It wasn’t until the late 1990’s and early 2000’s the first of my dogs developed Degenerative Myelopathy (DM). Then my beautiful Quentin (Ch Afara Quentessence) went down from DM also. So I started to look for a way to breed away from the disease. The DNA test did not come out until 2009 so I did not have any guidance. After the DNA test came out I found that all the Champion DM Clear studs in the country also carried another genetic disease. I have worked so hard to keep my dogs free of genetic diseases for so long that I was unwilling to breed to a genetically unhealthy stud just because he was DM Clear. So I started to breed my DM Carrier bitches to DM Carrier studs that were free of other Pembroke genetic diseases. After 4 generations and 6 DM Carrier to DM Carrier breedings I had not produced any DM Clear puppies – statistically improbable but not impossible.
After the 2012 Cardigan National I visited Triple H kennels – Debbie Cox. There I saw one of the best Pembroke males I had ever seen – Triple H Moonwalker – and he was a DM Carrier and Fluff-free. Walker was a big, very long dog, with one of the best shoulders and upper arms I have felt in a Pembroke. He had a long neck, very short fat hocks with lots of rear angles and a solid level back. So I bred Afara Wilhemina (Tia) to him. Tia has an exaggerated head (too much stop, big round eyes, and very short muzzle). She is very long with a good neck, good bone, good rear angles, short hocks but a completely upright shoulder and very short upper arm. That DM Carrier x DM Carrier breeding produced my “Z” litter and again had no DM Clear puppies in it. The pick puppy was “Zee” Ch Afara Cinberlin Zee’s All That and was sold to Cindy and Jeffery Bryant of Kauai Hawaii. Zee has her own page on this website.
The second pick puppy was ZuZu. I kept her because she was a DM Carrier while Zee was DM At Risk. ZuZu was a big puppy with a good shoulder/upper arm resulting in a good sidegait. She has a long neck, very good bone, a level back, short hocks, good front and rear angles and fairly dark eyes. She has always had a very wavy coat, a big coarse head and grew up to be a 34lb bitch – too big and not pretty enough to show. ZuZu has been a very good producer and is the foundation of my future generations.
ZuZu has OFA Good hips, Elbows Normal, vWD/eyes/Cardiac Clear (eyes first cleared at 8 weeks and cardiac examined by Echo Cardiogram) and is a DM Carrier.
This photo session was taken in the rain which is why ZuZu is so wet in these pictures.