Hi, my name is Shirley Davies, breeder of the world famous Honeymist Bedlingtons.
I live at Struthers Kennels with my husband, Prof. John B. Davies, Lorraine Martin and our doggie family of Bedlington Terriers, Westies and Chihuahuas. A few years ago our “family” grew when Julie MacLean joined the staff and came to live here.
To the left: Julie, me and Lorraine. To the right: Me and my husband John
Struthers used to be a farm, once the home of a famous Ayrshireman James Paterson, who was, among other things, a biographer, historian and painter. We have a plaque on the end of the house to his memory.
We are surrounded by beautiful countryside with a river a short distance from the front garden yet only minutes from the town centre.
When we first moved here there was a field of stored caravans, a field at the front of the house and a lot of dilapidated buildings. For a couple of years we had sheep in the small fields to keep the grass down. We gradually got rid of the stored caravans and dug, planted, mowed grass, built new fences and moved large stones. Now we have extensive gardens, with shrubberies, fruit trees, vegetable and fruit patches, mature trees, a big pond, rockeries and so on and during the summer I have aching muscles and calloused hands!
After my Dad died I built a second house (see pics below) in a huge big barn which overlooks what was once the caravan field, we have had Bedlington people from many countries to stay in it and there is always a welcome here for true Bedlington lovers!
My hobby of dog showing and breeding is largely financed by my boarding kennels which are one of Scotlands “top class” boarding establishments. The kennels have been featured in a variety of newspapers and magazines, the Glasgow Herald called us “the kennels with the red carpet treatment”. We have boarders from all over Scotland and some even come up from England! We were also featured in the posh magazine Harpers and Queen in an article they did on “some of the very best”, 10 pet hotels, kennels or catteries, in the whole of the United Kingdom. We cater for the top end of the boarding market with carpeted kennels and excellent care. Unlike some kennels we take older and sick dogs, giving them the extra care such dogs need, but not charging extra fees for doing so, so many local Vets refer owners to us. Our own, excellent, young Vet, David Norrington of Valley Vets is a welcome visitor who LOVES the Bedlingtons. He, like his predecessor, has taken a great interest in my efforts to get to the bottom of the copper problem and both have helped me a great deal.
This is our vet David
I have recently had the Bedlingtons outdoor runs rebuilt. They go out in the runs when the weather is good enough.
The wonderful “dog house” shown here (sorry no pictures yet) was brought all the way from Sweden via the World Show in Poland by
Ann-Marie and Rolf Lyberg who knew I would love the houses!
I am in the process of having the runs redone as the old ones of twenty years were becoming scruffy.
When the weather is bad we play with them in the playroom.
Because we cannot bear to part with most of our show dogs as they get older we have many living in the house and an ever increasing population of “senior citizens”!!!
Most of my house is very tidy and uncluttered, but my office is CRAMMED with Bedlington memorabilia, pictures, rosettes from big wins, toy dogs and so on.
When time allows I am going to steal Anne Marie’s idea of sharing pictures of some of my collection with you.
Above you can see a small part of my collection. The two little models at the bottom are very interesting. the pipe cleaner model at the back was made in the first world war trenches according to the man who gave it to me. The little wooden chap at the front was apparently once part of a set of childrens animals, somewhere in the early 20th century.
Left, soft sculptures. Right my miniature Beddies