My History

Cairns have been in our family for close to 80 years, thanks to my Great Grandmother, Florence Milsom. It was her passion for animals that drew her to Cairn Terriers in the 1930s, in Yorkshire, England. Since then the women of the family have continued on with her passion of breeding and showing Cairns. Florence's kennel name was "Quarrydene" and in her honor I have adopted it for my own. The name Quarrydene came about, as a large quarry surrounded the family home in Castleford, Yorkshire.
Florence Milsom with her Cairn
More Quarrydene Photos
My grandmother, Barbara Hollings, worked closely with her mother as she developed her own breeding program in England, after the Second World War. Her kennel name was "Highhedges". Like her mother, her kennel name was related to her home, as the house had high hedges all around it. Barbara was most active in Cairns, in England in the 1950's, until she moved to Canada bringing two of her favorite girls with her (Oona Of Highhedges and Nina Of Highhedges). That was the beginning of Highhedges in Canada.
Barbara Hollings with her Cairns
More Highhedges Photos
My mother, Shirley Canfield, was the recipient of one of her mother's Cairns, Folly Of Highhedges, who traveled to Canada by ferry. Folly was the foundation bitch for my mom, and many great Cairns in North America were the result of this imported girl. Shirley's kennel name was "CannyCairns", and Shirley was most successful in the North American show ring in the 1970's. As Cairns were "canny" little dogs, my mother and grandmother thought CannyCairns was an appropriate kennel name for my mothers breeding program.
Shirley Canfield with her Cairns
More CannyCairn Photos
Many great Cairn breeders in Canada had their start with Highhedges and CannyCairn Cairns. You can still find in the depth of pedigrees, the breeding programs of my mother, grandmother and even my great grandmother.

I, of course grew up surrounded by these canny little dogs. I have many young memories of Cairns and dog shows. I eventually began showing our Cairns, as a junior handler, and then as an assistant to my mother. It was a joyous and exciting time in our lives. I worked hard at gaining the right to own my own dog, and succeeded with "Thumbelina", by walking her daily, and gaining "A's" on my school report cards.
A young Merril showing Thumbelina

So it is a natural progression that I am involved in Cairns today, with my own breeding program. My mother is instrumental in guiding us along, and we are a great team together. We have long discussions about the direction we are heading, and many debates about the virtues of our great breed. I am very proud of my history, and the great women who guided me to the place I'm at today.