I encountered my first Newfoundland in the late spring of 1975 while visiting with friends in the Lake Tahoe area. I was instantly smitten with this bear dog and knew that I had to have one in my life. At the time we were in the process of building our house in Gilroy, California, and having grown up with cockers, boxers, collies and assorted strays, my husband had promised me that I could finally have a dog. Little did he know what he was getting into! As luck would have it, the people who had bred the dog I had met in the woods had just whelped another litter and promised that I could have one of the puppies. In August my husband and I returned to Tahoe City to pick out our little bundle of fluff. Tahoe’s Hodur of Asgard (Tahoe’s Bold Voyager Oden x Tahoe’s Tundra), a large black male, chosen by my husband, became part of our family and my husbands favorite Newf to this day. He was the product of backyard breeders, but I was fortunate in that he was healthy and beautiful and lived to be nearly twelve years old.
About two years later, Hodur was joined by Buckaro’s Bit O’Britannia (Britannia’s Antoninus Rex x Britannia’s Star of the Sea) whom I co-owned with her breeder. Briny was supposed to have been a show dog and was BOW in her first and only show, but when SAS was discovered her show career ended. She and Hodur spent their lives as happy family pets, occasionally participating in obedience matches and riding around with the kids in my orange VW Super Beetle. I lost Briny at the age of nine and started on a hunt for a companion for Hodur. I met Lou and Mike Lomax at an NCNC club meeting and learned that they had a singleton male puppy who was available, and so Hodur was joined by Tabu’s Solo Voyager (Ch Tabu’s Midnight Rendezvous x Tabu’s Phoebe Goodbody), a new friendship begun and the whole world of Newfoundlands opened up.
When Hodur died, I once again went to Lou and Mike and this time came home with a twelve week old furball who was to become my soul mate, VN Ch Tabu’s Pooh Berry Blossom CD, DD, WRD, CGC, ROM (Ch Pooh Bear’s Kusche x Bos’n Bo Terranova Rhea ROM). Blossom was my first everything dog: first companion dog, first champion, first draft dog, first water rescue dog, first brood bitch. She was my heart and soul, and when I lost her at nearly thirteen years of age, a piece of my heart went with her. She whelped three litters of six, one and three; and of these ten, seven survived to adulthood with six of them still alive at this writing, the oldest of whom are eleven years old.
The other very important dog in my life came to me for baby-sitting while Lou and Mike were on a show circuit, and because I begged, he stayed. VN Tabu’s Seabrook Mozart CD, DD, WRD (Ch Britannia’s Baron of Pouch Cove x Dulrick’s Moonlight Sernade ROM) was sweetness personified and a very soft dog to work with. He could read me like a book, and if I wasn’t right, he wasn’t right. He sired five litters among them Blossom’s last litter of three. Gigi, Ali and Calypso will always be my special babies. I lost my precious Moe-Moe just two months before his eleventh birthday and miss him terribly. I have found that the bond built working with your dog is like no other, but it makes losing them all the more painful.
In 2001 I began co-owning with Gina and John Bonnell, starting with Tank (CH Capriccio’s Courage Under Fire, CGC, TDD, CD). In 2005 we bred the first of two litters from Sadie (Capriccio’s Satin Doll, ROM). Her generations that follow have produced many champions, working titles and wonderful family members.
My goals in breeding have always been to produce sound, healthy, sweet, beautiful dogs who could do everything the Newfoundland was originally bred to do. To that end I exhibit my dogs in conformation, obedience, draft and water and have dabbled in tracking and agility. All my potential breeding stock is screened for the known common diseases in Newfoundlands and I encourage my puppy owners to do the same, whether they intend to exhibit their dogs or not.