1. How many dogs do you have, and what are their names, ages and breeds?
Just the one right now, unfortunately. My saluki girl, Bella, registered name Baghdad Cool Coquette. She's now six.
2. Do you have plans for a new addition?
Yes, but it may be a couple of years before the plans come to fruition (I hope it will be sooner though). I will be taking on another saluki, with the hope of he or she being the beginning of my journey as a breeder.
3. Did you have dogs growing up?
Yes, just the one, a golden retriever by the name of Tiggy.
4. Do you have names saved for any future dogs?
I sure do! My current favourites (with salukis in mind) are Emrys, Pippin, Freyr or Shiloh for a male, or Daphne, Lacey, Soraya or Xanthe for a female.
5. What is your favourite breed? Saluki
6. What is your favourite group?
7. Is there a breed that you admire, but probably wouldn't own?
Most giant fluffy breeds. I adore them, but am aware that care and upkeep is expensive, and that some landlords might baulk at the thought of such a large dog in the home. You never know though, maybe one day.
8. Do you compete with your dogs in any discipline?
Conformation, and trying to get Bella interested in lure coursing.
9. Have you had an achievement, large or small, with a dog that you're particularly proud of?
Bella used to be extremely nervous on walks, to the point where I had to carry her across roads for safety because she had a tendency to just freeze. She would pull madly trying to get home. Now, she trusts me, and has learned to enjoy her walks. A far cry from her early days, she is now overjoyed at the mention of the ‘w’ word… as it should be.
10. What games do your dogs most enjoy playing?
Chasing people or dogs that run away from her, sometimes with a butt nip thrown in. She also enjoys playing with balls.
11. Are you drawn more to male or female dogs?
I’m more drawn to bitches.
12. What are your favourite coat patterns or colours?
In salukis I love grizzle, especially Irish-marked. I’m also partial to red sables, golds, and black and silvers.
13. What discipline or sport in the dog world do you find most interesting?
Lure coursing and conformation
14. What would be your dream household of dogs?
Four salukis and a something else. The something else would either be something big and hulking, like a leonberger, or small and sprightly like a kooikerhondje.
15. Where is your favourite walk?
The beach near my house at Port Willunga. It’s beautiful, usually near empty of other people and dogs, and largely enclosed by steep cliffs. Perfect.
16. Does your dog have any funny habits?
She has an irritating habit of shutting herself inside rooms. More than once, I’ve panicked, thinking she’d somehow escaped when I couldn’t find her. Turns out, the daft girl had just shut herself in the toilet.
17. Do you have a favourite piece of dog gear?
I’m a sucker for a nice martingale collar. I have many.
18. What are your goals for your dogs?
Bella’s pretty much where I want her to be in most respects now, and I’m very proud. I’d like her to gain her neuter title, and hopefully get the hang of lure coursing.
19. Have you had what you consider to be a heart dog?
Having only had the one, it’s hard to say (I might fall just as hard for every dog in my future), but Bella could well be mine. Our personalities are a perfect fit, and I feel my heart swell just from looking at her. She’s my special girl.
20. List five things you love about your dog
Her cuddliness... when it suits her, of course!
Her joy and beauty when galloping.
Her silliness and great love of play.
How ecstatic she is to see me, even after short times apart.
How she is quick to my side when I've had anxiety attacks; she rushes to me whenever I am distressed and snuggles up.
And... post a picture of your dog/s
Bella by Amy Atherton, on Flickr