OUR YEAR - 2008/2009
Our Year Home 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012  

While we were over the moon about Bentley's win at Chillington in July 2008, we totally forgot to mention David and Ursula’s girl Meagan, Kirkmarsh Roisin Dubh at Fendrake, one of Liz’s pups, was mated to their own dog Feargal, Horsey Cornerake at Fendrake, who is himself a product of our foundation dog, Morgan. On the 4th of August Meagan gave birth to 9 puppies, 5 boys and 4 girls. This was David and Ursula’s first litter, so with 9 puppies to look after, they had a good learning curve, and will now be ready to have their next litter!


Meagan with day old puppies

September 2008.

Skip Lightly of Spancilhill gave birth to 11 puppies on 10th September, and we had our name down for a girl from this litter. Our home bred boy, Logan, who lives in Northern Ireland was the sire. So we have to thank Gerry O’Sullivan for Spancilhill Kate at Kirkmarsh. Kate arrived here on 5th November, and travelled all the way from Ireland with no trouble at all. I am looking forward to this summer working with her.

October 2008.

Kirkmarsh Charmer (Lulu) owned by Mark and Polly Stevens came here to be mated in August with Grainne’s Pirate at Kirkmarsh (Bentley). Lulu came back to have her pups here, and on October the 9thLulu gave birth to 11 puppies, but sadly 2 were born dead, and Lulu reared 9 pups 2 girls and 7 boys. I must say that considering that Lulu was not at home and had to put up with Melvyn and I looking after her, she coped very well, and we really enjoyed having her here. It was nice to meet the new puppy owners, and thank you to those who keep in touch, especially Diabolo’s new owners who regularly send us short films of him living in France. Mark and Polly had one of the girls and we kept the other, Mizenhead Dream of Kirkmarsh, Ziva, who is full of fun, and always carrying something in her mouth, and is quite matey with Kate. I think Melvyn will have some fun this summer with this little girl.


Bentley and Ziva


Bentley & Lulu puppies

Melvyn is now out on the shooting field picking up with Teasel, and me, I am looking after puppies.

November. 2008

The puppies are doing well and it is nice to see puppy owners visiting before they come to collect them.

Melvyn was invited by Eddie and Carole Jones to go to Dorset for a day’s shooting. Eddie is the gamekeeper on the Hartgrove shoot. Thank you Carole for letting Melvyn stay with you, and thank you Eddie for a great day's shooting and the after shoot dinner,. Melvyn thoroughly enjoyed the stay.

December 2008 and January 2009.

Melvyn had won a day’s wildfowling in the SIWSC centenary raffle at Chillington, given by David Wilcox & Derek Robinson. On the 19th December Melvyn went down to Cambridge, to stay the night with David and Ursula, thank you for the hospitality, they are both wonderful hosts, but it was off to bed early for a 4.00am start the next day. Melvyn had a great day and shot a goose, and even had a canoe ride in Derek Robinson’s canoe.

Melvyn with Greylag Goose: The IWS at the front is one of Morgan's boys, Feargal.

I managed a few days out with Melvyn on the shoot, and first off in the morning we took Kate and Ziva up to the meet, so they could socialize with people and other dogs. And then I took them back home. Then back up to the shoot, for the last few drives.

Liz came into season and was mated with Bentley on the 30th December and on the 1st January 2009.

February 2009.

The shooting season has finished, but Melvyn is still busy as he has been gundog training with Dave Fields on Cannock Chase every other Sunday through the winter. Bentley has learned a lot, but he could still do with some “brakes” at times, but Melvyn is working on this, slowly but surely.

March 2009.

It’s Sunday 1st March, and Liz gives birth to 10 puppies, 5 girls and 5 boys, actually born boy, girl, boy, girl, which I thought was quite unusual. Again it was nice to welcome puppy buyers, some who we already knew, and some new IWS owners. We would like to say thank you to them all. When the puppies left everyone had DNA swabs taken, and so did the rest of our dogs, plus in the envelope with the swabs went pedigrees, hip, elbow and eye test scores, and any other information that we could supply to the Animal Health Trust (AHT). The AHT are working with the Sporting Irish Water Spaniel Club to collect information on the Irish Water Spaniel, to make a data base on the health of the breed. If everybody who owns IWS sends information on their dog/dogs to the AHT it will be a great help to the breed, and of course to people breeding, and the breeders in the future, it will be a great help to try to keep breeding healthy IWS, we know we can not foresee everything, but we can only do our best for the breed. If you are interested in this scheme, and are not members of the Sporting Irish Water Spaniel Club, and wish to get involved, please contact Louise Bailey, via www.siwsc.org , she will be pleased to help. For members there will be a health sheet in the newsletter each year, which you can fill in with any visits to the vets, etc which will be sent to the AHT, to update their records. PLEASE get involved, PLEASE do the health checks if you can, Hips Elbows and Eye tests are normal, and if you do consider breeding with your dog, these tests are important to you so you know what you are breeding with, and for the information for puppy buyers.

On a very much lighter note we were very pleased to welcome Lynn Musgrave and Sharon Moreland from America. They had been to Crufts and were staying with Alan and Denise Costley from Lincolnshire and had asked if they could visit to see the puppies. Lynn had an interest in them as she bred Bentley’s father AM Ch. D’Lochs Irish Upon a Star.

We were thrilled to meet both of them, and to see Alan and Denise, who are also waiting to have 2 IWS from America a dog and a bitch, which we wish them luck with. We had a lovely afternoon, and I am sure that they will not forget Kate, who was sat on Lynn’s knee from arriving! I just wish I had remembered to take photos.

On the 22nd March it was the SIWSC AGM, at which Bentley was awarded Top Dog of 2008, which was really unexpected, but very nice.


It was very busy through April the puppies getting bigger and more demanding, and each weekend it was nice to see so many puppy owners coming to see the pups. Then at the end of April getting ready for the pups go to their new homes. I always feel a little down and a bit lost when they go. But fortunately with email, the new puppy owners send photos of their little darlings, and it is really nice to see them, I thank all the owners for taking the time to keep in touch.

Hello to our little darling Rio, the newest member of our family.


We are now getting the caravan ready for the start of events this month being the training weekend, at Cannock Chase, then at the end of the month we will be at the Yorkshire Game Fair.

Cannock Chase was a lovely weekend, and Tackeroo caravan site is tranquil, with just dear, fox’s and rabbit’s in abundance.

Dave Fields, did an excellent job of tuning in to everybodys needs, with so many dogs all at different levels it is not easy for a trainer when they do not know the dogs.

We also had a great social time too, and it was nice to get together again with everyone.

Yorkshire Game Fair.

Yet another good weekend, with it being a club organised event Louise did a good job of inviting 26 gundog breeds for the discover dog tent, and also getting other breeds to do demonstrations in the working gundog ring, as well as the gundog parade. So it was a busy weekend for us all.

We would like to say a big THANK YOU to the puppy owners who brought their puppies to the game fair, it was great to see them in the parade and the demo. Well done to Kate and Ziva at their first game fair, and gundog demonstration they coped very well.

Kate and Ziva have been going to our gundog trainer Jack Gretton every week, just doing basic obedience and a few retrieves and a little steadying work. We also attend training classes run by the United Retrievers Club whenever we can.

Yorkshire Gamefair at Harewood House, with Denise in the gundog pavillion.






















Q: [FAQ Question]
A: [FAQ Answer]