Le Clos des Castagniers Smooth Collies - ABOUT US

Le Clos des Castagniers Smooth Collies - Colleys a poil court - Kurzhaar-Collies

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Le Clos des Castagniers Smooth Collies

About Us - Part I

We have been living with smooth collies since 1985. Our third smooth is French & International Champion Astrellita Gold Dust - “Sadie”. On 15 August 2004 she had a litter of four puppies, sired by OneWay's Miraculix - "Mika" ...

With Sadie at the 2003 World Dog Show in DortmundWith Sadie at the 2003 World Dog Show in Dortmund

We are an Anglo-Estonian couple of British nationality who lived and worked in Switzerland for 30 years.

     We have two grown-up boys. At one time, the whole family's hobby was horseriding, then the boys lost interest as boys will, and we had a horrible car accident that meant we would not be able to ride for a long period. We missed getting out in the country on horseback, and it seemed strange not having an animal to accompany us. One day, a friend said, "Get a dog". A dog? The idea ran its course and we began to think — yes, a dog, but which dog? Out came the encyclopaedias, and we narrowed the choice down to a collie. The collie's character seemed to have everything on its side. But — a collie in the muddy préalpes where we lived? A collie in the snow running with us for ski de fond? (Warning. Dogs are not allowed on pistes that are marked with traces. Our vet warned us that doing too much cross country skiing could damage the shoulders.)

A little ski de fond hors piste near our chaletA little ski de fond hors piste near our chalet with Tessie

     The Swiss collie club put us in contact with the very few breeders of smooths that they knew of, and before long, we had our first smooth fetched from the depths of the Po Valley in Italy.

     Then, eureka - we opened the umpteenth dog book, and there was a SMOOTH collie. The beauty, elegance and good character of the collie with a short coat!!
The Swiss collie club put us in contact with the very few breeders of smooths that they knew of, and before long, we had our first smooth fetched from the depths of the Po Valley in Italy. This dog was Opilio Smooth as a Sound, or Tess named after Tess of the Durbervilles. She was a blue-merle and was already six months old when we got her. Her parents were Foxearth Jubilate at Malicot and Foxearth Silver Viking — both champions, but she herself was not of champion standard, but we had only wanted a family pet — we had no thought of showing.

Tess — a splendid dog apart from her “wing” earsTess — a splendid dog apart from her “wing” ears

     Five years later we went to live in an isolated chalet for a year, and wanted a companion for Tess while we were at work. Gerald Martin, a well-known Swiss smooth breeder, told us to go to Astrellita, a small family-run kennels where the dogs were raised in the house. Don't go to any of the big kennels, Gerald told us.

     That's how our beautiful Clea (named for the fourth book of the Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell) came to live with us. Her kennel name was Astrellita Amelia — and so started our friendship with Stella Clark of Astrellita.

Clea at ease, lounging on the sofaClea at ease, lounging on the sofa

     Tess lived till fourteen and a half years and Clea to thirteen and a half. They were wonderful companions for us and our boys and then our grandchildren.

More... About us - Part II

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Updated 10 April 2007. Copyright ª 2005 Le Clos des Castagniers kennels and Parn Taimsalu.