IT WAS with a tremendous amount of sadness that we received the unexpected and tragic news that our dear friend Dorothy Bury passed away in the early hours of Monday 13th May at only 67 years of age.
We met Dorothy who, together with husband Tom, was a highly successful breeder of English Springer Spaniels under the world-renowned Lyndora affix only some ten years ago when we imported a puppy from them. Since then a great friendship developed, and we got to know the private person Dorothy was: unassuming, generous and caring towards her friends and totally devoted to her much-loved family.
It is only a little over a week since we had one of our long telephone conversations sharing in Dorothy’s other interests besides dogs - cooking and gardening. She had green fingers in so many ways, not only as a breeder. Quite a few cuttings found their way, hidden in suitcases, across the North Sea, one way or the opposite, and lovingly nurtured by Dorothy, they flourished. She was a fantastic cook and baker, and the countless delicious meals she prepared for us will never be forgotten by food-lovers like us. She always brought dellies to the shows for us to devour and even brought us a marvellous Chrismas cake when Frank was judging Gundog Breeds of Scotland!
But it was as a breeder we got to know her in the first place. She and Tom had both grown up with dogs, but got their first together just after marriage, a pet shop Dalmatian (bought at a time when that was a likely place to obtain a puppy…). They bred from her and ten years down the line their first Champion also won BOB at Crufts in 1977. The same year saw them winning BOB with their first ever English Springer Spaniel, Sh Ch Hilldarry Roast Chestnut, bred by Harry Walmsley, and one of the famous daughters of Sh Ch Hawkhill Connaught. They bred on from this wonderful foundation, staying true to the Hawkhill breeding and type, a fact that has been easily noticable over the years - they bred the wonderful Lyndora English Springers, they bred the same type and quality in the beginning up to when they ceased breeding around five years ago. Along the way they had around ten Champions, most of them homebred. Their most prolific winners were Sh Ch L Beautiful Music, Bob Jackson’s Sh Ch L Easy Come Easy Go of Romaline, Sh Ch L April Fool, Sh Ch Chuan Chablis at L (who later went to Australia and proved an important sire there) and Sh Ch L Interest Rates. Dorothy’s judging career included several important shows in Scandinavia, where she in fact judged the first ever ESS breed club show in Sweden. She also had the honour of judging Crufts two years ago where she was ably stewarded by her goddaughter, Melanie Harwood (of the Minarets Poodles).
For the better part of her career Dorothy also ran a busy boarding kennel, meaning little time off, and constantly worrying about the animals’ welfare. This was the main reason why she didn’t really enjoy travelling abroad, but after retiring she truly enjoyed her holidays. We were lucky to have her staying with us a number of times, thus being able to reciprocate (probably not fully) the hospitality we were always offered at Lyndora. Reminiscing brings back so many lovely memories of a truly remarkable woman. Being born and raised as well as living her life in rural Lancashire, she was very capable at animal husbandry, and we will never forget the time she and Tom were visiting and we were having problems getting a bitch mated. Both she and the sire were willing, but they didn’t quite make it, and nothing we could do seemed to do the trick... After struggling and heated discussions, Dorothy gently suggested she give it a go, and if we hadn’t have witnessed it ourselves we would never have believed it, the pair was tied in less than ten seconds. We always used to joke among our breeder friends here in Norway that whenever someone was struggling with a mating to get Dorothy on a plane, and it would soon be sorted. No more can we do that, and the world is a poorer place without her.
We, and all her friends, mourn the painful loss but will try to find comfort in her treasured memory which will forever live on in our hearts. It is her loving husband Tom, sons Andrew and Chris, daughter Alison, her grandchildren and great grandchild who have suffered the greatest loss. But through Dorothy’s dedication to her family, she nurtured tight family bonds that will stand them all in good stead when life has to go on without such a great lady.
With much love.
Frank Bjerklund & Stig Kjellevold
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