Ch Piper CD ROM
By Ellen Raper

Despite knowing better I did many things "wrong" when I purchased my first Bouvier. The reason I say I knew better is that I had worked as kennel manager in a very successful OES show kennel in the early 70s and was well educated about researching a breed and then making a careful choice of breeder.

Well, I followed through on the first part of the assignment and did a pretty good job of researching the breed. I was single at the time and had a Maltese (Mac) and an OES (Apache). I often left the two in the car (windows wide open in the south) and felt that the OESs presence would prevent the Maltese from being snatched out of the car. Apache was getting old and I was concerned about having Mac in the car unattended by a large dog. The Bouvier breed was reputed to be protective without being aggressive which would fit in well with my life style.

I also had experience in grooming the Maltese and OES after walks in the woods and trying to maintain a semblance of show coat. The Bouvier was described as having a rough and tousled look and it sounded like a breed that could be out hiking in the woods one day and be shown the next.

To this point all had gone according to plan. I visited a breeder nearby and spoke to a number of others by telephone. Having two males already the new addition had to be a female. One breeder, a six hour drive away, had a litter on the ground but they were all reserved. She informed me she would call by a certain date if one of the reservations for a bitch was cancelled. When I did not hear from her I figured that a puppy from her litter was not meant for me.

Then, out of the blue, some weeks past the time she said she would call, the phone rang and it was the breeder asking if I was still interested in a puppy. I drove up that very weekend to purchase one.

What had I done wrong? I had not asked for any specific information about the puppy!! I had not inquired about the terms of the contract or about the litters pedigree. I did not know anything about the sire and dam and had no idea the color range of the litter. Even the basic question as to the price of the puppy had somehow escaped my attention.

I drove up with a crate, puppy leash, and a checkbook. I had not anticipated that, with the ears still tender from cropping, the puppy could not be put on leash yet. As I pulled out of the driveway I knew I could not stop to let that little fuzz ball out until I got home. When she began an incessant howling and crying I thought I was in for 6 hours of pure torture. After about 15 minutes she fell quiet and was still and silent the rest of the way home.

I was confident that I knew something about sharing my life with puppies and dogs and that this would just be another canine to raise. After all, I grew up with a poodle, had worked in grooming shops and boarding kennels, and had trained numerous breeds. I was wrong again. None of that knowledge applied to Bouviers. This little ball of fur, soon to leave the appellation of cute behind forever, was my introduction to the Bouvier breed.


The puppy, a Vulcain daughter and a Ruffian granddaughter bred by Roy and Pat Schiller (for those of you who go back that far in the breed), grew to become Ch. Piper, CD. In her time Piper was a top producer and the foundation bitch of Daelgardes Bouviers. To see Pipers pedigree click here.

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