I was born in Rock Hill SC where I my love for the outdoors and animals began at an early age. I was fortunate enough to live on 26 acres bordering the Catawba river on the NC/SC line. Horses, dogs and the outdoors were a big part of my life that I shared with my four siblings, parents and grandparents.
At the age of 13, I played hooky in order to hole up in the carport storage room where the family Dalmatian was due to have babies. I “delivered” 13 baby Dalmatians, naming each for a letter of the alphabet. I was hooked. I still have the notebook where I recorded the time, sex and name of each baby.
As an adult my husband and I moved to New England for five years where I attended a branch of the University of Connecticut. My first dog as an adult was a beautiful female Doberman named Hildy. When we returned to SC with our daughter and son, I completed my bachelor of science and psychology degrees at Winthrop University. At the same time I pursued limited breeding of Harlequin Great Danes and Dobermans, remodeling an old house, and having my second son, Tyler. ( where did I get the energy??)
After graduation we moved with our family to Toccoa, Georgia where we accepted positions working with Emotionally Disturbed Children. Although I loved Great Danes, the short life spans of three of my dogs made me consider another breed. My Doberman had to be euthanized at age 7 because of hip dyspepsia. I became discouraged and disheartened with the health issues of both of these breeds. I returned to my childhood Dalmatian breed and again encountered health and temperament problems in this breed as well.
At this point my life took some unexpected turns and I became a single parent. Within a year I had met and married the love of my life. We recently celebrated our 34rd anniversary. I completed my Masters in Education at North Ga State College and University. We added two more children to the mix along with his one and my three. Dogs, cats, horses, chickens, turkeys, pot bellied pigs, bunnies , horses and an iguana named Phil rounded out the family. The next 25 years or so was spent living life and raising our fabulous children.
As the children graduated from college, pursued their careers and began families of their own, (11 grandchildren and another on the way) our thoughts turned toward retirement. My daughter Paralee was living in Atlanta and called to tell me about meeting a great dog called a Goldendoodle. She had decided that that was what she wanted and that I could provide her with one by breeding my standard poodle, Honey.
It took some convincing, but after meeting my first Goldendoodle, I was smitten. The rest is history.
Breeding the very best Goldendoodle possible has become a passion. I learn everything I can about the science of breeding, puppy development and how to prepare them to be great family dogs. My greatest resource for information has been fellow breeders who generously share their experience, success, and their heartaches. Through them I’ve learned that with the resource of DNA mapping and canine testing, I finally have a way to avoid the heartaches of past health problems so prevalent in purebred dogs. I'm very active and hold office in The Goldendoodle Association of North America where excellence is a requirement. It has enabled me to learn and develop through education and contact with other like minded breeders.
Today, I kissed the nose of the last of my recent litter and watched as the excited family drove away. Although empty whelping box feelings surround me, I look forward to the break. My supportive and very patient husband and I will do some traveling, hiking and spending time with our dogs and extended family.
So there you have it. I truly feel that I have it all. Incredible husband, wonderful adult children and eleven beautiful healthy grandchildren. And on top of that, three to six litters of puppies each year. What more could anyone ask for!!