AZAWAKH INTERVIEW: ALIYA TAYLOR
I also co-own another bitch from a litter from two years ago, named Kel Imajaghan Jedediah, who has attained her Championship. 12. Is there a funny story you can share about your experiences with the Azawakh? It’s a kinda funny story, I suppose. It was when I showed my dog, Bahir, for the first time in a big show, which happened to be the National Dog Show in 2019. He had only limited showing experience—and I asked a lot from him that day. We were the first to introduce the Azawakh at the National Dog Show. I was nervous, but I tried to keep my cool in the ring. Bahir, being an Azawakh, young and true to his nature, decided that he wanted to hide in the folds of the dress I had on. We were on national television, and I had to pick up his back end and straighten him out so that the judge could examine him. (He was just a year old that Thursday!) We got over the momentary snag, and we showed beautifully in the ring. We both survived! I was very proud of him that day. He’s now an “old hat” at showing and enjoys his time in the ring with his AKC registered handler and good friend, Bekki Pina. Another story was when I was walking a few of my Azawakh in Fairmount Park. A woman was driving past and yelled out her win- dow something that I couldn t make out. She looped back around and parked her vehicle on the curb, and asked me if I were royalty because I looked like a princess walking those exotic dogs! Since I am a practicing Muslim, I wear the traditional headscarf called a hijab. I also had on a loose pink and black dress. She said we looked like something out of a high-end magazine, and she asked about the breed. It was refreshing to talk with someone who didn’t com- ment on how skinny the dogs were, and instead, just focused on their beauty. Mash'Allah.
It’s been a trend as of late to have dogs as “service dogs.” The Azawakh is not suited for this kind of work because of its aloof and avoidant character. There are a few individuals that are service animals, but it’s not the norm for the breed; I do not recommend it. 11. Do you show your dogs in Conformation? Performance or Companion events? I do show my dogs in Conformation. Since COVID, shows have been few and far between. I was stricken with COVID in the very beginning of the pandemic, so no shows for that time. I am finally starting back up with conformation myself, and have attended some lure coursing events to get my younger dogs keen for the lure. In the meanwhile, I have hired a handler to show my newest show prospect that I got from Finland. The import’s name is Bahir, (Ingenue Idanse Bollinger) and I expect great things from him! He is also the sire of the litter I have on the ground now out of a bitch I bred from my first litter over five years ago. Her name is Kel Imajaghan Auhainah, and she was the second dog I showed to its CM (Certificate of Merit) in the Miscellaneous Class, before full recognition by the AKC. These puppies will be the future of Kel Imajaghan. I am looking to improve on height, so I am opti- mistic that this breeding has done that for my line. I have also shown my first Azawakh to his CM, and another female I have at my home who was the dam of my first litter. I also have a little bitch whom I co-bred with a friend and co-owner, Deb Kidwell. Deb’s been in the breed since the 1980s and she has a wealth of information that I go to time and time again. Our bitch’s name is (Umoya) Kel Simoon Umoya n'Imajaghan. I just got her AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy certification, which is a step towards the Canine Good Citizen certificate. I plan on doing lots of activities with her in the future, like Rally and Obedience as well as Conformation.
258 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, JUNE 2021
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