SORRY - I DO NOT HAVE PUPPIES PLANNED IN THE
My first experience with a purebred dog was a German Shepherd owned by my boyfriend when I was in
my teens. While he was not a show quality dog, he was my entry into the dog
world. When I was 18 I got my first Whippet, shortly followed by my first Italian Greyhound.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
Whippet taught me that success comes with hard work, patience and tenacity. I thought my Whippet was flawless
and couldn't understand why he wasn't winning. Ever. So I studied dogs that did
win, I watched other breeds, I
went to breeding seminars and structure seminars, and I realized that the dog I loved so much was a poor example of
It's a very
difficult realization, that the dog you love is not a great example of the breed. How can something you
love that much not be
perfect? But the facts are, very few dogs are truly great dogs, and it takes a mature and brave person to
recognize that their dog is not worth showing or breeding. So he became a neutered pet and lived with me
until he died of old age.
When I started
showing my first Italian Greyhound, I went in with a much humbler attitude. So much humbler that at his first
show, I allowed a professional handler who had my competition to distract me and my dog and we lost every day
that week-end. After it was pointed out to me what had happened, I vowed that I would become competitive,
polished and fair.
I believe I reach success by setting goals, and keeping them
attainable. My first goal was to have my first Champion, followed by my first Group Placing, my
first homebred Champion, my first Group Winner, and so on. In the Conformation ring there are
very few pinnacles I have not achieved (at least of those that are attainable - for example I will never have
the #1 dog All-Breeds! I don't have enough money to get that far!) Many records have been set by
Diavolino Italian Greyhounds.
I have been a
ring steward, both in Obedience and Conformation, I have trained handling classes, I have shown
extensively in Canada and a fair bit in the US. I am currently
licensed by the CKC as a Conformation judge for half of the Toy Group and on permit for the second
My dogs are sought after by breeders all over the world, even though I
have a reputation of being very strict with who gets my breeding quality dogs. That reputation does not
bother me, I cherish it, I nurture it. I have worked too long and too hard to create a breeding
programme of quality to allow someone with low ethics destroy what I have
I also know that I did not build it alone. I appreciate the
breeders who have gone before me and have created the foundation from which my dogs are drawn from.
Even breeders with whom I have since parted ways... I can never regret them as they, too, are part of what
makes a Diavolino Italian Greyhound.
I am a firm believer that the dogs should never come second to
pride. No ribbon is worth it if it means my dog can't also be my companion. I will not knowingly
risk the health of my dogs or my puppies to get another ribbon. I love my dogs for who they are and for
the joy they bring to my life. Showing them is just a way of sharing my love for them with the
world, not a way to try to make the world love me.
I believe we can all learn from each other, and when we stop learning
we should just plain .... stop. What is left to live for when we feel we know it
Karen is a member of the following clubs and
Canadian Kennel Club (26+
Campbell River Dog Fanciers Society (Life
Canadian Dog Judges Association
Italian Greyhound Club of Canada
Southern Alberta Toy Dog
Japan Kennel Club
Canine Control Council
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