Articles Index/Buying and Selling
Posted 07/02/00

In Search of a Norfolk Puppy Lessons Learned

In June of 1997, I attended the Special Olympics in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. During a break in the Olympic games, I walked to the park. Lo and behold, there was a dog show going on. Being a dog lover I walked around and watched for hours.

I came upon one ring that had a little terrier breed that I had never seen before. As you might guess it was the Norfolk Terrier. I fell in love right then and there. I talked to a gal that was showing her little terrier, Jamie, and got the breeder's name.

Well, I carried that little scrap of paper in my wallet for a couple of years. In November, 1998 we had to have our yellow Lab, Danny, put to sleep. It was a traumatic time for us. We all know what it's like to put a loved one down. After a while it became painfully apparent that the loss of our pet left a large hole in our home and heart. I pulled out that little scrap of paper and called the breeder, Shelly James, in Midland, Michigan.

I told Shelly that I wanted a Norfolk Terrier, that I had previously owned a Cairn Terrier before I had a Lab, and I wanted to go back to a small dog and a terrier to boot! Shelly told me that she had a bitch that was due to whelp in April, but she usually only had three pups and they were all spoken for. I was disappointed but not beaten.

I sent out many letters to breeders across the country. I was asking for puppies or an older dog that needed to be placed. I received many replies, but no one had pups, which was what I really wanted. The Detroit Kennel Club had its show in March, so I went down there and spent about four hours talking to Shelly and got to know more about the breed. I was even more thoroughly convinced this was the breed for me.

On April 11th, Shelly called me and told me that the situation had changed. Her bitch, Ch. For a Goodtime Call Shelly's had given birth to five puppies this time. I would have my pup! My family and I visited her a few times before we actually got to bring her home. Emma is now the love of our lives.

As we all know, Norfolks can get us wrapped around their little paws in no time. Emma and I are going to doggie kindergarten right now and as soon as that is over we will start attending conformation classes. I can't wait to go to my first show with her. We know that possibly next year we will get another pup to keep Emma company. A whole pack isn't out of the question either. I loved the picture of Kerry Hurst's gang on the front of the September 1999 ANTIC and thought that could be my staircase some day!

Jan Hilewsky
ANTIC, December, 1999

Editor's Note: Jan's story is typical of the effort that goes into getting a Norfolk. Her patience paid off. Equally important was the role that responsible breeders -- who took the time to share their knowledge and provide guidance -- played in her selection process. It pays to remember that we are the breed's human ambassadors. How we treat others will eventually come back to us. sf


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