The story behind the Clonameg Cocker Spaniels

Clonameg is my kennel affix. This means any puppies I breed can be registered with Clonameg as part of their “posh” Kennel Club name. It also means that all of my dogs have Clonameg added to their registered names.

I like my affix. It means something to me. It also often stimulates questions and conversations as to it’s meaning. So, where did it come from and what does it mean?

Truthfully, it means nothing, well, at least as far as I know! Clonameg as a word came to me one day out walking down a country lane in the Republic of Ireland, where I lived for a few years. I had been trying to think up a good kennel name that;

1. I liked

2. Meant something to me

3. Sounded sort of Celtic/Scottish/Irish (because of my ancestry!)

4. Wasn’t already taken or sounded too like an existing kennel name

5. Would sound good as part of a registered name!

In effect, Clonameg means to me – “Clone a Megan”.

Megan (AKA Snoozin’ Susan of Sleepytown AWB) was my first cocker spaniel. She was a beautiful blue roan, her dam was Leafpeeper Cora (bred by Andrew and Fiona Robinson of Whaupley Gundogs, Cocker Spaniels that I am seriously impressed by) and her sire, FTCH Jenoren Dougal. She came home with us at 10 weeks old and changed my world. She taught me so much about how to do it VERY wrong with cockers – too much free running at an early age meant lots of serious control work having to be put in at later stages being the biggest mistake!

However, she was a delight. She kept me sane through my PhD studies and moved to the Republic of Ireland with me afterwards. She proved to be a bit of a star at agility, reaching Championship level in competition and we even competed in the hallowed main ring at Crufts in 2007 as part of the Irish International Agility Pentathlon team. She also got me started with gundog work, beating and a little bit of picking up. She absolutely cemented my love of cocker spaniels – dogs that are big personalities in a medium sized body, who can go from sofa sleepiness to a mad gallop around the garden in the space of a nanosecond. I have MANY long term friends, made directly as a result of Megan and I even attribute my career progression to her presence in my wee world!

My ideal would have been to have a pup from her, but for many reasons, that didn’t happen sadly. So, I sort of made it my “cocker spaniel ambition” to, in effect, clone her. Now, I don’t actually mean clone her like Dolly the sheep clone, or like Barbara Streisand has recently done with her dog Samantha (not least because I don’t have a spare $50, 000! – Read an interesting analysis of that here), rather, I’d try to “make” another one, whether by breeding, training, sourcing from similar lines, or a combination of all three! Given that my PhD subject area was also molecular genetics, there was a tiny “in joke” for me in choosing that name AND where I lived in Ireland, there were loads of places with names starting “Clon….”, so my Celtic sounding name was born!! Even better, it was approved and granted by firstly the Irish Kennel Club and then by the Kennel Club.

To date, there are two puppies with the Clonameg affix in existence (courtesy of Molly) and all my four have Clonameg as suffixes to their registered names. Have I succeeded in cloning her? No, and truthfully, I never will. Even “proper” clones generated as a result of nuclear transfer (as was the case with Dolly the sheep) are not 100% identical in every way, especially behaviour, but I consider it a noble ambition and a good challenge to work towards with all my cockers.

Megan’s legacy lives on in all the Clonameg Cockers 💖


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