About The Breeder
I bought my first Sheltie as a graduation present for myself upon finishing nursing school at Murray State University. I had a Collie at home, and wanted a dog I could keep in an apartment. I felt I had my work cut out for me, as I am not particularly fond of small dogs. I began to research breeds, looking for a "big dog in small body". Narrowing it down to Wire Haired Fox Terriers and Shetland Sheepdogs, I began to search for the perfect puppy.
The only Wires I was able to find were in pet stores, and I just wasn't seeing what I wanted. I had always intended to be a veterinarian, and growing up, watched Westminster every year and wondered how people got to show dogs. I had no idea how to even find out. I had never heard of a Kennel Club, a Specialty Club, or even obedience training. I am from a small town in rural West Tennessee, and since my family is not "doggy", I was not exposed to such things. Fortunately, the whole town knew I was "animal crazy", and a family friend, who was also a dog lover, made sure I knew when "THE Dog Show" was coming on TV. I began to search the classifieds for a puppy, and ran across an ad for the Shetland Sheepdog Club of Memphis. This sounded right up my alley! I called the number, attended the next meeting, and have since served as President, Rescue chairman, Show Chairman, Match chairman, and a variety of other things. While waiting for that first monthly meeting, I had found my first Sheltie puppy.
Remus, named for a favorite childhood story character, became my constant companion. I did not know many people in Memphis, but quickly made friends through the Sheltie Club and an obedience training class I signed up for. Remus and I graduated from obedience school, and went on to obtain an AKC Companion Dog title. This led to a Herding Instinct Test, and an avid interest in herding, and a membership in the Mid-South Stockdog Association. I eventually even bought a Border Collie puppy and began to train her. Unfortunately, she and Remus got out one night, and were lost to me forever. This was one of the darkest times in my life.
I was devastated by the loss of my wonderful dogs, but ashamed to have let them get lost. I did not enlist help for two or three days, and by this time, I am afraid they must have been far away, or picked up by someone. They had identification collars on, and we did all the right things, but were never able to locate them. This horrible experience did give birth to some good, however, in the forming of the Shetland Sheepdog Club of Memphis forming a Sheltie Rescue Committee. We eventually learned of the many breed related rescue programs, joined forces with the American Shetland Sheepdog Association Rescue Organization, and have a quite active rescue program to this day. These links may be found in the "Link Page" of my website. Rescue organizations are extremely important, and I urge you to support them in any way you can! They not only search for and seek to reunite lost dogs with their owners; they also take in and find homes for dogs that have to be given up for some reason, have been picked up by or dropped off at shelters, and literally rescue and attempt to rehabilitate dogs and puppies that have been used in breeding mills and dogs that have been injured, neglected, or abused. All have wonderful and incredible stories of new lives for dogs that beat Hollywood movies all to pieces!
I went to Louisiana in 1989 to look at a blue bitch, as I had always wanted a blue, and thought I might like to try the conformation ring. I did not like the one I went to look at, but in touring the kennel, Saw one I did like. I asked if she was for sale, and was told they might sell her as a brood bitch. I bought her, named her Bellevue's Rodnstaff Impulse, and in 1991, she gave birth to my first champion, CH. Rodnstaff Spark The Flame, CD, or "Flint" as he is known to friends. Thus began my "dog show career" (or addiction, as it has been called!) and my journey to create "Rod N' Staff Shetland Sheepdogs".
Copyright © 2007 Rod N' Staff Shetland Sheepdogs