‘THIS PUPPY MAY ONLY GO TO VERY SPECIAL PEOPLE’
‘I have one puppy left, but this puppy may only go to very special people. A Belgium breeder, Jan van Doleweerd and his wife Sjaan (kennel off Woody-Wood) had a last Irish wolfhound-puppy. We, Jon and Sonja, fell in love with the Irish wolfhound and decided to buy a puppy. Anxious we went to the Belgium breeder, hoping that we were ‘special enough’. Arriving there, a tiny black wolfhound ran towards us and we knew; ‘this doggie is going home with us’. The puppy became our first wolfhound; Shanna.Years later the living room is filled with dogs (11 wolfhounds and 1 schapendoes). In Harreveld, a small village in the east of Holland, the dogs live with us in a beautiful area. Lots of space in and outside the house. They have 3 big meadows to run and play in. They are our roommates, they live in the house together with us.
How it all began…
The sun was already setting when we walked in the Sonsbeek park in Arnhem, Holland, this was the year 1977. Several people were walking their dogs just like the man and woman with two huge dogs. With these two dogs began a big love and a special kennel. When the two Irish wolfhounds ran towards us, with the setting sun behind them, we were sold. It was love at first sight.The Irish wolfhound is a true addiction. What began in Sonsbeek Park is now defining our life. Waking up in the morning, the first thing the dogs want is lots of attention. Often all dogs are waiting in front of the bedroom door or they even run into the bedroom. There they will be begging for their personal attention. Because of living so close to our dogs it’s hard to be a moment without them. When students come to learn about the care of the dogs, they get as primary assignment to hug our dogs. And although they start doing this uncomfortably, at the end of the week they do understand how important this is for the dogs.
Health and personality
In our kennel the health of the dogs is our most important priority, and the dogs from this species need a lot of attention. Because the dogs are always living in and around the house we can keep a close eye on the wellbeing of our dogs. In the case of the birth of puppies, one of us will stay for several weeks, night and day, at the side of the mother and her litter. Beside that, it is important that the new born doggies get a good home. That’s why it’s of great importance that the new owners of a puppy meet us and our dogs. They need to see how the dogs live in this family. Nothing is as valuable as ensuring that our puppies will have good life with their new owners. Of course our dogs will be checked on their hearth before we will breed them. The puppies will be checked on liver shunt when they are about 7-8 weeks old.
Another very important thing is de personality of the Irish Wolfhound. This is very special. You are completely fond of these dogs, or you don’t like them at all. You can get very emotional by only looking at an Irish Wolfhound, they are so sweet. The dogs have a perfect understanding of your emotional situation. It has become impossible for us to live without our dogs, they became our buddies.
Next to the life at home, some of our dogs compete in shows. We only show dogs who like to do that. Some dogs don’t like participating in shows, so they stay at home. The ones that like it are getting already excited when they see you load the van. A fun part of showing is that you meet lots of different Wolfhound lovers.
Jon & Sonja Jansen