Shirley acquired her first Boxer in 1947 while working as a vet tech. Shirley became an all-breed professional handler in 1949 after a two-year apprenticeship. She met Ben in 1950 and they married in 1953. They began actively breeding under the Scher-Khoun name in 1957. With several other breeders they participated in founding the Boxer Club of Canada, of which Ben is a past president. Ben started the Canadian Legion of Merit. They have authored many articles on breeding, judging, handling and showing in Dogs in Canada, Boxer Review, Boxer International and did the Boxer column for Dogs in Canada. The DeBoers are also well-known for their handling and breeding seminars. They are the breeders of over 25 Canadian champions (1974). Eight of their breeding finished in the United States (5 by Fashion Hint and 3 by Shadrack). Ben and Shirley were well-respected handlers, finishing many Boxers in Canada and the US.
Ben has judged world wide – Canada, USA, England, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Philippines – and is approved for Sporting, Hound, Herding and Working groups. He judged the ABC Futurity in 1974. Grand Futurity was Moss Wood’s Ontario – a Shadrack son – and Best Junior Donfarals’s Vanity Fair. Ben judged ABC in 1991 finding his BOB in CH Kiebla’s Tradition of Turo and awarded BOS to ICH Fiero’s Tally-Ho Tailo LOM. Shirley judged the Top Twenty in 1993 with CH Moonvalley Main Attraction getting the nod. Ben did the Top 20 in 1999 with CH Storybook’s Rip It Up LOM winning.
Ben & Shirley obtained their foundation bitch from a friend who had purchased a lovely bitch, Canyonaire’s Teacher’s Pet, which was handled by Shirley to her Canadian championship. This daughter of littermates CH Canyonaire’s Hickory Dick CD and CH Canyonaire’s Honey Chile was bred to CH Captain Lookout of Thorhall. All three of these producers were back massed on the Big 4 foundation sires. The DeBoer’s foundation bitch, CAN CH Tagwood’s Bronze Silhouette, was from this breeding. Bred to CH Canyonair’s Man on Fire (a Hickory Dick son out of a Bang Away daughter.) she produced CAN CH Scher-Khoun’s Fire Imp.
CAN CH Fireside Chat of Blossomlea (by CH Jered’s Spellbinder out of a Bang Away daughter) was bred to a Bang Away son and produced CAN CH Standfast of Blossomlea LOMC. Fireside Chat bred to CH Salgray’s Flying High LOM produced CAN CH Backchat of Blossomlea II LOMC, also owned by Ben and Shirley. Backchat was bred to Fashion Hint and produced three American/Canadian champions including CH Scher-Khoun’s Coquette LOMC the 1969 ABC WB from the puppy class under Alice Wood.
Fire Imp, bred to CAN CH Standfast of Blossomlea, produced CAN CH Scher-Khoun’s Apricot Brandy. Brandy was bred back to her sire to produce CAN CH Scher-Khoun’s Carousel, dam of ICH Scher-Khoun’s Shadrack LOM LOMC, AM/CAN CH Scher-Khoun’s Syncopation and ICH Scher-Khoun’s Abednego LOM. In 1968 Shirley handled ICH Millan’s Fashion Hint LOM to Winners Dog at ABC (Larry Downey, his regular handler, had other commitments). Fashion Hint was the sire of Shadrack & Syncopation, Shadrack being his first producer.
Shadrack topped the ABC Open Brindle class on his first appearance in 1969. He won 16 specialties in the US including ABC and the Regional. In 1971 Shadrack was BOS at ABC to CH Nadora’s Black Lace under judge Langdon Skarda. Shadrack’s son, Meshack (out of his litter sister Syncopation), was BOW the same year. Shadrack was the top winning Boxer in Canada (1969, 1970). The next year (1972) he went BOB under Larry Downey. He won the Regional in San Diego from the Veterans class in 1973 under Donald Starkweather.
Shadrack eventually produced over 120 champions, including 83 Canadian and 42 American. He also produced 6 sires and one dam of merit. ICH Scher-Khoun’s Abednego, AM/CAN CH Scher-Khoun’s Meshack, AM/CAN CH Aracrest’s Jered, AM/CAN CH Aracrest’s Kaylib, CAN CH Donessle’s Miss Fancy, AM/CAN CH Mephisto’s Soldier of Fortune, Indian Bends Maria, CH Arriba’s Zechin, CH Omega’s Rockfire.
AM/CAN CH Scher-Khoun’s Meshack LOMC (Shadrack X Syncopation) is the sire of 20 American and 32 Canadian champions. The American champions included 8 out of CH Holly Lane’s Windstorm LOM – the all-time top producing American Bred dam. She is also the dam of his three producers – CH Holly Lane’s Winter Storm, CH Holly Lane’s Winter Fantasy, CH Holly Lane’s Diamond Replay.
ICH Scher-Khoun’s Abednego LOM is by Shadrack out of Shadrack’s dam, CAN CH Scher-Khoun’s Carousel. He is the sire of 23 champions, 3 SOM & 1 DOM – CH Vek-Kel’s Big Ben, Hollycrest’s Little Bit CD, CH Benjoman of 5 T’s LOM, CH Notelrac’s Major Beau.
Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego sired over 200 Canadian & American champions, including 23 Canadian and 12 American sires and dams of merit. The Canadian Legion of Merit Boxers include:
- Backchat of Blossomlea II DOMC LOMC
- CAN CH Scher-Khoun’s Autumn Concerto DOMC LOMC
- Scher-Khoun’s Carbon Copy DOMC LOMC
- AM/CAN CH Scher-Khoun’s Couquette DOMC LOMC
- CAN CH Scher-Khoun’s Dark Rhapsody DOMC LOMC
- ICH Scher-Khoun’s Meshack SOMC LOMC
- ICH Scher-Khoun’s Shadrack SOMC LOMC
Ben has judged world wide – Canada, USA, England, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Philippines – and is approved for Sporting, Hound, Herding and Working groups. He judged the ABC Futurity in 1974. Grand Futurity was Moss Wood’s Ontario – a Shadrack son – and Best Junior Donfarals’s Vanity Fair. Ben judged ABC in 1991 finding his BOB in CH Kiebla’s Tradition of TuRo and awarded BOS to ICH Fiero’s Tally-Ho Tailo LOM. Shirley judged the Top Twenty in 1993 (CH Moonvalley Main Attraction).
Shirley Montague DeBoer passed away peacefully on March 11, 2013 after a long and courageous battle with cancer. She was 87 years young. Her husband of 60 years, Ben, son Jason, daughter-in-law Lisa and her 3 grandchildren – Carson, Tyler and Taylor, were all by her side as she left us to be with her daughter Jodi and sister Bea.
Shirley was born and lived in Toronto, Canada where she met the love of her life, Ben. It was in Toronto where Shirley and Ben raised their two children, Jodi and Jason, and embarked on her 50 year legacy in the dog show business as both an exceptional breeder and handler of Boxers along with earning numerous professional handling accomplishments. Shirley and Ben established Scher-Khoun Kennels which produced great boxers like Shadrack and Meshack. Her love of Boxers was only matched by the love she had for her family. Shirley also leaves behind her niece Pamela DeBoer and nephew Paul DeBoer, both whom she loved very much. Shirley will also be dearly missed by her many friends from the dog show business and of course her many stuffed toys which gave her great comfort when the dog show business was over.