THE TRUE STORY OF
A dream dog...
This story begins with the gift of 'Dotty' who was born from an interesting combination and the grand-daughter of our 'Gus'. She had a gloriously coloured litter sister (Corydon Moon Goddess who later won 2 CCs and became the dam of the sensational Ch Corydon Kittycat) who Barbara and John understandably were keeping. Dotty was a very nice puppy and, in my opinion, had the best head of the puppies but she was more heavily marked. Barbara and John had very generously given me the choice of puppy between Dotty and a beautiful sable puppy (who became Corydon Whisper Willow 1 CC) and I had a very hard time choosing! They were both very lovely and I would have been happy with either...I secretly wanted a sable but could not take my eyes off the blue either... In the end Dotty made the choice for me as, whilst I would spend hours sitting with them and playing and watching them, she would come and sit by me and snuggle up and I could not resist her! I think, however, this was down to sheer laziness rather than devotion!
I showed Dotty with a little success and I remember the day she won the Limit class under Sheila Telford at SKC's August show in 1992 and gaining her stud book number, I was very pleased! John handled her the following year at WKC under Mr D Parry to win the CC and BOB.
Dotty had had two litters, one to the dual CC winner Corydon Moon Miracle from which came a blue bitch, Phreelancer Silver Phern, who went to Australia and another blue bitch, Phreelancer Phyllida, went on breeding terms. Her second litter was to Ch Corydon Blackcat. Whilst her puppies were lovely, I didn't feel she had reached her full 'potential' as a brood and Dotty was, to my mind, a very nice bitch with some lovely qualities which I wanted to preserve. It took a year before I finally decided to go ahead with what was simply a 'gut' feeling,..having noticed that many children of Ch Brilyn Rum'N'Black had the exact qualities and type I wanted to keep, I believed that, combined with Dotty's outstanding breeding, this could produce something quite special.
I strongly felt that an outcross was what I wanted to do if she was to have a third and final litter. Dotty was in season only once a year so I also knew I had a lot of time, both to find the right male and to present Barbara and John with this idea, as I was living with them at the time and having the utmost respect for them, I did not wish to offend them...after all it was quite a 'radical' idea!
As well as Ch Brilyn Rum'N'Black (who was the dog upper most in my mind), I also knew there was a young dog who had been imported from Italy named Steadlyn Tri Star, owned by Stella Clark but I had not seen him...I also considered this dog as a possibility as I was very familiar with the Steadlyns in Sweden.
I approached Barbara with my thought process and I knew she liked some of the Steadlyns she had seen in Scandinavia. It was also helpful that Ch Brilyn Rum'N'Black had a very nice sister who John had given a CC too and also, at the time, had sired the top winning puppy Jasand True Blue, who we all liked and who later gained her title. To be able to make an informed decision and know all options, I was keen to see the Steadlyn dog and Barbara offered that we could ask Stella Clark if we could visit, which we did. I liked his pedigree but, unfortunately, Dotty was not the right bitch for him, to my disappointment although it made the decision easier! I went to visit Brian and Sue Hawkins and saw 'Sweep' again, this time as a mature male and at that point the decision was made in my mind. I went home happy and full of hope!
It was a relief when Barbara supported my thinking and she spoke to John and he agreed to the mating too.
Dotty, inconveniently, came into season just after I had booked to travel to Budapest for the International Collie Society convention and I thought I would be unable to go but Barbara and John offered to take her to be mated for me, so I would
still be able to go, which I was very grateful for. Shortly after I returned from Budapest, I was due to go back to Norway for a month to work for my father and it was a good time to go during Dotty's pregnancy as I would be back in good time before her due date. It was also a good distraction as I was somewhat excited about the, hopeful, arrival of Dotty's litter.
On the 18th of August 1996 Dotty whelped a stunning litter in the kitchen at Corydon, 7 beautiful puppies (5 blues and 2 tris), sadly we lost one, as she sat on a blue dog. A blue bitch had spectacular markings and colour (similar to her aunt Moon Goddess) and I could not believe my luck as it was a blue bitch I had most hoped for as this was to be Dotty's last litter...to have a bitch puppy to carry on with meant a lot to me... However, it soon became apparent that a blue male had a rather 'magic' look...and so some difficult choices began! When my mum came over for my birthday two weeks later, I was very excited to show her the litter!
I took lots of photos of the puppies as they grew, from birth to 8 weeks...and beyond, Frosty can be seen at 6 weeks and 8 weeks above and around 3 1/2 months
As the weeks went on and I was enjoying these lovely puppies, I lived in the hope that someone, the dream show home, would come along for the male, who was clearly the pick of the litter. As I could not keep both the puppies, I hoped for a special home for him in Britain where he would be shown to his advantage and where he would have the opportunity to reach his full potential - it was of course my highest hope that Barbara and John would want him! In making my own choice, my logic was that it made sense to keep the bitch puppy as I could use a male even if owned by someone else...so I stuck by my decision and it is a decision I have not regretted... I still make similar choices now as I am not in the situation to (or would want to) keep a large number of dogs.
The pups got to 8 weeks and beyond and the two blue babies stayed behind for the time being whilst I was deliberating whether to try to let my sable boy 'Zed' go to a pet home (we had already tried this once and he didn't settle) so I could keep the blue boy as well as the blue girl... Shortly afterwards, I became very unwell and the subject of the blue boy's future was put on hold.
Christmas came and went and as my personal situation 'escalated' and I needed to return to Norway for 2 months, I found myself in the position of having to find homes for most of my dogs and I had to make some instant and difficult choices and offered my blue puppy dog, now 4 1/2 months, to a friend, Anja Ejerstad (Steadwyn) in Sweden...however, and to my relief, John and Barbara decided at that point that they wanted him and, as this would mean he would stay in England, I was relieved...this was the best outcome for me...thankfully, Anja seemed to understand and I always hoped she forgave me.
When I came back from Norway 2 months later, Frosty was already attending shows and I was pleased that John let me handle him at a couple of shows - I remember very well the day he won at Bath Ch Show under Collie legend Mr Alan Jeffries and I couldn't be prouder.
Frosty's litter sister went on breeding terms to Mesdames Moseley and Vogan. When the time came, I decided to mate her to Ch Corydon Blackcat and they had a very nice litter. I was due two puppies back but as I was not in a position to keep them (my landlord would not have accepted any more dogs), Barbara offered to take them as she had two people in Finland looking for blues and so Phestivity Belle of Phreelancer and Phalling Snow of Phreelancer travelled to Finland and both did well, Phalling Snow gaining his international title.
Frosty had a wonderful show career and is a credit to Barbara, John and Miranda who campaigned him and I will always be grateful to them. To have read some of the comments and accolades written about him by some very famous and highly respected icons in the breed - people I read about in books when I was still at school...it's a surreal feeling.
The following quotes in the dog papers below I found immensely humbling and, along with the encouraging and supportive comments made to me by a couple of prominent breeders, have meant the world to me and ultimately, helped me ‘back’ –
“Congratulations to Lene Halvorsen of the Phreelancer Collies. It has taken a talented Norwegian breeder to produce a record-breaker.
At Windsor, Ch P Phrosty Moon over Corydon won his seventeenth CC to beat the ‘modern’ record held by Ch Tameila Gordon Bennet.” - Aileen Speding
“His young breeder must be congratulated on producing a dog, which I believe, as near perfection as we have yet seen.” - Hazel Hunt
Frosty left only two litters and a total of 4 puppies - his only daughter went to Maxine Mellish and she was bred to Aqualita Class Act with Corydon and the predominant sire Ch Demelewis Dark Moon Driftin over Corydon came from this mating. I will always be grateful to Miranda who let me purchase Riff's daughter 'Button' many years later.
Definitely a dream 'once in a lifetime' dog...!