I, Cheryl Haskins, started Dogwood Kennels in 1991 to board and groom pets, and raise Border Terriers. My love of animals lead me to participation in the dog and horse programs in 4-H as a youth. Later, I became an adult leader in both programs and also helped my children with their animal projects. They say you should enjoy what you do. I enjoy taking care of animals.
I first saw a Border Terrier in 1979 when Roger Caras brought one onto "Good Morning America". It was love at first sight. I read everything available on Borders over the next few years and vowed that a Border would be my next dog. At the time, we had a Great Dane and a Miniature Poodle. In the years following, both became old and passed away. In the meantime, we had acquired a stray that had puppies. My kids kept two of the puppies so we had three kids and three dogs. As Charlie Brown would say (even though we didn't have three Banjos too), "Yes ma'am...we're talking happiness here!"
In 1986, I finished a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration at Nazareth College in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and started a small boarding kennel in 1987. As time went on, I couldn't get the proper zoning for "Cabin Kennels", and consequently, continued working in the accounting field.
In 1988, nine years after I first saw a Border, I made a decision to get one, even though we still had three other dogs. I bought my Rufus a.k.a. Ketka's All American, a son of the famous Cagney, from Carol Sowders in October. He more than lived up to everything a Border was ever thought to be. By the next spring I had bought my first bitch, Tess a.k.a. Ch. Ketka's Trufflehunter. She was the sweetest and most laid-back Border unless she was hunting. Tess' first litter, in 1991, began the Dogwood line of Border Terriers. Though Tess and Rufus have both passed on, dogs wtih the same good breeding continue at Dogwood.
After buying an existing boarding kennel in 1991, "Dogwood Kennels" was born. We moved from the small town of Constantine to the smaller town of Jones. Even though we had moved, we were in the same school district so the kids couldn't complain..... they did anyway. We left a log house on three acres one mile from school and moved nine miles out to 45 acres with a two-bedroom house that was not what they were accustomed to. It took them awhile to appreciate our property with fields and woods bordered by a big pond that we call "Lake Not". Our son thought that if we could have moved the log house out here, it would be perfect. We have remodeled the kennel, house, and barn/shop and have even begun to redo the original things that we did when we first moved here. That old barn is going soon!!
Our children love the Borders too. One married daughter has a Rottweiler and one of my puppies, Max a.k.a. Dogwood's Petrus Maximus. The other one has one of my puppies, Digger a.k.a. Dogwood's Digger, and a few rescued mixed breeds. Since our grandsons are here a couple days a week, they have become trained puppy socializers. I have about ten Borders at home and a few litters of puppies each year. Plus, I take care of everyone else's dogs when they go away. A sign in our kitchen says, "It's a wonderful life!", .....and it is.