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Article from local newspaper dated 1960, transcribed by Sally Crane

Aristocrats of the dog world have their own “state”

If the only remaining inhabitants of Windmill Cottages, Burton Latimer, ate his food from a saucer, slept on sawdust and pushed open doors with his nose, he would be keeping up with the Joneses, nothing else.

For his neighbours have a tail and four legs each, and are yet the largest collection of aristocrats per quarter mile in the county.

They are pedigree dogs of the Barton kennels, Barton Seagrave.  The proprietor, Mrs R Harpur, has converted seven of the eight terraced cottages into a unique breeding ground for canine champions.

Every lounge and living room, every spacious bedroom has been turned into a giant size kennel for one or two dogs – each with a pedigree as long at its tail.

Mrs Harpur now only keeps a few show dogs in her home kennels in St. Botolph’s Road, Barton.  The remainder live in this canine “estate” which has been renamed Windmill Kennels.  Some live in a row of outdoor lavatories which have been converted.

They are looked after by one kennel man, who sends them off from this quiet country corner of Northamptonshire to buyers and breeders in all parts of Britain.

Mrs Harpur whose Barton home is guarded by two colossal Borzois, the size of a young calf, thinks the Windmill Kennels have no parallel in England.

“I have been able to keep more dogs since buying the cottages”, she said.  “I now have a constant stock of about seventy puppies ready for sale to customers.  Many of my customers are those I used to serve when I started in business 35 years ago”.

Among those which she breeds are Alsatians, poodles, Borzois, golden retrievers, Labradors and smooth-haired terriers.

One of her yellow Labradors, Liddly Malt, has sired many puppies who have been trained as guide dogs for the blind.  Her dogs eat over half a ton of meat a week.  “Meat is the most vital part of their diet”, she says.

“All my dogs are happy and contented, and have no fear of anyone.  Some make excellent watch dogs”.

But her favourite is the Borzoi Aksakoff Marcovitch (Max) which stands 34 inches at the shoulder.  He has sired four champions.  “When he goes I go” she said this week.

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