I shall begin the new year at Wicani with a summery of the old, and what a wonderful year I consider 2015 to have been. We were not placed at our first show of 2015, which was CRUFTS...but we had so many positive comments from ringsiders that our spirits were elevated so we felt we had won everything! Our next show of the year was Collie Club of Wales where our lovely 'Jezebel' won the Reserve bitch CC and RBIS. Our young sable 'Moth' attended her first show and qualified for Crufts 2016. We spent the remainder of the year being very selective with our choice of judges, because showing is expensive and we do not always value the opinion, cherry picking our shows became the order of the day. Jezebel went on to celebrate several victories including three more Championship show first places and was Best Bitch at the Collie Association Open show. She also won a group one placing at another open show. She gave us a terrific end to 2015 show season by winning the Bitch CC and BOB at LKA in December. 2015 also saw us win our very first 'English' CC with a sable and white collie, when Rouge (W.Wears Red) rook the Bitch CC at Blackpool. Our dogs overseas have continued to uphold family honour with many new winners and new titles, including Wicani Command Performance finishing his year by being the second top winning Rough Collie male in Finland! Litters have been highly successful and our hugely costly pact to import a variety of dogs free of inherited eye diseases, and to widen the gene pool, has finally paid off and many of our latest puppies have been dna tested with FABULOUS results. DNA testing is not for the feint hearted, and is costly, depending on the tests involved it can cost £150 per puppy, even so we continue to make our babies affordable, most of them are no more expensive to purchase than the majority of successful kennels, and the cost of dna testing is absorbed by us! Every dog exported by us this year has been hip scored with the very best results..A:A and this has also made us extremely happy. So all in all, 2015 has been a good year for Wicani and we wish you all a HEALTHY, HAPPY AND SUCCESSFUL 2016.
So what lies ahead in 2016...? it began with the delivery of 250 kg of raw minced chicken, 200 kg of raw minced beef, 200 kg of raw minced Tripe, and 20 kg of raw liver....and this will last us just 3 weeks, yes.... feeding dogs and keeping them strong and healthy does not involve cheap options! ...I am hoping the weather improves and we have a long period with either ice or snow..but NO RAIN. I hope our friends living in other parts of the rain drenched UK are safe. Looking forward to the year ahead here is a darling female we shall be keeping from our latest litter, her name is Sugar and she is non carrier for cea and mdr1 in this photo she is 5 weks old.
Our kennel presently houses 12 cea non carrier Rough Collies, this is unique, no other kennel in the UK can make such a claim, and we are proud of this achievement!
What a fabulous start to the new year. This weekend Wicani Pick'N Mix won the reserve Bitch CAC and Reserve CACIB for her happy owner in Belgium, whilst Wicani Noble Allegiance won the Dog CAC , CACIB and BOB for his happy owner at the Paris Show. We send our hearty congratulations to these owners. We are always thrilled when dogs bred by us or from our stock prove themselves winners for their new owners. At the recent East Anglian Collie of the Year awards, Aqualita Dr No won through to BIS, we are delighted for his owner/breeder. 'Jamie' is sired by our own Van-M Good Fellow at Wicani.
Puppies are growing well, we think they have their legs and feet planted in grow bags! we still have two wonderful sable baby boys available from the litter sired by Scandal out of Martha (presently age 7 weeks), All well reared and from our world renowned bloodlines. All bred for health, temperament and classic good looks and with no expense spared..
We have SNOW and ICE..and I love it! yesterday not only did we get the first snow of winter but we got the first power cut too, the entire village was cut off from the outside world from 5 pm until 11 pm, Plus the road into the village was blocked, and we had total silence and almost total darkness. Starlight shimmering on frozen snow and the warm glow of candles flickering in windows around the village pierced the night. Up here on the hill at Wicani we had the wood burning stove in the kitchen glowing hot. The old trusty Victorian Oil lamp came into its own again along with a few candles, and we were still able to make hot drinks because the cooker hob runs on bottled gas (no piped gas in the village)...ooh it was all quite romantic! No telephone connection, no computer, no heating in the main house, and no electric lighting either inside or out, we couldn't read a book as light was insufficient, so we chatted, and we enjoyed the break from the modern world...for one night!
Strange thing, the dogs were quiet too, as if they knew something was different. Not a single bark was heard from any dog in the village!
All returned to normal today
We have decided to retire a couple of our girls from kennel life and are presently searching for a home by the fire for them. We would ask the new owner agree to neuter them. Both are house trained. One is sable and white, the other is blue merle. The blue merle is petite and dainty, the sable is a bigger more statuesque girl.
Yesterday Rusty left us for his new home in the sunshine and we wish him a long and happy life together with his new owner. We have also found a wonderful new home for Colby, the young tricolour dog we had advertised recently who was looking for a loving family. I spent Thursday in hospital with a stress related problem, and this is one of the reasons we have recently had a few young adults available. This winter has proven to be very stressful and we have realised we need to reduce our numbers. We did not expect our latest litters to be so fruitful and this, along with consistenly wet weather over the entire winter period, has taken its toll on my health.However, I am not easily detered and although we have to reduce our present numbers slightly, I do not intend to give up on my gaols and ideals. I am working to achieve a larger gene pool of quality cea clear dogs that fit the Rough Collie breed standard, and I shall continue moving forward as best I can. When I eventually have leave this beautiful breed behind, I hope I have helped to lay a solid foundation that others can build on, my work is all done to help the Rough Collie to continue to survive as a breed.
Where has the year gone? We have been ultra busy, trips overseas have dominated us during the last month culminating in my judging appointment in Dallmin on April 30th. We enjoyed a fabulous time with hospitality second to none. Flying home after judging as I had another appointment here in the UK on the 1st of May. Dogs in Germany were of a high quality and I will try and write more about that later, also adding some photos. On Sunday 1st May I judged Male Collies for the Lancashire and Cheshire Collie Club and what a privilage for me to award a Crowning CC to Mulit titled Ch Sheps Gonzalos Que Guapo giving him a new title to add to his long list, of Great British Champion and making breed history. 'Basil' is the first and only Rough Collie bred and living in Denmark (with his breeder) to take the title of UK Champion, a tremendous feat for his breeder/owner!
I will be adding my thoughts on both shows later in the week. Since arriving home after the mounting stress of such a busy whilrwind month, it has taken its toll and I succumbed to Flu which is still lingering. I really do need some well earned rest and as if 'on call' the sunshine arrived! Keith has begun the massive updates and alterations to the kennel, a lot of work but once done it should be fabulous. So watch this space for updates I was able to take a few lovely photos of some of the dogs whilst sitting recovering in the sunshine, and as you can see by our updated home page, Scandal (Wicani Rumours) is maturing rather nicely, and so are his children!
Our gorgeous tricolour male 'Magnum' has mated his first girl and we are THRILLED . We wish the breeder of this litter (their first) every success for the future.
We headed up to Edinburgh last Thursday with three of our young dogs attending their very first show. We took them along for training more than anything, as I was getting hungry to attend a show after a long winter. Our lovely Jezebel was entered but decided to lose coat so she stayed at home. Our lovely Letitia was entered but has now been mated, aso she stayed at home too, and so it was we went along to give some experience to the 'babies' and hopefully enjoy the experience ourselves. We were thrilled when the two young males both qualified for Crufts with respectable second places in their 'qualifying classes'.The boys in question are Dispiritos Shasta Madre (tricolour puppy imported from Finland) and Gilded Spurs at Wicani (sable puppy) our young sable girl Aisling also went along with us, and although she didn't place in her class, we could not have been more proud of her. She took everything in her stride and behaved like a professional starlet...what more could we ask of her? she gave me 100% and we were able to enjoy the experience together, this means such a lot to us. She also happens to be one of my own personal favourites and in my opinion, we came home with one of the best females present, even if she returned home to Wicani minus a peice of card
A wonderful day. To begin with we have news in of WICANI SWEET TALKING GUY attending his very first show in Denmark and winning Best male puppy in breed. From Sweden we received more good news when Livia (WICANI ROXANNE) won the CAC and CACIB in Sweden. Sweet talking Guy's sire (Wicani Rumours) is the litter brother of Roxanne
Also today, our visitors returned home to Belgium after a wonderful few days spent together. Our super blue merle female Circe returned with them, along with her new daughters Wanda and Tulsa who are both tricolour, and their dark sable 'boyfriend' Fino. Wanda and Tulsa are sired by Traid's Mr Moonlight Smile who is himself a grandson of Champion Steadwyn Sacred blues out of a daughter of Ch Triad Outlaw in Blue. He carries lines to Ch Steadlyn the Revolution, Ch Steadlyn Silent Wish, Ch Steadlyn Dinner Jacket and Brilyn Touch of Black. Their mother 'circe' is a daughter of International and Finish Champion Wicani Command Performance.
The dark sable 'boyfriend' is a son of Steadwyn Firepoint (Wicani Firelight ex Ch Steadwyn Most Ravishing) whilst his dam is a litter sister of Wicani Command Performance. He has the most beautiful expression and we feel he will prove to be a very useful addition to our stud team when older.
So we add to our kennel :
MICERI'S PHEONIX RISING 'Felix' sable male
MICERI'S POWER TO ENCHANT 'Isla' tricolour female.
More good news from Scandinavia where several 'Scandal' babies have now made an entranceto the world of showing....and what a storm they are brewing up, several of them have already taken BOB puppy and BOS puppy.
Wicani Roxanne has won her third CAC in Sweden...wow, Congratulations!
Don't forget to collect and dry Elderflowers if they are in flower in your area. Dried elderflowers can be added to hot red wine along with ginger, dried Yarrow herb, cinamon and honey..to make a delicious remedy for colds and flu next winter.
It is also a good month to collect a few young Nettle tops, drop them into boiling water to scald and therefore deaden the 'sting' and add them to your dogs dinner, they are a great antihistamine and blood cleanser. Cleavers (Goosegrass) is also worth collecting. Chop into very fine peices and add to your dogs dinner. Dogs will often seek out this plant in hedgerows and eat with relish, they are an excellent tonic and lymphatic drainer after a long winter.
In the early hours of this morning, our fabulous sable girl Letitia (Wicani Enraptured) gave birth to six puppies (the first born in the home kennel this year) Two tricolour dogs, two tricolour females, 1 sable dog and 1 sable female. We shall probably be keeping two of these wonderful new babies, and the other 4 puppies are pre-booked. Daddy is Wicani Hookey Tom, this being his very first litter...so we are eager to see how this litter develop. In her first litter, Letitia produced Wicani Rumours and Wicani Ravishing, along with some outstanding brothers and sisters, so we have high hopes for these precious youngsters.
We need to win the lottery ... ....having just entered our first few shows of the season we can understand one of the reasons that dog showing is losing ground as a 'hobby'. All hobbies are expensive and showing is no exception, and these days there is no prize money either! yes we dog show folks are bonkers..up at the crack of dawn after a week of bathing and grooming dogs, we then drive to the show venue, sometimes we must do this the night before and book a hotel, because of the distances. When this happens, we must also find a couple of dogsitters to hold the fort at home. It is usual for us to enter five or six dogs, making a total entry fee of well over £100 per show, and some shows have cost us more than £150 for entriy fees, parking and a catalogue.... Then we have the fuel for the car, and all the hidden extras such as shampoos, conditioners, wear and tear on brushes and combs, scissors, thinning shears, blaster dryers...etc. and we do it to hear someone elses opinion on our dog...yes, we are bonkers!
At last I have a little time to make a report...we went to Blackpool Championship show and came home with the RESERVE BITCH CC for our gorgeous Bridey (White Lace'N Promises) also our super young tricolour Eugenie (Empress Eugenie) was placed FIRST in the Yearling Bitch class. This is her first real attempt at a show and she not only won the class of 13 bitches, but the class was a Crufts qualifier too The Bitch CC went to a daughter of Wicani Dragonsblood and Wicani Dappled Sunlight, her name is Passionate Embrace at Gemheid, we send congratulations to her breeder Glen Rawson and owner Heidi Gallagher. Lots of dogs carrying our breeding lines did well at this show including the Reserve dog CC Edith Pryors Aqualitia Doctor No ..he is a son of our Van-M Good Fellow at Wicani. The judge was expert all rounder Ms Jean Lanning, a person I have not shown under for almost 20 years...I am glad we decided to enter for her worthy opinion! Lots more dogs carrying our breeding were also placed well, leaving us very proud indeed.
Our young blue boy Micah has mated his first girl this week, so fingers crossed his 'wife' is in whelp
We have been extremely busy thus far this year, but took out time this month to enjoy visitors from FRANCE, SCOTLAND and SWEDEN. We attended one new show this month, East Anglian Collie Association, and qualified our young tricolour male WICANI BY SWORD AND SORCERY 'Arthur' for crufts 2017. We also qualified our beautiful young sable girl WICANI RAVISHING. Shows are taking a back seat this year as we are progressing with Kennel reconstruction, making three large new grass paddocks where the dogs can relax safely in the fresh air after early morning exercise. We are also building a purpose designed new grooming room. Hopefully we shall be out again toward the latter end of the year. We are thrilled with news from Scandinavia whire the fabulous CH WICANI DRAGONSBLOOD has taken another Champion title, also his stable mate CH WICANI WRITTEN IN LEGEND. New youngsters sent out to various Countries this year, have started out well in their new homes, enjoying very many Best Puppy in breed and Best Puppy in Show awards. Made all the more exciting when one considers the incredible health stats of these dogs. We continue our resolve to place health and temperament high on our list of priorities. We remmain loyal to the UK BREED STANDARD, aiming to produce dogs whose sweet, happy, dignified natures are reflected in their expression, and who stand on strong legs, whilst having the correct head for the breed (stops being slight but perceptible, and skulls being flat ) The Shetland Sheepdog standard asks for a slight but definite stop...not so the Rough Collie, he should have a stop that is slight but perceptible. This important difference makes the Collie A Collie!
Wow, where has the summer gone? already into autumn, the season of mist and mellow fruitfulness! So much has happened since my last update that I will have to miss a lot of my news out. Letitia's babies are now almost 4 months and have been such a delight to have around. When the last boy leaves us shortly, our little girl 'Holda' (who we are keeping) will be moving from our puppy kennel, back into the house where she will live and sleep, because presently we have no age related play mate for her. This is so unusual for us, we normally run on two litter mates that provice good doggy company for each other during the night. Dogs are pack animals, and we cannot bare to see one puppy sleeping alone in the kennel. Older dogs can inadvertently damage small legs, and until a puppy is big enough, we don't allow them with adults unsupervised. Hence we have a rule that lone puppies live and sleep in-doors until they are old enough to choose a best friend amongst the doggy family. We have other house dogs too, but Holda will not sleep with them until we are confident she will come to no harm. So....looks like some small 'person' might be sleeping close to us
Tara and Micah babies are now 4 weeks of age and have begun weaning, these babies are happy and gentle and I love it when they run with tails wagging when they hear our voices. From this litter of six babies, we plan to keep two, a blue merle female and a tricolour boy. All of this litter are mdr1 +/+ (best result) by parentage, they are also free of pra and dm by parentage.
We have a couple of young males available to loving homes. These boys (whom we ran on as company for their litter sisters). are very handsome and healthy. See our 'Older dogs' page!
To say I am fuming is an understatement...what have webs.com done to my website????? I pay a substantial amount of money each year to maintain this website, and webs.com have suddenly made unnanounced changes to the templates that I use, resulting in radical changes to the layout. Photos are all over the place and for some strange reasons, the wrong photos are on the named pages. There is a new members bar which obscures part of each page, (i am laboriously trying to remove it and failing) and I cannot edit any of my pages the way I would like them to be, i am totally frustrated and very sad. Please bare with me as I try to sort it. I am tiring myself out with frustration.
On the home front I have enjoyed an incredible judging trip to Switzerland, and on Monday evening Keith and I went up to North Yorkshire to celebrate our 15th Wedding anniversary at the Guisbrough Hall Hotel..I highly recommend it! Puppies are beginning to leave for new homes and we wish them a wonderful life in their new homes. Work begins soon replacing the barn roof with a new fully insulated modern one which will allow more natural light into the kennels and provide extra warmth in winter months.
The last week has not been an easy time for me, as my mother died on 19th Novemeber, and nothing prepares us for that cord being broken. The funeral will take place on Friday 2nd December, and she will be buried along with many of her relatives in a beautiful old churchyard. Bon boyage my beautiful 'mum'
To make life even more difficult, my back has been bad, and life controlling a large dog team suddenly became a tad more complex. However, onwards and upwards, this thread is not here to write about my sadness and struggle, so I will add that our gentle sable girl 'Moth' is now enjoying life in the house, waiting for her new babies to arrive in December. DNA swabs have been taken for Jezebel's babies, and we hope the results are not loo long returning to us. We have a dry week...yay....and a stunning carpet of gold surrounds us here at Wicani.
For those who are patiently waiting for that special puppy to arrive, we have to write that we shall be having no more babies born (after Moth has her babies) until next Summer.
11th December. The saga of Shasta
Shasta is a young tricolour male Collie we imported from Finland earlier this year from the Dispiritos Kennel, he was the result of a mating cthat combined Wicani Dragonsblood and Wicani Shameless Beauty (collies we had previously exported to his breeder Sanna) From the first photos I fell in love and asked to bring Shasta to England. Shasta came and conquered our hearts...then he grew the biggest puppy coat ever, and we are still waiting for him to lose it! I used to love winter here in the North east, we had snow and freezing temperatures, and Collie coats remained clean but they also grew thick and shiny as protection against the cold weather. The last few years, as everyone knows, have been reduced to either rain or a mirky 'all day' mist........and MUD, which is the worst type of weather in which to exercise a heavily coated youngster over rough ground! Shasta loves rain. Shasta loves mud bathing, Shasta loves to run through the wildest areas adorning himself in burs and seeds (they stick to the mud with surprising ferocity) and to make himself ever more the dashing man about the fields...he likes himself smelling more savoury by rolling on rabbit droppings, rolling on deer dung, and anything else he can lay his muddy paws on. He wears them all with pride, they are his jewels...!!!!!!
If Shasta were a human..he would not smile wryly..he would not giggle..he would not make a subdued..."Tee hee" Shasta would most definitely say "MUHAHAHAHAHAHA" as he wrapped his cloak around his shoulders and headed into the darkness. Shasta needs grooming..which will happen BIG STYLE... THIS WEEK. We have taken bets on how long he will look clean, impecably groomed, and presentable (I can hear that muhahahaha coming from his direction ) so watch this space. Having said all of this, Shasta is impossible to be angry with, even if he does jump with huge enthusiasm into the foul stinking waters of the pond across the field...or finds some putrified dung to 'wear' for perfume...or if he refuses to come in to the warmth and get towel dried, preferring to dance in the pouring rain....Shasta is Shasta..and we simply wouldn't want to alter him, except on grooming day!
By the way, Shasts is rather proud of his cleaner brother who won Helsinki Junior Winner this weekend!
This weekend we also saw two of Shasta's amazing sons leave with their super new owners. Both of these boys have normal eyes and are dm free, both have been dna tested and the new owners know the mdr1 status. Enjoy..!! xx
WICANI WINDHOVER won the res CAC and res CACIB today in Holland at the Amsterdam Winners Show, well done Manly!
Happy to report that Moth has six babies, five are male. We have around 8 orders for male puppies, so I need to sort out the order of who booked a puppy first! We are keeping the female. The most important thing right now is making sure they remain healthy and strong, so no promises until they are older. Moth is doing very well, motherhood suits her and she eating like a Lion. Colour of the boys is 3 sable and 2 tricolour.
Today was spent grooming Shasta and wow, he looks so much better! This photo shows the ground outside of our back door where the workload is 'busy', however some parts are much worse than this, especially in the places most favoured by a large team of happy hounds! the 'brown' area is the congregation of wet leaves and mud, can you imagine what puppies look like after thirty minutes of play? The surrounding 'mist' has been a constant feature for weeks...but I still love my homeland of Yorkshire, even on a dark damp winter day. However, I would much prefer the weather gods to send me SNOW. Also warm dry towels...hundreds of them!