According to Denise Jacobus, “Ideuma Creek Farm is a place where joy and success are measured in extraordinary ways; in the size of the pumpkins growing in the gardens, the color of the sugar maples turning brilliant hues in the fall or in the number of healthy cria (baby alpacas) born each year. One needs to look no further than the barns, the pasture and within the gardens where joy can easily be found.”
In this bucolic paradise in Unadilla, New York, on land that has been farmed for more than 150 years, Denise lives with her husband, John. Although educators by profession, the couple is well-known as being among the most successful alpaca breeders in the region. With a herd of more than 100, their alpaca breeding program has produced countless blue-ribbon champions all over the country. Ideuma Creek alpacas and their fleece are widely known for quality.
Responsible stewardship of the environment, constant expert care, nutrition and good old-fashioned TLC has produced a winning formula. John and Denise take meticulous care of their land and their animals, and it shows in the quality of what they produce.
As if a day contained more than 24 hours, Denise also finds the time to maintain several annual and perennial gardens which harvest award-winning produce. Denise reminds us “One is nearer God’s heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth.” As a young girl she always wanted to experience the farm life. Once she met John, “He made all those dreams come true.”
So, what else could this dynamic duo possibly have time for you ask? Well, puppies, of course.
With retirement within reach, they have decided to turn their attention to the breeding of dogs — Australian Labradoodles. “It seemed a natural progression from breeding alpacas for fleece and personality traits.” They have already had several successful litters.
As Denise explains, “Australian Labradoodles were first bred (crossbred) in the 1980s but were not established as (their) own breed until 1997. They are a gorgeous mix of six popular breeds — Labrador Retriever, Poodle, Irish Water Spaniel, Curly Coat Retriever, American Cocker Spaniel and English Cocker Spaniel.”
This unique hybrid takes the best traits from each of the six breeds. From the Poodle they get intelligence, agility and a hypoallergenic coat. The Labrador Retriever part is good with children and loves the water. An Irish Water Spaniel sheds very little and likes to please its owner. A cross between a Poodle and a Retriever, the Curly Coat Retriever is used as a hunting and therapy dog — with an active and loving demeanor. The classic American Cocker Spaniel has a jovial temper and is easy to train, while the English Cocker Spaniel is affectionate and friendly. Australian Labradoodles have picture- perfect teddy bear faces, with big round eyes, and a fluffy coat. Like a stuffed animal come to life, the breed has three sizes; a mini (18 to 28 pounds), a medium (28 to 45 pounds) and a standard (45 to 60 pounds).
“The key to successful breeding is multigenerational consistency,” says Denise. The breed has great appeal to allergy sufferers, as the Australian Labradoodle boasts a more consistent, low-dander, low-shedding coat, although it’s best-known for its personality traits — loyalty, tenderness and a willingness to please.
Denise and John specialize in producing high-quality litters. Their pups are hand-raised in their own family’s kitchen until they are ready to find forever homes. They are surrounded with attention, affection and socialization. Right from birth, they are acclimated to the sights and sounds of a family life and thus tend to have a smooth transition when adopted. The couple keeps in close touch with all the adoptee families in order to ensure a happy result for everyone involved — parent and puppy, alike They are never more than a phone call away.
So, when are they expecting? One of their beautiful dogs named Shenanigan (“Annie” for short) will deliver her pups (up to eight) by Oct. 7. She was bred with a handsome chocolate-colored male from Pennsylvania. As if on cue, the puppies will be the perfect age to be adopted at Christmastime.
John and Denise have created their very own piece of heaven on earth at Ideuma Creek Farm. Although the days are long, they are filled with great purpose and deep meaning. Everything that is produced in this peaceable kingdom is infused with a little Jacobus magic.
Their secret ingredient? L O V E.
To find out about adopting one of these Australian Labradoodles puppies, contact Denise or John at firstname.lastname@example.org or 607-643-2314.