Meet Alison Strang, co-author of the only book devoted entirely to all aspects of the Toller.
Alison, with the unobtrusive help of husband Roy, has operated Westerlea Kennels since 1976
in the beautiful Lower Mainland area of British Columbia, just 35 miles south of Vancouver BC and
a 10-minute drive from the US border at Blaine, WA.
We arrived in Canada from Zimbabwe in 1965 and lived in Fredericton, New Brunswick, where Roy worked
for the Canadian Forest Service. Our summers were spent in South-western Nova Scotia as Roy had a
research project to study the ecology of the Barrens of Shelburne and Yarmouth Counties. It was
here that we first heard of the Little River Duck Dog, as Tollers are better known on their home
turf. We did not, however, become Toller owners until 1975, when Ottawa, Canada's capital, was
our home. That Toller was Shelley, bought for our youngest daughter from the kennels of Jim
Jeffery and Doug Coldwell.
Toller breeding was a different proposition in the mid-1970s than it is now - one had to work to promote
Tollers in order to make them known at all. PR seemed the answer, so Alison began a career of
writing about Tollers which bore its fullest fruit in the co-operation with New Brunswick freelance
writer and Toller lover Gail MacMillan. "The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever," a truly beautiful
hardcover book devoted solely to all aspects of the Toller, is published by Alpine Publications of
Loveland, CO. and is now available in a second printing. In Canada
it is stocked by the Book Department of the Canadian Kennel Club. Telephone 1-800-250-8040 or
order directly from the Web at: www.ckc.ca.
Alpine Publications Inc.
225 S. Madison Ave
Loveland CO USA 80537-6514
Fax: 970-667-9157 The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
Westerlea's main concern is now directed towards minimising health problems which began to appear
throughout the breed as the dramatic increase in the number of Tollers being bred unmasked more
recessive genes. These problems, mainly those of eyes, auto-immune manifestations, hips and hearts,
are in all lines of Tollers. Most established breeders and the various national Toller clubs are
working to educate prospective Toller owners about the right questions to ask when contacting
breeders. Some of these are outlined in the Getting a Puppy
section of Tollers International.
Due to personal health problems, we have had to reduce the number of resident Tollers at Westerlea.
In the future we will only breed occasional select litters to keep our noted kennel name alive.
We hope you enjoy seeing these classic Tollers in full colour.