Way back when I was in elementary school, my family purchased our first show dog. She was a well-bred, beautiful Samoyed named Ch Paymaster Stormproof Cotton. Cotton was the beginning of my mother's Trailblazer Samoyeds. Fifty years later, Judy Mears is still well respected in the Samoyed community. Mom taught me a lot about dogs, but most importantly how to be an ethical person who gives back to the dog show community in every way she is able.
Over the years Trailblazer has had top winning and top producing Samoyeds - teaching me how to be a humble winner who is proud of her dogs. There have been more than 30 Trailblazer litters - teaching me about pedigrees, genetics, birthing, death and that there will always be a lot of things out of the control of the breeder, but we can alway learn. Mostly what growing up with Samoyeds, taught me is all of life is about the relationship you build with dogs and with people, but in the end it is all about the dogs.
Mom and me with Spicy, Buck and Cari after the 1980 Samoyed Club of America National Specialty
The first Poodle came to live with us in 2002. His name was Jeffrey. We got him as a family pet, but hoped he’d be a show dog too. He was for a minute, but he was a great companion his whole life. Through the connections we made with Jeffrey, we acquired our first “show poodle” Mandie. Mandie, Krystal Hi Harmony CD RE CGC, taught me a lot about showing poodles, but most importantly, she was my introduction to the wide world of Poodles.
Davin, Ch Inishmoor Celtic Harmony, was the first Harmony champion. He was a very nice poodle we purchase from a local Denver breeder in 2006. Davin finished as a puppy primarily handled by me. Davin was specialed for a short time by Kathy Adams and Betty Brown. He did some nice winning, but neither my heart nor my pocket book were into campaigning a Poodle, so Davin came home to be Phil’s hunting dog
Mandie - first dog to earn performance titles with me as handler
In 2008, Mandie and Davin were the parents of the first Harmony Poodle litter and it was a great one. Mandie had six puppies - a big litter for a mini. Those six puppies became - Ch Harmony’s Highland Debut, GCh Ch Harmony & Lyrx The Race Is On!, GCh Ch Harmony Basso Profundo at Mountain Rose, Harmony’s Baritone BN, CD, Harmony Thank Heaven for Little Girl CGC, and Harmony Just Jenny. We were, and still are, very proud of this first litter. Debby went on to produce Ch Harmony Milago Romance CA. Derby produced Ch Midnight King Mowgli. Solo produced Jamonica's Springtime in the Rockies RI CAA CGC TKN and Ch Marjonlie Miss Saigon.
Our First home-bred Champion
The next couple of litters were heart breaking, but important. In 2009, Mandie bred to Davin produced another littler. The puppies were sound in structure, health & temperament but introduced us to new color issues. Two puppies had phantom markings and two puppies with color dilution alopecia (CDA). Poodle breeders often call this condition “Blue Bell” or “Lavender” or “Sport”. In a nutshell, the puppies are born with gray hair which starts falling out and becoming thin and scraggly in just a few weeks. These four puppies and their two black litter mates grew into healthy well loved pets, but did give us pause for concern.
Not wanting to “throw the baby out with the bath water”, we bred Debby in 2012. We did a lot of research to ensure we bred her to a dog who’s family had not produced CDA and it was our first collaboration with Clarion Poodles. Debby and Ch Clarion Camelot Quevro produced an amazing litter of healthy puppies with outstanding structure and friendly, outgoing temperaments. The bad news was three of the four were phantoms. We did keep and showed the only solid colored puppy in the litter, Ch Harmony's Milagro Romance CA. But it came time to either stop breeding and enjoy our wonderful pet Poodles or to come up with a new game plan.
Adorable Phantom Puppy - An AKC disqualifying fault
We anguished over the discussion to start over and prayed for guidance. Luckily God answers prayers. Starting over meant buying a girl to be our “new” foundation bitch. We can’t have an unlimited number of dogs, so buying a new girl meant having to find perfect homes for at least a couple of our current dogs. Davin had already gone to live with the person who owned his son, Derby, but Derby had come to live with us for me to show. So we had Mandie, her two puppies, Debby & Derby and Debby’s son Romeo. Debby was the first to find the perfect home, but over the next year Mandie and Derby also found wonderful homes. Mandie has since come back home because of the death of her person, but believe me when I say these three dogs found their perfect people.
Through our interactions with Ann Kennedy and her daughter Katherine Kennedy Vigil, we already knew we wanted to start over with a Clarion bitch. Clarion not only produces some of the nicest Poodles in the world, but those Poodles are bred by two of the most knowledgeable, giving women I’ve met. In 2012, just after finishing her championship at the Poodle Club of America National Specialty, Ch Clarion Arcadia came to our house and became the foundation of our line of Poodles.
To date, Arcadia has produced three litters of puppies. All have been outstanding. In 2014, by Romeo, she produced Harmony Clarion Jelly Bean MX MXJ MJB. In 2015, by Ch Clarion Dark Side Of The Moon RE NA NAJ NW2 she produced GCh Ch Harmony Clarion Stairway To Heaven RA CGC TKN. In 2016, by GChB Ch Clarion Karadale Better Together she produced Ch Clarion Harmony Millbrook Mocha Latte and Ch Clarion Harmony Palaunu. She is retired from breeding and enjoying Rally training with her grand puppies.
One of Arcadia's big wins
In the meantime, a few girls came our way. In 2013, my friends Tina Wickizer and Dennis Hayzlett bred their very nice girl to a Clarion boy. I really liked this litter! My friend Lisa Wolff purchased one of the puppies and honored me by making me a co-owner of Ch Krystal Hi Blackforest at Midnite. I did get to show Mia one weekend and put her first major on her. She finished her championship in two weekends with four majors. Mia has produced GCh Ch Blackforest & Krystal Hi's Midnite Desire and is now living the life of a much loved country dog with Lisa in Northwestern Pennsylvania.
New Champion Mia with Kathy Adams in Garden City KS
Mia’s brother GCh Ch Krystal Hi Meet Me at Midnite is the sire of our girl Ch Windswept The Midnight Fire. Faith came to us from our friend Angela Morgan. Faith was Angela’s pick puppy out of her 2016 Eden/Ricco litter, but life circumstances interfered with Angela being able to keep Faith, so she generously gave Faith to us. We adore Faith. She finished her Championship owner handled by me in 12 shows winning six BOV. In 2018, she produced, Ch Harmony Clarion Purple Rain. We have high hopes for many champions out of Faith. She has moved to California to be with Katherine and hopeful have some more beautiful puppies
Faith winning her first Best of Variety
When Faith came to live with us, Phil asked me what I was going to do if Arcadia had a girl for me out of the litter she’d just had in California at Clarion. I said it wouldn’t happen. It was the Kennedys turn to keep an Arcadia puppy - But if it did, I’d keep her. Well, guess what? Arcadia had two beautiful girls. One of them is our Polly, Ch Clarion Harmony Palaunu. There are so many things to love about Polly in addition to her beautiful color. She really is the sweetest girl. Polly's first litter was produced a very nice boy who is very close to finishing his championship. We have high hopes for future litters out of this beauty.
Polly's first Best of Variety
Eleanor was also a surprise gift. In 2017, Faith’s breeder, Angela, asked if we let her breed TJ to Eden, Paradise Catching Fire of Windswept. She felt like she was in a better place to have a puppy and really wanted an Eden puppy like Faith. She had a very nice litter but ended up giving me GCh Ch Windswept Heavenly Fire as a 12 week old puppy. We were supposed to co-owner and she was supposed to live with Angela, but Eleanor won my heart and is still here. Eleanor finished her Championship as a puppy, then went on to finish her Grand Championship in eight shows. Her first litter produced some very promising puppies.
Six month old Eleanor being prepped for the PCA show ring by the amazing Melanie Harwood
GCh Ch Harmony Clarion Stairway To Heaven RA GCG TKN - My boy TJ has a heart of gold. He also finished his Champion and Grand Championship very quickly. He has gone on to do some performance work which he loves. His next adventure is to learn to be a therapy dog or a service dog. In October of 2019, he’s going to spend some time with friends who are going to evaluate his abilities and then train him for one or the other. We anticipate him being away from home for about a year. I’m hoping he come home to be my service dog, but if not he’ll be a fun dog to do some type of therapy work with. TJ has been bred to three different bitches. Out of Eden, he produced Eleanor. Out of Faith he produced Prince. He has a few other puppies who we are confident will earn their Championships and myriad performance titles. Remember his oldest puppies are not even two years old. We have decided to retire TJ. He has produced some excellent puppies, but both his son, Prince and his nephew, Loki have more to offer our breeding program at this time.
What does the future hold? Hard to know for sure, but we have some promising young dogs and some plans we hope with come to fruition
TJ's PCA Debute at 12 1/2 months
Mandie - the first Harmony Poodle (12/2004 -1/2020)
Derby - Our First Grand Champion
Solo - We are so lucky Jeanne Dabbled in Minis for a minute
Derby's son Benji finishing his championship. Handled by Kathy Adam. Bred by Dennis Hayzlett & Tina Wickizer. Owned by Becky Champman & Dennis Hayzlett
Half sisters by Ch Clarion Camelot Persuasion. Mothers of many wonderful Harmony Poodles
Prince and sisters are part of the bright future of Harmony Poodles
Davin the first Harmony Champion (10/2006 - 7/2019)
Our first connection with Clarion Poodles
The first brown Harmony Poodles Ch Clarion Harmony Palaunu and Ch Clarion Harmony Millbrook Mocha Latte
Our agility star - JellyBean lives in Wisconsin with her beloved owner Carla. In addition to agility they play in obedience and nose work
I still love Samoyeds. Currently the only two I own live across town at my Mother's house
I am blessed to have a husband who loves me and my Poodles. He helps in every way possible. There would not be a Harmony Miniature Poodle if not for Phil Francis.