Saturday, 30 November 2013 19:59

Every Picture Tells A Story: Jalna

The time is May of 1989. The place is the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee. It is the 1989 National Week. This picture captures Am Can Ch Slaton's Jalna Von Yondo going Winners Bitch at the Greater Cincinnati trailer show. 

The judge was Judith Goldworm of the Serendipity Kennels- famous back in the 60s and 70s. She was the breeder of the lovely smooth specialty winner, Ch Serendipity's Pussy Cat, as well as a number of other important Saints of that time. It was not too surprising that Judith would find Jalna to her liking because a year or two before she had given her sire, Am Can Ch Benbaron's Yondo Von Gizer HF PE, Best In Specialty Show at the New England SBC specialty. Judith always appreciated a good smooth.

Handling Jalna was Don Osborne. Don was a skillful handler originally out of California. He showed a lot of Saints throughout the 80s and 90s. The gentleman standing behind Don is the late Jean Chretien, Jalna's owner. Jean originally came out of Quebec and we met him in Ottawa, Ontario in the 80s. He was a big fan of our Yondo and we helped him get Jalna as a baby from her breeder, Shirley Wolf. That's Shirley with the big smile! Jean was one of those very passionate fellows that we often see come and go in the breed. He started out with a pup or two, got hooked on the shows, grew his kennel to 10 or more dogs quickly, then got too upset when the judging and politics did not go his way and quit in a rage. He wasn't the first fancier to do so and he certainly won't be the last. Jean was a very intelligent and interesting man and we often wondered what things might have been like if he had taken everything a bit more slowly. We miss him.

Shirley was one of the first breeders to appreciate Yondo's potential as a stud and she sent her Ch Slaton's Harlow Jean to be bred to him. Her very successful "J" litter resulted and there were seven champions, almost all of them specialty winners. Harlow Jean of course went on to set the record as the top dam of champions in the history of the breed. Shirley had started her long association with St Bernards while out in California during a time when dogs with a Sanctuary Woods pedigree were doing very well. Harlow Jean had such a background as did Yondo. So their pedigrees were highly compatible and the litter reflected that genetic heritage. It is interesting to note that Shirley got a smooth bitch, Benbaron's X-stasy Of Yondo, from our 50th litter and thus carries on that sort of breeding even after all these years. 

Shirley is one of those breeders who can see the big genetic picture and takes the long view. The future of the breed in any time depends on such breeders. I sincerely hope there are dedicated young folks out there today who learn to do likewise. We wish them the best of luck!


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