The Beginning, and the Future
Fortress is very much a family endeavor. Breeding responsibly, to truly protect and preserve the breed, is an all-encompassing labor of love. It bleeds into every single crevice of your life – your time becomes a precious commodity that is constantly trying to squeeze everything in, but is always, always managed around the dogs. It is no easy task to plan training, showing, puppies, vet visits etc etc around a busy family of five humans! Dog shows on birthday weekends, breedings over what should be vacation times, sleepless nights with a litter of puppies through Christmas – it’s been tough. It is tough. But; we wouldn’t trade the chaos. I believe my kids have grown into even more amazing, caring adults for being raised on this Mastiff journey that began in 2002…However, I am ready for a little quiet. A different kind of chaos.
The first 20yrs of Fortress Mastiffs have been amazing. I have learned so much from so many wonderful mentors, and made lifelong friendships with so many great dog people. I’ve had the opportunity to live with the most kind hearted, loving animals I could ever imagine. On the other side of the coin, I have lost so many. I’ve cried with the families when they say goodbye to their old friends, who I still see as the sweet little puppy that I put in their hands years before. I’ve been kept up countless nights worried sick that I chose wrong and put a pup somewhere that they aren’t being cared for as well as they should be, although only a couple of times in two decades, it is a couple times too many.
Mastiffs are my heart. They will always be “my” breed…but honestly, I am tired. I have a house full of seniors that I want to love and spoil and enjoy every minute of, but I don’t have it in me to do the rest. I am proud of the dogs we’ve produced thus far, and so grateful to the wonderful families who have loved them. For that, I am eternally grateful.
Which brings us to the future of Fortress.
My beautiful daughter, Alexis Breslin, who is not only brilliant, kind, and wickedly funny – is also a diehard fancier of this amazing breed. Despite my warnings and attempts to guard her soft heart from the tough side of breeding, Alexis is determined to continue with our lines, and take the lead with our breeding program. Alexis is exactly what an honest, reputable breeder should be. Kind, determined and motivated to do what is right for the dog above all else.
I am excited to take the backseat, and watch where she takes this. I have no doubt in my mind that she will do amazing things that will by far surpass my expectations, just as she has in all aspects of her life.
~ Lisa Breslin ~
I have grown up with dogs my entire life and have always loved them. When I was seven, I went to my first dog show, and something clicked. I knew this was something I wanted to do; little did I realize just how much of my time would be wrapped around it! I started showing our Staffy, Layla when I was twelve and our Mastiffs when I was fifteen. I’ve shown our Mastiffs, Staffies, and Bouviers – but Mastiffs are definitely my breed. When I was sixteen I started reading everything I could about them, learning all the pedigrees of our dogs, trying to learn who was who, who all the breeders were. I was hooked!
Now, ten years later, it feels so strange to be taking over what my mother started in 2002 when she got her first Mastiff. I truly hope that I can do justice to what she started and continue to improve on what we’ve accomplished together. The first litter with my name on it, that I planned everything for, will be born in 2024 and I can’t wait to see what else the future holds!