It was about 15 years before I owned another dog. During those intervening years I attended shows, read books and magazines, and listened to what others had to say about different breeds and breeders. Doing my research into what breed I wanted and from whom would I get it was important to me.
What I was looking for at the time was a dog small enough for the city but not so small that it would injure itself jumping from the couch. One that was easy to care for and didn’t require a lot of grooming or prep time to get them ready for the show ring. I wanted a dog that was smart, playful and ready for anything. When I was a child friends of the family had Smooth Fox Terriers and I had always marvelled at how smart and full of energy they were – always ready to play at a moments notice. It was not surprising then that it was a Smooth Fox Terrier I eventually decided to get. In my research on Smooth’s I noticed that Quissex Kennels in the United States was always producing dogs of quality. Just about every pedigree I researched had a Quissex dog in it. In Canada, one name kept popping up in Smooth Fox Terriers, Trollhattan and the Gratton’s had a long history of Champion Smooth Fox Terriers as well as Doberman Pinschers. I contacted Emily Gratton of Truro, Nova Scotia and enquired about purchasing a female Smooth Fox Terrier from Trollhattan to begin my showing and breeding program. Emily responded that she in fact had a male and female from her last litter that she was planning on keeping for herself, but that if I liked, she would let me purchase the female she was keeping or take another female from a litter she had just recently had. She had sent me pictures of “Abby”, the female she was planning on keeping, and I fell for her.
Next to enter my life was a Black Standard Poodle named “Benson”. Benson was
won in a contest -- well, sort of. I didn’t really win the contest but the fellow running it was so impressed with my essay about my desire for a show quality puppy that he offered me one of his pups. Off to Crocus Obedience and Kennel Club where we enrolled in handling classes, as I was sure “Benson” was to be my “Best In Show” dog. It wasn’t to be. As he matured it was obvious that he wasn’t show quality and had a few temperament issues so back to the breeders he went.
I then finished college and set off into the working world. It took me a few years and a few provinces before I ended up in Calgary in a house that would allow pets. I still desperately wanted a dog to show and breed. As it happened, a lady at the place I worked bred and showed Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers and was looking to place a show female on a co-ownership. “Brandy” entered my life, soon to be followed by “Kelsey” another Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier. This was one of those arrangements that looked good in the beginning, started out well but ended very badly. Not having done any research into what a “Quality” breeder was and thinking that since there were contracts they must be “reliable, responsible” breeders when in fact they weren’t - suffice it to say I learned some very hard lessons. The dogs turned out not to be show quality nor were they of breeding quality, but the breeders insisted they be surgically enhanced and shown and bred anyway. I was dead set against this,and many arguments ensued leading up to the dogs being returned to the breeders, as their contract had stated. This left me with a very bad taste for dogs, breeders and the show world in general. I decided I would not own another dog until I was financially ready, researched the breed and breeder, and had the time to commit to properly raise and train a dog.
In July of 2001, Trollhattan’s Westminster Abby came to Calgary and layed the foundation for “Kaltoba”. The following year Abby was joined by “Silas” the Giant Schnauzer, and a year after Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen’s entered my life with the addition of “Lulu”. Kaltoba is now actively showing and breeding both Smooth Fox Terriers and Irish Setters with a few extra breeds hitting the campaign trail under the “Kaltoba” banner.
I invite you to explore my web site and hope you enjoy seeing dogs bred or owned by "Kaltoba."
Member of the following:
Canadian Kennel Club
American Fox Terrier Club
Smooth Fox Terrier Association of America
Irish Setter Club of America
The kennel name “Kaltoba” was registered with the Canadian Kennel Club in September of 1984. Everyone asks “What does it mean” - let me enlighten you. The “Kal” comes from Calgary, Alberta, Canada where I chose to live after having lived and travelled all across Canada. Calgary has the best mix of people, scenery, dog shows, and the best part, warm Chinook winds in the winter to melt away the snow. “Toba” comes from Manitoba where I was born and raised. I liked the look of “Kaltoba Kennels” with the ‘K’ instead of a ‘C’ so that is why it is “Kaltoba” and not “Caltoba
I am one of those people that grew up always knowing I wanted a dog. My parents wouldn’t allow it at first, but after many years of pleading they finally relented and for my 14th birthday my parents bought me an Irish Setter puppy. “Rusty” wasn’t registered, nor was he show quality, but he and I signed up for obedience classes at Crocus Obedience and Kennel Club in Brandon, Manitoba. He was very smart and made it through the lessons with hardly a problem. He was my first dog and so very special to me. I learned many lessons with him, including that I wanted a dog I could train, show and breed.