Everyone has probably a dream in ones life, on whose fulfillment one operates. I fulfilled mine after an over 20 years lasting "waiting period " with my Bailey.
At the tender age of approx. 16 years I paged through an animal magazine in the waiting room of a physician ... and there I saw him ... an Irish Wolfhound! It almost took my breath away and something in my brain probably went "click", because from this moment on it was clear to me: "That is my dog"! After this "experience" I searched each dog or animal magazine for reports about Irish Wolfhounds, however unfortunately I didn't find anything too frequently.
But then I found a telephone number in a dog magazine one day, under which one could inquire information about gazehounds in Lower Saxony. I was overjoyed. I collected my whole courage - I was a very, very shy teenager - and called. Unfortunately I made an experience, which pursued me over many years: This "gentleman" was so unbelievably arrogant and unfriendly, tore me off a strip and gave me so lastingly the feeling that I was not worth of owning an Irish Wolfhound (... how much money I would earn, what kind of car I would drive, how old I was, how I could dare to call him ... etc. - and all this in a very unfriendly tone) that for a long time I did not dare to undertake further steps. He even refused giving me names of breeders. I was devastated!
Well, he achieved one thing anyhow: He made clear to me that I could not afford such a dog with my apprentice salary at that time. If he would have given me the names of breeders, whom I could have visited, that would have probably been made clear to me more carefully and I would have gotten hints, where and when I could have gone to exhibitions. But my will was not broken thereby and I planned firmly: "One day I will possess an Irish Wolfhound, no matter how long I would have to wait!!!"
If one has absolutely no idea, where to receive information about a breed or the dates for exhibitions, it is rather difficult to stay on the ball.
Many years passed, before I finally met an Irish Wolfhound in flesh and blood during a dog exhibition in Hannover (advanced notice in our local newspaper) and I promptly broke out in tears (which at that time was extraordinarily embarrassing for my husband).
The next year an advanced notice for a dog exhibition in Hannover was published in our local newspapers again This time it took place at the fairgrounds. In the following year I called the fairground office, in order to inquire about the exhibition dates. They referred me to the Federation Club for dogs in Germany (VDH) and they referred me to the German Gazehound Club (DWZRV) - and there I was finally at the correct address. I could hardly believe my luck. I got info-material, breeder lists and events calendar. From then on we visited many gazehound exhibitions.
Only the courage to address a breeder was still missing. On one of our first exhibitions in Hannover we noticed a white Irish Wolfhound male (the later grandfather of our Bailey), which we found beautiful. Naturally I was too shy to talk to the owner. We saw him again with his dogs the same year in Castrop Rauxel (for our IW list members: The judge that day was our Mr. McEvoy). It took my whole courage to tell the owner that we found his dogs beautiful (he also had a bitch with him this time - the later mother of our Bailey). Thus my courage was already used up. The next year we met him again in Hannover - and I was too shy to address him. Everything was actually correct now - we were ready to take the responsibility of owning an Irish Wolfhound. But I was so excited that I wanted to chicken out. And then it was my husband, who I for many years processed and finally had convinced that we absolutely must have such a dog, who pushed me to seize the initiative. We were already on the way back to our car, when however we turned around and went back to talk to the breeder.
And - what a miracle - information was given to us in a very friendly manner and we separated with the invitation to visit the breeder to look at their IWs and the puppies they had at that time. Said, done (however it took lots of convincing from my husband to make the call that we would like to visit - I was soooooo excited). The visit with the breeder was a full success and a puppy from the next litter was assured to us. Nevertheless it took another 2 years, until finally the long-longed call came:
"Your dog was just born!"