Why afghans? I don’t know…Maybe I like to torture myself…
I live with my 7 afghans in a small place called Askim. It is located 50 km east of Oslo and close to the Swedish border.
I grew up not too far from the first afghan breeder in Norway, Isabella Cavallini Tønneson of Kennel Khasru. I used to look at these strange, but beautiful dogs, even if I was afraid of them. Everyone believed at that time, the 50ies, that afghans were extremely dangerous dogs.
Many years later, when I married, my husband and I decided to buy a dog. He wanted a Boxer and I wanted a Dalmatian. As we could not agree, we went to a big dog show to find our breed.
“I have found it”, my husband said. “It is that beautiful dog over there; she is in full evening gown!” I knew it was an afghan and I told him they were dangerous and such a dog would come in my house over my dead body. Some weeks later he found out there was a litter close to us. I agreed to look at the litter, but I would never have one of those beasts…
Of course, we bought a pup… This was back in 1966... And since we decided to take nothing else but a black masked golden bitch, the puppy, Skaheras Sulla (I was in the Roman History Mood at that time), was of course a black and tan male.
His mother was the sweetest and most friendly dog I had ever met. From the day I met Janne I was at the point of no return. I just can’t live without afghans.
My dear Sulla was killed by a car when he was 13 months old. My world crumbled.
In 1969 I got his half brother, a gift from my mother and his breeder.
Still in that “ Roman History mood” I named him Skaheras Gajus. He was the brindle son of Janne and Lakoyas Ali Yaruk. Ali Yaruk was imported from USA by Eta Pauptit and came later to Sweden to Astrid Finnè of kennel Tanjore. He was the grandson of Shirkhan Of Grandeur.
Gajus was a real afghan monster. He opened all doors, jumped out of windows, jumped over all kind of fences, down from verandas, chased chickens, and mated my neighbor’s dogs in their own living room. For many years some brindle German Shepherds could be seen around, but I had never admitted I knew who the father was.
He reorganized my mother’s garden, “killed” the laundry drying outside, “murdered” her stockings and her friend’s expensive fur hat. He used every chance to roll in all kind of bad smelling items. He once found a pigsty…and he enjoyed every minute of it…
His breeder said:” he has something of the wild, untamed attitude I think the afghans should have, and I am so happy he lives with you and not with me!” I could only thank her!
Gajus was used as a stud a couple of times. One of his daughters, Shasmin, had two litters. From her second litter, by El Khyrias Possible Winner I bought a bitch, El Shamina Prima Wild Poppy.
Her name was Poppy because she “killed” all my poppies during her first hour in my garden. When I decided to breed I used her name for kennel prefix.
Ever since all the generations of Poppyfields have destroyed little by little my garden, my house and my bones… Or others…
The rest of my history in breeding is in the photos of my dogs and in their pedigrees.
Why do I breed afghans? I feel that I have some kind of obligation to continue the oldest Norwegian lines and breed Afghans true to their type.
I am not very interested in modern dog shows, as this is a matter of fashion, however I enjoy when the owners of Poppyfield Afghans are happy with their success and I do like a competent judge to evaluate my dogs.
The legacy of my first Afghan's breeder is: a sound construction, the ability and courage to chase, a sweet temperament in combination with a beautiful, stubborn and crazy aristocrat who has always a surprise in his sleeve.