June 2003 to June 2004

Summer 2003

Much of the summer of 2003 was devoted to the raising of Holly’s (Fernhill Holly Golightly) (Ch. Fernhill’s Turbulent Indigo X Fernhill’s Dulcinea) litter, by Fernhill’s Reinagle (Ch. Lehigh Urquhart X Fernhill’s Camille). They seemed to go from day olds to four weeks…

to eight weeks in record time.

As ever, we get tremendous pleasure in watching these babies develop their personalities and their bodies. This litter with its nine males and two girls had a long waiting list, and we tried to provide as many photos as possible so out of town folks could choose their puppy with as much knowledge as we were able to provide. Although my “pick” was the beautiful puppy bitch Fernhill’s Stella that eventually went with her brother Fernhill’s Sirius to Margory Cohen in San Francisco, the quality was so uniform that we simply ended up keeping two boys that were leftover…. I mean, how do you choose when confronted with this??

Holly turned out to be a wonderful Mum and did us proud with this litter…and she knew we thought the world of her and them! As you can see!

All the puppies eventually went to their new homes, but not until after they rendered our garden into a moonscape.

Flattening lilies is exhausting work!

Never believe the innocent “what me???!” look, that Fernhill’s Sir Callum Mohr owned now by Corinne Dulberg and Roger Wells, was so good at…(note tell-tale ring of mud on the edge of nose..).

My mother died July 26, 2003 in her 94 th year and Richard and I (mainly Richard) built a stone garden in her memory in front of the old chicken coop at Fern Hill, now an indoor pool/hot tub. It is a garden of all my pet rocks collected from Khia and Pachena Beach in British Columbia , and “special stones” found at Fern Hill. A focal piece is a carved limestone “Wyvern” by Canadian sculptor E.B.Cox. I think of it as Cynthia’s Secret Garden .

The show season started in the fall and we dutifully bundled a van full of dogs off to the Eastern Regional Specialty September 26 th. Little did we realize what an exciting Specialty that would be for us. Fernhill’s Atticus under Judge David J. Hyman went Best of Opposite in the Sweepstakes and then Winners Dog (for 5 points) under Judge Jan Buchanan with Alistair Sutherland handling brilliantly, my barely leash-trained fellow. (pictured below..) After plying me with a good single malt scotch he then took him home as his new owner.

Our Fernhill’s Tyee was Reserve to Atticus in an entry of 15 class males. Fernhill’s Roslyn won the Bred by Exhibitor Class and then on to Reserve Winners Bitch, matching her same placing taken as a puppy in 2001 as well as in 2002. She deserves a cigar for consistency! Still, no mean feat in an entry of 29 class bitches.

Fernhill’s Roslyn, Reserve Winners Bitch, Eastern Regional Specialty 2003

Then Ch. Pyefleet Nonesuch whom I bought from Mary Girling (Pyefleet) after whelping this litter in the UK on a visit in November 1997 went Best in Specialty and from the veteran bitch class Am.Can Ch. Fernhill’s Demelza at Fitzhugh F.Ch. went on to Best of Opposite.

Right after the Eastern Specialty is the Fernhill International Annual Walking Stick Contest …a hotly contested battle for cheesy prizes but much honour and accolades. The display of carved and crafted entries was, as usual, breathtaking, with some being museum quality…

Judge Judy Wozniak, mercifully out of the competition as she was last year’s Grand Champion, selected an elegant entry made by Alex MacLean, now a Grand Champion in only her second year of competition! Joan Giles would have wept in envy if she had been there this year…it took her 10 years of effort to win this coveted prize. Regardless, a blast was had by all…

Supreme Grand Champion Alex MacLean and Judge Judy Wozniak

After the FHIAWSCo, Jeanne Frye disappeared down the driveway with Fernhill Thistleglen Skylar and Fernhill’s Soillse, to raise together, and we were left with Fernhill’s Super Nova and Fernhill’s Solar Flare, the last of our Reinagle X Holly puppies. Here they are at 12 weeks:

Fernhill Thistleglen Skylar owned by Jeanne Frye…12 weeks

Fernhill’s Soillse owned by Bob and Linda DeLeau

Fernhill’s Solar Flare …12 weeks

Fernhill’s Super Nova …12 weeks

Winter 2003
Winter comes early in Canada and this year we were blessed with lots of great skiing weather. While the dogs tend to wait for me to break trail and dutifully follow in my tracks unless they see something worthy of the chase, we can give them a lot more exercise using skis. This is how it is done…

Heading off….

Returning home….

Then Christmas arrives and we have time off to visit family and friends, send our greetings to the many people who affect our lives and bring us pleasure. Our card this year (electronic for most) was taken by Richard and is of the lovely Art Deco sculpture in our west bedroom window over which we see the sun set each evening. The frost in the window reflects a particularly cold winter morning.

Spring 2004
Spring at Fern Hill means lilacs, nesting birds, lambs and herds of deer crossing the farm, which keeps the dogs in a constant state of breathless anticipation. Fortunately they tend to miss the nest of bunnies, woodcock and other wild life on the farm.

We heard from Joan Creel with pictures of Fernhill’s Arusha (Indy X Dulcinea) in Montana …and we thought our dogs had paradise to live in!

Fernhill’s Arusha (Ch.Fernhill’s Turbulent Indigo x Fernhill’s Dulcinea) owned by Joan Creel at
her summer home in Montana

Margory Cohen sent us progress reports on Stella and Sirius growing up on the beaches of San Francisco.

Then exciting emails from Julie McPhail in Texas who got a 5 point major on Fernhill’s Azure (Ch.Fernhill’s Turbulent Indigo X Fernhill’s Dulcinea) (below)

and then another five point major on her Fernhill’s Mersey bred with Susan Trow (Caretta)(Ch. Lehigh Yuill X Fernhill’s Reiba) (below)

Then at the home front keeping their owners David and Mary Brunarski exercised and happy, in sunshine and rain, are the three “boys” who we try and visit when ever we are near Simcoe, Ontario.

Not only do they have three Indy boys “Grail“,”Parker” and “Darwin“, Mary and David’s home and chiropractic clinic is surrounded by a collection of spectacular heritage trees that we enjoy visiting as much as we enjoy the boys.

Specialty 2004

The BIG EVENT in the Spring of 2004 was the SDCA National Specialty in Basin Harbour Vermont . We were delighted to have with us Jocelyn Thompson from Australia (Ardtalmacu) who was in North America looking for additional Deerhounds and miniature horses to import. Also joining us were our favourite folks and undercover bodyguards, the RCMP duo formerly of Banff , Alberta , now Fergus Ontario , Gayle and Andrew Lamb, with the notorious Havoc Chace and his sister Holly. Also with us acting as Atticus‘ personal trainer and whispered about the show as “Barb’s professional handler”, was Alistair Sutherland who did a sterling job racing about the ring with all the dogs that I wasn’t racing about the ring with. We worked him very, very hard…(see Alistair below with his first brace ever…barely leash trained Flare (2nd 9-12 mo. Puppy Male Sweeps), and Nova…(photo thanks to Grant Dickson).

Alistair Sutherland with Fernhill’s SuperNova and Fernhill’s Solar Flare our puppy brace.

We had a wonderful fun time at this event with new friends and old, and lots of little loot…with Atticus (3rd 18-24 mo. Male Futurity; 3rd Open Dog), his sister Amelie (1st 18-24 mo. Bitch Futurity), our Roslyn (3rd Bred By Exh. Bitch) , Jeanne Frye’s Skylar (3rd 9-12 mo. Puppy Male Futurity), our Flare 2nd 9-12 mo. Puppy Male Sweeps, Indy (2nd Veteran Male), the Lamb’s Holly (3rd Brood Bitch Futurity), Havoc (1st Novice Male), our Am.Can.Ch.Fernhill’s Demelza at Fitzhugh (1st Veteran Bitch) co-owned with Judith Bowman and Ellen Pilling’s Ch. Fernhill’s Glayva (2nd Veteran Bitch) all getting ribbons. Also in the ribbons were Amelie and Roslyn as our Brace (2nd), and our “Team” (2nd) (four in hand) made up of the two girls plus Nova and Flare. My arm grew six inches longer in that event! Torquil’s boy Ch. Lehigh Yuill owned by Paula Pascoe looking lovely for a well deserved Best of Opposite and Ch. Pyfleet Nonesuch (aka “Gryphon”) with an Award of Merit. Caretta’s Marcus and Mandolin from Fernhill’s Reiba’s litter by Ch. Lehigh Yuill which Susan Trow and I co-bred also garnered 2nd and 1st placements placements in their classes and did extremely well in the coursing along with sister Caretta’s Minx.

It’s always a thrill to see a collection of 200 worthy Deerhounds and see how the quality continues…. such truly wonderful dogs as the Brinlee’s Ch. Jaraluv Keep the Faith who won a well deserved BISS for the 3rd time in a row, and a special favourite of ours, Jeanne Frye’s Ch. Thistleglen Margot (Ch. Thistleglen Leeds X Ch. Fernhill Thistleglen Tenille) who also won again for the third time, the three generation class with her beautiful 10 year old grand-dam Ch. Thistleglen Gillian and Gillian’s son Leeds (pictured below); also Lehigh Auric a youngster developing beautifully (our Intrepid’s grandson), Ch. Luke O’the Greenwood looking superb and in his prime and the exceptional consistency of Tom and Tanya Smythe’s Utkinton “T” litter (Tiarnan, Talon, Tasia, Tilla) that all look good and perform so well in the coursing field…dual performance being very important to us.

Jeanne Frye’s third win at three different specialties of the 3 generation class with Ch. Thistleglen Gillian, Ch. Thistleglen Leeds, Ch. Thistleglen Margot, judged this year by an esteemed “International Panel”, of Helen Putrino from Australia – Glassonby Deerhounds ; Sarah Helps from the UK – Beardswood Deerhounds ; Mary Girling from the UK – Pyefleet Deerhounds.

Speaking of coursing, that is where the real thrills are and we were blown away with the performances by some great running dogs including Caretta’s Minx, who ended in a three-way tie for Best In Field, and Caretta’s Marcus. Then our (now Gayle and Andrew Lamb’s) Holly who had a disappointing cruise through her first run had the lights go on, and she decided to smoke the competition in her last two runs to come 3rd overall after a run off tie breaker with Marcus (pictured below). Havoc didn’t get to qualify in time for this event, but ran as test dog:

Fernhill’s Havoc Chace ( Photo: Dan Gauss ~Shot On Site)

Holly and Andrew Lamb with Susan Trow and Marcus in a run off at the ASFA Coursing,
SDCA Specialty 2004 – ( Photo: Dan Gauss ~Shot On Site)

What a Specialty it was, with lots of young stars and aging stars and there behind so many was Dr. Margaret Sudekum’s Ch. Fernhill’s Electra at Fitzhugh (Ch Fernhill’s Wyvern X Lyonhil Echo O’ Fernhill), still coursing hard at age 11 ½ years… a standing ovation for this Super Dog and Margaret who keeps her in racing trim!

Ch. Fernhill’s Electra at Fitzhugh F.Ch. still going strong at 11 ½ years
( Photo: Dan Gauss ~Shot On Site)

Greetings to all who get this far! As your reward, let us share with you an absolute treasure that was auctioned off at Christies June 10, 2004 . The oil on canvas (37.5 x 29.2 cm) below is “Countess” by John Emms (1843 – 1912). There are a number of Deerhounds from that period with the same name but we have traced this gorgeous bitch to two distinct possibilities. She could be Peter Campbell’s “Countess”, pupped in 1882, purchased by the Duke of Portland; or Lord Cecil’s “Countess(3 rd)” pupped in 1886. Which ever one, she epitomises the classic Deerhound with that unmistakable head and expression that we are trying so hard to maintain at Fern Hill. Enjoy!