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  In  The Beginning

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Robyn with Elizron Tanya


My mother was raised on a dairy farm in the Bangalow area of New South Wales.  Her younger brother Noel had a great affinity with animals, and was responsible for many of the animals that came into my life.  Our family’s dog and cat were the first of his successes.  As a farm boy, working and hunting dogs were part and parcel of life.  He would often take my mother and I out rabbiting, as Aunt had no interest in such things.  His Pointer bitch Karen was expected to provide game to supplement the table, a task she accomplished with ease.

Our first family dog, KimmClan Ranald Alicia with Devonglen Bonnie Leey, was a Blue Heeler, as dogs of his colour and heritage were called back then.  A rescued farm puppy Noel ‘conned’ our parents into ‘saving’, Kimmy who lived to a good old age.  After he passed over, a Border collie x Kelpie joined the family. This mix of breed was used to describe pretty much any black dog with touches of white.  Dennis, along with several other dogs in our neighbourhood, was poisoned when quite young. Dad was devastated.  It was the first time I’d seen him cry.

Into our lives came Princess, a beautiful sable and white ‘pure-bred’ Collie. Unfortunately Princess died after complications following her desexing surgery.  She was, however, the introduction to the breed my father would love for the rest of his life, a love that I share still. 

Our first truly pedigreed dogs followed Princess – a young adult Pembroke Welsh Corgi bitch Tanya, and a baby puppy bitch Rough Coated Collie, Alicia.  Through these bitches the Thompson family was introduced to a whole new world – the dog scene.  Elizron Tanya & her daughter Tryfan Bethan

Obedience classes were taken at the South Australian Obedience Dog Club in the south parklands where we spent many a Sunday afternoon walking in never ending circles.  We marvelled at the dogs, many pedigreed, and their clever trainers. 

Both bitches came with their ‘papers’, so it was into the show ring for me.  Often I was joined by my best friend Alise, the proud owner of a handsome Standard Smooth Dachie, Honzie.  There were no junior handler classes and no Junior Kennel Club.  I was most fortunate that a number of folk would allow me the privilege of helping with their dogs.

Over the years, Noel remained my mentor as he later exhibited Basenjis.  Those familiar with that breed in its early years in Australia would no doubt be familiar with Champion Wandras Midas and Champion Wandras Minerva, Lockie and Minnie.  These two, bred by Lil Barker, were extremely successful dogs, Midas in particular taking many major awards. 

While the breeds have changed, the love for some will never die. More than forty years later, the bug that bit me in my early teens remains. 


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