This is how it "ALL" started
As a child I was already mad about dogs, unfortunately my mother was afraid of them, so for a long time I was unable to fulfill my dream. But of course if the desire and the will are strong enough, every obstacle can be overcome. Even a byte in the chin by a German Shepherd as a three-year-old, because I jumped on him as he lay asleep, did not deter me, much to my mothers regret. Regularly I took stray dogs home.
My passion for dogs only became larger and larger. My mother in final despair consulted the family physician for advice. His diagnosis "Get her a dog of her own". It worked and a little bastard called "Darry" bred by a friend of the physician was added to the family. Unfortunately the fun was short-lived, only two years later my sister married, and took Darry with her.
Years later when I had a home and a 40 hour work week of my own, I found it irresponsible to take a dog. We decided that as soon as the opportunity arose we would take a Bobtail, at this time we had several Persian cats and the longhaired species appealed to us. In 1982 we purchased a home in the country with sufficient space to realize my dream. However things never go as fast as you want them to, I had selected a breeder from which I wanted my dogs, "Roelof Brandsma owner of kennel CAHOOT's, unfortunately when we were ready he did not have any pups. During the waiting period he gave us invaluable information in preparation for our first Bobtail. Some of that material I still use today to prepare people that buy dogs from me.
Ultimately my first pup was born on February the 13th 1983. I had the choice from a litter of 12, something that did not simplify the choice. Finally we chose a male, because his antics seemed to be directed to attracting my attention. At this point the official heritage papers had not been discussed.Finallywe were able to bring him home, together with a whole bag of information, appropriate food, a piece of dirty blanket and a beautiful photo album. In this album we found his official name "CAHOOTS BRWYN" I had searched for a name but had been unable to make a decision until then. When I saw his official name the choice was easy, we decided to call him "BRWYN". (Pronounced as Broe-Win, this means Brian in Welsh.) Brwyn was a fantastic dog until his fourth year, something must have happened in that period for suddenly he did not want to be outside on his own, and he would have eaten the next door neighbor alive if given the chance. We were never able to tbreed what caused this behavior change. We consulted specialists in Germany, Belgium and Holland but unfortunately nobody was able to help us. He was not dominant, and was such a good work dog that he was able to obtain his EG and GG diploma tat the local KC Zeeland as well as the National GG within several months. Our last hope was Martin Gaus (a national TV personality dedicated to animal behavior and problems). Brywn was scheduled to spent one two weeks in training with the Martin Gaus team. I was prepared to spend that time in Lelystad in a Hotel to be able to attend the training. However they advised against this. My impression was that they thought I was some ignorant little housewife that was unable to handle her dominant pet. After the first day of training they called me that the training was not "going all that well". After the initial 14 days Martin Gaus decided that heed needed another 14 days (at his expense) because he needed more time. During this month my fear grew that his condition would become worse. When I went to collect him I noticed that his pupils were nearly as big as his whole eyes. Every dog that attends this kind of training receives videotape with training images, for my Brwyn this was not available. The advise they gave me was to put him down as he was an extremely dangerous dog!!!! I did not follow this advise, but did take precautions whenever we had strangers around the house, no incidents have occurred between then and the time he reached 11 years. At this age we had him put down for an annoying nose tumor.
Because of Brwyn's problematic behavior my interest in the phenomenon dog has only increased, to a point this has led to me taking more dogs and ultimately the start of showing and breeding.
The second dog to enter our home was "Trademark's Twice as Nice of Cahoot's" called Twiggy, she reached the age of fourtien and a half. The third dog was "Cahoot's Drovers Lad" called Duke. This dog came to us at the age of four, it did not take us long to determine that there was something wrong with Duke's hart. This experience made me research this problem to some depth. Therefore I will never breed with a dog that has not had preventive investigation by means of a echo-cardiogram. Unfortunately there is not an abundance of expertise related to this subject available. An Electrocardiogram on it own is not conclusive, additional specialist diagnosis is also required. This is a mandatory demand to the male dog's owner before I will allow my dogs to mate. When Duke died at the age of six, dog four arrived, "Reeuwijks Princess Beauty" called Bronny a bitch from the last Reeuwijk litter. She is currently 11 years old and the oldest dog in the house. We took Bronny into our home because Brwyn had lost his playmate Duke. After Brwyn we took "Cathy's Clown my Flair Lady", with this dog I ran my first shows. Twiggy was becoming older and we were looking for a following pup.
Before I was a member of the O.E.S.C.N. I started a small investigation (by means of an advert in our club magazine) towards the effects of hart discrepancies within our breed. The reason being that time after time I was confronted with the head in the sand mentality displayed by the various breeders from which I wanted to purchase a pup. This made it very difficult for me to decide which breeder to choose.
There was only one satisfying solution. "Breed a litter of my own." Using my bitch Bronny.
Deciding on an appropriate Kennel name was not a difficult choice, the problems with our first bobtail and the effort required meeting these difficulties, had placed us in the position we were today. Ultimately the first second and third choice on our application form all showed the name "BRWYN's" and fortunately this name was still available. At that point I already knew a name for the first born pup of my own, "Brwyn's who wants to live forever" I would register the pup on my own name but find a appropriate home for it.
Because I was requested to take a seat in the organization , the investigations related to heart deficiencies was carried forward by Cathy Zijlstra. She also had acquired the necessary information and was determined to reach the same goals as I was.
For Bronny I wanted a male from a breeder I could trust. The male needed to have a good character, good hips and eyes and above all properly diagnostic investigation for hereditary hart deficiencies. Breed beauty at this point was secondary, although they hat both acquired the three U's at various shows. Our first choice was "Shawlea Jester" a dog I noticed at a show, but made my heart melt when I met him at his kennel. Unfortunately this match never produced any puppies. After the last attempt Cathy Zijlstra had a litter from the combination "Shawlea the Devil's Deciple" and "Cathy's Clown Criminal Beauty" so we decided to take a puppy from this litter, "Cathy's Clown Heaven on Earth" and called her "Fryske". A dog that had the strangest manners but nobody was ever able to get really mad or angry with her.
My first own litter was born from the combination "Kadootje van Kehr Fully Made" (Bibi) and "Saphir is Kelly Fully Made"(Max). Bibi spent approximately a half year with me thanks to the cooperation of the original owner Debbie de Veer. The litter was but one puppy called "Brwyn 's Who Wants To Live Forever." My second litter of -only- one puppy came from the combination "Cathy's Clown My Flair Lady" and our Fryske's brother "Cathy's Clown Call to Glorie" we called her "Brwyn's Old Fashioned Girl". My third litter was from the combination "Saphir Kehr Fully Maid" and "Cathy's Clown Heaven on Earth", seven pups, two of which are running around our house today, "Brwyns Own Heaven" and "Brwyn's Move Heaven and Earth"
My fourth litter of 8 puppies came from a previously tried (second litter) combination "Cathy's Clown My Flair Lady" and "Cathy's Clown Call to Glorie".
As far as "SHOWING" is concerned. Before I joined that special world I was told about corruption and favoritism amongst judges, but I was under the assumption that this was vastly exaggerated. I know better today. It has reached situations where I was ready to stop with the whole show scene, but there is always something, probably the love of the dogs that wants me to keep going. For Example the OESCN Champions-club-match 1998-1999, where you noticed that the judges are interested in the dog's qualities and not the owners. Personally I do not know any judges, which could be used as a tip for beginning owners, if a judge gives one of my dogs a high rating, he/she could be considered as an "UN-influence-able judge) . But beside the critical undertone, I have to admit that just being present at one of these shows can be very pleasant. You are never alone in your thoughts at being victimized, and generally there is a lot of laughter after the judging.
The "Health" topic. My main wish is that the OESCN should become somewhat tougher in their approach. Besides hips and eyes it would be beneficial to include hereditary deviations and character traits as part of their charter. I personally see to it that my pups are controlled for most every conceivable discrepancy, at considerable expense. This however gives me a very good feeling towards the puppy buyer, and it increases my trustworthiness as a breeder. I realize that the best of diagnostics do not constitute a guarantee, but I can at least feel comfortable and prove to the buyer that it is not a shortcoming from my side.
The "Character" aspect. Because my first bobtail developed undesirable character traits after a number of years, I have become very wary of the character traits in the parent dogs. During the Last WINNER in Amsterdam I was frightened and dismayed at the character of some of the dogs in our breed. It made me think of an incident where the Rotweilers were in opposite benches to us. The image this conjured up, I will not forget as long as I have dogs. The Rottweiler in front of us was a beautiful dog, champion of champions, everybody that stood in front of his cage exclaimed how beautiful and strong the animal looked. Nobody discussed his character, or the fact that two bodybuilders had to escort this animal into the show arena because his aggressive attitude was a potential danger to strangers. I sincerely hope that our Bobtail breed is spared this type of incidents, however if the judging keeps concentrating on exterior alone, we may well be heading in the same direction.
Which dog I like the most is a difficult question to answer, there is so much to consider, type, size, breed determined by personal preferences, but equally important are the character, and health perspectives determined by breeding. Within the Bobtail breed there are two totally different dogs, which would in my opinion make a very happy combination, Representatives of these two types which I personally would like to mate would be "Souvenir is Kehr Fully Maid" and the bitch "Cathy's Clown Criminal Beauty".
I wish all of you loads of pleasure with your personal "bag of wool", and should you meet people that do not agree with your choice of dog, you can ask "What do they Know ?". Real dog lovers respect other peoples choices. Should you wish to meet more and or other people interested in the Bobtail breed, I suggest you attend one of the regionally organized walks or shows, where most everything is excepted what your "bag of Wool" can dish out. These walks are extremely pleasant for both dog and owner, without judging or competition, which excludes jealousy and anything else that can spoil the fun for you and your Bobtail.
Hope to see as many of you as possible on one of our walks or shows.