The Beginning ... with high hopes
Highfeather Reg'd. was established in 1981. My mother suggested the name Highfeather and I loved it as soon as I heard it. The term refers to being in peak health and vitality as in the expression "birds in high feather" and completely expresses what I wish to achieve in the breed.
My focus has always been on producing Irish Setters of lovely breed type, sound structure and temperament, and who are healthy, athletic, and long-lived companions.
Home-raised puppies from health tested parents are very occasionally available to those who are completely committed to living with and loving these gorgeous, high energy red dogs for their lifetime of 12 years or more..
The Discouraging way things went ...
I was a small hobby breeder who only bred dogs for myself and spaced out the three litters I bred in 1984, 2001, and 2009. Never in a million years did I ever envision my dogs would be in thousands of puppymill and field pedigrees, it is so disheartening to see the names of my dogs names being used by all these ignorant people just trying to make money. But the joke is on them and everyone else using that pedigree to sell puppies based on health tested and titled dogs, trying to "class up" their puppymill pedigrees. Had any of them contacted me, which they did not, in fact no one who has bred to pedigrees with Roxy has ever contacted me, and here I am an open book, and would have told them that Roxy had severe spondylosis at 3 years of age and died of kidney failure. That I kept all but two of her puppies after one I had shipped out developed HOD. That one went to a show home and was the first in the litter to develop HOD (he recovered) but later died suddenly of pneumothorax (spontaneous hole in lung) at 17 mos old. Raisin was given free to a breeder who I will always regret placing her with. Raisin would not be in these pedigrees had she stayed home with me and her eight littermates. Three other littermates developed HOD and recovered. Everyone of them had marked to severe spondylosis. Four bloated and were saved. The others had preventative gastropexies. (This was some seriously big money that came from my income as a teacher, four emergency bloats and then gastropexies and I only sold one puppy from that litter, not raking in thousands like people using Raisin's name to sell their puppies have). And a second one suddenly died from spontaneous pneumothorax (which is an extremely rare condition and very very unusual to have two in one litter). Another died of kidney failure as an older dog. She (Raisin's sister) had a litter and 4 of that litter bloated as well and all have marked spondylosis. I xrayed spines and bred to clear spines but in two generations was not able to get clear of the problem. I health tested the entire litter and did spine xrays on all out of my own work income, because I wanted to know what I was working with in the hopes that I could breed away from the spondylosis, but when the bloat problems started I stopped breeding any of them. I had Irish Setters for 30 years before that (different lines) with no bloat but suddenly it was occurring one after the other. My last litter was 2009 so I have the benefit of hindsight now. I highly recommend unlimited vet care insurance for any puppy descending from Roxy and a preventative gastropexy. Any dog descending from Roxy should have xrays done of it's spine to make sure the spine is clear before doing any activity that involves a lot of running and jumping. So now you all know all about my line that you have been using to promote your puppies. Too bad not a single one of you ever bothered to contact me and ask about the health history. That Raisin was used as a foundation for field trial lines with all the spondylosis that her mother and family had just defies all logic. 💔 .
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