For Christmas 1999, I bought Penny an Irish Setter puppy. Penny had a setter when she was growing up in New York and was familiar with the breed. Penny named her puppy Kelly Jo. It didn’t take long for Kelly Jo to become part of the family. She enjoyed swimming in the pool and riding in the camper with us when we traveled. Penny, who is a registered nurse, was working three 12 hours shifts each week, so she was able to spend her time off with Kelly Jo. They developed a special relationship that sometimes happens between a dog and her owner. Penny and Kelly Jo seemed to know what each other was thinking. Kelly Jo was Penny’s constant companion, following her from room to room to be by her side. When Kelly Jo was just five years old she fell victim to an immune system disorder. She spent time in a special animal hospital and was scheduled to come home when we got word that she had died of an embolism. Needless to say, we were devastated. We had lost a part of our family. Although we only knew Kelly Jo for five years, she taught us a lifetime of lessons, as only a dog can. Because of Kelly Jo, we know the importance of loyalty, companionship and love without rules or demands.
After reflection upon our experience with Kelly Jo, Penny and I decided that one way we could pay honor to Kelly Jo would be to share the joys of owning an Irish Setter with others. We began breeding with our first litter coming in November of 2007. Irish Setters are graceful and have a beautifully feathered, reddish coat. They are energetic and athletic. Irish Setters are very playful and thrive on physical activity. They can be very exuberant, they love to run and are very sociable. They seek interaction with other dogs and people and are by no means loners.
Penny and I strive to be responsible breeders. Anyone can have a litter of puppies and call themselves a breeder, but it takes much more. Responsible breeding takes a deep knowledge of the breed and demands a commitment of time and resources to improve each litter. Responsible breeding means regular veterinary care, screening for genetic problems, pre-breeding health tests, regular exercise and good nutrition. It means creating and maintaining clean, dry, warm and draft-free whelping box for newborn puppies. Responsible breeding means providing special attention to the nursing mother and making sure weaned puppies are started on a nutritionally sound feeding program. We screen all prospective owners. We want to know if the family has children, who will be the primary care-giver, how much room the dog will have to exercise, how often and for how long the dog will be left alone and we ask about attitudes towards obedience training. We make sure our customers have the adequate facilities to accommodate this breed. We educate our buyers on the special needs of Irish Setter puppies and give them information on how to best serve the needs of the growing puppy. Our goal is to enhance the family dynamics by the addition of a new family member. We like to stay in contact with our customers and the greatest satisfaction we get is when people share the same experiences of love and joy that their dogs have brought to them as our dogs have to us.