I came to Canada from England when I was 18, at which point I had been through school to break and train horses and had had dogs in my family since I was a small child. (I flew my beloved Lurcher from England with me when I travelled over with the horses.) I worked for a horse farm and boxer kennel for six years before buying a horse farm of my own and starting an equine breaking and training business. At this point, I got my first dane, Grace, from Skydanes. I started showing Grace and got the bug for being in the ring — soon I was hooked! I met my partner Matt in 2003, and it was then that we decided to sell the horse farm and start a sheep farm, while putting more time into showing my dogs. Matt had already had sheep and it seemed we both had a great interest in building our flock. In 2008, Matt and I had our son London. This little boy has been the joy of our lives, and watching him grow with our family of danes and play with our litters of puppies makes for some very powerful moments. It is my hope that one day he will continue the Dantry line.
I am native to Howick township here in South-Western Ontario’s heartland. I grew up on my parents pure bred Simmental cattle farm, with my father farming full-time and my mom working part-time as a nurse. I travelled and worked on a dairy farm in New Zealand after high school before attending the University of Guelph for Landscaping & Environmental Biology. Danielle and I bought a nostalgic 100 acre property together in 2005, and we share a love for growing and building our mixed farm. I enjoy planting trees and am considering getting a tattoo delegating myself as a lunatic farmer. One of our greatest joys is attending the Mount Forest Fur & Feather twice yearly, as we are in our element amongst such a variety of animals! It is with true joy that you watch a creature you have nurtured and grown become something that is appreciated by others. My parents’ farm is close by, and I assist my father in his cropping endeavours — mostly timothy/alfalfa hay — which we harvest and sell locally and in the United States. Today, we have a small herd of Berkshire pigs, and we include sheep and beef in our collection too, as we continue to grow our pantry selection of direct-marketed grass-fed livestock under the moniker Cricket Meadow Meats.
London is our little boy who many have called the next ‘Dane Whisperer.’ He thinks of the danes he lives with as his brothers and sisters — to the point where he runs to the door with them and howls when people knock. (And it’s not entirely unheard of for him to tote around a stuffy in his teeth, or occasionally munch on some kibble or liver treats if we’re not watching closely!) He already knows how to be firm yet gentle. All our girls are happy to let him crawl in the whelping box with them and love their new pups, trusting him completely as one of their own family. He has a dozen danes as family and one cat — Puddle — as a pet (although she tends to spend much of her time hiding from him). London is no cat whisperer… more of a cat hunter. He loves tractors and riding around in them with his Dad whenever he can. He also loves to go for walks with all the dogs (and all our Dantry friends) in the bush when he’s not cheering us on at dog shows!