Showsight January 2024


Where did you grow up? I grew up in Toronto, Ontario, with summers at a family property (since 1886) on Lake Simcoe, 45 minutes from downtown Toronto. Relatives in England, Scotland, Haiti, Schleswig-Holstein, and Bodensee kept me travelling from an early age. Did you come from a doggy family? If not, how did the interest in breeding and showing purebred dogs begin? My love of dogs was limited, as my childhood dogs were terriers. One had “Springer rage” and my scars reflect eleven years with this dog. Arabian horses and cats were my passion. In 1963, a solo bicycling venture as a young teen around Scotland exposed me to my first Deerhound on a couch at the Kilmartin Hotel, Argyll… the perfect cross between a horse and a cat! Acquiring one in Canada finally happened in 1970 with Jan Buchanan’s Alistair Of Auldstane. Who were your mentors in the sport? Please elaborate on their influence. Lack of mentoring was the norm… real learning started in 1968 with visits to “Auld- stane,” “Gayleward,” “Sirhan.” My first pair of Deerhounds in 1973 precipitated my most influential “mentor” experience. They coursed and damaged a Whippet in a park. The owner was kind enough not to sue me but explained that I owned a sighthound, bred to chase and kill… “ Start doing your breed research! ” What a shock, as my single Deerhound helped me raise raccoons and kittens and showed no prey drive! So, the research began—and in this breed it never stops. There is always something new to learn. I have learned the most from: (a) attending 48 SDCA National Specialties (starting in 1973) watching/entering both conformation and coursing events; (b) attending three Dava Quaich Coursing meets in Inverness and the Borders… Deerhounds coursing on their home terrain is an INCREDIBLE learning experience!; (c) open field coursing in the 1970s-early ‘80s with M.H. Dutch Salmon in Manitoba (after European hare), the Dakotas, Colorado, and New Mexico (after Blacktail, Whitetail and Antelope Jack- rabbits) as well as countless NOFCA/ASFA coursing meets. Starting in 1977, I have attended eight UK Breed Shows over the years and have had the privilege of judging Deerhounds in the UK (2000), a Deerhound Specialty in Finland (2007), and recently, I had a wonderful entry at Västerås, Sweden (2022). I met the key British breeders in 1977: Marjorie Bell (Enterkine), Anastasia Noble (Ardkinglas), Agnes Lynton (Geltsdale), Norah Hartley (Rotherwood), Leslie Edmunds (Duchally), Mary Girling (Pyefleet), and Kenneth Cassels (Sorisdale). They taught me so much! My visits over the years and their letters/photos are a treasure. Before my first litter in 1975, a course by Canine Consultants Canada Ltd. taught me “puppy evaluation” at various ages from 2-3 days to 12 weeks. I still have the goniometer and measuring stick that help to find structurally balanced puppies in a litter, avoiding the pitfall of seeing the largest as the “pick.” Lack of mentors in the breed prompted me to publish Your Scot- tish Deerhound Primer in 1989 as a puppy raising handbook for newbies. A fifth edition (2023) is here:

Ayrshire, 1908

Fenris, 1984

Esprit, 1994

Opal, 2021


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