My first experience of Golden Retrievers was when I was four years old and my parents bought a bitch whose grandfather was Brackengold Max, an English Show Champion of the 1970s. Blackberry had a litter of seven puppies when I was aged six and the experience of watching these puppies grow is one of my earliest memories. My parents subsequently bought a granddaughter of Blackberry to keep her company, who we named Holly and they were to be my companions well into my late teens.
In subsequent years I had never been in a situation to keep a dog and more recently the opportunity arose when both my parents retired. They were to become dog sitters! I did a lot of research into local breeders and I had a good idea about the sort of Golden I was looking for. Good temperament, good pedigree, not too big and a lovely mid-Golden coat.
The Maplegold affix comes from the beautiful golden maples in my garden near Stroud in Gloucestershire and also the name of my first Golden Retriever, Meli (Greek for Honey). My girls love playing in the golden maple leaves at Westonbirt Arboretum during the autumn months.
Meli came from a litter by Teigngold Lucy in Devon, sired by Champion Captain Finn at Steval JW (owned by Val Tregaskis), a lovely, sweet dog. Meli was the most gentle, adoring girl you could come across. I always knew I was going to need a friend for Meli and so I went back to Teigngold two years later and brought Bracken home. Bracken is sired by Show Champion Muskan Make My Day JW (owned by Hilary Lambshead). She is also a lovely girl, a little more gregarious than Meli but with a very loving nature.
I love my dogs and as a breeder I aim to bring into the world puppies who not only look beautiful but have great temperament and will turn into loving family dogs who are greatly loved in return. My dogs live with me in my house, are fed on a high quality diet and go for walks everyday. As a result, they are fit, healthy and happy. They also enjoy going on holiday to all parts of the countryside with me throughout the year.