In 1968 whilst still a mere slip of a girl I started what was to be the job of a lifetime, working in a film production company run by the great British actor Albert Finney. It was a fantastic job meeting lots of stars, working on ground breaking films. Looking after Albert was easy, he is such a great guy he loves horses and dogs. At the time he was married to French actress Anouk Aimee, another animal lover, and working on a musical version of Scrooge at Pinewood Studios. But what has this got to do with Belgian Shepherds I hear you ask? Well one of my duties was to look after Albert's dog when he was on set or away filming, you've guessed it, a big black bear of a dog who turned out to be a Groenendael named Alec, after Sir Alec Guinness, another Belgian owner.
Over 47 years I have visited many top continental shows and kennels being fortunate enough to have witnessed some of the breeds greats, including Ch Vici des Hauts de Bievre , Ch Tarass de la Pouroffe and Ch Grimm Van de Hoge Laer three of my all time favourite males and the wonderful Ch Beggy and Bagerrah of the Two, two of my favourite females. The forbears of those winning dogs of today have remained imprinted in my minds eye, the memory of those great dogs and bitches has held me in good stead for my breeding and judging today.
I have owned Belgian Shepherds for over 47 years my first being the Groenedael (long coated black) and I have been involved the whole of the development of the Tervueren (long coated other than black) from the early days in the UK, through the variety's infancy on to the sometimes painful growing stages of youth and now into the splendour of adulthood.
I have been privileged to own some very special Groenendael and Tervueren who have left an indelible mark on the development of the breed in the UK. I am also proud to have helped establish the Tervueren in Australia on a sound footing via my two exports in the early days, Ch Niavana Jump the Gun and Ch Niavana Jump for Joy, both of whom greatly influenced the development of the Breed in Australia.
Take a look around to learn more about the wonderful world of Belgian Shepherds and share my memories of these wonderful dogs.