"Raising Jack Russell Terrier puppies is our greatest pleasure ~ Breeding the Irish Connemara remains our greatest responsibility”

The Connemara Story

By Sheila

I could write a book on how we came to be involved with the Connemara line of Jack Russell Terriers nearly two decades ago and all that has taken place along the way.  However, in the interest of time and cutting to the chase; We met a special Irishman who after some time, became a trusted friend and eventually our mentor. We vowed to continue this line, keeping with the tradition his family and others before them set forth.
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We are a four generation, Law Enforcement / Military family. Currently there are two of us still serving. I’ve done a lot during my career as a Police Officer. Some of my best years were spent as a K-9 handler, where I worked/trained two Belgian Malinois in tracking, narcotics detection and patrol work. Hand reared within our family from the tender age of eight weeks - My best partner; ‘Justice’, passed away in my arms at the age of 10 years, July '06.


Our children grew up with, loved and yes sometimes only tolerated our hot, always on the ready, prey driven, very game working dogs. When our youngest son was small, he asked for a little dog to call his own...This is how our love affair with the Jack Russell began.  At first, my husband, Darrell wasn't impressed - as he had always preferred "big dogs - real dogs".  But it wouldn’t be long before his heart too would be stolen by these wonderful little creatures.  Darrell would later prove to be the silent force behind our early success of Connemara and what we stand for today.  Always there to lend a hand, offer encouragement and remind me that compromise was not an option: We would do this right - or not at all.

TRAGEDY STRIKES

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Darrell began his public service career as a US Marine. He later became a Police Officer and then an International Peace Keeper in Kosovo. His last mission would be to serve as an International Police Officer - part of a State Department mission, in war torn Iraq.

With one phone call, life as our family knew it would forever be changed; September 17th, 2006, I received a distraught call from our eldest son serving in the US Air Force. He had received information that his father had just been hit by sniper fire in Tikrit, Iraq.  I insisted the information was incorrect as I had just spoken to Darrell hours earlier.  

As the sun rose that morning, two Maine State Troopers would slowly make their way up our drive. My fear of Darrell being in Iraq was now a reality - We would never see his smile again. We laid him to rest on my birthday with full Police & Military honors.

CHANGES

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On the same day of Darrell's funeral, sadly, I would meet with and spend time with the Irishman who introduced us to these terriers for the last time. I remember during this dark time so many Connemara families reached out and showed their support. Who knew that acquaintances I had made placing puppies in homes, would later come to be thought of as dear friends. Friends who would help me though that first year alone.

Soon, Stephanie, our only daughter would move back home from Japan, after also serving in the US Air Force. Her homecoming was joyous and it wasn’t long before she assumed a spot alongside me raising the puppies. She would then spend the next five years putting up with my demands for perfection while learning the Connemara way. By 2011, Stephanie and I had worked out what each of our strengths were and we had clearly become equals at Connemara.

Stephanie and I run Connemara together now with assistance from my youngest son, who was five when this all started. He is almost through college now as a Bio-Chem (Pre-Med) Major. Stephanie's children are now at the perfect age to get involved with socializing the pups with us - So this is very much a family affair.

TODAY - CONNEMARA IS STILL SMALL, EXCLUSIVE AND FAMILY RUN

As each year passes, Stephanie has taken on more responsibilities at Connemara and in 2016, finally took over Connemara. With that said; I am still involved - just a little more in the background. We continue steady and true to the preservation of a line we were taught to watch over, embrace and love.  I will be forever grateful to others before me as these little creatures have given us so much more than we could ever give back.

We remain selective about who we place our puppies with... Special families looking for a special little terrier who will give unconditional love. We are still very sincere about what type of puppies we are raising and committed to working with you to help select your next four-legged family member... This much hasn’t changed. Stephanie is now raising our Jack Russell pups, running Connemara and committed to continuing the Connemara way. If there are two (2) litters around the same time, we will each raise one. This allows for the puppies to be held and socialized properly and families will know their pup received individual attention.
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