Ch Kutani Cincinnati

Lauren's story began in I988. In August of that year, I was searching for a stud dog suitable to put to my bitch Parlu Just Jessica, a Hackensack and Intrepid grand-daughter. This would be my second Lhasa litter. A chance conversation with Sue Roberts (Marbledale) pointed me in the direction of Jean Blyth's young import dog on short loan from Norway (thank you Sue!).

His breeding matched beautifully and, although not a small dog, his attributes were enough to convince me he was the right dog. Jessica was mated to Steven (Tanac's Golden Glower at Saxonsprings) and on 7th November I988 a litter of 5 bitches were born under the sign of Scorpio - a good omen! To my eye this was a lovely litter. One bitch was a bit plain with a jet black mask, but never mind, the others were great. As the weeks went by three potential showgirls stood out and two would go as pets, (the biggest and the smallest).

During this time I was having new windows fitted and the guy who was fitting them expressed an interest in one of the pet puppies for his girlfriend. As I had already sold the smallest pup, this just left the biggest ugly girl. As luck would have it, the window fitter fell out with his girlfriend and so did not buy the puppy - this puppy turned out to be CH KUTANI CINCINNATI!!

Lauren's beauty and grace did not show itself immediately, she was quieter than her sisters and not the pretty gold colour of them; she was a dirty silver/gold with black tips and a black face. But it was her movement. It was this that captivated me, and eventually many of the judges that came to admire her, it was so so effortless.

Lauren didn't have a long show career because by the age of 4, a scrap with her sister, Tellahassee, saw her lose a front tooth, but as she already had I5 CCs by now - no great tragedy. She gained 2 more CCs the following year before being retired to home life and hopefully nest-making duties. However, this was not to be. At the age of 5 years she was mated to her half brother Ch Kutani Rainmaker. A litter 'bred in the purple' was eagerly awaited, unfortunately a scan showed 7 decaying puppies, all being reabsorbed - she had a pyometra. I fought to save her life and to this day I will always be grateful to the vets who gave her back to me. She was spayed, so no hope of puppies, but at least I had her sister to breed from and from whom all my dogs are descended.

In I996, Joan Kendall of the famous Orlane's affix from the USA came to England to judge the Midland Lhasa Apso club's Championship Show. As this was the lady who had bred Intrepid I decided to bring Lauren out of her 3-year retirement and show her in Veteran. I really wanted this lady's opinion of my lovely bitch. She won the Veteran class and to my absolute joy, she was awarded the CC.

Lauren has had many memorable wins, now long forgotten by most, but which stay alive in my memory. When the Lhasa Apso Clubs joined together to hold the first of the Gala competitions, Lauren won the first ever Top Puppy, followed later by Top Dog and then Top Veteran - the only dog to have won all 3 of these prestigious titles!

In I99I she became the top CC holder and then in I992 she became Top Lhasa overall. Her fabulous BIS at the SKC that year helped gain this accolade. She truly was the ugly duckling turned into a beautiful swan.

Of all the many, many good times I remember showing Lauren, I will always remember with special affection, her CC from Veteran and the tears of joy wept by myself and her many friends. She is I2 years old now, my dearest friend and companion, nothing in the world would part me from her - this is my tribute to her.

Wendy Cain