About Us

Having been dragged around to dogs shows for my entire early life by Mother who was a breeder, exhibitor and judge of Afghan Hounds, in the late ‘50s I was getting tired of shows every weekend.  My Mother said that if I kept showing, she would buy me any kind of dog that I wanted.  I spent the day of the Devon Dog Show, walking up and down the benches and cruising the grooming area and handler’s set ups trying to decide what breed really enchanted me.  I kept returning to a beautiful silver and black fox like creature.  I have always loved foxes and this dog’s expression reminded me of a fox.  I talked at length to his handler about the breed.  Each time I returned, the dog would stick a paw out of his crate for me to pet him.  I was definitely in love and went back and told Mother that I wanted a Keeshond. 

My Great Grandmother
My Grandmother

The following week, we went to the home of a very reputable breeder in our area.  She had a litter of puppies for me to see.  As we went in, a lovely 7 month old bitch jumped on me and started giving me tons of kisses.  The breeder put the 7 month old in another room as I sat on the floor and played with the litter that was for sale.  I told Mother that I really wanted the bitch that the breeder had put away.  We were told that she was not for sale.  None of the other puppies interested me.  I wanted THAT one.  After much discussion, the breeder agreed that she would sell us the bitch on the condition that she finish her championship.  Apparently she was already major pointed.
Jazz came home with me that night.  She was the dearest dog I have ever known, despite the fact that every time she was shown she got a horribly upset stomach for days after each show.  We did finish her championship and I had her spayed because, at the time, I had no intention of breeding.

Jazz lived a long and happy life with me until she died at the age of 14.  By then, I was totally hooked on Kees.  I was married when Jazz died and my now ex-husband would not let me get another Kees.  He hated the hair.  He was a sheriff and for some strange reason, there was always silver hair on his uniforms! <Grin>.
Within two weeks of my separation from my husband, I had contacted a very important breeder in Lexington, KY about purchasing another “companion dog”.  I was put on the breeders waiting list and in time, I was able to get my “companion” Saskia, aka Sassy.

On a whim of a friend of mine who had a Puli, we went to a puppy match.  Sassy went Best In Match.  Figured at this point, I would quit while I was ahead.  I knew Saskia was not a world beater in the show ring, but Sassy’s breeder and I became friends during this time.
Sometime later, the breeder called me and asked if I wanted a three year old champion male, Ch. Brynhaven Final Edition, aka The Bear.  I told her “no”.  She said that she did not get along with the dog.  They had a personality conflict.  Again, I said “no”.  A few weeks later, the breeder called again and begged me to take The Bear.  I finally agreed, although with some reluctance.

The Bear and I became the best friends that you can imagine.  Where I went, he went.  The breeder had told me that The Bear hated to show.  I KNEW I could get him to show for ME.  I entered him at the large Lexington shows.  The first day, the Breeder won the Breed with a daughter of The Bear.  The next day The Bear showed his heart out and won the breed and went on to a group second in a very  tough group full of professional handlers.  I was back into showing dogs.
I entered The Bear a few weeks later in the Huntingdon, West Virginia shows.  There were 8 specials and the judge was Anna Wanner.  I could not believe it when I won the breed over some VERY important specials.  We went on to win the group under Edith Nash Hellerman and missed going Best by a hair under Anna Wanner.  The Bear had become a showing machine………………as long as *I* handled him!  We won many more breeds and group placements.

My Grandmother
My Great Grandmother

I was fortunate enough during this time to get the beautiful Bo Den Kaprikorn Ariel.  I finished her championship and she produced a litter of puppies for me sired by The Bear.  This litter was the beginning of “CARA”.   Ariel produced 9 puppies in that litter.  Five went to companion homes and the other four were BIS, BISS, Am-Can. Ch. Cara Fool Proof, HOF, multiple group placing Ch. Cara Foolish Pleasure and the lovely bitches Ch. Cara Foolin’ Around who finished her championship in four shows and Ch. Cara Fools Rush In.  This is the foundation of the CARA dogs.

Over the years I purchased other dogs and bred other litters always with the goal of producing quality Keeshonden with good health and excellent temperment.
The Keehonden that I have today are 3rd and 4th generation of CARA breeding.

I first became involved with Whippets in the early 1990s when I saw the magnificent Ch. Sporting Fields Kinsman.  I fell in love with the breed that day and have had Whippets along with the Kees since that time.  I seldom breed a litter of whippets but am active in Whippet rescue through Whippet Rescue & Placement (WRAP).
I am also very active in Keeshond rescue, being a founding member and member of the Board of Directors of the Keeshond Rescue of North America (KRNA).  I have also served the breed as Chairman of the Ways & Means Committee and a member of the Board of Directors of the Keeshond Club of America (KCA).
Our goal at CARA is to produce dogs that are physically sound, fully tested against genetic disease and loving companion dogs.  If we are able to produce a high quality show dog from a litter, it is a bonus!  We do not breed often and only when we intend to keep a dog from the litter to show.  All dogs kept by CARA remain here for their lifetime.  No bitch is bred more than three times and never before they are two years old or after they are 8 years old.  We at CARA strictly abide by the Keeshond Club Of America Code of Ethics, The American Whippet Club Code of Ethics and the KRNA Code of Ethics.

When you purchase a dog from CARA, you become “family” and we are here for you 24/7 with advice, to answer questions and just chat about your dog.