I met my first flat-coated retriever in 1973 at an obedience class my husband and I were attending with our other two dogs, a mixed breed named Sandy and Igloo an Alaskan Malamute.
The flat-coat there was the most beautiful, shiniest, and happiest bundle of canine joy that I had ever seen. I quickly became friends with his owner and learned that there was a litter of Flat-coat puppies in the area. I had to have one and Smokie soon came into my life. Showing dogs was something I had long been interested in and I was encouraged to show Smokie. He was a lovely dog and a wonderful pet, but he was not much of a show dog, and according to the breed standard, he was not a very good flat-coat, having more faults than attributes. Starting with poorer quality dog inspired me to do better..and I have tried to do better ever since. By showing Smokie I learned a lot about dog shows, and by objectively looking at him and other dogs I gradually developed a picture of what the breed should be in both soundness and type.
We had our first litter in 1978 out of our Ch. Mandigo's Fantasy of Wyndham WC. Fancy was a large bitch of very nice type. She was the first dog that we did any field training with. Her first litter produced 2 champions. One of the Champions and a littermate rain with limited success in licenced field trials in the US and Canada. I did not continue with anything from this litter but three of the bitches from this litter can still be found in pedigrees of other kennels today.
Ch. Mandigo's Fantasy of Wyndham WC
The bitch that I consider my foundation was Ch. Torwood Poppy CD WC. She was whelped in England in 1979 and came to me at the age of 4 months. She was a small bitch but very sound and of good type. She combined well with each of the 4 dogs I bred her to and was for many years the top producing Flat-coated Retriever bitch in the United States. She was the dam of 20 AKC Champions
Ch. Torwood Poppy CD WC Ch. Grousemoor Lyra of Wyndham WC
"Star" was the first of two Poppy daughters that I kept here at home She was a quiet easy going bitch. She was a lovely girl with a beautiful front and very nice head. She earned a 5 point major at one of the supported entries during the National Specialty weekend in 1983. In addition she was awarded Winners Female at the Canadian National Specialty in both 1984 and 1985. In 1985 she was also awarded Best of Opposite Sex. Star produced several very lovely sons and daughters.