Our first Collie...
'Kim' was my dream come true as, after many years of pleading with my parents to have a dog, they finally relented when we moved to a detached house. We had previously lived in flats and this was always the reason given. As a substitute they had offered me a budgie and so 'Caesar' came to live with us. He was lovely and became very tame and a very good 'talker'! My parents then bought 'Cleopatra' for him - only it turned out that she was a male and had to go back to the shop as they kept having domestics!
Caesar, however tame and lovely he was, never quite compared to a dog and my parents finally gave in when we moved - on the condition that I looked after the dog myself! I was 12 and it was a day I will never forget as I was overjoyed... The choice of breed was almost a German Shepherd as my uncle had two but my mother had a love for Collies (or Scottish Sheepdogs as I remember them being referred to!) and showed me a photo hanging in a shoe shop window (of all places)! I didn't really mind what breed we had as long as I could have a dog!
My parents had seen a tricolour with a white blaze in someone's garden during our journeys to visit my grandmother and were set on finding one similar. They contacted the Kennel Club, who referred them to the Collie Club, and spoke to a couple of breeders. We went to visit one, Duncolls Kennel, they were sables and my parents thought that they looked like Collies as their heads were long and the ears were right on top...but another breeder, Topp-Form, had informed us that the head should be short at this age and the ears rather heavy which resulted in us deciding against the sable puppies. Topp-Form had puppies but again they were sables and my parents really wanted a tricolour so they kept searching. However, my grandfather also wanted a Collie and purchased one of the puppies at Topp-Form and named him 'Boss'. He was sired by an influential sire from Sweden at the time, Sandiacre Sweepstake (by the legendary Ch Royal Ace of Rokeby) and later became a Norwegian Champion.
My parents finally came across an advert for a tricolour male and we went to see him and he had the all important white blaze! He was rather 'wild' and my mother's remark was that he was not to come home with us but after an hour he calmed down and he did come home with us, I think it was the blaze that did it! It was the 1st of April 1978 and I was completely overjoyed. We later learned that the breeder was, unfortunately, a puppy farmer who bought in litters of puppies and sold them on and the puppies were registered but not by the Norwegian Kennel Club but by an independent organisation known as Norges Hunders Landsforbund. We learnt all this as a result of taking our pride and joy to an obedience course arranged by the Norwegian Collie Club and by the sheer fact that he certainly did not resemble any of the other Collies there! But we loved him! And he achieved his bronze medal in obedience with my father!
Listed below (with links to their individual pages) are the dogs we owned prior to me moving to Britain. In addition to these we purchased two sable puppies in 1982, the male, Thomas (Steadlyn Lustans Lakej), who we placed out on 'terms' i.e. that we could show him and use him at stud. Thomas did very well as a puppy, winning Best Puppy Dog at The Swedish Collie Club Main Ch Show under Mr Geoff Mildon. Unfortunately, his owners decided to relocate to USA and Thomas went with them as their pet. The female puppy, Emily (Bermarks Latest Love), was a very promising and outgoing girl who, unfortunately, grew too big and, as we were restricted in how many dogs we could keep, we decided to let her go to a pet home at 8 months old and she returned to her native Sweden where her breeder had a loving home waiting for her.
The affix 'Freelancer' was established in 1981 in Norway.