"Edenglen Revisited"

This article first appeared in the January 1999 AKC Gazette and is reprinted with permission. AKC logo
by Helena Linn 

One of the most influential kennels to develop the Newfoundland as we know it today was Bill and Helena Linn’s Edenglen.  The Linns have left us a legacy of great Newfoundlands.  While it would take a book (or two) to fully discuss Edenglen and its impact on the breed, here Helena reminisces for us and shares a nugget or two of wisdom.

When Bill and I brought two puppies home to Edenglen in 1960, they were of the breed we had always known we would have there.  Our bitches, Nancy of Glenora and Christine of Glenora, from Kitty Drury’s Dryad kennels, splashed below the waterfall and fished in the creek and grew into happy, typey young dogs that delighted us with their distinctly Newfoundland characters.  The glen on New York State’s Seneca Lake was home to Newfoundlands for a long time.

After finishing Nancy and Chrissy to their titles, Bill and I showed very little, preferring to concentrate on breeding sound, typey, family dogs that others could enjoy showing if they wished.  And show they did.  Letters, phone calls and photos from the owners of dogs we had bred poured in, and we loved hearing about the wins and knowing the dogs were with people who appreciated and loved them.  Edenglen Newfoundlands that achieved success included Edenglen’s Tucker (who held the distinction of the breed’s top sire from 1944 to 1975), Ch. Edenglen’s Beau Geste (who was number two sire from 1944 to 1975), Am. and Can. Ch. Edenglen’s Banner (BIS winner), Ch. Edenglen’s Oscar (BOB at three regional specialties), Ch. Edenglen’s Lady Rebecca (who shared the number two dam rating with her mother, Nancy, from 1944 to 1975) and many more.

A few of Nancy’s and Chrissy’s get, such as Tucker and Becky, stayed home.  Others became foundation stock for new kennels, including Indigo, Ganshalom, Halirock, Shipshape and many others.  Bill and I felt strongly that for a kennel to contribute something worthwhile to a breed it was necessary for it to share its best breeding stock with other breeders – that is, to “sell the good ones” now and then.

We were blessed at Edenglen.  Our dogs were able to live in what our friends called “Newfie heaven.”  Puppies paddled with their mothers in the pool below the waterfall, retrieved driftwood along the lake shore, and watched protectively over their favorite cat and the children who came to visit, demonstrating each day the characteristics that endear the Newfoundland to breeders and owners everywhere.  It was an ideal environment in which to watch them grow and develop and to match puppies with prospective owners.  Whether a pup would be shown was not important; matching puppies to owners’ temperaments and objectives was essential.

Bill became the Eastern representative for the AKC and later a licensed judge.  I spent nights in the whelping room and days chopping frozen liver (the young dogs gobbled it, the old dogs buries it), mixing chow by the scoopful, cleaning woolly puppies who stood in the food pans, entertaining visitors who invariably drove in just as I began chores, and submerging in record-keeping and correspondence.

Bill is gone now, and as I walk along the lake I think of the busy, hectic years we spent together with the dogs – Nancy, Chrissy, Tucker, Go Lightly and all the rest – and all the friendships with Newf people that began at Edenglen.  Perhaps, in the end, the dogs gave us more than we gave them.  – H.L.