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Obituary – Lyonhouse Colin (Toddy)

Toddy came to us as a gift because Sheila knew what he was all those years ago and because he had been destined for top flight obedience and failed. He failed because he was too clever. He learnt quickly but never saw the point of, what he considered to be, needless repetition.

Sheila went to Carol Snell’s obedience class where they met. Toddy was a born showman and lived to be in the public eye. He came home with Sheila at 11 months, dropped in front of the fire and said "I’m staying here". That was typical of him, he lived life according to Toddy. Until Carol left Shropshire for a new life, Toddy was in partnership with Carol. He was then gifted into sole ownership.

He became Our Dogs’ first winner of the Import Register competition and then repeated the success in other years. He went on to win 80 top awards at Championship Shows. Television appearances followed both for his showing and on a BBC broadcast about Agility.

When at 11 he contracted cancer in his foot, we had to have a toe amputated and he was away from showing for a year. We used to take him to shows and put him in the courtesy tent. At first he was resigned to it until Windsor where the tent was near the rings, he started to complain and make a fuss. Shortly after he was entered NFC in Scotland where he made so much fuss at the ringside trying to get into the ring while our Kooiker was being shown that a decision had to be made to show him again. Permission obtained, he was back in the show ring to qualify at the next 3 championship shows and therefore went to the first Crufts at which Tollers had classes.

At 12 he went Reserve Best Dog at that Crufts Show. At 13 he continued a very successful show career. At 14 his eyes were tested by Peter Bedford and found to be clear of all abnormalities.

He attracted his won fan club and we had been known to be accosted by strangers who asked if the dog was Lyonhouse Colin and on receiving an affirmative response, said can I touch him please, I have followed his career.

Physically he was in superb condition but, sadly, within a week of that test he started to develop acute senile dementia. The Toddy we knew had gone and within 2 weeks there was no alternative for Toddy but to be put to sleep. As he lay there the Vet said how physically fit he was. He is sorely missed.

Ken & Sheila Rees

Todd pictured at Driffield last year