Celebrating 60 years of beautiful Skyes

The story of OLIVIA kennel

In 1944 Joe, my husband gave me a puppy for Christmas, Tell Splendid was his name. He got the puppy from a college roommate. Neither of us had ever heard of his breed. What an adventure that little dark grey dog started! Looking back, it was the impression Tell made on me that encouraged me to want to breed Skyes. He was a great character, full of personality. But there was nothing I could do to further my ambition; not while the war was still on.
Once that was over I decided to search for bitches. I found them in 1948, the year I registered my kennel name, Olivia. Although both came from Switzerland, one of them, Iduna v. Schlaraffenland, was born in Austria. She was by Int Ch. Amor v. Schlaraffenland ex Ch. Silver Maid of Merrymount. The other was Netti Dimgod (Uli v. Neuen Schloss - Cilla Dimgod).

A good start

My first outstanding dog was a puppy I bought in by Tell Splendid. He mated a German bitch, Dolly v. Schwarzenbach. The litter produced the dog who was to become Ch Beauty of Scalpay, first of his breed to win a hunting certificate. I was always interested in working my dogs and some of them had hunting licences for fox and badger as underground hunters and for tracking and retrieving. Beauty also became Czechoslovak National Skye Champion in 1951 and 1952. It was a good start and he consolidated it by producing many champions. The first Olivia litter was born in 1948 by Ch Beauty of Scalpay ex Netti Dimgod.

Tell Splendid as a puppy

Ch. Beauty of Scalpay
In fact it was a daughter of Beauty ex Iduna, Ch Olivia Blues, who proved to be my first outstanding homebred bitch. Mated to another import from Austria, Ch. Vivat v. Schlaraffenland (Austria' Correct - Koningskind v. Schlaraffenland), she gave me other outstanding homebreds such as Ch Olivia Efekt, French Ch Olivia Harmonie and German Ch Olivia Iluse.
In 1954 Mrs Williamson of the French kennel "de Luchar" sent me a nice bitch, Chin Up de Luchar (Silver Grey de Mandane - Merrymount Moonbeam). Bred to Olivia E-Moll, she gave birth to the great Skye of his day, Int Ch Olivia Jatagan, and his outstanding brother, German Ch Olivia Joy.
The French dog, Elfe de Mandane (Merrymount Going Up - X'Veronique), joined us in 1956. When mated to Olivia Hallo he produced the first International champion for Olivia in Keep Smiling, owned by Mr Heuberger of Switzerland. With Olivia Elegance, Elfe was responsible for German Ch Olivia Largo, and bred to Olivia Intermezzo the result was the very successful Int Ch World Winner Olivia Night Star. To another French import, Gaiety Girl de Luchar, he gave me Ch Olivia Rebel.
Merrymount Gold Digger (Merrymount Sunspot - Merrymount Desire) also added to my stock of good puppies out of Olivia Hallo, such as Yugoslav Ch Olivia Mimosa and Hungarian Ch Olivia Manon.
In 1957 came the last de Luchar bitch, Gaiety Girl (Silver Grey de Mandane - Merrymount Saucy Sue), and in 1959 Ch. Eike v. Seehaus (Merrymount Wot No Sun - Bettine of the Mynd) came from Switzerland. Mated by Olivia males she produced other good Skyes, several of them sold abroad.

Olivia Hallo

Group of young Olivia Skyes in 1952: Olga holding Olivia Harmonie and Olivia Blues,then 0livia Elegance, on the right Netti Dimgod and Vivat v.Schlaraffenland

Last import

The very last import was from the late Mrs Tschebul in 1966 - a female, Queeny v. Schlaraffenland (Merrymount Mid-Day Hour - Kirkby Lightning).
So there you have it - the foundation of Olivia.
It wasn't only Skyes that took over my life; the world of dogs generally began to play a bigger part. For example, I had an excellent job with the Czechoslovak Hunting Union for seven years. I was in charge of the stud book for all hunting/sporting breeds and terriers, and signed their pedigrees. In 1954 I became a judge for all terrier breeds, plus some others. Since then I have judged at many international, national and terrier specialty shows all over Europe. I am licensed internationally by the FCI.
In time I worked on several terrier books with other experienced terrier breeders, and wrote many articles for different European dog magazines. I was also a member of the Editorial Board of Advisors of the Czechoslovak national dog magazine, PES.

Soviet invasion

Life seemed very straightforward then. My association with the dog world was important to me. But then came 1968. The Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia, then occupied our country. It wasn't long before Joe and I realised we could not live under a communist authoritarian government, not even in our homeland.
Deciding to leave where we were born and always lived was the hardest decision we ever had to make. It wasn't as though we wanted to emigrate. There simply was no choice in our minds. But we knew saying goodbye to family and friends would be painful. And what about the dogs?
None the less, our decision was made. The USA would be our destiny. Easily said; not so to accomplish. A major problem was our need for a refugee visa. Yet since telephone calls and mail were intercepted in Prague that didn't seem possible.
That was when fate of a kinder sort stepped in. I was to judge in England, and I made the most of my time in there - contacting relatives of my husband in Oklahoma for sponsorship. As established exhibitors at European dog shows, my husband and I were allowed to make plans to enter the Vienna international Show. But we both knew that once over border we would never attend it, nor return to Czechoslovakia.
More difficult questions. Which Skyes to leave behind with my family? How many dogs to take without arousing suspicion? The decision? Only four Skyes would make the trip, the one being 14-year old Int Ch Olivia Jatagan.
The whole plan was put into effect when my husband went ahead on a business trip to Switzerland with two dogs. He waited for me in Vienna.
On the chosen day in December 1968 and auto driven by me, loaded with two Bedlington breeders, two Skyes and personal belongings, headed for the border. Was the Vienna dog show getting an unusually large donation that year? The customs officials must have asked themselves that question, for the private possessions, including silver and crystalware, were neatly marked as trophies. The auto was passed to cross the border. Our gamble had paid off.

Olivia Timon

Some trophies won
by Olivia Skyes

Olivia Hyperion

Vivat v. Schlaraffen-
land and Olivia Blues

Vivat v. Schlaraffenland

Frustrating time

Disappointment followed. Only two Skyes survived into America, 2-year old Ch. Olivia Jatagana (Olivia Belcanto - Olivia Zinien) and an 11 months bitch, Olivia Lacrima (Jack v. Bary - Olivia Zinien). But in April 1969, I was ready to begin again in Chickasha, Oklahoma.
More frustration. Lacrima succumbed to US distemper. Now only Olivia Jatagana remained. Then the American Kennel Club would not recognise the Czech registration. It looked like the end of the Olivia strain. But that was not possible!
I was lucky enough to be able to retain my bloodline through the famous Canadian Skye Terrier breeder, Mrs Percy Adams of the Talisker Kennels. It was very important that Mrs Adams had imported in 1961 a cream bitch, Adelia Sweetheart (Olivia Rigoletto - Olivia Mimosa) from Yugoslavia; in 1964 a silver bitch Olivia Desdemona; in 1965 a silver-grey bitch Olivia Eroica and in 1966 a silver grey male, Ch. Olivia Hyperion - the last three from my kennel.
Mrs Adams bred the Olivia line together and crossed it with Talisker. It has proved to be very sound. She generously sent me in 1970 two littermates by Hyperion ex Eroica - a male Talisker's Vivat, and a bitch, Talisker's Olivia. With this stock now Canadian registered, Olivia Kennels would be able to rebuild in the US.
In Oklahoma City I found a champion granddaughter of Olivia Zorongo, which I had exported in 1962 to France. I used this bitch, Ch. Quizas Sorcha O'Bruce (Quetzal Brucie O'Duff - Noelle de Larrimore) for my breeding programme. And that was exactly what I set out to do - establish a new US kennel with the European line.
Talisker's Vivat produced Ch. Olivia Nimrod, a black dog rated for three consecutive years in the Top Ten Skye Terriers as well as being a group winner; Ch Olivia Nomad; and key bitches Olivia Novela, producer of seven champions and two international champions, and Olivia Noblesse, producer of four champions.
In 1974 I was presented with a lovely puppy bitch, Skye Ark Princess Olga (Talisker's Fearless - Talisker's Fanfralouche), from dear friends and Skye breeders Dr and Irma Juhasz from New Jersey. She became an American champion in short time and proved to be an excellent producer. She was a typical cross between Talisker and Olivia. Bred to Ch Olivia Perun, she produced four champions. Bred to Ch Olivia Nimrod she accounted for seven more. And to Am/Can Ch Feather Duster of Morningsky she added another champion. A total of 12 champions and four international champions. She was also top producing dam of 1981. I kept two of her daughters, Ch Olivia Thanks For Memories, mother of four champions, and Ch Olivia Miss Universe, mother of four champions.

Return journey

Olivia Skyes whelped in the USA have been exported again to Europe, to Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Belgium, France, Hungary, Great Britain; to Japan and Canada. Once again the Olivia bloodline is strong in Europe. Ch Olivia Perun produced Int Ch World Winner Amity Columbus, who was exported to West Germany in 1976 to Skye breeder Elke Bente (now Spinnrock), Morningsky kennels, to reinforce my bloodline in Europe. Columbus mated several bitches in Germany, Holland and France, and produced many lovely Skyes.
In 1977 Olivia Red River was sent to Hungary to the famous Korosparti kennels. An international champion, and winner of titles in Hungary and Czechoslovakia, he produced outstanding puppies, some of which went to East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union.
Olivia Novela's last litter, by Ch Skye Ark Longfellow, produced just one male, but a most outstanding one, named Olivia Silver Solo. He was purchased by Elke and Peter Bente and became a well known show dog in Europe, finishing German, Luxembourg International champion and was World Winner and a top producer of many champions all over Europe.

Beauty of Scalpay and Netti Dimgod
Int Ch Olivia Unisono (Olivia Nimrod - Skye Ark Princess Olga), a BIS winner owned by my sister Hana Sumpik, was another outstanding winning Skye. Also her sister, Int Ch Olivia Made in USA, owned by Swedish breeder Karl-Åke Antonson, Silverprint Kennels, produced several champions. Another top winning Skye was Int Ch Olivia Vamp (youger sister to Unisono). Vamp was a BIS winner and mother of puppies by Am Ch Olivia American Dream. From this combination I obtained a male, Ch. Rannoch Skye Chummie, and a bitch Ch. Rannoch Skye Olivia, dam of 15 champions. A Vamp son, Int Ch Rannoch Skye Superstar, was very successful in Finland and produced several champions.

The first Olivia litter in the USA
Vamp's nephew, super winner and producer Int Ch Olivia Wild West, was another great ambassador for Olivia Skyes as sire of World Winner Winter Whisper of the Isle of Skye amongst many others. His offspring carry his sparkling personality and showiness. Int Ch Olivia Tomorrow's Star, SUI Ch Olivia Xtra Celebration in Switzerland, Int Ch Olivia Xplosion in France, Ch Olivia Rarach, Ch Olivia Thirtieth Anniversary in Germany, Int Ch Olivia Big Surprise in Belgium, Ch Olivia Primaballerina and Ch Olivia Radost in Canada have made many friends for our breed.
Three of my Skyes were sent to the Isle of Skye, Scotland, to Mrs Sine Threlfall, Acheo kennels. In 1966 Ch Acheo Olivia Whist became an English champion and runner up for Dog of the Yera 1967. He produced many champions on the Continent and in the UK. They were the foundation of many Skye kennels. One of Whist's daughters, Acheo Olga Olivova (my maiden name) was sent to Australia to Danehill kennels and she became an Australian champion. Her grandson, Aust Ch Danehill Silver Sail, went back to the Isle of Skye. Whist's grandson, Ch Vanghapara Wild Highlander, was Dog of the Year 1973 and best stud dog 1974.

Olga with the painting of Olivia Benfica

Around the world

From my last litter born in Czechoslovakia in 1968 a lovely bitch, Olivia Laska (Jack v. Bary - Olivia Zinien), was sent to Sine too. And in 1977 another lovely male, Olivia Radovan (Talisker's Fearless - Olivia Novela), was exported to the Isle of Skye in order to connect his bloodline with his great grandsire, Whist.
Through Acheo exports to Australia, the Olivia bloodline is strong in some Australian strains, notably Raldoris of Jeanette Hattersley and Santlin of the late Maureen Cartledge. NZ Ch Olivia Furiant (Olivia American Dream - Olivia Miss Universe) was exported to New Zealand and ended up in Australia. He sired some lovely offspring there. British Skye breeders Alan Stephenson and Peter Chappell, Mariquita kennels, imported a lovely black drop eared bitch, GB/Am Ch Skyecrest Lady of the Evening (by Rusalka's Ebony (Am/Can Ch Feather Duster of Morningsky - Am/Can Ch Olivia U'Neke from Rusalka) ex Skyecrest Lady Bridget (Ch Olivia Perun ex Ch Fleur of Morningsky), and her grandmother, Ch Fleur. She was bred to Ch Mariquita Flashback and produced the Crufts group winner, GB Ch Jebusa Miranda at Mariquita and English Champions Jebusa Mustardseed and Jebusa Othello.
When I returned from my judging trip to Europe in 1980 I brought back an eight month old, Feather Duster of Morningsky, son of Ch Olivia Silver Solo ex Ch Alpha of Morningsky, daughter of Int Ch Amity Columbus. Duster finished his American and Canadian championships, was rated in the Top Ten for several years, and became a top producer too. He was a great stud and sired eight champions. Unfortunately he left us too early, at 6,5 years.
The black bitch, Ch Chiquita of Morningsky (Olivia Wild West - Jenifer of Morningsky), joined Olivia kennels in 1984. She became the dam of five champions.
A son of the lovely English champion Olivia Justine at Wemoway and GB Ch Reignmakers Rumours Rising at Feorlig, Ch. Olivia Lord Lucan came to live with us in 1996. Bred to his aunt, Ch. Olivia Jazzibella, Lukash produced 13 puppies, ten of them have become Champions in USA, Canada and Europe.
Another lovely dog, the black Ch. Dust in the Wind of Morningsky (Chasing Shadow of Morningsky - La Cenerentola of Morningsky) joined the Olivias in 2000. He has sired some very promising puppies.
I imported Silversky Bohemian Atlanta and her drop litter sister Ch. Silversky Bohemian Alpha (owned by Karen J'Anthony) from the Czech Republic in 1997. They were by Ch. Olivia Kevin The Bodyguard ex Ch. Olivia Lovely Night Star. Atlanta was unshown, but had a spectacular litter by Ch. Olivia Mandolin Wind, bred in co-ownership with Robyn Hand, Jay-Roy Skyes. From this litter of eight, seven puppies have finished American championship.

Olga with Elfe de Mandane,Olivia Intermezzo,young Olivia Jatagan

Olivia Yquem

As we are

129 champions have been bred by Olivia kennels. Together they have won over 450 titles all over the world. 30 have become international champions, starting with the beautiful Jatagan. He was followed by Keep Smiling, Night Star, Xavina, Zurica, Hermiona, Red River, Intrika, Silver Solo, Tomorrow's Star, Unisono, Miss Universe, Made in USA, Vamp, Wild West, Big Surprise, Xplosion, Heartbreaker, Inspiration, Independent Spirit, Instant W'Dream, Jupiter, Kevin The Bodyguard, Kissing Angel, King of Hearts, Kastalia, Oklahoma Cowboy, Original Design, Original Sensation and Spirit of American Idol- all Olivias of course.

Olivia Night Star,Hermiona, Silver Solo, Vamp, Wild West, Kastalia, Original Design and Spirit of American Idol became World Winners. Olivia Thank You Torro, Inspiration and Kissing Angel were Junior World Winners.

Olivia Skyes have won several top honours: Olivia Vamp won Best in Show twice, Olivia Inspiration won the Skye Terrier Club of Finland Specialty with an entry of 75 Skyes, Olivia Dukat won BIS in Brno (Czech Rep.), Olivia Instant W'Dream won BIS in Kaiserlautern, Tulln and St. Gallen, Olivia Gold Dust was twice Best in Show in Bogota (Colombia) and Olivia Kissing Angel won Best in Show in Italy. Other all-breed BIS winners were Olivia Kevin The Bodyguard and Olivia Original Design.

No fewer than 161 Olivia Skyes have been exported to 20 different countries. I think I can truthfully say that Olivia is one of the top Skye Terrier establishments on the European continent.
Judging is another part of my life that I count important. Today I am not only licensed internationally by the FCI, in the USA I have been approved for all terrier breeds, half the non sporting group and for a few toy breeds. I also judge junior showmanship and BIS. I love my chosen field and enjoy the differences that face me judging in different parts of the world.
I feel I must record what was the highlight in my judging career - officiating at the Skye Terrier Club championship show on the Isle of Skye. The place itself is dramatic; there is a crystal translucence in the sky you do not find anywhere else in the world; the air is so clear that it acts as a magnifying glass, imparting an extra dimension to the hills. It left me breathless.
Joe would have been proud to have been with me, to meet all those wonderful people and see the unforgettable magic Skye. Part of his ashes were spread on the island as he always talked of a trip to Skye. It is sad he was unable to make the trip but he is there in spirit.
I am a US citizen. This, I believe, is important because it increases the significance of American representation in the Skye Terrier world. Mrs Adams imported from me and I feel strongly that our two bloodlines, Olivia and Talisker, have provided the means by which better soundness, temperament and substance can be produced. Those strengths in the American Skye today are there for all who love the breed, where ever in the world they live. May their efforts be rewarded. Then mine too will endure.

Ch. Olivia Jazzibella with her puppies Ch. Olivia Mandolin Wind, Ch. Olivia Ma Cherie Cantel and Ch. Olivia Noble Skye Lord. Montgomery County, 2000.

Adapted from the article "Olga Smid - in a pursuit of a cause", originally published in "Down Under - The Terrier Magazine", September 1987