Below is a "book"... I mean history of how Ken and I became involved with golden retrievers and our beloved goldens, past and present. Grab a cup of coffee, because it's a long read.
Ken and I were introduced to the golden retriever breed in January 1992 when we met our friend’s young golden retriever, Ben. Back then I was fearful of dogs and reluctant to meet Ben. However, he was a typical golden who came up to me with a smile on his face, his tail wagging, started giving me kisses and was in my lap before I knew what happened! I immediately fell in love! Ken had grown up with dogs, so getting a dog was never an issue for him. After meeting Ben, Ken and I knew we had to have a golden retriever.
It took about 9 months of researching breeders before we found the right breeder for us. That breeder was Shirley Shipp of Casadeloro Goldens in Concord, California.
The puppies were born November 12, 1992. At that time I had no clue about dog training and thought crates were cruel. Shirley helped educate me regarding training and crates. The end of December we brought home our 10 pound ball of fluff and named him Seamus (we pronounced his name Shamus) and chose Casadeloro’s John Jameison for his AKC registered name.
Oh my goodness did Seamus ever change our lives. He was the most loving, friendly and comical being I had ever known. Seamus charmed us into the wonderful world of golden retrievers and we have been dedicated to the breed ever since.
A year and a half later, we thought Seamus could use another golden for company. His only playmate with our cat, Schatzie. In the summer of 1994 we bought a female golden puppy, Ciara, to be Seamus’s playmate.
By fall of 1994 we were connected to the Internet and meeting other golden retriever lovers online. We conversed with people throughout the country and learned more about the breed and the various venues fanciers competed in. In 1995 I joined the Golden Retriever Club Of America (GRCA) and began volunteering for Norcal Golden Retriever Rescue (NGRR).
While volunteering for NGRR at the 1995 GRCA National, I watched my friends from Rescue compete in obedience with their Goldens. It looked like so much fun. I knew then I wanted to compete with Seamus and Ciara.
Later in 1995 I began training Seamus and Ciara for their Canine Good Citizen Test (CGC) and Companion Dog (CD) title. By 1996 and 1997 I was hooked with training and even began competing. Both Seamus and Ciara earned their CGC in 1996 and their CD in 1997.
The more I was around breeders and fanciers competing with their Goldens the more I wanted to become serious about the breed. I also loved to watch conformation and desperately wanted a Golden I could compete with in the breed ring. In 1998, a friend I volunteered with put me in touch with breeder, Debi Hanson of Sherwood Goldens, who had a litter due.
The summer of 1998 we brought home our first show puppy, Liam, Sherwood’s Tullamore Dew. From an early age, Liam showed great aptitude for various competitive venues. In the beginning we trained in conformation and obedience and quickly added field and then agility. Liam went far beyond our dreams and expectations. You can read all about Liam and his achievements on his Page.
In 2001, a year after we moved to Western North Carolina I began looking for a golden retriever female I could breed to Liam and would be my foundation bitch. When I discovered there was a litter sired by one of my all-time favorite goldens, Banjo (BISS Am/Can CH Chuckanut's Brasstime TD JH NA NAJ WC VCX OS SDHF Can TD JH WC OS). I knew I had to have a puppy bitch out of the litter. That puppy, Kylie, came to me from Betsy Smith of Runnymede Goldens. Kylie finished her Championship easily and took me beyond my show dreams. I was planning on breeding her, but unfortunately, she didn’t clear eyes…She was spayed and stayed our beloved pet.
By 2004, breeders began inquiring about using Liam as a stud dog in their breeding program. I was thrilled and so proud! I knew how great Liam was, but other golden retriever breeders were discovering it as well. In the fall of 2004, Sue Nation of Lyric Goldens asked to use Liam and Liam was bred for the first time. Instead of a stud fee I chose to get a puppy girl from the litter. In January of 2005, the litter was born. The puppy girl I chose was Kim, named after my college roommate who had passed away just before the litter was born. Puppy Kim like her daddy Liam, showed potential in multiple venues, so we began training in obedience and conformation and began competing.
Kim passed all her clearances, so I finally had my foundation bitch. In the summer of 2007, Kim, Kylie and I made the drive to Canada so Kim could be bred to a beautiful golden named Zoom (CH Klaasem’s Zoom Zoom Zoom OS). Unfortunately, mother nature doesn’t always cooperate and Kim was pregnant with only one puppy…
August 5, 2007 our first K-Jen puppy was born, which was a male we named Tulley and registered name, K-Jen’s One In A Million. Tulley was a beautiful ball of energy from day one! His conformation show career was a dream come true! He finished his Championship in 2012 and became K-Jen’s first AKC Champion! Unfortunately, even though Tulley was a jumping bean, he didn’t pass hips, so he was never bred.
Since Kim had only one puppy in her first litter, her breeder and I wondered if Kim had a fertility issue, so in 2008 we bred Kim to her breeder’s stud dog. Well, she sure didn’t have a fertility problem this time around. On October 2, 2008 Kim gave birth to 11 healthy puppies!
In 2009 we bred Kim again to Zoom, but again only got one puppy. That puppy quickly stole Ken’s heart. I didn’t think we should keep him, since we already had Tulley, who was the exact same breeding. However, Ken couldn’t part with the puppy, so the puppy stayed and became Ken’s shadow. That golden was Wilbur, K-Jen’s Wilbur The Won N Only CCA, who was Ken’s walking partner and best buddy.
In 2010 a breeder friend, Yvonne Sargent of Crescent Goldens, had a beautiful litter and gave me the opportunity to have pick female out of the litter. I took her up on her offer and brought home a beautiful puppy bitch, Nellie. Nellie showed lots of potential and at her first show won Winners Bitch for her first points at just 6 months old! I was thrilled and hoped I would be able to breed Nellie. Well… As I wrote previously, mother nature sometimes has other plans. In 2012 this was the case. Nellie didn’t pass hips, so she was spayed and I never thought I would do it, but I placed her. Nellie now lives with a friend who has Nellie’s littermate and a Liam son (Kim’s brother).
I was close to giving up when in 2014 there was a litter that went back to Kylie’s lines as well as Kim’s. It was a classic pedigree from old lines. I knew I had to have a puppy bitch from that breeding. In the summer of 2014, Ellie, Birnam Wood’s Unfrogettable joined the K-Jen family all the way from California and the home of Sylvia Donahey/Bill Feeney and Birnam Wood Goldens. See Ellie's page.
I am thrilled to write, Ellie passed all her clearances and in September 2016 was bred, using Liam’s frozen semen which was collected in 2004! November 15, 2016 Ellie delivered 6 healthy puppies (4 males and 2 females). We kept a female, Meg, K-Jen’s Sundae Kinda Love and co-own one of the males, Cappy, K-Jen's N Charms Tis My Favorite Cappuccino Blend. Cappy lives with his owners, Ginny Boyle and Jennifer Boyle-Grant of Charms Goldens in Maryland.
I hope you enjoyed reading our history in Goldens and feel you know us better.