I wanted to get a dog for years, but the timing and demands of life and work never matched up with a lifestyle required to nurture a puppy. Finally, in 2005, things changed and I began the search for the perfect dog! Thank goodness for the internet, because after several long nights and "What is the Right Dog for You?" quizzes to see what breed of dog would fit well with my goals and lifestyle, I stumbled across a reference to a rare American breed, the Chinook.
I will be forever grateful to Jessica Maurer and Penthea Burns of GreatMountain Chinooks for entrusting me with Conaway, on a short acquaintance! He truly is one in a million and I cannot imagine life without him. Chinooks are social creatures, and I was completely hooked, so a year later I added GreatMountain Lyric Tikaani to the family. Tikaani is the funny, puppy-ish, mostly obedient complement to Conaway’s doggie genius!
Tikaani had the very first Bashaba Chinooks litter of five amazing, beautiful puppies in 2009. Her puppy Sakari stayed here to help build a new tradition of healthy, happy Chinooks here. When Tikaani had a second litter in 2011, it was fate that her daughter Calista stayed here as well. Then Sakari’s daughter Nashira arrived, and refused to leave. You may think this is a pattern since Calista's daughter Qaralii did the same…and Nashira's daughter Ankaa….
Fast forward -- and I am amazed to find myself sharing the lives of five amazing dogs, remembering the lessons of those Chinooks that have gone on, and supporting Bashaba/Vanguard puppies and their families all over the country. My dogs make every day a new challenge, and fill it with the most amazing support and love. I am blessed that they introduced me to the wonderful Chinook community - an extended family of fantastic people and dogs all over North America.
Conaway literally changed my life (yes! I know that sounds hokey!) and turned my world and priorities on end. This rearrangement of my life has been all for the better.
I've been on the Board of Directors for the Chinook Owners Association (the UKC parent clubs) off and on (mostly on!) for the last decade. I'm a bit of a science junkie, so read and listen widely about new research and developments that can help us enrich the lives of ourselves and our dogs. I am particularly proud to be the first Chinook breeder to leverage emerging canine genetic testing. It makes me happy knowing that Calista and Nashira leave a legacy for the breed through the identification of tests for Chinook genetic conditions that can now be easily avoided for puppies in the future. It is fantastic that they are healthy themselves, but now I have better information about how to breed them and their descendants to ensure future generations are healthy as well.
I am committed to enjoying every moment with these great dogs, and helping in what way I can to preserve the unique qualities of the breed for the future.