About Afara

I was one of those kids that was "horse crazy". My mother says I was fascinated by horses as an infant. In fact, in my Chinese dialect, the word for "mother" and "horse" are both "ma" but with different inflections. And since "ma" was my first word and infants cannot pronounce clearly, my mother said she was never quite sure if I was calling her or talking about my favorite interest, horses. I spent my entire early childhood asking for a horse. But I was reminded by my parents, grandparents, Great-grandparents and numerous aunts and uncles that proper Chinese boys focused on their schoolwork and not horses. I was given horseback riding lessons sporadically when my parents could afford them to try to appease me.

When I was 10 my parents finally relented and offered me a dog hoping to divert my attention from horses. But the requirements were the dog had to very clean and it could not bark. My mother thought those requirements would postpone getting a dog for awhile. So I bought a Basenji from Carol Webb of Kazor Basenjis - Kazor's Faradje (Radje). Radje was my best friend for 16 years and he taught me many good lessons. Radje was pet quality (wry bite and too tall) so I showed him in obedience and junior handling. Radje and I won 6 High Scoring in Match but no Novice legs. He knew the difference between shows and matches and would shine in a match but would ruin a different exercise at each sanctioned show. But we won in Junior Handling. I got so good at handling that many different breeders of different breeds started to ask me to help them handle their dogs.


Besides Basenjis, Tervuren, Pugs, Poodles, Salukis and Afghans I started to handle Cardigans. In the 1960's I handled Cardigans for Bob Mankey (Cambria) and Margaret Douglas (Swansea) and later in the 1970's and 1980's Cardigans for Margaret Sullivan (Talbot) and Chuck and Joyce Murray (Trilogy).

(Ch. Trilogy's Misty Mountain Blue)



In 1977 I bought Vangard Natalie (Jen) from Bob Simpson because I saw her sire, Ch. Vangard Mr Ski Bum, win the Group at the Beverly Hills KC show. In February of 1983 Jen won the last Working Group won by a Pembroke at the Ventura Kennel Club. We now have 6 generations of Champion Pembrokes that all trace back to Jen.

After 47 years of showing and breeding dogs, I have won National Specialties, bred/owned/handled several Top Ten dogs, won numerous Groups, have over 50 champions and am a licensed AKC judge - Pembrokes, Cardigans, and Junior Handling.  "It does get better."

(Ch. Vanguard Natalie)




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