Large Munsterlanders & Setters
English Setter 1975
Fleur – Silverteal Sappho of Celtaur
My passion for animals began as a small child when I discovered that they are easier to get on with than many people! My father refused to let me have a dog, and there is nothing so guaranteed to make you want something as a parent saying ‘No’.
I consoled myself as a teenager by working weekends at a local kennels and then at a vets. When I was 19 and training as a veterinary nurse, I saved £1 a week from my hard earned £6.50, until I had accrued the grand sum of £45, the price of my English Setter, Fleur. She was truly a child of the ‘flower power’ generation, beautiful, but definitely not on the same planet as the rest of us.!! She enriched my life with her unique personality for 14 years, gave me an introduction into the world of dog showing and had one litter of pups. Sadly her daughter Clover lost an argument with a car, and although she recovered, the pelvic injuries which she had sustained led me to decide it was unfair to breed from her.
I couldn’t envisage having another English which was not descended from Fleur, and while travelling on a coach to a show at Harrogate, I had met two stunning Gordon Setters belonging to the late Mrs Anne Powell-Wheatley. They were so laid back and well behaved that I fell in love and decided ‘this is the breed for me!’ …lulled into a totally false impression. Tassie, my first Gordon quickly taught me that this Setter is the dog world’s natural clown, pushing the limits of energy, awareness and loyalty to new levels, but laid back…? No!
Tassie’s story will continue on my Gordon pages.
Gordon Setter 1980
Tassie – Santanas Indian Summer
Large Munsterlander 1986
Elke – Ghyllbeck Stowe of Celtaur
Having become a regular exhibitor of Gordon Setters, and starting to judge at Open Shows, a friend asked me during an alcohol loaded night out, whether I would like to accompany her while she stewarded the following day at the 1985 Large Munsterlander Club Championship Show? Once my head had cleared enough to concentrate on the dogs [!] I was impressed, something about their bearing and the character in their eyes touched me. Later I was to discover from reading the breed history that Gordon Setters from the Duke’s kennels had been crossed into the early German Pointer stock. Whimsically, I like to think that I recognised the common expression in the eyes from the ‘ancestors’ of both my lovely breeds. Elke duly arrived, courtesy of Barbara Hargreaves in 1986, becoming the foundation of my ‘Munsterlander’ history.
Tina Williamson Tel: 01674 840932 Mobile: 07923 418743 email: [email protected]
Celtaur Large Munsterlanders
Elke at 12 weeks old
When I first met Stella, Ch Foxbrae Flora of Ghyllbeck, Elke’s mum ,she seemed to me, in my then very inexperienced eyes to have everything required in a Munsterlander bitch. Over twenty years later I have not changed that opinion.
I feel honoured to have been allowed to have a puppy who was the result of the matings between Stella and the influential dog Ch Axel von Esterfeld of Raycris. This pairing produced many individuals who founded successful Large Munsterlander lines.
Once in a life time, a ‘born trained’ dog arrives, and Elke was that dog for me. I never had to teach her anything, she just knew what was required of her and was the easiest, most biddable character I have ever lived with. I can’t remember us having a cross word between us in all her 12 years.
Mum – How laid back do you want me to be?
Elke had just one litter in March 1989, sired by Sh Ch Jemas Talent ……..2 bitches and 10 males!!! Both of the bitches were pre-booked so I kept a boy, my lovely Shamrock, Celtaur Treasure Seeker. His litter brother ‘Spotty Dog’ Celtaur Talent Scout wasn’t chosen by anyone when the rest of the pups were being sold, and in the end, although he was no show dog ,I just got too attached to let him go anywhere else!
Spot at 9 years old, and such a gentle boy
Sham had a successful Puppy and Junior career in the Show ring but our activities were curtailed by my divorce and change in personal circumstances in1990. Sham began to lose weight dramatically, and initially I thought that his condition was due to stress, a reflection of my problems at the time. However further investigation by my vet revealed that he had a large tumour attached to his pancreas and spleen which despite extensive surgery, he did not survive. My beautiful boy was gone within a few short weeks ..I felt that life could get no worse!
It took me another 5 years to get myself fully back on track, during which time I retrained as a psychiatric nurse. My circumstances did not allow me to breed, or to attend dog shows, although I still had my middle aged and old dogs at home. I had an elderly friend, whose German Shepherds I walked, and while browsing her ‘dog papers’ I happened upon the list of Challenge Certificate winners for 1996. There in print was the name of a Large Munsterlander Caber Feidh, whose sire was Celtaur Time Signal, ‘Ben’, who was one of Spot and Shamrock’s litter brothers who had gone up to Cumbria. I didn’t even know that he had been bred from and that there were Elke grandchildren out in the world! I contacted Caber Feidh’s owners, and asked if she had ever had a litter. To my surprise they were intending to breed from her towards the end of the year and I booked a puppy.
Celtaur Time Signal [Ben] as a puppy, and his daughter Caber Feidh [Munstie]
Munstie had done very well at shows, but she was also an accomplished working dog, both out shooting and tracking deer. In due course she was mated to Raycris Royal Falcon, and on Decenber 24th 1997 she gave birth to her pups. I was given the 2nd pick of the bitches, and in February ’98 I went to see the litter. Although I made a good effort at looking at each pup individually, one little devil had clearly decided that I was not going home with out her. She spent all day undoing my shoe laces, and hanging on my ankles, sleeves and hair. I gave in, and Fay , Elke’s great grand daughter came home, sat smugly on my lap for the whole journey.
Nodiwr yr Helwriaeth of Celtaur [her Welsh name means ‘pointer of the game’]
Enter Fay !!! I had no idea what a challenge I had taken on. She marched in through the front door, looked over the Gordon Setters disdainfully, marked out Psyche, boss Gordon as the ONLY one to be respected, and promptly put herself to bed with dear old ‘Uncle Spot’ Munsterlander. What a sassy little bitch, the complete opposite to her great granny, she proved to be a natural ‘alpha’ and stepped past everyone else into Psyche’s shoes as soon as the old girl had gone. Fay rules our pack with a fair, but very firm paw to this day, and at nearly 11 years old she shows no sign of handing over the reins. She ‘allows’ me to share leadership with her and I love her bright, intelligent and determined personality. We’ve had a few battles! Fay does not ‘do’ walking on the lead, but walks to heel off the lead perfectly. Like wise she does not ‘do’ shows [boring] as any of her friends who have seen her playing up in the ring will testify [when they stop laughing at her antics!] She loves to work, hunt and retrieve, and has been a superb mother and teacher to the younger dogs. When the day comes that she is no longer here, there will be a gap that will be impossible to ever fill again in the same way.
Fay ‘minding’ the human puppy…………………….best of friends ……
…. and continuing to look out for each other. Fay doing what comes naturally ..whatever the weather..
Posing ……….. and still Queen Bee at nearly 11 years old