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Artistry Cockers started in 1972 with my first parti-color show bitch, Artistry’s Curious Design CD. She was  Rexpointe linebred out of Ch. Boyd’s Burlesque (Stripper) , a beautiful and sound b/w bitch owned by Jay and Mirriam Boyd. “Valentine”, also known as “Peapod” was reserve winners queen. I quit after 14 reserves to majors and put a CD title on her. She became my first foundation bitch. Eyes clear at 6 when she died and OFA good. Valentine was bred to her son, Ch. Artistry’s Abstract Patterns CD, SLT and OFA good, a terrific moving r/w boy with gobs of substance. She gave birth to ONE puppy, a tri-color bitch which I named Artistry’s Mythical Creation. 

Myth became the dam of Ch Artistry’s Soot and Cinders, 'Toad', that is behind more dogs than we know today.

 

TOAD’S STORY

Sometime around 1978, my friend, Marilyn James, 'Windsong', introduced me to a solid sable dog she had of Marilyn Brinker’s, Kingspoint Mahogany Man.  I was instantly taken by the color! Of course, he was not showable under our standard but I took him in the ring anyway one time. (I showed Marilyn James’ dogs back then) We wanted him to be seen and the first summer national specialty was coming up (1978) and would be held in Oklahoma city. The judge—Jay Boyd.

We expected the judge to excuse him and the judge did look at him with lifted eyebrows. But, since there were 5 puppies in the ring he let us stay in 5th place.

Later, it hit me, how to get sables into the ring. The parti color standard did not exclude the color by its wording. I went to Marilyn James and excitedly told her that, “I know how to get the sables into the ring!”

“How?” she asked.

“I’m going to breed the first sable and white cocker in history!”  (I did not know of any other sable and whites at the time)

And I did...(breed the first champion sable/white in history).

But before that litter came, with its treasure of three, I did a lot of research and reading on the color. The color had surfaced after many years of being hidden to the fancy, through Ed McCauley’s bitch, Jolie Buttons. I suspect that it was around here and there, perhaps as 'clear' sables, or as 'mismarks' that were petted. 

The dog, Mahogany Man was a large sporty dog with a coarse backskull and a little croupy. There were no show dogs behind him. I knew that in order to get anything that would tame these traits, and that would be genetically strong enough to sway the gene pool to the side of more correct conformation, I would need to breed the dog to an inbred bitch, preferably with tan points, a  tri-colored bitch.  Inbreeding would 'set' the genes of the show line making them stronger than the outcrossed side. This was the rationale for breeding mother to son. It worked.

In Myth, I had set the genes. The inbreeding also made her a little smaller than her previous siblings, a definite plus to offset the size of the large sporty dog. Myth was very typey, with good coat. Her litter produced 3 pups, a solid black bitch (Penny), a b/w dog (Toad) and a mismarked buff dog (clear sable?).  No matter how we searched and searched for a tan hair, a brownish hair, a glint of color, Marilyn Brinker and I could find none. We had lost the battle and would try again. 

At 8 weeks, I returned to pick my 2 puppies, as Marilyn Brinker was whelping them for me—and getting Myth in the bargain. They were in the back yard, in the sun, and I could see instantly the black and tan bitch and the tri-colored dog! They had turned! The sabling was there. I screamed and jumped up and down scaring the puppies who ran under a bush.  Marilyn and I were ecstatic. 

When Toad was 7 months old, I sent him to his first dog show with my very good friend, Charles Nash. I entered him in open because he had good coat and size. I did not want to play around with him in the puppy class.  This was the first sable and white to ever step into a ring, might as well really compete right off the bat. It was a big show-somewhere in Texas. I couldn’t get off work. Charles  first impression was that he liked the dog but was not too sure about the color. He was worried that he would be excused. 

“They can’t excuse him”, I said. “According to the current standard, they have to leave him in the ring. Do not let them excuse him. Call the AKC Rep if you have to.”

Sometime that week-end, I was at Marilyn James’ house when a phone call came for me. My dog had won the 4 point major and Rune and Robin Nielson wanted to buy him. I was shocked. Rune had shown him, I was told. Charles had gotten hung up in another ring. “Why do they want to buy him?” I asked. “They don’t even own parties!”

Well, they wanted to now.

I had had a lot of breeding plans for Toad. Half of him was almost field stock and it would surely come out if he wasn’t bred right and the gene pool set through close line breedings and well-thought-out out-crosses. I had already planned the next four generations out on paper.  Toad was a nice dog but he hid a lot of genes. This was not to be.

I was struggling, getting my bachelors and working. I knew that Robin and Rune would do right by the dog, finish him, (Rune was a professional handler) special him and see that he was used with good quality bitches.  I swallowed my grief for my lovely funny Toad, over all the work I had done to get him, and sold him to Rune.

It was the last time I ever saw him.

The rest is history.

  Birchwood Mahogany Key (sable)
  Birchwood Nathaniel Nestle (brown)
  Windridge Almost Chocolate
  Kingspoint Mahogany Man (solid sable)
  Mar-Kei’s Sir Anthony
  Connie’s Ginger Buffy
   
  CH Artistry’s Soot N Cinders
  Ch Skyp-Mitz Shoshoni Warrior (r/w)
  Ch Artistry’s Abstract Patterns CD (r/w)
  Artistry’s Curious Design CD (b/w)
   Artistry’s Mythical Creation (tri)
  Am / Can Ch SandyHill Solar Of Mylisslee
  Artistry’s Curious Design CD (b/w)
  Ch Boyd’s Burlesque (b/w)


Ch Soot N Cinder’s Champion Offspring
 

Ch Wyndsong’s Fancy Pants
Ch Rohde’s Sable And Sass
Ch Barjohn’s Mocha Man
Hi Hopes Sable And White Delite CDX
Ch Legend I’m A Ten
Ch Legend Dudley Do right
Ch Three Crown’s Thrills N’ Chills
Ch Trojan Charcoal Sketch
Ch Karavan’s Trojan In Calico
Ch Pineshadows Kama Kid
Ch Pinshadows Sunshine Jazz
Ch Three Crown’s Alexis C
Ch Lorihil Lifesaver
Ch Lorihil Cinderfella
Ch Charisma’s Chasin Rainbows
Ch Samurai’s Classic Gold CD
Ch Samurai’s Dust Devil
Chatosa’s Luck Dragon CD
Lorli Rib tucker CD
Ch Schiely’s Trifecta
Ch Schiely’s Silk N Sable

In Irene Schlintz’ list of Top Producers from March 1965 through December 1988, Soot N Cinders was a Top Producing Parti-Color with 19 champions out of 12 bitches in 1985.