Copyright Rita Hellegers. All Rights Reserved.
Cornerstone Cardigans began in the fall of 1990 shortly after purchasing a home in Florida, and after 21 years we moved to north Alabama. I was smitten by the unique color and patterns in the blue merle and so started in that direction and have continued.
In 1990 the overall quality in blue merles was not particularly high. I was cautioned by several breeders that starting in blues was not the best idea. By following the CWCCA Code of Ethics and breeding to the AKC Breed Standard, we only breed blue merles to blacks. Blues and blacks are the main colors I have worked with, but I have had, and bred, all colors. I was fortunate that my perseverance paid off and my blues and tris were quite good.
My beginnings in Cardigans was difficult and I was given poor direction and a poor first dog, what a shame. Lack of mentoring left me searching and learning the hard way. It did teach me a great deal by experience and I have worked hard for what I have and know. I try to be especially sensitive to others who are wanting and expecting those things that I did not receive. I believe in sharing my quality dogs and want to be just as proud of the dog on the lead I bred that is with others as if I was on the lead myself. A word of wisdom, always treasure your mentors and be humble, your 'time' will come.
In 1995 I attended my second National and one of the dogs I bred placed second in her class. Every National from there on, dogs I bred, have been placing at the National. By 2002, Cammie, a bitch I bred and co-owned was awarded WB/BOW/Best Puppy at the largest National entry ever. I usually attend every other year or so and in 2004 Laudy won Best in Sweeps and first in Open this was the next largest National entry since 2002.
My focus is breeding top quality. I am not crazy about showing, but I show and place puppies in show and performance homes, certainly reaping the benefits of breeding quality that 'Can Do' everything.
My wonderful, dog hobby supportive husband, David, and I have been married since September 1987. We have 2 children, Samuel, and Hannah. Our puppies and children are blessed to have each other ! What good times we have with kids and Cardis ! The dogs really are MY venture and so I have always had to juggle family and dogs, two full time jobs !
I have bred many Champions and many TOP performance titled dogs. I have a small 'kennel' of about 8 dogs and breed approximately 2 litters a year, which are raised in the house as part of the family. I try to achieve quality carefully and thoughtfully. Many of our successes would not have been possible without the trust and dedication of those who love, train and perform with our dogs, as well.
I give GOD credit for blessing me in so many ways ! I promised Him when I began that I would always honor Him in this avocation if I were going to do it at all.
I hope you enjoyed my 'about Cornerstone' story and WELCOME you to browsing through my rather full web site.
- Rita Hellegers