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Well, where do I start......

We are 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!

However 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, Jem.

After 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.

Sadly, 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!

The story continues with the next member of our family, my lovely Ava.
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 myself.
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 breed.
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.

The story continues..........

September 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!

In 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.

April 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 sure.

The 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!

And the other one............

My 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 not!!!