ALESSANDRA FOLZ, RISSANA WEIMARANERS
Ch. Nani’s Concert Master, SH, BROM
friendship with her for nearly all of my life, in and out of the ring. Ellen showed me, by her excellent example, how to be a sportsman and how to be a handler while main- taining my own breeding program. But back to Phoebe… I cannot even begin to tell you how perfect Phoebe was on a lead. She was heart-stopping. She was shown by the incomparable Stan Flowers. Mr. Flowers gave me someone and something to aspire to be. He was epic with a Wei- maraner. Somehow, he could entice them to his will. And by the time I’d graduated high school, he and Fergie held the Best in Show record for Weimaraners and the all-time, top-winning Weimaraner record. From the time I first saw Marge (who would go on to become multiple BIS SBIS Ch. Colsidex Seabreeze Perfect Fit BROM) at seven weeks, I knew she could beat all of the records, and I wanted to do it with her—not because I wanted to beat Stan’s long- standing record, but because I aspired to be like him. And, lastly, perhaps my greatest mentor was Marge herself. She was the kind of dog that made you want to be better. She transcended that anthropomorphic barrier into a true partner. She was my medical service dog—though it should be said that it wasn’t out of kindness. (When I needed to take my medicine in the middle of the night, she would wake me up, because I was disturbing her beauty rest.) One of my favorite things about her was how she brought people into her circle. She remembered everyone, even if she met them once and hadn’t seen them in a year. Ringside one day, she shared Kent MacFarlane’s salad with him for lunch—just a couple of old friends splitting a Cae- sar salad. Derek Beatty came to my house when Marge was 11 years old. He was so excited to see her, and came into the house calling her name. He stopped, turned to me and said, “I forgot how she could look right through you, and make you feel worthless.” She was, in all respects, the very best of the breed. Your dogs are well known, highly successful and well respected. What breeding philosophies do you adhere to? Weimaraners are very challenging to breed. First and foremost, I will NOT compromise on issues of health.
Nearly all of the puppies we produce, for any breeder, will end up as beloved pets. I do not want to get devastating and devastated calls from puppy owners. Dogs are part of people’s families, and we have a heavy com- mitment to provide dogs that will have long, healthy lives. Now, with all that said, if they can’t be pretty, I don’t want to breed them. There is no point in breeding healthy, ugly dogs. It isn’t really improv- ing breeding stock—or the breed in a historical sense—so why bother? I usually have a plan that is two to three generations ahead of where I am now. I believe if you don’t know where you came from, and don’t know where you’re going, you’re just floundering in an accident that’s about to happen! And, less helpfully, I breed from my gut. I have the advantage of having years upon years of knowledge—either personal, from mentors, or glean- ing it by paying attention over time—so I know what can crop up from what lines, and which dogs contributed certain attributes to the breed. So partly, I use that knowledge, partly, I look at the conformation of the dogs, and partly, I just get a feeling about things. When you’re a breeder, you have to know where you are unwilling to “give.” For Weimaraners, I am unwilling to give on side-go. I think it is so much of the essence of what makes the breed—their make and shape in full stride. They should have ground-eating power coupled with desire, a hard back, an elegant neck, and a great underline.
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