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'Tangara Kennels - The Tail So Far...'

When Graeme and I first met I had an Appaloosa stallion, 1 Chihuahua and 3 Australian Kelpies, and had been involved in showing dogs for quite some time. Graeme was a boilermaker and into competitive skating. We were introduced, via a blind date, set up by two friends. Our friendship eventually evolved, two years later marrying, we have just celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary.

My first introduction to the breed of Stumpy Tail Cattle dogs had been watching a lady showing the only pedigreed dogs in Australia. Every year Iris Heale of Gleniris Kennels in Brisbane would travel to Sydney for the Royal Easter show. I would watch the stumpies being judged and look at them on the benches.

Iris had a magnificent red boy that literally took my breath away. But watching was all that I could do, as the pedigreed dogs were unavailable. We kept on with the Kelpies.

Mrs Iris Heale with Ch Gleniris Stumpy and Judge Mrs P Connor.

In the middle eighties my horse – Navajo was being agisted at a friends place. Navajo was an escape artist and had left the back paddocks travelled down the gorge, along the river, back up the other side of the property, down the road and into the front of the 100-acre property to eat the oats. And eat them he did, in fact gorging on them till he was suffering with colic. Of course he had chosen a long weekend to become ill. No vets available. Worried sick that he would eventually lie down as horses with colic often do, twisting their bowels leaving them to die a horrible death and with no vet in sight, my friend did the only thing that she could think of to save Navajo’s life. Wendy led Navajo into the dog enclosure and let out a blue speckled ball of fury without a tail. In fact a stumpy that was being boarded. This girl had a fully roofed pen as she could jump out of the 2-metre hire wire. Her energy seemed boundless. During the course of the next 12 hours or so, this stumpy girl kept Navajo moving around the enclosure. He was never allowed to lie down. Due to the stumpy girl Navajo made it through, and my love of this breed took on a new meaning.

In the early nineties we had been involved in the Australia Kelpies for nearly 10 years and were having a great deal of problems. Graeme was loosing interest fast in dog shows and breeding was leaving me heart sick with the problems. I approached Annette Johns of Studholme Kennels in Victoria and ordered a stumpy. Not long after I had a phone call from Brisbane to say that the blue Australian Kelpie that I had on order for some time had finally been born. Two days later and another phone call from South of Adelaide to tell me that the Kelpie girl that we had titled for a friend had whelped a litter and there was a girl for us. Figuring that "someone’ was trying to tell us to stick with the Kelpies for a little longer I cancelled the stumpy order. Thankfully Annette was lovely about the cancellation.

Two years later in 1992, Robyn Kerley had bred a litter of Stumpies and offered us one. We had a choice of a red male or blue female. The choice was left to Graeme, as this was to be his dog to hopefully reignite his passion for the dogs. He chose the girl – and we named her Macey, her full name being Apamura Macey.  Macey had no tail and therefore did not even move her hind section indicating her mood. We had to look closer at her to learn what she was thinking and feeling.  Friends thought we had a koala when they saw this little blue thing waddling along from behind.

At this time the Stumpy Tail Cattle dog club of Victoria had been formed and were in the process of setting up their first championship show. We decided to enter. When the show date came round I was asked to run the All Pets Boarding Village for the weekend while the owners attended a wedding in Melbourne, they offered to take Macey and show her for us. Imagine our surprise when the phone rings and we are told that Macey had just won BEST In SHOW at the inaugural Stumpy Championship Show. Graeme’s interest was finally rekindled and Tangara Stumpy Tails were born the following year.
Ch. Apamura Macey

Macey attended the second show and was awarded Runner Up In Show, leaving behind a litter of four stumpies that were only 7 weeks old. The Best In Show Winner was Ch Gleniris Stumpy who would later sire a Tangara Litter, the grandchildren of which would also win Best in Show at the Stumpy Championship show.

Now Macey is 13 and still acts like a 2 year old. In 2003 she travelled to Melbourne and was handled in the veterans at the Stumpy show. Tangara Kennels have bred seven Australian Champions. Tangara is a small kennel, averaging one litter every 2 years. But we like to think that we are adding to the gene pool with some very good quality dogs with excellent temperaments.

In 2003 a grandchild of Ch Gleniris Stumpy and Great Grandchild of Apamura Macey won Best in Show at the Stumpy Tail Championship show in Melbourne. We would like to send many thanks to Mrs Patricia Simpson for breeding Janannie Wizards Myst, (Zac). Zac’s sire is Ch Tangara I’m Stumpy Too and Dam is CH Tangara Mystique Blue, both of whom have also done well at the Stumpy Shows and at Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide Royals.


Janannie Wizards Myst



Ch. Tangara I'm Stumpy Too

Ch. Tangara Mystique Blue

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