About Cedar

Why a flat-coated retriever?
We have a real soft spot for this breed, imho they have one of the the best personalities and temperaments in the dog world. They are outgoing, confident, quick to learn and great working dogs with a good 'off' switch. They are wonderful companions who melt your heart with their huge personalities.

Cedar is our second Flat-coated retriever (FCR), our first was Jasper (Blazingstar Agassiz), who we lost to cancer at way too young of age (4.5 yrs). We were devastated at losing Jasper and thought long and hard about getting another Flat-coat given the inherent cancer issues with this breed.   

We also wanted another dog for us and our rescue boy Tsuga, a Border Collie/Shepherd cross, as we found 2 dogs makes a nice balance for ease of training, travelling, and having all sleeping in our one bed :)  We looked at numerous other breeds and rescues and tried our hardest to find another dog to help fill the gap in our lives that was Jasper. After many months of fooling ourselves we came to the conclusion that nothing would fill the flat-coat sized hole in our hearts, but another flat-coated retriever...which brings us to Cedar 

Cedar is a little black female Flat-coated retriever out of Eagletarn Flat-coated Retrievers, a small home-based kennel in Richmond BC run by Anna Daly and Randy Andrews. Cedar is 1 of 7 girls in a litter of 9 pups born on Dec 29th, making this a Christmas/New years themed litter. To fit with that theme her kennel name is Eagletarn's 'Dash away all' and her call name is Cedar. While not 'Christmas-y', there is strong meaning for us.  

The Name
So, why name her after a shrub/tree? Well, it was tough coming up with something, as we'd asked for a girl when we first inquired with Anna, but had a hard time thinking of 'girly ' names. We tried playing off Dec 29th being the 5th day of Christmas and the '5 Golden Rings' thing. We thought we may have something there as one meaning of the 5 Golden Rings refers to the Ring-necked pheasants, and her being a retriever would be a clever fit. Couldn't make it work. Given that she was being carried through the shortest night of the year, we were going to originally call her Eagletarn's 'Winter Soltice', Raven. That was about to change.

Just a few weeks before we picked her up, we lost Tsuga to cancer at just 7 years of age. We had really wanted them to meet and share time as siblings, as he was the dog who mentored Jasper along so wonderfully. Tsuga had a way with pups, knew just how hard or soft to play, how to be beat up gracefully and build the pups's confidence while providing boundaries as only another more senior dog can. Unfortunately, that never happened as we had to let Tsuga go before he suffered too much. They missed each other by only weeks.  

Even though the new pup is a Flat-coated retriever with her own personality and memories, because they are the same breed there will always be a pleasant and subtle reminder of Jasper whenever we look at her sleeping, working or playing. Given that, we decided we'd like the spirit of Tsuga to live on in her somehow through her name. It did, it all came together just before we picked her up.

The Kennel name:
Tsuga's 11-month old mom was given to a rescue in early December 2004, about to give birth to her own 'Christmas Litter'. On Dec 6th the litter was born and Dasher as he was originally known came into the world. Playing off that Christmas theme and name, our new little girl's kennel name would be 'Dash Away All' in honour of Tsuga's Christmas birth name.

The call name
A few nights before we were to pick-up our new little girl, Anna told us we were getting the pup that wore the yellow collar, Miss Yellow, shortly thereafter we decided on her name: Cedar, yup, another tree. Tsuga was named after the Mountain hemlock tree (Tsuga mertensiana), a tree that grows in alpine/mountain environments in the Pacific Northwest, which we feel is 'home' for us. So, where does the name Cedar fit in to this?. Well, Yellow Cedar is also a tree that grows in this mountainous environment and is often found growing along with Mtn Hemlock as the co-dominant tree species sharing that  wonderful unspoiled landscape. 

So, with all that, we have a name for our little pup that will keep us grounded in the memories of our first two dogs that shared so much of their short lives with us. Every time we call or see Cedar, the memories of our boys will be right there with her, as they should have have been.


  1. I love all the detail behind her name. A great tribute to Tsuga!

  2. I am really enjoying the pictures and comments of all the dogs.