July 2008 to January 2010

“Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful” said Ann Landers. Fortunately in Scottish Deerhounds, most of the people that we meet in this breed are as wonderful as their dog thinks they are! One of the more remarkable eccentrics whose company we have enjoyed at Fern Hill is John Wack and his family. Although we meet infrequently as John lives in New Brunswick, about ten years ago, John presented me with a small piece of cotton cloth that I treasure because of the Deerhound motif and beautiful colours (pictured below).

Then another close friend, Nancy Logan, owner of Am. Can. Ch. Pennant’s Ghost (Ch. Fernhill’s Turbulent Indigo X Am. Can. Ch. Fernhill’s Encore) and a gifted quilter offered to turn my pillow case sized square into something quite special. Our Christmas present was a stunning transformation of the material from the Wack family into six placemats and two hot-plate squares! Enjoy, but don’t expect to see them used when you visit until humans learn as a species, to eat without accidental spills.

Scottish Deerhound National Specialty July 23-24 2008 – Lompoc, California

The major Deerhound event that we attend each year is the Scottish Deerhound Club of America National Specialty. In 2008 it was held in Lompoc California. For us, that is a mere five day jaunt across the continent for a dog show and then another five days drive back afterwards. This would be my 30+ th visit to a SDCA National Specialty, sometimes to look, sometimes to show; an event not to be missed if you are committed to the breed. There are friends to catch up with, new litters to view, dogs to check out that are now more mature or newly imported or making their debut. The trick is to find a fun travel companion, so Susan Trow and I headed off for our two week adventure in her new Sprinter, with Roslyn and Am. Can.Ch. Caretta’s Marcus F.Ch., as both love travelling.

What I didn’t anticipate was arriving in California with The Princess a.k.a. Am.Can.Ch. Fernhill’s Roslyn, thoroughly annoyed at being cooped up in a luxury RV for a period of time that she clearly felt was excessively long. While I managed to cajole and drag Roslyn around the ring to a certain degree of glory, her pouty attitude didn’t change until on the return trip, we fortuitously stayed in a state park that was simply hopping with rabbits. There I saw the animation and brilliance that was totally lacking at Lompoc….oh well, that is living with Deerhounds!

What Roslyn did capture at the 2008 Specialty was:

  • Three Generation Class: Roslyn, her son Ch. Fernhill’s Logan of Jeffcairn F.Ch. (sired by Ch. Fernhill’s Atticus) and his son Sindar Tristran (out of Ch. Sindar Sea Poppy)
  • Award of Merit
  • Best Veteran in Specialty
  • Best Brood Bitch with her sons DC Fernhill’s Logan of Jeffcairn, Fernhill’s Valor of Big Sky and Fernhill’s Vaill of Glencrag
  • and her son Fernhill’s Vaill of Glencrag won Best in Field at the ASFA Specialty Coursing

Award of Merit / Best Veteran / Best Brood Bitch: Am. Can. Ch. Fernhill’s Roslyn with Barb at Lompoc, California July 24, 2008

BEST BROOD BITCH: Ch. Fernhill’s Roslyn with her beautiful boys Logan, Valor and Vaill owned and handled by our great friends Bayard Smith of Jeffcairn Deerhounds (Logan is sired by Ch. Fernhill’s Atticus), Julie McPhail of Big Sky Deerhounds (Valor is sired by Aus. Ch. Thistleglen Neville), and Joe Giles of Glencrag Deerhounds (Vaill is sired by Aus. Ch. Thistleglen Neville)

BEST in FIELD 2008 S.D.C.A. Specialty ASFA Coursing – Fernhill’s Vaill of Glencrag:

This was an exciting win as there was tremendous competition (Margaret Sudekum’s great courser Fitzhugh Harley to name just one). Vaill did us proud and carried away “Major Loot” including one of my favourite trophies, the “Deer in Flight” trophy donated by Sadie Hawkins in 1989 and dedicated to Ila and Gerry Bucek for their tremendous contribution to the S.D.C.A..

All of the above coursing photos are courtesy of Steve Garth (http://thefineartoflife.com/)

Another highlight from Lompoc was the bronze sculpture created by Joan Creel that won the SDCA Specialty Art Competition. It looks beautiful at Fern Hill !!

Ardtalamcu Mojave Man X Fernhill’s Amelie litter – August 8, 2008

On August 8, 2008, while the world was watching the Olympic opening ceremonies, we were watching Amelie whelp a trouble free litter of 2 males and 5 female pups sired by our Australian import Ardtalamcu Mojave Man. Below, are two of my favourite head shots of the parents…first Amelie (Ch. Fernhill’s Turbulent Indigo X Fernhill’s Dulcinea):

And this picture below of Mojave (Aus. Ch Thistleglen Neville X Aus. Ch. Ardtalamcu Embers) who truly has the most wonderfully kind personality and enviable ears. Despite a propensity to go “walkabout” when off lead, he always returns in a timely way. We cherish his gentle tolerance of all our youngsters and visiting dogs.

Mojave has been tested clear by Penn U. of Factor VII and Cystinuria. Below is a content, dried out one-day-old…a wonderful sight!

Amelie with her five week old puppies was quite happy to move outside to enjoy the summer. Neil (Mr. Blue) was our favourite! How could any mortal resist such a face…not Joan Creel, who whisked Fernhill’s Neil off to Montana. Joan named him after that great Canadian singer Neil Young…who actually walked the fields of Fern Hill with his wife Pegi and daughter Amber many years ago exactly where our young Neil tumbled about as a puppy. A most appropriate name that brought back warm memories as Neil’s (the singer-composer) father Scott Young was a wonderful friend.

Fernhill’s Amelie (Ch. Fernhill’s Turbulent Indigo X Fernhill’s Dulcinea) with her Mojave pups, Zeta and Lily at 5 wks (above).

Fernhill’s Zephyr (top – 12 weeks) stayed with us and her sister Zeta (bottom – 12 weeks) went off to the home of Sharon and Michael Whitcomb in Baie D’Urfe, Quebec, to live with her dam Amelie. I should have kept both to be my next winning brace.

Bamfield – September 2008

Litters are fun but exhausting…so in September we left the pups and Amelie in the capable hands of our great friend Barb Yaroski (of Fernhill’s Cailean Adair fame [http://druimhaven.wordpress.com/site-index/] joined by doting grandparent Sharon Whitcomb. Knowing everything was well looked after, we enjoyed a wonderful week visiting Gail, Andrew and Isla Lamb in Saanich, B.C. home of Fernhill’s Havoc Chace and Big Sky Astrid of Fernhill.

British Columbia! How I love this big tree province and especially the coastal village of Bamfield on Vancouver Island, where I lived for several years as director of the School for Field Studies. We stayed in my friend Mary Ebert’s house, coincidentally known locally as the “Lamb House”. There we caught up with friends and the mentors that were so important to my life at the school, John and Sheryl Mass who run Broken Island Adventures….and did they give us the most wonderful adventures!! If you want a fabulous holiday…contact them (http://www.brokenislandadventures.com/aboutus.html)!

Other Highlights from 2008

In July we had an excited call from Jocelyn Thompson (Ardtalamcu Deerhounds) Wilberforce, N.S.W. Australia, letting us know that Aus. Ch. Thistleglen Neville (Ch. Thistleglen Leeds X Ch. Fernhill Thistleglen Tenille) was awarded a Best in Show !! Neville (pictured below on July 2008) is the sire of Ardtalamcu Mojave Man and Fernhill’s “V” litter with Roslyn before he left for Australia.

Kris Smith (Jeffcairn Deerhounds) shared these pictures with us (below) of DC Fernhill’s Logan of Jeffcairn and his daughter Sindar Tillicum of Jeffcairn….Logan appeared as Peter Pan and Tillicum was his Tinkerbell at an event for a “very good cause”. While Richard tears his hair out at “dressed up” Deerhounds, I’m a sucker for the cute factor, and these two have it in spades!!

Just to remind us how beautiful Logan really is, Kris sent us this picture of him “au naturel”……

Am. Ch. Fernhill’s Logan of Jeffcairn, F. Ch. (Ch. Fernhill’s Atticus X Am. Can. Ch. Fernhill’s Roslyn)

Louisville Kennel Club S.D.C.A. Supported Entry – March 15, 2009

Unwilling to miss the first big get together for Deerhounds in 2009, Mid-West Regional Specialty, Susan Trow and I took off to Louisville for the Kentucky Cluster. On impulse, wanting to travel with dogs, we gathered up Atzberg Legacy of Caretta and Fernhill’s Victor Moses (Neville X Roslyn) who is on extended leave with Deb and Gord McNaule as his owner jets around the globe as part of his new position with his company. VM achieved a certain notoriety belting out Christmas carols on our 2005 Christmas cards (smallie on left). He matured beautifully thanks to owner Rich Paice’s diligent husbandry…no mean feat raising a Deerhound in Hoboken, part of downtown New York. Victor Moses is one of those social Deerhounds who loves the excitement of a show and this was his first. He leapt and lurched about the ring greeting all in sundry and still came 2nd in his class the first day. Then settling a bit at the supported entry the next day, he went Winners dog for a 5 point major from the Bred By class! Ahh, the Bred By class, my nemesis. I forgot that Rich was sole owner, so the points were re-awarded by the AKC. Not to worry, as we show for fun, not fortune and VM did us proud anyway with his wonderful attitude and brilliant social skills. As Joan Giles (and many others) pointed out to me, this being at least the third time that I have forfeited 5-point majors for showing dogs that I bred but didn’t own in the “Bred By” class, I’m simply a slow learner (or perhaps not competitive enough to really care)!

(Above) A collage of snaps of Victor Moses in 2008-2009.

Scottish Deerhound National Specialty May 12 – 16, 2009 – St. Louis, Missouri

We trundled off to this Specialty with Vesper in full bloom and lame from her certification run (not a good idea to leave coursing certification to a few days before a big specialty), a new two and a half year old male Fernhill’s Huntly d’Lux bred by Janet Porter (d’Lux Deerhounds) who had just arrived from Soso Whaley to live with us and get bred to Vesper, and some barely leash trained youngsters Fernhill’s Elegy and Fernhill’s Zephyr. It was fun to get together again with the west coast crowd and watch Joe Giles handle Huntly to his first place win in the American Bred class. Elegy also won her class. Zephyr forgot that she had received a few hours of leash training prior to the show and embarrassed me totally.

Fernhill’s Huntly d’Lux (Fernhill’s Javelin X DC Nightwatch Islay Mist d’Lux) (above)

Fernhill’s Zephyr (9 mo.) (Ardtalamcu Mojave Man X Fernhill’s Amelie) & Fernhill’s Elegy (Ch. Christie’s Glen Fiddich X Ch. Fernhill’s Roslyn) actually pictured taking her first point in Ottawa 2 months later with Alistair Sutherland handling. Below is our treasure Elegy whom we admit is just a wee bit spoilt…..

On returning from Missouri, Huntly joined Ed Shirley and Cindy Crysdale who live in Warkworth, Ontario, not far from Fern Hill. Here he has matured into a stunning young male whom we see regularly as Cindy and Ed have become great friends. Ed and Huntly have a remarkable bond and it is pure joy to see them together.

Ed Shirley, co-owner with Barb, of Fernhill’s Huntly d’Lux…..cover photo for the 2010 Scottish Deerhound Club of America Men in Kilts Calendar!

Speaking of the S.D.C.A. 2010 Men in Kilts Calendar…not to be outdone by Ed and Huntly, who made the cover and the month of June, Richard, accessorized by our pack and Bill Logan’s kilt, was the hottie for the month of August.

Fernhill’s Lyric X Ch. Thistleglen Foxcliffe Bluegrass Cat litter (Thistleglen) – June 18, 2009

When Jeanne Frye (Thistleglen Deerhounds) enquired about using Fernhill’s Lyric with her Ch. Thistleglen Foxcliffe Bluegrass Cat (Ch. Thistleglen Newell X Ch. Foxcliffe Summoning Charms) we were thrilled. Lyric is one of the nicest and most athletic males we have ever bred. This brilliant athleticism resulted in spinal injuries which have kept him at home after his Winners Dog win at the 2007 SDCA National Specialty in North Carolina. Puppies from Lyric and Kitty were a very exciting prospect indeed for us! Lyric has been tested clear by Penn U. for Factor VII and Cystinuria. Lyric is four years old in these photos below.

Fernhill’s Lyric (Ch. Fernhill’s Atticus X Ch. Fernhill’s Roslyn) (above) and his son Thistleglen Talisman O’Fernhill (below)

Talisman at 8 weeks (above) and at 16 weeks below, on October 13th, 2009…the day we picked him up and brought him back to Fern Hill…my birthday!!!

Talisman has settled in very well at Fernhill (below)…….

Fernhill’s Huntly d’Lux X Fernhill’s Vesper litter – July 21, 2009

Breeding is a huge responsibility and such a pleasure when you have bitches like Fernhill’s Vesper that whelp easily and adore their babies. This was a much anticipated combination and we were not disappointed…Vesper is a wonderful bitch, stunning in the field (below) and a joy to live with. She whelped her litter with Huntly on July 21, 2009. Huntly has been tested clear by Penn U. for Factor VII and Cystinuria

Sire: Fernhill’s Huntly d’ Lux (above middle) Dam: Fernhill’s Vesper (Ch. Thistleglen Neville X Ch. Fernhill’s Roslyn) (above bottom)

We kept the only male in the litter, Bayard, who fortunately, given the lack of choice in males, was quite perfect right from day one (below). The five girls were so uniform that we would have been happy with any. So we let Cindy Crysdale choose the one she preferred which we would co-own and the others all went to waiting owners who fortunately, got their “picks” too.

Fernhill’s Bayard (Huntly X Vesper) at 6 weeks (above)

Bayard at 10 weeks (above); Bayard at 16 weeks (below)

Bayard at 5 months, back for a visit to Ed and Cindy’s, snuggled up with his sire Huntly (below)

Bayard on the bed, after learning at Cindy’s house how to “do stairs” (middle); Bailiewick, his lovely sister (above – bottom photo) co-owned by Cindy and Barb

Bayard pictured at 6 months

Dogs in Canada – October 2009

In August Dogs in Canada the official magazine of the Canadian Kennel Club sent Suzanne Bird to Fern Hill for two days of photo shoots of the dogs. We thought these pictures were to be stock photos for the CKC archive; however, they ended up illustrating an excellent article on Scottish Deerhounds by Col. David Hancock entitled “The True Highland Greyhound” in the October 2009 issue. Mojave has joined Indy as official Fernhill poster-boys gracing the front cover of Dogs in Canada.

Ch. Fernhill’s Turbulent IndigoDogs in Canada cover boy January 2003

Ardtalamcu Mojave ManDogs in Canada cover boy October 2009

Photos above by Sue Bird (www.photobysuebird.com ) are Lyric (standing); Zephyr (head); Mojave running and in repose to be found on pages 44-45 of Dogs in Canada October 2009 and there is as well a full page colour photo of Lyric’s head on page 40.

Other Highlights from 2009

There is nothing that we enjoy more (except a real visit) than receiving pictures of our Deerhounds that are scattered over the globe…from James Forrester come wonderful shots (usually in the depths of a typical Canadian winter) of Fernhill’s Mary Electra Buchanan on the beaches of the Turks and Caicos Islands (below):

From Scott Dearing who has Fernhill’s SuperNova in Joplin, Missouri, pictures celebrating Nova’s first litter, a breeding organised by Cecilia Arnold (Gwent Deerhounds).

The breeding came just after Nova’s 6th birthday. Nova has been tested clear by Penn U. for Factor VII and Cystinuria.

On September 28, 2009 Fernhill’s Dulcinea celebrated her 12th birthday. She figures very prominently in all our pedigrees including Huntly, whose sire Javelin is from her last litter at age seven in 2004 with Ch. Pyefleet Niall. We are delighted that she continues to do so well. Below (top), is Dulcie at her only show winning her Best Puppy at the Ontario Sighthound Specialty 1998 and (bottom) as a racing and reclining veteran.

From Simone and David Ross who cater to Dulcie’s every need and whim comes the following update (January 10, 2010):

Dulcie is definitely starting to show her age. She sleeps most of the day now. Her hind end is getting more than a little wonky; I expect one day she simply won’t be able to manage….. However, she is mentally totally herself still, a pleasant contrast to our increasingly senile senior sheltie (how’s that for alliteration?). She barks when she wants something and the nearest human then has to figure out exactly what is her Majesty’s pleasure. Would she like more food? To go out? To have fresh water put into the water dish? To have her dog bed moved to a warmer/cooler location? We’re a little dense, but she’s patient with us and will just continue to gently tell us that we need to do something, right now, until we get it right. It’s a bit like an ongoing game of hot and cold……

She truly is, in the sea of dogs we’ve had over the years, the most incredible creature …..She has been all her life, and continues to be, a treasure and a source of joy to all who meet her. Her body may be aging, her spirit never dims.

All the best,


In September Barb was asked to present at a conservation land trust conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia. We drove to Halifax via Quebec City, a fascinating city, and had a wonderful visit in Halifax with our friends Nancy Gimblett and Brian Dickson who have Nova’s brother BIS UKC/CFC/Can. Ch. Fernhill Thistleglen Skylar CGN. We also did a bit of sea kayaking……

(Above) Skylar, in Toronto (photo by Peter Organa, (C) Copyright 2006)

(Above) Skylar at Point Pleasant Park in Halifax (photo by Nancy Gimblet).

That is some of the news from Fern Hill that occurred in 2008 and 2009. Our Deerhound book The Scottish Deerhound: Its History and Preservation should be finished in the coming year (whew!). Nothing like long cold winters to encourage research and writing.

Have a wonderful 2010 and may it be healthy and safe year for you and your Deerhounds! (Lyric pictured below and Richard with the Fernhill pack in our very mild winter 2009-2010)