Where We Come From

The first of the many bulldogs to come into our lives was a very special dog by the name of Bobenhouse Thunder. Thunder was Beth's first introduction to bulldogs, he was the son of Ch. Bobenhouse's Little Tarzan, one of the Phillips System #1 bulldogs during the 1950's. Thunder's grandsire was Eng/Am Ch. Kippax Dreadnought, who was owned by Fran and C.D. Richardson of Cameron, Missouri. This was the beginning of Beth's fascination with British-bred bulldogs. Thunder wasn't destined for the conformation ring, but the obedience ring was his forte. Thunder received his C.D. title in three consecutive shows and was fourth place in Novice A at the show where he picked up his 3rd leg. Quite an accomplishment for a bulldog. Of course the obedience trials Thunder attended were held in connection with All-Breed conformation shows and the majority of the shows were "benched". Beth spent her time watching the "show" dogs being prepared for the ring and shown and loved them up when they returned to the benches. Travels to shows included trips to Kansas City with stops at Richardson's along the way. It was on one of these trips that the name "Dickens" and "Dickensbrae" were first heard.

Phil met his first bulldog, Falstaff, when he took Beth home from college one year. As he says, it was a choice between standing his ground with this "fierce looking" dog running towards him [wiggling the whole way] or never seeing Beth again. The die was now cast and bulldogs were to become a major part of his life as well. Our wedding present to each other was our first bulldog, Professor Chilton. "Chillah" was out of one of C.D. Richardson's dogs and he never met a beer he didn't like! Chillah loved canoe camping in the Boundary Waters of Northern Minnesota and going to Boy Scout Camp with us during the summer. Chillah's favorite toy was a bowling ball that had been Phil's dad's. Chillah always loved it when Beth's sister Carol was around. Chillah also led us to doing our first Bulldog rescue and Katie joined us until she had recuperated from mange and we were able to place her into a home where she would get the love and attention that she deserved.

When we lost Chillah, Phil was still finishing up his Ph.D. and we needed to wait a few years to replace him. In the meantime, Beth's parents lost Falstaff and added "Rochambeau" to their household. Beth's parents were looking for that new puppy and Phil's mom decided to take charge. She had seen a picture of a bulldog in the Eau Claire, Wisconsin newspaper, called the newspaper office and got the name of the Cox's in Eau Claire. Beth's parents contacted the Cox's but they didn't have any puppies at the time but directed them on to Ceil and Larry Neilsen where they found their Beau.

When Pudden of Dickensbrae took up residence with us and Phil discovered that female bulldogs had puppies. Pooh's first litter was out of Barb and Ed Scully's Ch. Boo's Lord Twickenham. We learned a lot with this litter and kept two girls, Wimsey's Charming Mrs. Merdle and Wimsey's Tadcaster Duchess. By now we had selected "Wimsey" as a kennel name since Beth was an avid Dorothy Sayers fan and the Lord Peter Wimsey novels would provide us with names for years to come. Beth's parents kept the male in the litter, Wimsey's Bandit of Boo.

Barb Scully mentioned to Beth that she was going to travel to England to pick up a male puppy and wanted to know if Beth would like to come along. The answer was "YES", letters were written, and Beth came home from that trip with a puppy who would grow up to be Am/Cdn Ch. Wencar Silver Flame, better known as "Mr. Ben". Ben was one of the top 10 Bulldogs in the US during 1990. Ben's breeder, Mrs. Carol Newman, was to become a very close and dear friend. Later would come another male from Carol, this time http://www.theblueposts.org/wimsey/wensid-t.htm, "Troy".

Pudden's second litter was out of Ben and we got Wimsey's Fenchurch Red Belle [affectionately known as Sonya, our "Reserve Champion"] and her sister Wimsey's Midanglia Hariet Vane. Harry went to live with Bob and Shirley Blanchard, whose dog Ch Wencar Secret Lover was the sire of Boo's Lord Twickenham. Bob and Shirley had spent a number of years living in England and had been very active with The Bulldog Club, Inc., including being on the show committee for the Centenary Show. Bob and Shirley, along with their grandchildren Will and Zoe, continue to be very close friends, and their great-granddaughter Salina Rose is well on her way to being a true Bulldogger. Through Bob and Shirley we have gotten to know a number of Bulldoggers in the UK. We have gotten to know the British lines well too as Phil has spent two months teaching for Michigan State University in London every year since 1992. While he's in the UK, Phil is able to attend about 6 champ or open shows each year, including Crufts and the Incorporated.

Sonya when bred to Troy produced our first homebred champion, Ch Wimsey's Shrewsbury Gaudy, whose brother Wimsey's Gaudy Night is major pointed. Sonya's grandson Wimsey's Rolling Thunder was selected to do a series of 6 ads for Mack Truck. Thanks to the use of frozen semen, we are still able to breed to "Mr.Ben" and bred a Ben daughter, Wimsey's Silver Moonlight, to the recently Eng/Am Ch. Hobtop Picalo to produce a our second home-bred champion, Am/Cdn Ch. Wimsey's Inspector Parker. We have been able to reinforce our English pedigrees by breeding to other imports including Ch. Kello Local Hero (a.k.a. "Scud") and a Scud son, Ch. Hoss' s Bonanza sired a Scud grandson, Wimsey's Shrewbury Henry II. Phil and I maintain an active interest in up-and-coming English-bred bulldogs. We are working to maintain an English bloodlines because of our long involvement with "Englsih" dogs and in an effort to maintain a level of genetic diversity in the bulldog gene pool in the United States

We have a number of young dogs that show promise and will keep us busy in the future.

Beth Handrick



Phil and Beth Handrick
Wimsey Bulldogs

Created: October 1998
Updated: May 10, 2004

Wimsey Bulldogs 2004

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