitch, the repeat breeding of Muppet, CH Dunade A Star is born. I had not measured her since she turned a year old and I knew that she was right up there. She measured in and finished in 1985. In 1983, Star, Fran, and I had an interesting experience with Peggy Adamson.
On a very HOT day, Fran and I went to Kent State University in Ohio to show under Peggy. Peggy was known for putting up very good moving dogs and running the dogs and the handlers to death in the process. Fran had a male, Pisces, CH Tracean Pisces of Astolat, who just needed a major to finish. I suggested that she show him to Peggy. However, Fran was handling a dog from California and thought that he would do well there also. I am an owner/handler and VERY, VERY, rarely show any dog that I do not own or co-own, but in this case, I asked Fran if she wanted me to show Pisces. Sure! When we met up to go to the show, there was Pisces who had not been to a show in quite some time. “Why did you bring him along?” I asked. “You wanted to show him, remember?” she replied. Luckily, Peggy was judging on Sunday and we had Saturday and Sunday to get him ready. Sure, enough, Peggy loved the way he moved around the ring. She gave him the Sable and White class. Back in for winners, Peggy started moving us for the last time. I knew that this was probably Pisces last shot and wanted his movement to be recognized. When Holly Anderson, with the AOAC, went to stop after one time around the ring, I knew that Peggy had not told us to stop, so I kept right on going. Peggy gave Pisces a Championship that day. I did apologize to Holly and everything was fine. So, now for the rest of the story.
Remember, Star, I was showing her in bitches that day. She only had one major and I knew that Peggy would like her also. Fran was showing a bitch that we co-owned, a Pisces daughter, April, who had both majors. Well, we switched. Fran took in Star and I showed April. You guessed it! Peggy could not take her eyes off April and Star took the major reserve to April. Two weeks later, April, CH Tracean April Gem O'Kijer, finished her Championship and it took Star another two years. But Star finished big time in 1985, after taking a major and the Breed, she went on to take a Group 1.
As I mentioned before, my family was traveling with me a lot of the time during 1984 and 85. We also moved from our small 3 bedroom house in Poolesville, MD to 11 acres and a large home near Frederick, MD. We built the house and because my husband wanted a 3 car garage, I ended up with a 30’ x 30’ kennel room on top of the garage with indoor/outdoor runs. There are also 3 fenced yards of almost an acre. My career as a Geodesist was moving along quite rapidly and my balancing act was growing more difficult. For those of you who do not know, (which I am sure is most of you, because when they hired me, I said, "Geodesy, What is it?") Geodesy is the science of the size and shape of the earth. I determine the location of things so that you can know where you are any time any place. We also are the agency that talked the Department of Defense into letting civilians use the GPS system. This is why you have the GPS navigation systems in your cars today.
About this time, I learned a big lesson. Whelping puppies was one of the items that was "too much." My sister had moved on to other interests and Fran was slowing down in her commitments. So when a friend offered to whelp Star for a puppy, who was I to say no. Of course, I still did not own Star, my nephew did. Star lived with me, I did the breeding, and owned the stud. My "friend" took the pick female and I grew out the male. The boy went off and had to be sold. The female was turning into a brood bitch and was beautiful but not being shown. Buying her back for a show dog price taught me that you do not negotiate in puppy currency. I also became the owner of Star. In 1985, in addition to Star, I finished her daughter, Bonnie, Ch Rion Dunade Time Capsule.
Another lesson learned that year was that you never can totally predict what judges will do. I had shown under Peggy Adamstown quite a few times and we all knew that she loved movement. I was sure that she would love, Brett, Ch Brecon Family Ties. My friend, Rona Hankin, had found Brett at the National one year and we decided to buy him. He just needed a major to finish and Rona and Kathy Glorioso, another truly great buddy, took him under Peggy in Ohio. Well, he bombed. I also had him entered under Peggy 2 weeks later on the Cherry Blossom circuit. As the saying goes, Another Day, Another Dog Show, and you can't win if you don't enter. Brett finished in Virginia under Peggy.
In 1986, I finished Kotter, Ch Wits' End Welcome Back, another dog that Fran and I had bought from Erica Venier. He was a great moving, super structured dog and had become one of in my husband's favorites along with Bobby, Oh Mi Not to be Overlooked. Bobby was one of many dogs that I did own and show that never became a champion. I don't want everyone to think that all I had were Champions. Bobby and Kotter taught me that even dogs can be great pals. They were born within 4 months of each other and came to me when they were 6 months and 1 year. In February 1997, Kotter died and 2 weeks later, Bobby died. They were both almost 15 years old.
By 1987, Fran was out of dogs. I was showing Treasure, Ch Crackabee's Lucky Charm, who I co-owned with Pat McCracken. She was the first Champion that I could not finish on my own. She was handled and finished by Cheryl Willacker.
In 1988, another big lesson was learned. If you want to buy a dog at the Nationals, don't wait until after littermates win their classes. Carol DeMoss and Linda Evans, great friends, and I found Heidi, Ch Saranac Dunade Hi Kaskade at the Virginia Beach ASSA. She was 6 months old and was lifting in the front when she moved. Her brother and sister moved very well and won their 6-9 classes. Of course, Heidi who was for sale at a much better price the week before, increased in value that day. After much negotiation, Heidi went home with us. In December, Heidi had learned what dog shows were all about and was moving like a dream. She started her quest for a championship with a 4 point major in December at the Cleveland Classic. By the summer of 1989, she had both majors and only needed a few singles to finish. Carol got the great idea that Heidi should finish before she was 2 years old. So the great push was on. Dorothy Welsh finished her in August relieving me of a great deal of pressure.
Also in 1988, one of the great loves of my life came to me. Johnny, Ch Cataway Dunade Like the Wind, was bred by and co-owned with Patty Page. I thought this litter was so beautiful that I also bought two other females. I co-owned Miriah, Ch Cataway They Call the Wind, with Carol and Linda. But she is a later story. By this time I was traveling around with my buddy, Kathy Glorioso and showing Johnny but knowing that he was not ready to win. But everyone knows that you can't go to a dog show and not show something. Even knowing that he was not ready, a top handler convinced me that he could be great and that she wanted to handle him. I like to show my own dogs and was very reluctant, but if he could be a big winner, I did not want to deprive his breeder. Well, Johnny went off for a campaign. One month later, after only 3 shows, I get a call from the handler. “Meet me in PA and you can show him and then take him home. He won’t show for me.” In a way, I was thrilled that he would not show for any one else but me. The day after I got him back, he took a major reserve with me showing. A month later, he took his first major. Johnny finished in 1991.
There are times when a handler is totally necessary. Linda Evans and I found a beautiful blue puppy to buy for her sister, Carol DeMoss, for her birthday. We co-owned Riker and worked with him until he was two. He was having a hard time with shows and would be very noise sensitive. Kathy Glorioso did a great job of bringing him around and his co-owner/breeder, Patty Page, finished Riker, Ch Cataway’s Enterprise in 1992. Riker is the first blue champion that I have co-owned.
I have had great success with my studs. Tigger-Shelando Kidwelly Reflexion, sired three Champions; Muppet, Kanga, and Star. Shadow-Ch Wits’ End Nite Shadow of Dunade, sired Bonnie, Treasure, Mandee-CH Sunebank Winter Masquerade, bred/owned by Wendy Mount and Angie Weitkamp, and CH Sunebank Blue Becomes Me, bred/owned by Wendy Mount. I am sure there was a ton of speculation about my first match judging assignment in Virginia. I judged Sweeps and Fran judged Breed. Not only did I put up a blue puppy but Fran picked the same great structure, excellent moving little bitch. After the show was over, we were told that it was Shadow’s daughter. She was not being shown by Angie and we really did have no idea who she was. Does that mean I am consistent in looking at other shelties? Probably not. I bet I am just as Kennel Blind as everyone else.
Johnny’s first Champion was Sailor, Ch Cataway Jancada Seawind. I co-owned Sailor with my friend, Patty Page along with Yeager, Ch Cataway the Right Stuff. They both finished in 1993. Sailor has made me think of South Hills KC very fondly because he took his first major there under Jim Fredericksen and then finished there with a big 5 point major under Roxanne Mahan. Sailor’s litter mate, Jessie, CH Cataway Jeris Double Take, owned by Patty Page, finished in 1995.
In 1995, our two hard luck shelties finally finished. Miriah, CH Cataway They Call the Wind, Johnny’s sister, and Marcus, CH Dunade Lord of the Rings, Johnny’s oldest son and 3rd champion, both started their careers with majors as young dogs. Miriah had a beautiful face and expression but was a little weak in the rear. It took from 1990 to 1994 for her to get her second major. And as we all have experienced, getting that last single was a while in coming. Miriah finished in April of 1995 with the help of several handlers.
Marcus, however in 1991, kept beating his father, Johnny, who I was trying to finish. So when he was probably in the best shape to do more winning, I pulled him from shows to finish Johnny. Marcus started out with a Big Bang winning 2 singles and both of his majors by 1992. His first major was from the bred by class on the Cherry Blossom circuit. Then Zana Friend, another really good friend and handler, and I went to Puerto Rico with a bunch of dogs that needed majors. We had one of the best dog show circuits that I have ever been on. We won 7 out of the 8 wins. Unfortunately, we took the major in dogs and the bitches only crossed over 2 of the 4 days and one of those crossover bitch wins was the one we lost. Of course, the next year when we went back, we only won once. In 1993, after taking 11 points with both majors, Marcus decided that he didn’t want to show any more. Again, I turned to my good friends and handlers, Kathy Glorioso and Zana Friend to help in making Marcus a Champion. Another common experience that I am sure many can relate to is the need to go Best of Winners to get that last point when just Winners is not enough. Marcus was also my first official Bred By Exhibitor Champion and the fourth Bred by Dunade shelties. My Studs had sired 10 champions by this time.
Carol DeMoss & I are always on the lookout for show dogs to have fun with. We do very limited breeding and when we find shelties that we just can’t live without, into the fold they come. That was the case with Breeze, Ch Cataway I’ll Catch the Wind and Indi, Ch Saranac Dunade Kaskade’s Indi, who both finished in 1996. I have to be careful when I go to the Nationals. There is always some beautiful Sheltie there waiting to come home with me: starting with Bobby, Oh Mi Not to be Overlooked and Brett, Ch Brecon Family Ties, in 1983, to Heidi, Ch Saranac Dunade Hi Kaskade, Johnny, Ch Cataway Dunade Like the Wind and Miriah, Ch Cataway They Call the Wind in 1988, to Indi, Ch Saranac Dunade Kaskade’s Indi in 1993 and finishing with Seth, Royl Marchwind Manifesto, at my last National in 2003. Indi got her name from the ASSA in Indianpolis.
At this point in time, the balance swung back to my job and family and I did not go to very many shows for the next few years. But I did breed a few litters and my next three champions were Bred By’s. Buddy, Ch Dunade’s Wind on the Sea, and I have had a great time, both in and out of the ring. He has loved to travel, work in the yard, visit with friends and family, and , most importantly, he has loved to show. Buddy’s big year was in 2000 when he won a major on the Cherry Blossom circuit in April and finished his Championship in New Jersey in July. Buddy and I are now working in Agility just to have fun.
The two litter mates, Jason, Ch Dunade Kaskade Golden Fleece and James T, Ch Dunade the Navigator, finished in 2002. Jason lives in Pittsburgh with his co-owners, Carol DeMoss and Royanne Mac. He is also now pursuing an Agility career. James T lived with me and if I have not said so by now, he was named for one of my passions, Star Trek. Jason started his career with a big speciality win at the Harrisburg SSC under George Danforth with a 5 point major. With these two brothers, I faced a most difficult decision. We were at the Mid Susquehanna shows where James T won the Bred by Exhibitor class and Jason won the Open Sable class under Steven Gladstone. So now what do you do? Go back into the winner’s class with the one that needs his second major or stay on the one that could finish with that win. Of course, judges never do what you expect anyway. Having shown shelties for over 25 years, I knew how hard it was to get majors, so I stayed on James T and got his second major. Jason finished a week later and James T finished 2 months after that.
That brings me up to the present day and our young group of dogs that I am currently working with. Only one is a Bred By and the others have been bought along the way. I was thrilled to place 4th at the 2003 ASSA with Seth, Royl Marchwind Manifesto. After all these years, it was my first ribbon at a National. I had made the cuts many times including Johnny and Heidi but I never got a placement. The girls, Ba’ku, Fair Isle Dunade the Perfect Moment and Nova, Marchwind Dunade Reach Any Star, (Archer’s mother) have spent some time in the whelping box and having a great time on the farm. Our next Champion was CH Merry Lea Wind in the Willow. Willow, who is owned by Carol DeMoss and co-owned by me, had a great 2005. We started placing really well on the Florida circuit in January and then she took 9 points, including a major on the TarHeel. She then finished in 2006. Another exciting win was at the Three Rivers SSC of Greater Pittsburgh. Archer, CH Dunade Kaskade the Explorer, at 14 months, won a 4 point major. Archer is Dunade's 6th homebred Champion and he finished in 2007. He is living the retired life which includes agility.
Thanks to Diana Morgan and Lynda, 2008 has been terrific. We co-own a beautiful Blue boy. CH Cathance Kirby Kenji started his winning streak on the Florida circuit and finished in August. He is Dunade's 24 Champion and was expertly shown by Kathy Glorioso. He is his father's, AM CH JPN CH Silver Sion Grat Vega, first Champion.
I know my time in
Shelties has been great. Being a geodesist and as my friends know, loving
statistics. I have shown in over 1600 shows in the past 25 years and taken
points at 14% of them for 437 points. I have owned and/or co-owned 24 Champions.
I retired from the National Geodetic Survey in 2006 after 34 years. Work had
increased in responsibility because of the cuts in people but demanded the same
level of service. My government service was fun but it was time to move on. I am still trying to balance family, which has expanded to include a
two grandsons; and my wonderful
furry friends, my loves, my Shelties.