Ch Dandyhow April Fool
(Ch Dandyhow Nightcap ex Tipalt Scots Lass of Dandyhow)
Jox'n, as he was known, joined us at 8 weeks old as a companion for our little bitch Wiz. He was bred at Bertha Sullivan's great Dandyhow kennel, which by the mid 1980's was resident at Egremont just a few miles away from our home at Irton. From the very first he proved a great character, a very dark grizzle and tan with a cheeky nature and a very dominant streak. He was a very special little dog - although we probably didn't realise it then - and is the most dominant influence on the subsequent Irton's. He was a natural showman with tremendous movement and was always a great pleasure to show, he taught us a great deal about showing and handling and even into his very advanced years delighted in 'treading the boards' - a true professional!
His first show was the Scottish Border Terrier Club's first championship show where he won a first in minor puppy - both his and our first championship show win and a very memorable day! In those days we regularly showed at open shows and in his puppy career he notched up 6 BPIS show wins here. He took his first championship show BP win at the Northern Club under the late Seth Tripcony and repeated that win at both Manchester and - to our incredible delight - at our very first Crufts.
He had completed his JW at just 9 months old (different rules in those days) and we were starting to understand what a superb dog he was. He won his first major award - the reserve CC - a few days out of puppy at the National Terrier show under the late K Brian Staveley
Having finally retired from the show ring he still enjoyed making guest appearances at champions parades and similar - seen here at BT 2000 at Hexham. He carried on fell walking until about 15 years and then slowly wound down, by the time of his death at over 17 years he was still enjoying a ramble round the garden and sitting in the sun by his favourite apple tree but needed a helping hand on the steps. He was a great character, much loved and still missed.
After a wonderful walking holiday in the Outer Hebrides that year we returned to the show circuit and at Peterborough, on one of the hottest days I can remember, we won the CC & BOB and went on to place group 2 behind the eventual BIS winner. It may still ranks as one of our greatest show experiences but really was only the start. We had tremendous fun that summer winning the CC at Richmond and finally making our first champion, with BIS, at the Northern club that autumn. We have always had the rule in this kennel that they are dogs first and show dogs second, so being normal Border terriers is a way of life for them - however precious the dog or important the upcoming show.
Sadly, early the next spring, whilst running free on an exciting scent Jox'n slipped and fell into a loose scree gully in the head of the Wasdale Screes. Having lost contact with him Dave put Wiz on to his scent but the ground was too dangerous to follow him down. Miraculously he managed to get back to firm ground and by a series of chances we were reunited that evening, we still keep in touch with Maisie Dean the very kind and thoughtful lady who picked him up on the road and delivered him to safety. He had no serious physical injuries and was back walking within two days but a heavy impact with a rock had broken some teeth and split one of his canines, which was subsequently removed. Despite this his bite remained totally correct, albeit with a few bits missing, into his extreme old age. Although this effectively ended his show career he was still available at stud and to date some thirty or more champions and CC winners can trace lines to him. As he approached veteran he returned to the show ring and to our delight won a further two CC's - the last at eight and a half years old - and continued