Sandra had dogs most of her life, starting as a youngster with her families mixed breeds. As an adult she moved on to have a German Shepherd and then Beagles.
Tom, on the other hand, was not brought up with dogs at home and only played with his Grandparent’s, Uncle and Auntie’s German Shepherds when he holidayed in Holland, every year into young adulthood.
In 1980 we got together and started the Livlandean Kennel with a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
Tom soon caught the dog owning and showing bug, and decided he would like something bigger. This resulted in us getting our first Belgian Shepherd in 1982, a Tervueren. We named him Leeroy, after one of the characters in Fame, a popular television programme at that time. Leeroy’s kennel name was Ch Blustag Silver Phantom, a super dog with a fabulous temperament. After campaigning a lot, with many trips from Scotland to all over England and many sleepless weekends, Leeroy became the fifth Champion of the breed. He became a multiple CC winner, a breed record holder, many BIS at Open Shows, winner of Groups and Reserve Groups at Championship Shows and took part in the Pedigree Chum finals on several occasions attending the Champion Stakes Final three times and the Veteran Stakes Final Twice and on one occasions he was third overall winning a beautiful engraved crystal vase.
We liked the Belgian Shepherds so much that we ended up with a few more. Leeroy was followed by Toby - Blustag Blackfoot and his sister Cola - Blustag Black Velvet both Groenendael. Then came another Tervueren Tegan - Blustag Louisiana. Later came a Laeken called Thistle from the Zhale kennel. Leeroy was used at stud a few times and from one of the matings we got Anja - Moorslede Silver Star.
Sandra still had a notion for a small dog to show and had admired the Japanese Spitz. Eventually we got an adult bitch called Suki - Ryslip Karelia. Suki was mated and we had three lovely puppies. We kept two puppies Nika - Livlandean Snowqueen and George - Livlandean The Snowman.
Now in the Utility Group, the German Spitz caught our eyes, where we saw some beautiful black dogs. We looked around and eventually in 1987 got our first German Spitz from Lorraine and Moira Smart. Remo - Rikarlo Aramis of Livlandean was such an outgoing, cheeky and lively little dog. He loved the show ring and all the fuss. In those days there were no CC’s and hardly any breed classes so it was Not Separately Classified. We did a lot of winning with Remo and he gained many Best Dog, Best of Breed and Best NSC at lots of shows.
We looked about for a black bitch but they were in short supply but eventually we were offered Tina - Kartmel Jackquiline of Livlandean by our dear friends Hannah and Crawford Gillies. Tina was shown and did very well for us. Hannah asked Sandra if she could pick up a dog from her sister-in-law in Scotland as she was going abroad. This was Michael - Kartmel Bordeaux of Livlandean and when we saw him we liked him so much that we asked Hannah if we could keep him. Michael was shown and also did a lot of winning including Best In Show at a German Spitz Club Show.
We had thought quite a bit about getting a Mittel but wanted a black bitch, eventually we got Kassi - Upanatum Right on Time for Kuseley. Kassi also did well in the show ring and when CC’s eventually came to our breed she obtained one. She was mated and had four dogs, three creams, Jamie - Livlandean Chocolate Ice who lives with our daughter Kirsten. Vista - Livlandean Coconut Ice and Astor - Livlandean Vanilla Ice, who after a previous home where they lived for four years went wrong, now live with Elaine & Colin a lovely young couple who live in the north of Scotland, where the boys are totally spoiled. There was only one black dog, Denzel - Livlandean Black Ice who lives at home with us.
Tina was mated to Hannah’s Dutch Import Nico - Tefanra Good Luck van het Ketelhofje. Tina produced three puppies Corrie - Livlandean Zwart Handelaar who lives at the Kartmel Kennel. Peter - Livlandean Zwart Piet who lives with our daughter Kirsten and Marinka - Livlandean Zwarte Kunst who lives at home with us. We then visited the Kartmel Kennel again and got another black bitch whose father was a son of Nico, Kira - Kartmel Ferrycrossing to Livlandean. Kira was then mated to Livlandean Zwart Piet mit Nuhoosfura she produced three puppies, Teddybear - Livlandean The Altean who lives with our daughter Kirsten and her family but belongs to our granddaughter Tamzen. The other two Jan - Livlandean Yin & Yang and Sheefu - Livlandean Kwan Yin live with us. Jan was our surprise package, from four generations pure black lines, he is black and white, quite a shock to the system but he is a lovely little person and we would not swap him for anything.
Going to Holland for many years to the Amsterdam Winners Show and the Nederland’s Keeshond Club shows we have many friends there. Our very good friends Ellie and Adrie Smulders with whom we were staying on one visit had a litter of black puppies and we asked if we could have one. With the Pets Passport scheme in place it is now much easier to bring puppies to the UK, in June 2002 we brought our little girl home, Chikara - Zwart Opbloeien van Promising Garden in Livlandean, a lovely little black bitch of very continental type.
In February of 2002, Sandra in partnership with Hannah imported a stud dog from Norway, Jamie – Norwegian Champion Von Spitzie's Jamie La Rocha between Deilafear. Tom was working in Norway at the time and this made it easier for us to visit and arrange to have him. For Jamie’s details click here.
When Chikara is of age we hope to mate her to Jamie in the hope of getting a totally new continental line. We would also like to mate Kira again but we are looking for the perfect black dog of continental breeding to mate her to. At this time we have eight German Spitz, two Mittels and six Kleins. Two cats, a chocolate Persian named Aero and a black half Persian named Drifter, also own us. The later I am sure thinks he is a German Spitz.
We both also judge and have judged numerous shows over the years including Working, Pastoral, Utility and Toy groups. Tom gives Challenge Certificate in Belgian Shepherds and Sandra has just given her first set for German Spitz.
Sandra is also a Holistic Therapist, Reiki one of her therapies can be used to treat animals and this is used on dogs and cats as well as other animals. For details of the therapies please click here.
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