Chantryile Belgian Shepherds is Greg Storms & Eleanor Heagy. We've been together since 1987, and purchased our first BSD (Tarack) in 1988. Eleanor had grown up with a shepherd x lab cross, and one of her sisters had a couple of Bouviers des Flandres. Greg had grown up with rough collies. So we wanted a medium sized dog, with coat but no furnishings on the face or feet and no trimming required, natural ears and tail, smart, protective and active.
We looked through Dogs in Canada and thought, hmmm, "that breed looks interesting!" We called a few of the BSD breeders listed for Ontario and, in April 1988, made an appointment to visit "Skip" and Elsie Stanbridge to see some of their Mi-Sha-Ook Groenendael. We met their house dogs - Mi-Sha-Ook's Wista, Brune de la Douce Plaine, and Cachette des Hautes de Bievre (their only terv at the time). We saw some of their kennel dogs - Mi-Sha-Ook's Annick, Vicomte du Parc de l'Hay, Viking de Iamara, Badienne de la Douce Plaine. We reserved a pet female pup from their next litter, and headed home.
On the drive home we talked about our visit and our plans for our puppy. Eleanor had been at a couple of dog shows previously and thought it looked like fun, so when we got home we called the Stanbridges back and changed our reservation to a show quality male.
Tarack (Mi-Sha-Ook's Tamarack) was born in September 1988, and things haven't been the same since! In 1989, we watched Skip Stanbridge judge the BSCA National in Michigan, where Tarack's dad, Rolin Ridge's Fourteen Karat, went BISS and Johnsondale's Jolene went BOSS. Those two dogs, especially Jolene, profoundly shaped our idea of what a Belgian Shepherd should look like and how it should move.
A month later, we showed Tarack at the Canadian National in Brantford, Ontario, where he was RWD and BPISS! So we were bitten by the specialty bug. We spoke at length with the specialty judge, Willemine Van Deijl, and she encouraged us to go to the French specialty. Skip and Elsie had already talked to us about it, so in August that year we headed to Europe. We saw many beautiful Belgians of all varieties there, as well as French Ring sport and agility. We also visited Willemine in the Netherlands, and she introduced us to many other Belgian breeders.
It's been many years since we first thought we would check out the handsome black dog in the magazine. While we've had many setbacks over the years, we love this breed and enjoy the friendships we've made along the way.
We would not be where we are in the breed today without the friendship and guidance of Skip and Elsie Stanbridge. They were so very generous with their knowledge and time. We spent many, many hours with them, at home, at shows across North America, and in Europe. We miss both of them so very much.