Dan and I began our life together 44 years ago after a life long friendship and a whirl wind courtship and marriage. (We dated 6 weeks and got married the 7th. LOL!) Our family was complete with the arrival of our beautiful daughter, Sarah. She's our only child and our pride and joy. Sarah gets her love of animals from us both. Dan and I belong to families that have always taken in strays, both animal and human. I raised and trained competition and performance horses in my youth. When we got married we switched our love of being in the ring from horses to dogs. We started with American Cocker Spaniels, then showed Tibetan Spaniels and finally found our favorite breed on earth, the Shih Tzu.
In our 35 years raising and showing dogs, we have had the joy of either showing or owning as pets nine different breeds of dogs. Other than Shih Tzu we have shown and/or finished Cocker Spaniels, Tibetan Spaniels, Border Collies, Pekingese, Great Danes, Standard Poodles, Dachshunds and a Yorkie. Our dogs are our beloved companions. We keep them happy with toys, TV and our devotion to their health and well-being. Our dogs live in our home, side by side with us every day, just like everyone else's pets.
We have been showing Shih Tzu for 23 years. We got our first pet Shih Tzu in 1996. It just happened that he was nice enough to show and finish. Gavin quickly became CH Falling Star Fyr DeOhGe SrJn, owner-handled by Sarah in a handler's breed. A few months after we brought Gavin home we got Constance, SarJan's Rose Serenade and Rebecca. Becca became CH Falling Star's Power Blaze SarJan at 14 months of age. She finished with all majors. After finishing CH Ista's Wicked Fame 'N Fortune and CH Jai-Dei's Sugar Cookie SrJn, a Gavin daughter, we finished our first homebred champions. They were out of Becca and Bad, BIS BISS CH Ista's Wicked Fantasy ROM, the 1995 Best of Breed Winner at Westminster. Noochi and Queen were CH SarJan's What A Girl Wants and CH SarJan's Step Aside by the time they were 15 months old. Noochi finished owner-handled with 4 majors and Queen was finished by Greg Larson of Ista Shih Tzu.
In the time we have owned, shown and bred Shih Tzu we have finished 82 Shih Tzu, 62 of which we bred ourselves. Sarah contributed significantly to the Championships of 20 other dogs either by handling or conditioning for the ring. One of our proudest achievements was CH SarJan's Point Break. Like his mother and grandmother, Brody finished with 4 majors. He accomplished this at 9 months, 9 days of age. Following in the SarJan's tradition Luke, CH SarJan's This Is How A Heart Breaks, finished at 9 months, 3 weeks of age with four 4 point majors from the Bred-by Exhibitor class. Mandy, Ch SarJan's Just A Fad, a Ch Noochi daughter finished in 3 weekends with 2 sets of back-to-back four pt majors. Noah, CH SarJan's More Than U R, also finished with four 4 pt majors and a Group 4 from the Bred-by Exhibitor class on the day he finished. Also finishing with 4 majors was Renji, CH Promiseland's Zabimaru, a CH Brody great grandson! Corbin, CH SarJan's As If, also finished with his 4 majors as did Elliott, CH SarJan's Someone Like U. Our youngest champion is CH SarJan's Covert Affair, a CH Brody daughter who finished at 8 months 5 days beating her Daddy's record by a month! GCH Annie Walker finished her Grand Championship on her 10 month Birthday.
Toby, GCH SarJan's Who's UR Daddy, is our first adventure into the realm of fun colors. This liver and white boy finished his CH with a 3, 4 and 5 point major in limited showing and is the first AKC liver and white Grand Champion in the nation and the state of Iowa. To our knowledge, he and his brother Seeley, CH SarJan's Special Agent, are the first 2 liver/white littermates to finish their AKC Championships. Their litter sister Suki, GCH SarJan's Don't Even Know My Last Name, is the second Grand Champion in the state of Iowa. Sarah has finished many of our dogs from the BBE class and has qualifed 40 times for the AKC Eukanuba National Dog Show. She is also the breeder of the top 10 ranked Shih Tzu in our state.
The purpose of showing our Shih Tzu is to have an evaluating judge give their opinion on how close our dog fits the breed standard. The breed standard is written by the national parent club and presented to the American Kennel Club as the ideal to strive for in the breed. The parent club is charged with protecting the integrity and well-being of the breed. The American Shih Tzu Club is our breed's parent club.
Our dogs have been evaluated in the show ring by knowledgeable judges for the purpose of helping us decide if the dog closely enough fits the standard to be bred. This enables us to continue producing top-quality dogs that are sound, correct representations of the breed in the show ring and as loving companions in pet homes as well.
We breed several litters several times a year. We breed for ourselves first and the pet buying public second. Puppies we do not keep to show or for our breeding program are offered as companions to loving homes on spay/neuter agreements. We do not knowingly sell our pet puppies to breeding homes.
We are memebrs of the Twin Cities Area Shih Tzu Club and the Shih Tzu Club of Wisconsin's Fox Valley. We support other regional Shih Tzu clubs and are in good standing with the American Kennel Club. We also support our local kennel clubs by volunteering at their events and with our entry fees. We are AKC and vet inspected and state licensed as required by the State of Iowa.