Christopher Loizou started Covey Flush Kennels because of a pheasant hunting trip he went on in South Dakota, many years ago, where he had the pleasure of watching an English Cocker Spaniel work. The dog was much smaller than all the other retrievers that day, which were mostly labs, and a few Boykins. Christopher said that little cocker ran circles around the other dogs. It was amazing the way the dog would take off like a rocket every time, tirelessly retrieving bird, after bird.
That very evening, after the shoot, Christopher began learning as much as he could about the breed. The more he learned about the field-bred English Cocker Spaniel, the more he realized he had to have one. After speaking with many of the top trainers in the country and asking them every question he could think of about the breed and training them, he was hooked. Shortly after that, he made “Wally,” Fallen Wing’s Welsh, a 3-year old male from England, his first cocker, in March of ’96.
Over the years, as Christopher began to search for dogs to build up his kennel, he learned that while the breed was beginning to become better known in more areas throughout America, they were still not readily available. So he concentrated on dogs with superior field trial pedigrees in an effort to bring the British legacy of fine gun dogs to the USA while striving to improve the breed. Covey Flush Kennels is not a large kennel. Christopher didn’t want to be the biggest breeder, he wanted to be one of the best. He only planned a breeding if he had three names on the waiting list and that determined how many litters there were per year. For quite a few years now, the puppies have been sold before they’re born. Getting on the waiting list means that a puppy from Covey Flush Kennels is well worth the wait!
Christopher and his wife Rene bred field-bred English Cocker Spaniels for close to 25 years together. Christopher either imported dogs that were already trained or had imported puppies trained after he got them. He did not train them himself, although he spent years and years talking to trainers and breeders and gained immense knowledge from them. Rene has been reading about ECS breeding and training, as well as getting hands-on experience. She’s written most of the articles for this website and has learned a lot from Christopher over the years.
Sadly, Christopher died from COVID February 25, 2021. Christopher had such a strong presence and was quite a character. Anyone that met him by phone or in person never forgot him. He became friends with many of the people that bought puppies from him. Christopher is going to be sorely missed.
After a lot of deliberation, Rene decided to continue on with Christopher’s dream. He’d spent so many years working to improve the breed through top-quality imported stock, as well as trying to educate people about field-bred English Cocker Spaniels, it wouldn’t do Christopher’s memory justice to close the kennel down. But it was such a daunting undertaking to do alone that Rene asked her daughter and son-in-law to move from Marietta, Georgia, to Milton, Florida, and become part of the kennel business with her.
Rene’s daughter Summer Matkin will handle the social media arena, which is something new for us. Summer has been working as an applied behavioral therapist with autistic children and is ready to apply that knowledge to training dogs. Summer’s husband, Kris, will help take care of the kennel, as well as finish the construction on the puppy building addition. They will also begin working with the dogs daily. Summer and Kris both have a lot of patience and a huge love for the dogs. We hope these changes will bring a lot of improvements that would make Christopher proud.