It all started more than thirty years ago when a good friend gave us a female black Cocker named Scooby. Scooby was not show quality, but we loved her as our pet. After a while we decided to breed her to a local black and tan dog from top show lines. We kept a little black girl named Lady Catrin of BarVal, Kitty. (Yeah, I know, a dog named Kitty :) After some fun at some puppy matches, such as the very cold one shown in the top picture, we were definitely hooked on showing.
It was not long after that, we saw our first brown(also called chocolate or liver). As people who always root for the underdog and bet on the longshot, we could not resist the temptation of showing browns. After a lot of thought, we decided to breed Kitty to a brown dog named CH J-AN JO-SET'S MISCHIEF MAKER , Buddy. Buddy, we are told, was the first brown to finish as Winners Dog at the nationals. Out of this litter we kept a pretty black girl named Barrel Valley Love Maker (Kid). Around the same time, arrived the opportunity to purchase a brown female puppy (Berry). We did so, and started looking for a brown male to show. We eventually bought Sta-Mar's Mozart (Cajun) from Stacey and Lamar Picou of Sta-Mar's Cockers. At the age of twelve, Shannon showed Cajun to his first point.
Berry was eventually bred to CH J-AN JO-SET'S MISCHIEF MAKER and produced Barrel Valley Buzz Bombe, CGC, TDI who was our first group placing dog. Buzzy, shown by Shannon, won a group 3 and 4 point major under Col. Jerry Weiss.
Buzzy's first breeding was to Kid who I mentioned earlier. We kept a black male named Demon, Barrel Valley Demon Lover, CGC, TDI. Demon was also major pointed, handled by Shannon, and produced the first Barrel Valley Champion, Riggs. As of 2006, Riggs is sixteen years old and still doing well for a boy of his age, and thoroughly enjoying our grandsons.
Many of our dogs never reached their championships, but not for lack of quality, but being handled and groomed by a stubborn teen still learning the ropes limited their chances. We were very frustrated at the time, but learned so much that we would probably do it all over again.