My name is Cathy Miles, I live in Michigan in the USA, and I've owned Welshies since 2003. In 2000, when our boys had moved out on their own and our last two rescued dogs were in their senior years, I decided I wanted to have a purebred dog. I got my first Welsh in 2003 after researching all the AKC registered breeds and visiting the top 6 on my list. The Welsh was the last because I couldn't find one.
A Canadian Welshie breeder, Beth Marley, suggested I attend the 2003 WSSCA National Specialty in Ixonia, WI. What a weekend!! There was a building filled with only Welsh Springer Spaniels and they were just like I'd hoped they would be. Originally, I thought I just wanted a 'pet', but by the time of the 2003 Nat'l Specialty, I had decided that I wanted a 'show' dog. Three months later, I flew to Baltimore to pick up Cedar.
Cedar and I learned together about the world of dog shows and showing dogs. I am fortunate that we have weekly handling classes put on by Mr. Fred Dieball. He is gentle with the dogs and helps the young ones learn that showing can be fun, and he's great at offering instruction for handlers. I trained with my dogs at Companion Dog Training Club in rally and obedience. We did field training which the dogs just love. Such a joy to watch them work!
Turns out there is a LOT to learn about dogs, handling, grooming, socializing, training, structure, breeding, whelping, etc. I have attended several wonderful seminars, and have accumulated a library of books on all these subjects. I have a Breeder's Education Certificate from the AKC for successfully completing the Home Study Program: ABC's of Breeding, along with helping whelp 5 litters that belonged to my friends Andrea Pease, Betty Oister, and Rhonda Kuhn before I bred a litter of my own. There is so much to learn and what a joy to have the challenge and opportunity to continue to learn everything I can about dogs and Welshies in particular. I've also had so much help from Welshie breeders with years and years of experience. I thank them! I feel like I got a late start at this, and from the time I decided on this breed I've committed myself to continual learning about Welshies, about breeding, and everything else that involves this breed.
My husband, Jack, and I live with our dogs on ten acres in rural Michigan. We have a pond for the dogs to swim. If you are in the area, please call. We'd love to have you stop to visit us and get to know the dogs.
UPDATE: After ten fun years immersed in this wonderful breed, we are stepping away from showing & breeding. Please visit wssca.com for more information on Welsh Springer Spaniels.