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In 1972 I lost my childhood companion, a thirteen year old minature poodle. The house was empty without her and I tried to talk my mother into letting me have a puppy. I wanted a larger dog and suggested an Afghan Hound.

Mum was having none of it,” No more dogs”, she said. I tried convince her but she was adamant. I then remembered that she had had an Irish Setter in her youth and had been devoted to her.

“What about an Irish Setter then?” I asked.

Her eyes became all misty and a small smile crept across her face, and I knew I was winning. I got out a book of dogs and turned to the Irish Setter and she agreed to buy me a puppy.

Mum did some research and we ended up at Twoacres to see a litter of puppies out of Twoacres Tosca (litter sister to Troilus) by Timadon Kendel (later he became a Sh Ch).
June Coates gave us the third degree and asked me if I would like to show her. Showing hadn’t occurred to me but I said that I might if she was good enough but primarily she was to be a pet.

I went home the proud owner of Twoacres Felicity who I decided to name Tara. I was reading “Gone With The Wind” and it struck me that the Irish landowner’s land – “the rich red earth of Tara” was an ideal name for my new companion.

My affix obviously is based on her name and my home at that time.

Tara and I went every where together and I took her to ringcraft training to help her to socialise with other dogs and people . Mrs Coates was very helpful and showed me how to trim her and I entered her for her first show at six months old. We were in a class up against Mrs Coates’s bitch from the litter, Twoacres Francesca, and another of her litter sisters who both beat us but the bug had bitten and I was hooked.

Mrs Coates became “Aunty “June and I could always turn to her for help and advice. Twoacres Lorelei joined us two years later, Mum protested but accepted the inevitable and my Dad resigned himself to chewed socks.

At my wedding my Dad said that he was not only losing a daughter but two red setters as well and he thought that the house was going to be a much calmer place to live in when we had gone.

Richard, my husband, on the other hand, didn’t quite understand what he was letting himself in for. He was allergic to dogs and undertook a course of injections to enable him to live with us!

Litters from the two girls followed and a dog and a bitch puppy were retained - Lanstara Sunshine and Lanstara Raindrop .

In 1984 I bought Barleydale Gin Fizz at Lanstara from Shelagh Vant and I was delighted when she won a Reserve CC before she was 18 months old.

Barleydale Gin Fizz was mated to Sh Ch Bardonhill Supergrass and produced the dual Challenge Certificate winner Lanstara Kia who is in the pedigrees behind all the current Lanstaras.