above photo is ANGELA NURSING A PUPPY WITH A BROKEN LEG, summer 2006
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The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our goal.
With the above in mind i have aimed for the Sun..!!!!
It all began in1972 when I (Angela) began attending local shows to watch the Rough collie judging. At that time I was only 17 years of age and living with my parents. My grandfather had owned many dogs and shown a Cocker spaniel named Treetops Trigger..it was apparent from a very early age i had inherited the bug..!!
.Two years later and married with a house at last, I was able to purchase my first Collie, a tricolour bitch named Queen Leila at Corydon Having seen the fabulously coloured merle dog Ch Cathenbrae Willow Pattern at Crufts I was fascinated, and aimed to breed Blue merles of the same superb clarity of colour. Being a young artist I was also interested in balance, construction and elegance. I was inspired by the famous bygone kennels of Beulah, Westcarrs and Ladypark and wanted to breed, not just a winning Collie, but a whole family of them, recognisable for the above qualities. My affix at that time was Vallymist, however, life over the next few years was very unpredictable, and the last litter to be registered under that first affix were born in 1980. In 1994 we registered the affix WICANI and hold the same ideal. Having studied genetics (and having children who share our interest in biology and genetics), we line breed believing it the only way to build and fix a family line. We make careful outcross matings when appropriate. The Collie has evolved under careful human guidance over many years, and it is our duty to remain loyal to the original plan, to develop and maintain a dog of great beauty...standing with impassive dignity, with no part out of proportion to the whole. We would like to say THANK YOU here to the kennels KARAVA , RICKWOOD and CORYDON who we are proud to say gave us a magnificent foundation to work with.
In my honest opinion, the correct type of Rough Collie should fill the eye with its overall elegance and shape, it should carry its head proudly on an arched neck of good length, the arch of neck being extremely important as it denotes correct front angulation. Ringsider's should be aware that it is possible to judge a dogs angulation without the need to handle the dog. Draw an imaginary line from the ear set to the ground, if the angulation is correct the line should touch the ground IN FRONT of the front feet. Now draw an imaginary line from tail set to ground, remember the key here is the TAIL SET and not the backside. The dogs hock should stand behind the point that the line touches the floor (see photo below). The dogs hind feet should not turn under or stand beneath the dogs body and the ear placement should not be directly above the front feet. However if the dog is showing on a loose lead the angle of the head to the handler must be taken into account, the front angulation can be better determined when the dogs head is naturally looking forward. A well angulated dog eager for the bait can also tend to move one foot forward in readiness to pounce on the bait, however if the dog is watched closely it can soon be established that the correctly constructed dog will eventually position himself in such a way you will be able to judge his angulation with ease. If the dog has insufficient length of bone in his thigh he cannot position his legs behind the tail set.This positioning of the feet is extremely important in giving the dog balance. Another interesting fact is that a dog with insufficient angulation will appear up to two inches taller than he would be if his angulation were correct. Therefore before criticising a dogs lack of height in favour of the 'bigger' dogs, the newcomer would do well to note if this extra height is in fact due to insufficient angulation..!!!The collie standard opens by explaining the general appearance of the dog, and although the head is of great importance (otherwise all shepherding breeds would end up very similar) i consider it very important to remember that body type and construction also differs from breed to breed, and The general appearance is of equal importance to the head. I am determined therefor to breed with this in mind, i am wanting that aristocratic refinement and elegance that comes with arch of neck and a well balanced construction, for me this IS the Rough Collie...remember..."the collie should instantly appeal as a dog of great beauty, standing with impassive dignity and with no part out of proportion to the whole"....kennel club breed standard.
The perfect Collie is yet to be born but we can have tremendous fun in trying to breed that elusive star.
Champion Wicani Darling buds of May age nine years but still able to demonstrate her correct angulation and balance. Read comments above for an explanation. And for those who simply do not wish to believe that correct angulation can be seen by such a simple test from the ringside, just take a look at the same lines drawn on a top winning Smooth collie where coat cannot hide anything.
This placement of the feet in relation to the ear and tail set is absolutely how it should be regardless of coat type.....!!!! See Wicani Whats new Pussycat for further examples.
Showing Collies is a very expensive but absorbing hobby. Our bloodline is built upon over 30 years experience in the breed, and many tears have been shed in the process. It remains a hard but absorbing task as we strive to produce Collies of the type we love and admire. To produce and establish an individual bloodline one must of necessity keep a number of quality dogs, we keep approx. 16 Rough Collies in the Wicani Kennel, in our opinion all are show quality, even if they never grace the ring. The up keep of so many dogs is a full time occupation and i must thank my husband, without whose help the WICANI kennel could never continue.
Below: photographs taken in Winter....temperature very cold...but the dogs love it..!!!
Kennels in mid-winter
The above photo is of life here in the Summer months....so here is Winter