Like so many people over the 3 lockdowns I have sorted out cupboards and drawers and have found things I had not looked at, in some cases for many years! A number of these were articles from various canine magazines and dog papers written about Elkhounds and Buhunds. When I was thinking about writing these notes, I went to an article that was written by Sue Sercombe in 2007, for the Buhund Club’s 40th Anniversary.
The article was entitled ‘Meet The Breeder’, where Sue answered various questions that had been asked of her. Sue has given me permission to use some of her replies that are still relevant today. The first question was ‘How did you get involved with Dogs?’ Sue’s reply was ‘as a family we always had pet dogs. At 16 I rode my moped to the Royal Cornwall show and spent the whole day at the dog section! I sold my motorbike after becoming pregnant with Jacqui and bought a Rough Collie with the proceeds. I had an Elkhound cross as a companion to my Rough Collie, at a local exemption show I met Moira and Lorraine Smart (now Lorraine Bolton) who thought my Elkhound cross looked like a Buhund. After meeting their Buhunds I bought Adoram Paddington Bear in 1985.I had my first Siberian Husky in 1988’. Sue continued answering other questions one of which was about her affix, saying that the origin of her affix ‘Trelowen’ was roughly translated to ‘Happy Home’ in Cornish. ‘The dogs are named in Cornish she said as that is where I was brought up. My family moved from Sheffield when I was 2 yrs old as the air did not suit me there. My mother grew up in the same street as Shirley Dobson (Fossfell) so strange how things happen. Would I still have Buhunds if we had stayed in Sheffield?’ Sue continued by saying ‘most of her lines were from Ch Yorburgh Kronprinzessin’s son Trelowen Ker Fortyn. He was not shown as my first Siberian Husky broke his jaw at 12weeks and he never had adult teeth near the break. He was a willing stud dog however and could woo even the most reticent bitches. He retired to live with Sarah Stonton and convinced her she needed a bitch to live with him.’ (update 2021 Sarah of course still has a Trelowen bitch, Andrea who was a very successful agility dog and has been in the Obreedience team on many occasions and does Rally and Scent). The other side of Sue’s breed line at that time was Rikarlo Wolfric at Trelowen and a Kronprinzessin’s daughter Ch Trelowen Lowarn.
Pet Passports started in 2001 and Sue was asked if she had made use of the system, she said that she flew Trelowen Fortyna out to Finland to be mated, however Fortyna had other ideas and hated their boys telling her they did not speak English!’ A very expensive trip for Sue but she made new friends there. (In fact, it turned out Fortyna would only be mated by Olpenden D’Zimba staying true to her first love). At the time of the article Sue was living in Peterborough and was asked if she had exported dogs and how had they done. Her answer ‘I have sent dogs to several parts of the British Isles, The Isle of Man, Northern Ireland and the Shetland Isles, and exported dogs to Southern Ireland, Finland and the US, several became International Champions and Champions in their own Country’. ‘Any advice for newcomers to the breed’ was another question. Her advice was not to be afraid to tell your small puppy ‘no’ watch the handlers that are experienced and ask questions, no question is a silly question. She said she panicked when my first puppy lost his prick up ears when teething. Her comment remember ‘we were all new owners once’, was so true for me when in 1992 I took my first Buhund at 6months 2days who was by Sue’s Wolfric to his first dog show, it was not only the club’s Breed Ch show but also the club’s 25th Anniversary show, at the time I did not appreciate how important the show was and probably not the best first show for me and my puppy! Sue explained things and showed me what to do, as I had only shown horses before!
Remembering the article was written 14yrs ago, one of her final comments about the future of the breed was ‘finding hereditary cataracts in the breed in the 80s made the gene pool very small, but with care we should continue to have good natured quality dogs’. This is certainly true today, and of course since the article was written many breeders including Sue have imported dogs or used imported dogs which has considerably widened the gene pool.
Thanks again Sue for allowing me to use the article.
Stay safe everyone.
Margaret Deuchar firstname.lastname@example.org
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.