I've never had a life without a dog since the day I was born. My family always had a dog and most of them were mongrels. In my childhood days, I was dreaming to be a vet or a guide dog trainer. However, I was (and still am) not as smart as being able to be a vet and both of my parents never wanted me to be a guide dog trainer.
However, having a job related to dogs was always one of my future hopes. After graduated from college, I was working for a private school for kids. Since most of my classes started from after 3:30 pm, I had plenty of time in the mornings. So, I decided to go to a grooming school. After a few weeks, I asked my friend to find me a toy poodle. I wanted to have my own one for a practice. I got a cute little Toy in a short while. It was my first Poodle, Addie.
Being honest, I did't like Poodles at all. I didn't like their looks and air they have around them. They are so tiny, just like a 'real' TOY. I couldn't believe they were DOGS either. However, when I met Addie, I soon fell in love with this cute little fluffy creature. Later I have also found that this little guy really has a brain! I used to think tiny dogs like Toy Poodles never had enough brain and they should be very stupid. I had to admit that those of my thoughts were totally wrong. Addie really taught me how smart and cute the Toy Poodles are and she lead me into the Poodle world.
My friend, who arranged Addie for me used to show Shih Tzu dogs for years. One day she took me to a dog show and I began showing Addie by myself. I was totally a novice then and it took me a long time to finish her. I happened to meet Addie's breeder, who was one of the leading show handlers and Poodle breeders then. Since he was living close to my place, I often visited his kennel to learn grooming.
He had a pretty Standard Poodle bitch from USA and he used to tell me I should get involved in Standards if I'd really want to learn about Poodles. He repeatedly told me that Standards are the 'standard' of Poodles. I really admired his beautiful bitch but I too well knew that owing a big breed with a coat shouldn't be as easy as it looks. I was very reluctant to have a Standard then.
After finishing Addie, I showed her daughter Titi and finished her too. I got married then and everything around me had been dramatically changed. I didn't become a groomer. I quitted showing and breeding Toys, and forgot Standard Poodles for a while.
My husband and I have been running a small printing business and it always kept us so busy. Between those busy days, I sometimes went to see dog shows. Then I remembered that beautiful Standard Bitch whom Addie's breeder had. Addie's breeder had also quitted breeding and showing Poodles, so I used to ask my dog show friends if they knew a good Standard breeder or if they could find a good puppy for me or not. However, they always said, "Forget about Standards. There are no good ones and you should be regret paying a great amount of money for just a pet puppy." Their words made sense. Numbers of Standard Poodles in Japan are small, even smaller than today then and I couldn't find my favorite type of dogs at all. I finally gave up trying to find a puppy here and decided to find one in the States. Why USA? It is because it has been always a very familiar country to me and I often had a chance to make a trip there. I can make a communication with English but I just can't speak any German nor French. That's all. <g>
I started to subscribe Poodle Review and after looking into a few issues, I fell in love with some breeder's dogs. I know we just can't judge dogs only through pictures, but I really liked her Standards. I felt something in them. When I was about to call her, I got a phone call from my friend. She said "Are you still interested in having a Standard Poodle? A professional handler is looking for a home for his show Poodles."
A week after, I drove to a handler's place to adopt 16 months old bitch. That was Nanako. She came to me unexpectedly on March 20, 1992. Her handler told me that Nanako's owner had become bankrupt and would like to give away all of his dogs.
There was another unexpected encounter. After a few days, I received Nanako's pedigree and I was so surprised to see the dogs behind her. Nanako was a descendent from that beautiful bitch Addie's breeder had. Also her background blood line came from very close to the background from the American breeder I was about to make a contact with.
I do think I am very fortunate. Addie opened the door and invited me into the Poodle world. Nanako then opened me another door. (I will tell you about this later, if I can.)
After Nanako came to me, I gave up having a Standard puppy from the Ameircan breeder. Nanako made me so busy and old Toys (Addie and Titi, and later plus Connie) made my hands full. I always want to be responsible to my little kids, so I thought the right time for my new puppy was not coming yet.
In the fall of1994, I had a chance to go to a business show in Chicago. I called the breeder and met her at last. Seven more years after, I brought back Leanne from the breeder I fell in love. You may think I'm silly spending too many years just to get one puppy. I don't think so. I did need times before having a new one and stepping back into dog show rings. If I didn't take much time, I'm sure I made mistakes or I had more troubles.