Marnie first became involved with purebred dogs, exhibiting and competing in obedience in the late 1960’s with what would become the top-winning Chesapeake in Canada in 1969.
Looking for a smaller “next” breed in the early 2000’s, I discovered Spanish Water Dogs and located a breeder in the Seattle area. In 2003, “Goli” came home with me to Calgary. He was three years old, and retired from a very successful show career in ARBA, the breed not yet recognized by either the CKC or the AKC at that time.
About a year later after noticing 3 dogs in a car in a parked car that surprisingly looked like Spanish Water Dogs, I met Glenda Kealey, and our friendship began and has continued through our mutual passion for this breed.
As a long time member of the SWDCA, I became more aware of the Spanish Water Dog community in North America, and began to look for a puppy. In March 2007, “Chase” made the trip to Calgary from Massachusetts, and so began the incredible journey with this fine dog. During this time, I began the process to have Spanish Water Dogs recognized by the CKC, and they were accepted as a Miscellaneous Breed in 2008. Chase and I went on to explore areas of dog competition in which I had never before participated. Demonstrating the versatility of this breed, he earned the first CKC titles for the breed in Rally, Agility, Obedience, and Herding as well as being the first Spanish Water Dog to achieve a CKC show Champion title and CKC Agility Master Champion (Veteran).
Maddy joined us in early 2012, and she too proved herself to be a willing and capable performance dog, earning Excellent titles in Agility in both CKC and AKC events, as well as Rally Advanced.
During the summer of 2014, Glenda and I travelled to Helsinki to attend the World Dog Show with the hopes of seeing some of the top dogs in Europe and to meet some of the breeders. It was a thrill to observe the judging of almost 90 Spanish Water Dogs. Subsequent correspondence with Marika Fredrikson (Zorrazo prefix) culminated in a trip to Croatia in October 2015 to bring home 3 Zorrazo dogs as foundation stock for a renewed breeding program here in Calgary. We are thrilled with the quality of both structure and temperament of Vitsi, Fasu and Hudson.
In the late 1990’s, Glenda began researching dog breeds looking for a non-shedding breed, and also a breed with minimal health issues.
After 2 years of searching, I was very attracted to the Spanish Water Dog Unable to find any SWDs in Canada, a breeder in Virginia put her in touch with Antonia Garcia Perez of Ubrique Kennel in Spain.
While on a trip to Italy, I booked a 3 day excursion to Ubrique, Spain to visit Antonio. I returned with a male puppy (Gramsci) and a female puppy (Trevi) in 2001, with Cinder following about a year later. After 4 successful litters prior to CKC recognition of the breed, Trevi and Cinder were retired from breeding in 2009.
I wanted to start breeding again, and after working with Marnie for a couple of years researching breeders and bloodlines in Europe we hoped to add genetic diversity to the breed here in North America. We went to Finland to the World dog show in 2013 and met a number of established European breeders and saw many fine dogs. Imagine seeing 90 SWD’s in one place! With two 13 year old dogs and one 11 years of age, I knew it was time to find a new family member.
After lengthy communication between Marnie and Marika Fredrikson (Zorrazo Spanish Water Dogs and Chinese Crested), Marika finally determined that she had what she felt were the right dogs to offer us, and in October 2015 Marnie and I travelled to Croatia to meet her and her dogs. The trip was very successful, and now in addition to my 3 aging dogs, my household also includes a beautiful solid black 2 year old female, Croatian CH Zorrazo Witch Hazel, “Vitsi.” I look forward to working with Vitsi in conformation, and performance events, and am excited to restart a breeding program in Calgary under the Praderia prefix with excellent foundation stock.