"The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself
with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself, too."

~ Samuel Butler

Who is Spellbound Collies? 

We are a very small breeder located in the beautiful Pocono Mountains of PA. We have been involved in showing and breeding dogs since 1999. I bought my first show dog in 1999 and I have been actively involved with exhibiting my dogs since then. My first litter was in 2002. We breed for beauty, conformation, health, quality, temperament and to the Collie Standard. We breed infrequently; about one litter approximately every 2 years or so. We actively campaign our dogs. Our puppies and dogs are raised and live in my home. They are an integral part of my family and life. I hope you'll take a few minutes to read the following information about me and my dogs. This was written many years ago. but I keep it on here as a background of who I am.. and where I came from! It is also a reminder to me.. of the fun, excitement and incredible opportunities I have had since I entered dogs.

Hi. My name is Jill Lanese and I have had collies most of my life. Like most kids from my generation I grew up watching Lassie. I just loved Lassie and I wished I had a dog just like her! What other dog but a collie would do everything from talk, to know when and how to jump out the window to save any and everybody who needed to be saved, and teach all the community lessons about loyalty, friendship and love! As a kid I was completely enthralled how Lassie loved all animals and back then I didn’t know that this amongst many of the other traits I so loved about Lassie were all typical collie traits!

Oneday my cousin asked me to join her visiting a friend. That was the clincher for me in my love-affair with collies. Off we went to this great house.. actually more like a ranch.. and there was a beautiful collie who sat devotedly by the side of the girl we visited.. I sat there in awe. I knew right then and there that one-day I’d have a collie of my own! So, when I was old enough to make the decision on what breed of dog I wanted – there was NO question about it.. I wanted a collie. My first was a collie-mix (collie and Samoyed).. a rescue dog named King. He was beautiful, loyal and loving, and although quite a protector, he was extremely patient and gentle with children. He lived to be almost 18 years old. Shortly thereafter I got my first purebred collie - ‘Champ’. He was the spitting’ image of Lassie. He was a rescue dog and when I saw him.. there was no question in my mind that he’d be coming home with me.. and so began my life’s adventure(s) with collies!

A couple of years later, I got my beloved Lucky as a 19-week-old pup. He taught me what collies are all about. He was protective, loyal and very loving. Lucky wasn’t show quality and it didn’t matter – in Lucky I found the BEST FRIEND ever! He viewed life as a never-ending series of wonderful life experiences – he was always so very happy and if ever a dog can live life to its fullest – Lucky did! He had a GLEE in his eye that I'll never forget. From him I learned a lot about friendship, love and life. When he passed over suddenly in fall of 1999 I was devastated.

A few weeks after he passed (thanks to my ex-husband Louis’ persuasion) – I got my first ‘show prospect’ pup - Magic. Even as a small pup Magic was a striking tri-colored collie that literally left me breathless. My friend Julie Blasi had been showing her sheltie Lucy for a couple of years in conformation and she was instrumental in introducing me to the show world. In a short time I began taking Magic to private and group handling classes and seminars with hopes of one day showing him.

The initial plan was for Julie to handle Magic but I don’t think she was prepared for the strength or ‘hormones’ of a young male collie. Thus, after Magic's first show and clearly Julie's level of frustration with a very verbal male collie pup - it then became my challenge to learn how to handle him.. which I did. Julie, however, debuted Magic at his first show when he was just over one year. He looked magnificent, but even I had to admit he was a terror. Poor Julie – I don’t think she had any circulation in her left hand for several days!

OK.. at this point in the story I need to step back in time for a minute. A couple of weeks before getting Magic I had looked on-line and found a small handful of breeders that caught my eye in the USA and Canada who I contacted in hopes of getting a pup. At the time, none had any pups available. When I found Cornerstone Collies in Canada and saw Am/Canadian Ch. Cornerstone Monogramm I was spellbound. He was the epitomy of what I felt a collie should be, but I didn’t make any contacts at that time because Lucky had just passed and I wasn’t sure if I was ready to get another dog. I thought about it and kept going back to the Cornerstone Collies website. After a few days I contacted Irene Snow (the breeder) and after some discussions I put in my reservation for a puppy from an upcoming Monogramm litter. In the meantime I got Magic and we both waited patiently (ok.. so I wasn’t all that patient!) for Cornerstone Infinity (who was being bred to Ch Cornerstone Monogramm) to go into season. Along the way, as Irene puts it.. The show bug bit me. Well, Infinity finally did come into season.. and the litter was born in on February 1, 2000.

A couple of weeks before the pup was due to be shipped to me Irene gave me the choice between the male sable and a female tri. For days I labored over deciding which pup to get. Finally, after driving Irene and everyone I knew crazy I decided on the female tri and have NEVER regretted the decision. I think I heard Irene applaud all the way from Canada to NY when I finally made the decision.. any decision would suffice - just decide already haha! The female tri arrived a few weeks later and instantaneously she won me over! My ‘Destiny’ is not only beautiful, she is smart, loving and loyal and is the most devoted to me of my 3 collies! At the time I was still a novice of the show world but soon came to realize that Destiny was impeccably bred from the Alfenloch/Carnwath line, and she whelped the first litter here at Spellbound Collies.

Hmm.. so how did I go from two to three dogs? Sometimes I ask myself the same question! Well, I took a trip to see Magic’s breeder and somehow Star and I found each other.. and the rest, as they say.. is history. Star has looks and personality and I couldn't leave there without her! Star’s arrival into our household was almost seamless.. Destiny assumed the motherly role and Star was an excellent student and learned the ropes quickly. It also became apparent to me that Destiny would one day be an awesome mom.

As of November 2001, my collie family consisted of these three wonderful pups! Each is beautiful, smart, loving and special in their own way. Magic, the male who is the biggest and strongest - is also the most gentle of all. The girls can (and often do) take food right out of his mouth and take his favorite toys from him.. and he just calmly waits for his ‘moment’ to grab it back (usually when they have tired of it and moved on to something else). Sometimes if its something that he really wants he puts up the slightest bit of resistance – but the girls know he is a pushover and generally they get their way. Generally, Magic good-heartedly finds another toy or bone to play with and is the first to take it over to the girls and drop it in front of them to play! Destiny, who we lovingly refer to as the ‘football player’ – is one ‘tough little lady’. She is built solid and undoubtedly is the boss. She has to be the first at doing everything! This sometimes comes in handy – forinstance, when its time to get groomed or take her vitamins, she pushes everyone aside and is first in line for everything! Oh and does she have a hearty appetite! This comes in handy when it comes to learning new things.. she’ll do just about anything.. as long as she gets a treat, or two, or three. She has such a precious look of complete ecstasy when eating (oh how I identify with that!) but she so enjoys learning new things that it makes it enjoyable for both of us. Star, on the otherhand, is quite easy-going.. she just goes with the flow of things! The day she arrived it was like she had always been there. She plays when they want to play and sleeps when they want to sleep. She is very affectionate, sweet and also very smart. She was housebroken in no time at all and was doing stairs within days of her arrival. She couldn’t bear to miss anything so she made up her mind she was going to learn everything quickly – and did! Plus, she had the added advantage of having Destiny as her mentor - who was such a good teacher! Magic, Destiny & Star all get along splendidly! Which brings us to where we are today.

Then in December 2001.. along came Crystal and really changed my life. I had the great fortune to meet John Buddie and David Supplee who have been wonderful mentors. Although Crystal came from another line, they helped me with her and also with Spellbound Collies first litter sired by Ch. Tartanside Illumination out of Cornerstone Destiny.

I have so many wonderful memories of starting out in collies.. although I don't actively show Magic or Destiny anymore I carry the early memories with me all the time. The first time I handled Magic in the summer of 2000 – he won his class (in a class of 3) and if I was a little more experienced he had a GREAT shot at possibly going ‘Winner’s Dog’ or ‘Best of Breed’. In March of 2001, I fulfilled a dream of mine – showing my dogs in front of Patricia Starkweather. Both Magic & Destiny were awesome that day and I had most of my family there to watch. After I came out of the ring with Magic, a breeder I knew came over to me and told me I really looked good in there. I was thrilled.. especially because it was completely unsolicited..

Magic loves shows. He struts his stuff in the ring and likes to be the center of attention. From the moment we set out in the car enroute to the dog show – he lights up. Destiny, on the otherhand is tolerant of dog shows as long as she is with her Mom! She gets upset when I go in the ring with Magic or leave her – so I generally have one of my friends take her for a long walk, or as in a recent show – Julie had her in a headlock to keep her from running into the ring. Yes admittedly, Destiny is very possessive of me! I’ve only shown Destiny a handful of times (all at big shows) and she has won her class each time. She was quick to learn and handling her is a breeze! So, all of these wonderful experiences helped prepare me for a new stage of showing and breeding.

And then along came John Buddie.. and really turned things around for me. I've had the good fortune of having a wonderful mentor - John Buddie guide me with my handling and breeding. He shared the history of collies, his training and handling secrets and many other tidbits of valuable information which I am very grateful for. Along the way I got dog #5 - Rachel (Tartanside Imagery) who within the first month I had her picked up her two majors and one Best of Breed. The most thrilling experience was when David handled her and got WB. I then went in with her in Best of Variety and got 'Best of Winner's.. what a glorious day that was!!!
So.. what’s next? Well, With John's guidance I bred Destiny to CH. Tartanside Illumination and had a wonderful first litter. Crystal's litter in October 2003 was our 2nd litter and these pups have been such an absolute delight in temperment and conformation. Whats next? Well, we are hopeful of finishing Crystal, Rachel and Crystal's puppies and then we'll ponder our next litters sometime in the future.

Stay tuned for upcoming news and the arrival of our next litters planned for late 2004 or 2005.

When I sound the fairy call,
Gather here in silent meeting,
Chin to knee on the orchard wall,
Cooled with dew and cherries eating.
Merry, merry, Take a cherry
Mine are sounder, Mine are rounder
Mine are sweeter, For the eater
When the dews fall. And you'll be fairies all.

-Robert Graves, "Cherry-Time," Fairies and Fusiliers, 1918


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