1970s - Beginnings
The Slash V story began in 1963 In Rifle, Colorado. The Australian Shepherd was chosen because the Border Collie was a sheep dog and we heard the Aussie was better on cattle. “Lady” was registered with NSDR with a five generation pedigree and was sweet but not an effective cattle dog. Then a friend gave us an amazing black male. We raised a litter a year from this pair and sold them for a whopping $25 to local ranchers who saw our male work at the sale barn.
Lady & Scott
I wish I could claim my present dogs trace back to that original pair, but they do not. The foundation of our bloodline came along in 1969 when Joe Taylor gave me a blue bitch I named Martin’s Josie. My taste in coloring was already there I suppose because I chose the very dark blue freckle faced puppy with brown eyes over a silver blue with blaze, collar and blue eyes. I later bought her brother, Martin’s Tim Tim, a phantom blue merle who was also sired by his red merle Taylor’s Whiskey and out of Taylor’s Buena. Hard to imagine now, but reds were almost unheard of at that time.
Tim Tim, Scott & Randy
The real foundation of my dogs arrived in an accidental litter out of the above pair. My first red merle! Her name was Martin’s Red Fudge and she would be the “mother” of my red bloodline.
Red Fudge's littermate sister was my son Randy's pet. Her name was Buster BROWN Shoe and she was also trialed and worked on the ranch.
Randy and Buster BROWN Shoe had a very special relationship. If you'd like to read about the friendship of a boy and his dog, please visit their story.
Because of Fudge’s close breeding I began a search for a red male. I hardly knew there was a world of Aussies out there until I started going through the National Stock Dog Magazine. My choice was a year old red merle from Lois George (Copper Canyon). Lois was using his sister, Quaglino’s Miss Pooh extensively in her bloodline. She told me Buckeye Bobby was an “undersized” dog, but when I got him he was the biggest dog I had!
I later bought another wonderful red dog from Lois, Slash V Rocky Top. Lois was the one who first encouraged me to x-ray my dog’s hips, and thus my foundation dogs of Tim and Josie along with their closely bred offspring were all done and rated OFA Good. So I “met” the fledgling Aussie world out there that I was to become a part of.
It was the Hartnagles who convinced Joe Taylor that it was important to register with a “new registry” called ASCA. Joe talked me into doing the same although we were both rather skeptical about spending the time and money on it.
In the mid-seventies, I competed in the ASCA sanctioned trial in Phoenix, wrote my first letter questioning the stock dog program, and was coerced into running for the ASCA Board. I had launched into the world of ASCA and was breeding working Australian Shepherds for other than the local farm/ranch market.
I had bred Fudge to a local ranch dog named Moody’s Burrocho, but the Moody’s couldn’t find his pedigree. At that time it didn‘t seem important. We made the mating and then found out he traced back to Whiskey and Buena more times than I cared to know. Sometimes what you don’t know won’t hurt you as a black tri daughter of this cross, Myrup’s Gabby, bred to my Rocky Top was destined to become the dam of HOF Sire, CH Slash V Little Rock CD.
HOF Sire CH Slash V Little Rock CD
I was fortunate to trade for CH Nielsen's Holly II from Barb Nielsen (Hager) when my first Bobby x Fudge litter arrived. Holly was ASCA's 16th Champion and was a finished Champion when I got her. She was a low heeler but a strong fetch dog which was a style we didn't understand very well in those days. She was the dog I worked in ASCA's first sanctioned trial. Holly was one of my boys' favorites and produced some fine working dogs bred to both Tim Tim and Buckeye Bobby. When I bred her to Jones' Reddy Teddy she produced CH Slash V Easy Jet CD STDcsd. Holly had come from the Northwest and that is where Easy Jet made his mark.
Ch. Nielsen's Holly II
My cross of Buckeye Bobby on Red Fudge was working out even better than I had hoped. I sent a son, Slash V Frosted Fudge to my new friend Barb Nielsen (now Barb Hager-Blue Isle) who finished his Championship.
Several daughters were working cattle for us, including another “Fudge” registered as Slash V Chocolate Fudge II.
Slash V Chocolate Fudge II
My son Scott’s “Martini”, also from this cross, was his trial dog when he was competing in ASCA’s Junior Program. In 1977 when 12 year old Scott and his beloved little red “Martini” beat all the big guys at the CASA Memorial Day Specialty trial it was like a “Lassie/Timmie“ story for me. He loved that little dog and she lived on his bed! They not only won High in Trial that day but got Martini’s name on the special Comanche Warrior traveling trophy. The trial cattle were roping steers in their home arena. The dogs who gripped a lot caused them to split and run, and the dogs who didn’t grip couldn’t get them started. Martini was a quiet but very busy worker with a lot of wear and only gripped when she absolutely had to. Her style fit those steers and she came out a memorable winner.
To do justice to this decade I must include Slash V Heidi. Heidi was a “found dog” and her story could fill a book.
In 1974 ASCA’s Hardship Registry accepted dogs with no pedigree. Heidi was everything an Aussie should be as far as pure stock savvy plus beautiful conformation and movement. Her pups were great ranch dogs and she even produced an ASCA Champion! In 1986 she disappeared from my place without a trace just as she had come into our lives a mystery. I have owned many Aussies over the years but Heidi is one of the most remarkable and it would not be right not to include her in the story of the 70’s.
Near the end of the decade I made perhaps my most important cross.
Ted was the first dark solid liver red dog to come along in competition in conformation, stock dog trials and obedience. He was known as “an aggressive low heeler” which he certainly was, but he had a strong fetch style. Registered as Slash V Semi Sweet, my “keeper” would become an ASCA Hall of Fame dam qualifying nearly three times over with offspring from three different sires. But although she was whelped in 1977, Ticki‘s story is one of the eighties.