where do I start......
lucky enough to live in rural Essex where dog walks are a plenty.
I work from home so am fortunate that our dogs are never left
on their own. We are also lucky in that we have a large garden
too, which is put to good use as you can imagine with 6 dogs tearing
around it on a daily basis.
For as long as I can remember I have always been animal mad! We
were brought up with a variety of pets, a shed full of rabbits
& guinea pigs who were bred and shown, cats who had a few
litters between them and not forgetting Nicky the budgie!
the one animal I always longed for was a dog. I can't count how
many times I begged mum to get one and every birthday it was top
of my list! My dream was realised when I was 10 years old &
mum finally bought home a Cavalier from a local breeder. Callie
was a sweet dog and once she was old enough we took her back to
her breeder to be mated. She had 8 pups, one of which we kept,
we lost Callie the house was too quiet with only one dog so we
set about finding a new pup. There was no question on what breed
it would be since mum had wanted an Irish Setter for over 30 years.
So, research was done and we found the Kirkavagh Kennel. What
a wonderful breeder and wonderful dogs, we are so thankful we
found Linda and her gang. So, in August 2003 Layla came home.
As a puppy she was a naughty little thing but we loved her anyway!
She grew up into the most wonderful dog you could ever wish to
have, she was beautiful as well as being perfectly behaved, we
are so lucky to have had her and thank Linda for letting us non
showing folk take one of her special pups home.
we lost Jem the next year so again we set about researching some
breeds. Truth be told I wanted another Irish Setter but mum is
the boss and she wanted something different and her choice was
a Welsh Springer Spaniel. We found some nice people in this breed
and spoke to a lot of breeders. Unfortunately there were some
who were very dishonest and sneaky and we found that most would
only sell to the 'in' crowd and us not wanting to show had a virtually
impossible task of finding someone willing to sell to a pet home.
As well as the Welsh Springer we also had the Australian Shepherd
in mind as I had always enjoyed obedience work. With our negative
experience with the Welshie people we decided to go down the Aussie
route instead and found a litter near Cambridge which was due
a few weeks later. Luckily there was a Red Tri bitch available
and 2 months later Tia came home with us.
Although Tia was amazingly intelligent and great at obedience
work sadly she was also dog aggressive and therefore I couldn't
do the competitions as I had hoped. She was such a loving dog
and if you ever visit our home you had to prepare to be pounced
on by her, she loved everyone!
story continues with the next member of our family, my lovely
I remember visiting Crufts when I was about 11 and being in awe
of those lucky people being able to show their own dogs and wishing
one day I may just be lucky enough to set foot on that green carpet
So, I thought it was about time for another doggie and this time
I thought I could perhaps dabble in showing. As explained on Ava's
page I decided on a Spinone. What can I say about Ava, she is
such a sweet girl. She's not the most outgoing of dogs and is
happiest asleep on her bed! I thank my lucky stars that I found
Spinoni and apart from the Irish Setter, I will never have a different
Since getting Ava my leisure time has changed completely. I now
spend most weekends at dog shows, my Tuesday nights at ringcraft
and obedience classes and my car has rather more miles on the
clock than it used to!! The early starts and long journeys are
all worth it when you see all those friendly faces around the
Spinoni ring, canine & human!
I have made many friends along the way and can't thank everyone
enough for all the help & advice I have received.
2008 & I was looking forward to the end of the year when I
could hopefully bring a brown roan girl home with me. I was wishing
the time away as I hate waiting & not knowing what the Mum
would produce. However all that changed when I saw a picture of
this gorgeous brown pup posted on an online group I belong to.
Thinking nothing of it I emailed these pictures to my friend jokingly
saying I am so tempted by her. The reply I got was that she was
stunning and I should go for it. This put the ball into motion
and after asking all the relevant health questions I was getting
more and more excited! It was very difficult to decide whether
I should have this gorgeous girl or should wait for the original
litter I had planned on having a pup from.
But, after a lot of thinking off we went up North and upon seeing
Maya we just could not leave her there.
She is my best friend, my true "heart dog" and I couldn't
be without her - best decision I've ever made!
Oct '08 I decided that now I had the two dogs to show I could
finally realise a long time wish of having a Kennel Name of my
own. I came up with quite a few ideas but unfortunately the first
8 were rejected by the Kennel Club for being too close to taken
names. As a last ditch attempt, my last before I would have given
up, I came up with Mavaya, obviously an anagram of my two girls
names. And, to my surprise it was accepted. Unfortunately you
have to wait a few months until you can use it in full as the
KC has to publish it and allow people time to send in objections.
Fortunately this time was up on 15th Jan 2009. Mavaya.co.uk was
bought and the website made.
2011 and along comes Spinone number 3! I've always longed for
another Sh Ch Uma baby and the wait has been a long one. After
the pups were born, what seemed like years, but was in fact weeks,
my sister and I went over for a visit. How adorable they all were,
I could not decide which was my favourite. A few more weeks went
by and eventually the date had arrived to go collect our new addition.
Even when I arrived there was lots of umm-ing and arr-ing over
the two girls, but Nora it was and I made the right decision for
final chapter........the fourth and final Spinone is my Isla.
Isla wasn't planned, I'd actually wanted another Brown Roan however
when I heard about this litter how could I resist?! I was lucky
enough to have second choice after the breeders and knew straight
away I wanted Isla, or "Purple Girl" as she was then.
She has had an amazing Puppy career, I still can't believe all
she has won, she's a star & loves showing!
the other one............
Mum aka "The Mother" is the other half of this partnership.
She's responsible for my life long love of animals especially
of the canine variety!
She bought her first dog at the age of 16, a Cocker Spaniel &
more followed over the years.
A border collie & a couple of Cavaliers (and a litter) later
she finally bought the breed that she's always wanted, an Irish
Setter. Although Mum likes the Spins, her heart lies with the
Setters despite me trying to show her the way many a time!
Still, not complaining, they are a close second to the Spinone!!!
When she let me get a Spinone I don't think she quite realised
what would follow! The odd show yes but not travelling up to Stafford
and down to Bournemouth as the bug took hold. She accompanies
me on most show days even though she doesn't like the long haul
ones! She still tells me I will get bored of showing soon and
tells me not to enter so many but do I take any notice? Of course