I've been lucky enough to share my life with some wonderful animals, from horses that are so generous of spirit they will give their last ounce of effort to dogs who have hearts as big as the sun.
I first fell in love with the Irish Setter some 32 years ago, I was riding out by a farm and saw a red dog, chained up and barking like a creature possessed! Each day as I rode past this dog he grew quieter, to me that was a sign that his spirit was slowly ebbing away...day seven and I went into the farmyard unchained the dog and offered the farmer a few pounds, he seemed glad to be rid of him..what a fool!
A few years later I was persuaded by Sally Reece (Fenmaster) to take on a beautiful young bitch called Heronwater CountryGirl . From Cornevon lines , Katie taught me so much about the humour and intelligence of Irish Setters and introduced me to serious showing , I was bitten by the show bug almost immediately!
I had to give up my competitive riding career after one too many falls and transferred my attention to smaller four legged friends, training horses and dogs are really quite similar, both respond to clear and consistent instructions delivered with kindness and a sense of fun.
Then followed Border Terriers, Italian Spinoni and Giant Schnauzers...well, once you have two, you might as well have three....
I feel strongly that whatever the breed , they have a natural purpose in life and an aptitude for certain activities. gundogs love to hunt and carry things in their mouths, terriers truly enjoy dispatching vermin . Whatever the talent of your dog try to work with it , rather than against it...you'll enjoy it so much more.
Siamese Cats (under the Toybox Prefix) as well as rescue cats joined the growing throng , as did the breed with the highest libido I have ever known!..Chinese Cresteds, I remain grateful to the late Ruth Harris for introducing me to them and their colourful characters
For eleven years I worked as consultant to the BBC and their Crufts Coverage, my mission was to educate as well as entertain, I ended up in hot water many times by sticking to my guns and not soft soaping the viewing public. Only by clear information can the partnership of dogs and people continue to be supported.
I now accept animals for evaluation and behaviour modification, very often the problem dog has a problem owner so I try to offer both a new way of working together.Go and look at Dog Problems page for more details I'm proud to be a member of the Guild of Dog Trainers and also the Kennel Club Breeders Scheme.
I write a weekly column in the leading canine newspaper , DOG WORLD concentrating on the sphere of dogs in rescue. I also write for several other publications when the whim takes me!
The years have passed and along with highs and lows of showing and breeding I have met some fabulous characters both animal and human!
One of the most influential people in my life has been Sharkey Ward, not just a terrific photographer but someone who truly appreciates the worth of animals , my thanks to him and his lovely wife Annette for their generous gift of friendship.
Hope you enjoy the website and the pictures
This site was last updated 05/10/11