I cannot ever remember a life without dogs. As a child we had a Border Collie cross called 'Spot'. The next dog was a little different, a Pyrenean Mountain Dog, followed by German Shepherds. It had always been an ambition of mine to show dogs and I did try to show my last GSD but I am afraid 'Jet' had other ideas. So my dream had to be put on hold.
In 1986 I married Rodney and it was a case of love me, love my dog, and 'Jet' became our dog. Rodney had a Golden Retriever as a boy but other than that he didn't have much interest in dogs, and definitely not the showing side of things.
As 'Jet' became older we knew that when the time came we would have another dog, but not a GSD. We went to the local 2 day show at Newmarket on both days looking at different breeds but we could not agree. Rodney didn't like my choice and I didn't like his. We didn't know what to do until I came up with the idea of having Dad's favourite breed. He had always admired the Airedale and had always wanted one but he had never had one. So when the time came an Airedale it was to be.
In the July of 1992 we had to say a very sad farewell to 'Jet' and soon after 'Annie' (Peageporte Auch Roisk) was brought home, we all fell hopelessly in love with her. We had to learn to hand-strip her and for this we found ourselves at Little Clacton and on Florrie Whiting's doorstep. Rodney was coming along for the day out, however, it soon became clear that Rodney had more of a flair for grooming than I, so he took over having the lessons with Florrie. But no way would he be seen in the show ring.
Annie's first show was at a local exemption show where she won Best Puppy in Show, her first breed open show was the SOEATC Xmas show where we won the Special Aspirant class.
In the early part of 1993 the Thetford & District Canine Society held their open show. To my utter amazement Rodney asked if he could take Annie, we trained most evenings (for Rodney's benefit) and they duly set off on show day. They won Best Terrier in Show and Annie found herself with a new handler. Rodney and Annie won many groups and group placings at the local open shows, and they won Best in Show at the last Limit Show held by the East of England Ladies Kennel Society. At Crufts in 1997 they won a large Postgraduate class under judge Mrs B Back.
Taffy the Welsh Terrier
Sadly Annie had to be spayed when she was very young due to illness, so the puppies that we had planned for her sadly never came. Annie was chosen to be the Airedale alongside the Borzoi on the Pedigree chum bags destined for the Russian market, she has also been a PAT (Pets As Therapy) dog.
During 1992 my parents lost their GSD. After a few dogless months they decided a home was not a home without a dog. Although Dad loved Annie, they thought an Airedale was a bit on the large side for them. After much consideration 'Taffy' (Altawyre North Sea Knight), a Welsh Terrier, found his way into their home and into all of our hearts. He was purchased from Margaret Dewyall and was to be my new show dog.
'Taffy' and I won Reserve Best Pup in Show on the 2nd day of the Hertfordshire C.S Open Show and we went on to win many groups at Open show level and a Reserve Best in Show at Lowestoft, Oulton Broad C.S. 'Taffy' was also a consistent winner at Championship shows, where he won his way out of the Limit class. In 2001, at the age of 7, 'Taffy' won the Veteran class at Crufts and the limit class at the National Terrier. It was after this that we decided to retire him. After Dad's death in 1996, 'Taffy' was Mum's constant companion until he passed away in 2007.
In the November of 1994 the Kennel Club granted the "Daedal" affix to Rodney and I, later my parents were to become joint owners with us. The name Daedal was chosen as years ago my friend's father had an Airedale called Akala Daedal. The word Daedal means skilful, inventive, complex, mysterious and adorned with natural wonders.
In November 1995 we bought 'Whinnie' (Shadlian Dalwhinnie of Daedal) unseen from Jan Favell. At the time we lived in a cottage with a very small courtyard garden so Whinnie went to live with a handler. She was a very showy, classy looking bitch with a beautiful head. At the end of 1996 we moved to our present house that has a large enough garden to accommodate kennels so in the July of 1997 Whinnie came home. Sadly soon after Whinnie came home, to our utter disbelief she had to undergo major surgery twice, and drastically she also had to be spayed. We were absolutely devastated as she was going to be our new beginning and brood bitch.
It was during this time that we seriously contemplated giving up dog showing. Eventually Whinnie came back into the ring and again many successes were gained at open show level. After retiring from the show ring Whinnie enjoyed a pampered life at home until she had to be put to sleep just before her 15th birthday in 2010.
Early in 1999 we decided that it was time for us to have another dog. We had always admired Whinnie's mother Shadlian Temptress, so it was back to Jan Favell and Keith Raper at Shadlian. Sadly a puppy from Tessie was not to be, but Jan and Keith offered us a chance to have an extra special puppy. In the May of 1999 breed history was made at the Shadlian Kennels when the first litter of A.I puppies using frozen semen from the U.S.A was born. The sire was American & Canadian Champion Highpoints Dakota, a dog greatly admired by Jan on two visits to the States. The dam was Shadlian Uessay a very classy, showy bitch with a CC to her credit.
Shadlian Aimin' High for Daedal "Webster" was duly purchased and he came home to Daedal in July. He was consistently placed at all the Championship shows that he entered with numerous class wins to his credit including two at Crufts; had many wins at Group and BIS level, was the first Airedale to earn a Show Certificate of Merit (ShCM) and picked up two Reserve CCs in his career. Sadly in 2006 he died at the young age of 6 years old after a sudden illness.
In January 2001 Rodney was invited to judge at the Wood Green & Palmers Green Kennel Association Show and in June 2002 he judged his first Breed Club Open Show for the West of England & South Wales Airedale Terrier Club.
Rodney is currently on the A1 list for judging Airedales with the National Airedale Terrier Association, the West Of England & South Wales ATC and the South of England ATC. Rodney has been approved by the Kennel Club to award Challenge Certificates in Airedale Terriers. Rodney's first appointment was at the Southern Counties Championship Show 2011