His achievements as a show dog and stud dog were well documented. He surpassed our expectations and his achievements cannot be ignored, but at the time we thought it would be nice to write something about Bundy the dog and this is his story!
Bundy as he was better known died just 4 days before Walker & I left for Australia and New Zealand, where we had been invited to judge, and it seemed to be a strange twist of fate that he would have been 13 years old on the day we landed in Sydney where, of course, he had been born.
We were looking forward to being with Mark Johnston, his breeder, and sharing the ups and downs of Bundy’s eventful life so while sitting on the plane for 24 hours we got to thinking not just about his successes as a show dog, his impact as a sire but more importantly how it all came about!
So where did it really begin? Probably on the 13th September 1989 (seventeen years earlier) when a lady from Sydney , Australia wrote to us enquiring about purchasing a dog from us. “Primarily a Show Dog” however one that would “enhance our breeding programme”. At that time she said she would be interested in the progeny by Ch Jenroy Pop My Cork To Walkon and Ch Walkon Smash’d Again. This lady was Dianne Bradshaw of Ozstock Kennels whom we now realise must have been clairvoyant as little did any of us realise that both these dogs would turn out to be Bundy’s Paternal and Maternal Grandparents four years in the future!
Following some brief correspondence the next step fate took towards Bundy was on Sunday 11th February 1990 - Working day at Crufts, when Dianne and her son David were there to see Pop My Cork win his 18th CC under Lorna Greathead. Dianne introduced herself to us and the next afternoon appeared on our snowy doorstep to see the dogs. Well if you’ve come 11,0000 miles from Australia, what is another 450! Dianne fell in love with the young, Pop My Cork son, Jenroy Pop Back To Walkon and wheels were set in motion to export him “down under”.
“Rags” as he was known was exported four months later and it was just shortly before this, as I look back on the correspondence, that Dianne mentioned she had a friend “another Boxer enthusiast - Mark Johnston” who would like a nice Ch Tyegarth Glenmorangie daughter.
A Glenmorangie daughter we had - Ch Walkon Smash’d Again, but she was not for sale. She was our goose who laid the golden eggs and in her first two litters had produced two champions for us, Ch Walkon Going Dutch and Ch Walkon Smash ’N’ Grab.
The British Boxer Club’s Top Brood bitch in 1991 & 1992 she was then mated to Ch Glenfall the Gladiator and consequently achieved a record which I think stands unchallenged today - As from this mating she produced three daughters all of who produced UK Champions and it was from this litter that we sent a bitch to Mark in November 1991. These three sisters were - Walkon Twix (who produced UK Ch Walkon Chocolate Chip, Australian Ch Walkon Chocolate Sensation and Walkon Betwix’n Between (1CC & 3 RCC), Walkon It’s Crunchie (who produced UK Ch Walkon Crocodiledun Dee) and Australian Grand Ch Walkon Skittles (who produced Bundy, his sister Australian Ch Blueprint Bowls Me Over, Australian Ch Blueprint lights My Fire, Australian Ch Stars At Ozstock & Austarlian Ch Blueprint Dares To Dream).
So now we had “Rags” and “Sally” (as Mark called Skittles) happily living in sunny Sydney instead of our back garden. A year later in November 1992 we made our first trip to Sydney to see the dogs, re-acquaint ourselves with Dianne, meet her husband Dennis and meet Mark and his Mum & Dad, Maureen & Ken. With lifelong friendships formed an all too brief visit prompted us to return a year later in November 1993 when Sally, who had been mated to Rags, had two lovely dogs and a lovely bitch puppy. Not wanting to keep a dog Mark agreed to hang on to them until we arrived and having seen photos before we left the UK we were equally impressed with the pups in the flesh.
On our two trips to Oz we had attended four shows and were very impressed how Rags prodgeny stood out. He seemed to stamp a type time and time again to bloodlines that were more often than not complete outcrosses to him. Likewise Sally was the daughter of our best producing bitch, from whom we had never kept a dog and so it seemed logical that their offspring might just produce on for us.
After much debate finally Walker (the decisive one) said “ OK lets bring him home“. “But what if he isn’t good enough? What if he can’t produce?” I seem to remember saying. “Who cares“ was Walker’s reply “ We want him for our own use at stud and if he is any good as a show dog that’s a bonus. If not he’ll be a very expensive mistake!”
The Johnstons very kindly agreed to keep Bundy until he was 9 months old by which time we could be assured that his mouth was correct, he would be a good sized dog and that he would be well socialised before his 6 months quarantine began. At this point Mark’s mum, Maureen, has to be thanked as it was she who brought Bundy up in the house attached to her ankle by a lead to stop him wrecking the place! He did however chew a corner off one of the breakfast bar stools which we noticed in September still remains un-repaired as “Bundy did it!” At about 5am he would sneak through to Mark’s bed which is probably why he never saw a kennel from the day he arrived at Walkon and always slept beside our bed.
It was at this point that Bundy got his name. Bearing in mind that up till now people generally exported Boxers to Australia (not imported them) we were not keen to publicise our purchase less things should go wrong. and in order to explain the disappearance of one of Sally’s dog puppies Terry Collicut agreed to say he was taking it back to Queensland. As Terry’s favourite drink is Bundeberg Rum (known as Bundy Rum) the pup, late one night, sort of got called Bundy!
Initially Bundy was booked into a recommended quarantine kennels near Sheila Law of Bluepines Boxers who had agreed to say nothing about his coming and visit him once a week or so on our behalf. The day of his arrival dawned and we awaited news of him with nervous anticipation. The phone call came. ”Has he arrived?” we asked. “No his flight was cancelled” came the reply!
At the last minute Mark was concerned the dog would not do us all justice and cancelled the flight! “Just put him on a .......plane” insisted Walker “and let us worry about that”
And so it was done, but by now we had lost our quarantine space and with another recommendation chose the Arden Grange Kennels near Brighton. We certainly could not have found anywhere further away from Stranraer! Bundy finally landed in the UK on 21st June 1994 and two weeks later we were allowed to visit him and assure ourselves that he was not the big mistake we all feared. The kennels were excellent and we have nothing but praise for what they did for him mentally as well as physically.
During his six months in quarantine Yvonne made the 900 mile round trip almost every month and during these brief two hour visits formed a bond with Bundy that was to be quite unique. After a month in quarantine he no longer seemed to recognise Mark, who flew over to see him, but after only five visits in six months he knew Yvonne and from then till the day he died would have done anything for her. She never lost faith in him even when Walker and Mark began to doubt her sanity. Mark recalls the day we smuggled a video camera into quarantine and how, as he put it, “Yvonne’s head spun around on her shoulders after we watched the video while she shrieked I told you he was good!”
Bundy’s spell in quarantine was not without incident however. In the first few nights he managed to remove two slats of the roller shutter door of his kennel and squeeze out through the gap resulting in him being transferred to a double kennel which he loved. He played all day with toys which he never destroyed then or after as I suppose it was all he had to occupy himself with. We were horrified on our first visit to see that he could not get any purchase with his hind feet on the slippy floor and so when he turned he actually lifted his back feet off the ground and pivoted round with all his weight on his front legs. Horrified that he would ruin his front, time proved us wrong - It would appear that if it is made right it will stay right.
On the 21st December 1994 the Bundy was released from quarantine now 15 months old. We bundled him into the car and drove in nervous silence until we reached a service station on the M40. This was the moment of truth, would his temperament be OK? He jumped out, pivoted on his front (Ugh), had a piddle, and jumped onto the bonnet of a Ferrari parked next to us while all the time wagging his tail. “That will do!” we said and promptly put him back in the car before the driver of the Ferrari appeared!
From the moment Bundy left quarantine he had a personality that was larger than life, he had supreme self confidence, never stopped wagging his tail and the only person he ever deferred to was Yvonne. He was a true Alpha male in every sense of the word and was never quite convinced that Walker should be included in his scheme of things! A true boxer temperament he was gentle with puppies and children alike, loved everyone but Yvonne has no doubt that he would have defended her with his life and certainly would not let anyone into his house uninvited.
Within a fortnight he went to his first show, an open show where he was like a kid in a sweet shop. He could not believe all the other breeds of dogs and it took well over an hour to get him to concentrate before his class. With a squeaky toy in his mouth (which he choose himself) he won his first class and loved every minute of the whole thing! His next show was at Bathgate near Edinburgh. The Judge was Margaret Sandilands and again he won his class going on to beat the bitch for Best of Breed. This time it took just under the hour to get some concentration out of him before his class. His third show was in Dumfries under Marion Cowan , where much to our delight he once again won Best of Breed with only half an hour’s schooling before he went in the ring. By now he had put himself out of Novice and our hopes were high for him!
A month later in February , full of confidence, we took him to his fourth show The Anglian Boxer Club Championship Show where, under Ken Broughton, he was promptly placed 4th.
Somewhat deflated, on the way home, we went to visit Sheila Law who was unfortunately now in a hospice but still eager to hear about “her dog”. Despite only ever having seen his photos she was sure he would be a Champion. She asked us to get him out the car so she could look at him through the window and in her usual forthright manner said “you better hurry up and win a ticket with him before people forget about him“
So off we set the very next day on our quest, somewhat less confident, to Manchester Championship Show under Tim Hutchings where Bundy stood in novice dog wagging his tail and saying look at me! Fortunately Tim understood what he was saying and awarded him his first Reserve CC!
Two more Reserve CC’s quickly followed before we were able to wake Mark up in the middle of the night with a phone call from Tyne, Wear & Tees Boxer Club Show to tell him Bundy had just won his first CC under Suzanne Carter! Another Reserve CC followed before Sue Harvey awarded him his 2nd CC & Best of Breed at Three Counties where to our utter delight he went on to win the Working Group (in the days when it included the Pastoral dogs) beating the Sheltie Ch Myriehewe Rosa Blue , who was top dog all breeds that year.
Margaret Everton, the group judge’s critique said “The winner, the Boxer, did everything right, in super hard condition, lovely size & shape, excellent head & temperament, lots of personality helped on a little I felt by its attraction for the Sheltie standing next to him”. This summed Bundy up and it was this attitude towards dog showing that lasted his entire show career and was one of his greatest assets. He never tired of the game and was a showman to the last.
With a fifth Reserve CC under his belt Bundy gained his title in the space of seven weeks, at Blackpool under Audrey Unsworth and became our 10th Champion as well as the first Australian Imported Boxer to become a UK Champion! Sadly Sheila Law did not live to see Bundy gain his title but the day he won his 3rd CC we were sure we could hear her saying “I told you so!”
Bundy went on to gain his Irish title and win more than we could have ever dreamed of . He achieved so many “firsts” for the kennel that although some have been repeated or even bettered by other of our dogs, he was the one, in the main, who did it first and that alone makes him special. He is still currently 3rd Top Boxer Male in the UK and his Championship Show record speaks for itself.
31 CC’s 1 CACIB 17RCC’s
22 Best of Breeds & 3 Best In Shows
Winner of 2 Working Groups, 2 Group 2, 2 Group 3 & 1 Group 4
Top UK Boxer 1995 & 1996
4th Top UK Working Dog 1995
3rd Scottish Kennel Club’s Show Dog of the Year (All Breeds) 1998
Top UK Boxer Dog 1998
British Boxer Club’s Champion of Champions 1998 & 1999
Cotswold Boxer Club’s Dog of the Year 1999
I think we were very lucky with Bundy, the breed just seemed to ready for a dog with his style and personality in the show ring and consequently we were fortunate to get some lovely bitches coming to him at stud. By early in 1996 his first children in the ring were beginning to make their mark winning Best Puppy awards and it was not long before his son Walkon Crocodiledun Dee won his first RCC while still a puppy and by 1997 had gained his title, being Bundy’s first of 12 UK Champions.
As with his wins in the show ring, Bundy’s performances as a stud dog left us speechless. Being based where we are the number of bitches he had were limited but usually the people who were prepared to make the journey brought their best bitches to him and like his father before him he seemed to produce to different bloodlines whether inbred or outcrossed his sucess rate was the same. It gives us great pleasure to see how many of the current winners and producers are descended from him and until recently we had no idea how far his influence had spread across the world.
Our Dogs Top Sire 1996 & 1997
Dog World Top Sire 2000, 2001, 2002 & 2003
British Boxer Club’s Sire of Merit 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 & 2004
6th Top UK Stud Dog All Breeds 2000
10th Top Stud Dog All Breeds 2001
Sire of 12 UK Champions
Sire of 7 Overseas Champions or Multiple Ticket Winners
Sire of 11 other UK CC & RCC Winners
UK Male Breed Record Holder - Ch Roamaro Fun In The Sun With Walkon
Top Sire 2005 - Ch Winuwuk Lust In The Dust
Top Dam 2005 - Ch Roamaro Diamond Lil
Last but not least we are often asked what is our greatest moment in Boxers has been. Without doubt it has to be in March 1996 when Bundy won our one and only Best of Breed at Crufts
. Bundy was just two and a half years old when Dianne & Dennis Bradshaw came over from Australia with Ruth & Terry & Collicut (who were judging the Scottish Boxer Club Championship Show the week before). We did not show under Ruth & Terry but instead agreed to take them sightseeing . “It never snows in Stranraer” we confidently told them, “It is due to the Gulf Stream you know” but oh boy were we proven wrong! Following a day trip to Northern Ireland we decided to visit Loch Lomond and set off in two cars in light snow. It got heavier and heavier until eventually we had to abandon the trip and returned to Stranraer only to find a blizzard and a lorry jack-knifed across the road. Terry and Yvonne got out of their car to investigate and promptly fell down on the icy surface. They decided that they could just squeeze round the nose of the lorry but Walker (who was just a few cars behind ) was not so lucky and had to turn round and do 50 mile detour behind the snow plough to get home. It took Yvonne 45 minutes to do the last 15 miles home that night and Walker about 2 hours! The Australians though it was all great fun!
The next day the six of us set off again, in two cars, for Crufts expecting the worst as our visitors had such high hopes for us. The dog judge was Andrew Thompson, who always seemed to bring the best out in our dogs and true to form up went Bundy in the open dog class and up even higher went our Australian supporters! We could not believe it when we won the CC and had to then wait while Ann Podmore finished the bitch judging. The bitch CC was awarded to Ch Roamaro Scotch Mist At Winuwuk and while Dennis kept Yvonne and Bundy calm before they went back in the ring, Dianne was on the phone to Mark in the middle of the night giving him a running commentary.
To win Best of Breed at Crufts is an honour at the best of times but with Dianne & Dennis there in person and Mark on the phone it was like a fairytale come true when Bundy was announced Best of Breed!
The rest of the day was a like a dream, Bundy did what he loved best and what he was best at, he went into the big ring and performed! I had a lucky pin I always wore (a Bundy Rum pin Terry had given me), I lost it that day but the steward to whom I had been talking knew the dog came from Sydney, found the pin at the end of the day, assumed it was mine and so sent it back to me a week later! It seemed my luck was in that day. The judge was David Samuels and we were short listed in the final 6 and so were lucky enough to get our moment of glory on the telly, the group finally being awarded to my old friend Ch Myriehewe Rosa Blue!
Dianne & I traveled back to Stranraer on a high, in one car, with Walker & Dennis in the other as Ruth & Terry stayed on at Crufts. We kept ourselves awake on the journey home with Red Bull & caffeine tablets finally arriving about 2am. By then we were so jazzed up we could not sleep, but without a shadow of a doubt Bundy gave us all our most exciting day in dog showing and one that we will never forget!
Our apologies for not having the space to mention all the dogs or people individually who have contributed to Bundy’s story but we thank you for playing your part in his success. We are very proud of him, of all his achievements and of his contribution to our breed. He was a dog who people worldwide called by his name – they simply just knew him as “Bundy” because he was famous! Visitors knew not to come without a squeaky toy for him and Linda Carnaby’s Mum was kept busy knitting him dollies which he treasured and never destroyed.
We asked Mark if he had anything else he would like to add. It was just this. People often ask him if he has any regrets about sending Bundy to us, and his answer, as always was ”Not for one moment! He had a unique opportunity here in the UK to be on a stage, without which he would not have been a star. He had the best of life – it was his destiny and cemented a wonderful friendship”. Most importantly we are grateful to Mark who made it all happen.