How it all Started
Lanfear Newfoundlands is run by myself, Ashley Bartel, with assistance from my husband, Grant Bartel. I have had a passion for animals ever since I can remember. Although I love all animals, my biggest passion lies with dogs. I knew I would always have a dog, but never knew it would grow to this. For three years I worked at an Irish Wolfhound kennel, where I fell in love with conformation, wolfhound grooming and breeding. It is an incredibly complicated hobby, but very rewarding, and I knew I wanted to delve deeper. I loved giant breed dogs and grooming and my husband (then boyfriend) wanted a lower energy breed (he likes dogs but is more of a cat person). As much as I love wolfhounds, they weren't the perfect fit. I can only recall meeting one newfoundland growing up - unfortunately they are few and far between in Winnipeg - but immediately they came to mind. After doing many, many hours researching, we settled on the newfoundland. Down the road, Grant and I bought a house and got married, and finally, we were ready.
Long story short, we received our first newfoundland from Lynda and Al McFadden at Jalynn Kennels in 2014. Lynda is not only a wonderful person who is the current president of the Newfoundland Dog Club of Canada, she is also a fabulous mentor. She is always there for me when I have questions or am seeking advice. A year later, Lanfear was joined by a second newfoundland from another fantastic person: Angie De Bruyn at Mariner Kennels.
Our kennel is named after our very first newfoundland, Jalynn's Daughter of the Night, "Lanfear". Her call name is the name of a character from Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time book series, meaning "Daughter of the Night".
Current Dog Sports
At the moment we compete in rally obedience and conformation. We plan on eventually adding obedience, drafting and water rescue, too!
The newfoundlands share their home with seven rescue cats: Elayne, Aviendha, Logain, Dalinar, Jasnah, Min and Verin. Meet the rest of the family with their own stories below.
Elayne's Story: As I was driving to work for my first shift of a new job, I saw a form along the shoulder of the road in some grass. As I drove past, the form didn't move. Now usually, if it's a cat, it runs away from the road. If it's a squirrel, it runs TOWARDS the road. This form did neither. I thought something was wrong and I turned around, just so I could set my heart at ease. I've done this many of times before, and it always turned out to just be a lazy creature. When I got out of my car to inspect, what I saw broke my heart. There was a kitten that fled as I got close, dragging a front paw. I managed to catch her with my sweater. She didn't hiss, swat or bite - she just tried to flee. Upon further inspection, this approximately 9-week old kitten was suffering from a rotten, broken front leg and dislocated shoulder. She was also severely emaciated. I didn't have too much time to think about the situation. She clearly needed medical aid so I brought her to Centennial, paid for her to be cleaned up and medicated, then they mentioned the need for amputation. At that time I was low on money as I'm a full time student and just paid for my courses, my mom is deathly allergic to cats so I couldn't keep her at the house. I called Craig Street Cats hoping that they would be able to help, and once I explained the situation, Lynne immediately agreed to take her in. I was relieved that she would be well looked after, by such a caring organization. Elayne was amputated that very day at Fort Garry Veterinary Clinic, and went into a fabulous foster home. After CSC agreed to take her in, she was constantly on my mind. I'm talking around the clock. I even dreamed about her. I actually cried a lot from missing her. I got the idea into my head to ask Grant's (at that time my boyfriend) parents if we could adopt her and keep her at their house until their son and I moved out together. I made a huge pros/cons list, with all the potential arguments the could make and what my solutions would be - I had financials worked out and everything (the type of presentation I'd have to make to succeed with my own parents in regards to such an important matter). His parents had been away camping when I found her, so upon their return I told them about her, and I boldly asked my question. They immediately said yes, without any questions, concerns or anything mentioned. Just that sweet sound of "That's fine with us" ringing in my head. Looks like my carefully prepared debate planning wasn't needed! She could come HOME! From the day I left her at Centennial, it felt like I was missing a little part of myself that I thought I'd never get back. Exactly a month and a day after I found her, she was home sweet home. I moved in to Grant's parents's house very shortly after that.... a month and a half later, Grant proposed to me, and by June 2014 we had bought and moved into a house, got married, and adopted a second tripod at CSC. We had been stopping by CSC every few weeks or so, and on one of our latter trips they just so happened to have a tripod kitten that was quite the 'Charm'er, and that's when we knew we had found a friend for lonely Elayne, whom we renamed Aviendha.
As for Aviendha's story, we really don't know much about where she came from or why she's a tripod, as she was found in someone's yard. A vet thought her missing leg could have been a birth defect, but it also could have been a very clean break when she was very little. Either way, she was warmly welcomed into the family by everyone, and she's got a lot of attitude, personality and quirks but is very sweet and loving! You can tell she's had to fend for herself out on the streets for a while - she always scarfs her food and any scrap she can find around the house. Although she is fed well, she still has that survival instinct.
Next we acquired our dear little sweetheart, Logain. Grant and I had been looking around for a third kitty, because Elayne didn't want to play all the time like Aviendha wanted to. We were also looking for a lap snuggler as the other two girls were at times but not most of the time, and they favored Mama over Papa ;). At my work there were some foster kittens. All got adopted except this little one. He was very scared by himself as well as confused. There were some dogs that were howling, and this little boy was just trembling. I took him home for the night just so he could escape that fear, and we saw his true personality..... absolute laid back snuggle bug! He was exactly the type of cat we were looking to add to our family next. So that was that, and Logain did not end up going back to the clinic the following day. He was quickly accepted by our other two cats and Lanfear.
And sometimes, when you think you're done adding to the family for a while, fate has other plans.
One summer evening I was working quite late to finish things up before I left work; I rarely have to stay quite late, like that night. The Winnipeg Humane Society Officers came by with four tiny blue tabbies, around two weeks old. Someone had found them on their property and wanted them gone. WHS brought them to us to be put down. They would have if someone wasn't able to foster them to be adopted out by our clinic afterwards, and there was no one at the clinic who could. Except me. A call to my husband to make sure he was alright with it, and suddenly I had four other critters to take care of. I loved them, fed them and tenderly cared for them for 10.5 weeks. We were originally going to keep one, but Grant gave me the puppy eyes as there were two that were his favorite, and I couldn't say no. Dalinar and Jasnah were here to stay.
On December 28, 2014 WHS brought in another kitten. She was found outside in the -40C weather and brought to the Pembina Veterinary Hospital (though I don't know if it was to euthanized). She had what looked like burlap string wrapped around her hind right leg, and it appeared she had chewed her own foot off. She also had ear mites. It was decided she would stay at our clinic to be operated on and adopted out. They amputated half of her femor, leaving her a stub. I'm always fond of cats, especially the three-legged kind. Every day I came into work, she would squeak very happily at me and roll onto her back offering me her belly (I never witnessed her doing this to anyone else). After almost half a week, we decided what's one more tripod, we could offer her a great home, and so she came home January 5th, 2014.
The two latest kitties, Nynaeve and Verin officially joined us November 6, 2015. These two arrived at my clinic around 8 weeks old, scared and hissy. I had asked CSC if they would take them under their wing if we fostered them and covered food/litter, to which they said yes, so we took (then) Ebony and Ivory home. Long story short, we fostered them for over two months... we fell in love with them, as did our other kids. We still took them in to be adopted out, however, and Ivory did receive an adoption application. We were upset - this meant Ebony, the black kitty who LOVED her sister would lose her. The adoption application fell short, however, and we picked them up on my birthday, officially adopting them a week later and renaming them to Nynaeve and Verin. Sadly a month later Nynaeve became very ill. After thousands of dollars worth of treatments and diagnostics and her continual downhill spiral, we decided to euthanize her. Post mortem showed she had feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) which is a fatal mutant form of the feline coronavirus. It was very painful losing one so young, one who had her whole life ahead of her, but it helps knowing our vet did everything they could for her and in the end, there was nothing that could be done. Rest in peace, Nynaeve.