It all started when I looked at an issue of
Dog World and saw this add for this beautiful Standard Poodle that was the color of an Irish Setter. So
in 1990 we purchased our first Standard from Majestic Kennels. His name was Majestic Here’s Lookin
At Red, (Brodie). We needed a kennel name. We sat down and started to play with
words. I had seen that there were a lot of kennel names that had part of each owner names incorporated
into it. Then I remembered that my father always played computer games and his character’s name was
always Rettom, which is my maiden name spelled backwards. So I took and wrote down Retniw which is Winter spelled backwards.
Being a true novice in the breed and to dog shows in general, we made an effort to try and show him. Well,
being red and a Standard Poodle in the show ring in 1991 was like driving a car into a brick wall. In all
fairness, our inexperienced grooming and the lack of knowledge on presentation had something to do with the fact we did not
win. Brodie sired a few litters. Out of one of them came Retniw’s Daddy’s Carbon Copy,
AKA Ty, owned and loved by Dr. & Mrs. Robert Aber. We started a search for a foundation bitch.
This was not that easy as I was looking for a red female, I hit a road block when trying to purchase a red girl.
So in 1991 we decided to get an apricot female instead of a red and purchased our foundation bitch
from Palmare’s Kennels. Her name is Palmares Roses R for Retniw and her call name is Brynna.
She was bred to Ty and the out come of that breeding gave us our first red girl Retniw’s My Sweet Adeline. As
time progressed with many discouraging days at the shows, I finally started to do some research to find some help. I found
the name of a gentleman whose name is Terry Farley and his partner John Dejo, whom I contacted right away. He
has been my rock to lean on and my shoulder to cry on ever since. With Terry’s generous help and
guidance, the reds and apricots in the show ring began to get some acknowledgment. A year later, we purchased
a 17 month old red male by the name of Sno Fyr’s Rotten Rio. Rio had a great personality and was
a nicely built guy. Sure, looking back now there are things I would have changed on him. But for the time
of the development of the Red Standards he was as close to correct as you could get. Rio was bred to Brynna
and out of that breeding came an all red litter! One we kept and one we placed on a co-ownership.
Their names were Retniw’s Red Roses from Rio ( Camille) and her brother Retniw’s Rudolph (Rudi). The
year that Camille and Rudi were born we had a fantastic opportunity to purchase a 51 run boarding kennel
and grooming shop. The kennels name is Alpine Kennels and it is located just outside of Hershey, PA. That is where we met
Tracy Christofes who is my best friend and co-owns the dogs with us. She does all their grooming and most of their showing.
Without Tracy’s help we would not have the successful breeding program that we have today. I can
not thank Tracy enough for all she does. I can still remember the day and the place
where while in the show ring we took a 4th place out of 6 or 7 bitches with Camille. I look
back now and can’t believe how exciting it was to finally, after 3 or 4 years of never getting a ribbon, other than
when there were only a few in the class, to hold that white ribbon in my hands.
Adeline and Camille were later bred to Ch. Farleys D Celtic. These
breedings really gave us the foundation for most of the dogs we currently own today. Out of the Adeline
Celtic breeding came Retniw’s O’ Danny Boy (Danny), Retniw’s Take It To The Limit (Capone), and their sisters
Retniw’s Dare To B Different (Reesa), and, Retniw’s One Step At A Time (Malley). From
the Camille Celtic breeding came Retniw’s Fortune In Gold known as Kira. Malley
& Kira are owned by Dawn Hormel of Dawning Standards. Dawn also owns Ch. Dawning’s It’s
Raining Men (Adam), and his brother Dawning’s Feature Presentation (Bronson).
In the early days we would have never thought of
breeding any of our dogs to anything but the same color. Then I spent a week at the Tar Heel Circuit dog
shows watching a stunning black Standard Poodle win the breed every day. That dog was Ch. Kaylen’s
Cadillac Style. I came home after that week and told my husband that I would like to breed one of our girls
to this black boy. He said he would have to see this dog for himself. That was March;
the next three months seemed to drag. Being that Caddy and Kay lived in Texas at the time, PCA would be
the best time to see this dog that I could not stop talking about. At PCA that year I talked to Kay about
the possiblitly of breeding one of the girls to Caddy, and Rick had a chance to look at him. The
following year we bred Adeline to Caddy. We kept two puppies out of that breeding one an apricot male who
happens to be our first homebred Champion. Ch. Retniw’s Cadillac Gold Edition, Jarod. During
this time we had started the process to adopt a little girl from China. We got the paperwork for our travel
to China to pick up our new daughter, and guess when it was. Of course we would be in China during PCA.
I had not missed a PCA since 1992. That year at PCA Jaord and Kay took 4th place in the
American Bred class. My first PCA placement and I was not there to see it. Thank goodness
for the PCA videos. In the expert hands of Kay Palade/Peiser, Jarod finished before his second birthday.
We had bred Retniw’s
Fortune in Gold to Ch. Wycliffe Quantum Leap and had a litter of 10 puppies. This was a red to black breeding and we had a
5 and 5 split, 5 apricots and 5 black, which was a surprise as everyone thought for sure this would be an all black litter.
This litter resulted in our very special girl Ch. Retniw’s The Key To My Heart, Kia. Kia was
shown by Kay Palade/Peiser assisted by Samantha Seaman to her Championship. She finished with 3 five point
majors, one of which her co-owner Tracy put on her at the Greensprings Poodle Specialty, going Winners Bitch, and Best of
Opposite over Specials. Kia is one of a kind. At PCA 2001 Kia and
Kay went 3rd out of the Open Bitch Class. Everyone always said if she were black she would be
a Best In Show Bitch.
Between Terry, Dawn and I,
we had widened the gene pool of the apricot and red Standards by breeding some of red and apricot girls to several different
black boys. Some of those black boys were Ch. Westsong Rising Sun,
Ch. Graphic Manifesto, Ch. Wycliffe Quantum Leap, Ch. DeNevillette Docksider and of course Ch. Kaylen’s Cadillac
Style. A special thanks to Debbie West, Lynn Estaver & Florence Graham, Kay Palade/Peiser and Connie
Rodgers for allowing us the opportunity to breed our funny colored girls to their boys. Some of the other
dogs that came out of those breedings include Retniw’s Who Is Lesa Catera (Lesa), Ch. Dawning’s It’s Raining
Men (Adam), Retniw’s Sweet Sunshine (Kassie), and Retniw’s Held Hostage (Roddy).
In February of 2001 we imported an apricot male from Le Papillon
Kennels in Germany. His name is Wudo-Master Le Papillion, better known to all as Rambo. He
was 2 ½ years old at the time.. He came out of his crate at the Newark Airport in a foreign country
with these strange people who talked funny, and he was so happy he acted like he had known us forever. The
best way to describe this boy’s personality is that he is incurably happy. He came to us with hardly
any hair but by June we had enough hair to show him in the Novice class at PCA where he took 2nd. Within
a few months he was growing coat and was starting to understand this different language. He was added to
our breeding program after his testing was complete and was siring wonderful puppies. A few years later
were dealt a sever blow when we found out he had produced a couple cases of Addison's and for that reason we made the decision
to pull him from our breeding program in spite all he had given the color. He is as healthy as can be and
continues to be the clown of the household, always happy and always ready for fun.
Our poodle family circle has grown over the past several years, we now have a few
more people who share the same goals and interests in the color. This has once again helped us widen the gene pool. Some of
those people include, Natalie Lasanen of Lumiere Poodles, Beverly Pronovost of Charming Poodles and Tonnie Gear of Hilltop
Standards. They bring their knowledge and experience to the world of apricot and red Standards.
Our current list of residents include Ch. Retniw’s Cadillac Gold Edition, Jaord is almost 14; Ch.
Retniw’s The Key To My Heart, Kia is 13; Retniw’s Livin’ It Up, Livie is 10; Retniw's
Retniw's Catch Me If You Can, Gotcha 3 1/2, Rentiw's You Can't Catch Me, Turner 3 1/2, Retniw's When In Rome, Ashton 8 mo,
Retniw's They Say It's Taboo, Taboo, 5mo.
All of the above are Standard Poodles, we do have 3 Chinese Cresteds in residnece, Bayard's A
Little Bit of Grace, Gracie, Moonvalley's I want It Now, Patience; Retniw's Selectively Charming, Celeste.
We are firm believers in genetic testing and everyone in our breeding program has been fully genetically tested.
At home we currently have bred 8 generations of Retniw Standards. We have
one to two litters a year and 99.9% of our puppies are sold on a limited registration with a spay/neuter agreement. Our puppies
are raised in the house with us. My daughter, Emma, now 13 years old, plays
a big role in puppy rearing.
When we purchased our first Standard over 17 years ago
we set a goal to improve the quality of the red and apricot Standards and to have them more accepted in the show ring. With
help from a lot of people we have accomplished this goal. I look back at how much we did not know about
show dogs and coat care. I can remember the days of just going to the show spraying up and then brushing
out tons of hairspray with a brush with no Magic Touch, no nothing just ripping out the coat. Those thoughts
are the ones that make me cringe. We have come full circle thanks to many people. Kay Palade/Peiser instilled
in our heads that in order to maintain a show coat there are no short cuts. I thank her for that.
We would also like to thank Alan Waterman for his help and guidance in both scissoring and handling.
Over the years we have made some really wonderful friends through the dogs, both at shows and
as puppy owners. Thank you again to all the people I have mentioned above and to all
I have missed mentioning that have lent us a helping hand over the years.
Judy and Rick Winter and Tracy Christofes