January 2011 to February 2012

The “Never Again” Winter Litters (November 2010 to February 2011):

This is the year that will always be remembered as That Winter ! A winter filled with ten smallies swarming inside Fern Hill. For me that is akin to heaven, but for Richard who does the bulk of the puppy work, it is truly a “labour of love”. As described in my 2010 update, Elegy’s litter with Ch Tannochbrae’s Iagan at Glencrag rolled down the driveway with Joan and Joe Giles and Kris and Bayard Smith October 31, 2010. The farm seemed empty but not for long as Big Sky Anica O’ Fernhill had been bred to Ch. Fernhill’s Huntly d’Lux and she whelped two males and five females November 16, 2010 and Fernhill’s Vesper, not to be outdone had a tiny litter of two males, one female from the last straw of the frozen semen that we held from BISS (1990), MBIS Ch. Christie’s Glen Fiddich. So we began 2011 hopping with smallies….that dreaded (“never again!!”) winter litter phenomenon which, when I think about it, is really only a Canadian issue so most people will not understand the nightmare of raising tiny poopies in the house with sub zero weather for months on end outside.

The pups seem to handle it better than us…below are the Huntly X Anica puppies at seven weeks enjoying a winter “walkabout” in the snow with Anica.

The local Bailieboro and Millbrook village retail outlets saved newspapers for us and visitors would come with sacks of papers in exchange for play-time with puppies. Eventually the hour came for the great dispersal and Richard rolled down the driveway in February with six puppies in the back of the van as we looked skyward and prayed that the weather would co-operate. The logistics of getting puppies out to distant places in winter hit with a vengeance. I have total amnesia about this period but it involved Julie and Duncan McPhail (Big Sky Scottish Deerhounds, co-breeders of the Huntly X Anica litter ) flying from Texas to Niagara (after various cancellations due to winter weather conditions) to pick up three pups destined for the Deep South; Richard meeting them and then carrying on to Chardon, Ohio to meet with Lise Bennett who picked up Fernhill’s Castle Keep at the home of Jeanne Frye (Thistleglen) and then Richard continuing to Cleveland Airport to put Laura Tudor Burrell’s Fernhill’s Colin and Fernhill’s Cara on the plane to California. Again, through the extraordinary kindness of friends, it all worked out.

Foxcliffe Thistleglen Torrish

Thanks to Jeanne Frye and Ceil Dove we were fortunate to acquire in November 2010, Foxcliffe Thistleglen Torrish (Fernhill’s Lyric X Ch. Thistleglen Foxcliffe Bluegrass Cat) a brother to Talisman whom we tragically lost prematurely. We feel blessed indeed to have him and are thrilled to have a son of our most beautiful Lyric again. So, introducing Torrish, also known as “Torricus” by us and Alistair Sutherland who owned his grandsire Ch. Fernhill’s Atticus…so, introducing “Torricus”, son of “Lyricus”, son of Atticus ….

Foxcliffe Thistleglen Torrish (Fernhill’s Lyric X Ch. Thistleglen Foxcliffe Bluegrass Cat) at 15 months (below)

Torrish at Fern Hill – below at 2 years

(below) Lyric (on left) and son Torrish got along beautifully right from the start…an extraordinary relationship between two mature males that truly care for each other!

We couldn’t have found a sweeter more wonderful boy…he loved Vesper ‘s babies Taegan, Talbot and Tavish and happily cared for them.

Foxcliffe Thistleglen Torrish X Ardtalamcu Nootka litter – May 17, 2011

His own puppies arrived May 17, 2011 and involved leasing Victoria Poles’ Ardtalamcu Nootka (Aust. Ch. Thistleglen Neville X Aust. Ch. Ardtalamcu Embers). Nootka was imported from Jocelyn Thompson (Ardtalamcu) Australia in 2007 by Julie McPhail and myself along with her brother Mojave and sister Arikara. Julie raised Nootka and then Victoria, Andre, Taegen and Ainsley Poles took over when she was a “grown up”. Below is Nootka at 7 months with Julie in Texas.

and then Nootka came to Fern Hill for her litter….

This was another litter that went without a hitch with five males and five and a half females arriving May 17-18, 2011. The “half” was a tiny little female that we (Richard, myself and our totally awesome “midwoof” Barb Yaroski) were convinced would never survive. She was half the size of the others and her mouth was really too small for the nipples. She eventually did find one to latch on to and we simply left her there hanging on for dear life (literally) for the next few weeks while we rotated the rest in lots of five day and night. Who said having puppies was fun??? Well Nootka certainly enjoyed motherhood…!

When we finally got them outside at five weeks, we did too!

This was an exceptionally uniform litter and we were very pleased with the wonderfully outgoing temperaments and overall quality. Eroica, Elgin and Everett stayed at Fern Hill, Eliza B (a.k.a. “Bracken”) went to Kate and Bob Lyons (Lyonhil) in Ohio, Etta Mae to Lesa Newbitt (Bereton) in Texas, Eclipse to Julie McPhail (Big Sky) in Texas, and Elphinstone has his home by the 123,900 acre Kananaskis Park with Sue Winsor in Alberta. Emma and Aliyah stayed in Ontario along with Dileas Gu Brath who went to live with Nootka and the Poles family.

Pedigree of Foxcliffe Thistleglen Torrish bred to Ardtalamcu Nootka “E” litter (5 d, 6 b) born May 17, 2011, Bred by Barbara Heidenreich

Parents Grandparents G-GrandParents G-G-GParents G-G-G-GParents
Foxcliffe Thistleglen Torrish Fernhill’s Lyric Can. Ch. Fernhill’s Atticus Can. Ch. Turbulent Indigo Can.Ch.Fernhill’s Intrepid
Am.Can.Ch. Fernhill’s Evangeline
Fernhill’s Dulcinea Ch. Lehigh Urquhart
Ch. Fernhill’s Electra at Fitzhugh F Ch
Am.Can.Ch. Fernhill’s Roslyn Ch. Lehigh Urquhart Ch. Sindar Munro of Lehigh
Ch. Lehigh Noreen
Fernhill’s Camille Am.Can.Ch. Fernhill’s Intrepid
Fernhill’s Diva
Ch. Foxcliffe Thistleglen Bluegrass Cat Thistleglen Newell Ch. Thistleglen Leeds Ch. Darkwynd Doublestar
Ch. Thistleglen Gillian
Ch. Fernhill’s Thistleglen Tenille Ch. Lehigh Urquhart
Ch. Fernhill’s Electra at Fitzhugh F Ch
Foxcliffe Summoning Charms Ch. Pennant’s Mariner Am.Can Ch. Fernhill’s Somerset
Am.Can. Ch. Fernhill’s Encore
Ch. Beardswood Freya Ch. Beardswood Eiryn
Beardswood Demelza
Ardtalamcu Nootka Aust. Ch. Thistleglen Neville Ch. Thistleglen Leeds Ch. Darkwynd Doublestar Ch. Darkwynd Domino O’Vale Vue
Ch. Joyous Starchaser O’Vale Vue
Ch. Thistleglen Gillian Ch. Lehigh Ross
Ch. Lehigh Nettle O’ Thistleglen
Ch. Fernhill’s Thistleglen Tenille Ch. Lehigh Urquhart Ch. Sindar Munro of Lehigh
Ch. Lehigh Noreen
Ch. Fernhill’s Electra at Fitzhugh F. Ch. Am. Can. Ch. Fernhill’s Wyvern
Lyonhil Echo O’ Fernhill
Aus. Ch. Ardtalamcu Embers Aus. Ch. Innellan Carpet Knight Benavus Game Stalker Nelungaloo Halleys Comet
Weirskints Black Pearl
Argowan Dimity Aus.Ch.Weirskints Drumbeat
Aus.Ch. Argowan Angharad
Aus. Ch. Nelungaloo Flitter Aus. Ch. Nelungaloo Citus Aus. Ch Nelungaloo Swift
Aus Ch Nelungaloo Fleet
Nelungaloo Alissa Nelungaloo Trouble
Nelungaloo Flamingo

And what happened to the tiny shrimp that should never have made it? Well, she did it all on her own without any help and we blessed her with the longest name in the litter, Fernhill’s Elecampagne (a.k.a. “Daisy”) and her mum Allie Taylor of Delta B.C. writes us just about every day to tell us about all the wicked things that she is doing. We feel that most of these tales are grossly exaggerated as surely is this not the face of an angel?

We were fortunate to have the artist Ralph Siferd visiting at the time that Nootka was with us. He produced this striking oil of Nootka (below) that just captures her essence perfectly in a moment in time….

And this oil sketch of her son Fernhill’s Dileas Gu Brath (below) at 9 weeks was also painted by Ralph Siferd at the same time…

Below is the “real” Dileas several months later slightly older and wiser than his portrait above, and still going through his “ear stage”…..

One of the great pleasures in having a litter is the constant stream of pictures and anecdotes on puppy progress….from Bragg creek Alberta…Elphinstone “the Mighty Hunter”!

From Texas, the 7 month puppy update photos of Eclipse (below)

and Etta Mae at 7 months (below)…

And Daisy (below) working hard on thinking about hunting those pesky deer!

Ch. Pennant’s Ghost (Ch. Fernhill’s Turbulent Indigo X Am. Ch. Fernhill’s Encore) .. on her 13th Birthday June 5 2011

Here is the grand old girl Ghostie on her 13th birthday much loved and kept fit by our great friends Nancy and Bill Logan. We had the requisite “walkies” and then a super party!!

The 2011 Scottish Deerhound National Specialty, Hillsboro, Oregon June 15 – 18

The annual pilgrimage to the SDCA Specialty began June 10 for me as I set out for Oregon in a rented car that I trusted to make the four day drive there and four day drive back. I took Fernhill’s Bayard who was to stay with Joan Creel and planned to come back with pups from the Iagan X Astrid litter: Fernhill’s Hebridie O’Glencrag and Fernhill’s Haley O’Glencrag, as well a Fernhill’s Kinley from the Iagan X Elegy litter who was being raised by Kris and Bayard Smith. It was a wonderful Specialty, great to see the west coast clan again and to visit Joe and Joan Giles at their beautiful property at Grant’s Pass Oregon and Joan and Roger Creel in Bozeman, MT.

At the Specialty everyone received a respectable share of the loot….Hebridie at 5 ½ months won his 3-6 month Futurity Class and then went on to Best of Opposite Sex in Futurity, Bayard won his class in the Futurity and a tough Bred by Exhibitor class in the Specialty, Haley won her 3-6 month class and Kinley won the 9-12 month class in the Futurity while Fernhill’s Javelin topped a large Open Dog class and then went on to Reserve Winners Dog. He also took the ASFA Veteran Coursing Stake.

Some pictures from those fun three days….

Fernhill’s Javelin (Ch. Pyefleet Niall X Fernhill’s Dulcinea) with Bayard Smith handling…(right) Javelin winning the A.S.F.A. veteran coursing (photo by Lesa Newbitt)

and Javelin moving…..

Fernhill’s Hebridie (left) and Haley (right) (Ch. Tannochbrae’s Iagan O’Glencrag X Big Sky Astrid O’Fernhill) at 5 ½ months (photos by Mary Ann Rose) winning their classes in the Futurity

Fernhill’s Kinley (below)…left at 8 months…right at 10 months winning his 9-12 month class in the SDCA Futurity in Oregon

Fernhill’s Bayard winning the Bred by Exhibitor Class (photos by Lesa Newbitt)

Bayard (below) relaxing at Glencrag

The Best Team (a “team” is a working four-in-hand) ever created in the Deerhound community !!!….below my great friends….

Joe Giles (left) (Glencrag) and Bayard Smith (Jeffcairn)….and right…………Joan Giles and Kris Smith.

and at his new home in Montana with Joan and Roger Creel …Fernhill’s Bayard settling into a life in the mountains and a place where you don’t have to hunt for toys (spoilt much?)

We admired the beautiful new sculpture that Joan was working on …”On the Beach”…(below) placed on a blood-wood base crafted by Scott Dearing and now in the process of being made into a life-size bronze for a select group that recognise artistic ability and the joy of owning a maintenance free Deerhound that lives forever!

The trip back from the Specialty was interesting…three pups under the age of a year in a rental car with tree guards around the seat belts and a water pistol to blast anyone making loud and indiscriminate chewing noises in the back. An extraordinary encounter with a bison at Roosevelt National Park (below) kept the pups happy with big hunting thoughts preoccupying their sleep for the rest of the trip as I drove non-stop for three days until I arrived home.

Rare photo of Deerhounds hunting bison in Roosevelt National Parking lot….

Ooops!!! That is our wee black Chevy Calibre that we were trying to get back to after a pit stop….

A stunning North Dakota badlands…. a national park named after that great conservationist Theodore Roosevelt that also owned, loved and hunted with Scottish Deerhounds!

We arrived back at Fernhill with the rental car still intact and only a few discrete nibble marks in an obscure location that will remain forever a secret!

Capital Area Sighthound Association (CASA) Specialty, Ottawa, Ontario July 16 – 17, 2011

Our next event was the Capital area Sighthound Association Specialty. While we tend not to go to summer shows because of the heat, the Capital Area Sighthound Association this year attracted a big entry and I attended (reluctantly) mainly because they invited two excellent judges Rita Walker and Sandra Anderson to judge on July 16th and 17th respectively. It was also an opportunity to see Susan Trow’s Nelungaloo Ben X Legacy litter, deliver several of Joan Creel’s sculptures to their ultimate home and to sweat it out in the ring galloping about in what turned out to be the hottest July 16-17 ever recorded (105 F counting in the humidity). Fittingly, a gorgeous Saluki won BISS on Saturday and a Whippet on Sunday, but [….pipe skirl…] the Scottish Deerhound puppy won Best Puppy in Specialty Show both days! Raised and trained by Kris and Bayard Smith, Fernhill’s Kinley (Ch Tannochbrae’s Iagan at Glencrag X Fernhill’s Elegy) never let down in the heat and despite at 11 months being at what I consider the homeliest age for a Deerhound, he gave all of us involved in his production and welfare a very proud moment. We now have more giant stuffed bunnies than Australia, as this collection gets added to the tiger (now missing both eyes) and hopping haul that Fernhill’s Bayard won in 2010 when he went BISS at this same Specialty!!

Kinley (below) back at home after his CASA Specialty BPISS – 11 months. Kinley then joined Lesa Newbitt (Bereton) in Texas and on his first show weekend racked up two 5-point and a 4-point major!

SDCA Western Regional Specialty, Lompoc, California, July 29, 2011

Meanwhile back on the west coast Fernhill’s Cara (Am.Can Ch. Fernhill’s Huntly d’Lux X Big Sky Anica O’Fernhill) expertly raised by Laura Tudor Burrell, Viggo, and assorted fur and feathered friends wins a Best Puppy in Specialty Show at the S.D.C.A. Western Regional Specialty….I think it was the first show for Laura (who handled) and Cara!!

Fernhill’s Colin, moving out with Kris Smith at that same Specialty…(below)

Caretta’s Aiden O’Fernhill (Nelungaloo Shot at Fame X Ch. Atzberg Legacy of Caretta F.Ch.) b. April 24, 2011 arrived at Fernhill August 22, 2011

We watched with interest as Susan Trow (Caretta) decided to breed her Legacy ( Leoch Fiddich x Fernhill’s Lantana) imported from Oliver and Gabi Fritsch (Atzberg) Austria, to the Australian champion Aus. Ch. Nelungaloo Shot At Fame (“Ben”) (below) bred by Virginia and Kevin Hawke (Nelungaloo). “Ben” is sired by Jocelyn Thompson’s import Aus. Ch. Thistleglen Neville out of  Virg and Kevin’s “Betsy“. Now this has to be an ultimate in international breeding!

The litter intrigued us with its global mix of quality, Legacy and Ben’s type and Legacy’s absolutely spectacular coursing career …top A.S.F.A. Deerhound for 2009 and 2010!!

Can Ch. Atzberg Legacy of Caretta Am. Can. F.Ch (below – photo by Steve Surfman).

So Aiden joined us in August….here is how a Deerhound puppy grows…and grows….8 weeks, 12 weeks, 15 weeks

Below is Aiden at 4 months………………………………………………………………………………………………………….and 10 months

Pedigree of Caretta’s Aiden O’Fernhill (Nelungaloo Shot at Fame “Ben” X Legacy) b. April 24, 2011 – Bred by Susan Trow

Parents Grandparents G-GrandParents G-G-GParents
Aust. Ch. Nelungaloo Shot at Fame
(Sire) Aust. Ch. Thistleglen Neville Ch. Thistleglen Leeds Ch. Darkwynd Doublestar
Ch. Thistleglen Gillian
Ch. Fernhill’s Thistleglen Tenille Ch. Lehigh Urquhart
Ch. Fernhill’s Electra at Fitzhugh F.Ch.
Claidhembor Circe Nelungaloo Spellbound Nelungaloo Trouble
Nelungaloo Flamingo
Nelungaloo Surprise Nelungaloo Citus
Nelungaloo Brandy Snap
Can. Ch. Atzberg Legacy of Carettta F. Ch. (Dam) Leoch Fiddich Leoch Ballintuim Strathdechtn Cawdor
Leoch Caol – Isla
Strathdechtn Dava Coronach’s Penny’s Chieftain
Strathdechtn Cathadh
Fernhill’s Lantana Can. Ch. Fernhill’s Atticus Can. Ch. Fernhill’s Turbulent Indigo
Fernhill’s Dulcinea
Am. Can. Ch. Fernhill’s Roslyn Am. Ch. Lehigh Urquhart
Fernhill’s Camille

September 17 “The Feast” with Denny Smail James Forrester (with Electra) Mark Fisher (the Chef)

Some visits and meals are so memorable that we immortalise them and they bring back fond memories. Such are our visits with Denny Smail working briefly near Barrie far from her home (and Deerhounds) in Washington and James (owned by Fernhill’s Mary Electra Buchanan) and Mark, chef extraordinaire….

Only a wonderful walk in the field afterwards could top off such a perfect meal!

Such friends represent the ultimate in the “perfect homes” for a Deerhound, but only James and Mark, as far as I know, have shown the world how much they worship the Deerhound breed…

SDCA Eastern Regional Specialty, Cumberland, MD October 21, 2011

We didn’t make the Wine Country circuit October 1-2, 2011, but Fernhill’s Hebridie O’Glencrag did thanks to Barb and Len Yaroski chauffeuring him and the kindness of Ceil Dove and Kay Barnes helping out with the handling. This is a show weekend that I hate to miss as it always has a large Deerhound entry and this year we actually hit a jackpot by Hebridie winning an amazing $7.50 by going Best of Opposite Sex in the S.D.C.A. Sweepstakes at the supported entry October 1, 2011 and RWD on October 2, 2011.

We did however get to the Eastern Regional Specialty held in Cumberland Maryland October 21, 2011 again with only Hebridie and were very pleased to bring back to Canada a Best of Opposite in the Specialty Sweepstakes, various firsts in the 9-12 month classes and Cindy Nuttal’s lovely Best Puppy in Specialty trophy.

Part of a male Deerhound’s charm is to watch their ability to think their way through amazingly complex situations…and Hebridie is no exception. Here are some rare photos of a Deerhound male thinking….now how exactly do I get onto this couch which seems to have a Deerhound already ensconced….?????

SUCCESS!! (sort of)

Torrish found that effort hysterically funny….he has his own special spot right behind Elegy’s favourite couch and wouldn’t dream of trying to join her….now that IS smart!

Christmas & New Years 2011

The Meissen angels above were given to my Mum by her grandfather 100 years ago and they come out at Christmas and that day ended with a spectacular walk on the farm, flushing eight white-tailed deer and us madly snapping pictures of the event … such a pity we hadn’t put in the memory chip. The return walk later in the evening resulted in no deer, but some lovely pictures of the dogs thinking deer-like happy hunting thoughts and coursing a Red-tailed hawk instead.

The search continues for those elusive deer…..

and the walk always ends with a sigh of relief when everyone returns…..!! It doesn’t get better than that!

Have A Wonderful 2012 from all of us at Fern Hill