I guess you could say that it was inevitable that I would end up in Aussies.
My mama bred Aussies in the 70's and 80's in Kansas. Her last litter was born August of 1983, when I was only 9 months old. She hung up her breeding hat and focused on raising her family, but that didn't mean that I grew up without an Aussie!! My grandparents owned an 80 acre horse & cattle farm in the Arkansas River Valley, and there were always dogs to run around with growing up.
When I was 6, my mama brought home a self-red boy that she took away from someone when she caught them whipping him with a water hose, and dropped him in my lap. I named him Sparky, after the electric villain mouse on Rescue Rangers, and he was my best friend growing up. We had many adventures together, and he was smart, loyal and protective. He lived until he was 15, and passed away peacefully in his sleep just before I turned 22.
After losing Sparky, I took a step sideways and got into some other breeds - I dabbled in coonhounds, labs, APBT's and rotties, to name a few. I did rescue for a few years, then tossed around ideas for my next breed, and picked up a border collie mix pup and started training with a local Search and Rescue team. Bolt was a fantastic dog and quickly certified in HRD on both land and water, and I took all of my FEMA management training, and we were getting ready to try out for the FEMA Task Force when he got sick. At only 3 years old, he had to be euthanized due to genetic diseases that we could not fight. I had already been tossing the idea around, as my husband at the time had previously had Aussies, and I decided then for sure to go back to them as my breed of choice.
I had been doing a lot of research, digging through pedigrees going back 20 and even 30 years in some places. I knew if I was going back into this breed, I wanted my mom's lines back. I was successful in my search, and in 2008 I started contacting breeders whose dogs went back to my mom's. By the end of 2009 I had purchased my first Aussie, which ultimately was intended to be my husband's next SAR prospect, and I was on my way to bringing my mom's dogs back forward and building the second generation back up. I am proud to say that now, 10 years later, every single Gemfire dog that I have produced in some way goes back to my mom's final litter in 1983, out of her beloved Pebbles. It is my hope that in another 10+ years down the road, I will be able to pass this amazing legacy on to my own children, who have a true passion for and love of all dogs.
I initially started out with my Aussies in performance and working. I continued briefly with Search and Rescue, but my heart was no longer in it after losing Bolt. Search and Rescue isn't something you do for yourself, or for your dogs, or for glory - you do it for the families of the victims, to bring them closure, and my own pain was too close to the surface to continue in that field. I started getting into competitive agility, obedience and rally instead. Then the show bug hit, and I stepped in the conformation ring as well. Now I aim to have titles on both ends of all of my dogs' names - that doesn't always happen, but that's ok, because I know that the title doesn't make the dog.
I am dedicated to breeding a dog of both sound mind and body, with health, temperament and structure being my top priorities. It is a sad fact of breeding that sometimes, no matter how much research you do, things just don't work and problems crop up. I strive to be as transparent as possible in those situations, and make responsible decisions as this information comes to light. This is why I am incredibly diligent about staying in contact with all of my puppy owners for the life of their dog. I aim to be there to support my puppy owners from the day they take their baby home until the day that puppy takes it's last breath.
I breed as close to the ASCA and AKC breed standards as possible, and I strive with every litter to preserve the breed, while producing fantastic family companions that can do anything asked of them. I am a breeder dedicated to building a strong program of correct dogs that meet my best interpretation of the standards as I have been taught them by my mentors. My goal is to preserve the Australian Shepherd as it was meant to be for many generations to come: a truly versatile dog, that can work all day in any capacity asked of it and sleep on your bed at night. My dogs are my family pets, and are raised and live in my home. I expect the puppies that I produce to go to other families where they are also well loved pets, above and beyond any other jobs they may perform.
My passion for and love of the Australian Shepherd is matched only by their enthusiasm, joy and love of life - and of course, their love of me! There is nothing greater or more pure than to have the love of a dog, and I count myself blessed that I have such wonderful companions in my life. I couldn't imagine it any other way! Thank you for visiting, and taking the time to get to know us!