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Dogs From The Past


(Darynn Especially Alpha Romeo CDX Am CD) MIPS (Especially’s Personal Program CDX) and FRED (OTCh Especially’s Duke of Orange Am CD)
We obtained our first ECS in 1986 from Yvonne Van Wyk of Oshawa. Because we lived in a townhouse at the time, I wanted to make doubly sure that we had a polite, well-mannered dog and so I took Byte to obedience classes at the Swansea Dog Obedience Club in Etobicoke. We got hooked on obedience and eventually started to compete in this area. We obtained 3 obedience titles on Byte, who was officially known as “Darynn Especially Alpha Romeo, Cdn CDX, Am CD”. Byte’s last show was at the ECSCA specialty in St. Louis, Missouri, May 1998, where he received a special award as oldest ECS with a qualifying obedience score. Byte succumbed to cancer in 1999.


MIPS, again obtained from Yvonne, joined us in 1988. He also participated in obedience, obtaining 2 obedience titles. His last appearance was at the ECSCA specialty in St. Louis, May 1998. MIPS died of cancer in September 1998. His official name was “Especially’s Personal Program, Cdn CDX”.


In 1990 we acquired an orange roan ECS, Fred, at 18 months of age. Unfortunately, the couple that had initially purchased Fred could no longer look after him and asked us to take him. Fred was running loose in the countryside, was seldom allowed in the house, and was totally untrained.

My initial thoughts were to teach Fred some basic obedience, socialize him and try to find a good home for him. As I started to work with him, I was amazed at his capabilities. Needless to say, he stayed with us. Over the years he obtained 5 obedience titles and came very close to completing a 6th. He was one of the top obedience ECS in 1993 and again in 1997. Fred was diagnosed as hypothyroid in 1998 and his competitive obedience career ended. He also developed arthritis. Fred’s official name was “Cdn OTCh Especially’s Duke of Orange, NAFA FbD, Am CD”. Fred succumbed to cancer in April 2000. He was truly a very special ECS.


Our First Foundation Female – Gracie (AmCdn CH Especially’s Teacup Tempest AmCdn CD CDX)

"GRACIE", multiple group placing ECS and our first foundation female (AmCdn CH Especially's Teacup Tempest AmCdn CDX) (handled by Steve Dainard)Over the years, the conformation ring had been beckoning, and in 1992 I obtained an exquisite dark blue roan female from Yvonne, “Gracie”. Gracie did very well in both conformation and obedience, with some of her notable wins including:

  • Best Puppy in Group, Seaway Kennel Club 1993
  • Group 2nd, Guelph Kennel Club April 1998
  • Group 4th, Southwestern Ontario Sporting Dog Club, June 1998

Gracie was bred 3 times:

  • In September 1994 to BISS AmBdaCdn CH Westover Sir Lancelot (Lance), a breeding which produced “Lisa”
  • In July 1996 to Am CH Springhill Slapjack, ECM, WD, OAJ, AX (Cubby Heston), a breeding which produced “Sadie”
  • In January 1999 to BISS Am CH Boxhill’s Brigadoon (Briggs), a breeding which produced “Emily”

Gracie held 4 obedience titles and was a top obedience English Cocker Spaniel in 2000. Gracie’s official name was “AmCdn CH Especially’s Teacup Tempest AmCdn CDX.” Gracie died in December, 2003, due to age related kidney problems. She was truly an amazing English Cocker.


Lisa (Cdn CH Carfrae Allure CD)

From Gracie’s first litter, we kept a lovely liver roan female, “Lisa”. Lisa’s official name is “Cdn CH Carfrae Allure CD”. Lisa finished both her Canadian conformation title and her novice obedience title. I bred Lisa to AmCH Boxhill’s Brigadoon in 1997 and she produced 2 puppies in September 1997, one of which was “Clara”. Lisa had an extremely difficult time delivering her puppies and I subsequently made the decision to spay her and place her in a pet home, where she lived for many years.


Clara (HIT Carfrae Handle With Care AmCdn CD)

Clara was sparingly shown in 1998, since at the time we were devoting time (and resources) to showing her grandmother. In just 2 shows however, we managed to obtain 3 points towards her Canadian championship. We were thinking placing Clara in a pet home and I decided to do some obedience work with her, just to see how she would work. She quickly finished her Canadian CD in October 2000, by gaining 3 qualifying scores in one weekend! She also went High in Trial on the first leg of her CD; with a score of 196 and narrowly missed going HIT on her third leg the next day!

To date, Clara is the only English Cocker Spaniels who has competed in the invitational Bytown Dog Obedience Club, HIT of HIT’s. That was the thrill of a lifetime! Clara continued her winning ways in September 2001, by going High in Trial at the Heart of Michigan English Cocker Spaniel Club Regional Specialty.

Clara was placed in a pet home, where she kept a semi retired film producer and writer company. I am told she particularly liked going to client sales presentations and to film shoots with her owner, where she was in charge of the crew. Clara died Christmas, 2009.


Sadie (Carfrae Impertinent AmCdn CD)

In 1996, we again bred Gracie, this time to Cubby, Am CH Springhill Slapjack. Cubby sired multiple agility and obedience ECS in the US, and his influence on performance ECS is reflected in his children, grand children and great grandchildren who participate in conformation, obedience, agility, tracking and hunt test work.

From this breeding, we kept Sadie. Sadie had an incredible aptitude for both obedience and agility. She was also very fond of fishing at the cottage with my husband! Sadie obtained 2 obedience titles and was one of my personal favourite of all the girls. Sadie’s official name was “Carfrae Impertinent AmCdn CD”. Sadie was bred to BIS AmCdn CH Carnaby Corsair (Calvin) in November 1999 and produced 5 puppies in January 2000, one of whom was Peanuts.

Sadie was placed in a pet home where she enjoyed long walks and hiking with her new owner. Sadly, Sadie died of cancer in the autumn of 2007.


Peanuts (Carfrae Same Old Song)

We kept a very precocious dark blue roan girl from Sadie’s litter, “Peanuts” officially known as “Carfrae Same Old Song”. Peanut did exceptionally well in obedience and obtained two qualifying scores towards her Canadian CD in July of 2004. Peanuts was bred in the autumn of 2003 to Elvis and had a litter of two puppies December, 2003. One of these puppies was Alice.

We also started training Peanuts in tracking in the autumn of 2004 and she showed incredible aptitude. In November of 2004, Peanuts became ill with what we thought was inflammatory bowel disease. She was diagnosed with gastro intestinal lymphoma and quickly deteriorated at the Mississauga Veterinary Referral Centre. Peanuts was Bob’s very best fishing buddy at the cottage.


Emily (Cdn CH Carfrae ‘Til Tomorrow) and Guy (Springhill Sweet Talking Guy)

In January 1999 I bred Gracie for the last time, to “Briggs”, who was also Clara’s father. Briggs was Best In Specialty Show at the English Cocker Spaniel Club of America national specialty show, over 450+ ECS, in May 1998. This breeding produced 7 puppies on March 29, and we decided to keep Emily from this litter. Emily’s official name was “Carfrae ‘Til Tomorrow”. Emily finished her championship in February 2002. One of her nicest placements was at American Spaniel Club, Secaucus New Jersey in January 2000, where she obtained 4th place in her class, with very competitive opposition.

In April 2001 I acquired a lovely young male, GUY (Springhill Sweet Talking Guy) from Ruth Heston of Philadelphia, the breeder of Sadie’s father, Springhill Slapjack. Guy commenced his conformation career by going Reserve Winners Dog under Michael Faulkner at the Heart of Michigan Regional English Cocker Spaniel specialty in September 2001.

A few weeks later, Guy developed a persistent cough. Eventually we took him to the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph, where he was diagnosed with blastomycosis, a fungal infection caused by the inhalation of spores from decaying vegetation. Blastomycosis is endemic to certain areas of Georgian Bay.

Emily was also diagnosed with this infection. Despite intensive efforts and thousands of dollars in veterinary bills, we were unable to save Guy, and he was euthanized in November of 2001.
Emily was treated and initially seemed to recover; however in May 2002 she suffered a relapse. This time the infection was not just in her lung, but also in her eye, and her colon. She was treated with anti fungal drugs and seemed to recover.
I entered her in a Tracking Dog test in the spring of 2004 and had to withdraw her two weeks before the test-the blasto came back. This time, despite all efforts and treatments at the Mississauga Veterinary Referral Centre, she could not recover. Emily was euthanized in October of 2004. Emily taught me tracking and was the best tracking dog we have ever had, unfortunately we just never got around to completing her TD.


Tina (Cdn CH Carfrae Classy n’ Smart)

Tina was a light orange roan girl born June 28, 2007 from Lucy’s second litter by Am CH Far Meadow Mighty Ruler JH, WDX. She was very quick, quite energetic and at times, a lot to live with! She was shown in conformation by Will Alexander and Monica Park and completed her championship in August 2008.

Tina obtained 2 legs towards her RN title in October 2008. I decided not to breed Tina and she was placed  with clients in downtown Toronto until she died in 2017.

Shadow TCh CT MACH Carfrae Me and My Shadow VCD3, RA, OF (Cdn. CDX, UTDX, AGN)

Canadian Titles: CD, CDX, AGN, and TD, TDX, UTD, UTDX (which equals TCh.)

American Titles: CD, CDX, UD, TD, TDX, VST, RN, RA, NA, NAJ, NF, OA, OAJ, OF, AX, AXJ, XF, MX, MXJ which equals CT, MACH, VCD3

Shadow was Sadie’s son and lived in the Windsor Ontario area. He was a high energy puppy and Karen came to me, wanting a performance prospect to get back into the ring, after raising her family. She certainly got one with Shadow. As a puppy, Shadow was the one puppy that Sadie, his mother, continually disciplined. Shadow did not make things easy for Karen, but she persevered and at the April 2008 ECSCA National Specialty, Shadow won the coveted NPC (National Performance Challenge) trophy.

Shadow was the second ECS to achieve the American Kennel Club’s VCD3 title and the first male English Cocker Spaniel. VCD designations require progressively more difficult titles in tracking, agility and obedience. Shadow also achieved his US CT (Champion Tracker) designation, by completing his US TD, TDX and VST tracking titles.

In September 2011 Shadow completed the requirements for his Canadian TCh. (Tracking Championship). He was the first dog, of any breed, to attain both his Canadian and American Tracking Championships.




(AmCdn CH Springhill Sorceress AmCdn CD)

BAER Normal, OFA Excellent Hips, PRA Clear and FN Clear by parentage

born November 5, 2002

In January of 2003 I had the great fortune to acquire a lovely female puppy, Lucy. Lucy’s official name is “Springhill Sorceress”. Her parents were Buster, the top winning English Cocker in the US in 2002 (BIS, BISS Am Ch Sunnyside Skylark Playbyplay ECM) and Wicca (Am Ch Springhill Something Wicked MX MXJ JH SH WDX ECM).

Lucy became our second foundation female in this breed. Olivia, TUX, Rosalind, Crosby, Dorothy, Paula, Whitney and Adele all descend from Lucy. They all possess the “Springhill” intelligence and work ethic.

Lucy finished her Canadian conformation championship in October 2003, handled by William Alexander and Monica Park. Along the way she picked up 4 Best Puppy in Groups and was the Best Puppy in Specialty at the English Cocker Spaniel Club of Canada show in London Ont.

Will & Monica showed Lucy in the US for me and in very limited showing she obtained 3 majors and 10 points towards her American conformation championship. Lucy finished her American championship in August, in Muncie Indiana, ably handled by Robin Novack.

Lucy completed both her American and Canadian CD titles. At the urging of another breeder, we decided to place Lucy in her new “forever” home in Trenton, where she gave her owner, a retired Canadian Navy Chief Warrant Officer and Registered Nurse, several years of companionship.

Several years later, Lucy’s owner died after a battle with cancer. Lucy was returned to us and spent the rest of her days with us. She was very opinionated on certain topics, particularly naughty puppies!

Lucy produced two litters for us. In 2005 she was bred to Am CH Timeless Traveller ECM. In 2007 she was bred to Am CH Far Meadow Mighty Ruler JH.

Lucy was euthanized July 19, 2016 due to kidney failure.



ELVIS (Cdn CH Especially Carnaby Carfrae TD)

BIS BISS AmCH Daisymead’s Playboy ECM x Cdn CH Especially Colour Me Bad
Born November 25, 2001, Optigen Normal, FN Normal, BAER Normal, OFA Excellent

Elvis finished his Canadian championship in November 2002. He was shown in Wisconsin in July 2002 and never placed out of the ribbons, despite the heat and not showing well. We showed him at Cleveland in December 2002 and he went Reserve Winners Dog under Judy Doniere and won his sweepstakes class under Myra Main at a regional specialty show. He defeated some very good males, shown by professional handlers.
Elvis obtained his Canadian TD in September 2006 and was training for his TDX. In August 2009, Elvis was diagnosed with a mass in his lung, which subsequently was diagnosed as blastomycosis. His survival was questionable, but he responded well to a year long regimen of strong anti fungal drugs and constant monitoring of chest and liver functions.
Elvis was bred very sparingly and sired two Best Puppy in Show winners. Elvis was a bit “dottery” at times and had the odd bout of arthritis in cold damp weather, but still enjoyed barking at the youngsters who tried to steal his dinner.
Elvis succumbed to a stroke October 30, 2016 just a few weeks shy of his 15th birthday.

Valerie, aka Izzy Bug
(Cdn ATCH & CH Carfrae Life in the Fast Lane)

Valerie is from my October 2005 Cubby Logan x Lucy litter. From this litter, Valerie was pick puppy, and we kept Val, along with her litter sister Olivia. Both girls started their conformation career with Will and Monica in June of 2006.Valerie finished her Canadian championship in October 2006 and her litter sister Olivia finished hers in January 2007.

Being a smaller girl, I decided Valerie was not what I wanted to breed from and so I placed her in an Agility home with a previous puppy buyer of mine in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her new owner had an older male of my breeding, who had achieved his AAC Canadian Agility Trial Championship. Under her new owner’s expert tutelage, Valerie, now called “Izzy Bug” adjusted to her new home and completed her first Agility title in mid July 2008.

Valerie/Izzy Bug took to agility like the proverbial duck to water. Her owner and Val/Izzy have since moved to the Vancouver BC area where they turned into agility superstars out west!


Alice (Carfrae Alice in Graceland AmCdn TD)
Cdn CH Especially Carnaby Carfrae TD x Carfrae Same Old Song
Born December 21, 2003, spayed female

Alice was an Elvis and Peanuts daughter. Both Alice and her litter brother were very ill as puppies due to birth complications that Peanuts experienced. Their survival was questionable for a while; Bob, our petsitter and I bottle fed both puppies around the clock for three weeks. We kept Alice back for a while (her litter brother now lives in Ottawa) and eventually decided to keep her for ourselves. She was very smart, like her mother, grandmother and great grandmother. Due to her health issues, she was spayed.

With the unexpected death of Peanuts, we started Alice in tracking classes, which she loved. She was incredibly fast and accurate. Alice obtained her Canadian TD in September 2006 and her American TD at the English Cocker Spaniel Club of America National specialty show held in Wisconsin in May 2007. I regret not making the time to pursue additional tracking titles with her.

Alice suffered from epilepsy all of her life, with her first seizure occurring at 18 months of age. Due to her epilepsy, she was spayed. Alice enjoyed tracking in our fields for several years, along with her sire, Elvis. She loved swimming in the pool in the summer and always wore a lifejacket, in case she had a seizure while in the pool.

Alice was euthanized February 15, 2014 due to liver disease at the age of 10+ years.