The SnowDowne Old English Sheepdog prefix originated in 1974 while I was living in Portland, Oregon.
Although I was raised with a wonderful Labrador Retriever named Velvet, when my two daughters and I returned from living in Germany and I finished my undergraduate degree, we went looking for a good family dog.
A CLASSY START: I saw an ad in the paper for Old English Sheepdog puppies and we went to visit Ken and Paula Leach of Cheerio OES. They had this darling six- month old girl named Classy. She was a “show dog”, but that wouldn’t be a problem because Ken would show her and all we would have to do is to “keep her in coat” and attend the dog shows. Classy was already entered in a show when we took her home to be part of our family. She was soon Champion Cheerio Classy Chasie, ROM.
OUR FIRST PUPPIES: Our litter out of Classy and National Specialty Winner Ch. Cheerio Heavy Number, ROM, (Tuffy) produced three champions. In the early 1980s, we moved to the Seattle area and continued breeding and showing under our SnowDowne prefix.
One of our early OES was PIRATE, Ch. Rollingbay Windjammer. Pirate was sired by Ch. Brightcut Limited Edition, ROM and was out of Ch. Fezziwig Sassy Lass, ROM , a Ch. Fezziwig Hoodwink daughter. He was an exquisite OES with a massive head - a reflection of his sire and dam.
I commissioned well-known OES breeder and artist, Serena Van Rensselaer of Fezziwig Kennels, to paint Pirate’s portrait. I cherish this picture to this day.
Ch. Cotswold Promise Of SnowDowne, ROM
THE PROMISE OF A NEW BEGINNING: I began looking for a foundation bitch – to start raising OES again. Knowing that I could count on Cotswold OES, an established Northwest kennel, to have cobby and typey bitches, I contacted Dr. and Mrs. James Layman. Luckily for me, Jim and Lee had bred a lovely bitch to Sterling (Ch. Bugaboo Something To Talkabout, ROM) and they had a small litter with three girls. I had finally found a very special bitch to begin again. We called her Promise and she eventually became Ch. Cotswold Promise O’SnowDowne, ROM
ALONG CAME A BANDIT: I had a client who had just lost his son in an ugly custody fight. I knew that if anything could cure a broken heart, it would be a sheepdog puppy. I contacted Cass Arble (Moulton for the old timers) and told her if she had a male that she could spare I would make certain that he was finished and available at stud. She sent me BANDIT, Ch. Brightcut SnowDowne Limited, ROM. When I arrived at SeaTac airport, I found this dark little puppy with the best front I’ve ever seen. I had my new star and I was delighted.
My first litter was PROMISE bred to BANDIT, which resulted in a wonderful litter, with Lee Layman as co-breeder. We got: Ch. SnowDowne Cotswold Classic, CHAUCER, who finished before one year and was shown as a special, making it into the Top Twenty on two occasions. CHAUCER lives with Becky Smith, Pickadilly OES, in Idaho Falls, Idaho; Ch. Cotswold SnowDowne Cotillion, who finished with four majors, taking her last major at 18 months on a specialty weekend, with Lee’s granddaughter, Claire, showing her; and Ch. SnowDowne Cotswold Charisma, who lives with Tony and Pat Berger, in perfect retirement. Out of that litter, we kept, Ch. SnowDowne Cotswold Cassandra, ROM, CASSIE, named to honor her sire’s breeder.
PROMISE’s second litter, out of Ch. Beaumont’s Blame It On Bugaboo, ROM, STEALER, produced 8 girls and one boy. We got Ch. SnowDowne Grace of Cotswold, GRACIE; Ch. SnowDowne Glory of Cotswold, GLORY, who finished from the bred by class and won Awards of Merit both days at the National and Regional in Pittsburg, and almost finished; and Ch. SnowDowne Flyin’ High To Bugaboo, BOOTY, who went Winners Bitch at the National Specialty in Pittsburg (2005).
When Cassie finished, we bred her to Ch. Bugaboo’s Talk’n Out Loud - and got 5 boys and one girl. The first male, Ch. SnowDowne Straight Talk’n At Bugaboo, GEORGE, finished his championship by going Winners Dog at three specialties and took his first group placement before he turned two. He is our first Best In Show winner and has 3 BIS and 15 Group 1’s to his credit. George qualified for the Top Twenty competition at the 2005 National Specialty and won an Award of Merit at the Centennial Show. He turns three in November of 2005.
The second male, D.J., Am/Can. Ch. SnowDowne SmoothTalk’n At Bugaboo, sat on the sidelines watching his brother. Hoping to finish him, we entered in him in a few small shows and on three occasions he beat his brother to go Best of Breed and took three group placements, with my daughter, Debbi, showing him - just to prove himself.
As soon as D.J. finished his American championship, he traveled up to Canada to stay with Betty Fast and Dave Haddon, BlueCaleb OES, where he could have his chance to shine. With Dave handling, he took four BOWs and finished his Canadian championship undefeated. He also went BOB on two occasions and winning a Group 2, a Group 1 and a RBIS in Canada. Then, in October, D.J. took Best In Specialty Show at the Old English Sheepdog and Owners National show. Dave and Betty brought him to the American Specialty in Lancaster where he won an Award of Merit at the Centennial.
A PROMISE FULFILLED: All the current SnowDowne OES have Promise in their pedigree. Her daughters: CASSIE (Ch. SnowDowne Cotswold Cassandra); GLORY (Ch. SnowDowne Glory of Cotswold): and GRACIE (Ch. SnowDowne Grace of Cotswold) have continued their dam’s excellent traits in their puppies.
Her sons: CHAUCER (Ch. SnowDowne Cotswold Classic, ROM and CADENCE (Ch. SnowDowne Cotswold Cadence, ROM) have passed their qualities onto their puppies.
All of my first, second, and third generation SnowDowne breeding stock are not only champions in the show ring, but have been awarded their ROM (Register of Merit). (A Register of Merit is awarded to a dog after he has sired 5 puppies who have gone on to earn their American Championships, and to a bitch when 3 of her puppies have earned their American championships.)
AND, SNOWDOWNE CONTINUES: With our solid foundation bitch, Promise, we have been breeding to the excellent OES of Brightcut and Bugaboo. Now, in our third generations, we have developed a breeding program resulting in Best In Show winners and Nationally recognized dogs and bitches with excellent temperament, sound structure, and fluid movement.
My love affair with OES and my involvement in both local and national club now spans three decades. When I obtained my first OES in 1974, I immediately joined both the local club in Portland and the National Club (the Old English Sheepdog Club of America – OESCA). My first venture in support of the National club was to volunteer to be the Editor of the 1983/84 yearbook. I remember it as a wonderful opportunity for a novice fancier to meet other active breeders throughout the nation and to be of service to the Club.
After, raising my children and finally fulfilling my own personal ambition to become an attorney, I reestablished my involvement with OES and my involvement in both the local and national clubs. At the local level, I continue to volunteer for board positions. I am currently serving as the President of the Old English Sheepdog Club of Greater Seattle.
I was eager to become involved at the National level again and have served on the board as Vice President for two years, as Western Region Director for one year, and I served as President of the Old English Sheepdog Club of America (OESCA) for two years.