Meeting the breed:
I got my first Flat Coated Retriever in 1984 purely as a pet (Tilly). She was the most beautiful girl and after having her as my dear friend and companion there was no other breed for me. When she passed away I was devastated and it took me a year to get another beautiful flat coat.
I then got a new pup (Kiah) from my good friends at Riverflat Kennels who encouraged me into showing. So Kiah and I (both complete novices!) entered the show world. This was to be the beginning of something unexpected. This was also when I meet Tina (Skyehaven Kennels) and was the start of our long friendship and partnership. Kiah and I had fun showing but she really wasn’t in to it and preferred to be a pampered pooch on the couch. However I had started to get the bug and hoped to breed a litter of quality flat coats at some stage.
I got another pup with plans to show and breed (Brenna). I was still learning how to show so the two of us stumbled along to Australian Champion eventually with a lot of help, advice, grooming and support from Tina. Unfortunately this girl was unable to carry pups so the dream of breeding hit a stumbling block. She joined Kiah enjoying the pampered pooch scenario on the couch (oh – and on the bed).
I wasn’t sure what I was going to do next, still enjoying life with my two girls, but still wanting to breed a litter. Then Tina offered to give me a pup from her next litter in partnership. This was a most beautiful gift. Enter stage: Zada “The Wonder Dog” Aust Grand Champion Skyehaven Fortune Shines.
The wonder years:
With incredible support, guidance and patience on Tina’s part we got Zada to the title of Australian Grand Champion. I was thrilled – Zada could take it or leave it J It was an exhausting but happy ride. She won a Best in Group and Runner up Best in Group along the way. Unfortunately Zada passed away this year (2013) and I miss her incredibly but she is forever in my heart, as are all the others.
The kennel name:
Tina will tell you I came up with lots! of different kennel names for different reasons but I finally settled on PowerOn. My reason for this was two-fold. Zada’s sire was the beautiful boy Gr Ch Skyehaven Mightnpower, and Flat Coats are known to have “Power without lumber”. It seemed a fitting remembrance of Shine and an indication of the breed.
In 2009 we mated Zada to Tina’s beautiful and most successful import “Dare” Gr Ch Flatterhaft Steal Or Borrow (imp swd). This was to be my first litter after all the years of dreaming about it. Again Tina helped by taking a weeks leave from work (great effort given we hang on to our leave so much for shows and puppies) and she helped me whelp and look after 9 puppies during that first week. No amount of reading prepares you for the work involved in looking after a whelping bitch and her puppies – it was great to have Tina there for that week. From this litter we kept a girl – Aust Champ PowerOn Outrajus Fortune (Rajus). She went on to get her title at just 14 months of age.
In 2011 we mated Zada for the last time to “Kei” Ch Beauty Nights Diamond Dog (imp swd) (co-owned and co-imported). From this litter we kept a boy – “Homer” PowerOn Tails of Wonder (holding up the “Wonder Dog” nick name for Zada). Homer has done so very well in the ring. He has won two Best in Groups, a few classes in show, and numerous classes in group.
In 2012 we were fortunate enough to mate “Homer” to “Nova” Aust Champ Bushman Fast Cars and Freedom. Both lovely dogs providing a beautiful combination for the litter. Thank you Bushman Kennels (R.I.P. Judy Kennon-Wray) for the opportunity. From this litter we kept a girl – “Flare” Bushman Power to Shine. She was titled at 9 months of age and just loves showing!!!
Flare won Best of Breed at the Adelaide Royal Show in 2013 at 10 months of age – quite an achievement, and has now joined the 500 club.
In 2012 we also mated “Rajus” to “Disco” (AI) GR CH EXPLICIT NO TROUBLE AT ALL (IMP SWD) – from Bushman Kennels and kept a boy and a liver girl.
“Trubbel” – PowerOn Here comes trouble is true to her name and is doing very well in the ring as a young one. Trubbel has gained her Australian Champion title and is now semi retired, but still enjoys showing when she comes out.
“Higgins” – PowerOn Gunnabe Trouble has gained is Australian Champion title and is doing well in the ring.
Our gorgeous import “Tackla” O'FLANAGAN GO FOR BROKE from Lena did so well but unfortunately passed away at 2 ½years of age from a devastating disease. Lena, Tina and I were heart broken.
O'Flanagan Fermosa Oolong (imp swd), another girl from Lena of O’Flanagan Kennels arrived in December 2014 (Thank you Lena!). She is a beautiful girl with a great personality and we hope she has a great show career. She has already had a Best of Breed and Junior in Show.