Rather sad notes this week as on 31st January Gail Hussey died, after a short stay in hospital. It was such a shock for everyone who knew her, especially the Buhund community as she had judged us only 7 weeks earlier at LKA. This was her seventh time of giving CCs in the breed; her previous time was at Driffield in 2017. Although she no longer had any dogs herself, she co owned Ch Arnscroft Delilah at Veekay (Lottie) with Maddy Norman and was always pleased to hear how Lottie was doing. She never lost her interest in shows and was frequently seen stewarding at Ch shows in the Midlands and South East, as she and husband Ian lived in Suffolk. They had a motor home and would go to the shows together, with Gail spending the duration of the show stewarding, and Ian would watch and chat to people he knew. Ian had to take early retirement as he had some health problems so more recently Gail would just go to the show for a day, often with her friend in Vallhunds. Sadly Ian died suddenly in December 2018, and speaking to Gail after the judging at LKA she said how lonely she was, she said that she had been on some holidays but obviously it wasn’t the same, as together they had been on some great holidays even going half way round the world on a cruise.
Gail started in dogs by breeding and showing Damations with the Dawnro affix. The first litter she bred was in 1983, one of her Dalmatians Zmila (Smila) had a part in Disney’s 101 Dalmatians. Her best know Buhund was probably Ch/Ir Ch Fullani Fine Flax at Dawnro, he was the first Irish and Uk Buhund Champion, born in 1992 he won his Uk crown fairly quickly. Flax was bred by the late Elisabeth Coleopy, she and Gail had become friends both living in Suffolk. For some years they had taken their dogs over to Eire, to do the Munster Circuit. In those days no shows had Buhund classes and so they were entered in AVNSC. Also, back then the IKC had its own system on making up Champions, which depended on numbers entered. Together Elisabeth and Gail convinced the shows on the circuit to put on Buhund classes and encouraged English exhibitors to join them. Which is how I really met Gail, I had seen her at shows, but Elisabeth persuaded Debbie and I to join her and daughter Treena on the circuit, with sometimes Sue Sercombe and daughter Jacqui and Sarah Stonton. We would share a house and Gail and Ian another. Elisabeth made up the first Irish bitch Ch Reinark Touch of Class of Fullani (JW)and my first Buhund Ch Wolfen Just in Time also became an Ir Ch, as did my first show Elkhound. We did this for 6yrs until in 2001 when the Foot and Mouth outbreak, meant dogs living in England could not go to Ireland. Debbie and I never went back to Ireland as we started to show on the Continent, where travelling to the shows was so much easier using the Channel Tunnel, as there was no sea to cross! I continued to see Gail at shows in the UK, but one person who knew her really well is Kirsty Irvine, and she has very kindly sent me her memories of Gail.
‘As a 17yr old I worked in a kennel and longed for a dog of my own. I began studying Animal Care and my tutor was Gail Hussey. With Gail’s support I completed my Animal Care qualifications and began a much loved job at the Animal Health Trust. It was Gail’s introduction to the Norwegian Buhund in 1995 that gained me my very first dog, a Norwegian Buhund and so began what was to become a twenty five year long love of the breed. Dawnro Serge was one of three boys from Gail, Ian and their daughter Liz’s first homebred Buhund litter from Gavallyns Gemma to Dawnro(Denie ) x Fullani Fine Flax at Dawnro. Both Flax and Denie were champions being made up in 1994. At six months Serge was entered in his first show with Gail’s help and support, and although I was unable to attend due to being a bridesmaid in New Zealand at the time, something had begun. In the years that followed I would visit Gail and Ian at Dawnro Cottage in Eye regularly and would travel with Gail to shows. I was bitten by the bug! In December 1995 Yorburgh Marissa bred by the late Margaret Carver and sired by Flax was born. So, Serge’s half sister was my first bitch, I had hoped to breed with her but sadly this didn’t end up working out. Meanwhile the Dawnro kennel had their second homebred litter of Norwegian Buhunds, one dog and a bitch in December 1995. From this litter Dawnro Deemity became the Dawnro kennels first homebred Champion in 1999. There were always Buhunds and Dalmations to greet me on my visits to Dawnro Cottage and this remained the case until their last pair, a Dalmatian called Smila and the Norwegian Buhund Trelowen Pymp to Dawnro. I last saw this pair when they came for a visit to my hotel in Blackpool around 2008. I believe after losing this pair, Gail and Ian kept two Buhunds in their slightly smaller property, as by this time both had retired and there was no need for the cottage with land, dog paraphernalia and kennels. Gail had also groomed dogs at Dawnro cottage alongside being an Animal Care tutor and Ian had worked at Skinners dog food nearby. Gail used to run eye testing sessions at the cottage for all breeds, and I remember going to help out. Gail judged Buhunds notably at Crufts in 2013 and her last ticket appointment was at LKA in 2019. Gail was also involved with the Norwegain Buhund club over the years, and Ian was a faithful supporter. Gail enjoyed being around dog shows even when she no longer had a dog and could often be seen stewarding in later years. Gail had involvement in other breeds and I hope I do not do any injustice, as there may be more than I know, but Gail was very interested and involved with the Swedish Vallhunds. I remember going to a seminar with her many years ago. Through dog showing Gail certainly travelled and when they retired they both enjoyed some holidays near and far with friends. I am very grateful to Gail for her introduction to the wonderful Norwegian Buhund and the world of dog showing. We certainly shared many early mornings, late nights and laughs. One such laugh was when my Tane was puppy and he accidently he accidently mistook Gail’s skirt as a post, and left a wet patch at the bottom of it! Gail always said it was a sign of good luck!’ (Thanks very much Kirsty and I think Gail was right re Tane bearing in mind what he went onto do)
Bob Smart,Lorranine Bolton’s father died on 29th January and the funeral was held in Staunton Gloucestershire on Friday 7th February. Club chairman Anne Smith went to represent the club and said it was a lovely service, a real celebration of his life. He was not keen on the show scene but loved the Buhunds and was a great supporter of his late wife Moira. Nancy Kent and Celia Vines also went from the club.
Swansea &District Canine Club held their open show on Saturday 8th February at Neath Sports Centre, where under Lee Cox, Celia Vines evergreen Ch Ailort Highlander at Parvodene JW ShCM was BOB, 3rd in AV veteran and shortlisted in the Pastoral Group. Congratulations.
Norwegian Buhund BOB at Westminster Dog show for the second year running was Am Gr Ch Tsarshadows Ragnar Lodrok bred and owned by Dawne Deeley. His sire Am/ Can/Uk Ch Kyon’s Bold Norseman (Idar) spent some time in the UK gaining his UK title and helping the gene pool. His son Ch Koromandel Best Served Cold at Knytshall was BOB at Crufts last year.
Margaret Deuchar email@example.com
The views expressed in Margaret’s Breed Notes are hers and hers alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Norwegian Buhund Club of the UK.