are silly ones. Find out about any health problems in the breed and possibly in their lines (such as PRA, hip dysplasia, thyroid, diabetes, etc.). Don’t be afraid to ask to see test results. Th ey should also be asking you lots of questions—your experience with dogs, your home environment and sched- ule, your ability to socialize and train, and many, many more. Th ere is a PON puppy buyers guide on line that can help you with questions, what to ask and what you should be asked as well as other information. If the breeder doesn’t seem that interested in your situation or seems more interested in rushing you into buying a puppy, I would go elsewhere. I would also recommend you speak to several breeders in several parts of the country before purchasing a puppy, be honest with them, and trust your intuition if something seems awry with them. Good breeders are interested in seeing that there puppies go to good homes where they can spend a lifetime not just selling puppies. Do not rush into buying. Do your homework! BIO Getting her first PON in 1985, Loana J. Shields has long been a Polish Lowland Sheepdog (PON) fancier. As a breeder- owtner handler she finished the first U.S. champion in both conformation and obe- dience, SKC Ch. Europa Casmir z Elzbie- ta, CD in 1988. His photo was presented to the Polish Kennel Club on behalf of the first champion PON in the U.S. She
also showed in ARBA where several of her PONS and their o ff spring became champi- ons and were eventually to become part of the foundation stock in AKC. Loana travelled extensively to intro- duce the breed across the Eastern United States and spent time mentoring under various judges to absorb all she could. She joined a local all-breed club and learned to steward, most often requesting the herd- ing breeds. In 1987, she had recommended to Betty Augustowski, person credited for establishing the breed in the U.S., that a parent club should be started to both pro- mote and protect the PON, hoping to keep it from exploitation as was happening to many other rare breeds. From the begin- ning because of her love of the breed, she promised herself she would always work in any ethical manner possible to promote the breed and help maintain its health, integ- rity, and standard, putting the breed’s needs first. Loana Shields was instrumental in starting the parent club along with her then time partner, Tom Wason, Betty and Kaz Augustowski, Dorene and Herb Zalis,
and Larry and Jane Brown. She became its first secretary. For many years thereafter, she served on the Board, most often as Vice President. For several years she also pro- duced and edited the club newsletter, for which she was nominated as ARBA editor of the year. Her dream was to show her kennel, Shaggi PONS, SKC and ARBA Champion Shaggi PONS Duzy Bozolski in AKC, but before that could happen her health and other circumstances forced her to stop showing. However, her knowledge and will to protect the breed and take part in its welfare continues to this day. In 2004, Loana established a yahoo website called PON Behavior to help other PON owners, particularly those who were having problems with their dogs. Th at site is still active today. Most recently she has developed two informational sites, her goal being to let all people know about the breed and how to go about finding a good breeder and puppy. To learn more, plus the benefit of seeing many pictures, visit the two websites and learn for yourself. Th e sites are www.ponpuppybuyers- guide.com and www.polishlowland- sheepdoginfo.com In the future Loana J. Shields will continue to work for the breed in any way she can. She presently lives in western New York where she lives with her pet, Legacy’s Shadow of Shaggi Pons. She found it ironic that Shadow, her current PON, after all her work, was from a kennel named Legacy and that he “shadows” all her other PONS that have since passed.
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