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History

All pedigrees are available by clicking on the name. The first Collie, the dog I founded on, was Ch. OT.Ch.Ravensglen Lovely. She was difficult to breed as we had used a “stop season shot” on her to allow her to clear the vet exam at a show in the early 1960′s.

In looking for a suitable match, I was able to find and then purchase, Ch.HMS Lineal, CD who was by Lineal of Ladypark and ex a Beulah/Bellhaven bred female. Lineal came to me at age 7 1/2 years and completed his Canadian championship and his CD within a few months.  He lived to be over 14 years old! Their children produced the multi group placing Ch.Belauded of Brackenbrae and Ch.Beloved of Brackenbrae, CD.

Beloved’s son Brackenbrae Blue Taboo, CD,pts, a sable merle, produced Blue Tweed of Brackenbrae, also a sable merle. After the Lineal/Lovely litter arrived, so did HMS Druid, an inbred grandson of Lineal’s from my friend and mentor, Hugh Miller of HMS Collies. Oh how I miss Mr.Miller.

I lucked onto a very nicely bred bitch of basically Brandwyne breeding who had had a bad start in life. I worked with her and showed her and finished her in 3 straight shows. She was Ch. Harver’s Sugar Plum. She was bred to Druid and produced Ch. Brackenbrae Beriah Banderdand and Brackenbrae Bandersnatch. Banderdand completed his title in 4 shows. He was a very special, very dark shaded sable, big, one man dog with a wild sense of humour. Bandersnatch (Beware the frumious bandersnatch etc) our Tabby, named after a publication my English Grandmother made sure my sister and I had as kids, secured herself in the family with her excellent contributions.

At about the same time, a couple who had had a puppy of mine and had to replace her did so with a very nice bitch of Sovergien breeding on my recommendation. They wanted to use one of mine on this girl after they finished her Ch and CDX, but I suggested they try Eng.Ch.Bririch Gold Emblem, newly arrived in the States at Mrs.Bates’ Heathfield Kennels. They went that route. I whelped the litter, graded the puppies and another owner of one of my pups purchased one of these pups, Ch.Duster of Trelane, CD. I finished him, and when he came to live with me eventually, I put the CD on him. His original owner

also purchased several Bririch-bred bitches from Mrs. Bates and I co-owned one of them. She was spectacular in type and quality. She and Duster figured largely in this family.  Using sable merles at the time, along with time retraints, limited showing for a few years and with aging dogs, it came down to adding to the company of collies in order to continue. I saw a spectacular bitch, Ch.Val-Jay’s Crystal 0‘Wur, who came down from Shirley

Johnson’s (ValJay) British Import ch.Silver from Shiel and also with a nod from a dog I sold in the Winnipeg , an inbred HMS Lineal DC son, area right at the start. While I was at ValJay, I saw Ch.ValJay and offered to show him if I could use him. He was Kaoalie ( Betty Papic ) who used a Soveriegn bitch to establish herself. I did finish Crystal and and put group placements on them. went to Beloved one of Brackenbrae to produce the group winning Ch.Brackenbrae By Snowy Woods and to Crystal. Crystal’s son went to Snowy Woods to produce Ch.Brackenbrae the dam of Ch.Brackenbrae Broadsword, TT, CGN, HRD 1, HS, HTD 1 (NE).

Then came a pivotal moment. I saw a spectacular young dog and his sire at a Canadian National on video tape and was smitten. I couldn’t sleep, the young dog danced through my mind constantly. He looked like so many of the great ones I had seen over the years. With permission and the grace of his breeder owner, Nancy Anstruther, ch Tallywood Quantum Leap , CGC, CGN, TT, came here. He was a family pet, our son and his pal’s favourite video actor, and he sired Ch.Brackenbrae Morning Has Broken, TT, CGC, HI, TD 1, RD1 and my best pal, Pixie’s reincarnation as my boon companion. He also sired Ch.Brackenbrae Broadsword TT, CGN, HRD 1, HS, HTD 1 (NE).

Broadsword needed a match and through my close friend, Susan Minard came Ch. Prairiepine Colour of Love, ROMX. Broadsword was bred to her for her second litter and Susan and I co-owned her for the rest of her life. That litter, Broadsword’s only kids, contained five champions, six sets of normal eyes, and four herding and other performance titles.

There are so many who do not figure in this telling. One cannot always tell what way things will go. Some very special dogs did not add to the mix I have now. They are part of the family though in a very real way. Just as in a wolf pack, only the alpha’s continue the genetic strain but they would not be successful without the others.

Currently the young show dogs consist of

Ch.Brackenbrae Prairiepine Prism, HIC by Shot in the Dark ex Color of Love,

Ch. Brackenbrae Blue Banner, HT, CGN (NE) by and ex a son and daughter of Broadsword and Color of Love

Ch. Brackenbrae Prairepine Prix HIC (NE) by ex Ch. Brackenbrae

Iceblue Prariepine (by Broadsword ex Color of Love)

Ch. Prairieine If You Believe , HT, CGN by Can/Am ch. Afterhours

Hidden Assets, HIC ex Amissa

Ch.HeronHouse Grafitti by ex Heron House She’s All that D(Am.pointed)

An./Am ch. Tallywood Enlightened by ex co/owned with Arletta Michaud, and Chelsea Lyons (Junior Handler)

I can’t wait for the next decade!

Personality Highlights

Ch. Ravensglen Lovely, UD (1963-1972)

Pixie was the first. She was of royal UK breeding, line bred Ladypark. Her breeder was Kay Anderson of Carleton Place Ontario. I saved for a year to obtain the purchase price of a registered Collie puppy, contacted 11 Ontario breeders, got 9 answers back and selected the litter Pixie came from for my puppy. She came in late June in 1963 and my life was changed forever. She was everything I had ever wanted. We spent the next nine years as close as two beings could be. We accomplished a great deal and she was my guide and friend throughout high school and university. She had only one litter, this by Ch.HMS Lineal, CD and that litter produced two champions, Ch.Belauded of Brackenbrae (Stevie) a group winner from the bred by class and Ch.Beloved of Brackenbrae, CD (Joey)who in turn carried the family down from Pixie. Pixie died early following a spay operation at age nine. Again, my life was changed forever.

Ch.HMS Lineal, CD. (1960-1974)

Donnie came fin the late 1960’s. He had been one of the dogs I had looked at to take to Pixie. At age 71/2 he was offered to me so he came to Canada and in 4 months, completed his bench championship and his CD. He was a classic collie of wonderful type, great coat, bright and adaptive. He was of very wonderful breeding as well, Ladypark, Bellhaven and pre-war British breeding naturalized in North America. Donnie lived past 14 years. Through Donnie I met Mr. Hugh Miller (HMS) who was the most important mentor in Collies I could ever have hoped for. To Mr. Miller I owe everything.

HMS Druid (1966-1980)

Drew came from Mr. Miller. He was an inbred grandson of Donnie’s. This dog was of wonderful type, sound, healthy and he was instrumental in my most important dogs that carried on. Drew was not shown as he came with two missing front teeth due to fence fighting. He would have easily finished otherwise. Druid was a very dark shaded sable and lived a long full life over 14 years and embodied many of Lineal’s grand qualities and passed them on.

Ch.Harver’s Sugar Plum

Lara came as a “second-hand” dog who needed a lot of work and socialization to realize her potential. She was a large, sound, nice headed girl with good muzzle and eye. She had originally come from Verna Foster’s Harver kennels in Kenora but had passed through a couple of situations before she came here. She finished her championship in 3 shows. Her son Ch.Brackenbrae Beriah Banderdand (Brandy) by HMS Druid figured in our pedigrees largely as did her daughter Brackenbrae Bandersnatch. Lara went on to live a long life with our friends Nancy and Len Chaykowski of Robynspark . She fully lived up to her great potential. Verna offered to us Lara’s dam, Ch.Harver’s Sparkle Dust when she closed her kennels and Sparkle came to live with us later as well.

Ladypark Lightsome (English Import)

Robyn was imported from the UK and was bred by Miss Grey. She came over in early 1970. It was clear that she preferred a home with fewer dogs and so she lived with Len and Nancy Chaykowski and helped to produce some of their lovely Roybnspark Collies that were shown alongside of the Backenbrae Collies with some being co-owned. She lived a long life and was a treasured member of her family. Robyn was a very nice bitch of excellent head type and lovely body. She was a substantial Collie who offered excellent bone and North American size.

Brackenbrae Blue Taboo CD

Charlie was a wonderful sable merle with noticeable blue segments in his eyes at a time when that was not allowed in Canadian conformation rings. He was sired by HMS Moorlands a glorious heart-breaker of a blue, wild, outgoing, lots of bone, very very bright, wonderful type. He was killed returning from his first dog show where he had had a 3 point win. Charlie’s dam was Beloved of B. As a sable merle with blue eyes, at that time, he went into a pet home.

Just after Lineal died, Charlie’s family contacted me and told me that they were moving north where he would have to be tied up rather than live the life he had been used to. They asked me to re home him. When they walked up the driveway with him a few days later, it was like seeing a ghost. He was a darker version of Donnie. I had been in contact by phone but had not seen him for a year or so and I’ll never forget seeing that dog, my Donnie’s grandson, approach me like a re-incarnation.

He was shown once, got points in good competition and then I didn’t do it again. It was too risky, but he did sire a litter for me and set up 3 generations of sable merle, again, unshowable at the time but two generations after that, five generations on, Ch.Brackenbrae Morning Has Broken, HI, CGC, HRD 1, HTD 1, TT finished her title with a group placement, a BPIS and many many performance accomplishments and a fully blue eye on the show side in her glorious golden face.

Charlie lived a long long life, with the last part of his life dedicated to being the companion of a little girl who really needed his company. His whole life was one of service and teaching. He broke down the colour barriers for me in Collie breeding.

Ch.Brackenbrae Beriah Banderdand & Brackenbrae Bandersnatch

Brandy and Tabby were litter mates by HMS Druid and Ch.Harver’s Sugar Plum. Brandy completed his title in two weekends, 4 shows, and was a big dark shaded sable with correct coat, a lovely head and superb body. He was a great dog, outgoing, devoted and bright. His sister Tabby was very much like Brandy, with a lovely head great movement and a fine personality. These two gave the family so much and certainly provided bone and more body than some of the dogs then had.

Ch.Brealeigh of Brackenbrae

My daughter Maggie always remarks that she was named after a dog….I reply but WHAT a dog! Maggie did not have puppies, but she accompanied me on the Fort William Archaeological dig for the years I worked here. During the winter, she was not able to come into the lab so she demonstrated her annoyance by causing trouble at home in revenge. Her life was so tied up with mine that she and I can hardly remember those years without her in them somehow. Her name Leigh was after a friend of mine who died in an accident when we were teenagers.

Belilac of Brackenbrae

Lilac (Snapdragon sometimes) was a sable merle who could not at the time, be shown. She was a beautiful bitch, very strong in personality, wonderfully coated, soundly built and she was my running partner for years. For a long time she was yard dog too and she collected things. She rounded up stainless steel dog dishes and deposited them beyond the goat barn in a cache she developed. Toys left out became part of her loot too. One exception was Barbie dolls. For some reason, she couldn’t help chewing those and most of Maggie’s Barbies suffered some grievous injury or another. She tolerated cats usually. However, from time to time, a barn cat would be dispatched at random. Once she produced one running shoe, not one of ours, and I wondered how she got it, picturing a one-shoed jogger escaping down the side road. Happily she didn’t develop a fetish for them. Lilac had one litter and her son, Blue Taboo Two went on to contribute. Her intelligence and wonderful qualities are still evident in the family. She lived 14 years.

Ch.Duster of Trelane, CD

Duster’s dam, Ch.Sovereign Moonmaiden, CDX was owned by Walter and Barb Gregoruk. They had purchased her from Ariel Sleeth of Sovereign on my recommendation after the collie they had from me had died following an operation to remove a tooth broken in a kick by one of their Quarter horses. When the time came, they asked to use one of my dogs with her but I knew of a fabulous English import, Eng.Ch.Bririch Gold Emblem who had been imported by Mrs. Lila Bates. I suggested that they go in that direction.

As horse breeders they understood the opportunity and took her to Ember. I whelped the litter at their house, assisted at a C section for the last two puppies AFTER the hockey game, graded the puppies, and helped to promote them.

One puppy, a male they called Duster, went to a young teenager who had one of my female collies. I showed him for her, helped her select some lovely bitches from Mrs.Bates to take to him and that turned into a long term co-ownership/partnership. Duster came to live with me as he became difficult for his family to deal with.

He was a wonderful type, very much like Ember, an exquisite outline just so stunning, an orange gold delight. He was bold, very very bright and he was able to open latches. He got his CD in 1981 as the CC of A was being held in Minnesota and my due date for my first child was on the same weekend so I decided to put a CD on Duster instead here.

Duster was born too early. He loved children and would have so enjoyed more time with them. His descendants have been used by my children in their Junior Handling, an activity that Duster would have reveled in.

Brackenbrae Breezwae Bronze CDX

Jamie was by Duster ex a Bririch based bitch from Mrs.Bates. He was somewhat different in type from what was being shown here at the time so he was not shown. He was extreme in many ways, attractive, with lots of qualities that we could use in our family. He was taken to the CDX level using Bill Khoeler’s system and was starting on UD but clearly the method did not suit him and he was not having enjoyment to we quit.

Jamie was clever, had a hobby of leaving home if given the chance, was loved as a house dog with our young children and acted like a kindly but bossy older sibling who smoothly lifted cookies, sandwiches, or ice cream from toddlers and lead them into doing whatever he wanted while playing the innocent. He probably was the intellectual equal of most young kids but he needed the use of their opposable thumbs to get things done.

Jamie went to live eventually with my good friend Nancy Chase, a first time dog owner, who was initiated by an expert manipulator of humans the rest of his very long life.

At this point, a teaching career, and a young family had made a lull in developing the family and very few breeders are able to maintain enough dogs to develop a strain of their own.

I had to look out to find Collies that would match what I had in terms of the over-all type and vision and that would allow the line to go on.

One option was to go to Great Britain. However, after the export of the glorious Eng.Ch.Bririch Gold Emblem and my own Ladypark Lightsome in the early 1970’s the breeders there took a very different tack in their breeding ideals. By the middle 1980’s, a scant 15 years later, I did not recognize many of their dogs as having very much in common with the Collies of the legendary kennels pre 1970. The collies of the type I had learned to love and held as ideal no longer existed in the UK.

It then meant that I had to turn to the North American Collies to carry my family on with. There was some influence from both a Brandwyne based dog Ch.Harver’s Sugar Plum and of course the Canadian Sovereign family, but now I had to cut ties with new English lines and go pure North American.

At a show in Brandon, I saw a stunning blue bitch. she was bred by Shirley Johnson who had started with an English import from the Shiel kennels. Most of this bitch’s breeding was North American though. Shirley sold her to me with the condition that I finished her, and so a new chapter began.

Ch. Val Jay’s Crystal O Wur

Chrissy was a glorious blue, with a great coat lovely bone and pretty head. She was an eyeful! However, she was also bright, self-centered and manipulative. I struggled to finish her. She decided how she was going to behave, in as show, on how she felt she was being treated. Woe betide me if I should have any other dog on the table at any show she was at. Don’t scold her, don’t with hold bait, say please and thank-you…. it wasn’t shyness or unsureness but pure bossiness. Shirley finally said she wouldn’t hold me to the title but by then my dander was up and she did finish. Chrissy and her niece Coo went BISS brace and BIS brace later on, but of course, Chrissy had to be where she wanted to be (beside me close to the bait) or she refused to work.

Chrissy was bred once to the tri Ch.ValJay Dhub Elijah Na Aibhne. Elijah was a very handsome unshown youngster at Shirley’s so I offered to keep him, show him and return him if I could use him a couple of times. He finished handily and had some group placements.

A son, Brackenbrae the Black Knight was retained. He didn’t care for the show ring so was unshown. I always thought it was like actors’ children who sometimes steer clear of their parents’ professions. Chrissy’s act would be difficult for her son to follow and he seemed to know it. Both Chrissy and Brady lived to a good age.

Ch.ValJay’s Harve Woodsman, HIC

Harvie was to have been one of the new dogs along with Crystal to start the new directions. She was not bred but in many ways she was the best teacher I had and she was one of the very best Collies I have even been graced with. She finished rapidly and , as a house dog and farm dog, she ushered us into the world of the working Collie. She was a small tri, very serious, devoted to the children and eventually had to be excused as a Junior Hander dog as she took the job so seriously that she began to protect her kid from the judge. Not all, of course, just those she considered nefarious.

She was the first dog I tried an instinct test on and she was spectacular. I got teary.

With that exposure it gave us courage to try using her with our sheep. We had the sheep but our fencing wasn’t complete at first, but it was possible to set Harve out with the sheep, let her know the boundary and she could be left all afternoon with them as she maintained it. Later I learned that was tending. With her in charge we could shear, move stock, and have more done with less effort.

Harve and I attended a personal protection seminar and found that she took that job very seriously as well. She was strong, courageous and certainly would have done anything to stop anything from happening to her people. She received high praise.

We have a print in our living room called “The Shepherd’s Pet” and it is an image of an early sable-headed tri cuddling beside a lamb which is wearing a ribbon. The Collie is just starting to lick the lamb. Many many times Harve curled around a crate with a new lamb giving it the same little comforting licks and that print reminds me of her every time I see it, which is every day.

Harve may not have entered into the breeding programme, but she set the standards very high for those who did. Most of what I expect today in my dogs, I learned from her. She lived a long life entwined in our hearts and lives.

Ch.Brackenbrae By Snowy Woods

Coo was also by Elijah ex Skye (Beloved One of Brackenbrae). She was a big, lovely bitch with a wonderful body and fabulous movement. She was a group winner and showed interest in herding but this was at the very beginning of our contact with herding so she didn’t get to develop this.

Coo was bred twice, the first to Ch. Tallywood Quantum Leap , TT, CGC, HCT and that produced my wonderful friend and partner Ch.Brackenbrae Morning Has Broken,CGC, TT, HI, HRD 1, HTD1, Phoenix. Her second litter was to The Black Knight to produce a bitch that was line bred to take back to Quantum Leap. Two champion daughters resulted, and Ch.Brackenbrae Be a Dreamcatcher went to Quantum Leap to produce Merlin.

Ch.Tallywood Quantum Leap, TT, CGC, HCT

Tahoe was in the same class as Lineal, Emblem and all the other breathtaking dogs I have been honoured to see. He and his sire appeared on a video from the Collie club of Canada that a group of us had seen one evening. I could not sleep. He was the essence of the best of Collie type, glorious, free moving, excelling in all the important parts, he made my heart sing.

Nancy Anstruther was gracious, generous and I am forever in her debt and allowed him to live with us. She was perhaps a bit overwhelmed by my enthusiasm, cautioning that he was an outcross, carefully tempering where he could be improved, but it is never the areas that a dog needs improvement that worries me, it is where they excel that is the joy and Tahoe was spectacular where it counted!

Tahoe was a boy’s dog. He adored our son and his friends. We had many sleepovers with a group of bright very active friends of our son Tony. They made a series of “Lassiepark” videos where a rogue collie did unspeakable things as in the at the time currently popular dinosaur film of a similar name. We had a large video camera that looked like a real newsreel camera that the group used, and Tahoe happily starred in all the productions. He knew when “his boys” were coming, the preparations maybe, the excitement of our son, but Tahoe could hardly be contained. Later, he continued to be their mascot when the interests turned to “cops and robbers” and then paintball.

Tahoe was also a late entry into herding. He went to his HIC test with no idea . Marie Murphy put her Aussie in with him and it was if a light turned on. He immediately took off. Later he earned the AHBA HCT title but by then, although we had sheep by then, he was elderly and we quit to prevent injury. His children both excelled in herding.

Tahoe lived a long life, dying quietly as I was preparing a bed for him in the porch on a wonderful warm lyrical June evening. He found the stairs into the house an issue and this special evening allowed him to avoid it. I was on my knees, talking to him as I put his blankets out and arranged the water dish and realized somehow I was alone. I turned around, and as majestic as he had always been, he had his head on his paws with his eyes shut as if he were dozing, but he was gone. My heart still skipped a beat when I looked at him. He was still so beautiful.

Sleep well my love.

Ch.Brackenbrae Morning has Broken, TT, GCG, HRD 1 HTD 1, HI

Phoenix, my best friend, companion, a top herding dog, born to work and as close to human understanding as a dog can get. She was a blue eyed sable merle, went BPIS and got a group placing but it did take some time to finish her due to the newness of the acceptance of the blue eye especially since hers was on the show side. she was our house dog and never slept in a crate from the age of 4 months on. She kept the chickens, the ducks and the sheep in order and most humans too. She was long awaited, loved with all our hearts here and left us just two weeks short of her 15th birthday. She was unable to be bred as she was spayed due to health reasons early on. She appeared in many publications, in the newspaper, she trialled at the CC of A in 2003 and qualified a leg and enriched our existences for a long treasured time.

Albert Payson Terhune speaks of the excitement that he imagines will happen when He crossed the divide and his Collies see him coming. In Phoenix’s case, I imagine she’ll look a bit annoyed at me, glance at her watch and say, “it’s about time, we have eternity together, and so much to do, and I’ve been waiting… let’s go!” At least I hope so.

Ch.Brackenbrae Broadsword, (NE) TT, CGN, HS HTD 1 HRD1, TD

Merlin is the son of Tahoe ex Ch.Brackenbrae Be a Dreamcatcher, Emma, who had been bred especially to go to Tahoe. Merlin’s brother died shortly after birth and he grew up as a singleton, a striking, confident, beautiful puppy raised by his half sibling Phoenix (Ch.Brackenbrae Morning Has Broken, TT, CGC, HI, HRD 1, HTD 2) by Tahoe ex Emma’s dam Coo.

Merlin completed his championship in one weekend as a Junior Puppy with group placings. He went on to excel in herding, as a companion and as a sire. He was bred to Ch.Prairiepine Color of Love, ROMX (Sydney) in in this one litter, his only litter, he produced 5 champions, a number of performance and herding title holders and with the exception of his double dilute son and one other son, all normal eyes.

He has enjoyed a long life in spite of a medical emergency that spiraled into a couple of major surgeries just as he turned 9. This prevented him from going on in herding but has not diminished his enjoyment of life and his good health and strong constitution. At the time of this writing, he is 12 1/2 years old and going strong. Merlin is truly a heart dog of ours.

Ch.Brackenbrae Blue Banner, (NE) CGN, HI HTD1 (S) JHD

Jack is a double grandson of Merlin and Sydney and is by Ch.Brackenbrae Blue Danube (NE) CGN, PCD, HS, JHD x Ch.Brackenbrae Black is the Color. He and his litter mates were whelped just before my Father passed away and the puppies did not receive much extra socialization. Jack, however, developed into a totally relaxed, confident Collie who completed his championship in two weekends with a group placement. He is a natural on stock and represents all that is best in this family of dogs. He is beautifully built with a long lean head, lovely expression and a wonderfully fitted coat of great volume and grand texture. He can work in muck and mud and come up like a shiny penny with a quick hosing down. He is most worth of carrying on!

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