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Meet My Best Mates.

It all started many years ago – in the early months of 1988 – with an eye-catching ad. placed in a daily newspaper by Pia Kirke (formerly Rosemarye D'Agostin).  I can't remember the wording and nor can Pia – but what she  advertised certainly aroused my curiosity – so I went to inspect – a little black and apricot fluff ball who just stole my heart for the next sixteen years.  Pia named her Tilcha Priden Prejudice.  I called her Aly – short for Alyandabu.  I named her after a very courageous Aboriginal lady from Australia's history.

In due course Aly was mated and had pups. We kept the Smootchen from the litter.   She was my gorgeous golden girl.  She was named Ibapaws Strawberry Blond.  What she lacked in coat she certainly made up for in character.  She was the best stayer I have ever seen.  Like all Lowchens she knew nothing of her lack of size and expected to make the calls re capers with other canines.  When Strawb decided a game was over no dog or person doubted the fact – she became a 24 carat bitch.  She was the most loving and loyal Lowchen imaginable and remained part of my life until 2005.  Before she left us she initiated a new pup: Nellie into our hearts and our home.  Nellie had a very stern upbringing from Strawb.

I sought and bought Nellie with the explicit intention of training a Lowchen for the Obedience ring.  I suspected a Little Lion could do it.  Aly had been to obedience school and demonstrated potential but I had failed to put in the time and training for her to gain real mastery.  Four years later and my No Nickers Nellie is living up to those expectations for our breed.  She is Aust Ch. Rondaglen Parti Fashion C.D.X.  When she gained her CD  and CDX Nell was  the first Lowchen to attain those Australian Obedience passes – first of her breed for both Australian bred and imported Little Lions.  It is all due to the expertise, patience and love we gain from weekly lessons with Nellie's “Auntie Glen”.  Nellie and I have enjoyed those lessons with Glenys since Nell was 12 weeks of age.  I am not the most regular training partner a dog could have but we must have done something right because Nellie still thinks it is loads of fun to train and trial.   I could not have wished for a little dog who enjoys our work together more.   We are now starting to trial in the UD ring with the hope of better things to come.  Nellie is out of a Paceway bitch and she is sired by a Bigglesmere imported dog owned by Pia Kirke.  She was bred by Ron and Joan Harrison of Bunyip.  Recently Nellie gained a black and silver Lowchen playmate: Glory.

  Glory came to us as a two year old.  Pia bred her so I knew Glory as a pup - and I wanted her.  Regrettably that "want" was vetoed by our house “wisdom”.  “You can't train two dogs. You'll end up with two half trained dogs – which equals no trained dog”, I was told.  Sadly I thought the Glory story had finished for me – though I still caught up with her at shows occasionally.  And then – Glory, aged 2-y-o, was seeking a new home.  Our dog housing rules relaxed and Glory moved in.  We gave her a bit over a year to adjust to us, our animals, and our expectations.  She is most willing to please so in recent months we have commenced some basic obedience skill building – and some lessons for her are in place.  I am delighted to observe that she is beginning to develop into a "thinking" dog.  She is undoubtedly an intelligent bitch but she will never be a "nellie".  How could she?  Their formations have differed so greatly.  Nellie's life focus has been conditioning, and nurturing  "to train".  Glory has learned a quite different wisdom.  Her knowledge has been honed from disappointing and being displaced.  Since she came to live with us Glory showed through to title as Aust. Ch. Tilcha Glory 'n Torino.   She is beautifully black – like my Aly.  She is a bit of a character and very loving – like my little Strawb.   Glory has no doubt she has a place in our home and in our hearts.   She has regrown her splendid coat  – which she just luxuriates in having groomed.   Glory likes "looking pretty"!  She knows she is "my glory, glory, girl" -  after all she is a "Tilcha": the very best a Lowchen can be. 

In recent months Glory gave us three of the dearest pups to enliven our hours.  Her sable daughter: Juliet (renamed Skye) has gone to a new home with an intended obedience career.  Her new owner wanted a "nellie" after seeing my "No Nickers" at work in the ring.  I was so proud that Nellie had proved (not only to me) what I believed was the learning and "working" potential for a "Little Lion".  I am delighted by Skye's future prospects.  I wish Leila and little Skye (her house name) every success. I am confident handling, training, kindness, time and rewards are the best recipe for success if a Lowchen is to be a participant in action dog sports.  I know Skye is in the hands of a most competent handler - so I am very happy for her future.  I suspect no amount of breeding suffices without those key ingredients. I  only hope I am right. 

Here - at Ibapaws: the "Home of Obedient Lowchens" - we were enthralled by the puppy antics of Glory's other two scallywags.  They proved to be a real joy - to have underfoot! - and in our home, lives, arms, and especially our hearts.  Romeo - the little lover in the litter  (aka Ibapaws Just a Romeo) - has gone to a new home to share his life with John and Ashney.  Tiffin (aka Ibapaws Torino n Fashion) remains in our Lowchen family.

My Lowchens are my love and my companion animals.  My present Lowchens share our home with a 15-y-o Associate [Blue Australian Cattle] Dog: Bell's Gypsy U.D. - now retired.   Over the years my Lowchen ladies have lived with our other "pets" – Bones (aka Truheel Red Racer): a Red Heeler dog, Shifty: a Dingo dog and my various cats – an Abyssinian, a black and white moggy, and my adored Korats - of Thai origin.

I am a newcomer to serious showing with my dogs.  When Nellie moved in Pia schooled me in grooming and clipping my Lowchen for  the conformation ring.   I took lessons with a very patient Peter Frost for showing in the ring.  I am newly trained towards having an obedient Lowchen for the obedience rings – thanks to the expertise and supreme patience of Glenys Biggs.  I am most grateful to all these experts for their help and friendship.

Prior to my Lowchen love affair I had two Bedlington Terriers.  My earlier animal interest was with cat breeding and showing – Burmese, Manx and Korats.

It is my fervent hope that long may my love affair with Lowchens last.

Sat. 23-10-10 I have some happy news to share. Today  at an Obedience Trial at the Werribbee Obedience Dog Club my No-Nickers-Nellie (Aust Ch. Rondaglen Parti Fashion C.D.X.) achieved her first pass in the Utility Ring. She scored 190/200. She was the only successful dog from the two Utility rings in the morning trial. She came home with beautiful blue sashes, a most attractive artistic platter and a generous collection of food treats. Nellie won her ring. The judge was Ross Carlson. Nell now needs two more passes of 170+/200 to qualify for a U.D. title. We have been working in the hope that this day would come. I am delighted for my lovely little Lowchen lady and so grateful for the generous, gentle guidance of Glenys for both of us. I neglected to say that my whole Lowchen family enjoyed the tuggy toys Nellie brought home as part of her win.

Irene Bilney 07-04-09 (updated 27-08-09 & 4-10-09 & 14-04-10 7 & 23-10-10).

"It is better to live one day as a lion, than a thousand days as a lamb" - Roman proverb

(added 16-3-14)



Contact Details

Irene Bilney
Richmond 3121, VIC, Australia
Phone : 03 94281201
Email : [email protected]

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