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Terri Shomo and Heather Rhoades

By Terri Shomo

Heatherri Collies is a collaboration between my daughter, Heather Rhoades and myself. We came up with our kennel name by combining part of each of our names. I also liked the way the name sounded -- it has a Scottish ring to it.

After several false starts and heartbreaks in our Collie journey, we attended the National in Niagara Falls. I saw the Clarion dogs up on the tables from across the room and knew immediately that this was the type of dog that I wanted to breed. I went up to Judie Evans setup to introduce myself but was too awed to say a word. The National ended without my ever getting up the nerve to actually meet her.

Clarion Brilliant Disquise
Foundation bitch for
Heatherri Collies.

We had more success at our next National in Columbus, where we finally approached Judie and introduced ourselves. There we fell in love with two of her dogs, Clarion The Color of Money and Clarion Brilliant Disguise. I knew that I wanted to own these dogs; the problem was convincing Judie that I was worthy of such good ones. I offered to bring the male home for some pampering and several weeks and much pleading later, Judie agreed to let Dylan come and visit us.

We are trying to create a line of dogs
known for their elegance,
style and beautiful faces.

Here is where our story takes a humorous turn. Heather and I decided to go and pick up Dylan and planned to make the trip in one day. With a full tank of gas, directions and $40 between us we headed off for Clarion, but fate intervened and the head gasket blew in our car. The mechanic said it would take several days to fix and here we were stranded in Moosic, PA, in the middle of nowhere with no money and no car. I called Judie to explain our delay and she and her daughter Lisa made the long trip to Moosic to pick us up.

"Several days" turned into a week and Heather and I became fixtures at
Clarion. Since we arrived with nothing but our purses, not even so much as a toothbrush. I felt like the lead character in a horror movie about the guests who come for dinner and never leave.

Heatherri Let It Be, son of Clarion
Brilliant Disquise (pictured above)
Photo by Mike Fine

Since that humble beginning, Heatherri Collies has grown. We acquired our two foundation bitches from Judie -- Ch. Clarion Happy Hour and Clarion Brilliant Disguise. All of our present dogs descend from these two. We are trying to create a line of dogs known for their elegance, style and beautiful faces. We are also trying to give back to the breed we love by doing Collie Rescue and by helping newcomers to our breed the way that Judie helped us.