Sweet Recompense of Niavana
1976 May name changed to include of Niavana|
1978 Apr UK Champion
1978 Jul Breeders Diploma
1981 Crufts BOS & CC
Roll of Honour
IN THE BEGINNING
My first sight of a Belgian Shepherd Dog was in 1970, while working for a small film production company owned by the renowned actor Albert Finney.
It was Albert and his then wife, French Actress Anouk Aimee, who introduced me to a large black bear who I was later to learn was a Belgian Shepherd named Alec. Albert Finney was at the time working on the film Scrooge. One of his co-stars was Sir Alec Guiness and he brough his dog onto the set. Yes, you guessed it - another Belgian Shepherd.
Part of my duties was to dog-sit while Albert was away. Once I had been given the famous Belgian paw I was hooked and vowed that one day I would own one of these beautiful dogs.
Little did I know that I would not stop at just one!
MY FIRST BELGIAN SHEPHERD
I did not have too long to wait for my first Belgian. In 1974, shortly after my marriage to Alan, I came home with my own black bear cub, a Groenendael I named Belshep Woodsia Velro (Ace), who we did show for some time, without much success.
He was very tall, 28 inches at the shoulder, and we thought him wonderful but soon realised he was not a typical specimen, although a wonderful character and a super introduction to the breed.
TO BE OR NOT TO BE
If Ace had been my only Belgian, I am sure I would have left the breed after a short time. That was not to be however, for in 1975 I took a train journey which was to change my life.
We went to see an eight month old bitch in Leicester. The breeding was unknown to me and her name was Dusty Dustbin - not a very promising start! She was super, though at the time we did not realise quite how good she was. We bought her on the spot, anyway, and she later became known as Ch Sweet Recompence of Niavana. She was always Dusty to us, though.
Living in the middle of 350 acres with kennels attached to the house provided ample opportunity for breeding. Obtaining a bitch of such quality convinced us that that was the path we wanted to tread, so we set about finding an affix.
Easier said than done. I wanted the affix to say something about what I was trying to achieve and after much research the word NIRVANA surfaced.
There were various dictionary definitions which did not impress but the one that caught my eye was "attaining mental and physical perfection".
That was it, that was what I wanted for my Belgian Shepherds but as the Kennel Club would not approve words straight from the dictionary, I had to change a letter. Thus was NIAVANA born.
Dusty was a double Ch Laralees Traveler grand-daughter and being so inbred was to prove an advantage as she always stamped her many qualities in her matings. I can see her even now in the eyes of some of her great-grandchildren. Dusty took to the show ring and the judges took to her She was the most wonderful bitch to show, always giving everything and moving like a dream.
She gained the bitch CC at Crufts under breed specialist Doreen Bushby, who wrote of her: "She fits the standard so well it might have been written for her."
Ch Sweet Recompence was the foundation of the Niavana kennel and, in turn, her offspring formed the foundation of other noted kennels.
(Jacky MacAndie) 1993 YB p321-233
Courtesy of: dhuckestein