I have a kennel bio page. On it is listed all my dogs' titles, pedigree, health testing, and a brief description of their history and temperament. It's a short, to the point description of the dogs in my breeding program. What it doesn't give you is true insight into who they are, what makes them tick. Titles are nice, but they're not why I have my dogs. I enjoy their personalities. They cuddle me on the couch, they frolic together in a field before agility. My azawakh live in my home and are part of my family.
Anubi was the first azawakh I ever saw in person. I'd researched the breed for three years. I waited five months to meet him specifically- one month of his mother's pregnancy and four months for him to be old enough. I flew to Paris on a Friday and arrived Saturday morning. When I got out of customs there Anubi was on his breeder, Cecile's, lap. We went to a cafe and got me coffee. Then went to the hotel for a brief nap and then took a walk in a park with Cecile, Anubi, his mother, and one of his brothers and sisters. I watched them play and run free and suddenly everything I hoped for fell into place. Fourteen hours in a crate later (the airline was slow unloading my poor puppy) and we'd landed in Vancouver, Canada. Poor boy was in for a bit of culture shock- it had been summer and a mild fall in France, but there was snow on the ground when we landed.
He was a delight from the first moment I brought him home. My saluki immediately adopted him. Their friendship blossomed and somehow it seemed that Anubi was the older of the pair. Anu's breeder selected him for me based on some very specific criteria. I'd read about the breed extensively, I knew they could have trouble adapting. I wanted a steady, calm dog that I could take to work with me. Well, that's exactly what I got. Anubi as a puppy was about the easiest puppies you could imagine. My dog training mentor once asked me if he ever pulled on leash. As a puppy, the answer was no. Originally I had intended to do conformation and lure coursing with Anu. I enrolled him in a puppy class through my work and seriously the first day of class I remember seeing a light in his eyes turn on. He desperately wanted something to do and thus my first performance dog flickered into being.
Our very first dog show together was the Seattle Kennel Club dog show. I was running a Meet the Breeds booth and Anubi was entered in the Open Shows, back before the breed as fully recognized. He took Best in Miscellaneous the first time out and I remember being in complete awe. It was a wonderful introduction to the show world.
The next time out we weren't so lucky. Anu was nine months and entering his teenage secondary fear period, he was nervous of the judge, the exibitors, and the whole setting in general. Whereas when he was a puppy Anubi had rubbed up against perfect strangers like a cat, suddenly everything was scary. His instincts kicked in and as a teenager (and boy was he a teenager a long time about 9-18 months) he was standoffish with everyone new. Where before he'd been confident in every new thing he did, as a teenager we took things slow with lots of repetitions to build his confidence. It was a bit of a trying time for everyone but as an adult he emerged as a stable boy who doesn't like strangers, but will stand for greeting if asked and takes absolutely everything in stride.
This boy absolutely has my heart. He been with me through three different countries, four different states, and countless trials. He and all my dogs at the time were part of my wedding photos, they accompanied us on our honeymoon, and we go on at least one vacation a year where the dogs come along.