Ken and I have been blessed to have shared our lives with a few dogs over the years which led to my infatuation with the complexities of training and the challenges it brings.
First and foremost our dogs are part of our family, sharing our home, family events, vacations and even our wedding.
All of our dogs are raised and trained to be confident and calm, able to handle the stresses of public life and be ambassadors of their respective breeds.
We have had the privledge to love, train and compete with different dogs in several disciplines including obedience, conformation, schutzhund, ring sport, hunting and most recently - stockwork.
See some of the dogs who have made us the people we are today...
Besides the companionship we share with the dogs, we are grateful for the many people they have brought into our lives.
Some people have only touched our lives fleetingly, while others have become life long friends.
Some may not remember our encounters but all have had an affect on us.
As we are heading towards retirement and a small farm in Kentucky, I knew livestock would again be a part of our lives.
Looking for a new dog training challenge I began the search for a breed, bloodline and individaul dog suited to introduce me to the working stockdog world.
I was drawn to the Australian Shepherd with the breeds strong desire to work and its reputation for loyalty.
With limited ability to keep livestock at our home in Illinois, training and competition would be our outlet into the stockdog world until full retirement to Kentucky in 2020.
My research of bloodlines cemented my belief that, like everything else, each has its good and bad points and a blend of bloodlines might be the best starting point for me.
After several years of talking to and meeting Aussie owners and breeders with their dogs all across the country,
I finally found one who didn't ask me "what color do you want" within the first ten minutes of discussing what I was looking for in a pup.
Beth Delozier of Nineveh Ranch spent countless hours with me discussing natural instinct and drives,
different bloodlines and training methods as well as introducing me to others to enhance my education.
She took the time to understand I needed a pup with very high drive and desire to work to deal with my strong handling
and one capable of working with me while I started this new chapter of my life with dogs.
My health did not allow me to take a pup from the first Ready and Ruth litter, but in 2010 Beth repeated the cross and sent me a video of the pups.
I knew that the "funny colored" split face puppy was just what I was looking for and officially started my stockdog journey.