began in the fall of 1990 shortly after purchasing a home in Kissimmee Florida.
I was smitten by the unique color and patterns in the blue merle and so started
in that direction.
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. Blues are
limited to being bred to blacks only, so the choice in genes is restricted. 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 I always had better blues and blacks than the other colors!
My beginnings in
Cardigans was a difficult start. 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 rather than
being handed success and knowledge on a platter, so to speak.. I learned
to be sensitive to others who are wanting and expecting those things that I did
not receive. 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, not showing, but I show and place puppies in show and performance
homes, certainly reaping the benefits of breeding quality that 'Can Do'
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
! However the dogs really are MY venture and so I have always had to
juggle family and dogs, two full time jobs !
I have bred 46+
Champions and many TOP performance titled dogs . Since I have a small
'kennel' and breed approximately 2 litters a year, I 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
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
- Rita Hellegers