Odi et Amo began when Francis, along with mentors Joan Hoefer and Ethyl Brogen, travelled to Eileen Barbieri’s house to see her litter sired by Joan’s Ch Rafelda’s Feron of Sheik Saeer out of Andi Sahara Sheherzade (litter sister of SCOA BOB winner Ch Enchalla’s Ahmadon Puca). Francis and his mentors selected the cream bitch that became Andi’s Gaea of Rafelda.
Gaea was shown and was major pointed in the show ring, but Francis decided not to pursue finishing her. In 1980, Gaea produced the first Odi et Amo litter, sired by her half brother Treu von Sheik Saeer.
Francis added a second foundation bitch to his kennel in 1979. She was the beautiful liver fringed red Ch Rafelda’s Terra, sire by Ch Enchalla’s Ahmadon Puca (litter sister to Gaea’s dam) and out of Ch Rafelda’s Pairika (half sister to Gaea). Terra would become the first of Franic’s bitches to be bred to a dog of his own breeding, when she was mated to Mork (Ch Odi et Amo Iapetus Bandera) in 1983. Read more here dog breeds good with kids.
Odi et Amo continued and in the mid 80s, Sue Rooney (now Flynn) joined Francis in his breeding program. The 1985 litter of Mork X Memory was the first to carry the Elessar suffix. All future litters, except Terra’s final litter, would carry the Elessar name as well.