Susan, age three, with Lady Barbara of Shannon Barbie at age 15, I still miss her to this day...
My Dad went to "the pound" to get a small dog for the family but when he saw an Irish Setter there he knew he had to follow his Dad's path and so Lady Barbara of Shannon came to be ours.
"Barbie" would raise the Russell children for the next 15 years and no dog could have done better. From the first day when I toddled up to her to grab away her beef bone and she gently removed my hand from it with her mouth without hurting me, to the end of her life when she was the grand dame of Gulf Place, she was the epitomy of the family dog.
She was not always elegant. We all remember her going missing for a few days...and then returning one night during dinner time...and taking a lap around the dinner table - ON the dinner table - to give a kiss hello to everybody!
The neighbours would call and say "get Barbie in, the dog catcher's in the area!" She was loved by the entire neighbourhood.
I remember her carrying the family budgie around on her head, being dressed up for Halloween, going hunting with Dad, and just being there during all the trials and tribulations of my childhood and teenage years. Never a mean bone in her body, always patient with the silliness of a young family and gentle with all living creatures, that was our Barbie.
After a brief foray into "other breeds" I came home to the Irish in 1993 when I was fortunate to be able to get a young female Irish from Renette Berggren (Cairncross) with Shirley Culpin's (Redmeath) help. "Dorsey" as she was known then was a lovely Irish that needed a new home. At age two she came to me and I renamed her "Becky." She would become MBISS MBIS Can Am Ch Cairncross Forerunner TDI ROM and how aptly named she was for she was indeed the Forerunner of the Russell Irish Setters breeding program.
She was a really well built dog and was winning shows well into her veteran years. She was shown predominantly by Carman Mackay after I suffered an accident, and later retired to Carman and David's couch where she was renowned for stealing off of the counters. Becky's nickname was "Hungry?" She definitely passes her counter surfing gene onto her grandkids even today!
Breeder Renette Berggren leased Becky back while I was recovering, bred her to Am Ch Meadowlark's Irish Monarch ROM and I obtained MBISS Can Am Int'l Ch Cairncross Russells Talisman Can FDj - "Murphy" from that litter.
I also kept High in Trial winner Can Ch Russell's Celine Can CD Am JH from the litter I did to Am Can Ch Allegro Farm Quinn; these two Becky offspring formed the foundation for the next generation of Russell Irish Setters.
Celine's litter sister Can Ch Russell's Roxy Roller was sold to Wendy Edgecombe in Newfoundland, and through her litter Am DC Can DC AFTCH Highfeather Raise 'N A Ruckus Can FDX CD Am MH CD VCX came to live at Russell Irish Setters as well.
MBISS MBIS Am Can Ch Cairncross Forerunner TDI ROM (Photo above)
MBISS Can Am Int'l Ch Cairncross Russells Talisman FDj (Below Left) Can Ch Russell's Celine Can CD Am JH (Below Middle and Right)
Can Ch Russell's Roxy Roller owned by Wendy Edgecombe, Highfeather Irish Setters (Photo Below)
These are the beginnings and foundation of Russell Irish Setters. Our Current Russell Irish Setters can be viewed at Our Females and Our Males, while more information and photos of our foundation dogs can be viewed Here!