FIR ACRES

 

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Firacres was established in 1960 when I married my husband Ed, and we attended my first dog show on our honeymoon. Ed's sister, Barbara. showed Afghan Hounds during this time, and we stopped by for a visit with her and just to look at the Seattle Kennel Club Bench Show. This First Dog Show opened up a whole new world of dogs to me as a dog lover and I was hooked! I do believe Ed thought he'd been hooked too! We did not begin Firacres with Yorkshire Terriers, but Norwegian Elkhounds!

We raised two children who became involved with the sport of dogs through Junior Showmanship and 4-H Dog Programs. The dog activities with our children, Kari and Jerry broadened our focus in dogs to include their chosen breeds, a Yorkshire Terrier for Kari and both of them also had Shetland Sheepdogs as well as working with the breeds Ed and I were showing. Ed enjoyed upland game bird hunting and working dogs in the field, both competitively and for the pure enjoyment of watching sporting dogs work. We became involved with German Shorthaired Pointers and Pointers and participated in Field Trials as well as always showing the dogs in Conformation and Obedience.

Kari, now lives in the Coeur d'Alene Idaho area with her husband, Bruce and her daughter Kayla. Kari is an elementary school teacher and at this time, has a spayed Yorkie, "Slider", as their family pet . Kari has never lost her natural ability of handling dogs and likes to help out when she can at Dog Shows in her area we attend.  Her daughter, Kayla, has a spayed Toy Fox Terrier, "Dixie" and would have every one of "her favorites" from FirAcres, at her home, if allowed!! I can see Kayla in the dog show rings in the future. Her first trip on the Idaho/Montana Circuits in our Motorhome found her winning majors on a puppy dog, beating us both with our Open Dogs!!

Jerry. is in Duvall, WA, with wife Lisa, and has an "almost finished" degree in Hotel and Restaurant management and was a restaurant manager until 2002. He then had the opportunity to join Travis Industries, a manufacturing company with 500 employees, of several brands of Woodburning/Pellet/Gas Stoves so popular these days.  The company is now in Mukilteo, WA and Jerry is now the Human Resources Manager for them. They had two children, Briana and Brendan, until March 10, 2005 when Bricelyn Elizabeth was born to make then a family of five!! Jerry has Labrador Retrievers, with an intense interest in training them as hunters. His first litter of 12 puppies (OMG!!) were ready for the fall hunting season, the dam is a very enthusiastic hunter and their new yellow lab boy shows a great deal of instinct and willingness during training at his tender age of 3 months. Their older children are very involved in sports and cheerleading activities at school.

For the first 15 years or so of our marriage Sharon worked for a Small Animal Veterinary Specialist, as his technician and assistant and Dog Groomer;  then for 3 years, our family lived in the house adjoining the Small Animal Hospital . During this time period, Sharon also developed a clientele of Grooming Clients and Sharon's Pet Salon came into being.  After a move back to Pullman, WA from the Boise, ID area, Sharon worked for the WSU Veterinary School's Small Animal Clinic for 5 years as a Small Animal Tech. and head of Central Services & Supply for the Small and Large Animal Departments, working closely with the Doctors in the Teaching Hospital as well as the Junior and Senior students. "Picking the Brains" of students and Doctors was a great learning tool that earned Sharon the nickname of "Dr. Quack" from her peers and our Veterinarian, Dr. Lee Anderson, Anacortes, WA who we've been with since moving the Mount Vernon in 1977, and even though said in fun, the experiences and learning that was shared has been invaluable to us in our career in dogs.

Dog shows almost every weekend played prominently as our main activity in our family and led to seeing us re-locate to the West Coast of Washington in 1977, for closer access to the majority of the Pacific Northwest Dog Shows. We found ourselves involved in local all-breed kennel clubs and Specialty Clubs as well as activities revolving around two young teens who were still active in dogs as well as other outside interests from baseball to competitive dancing. Ed coached Jerry's teams from T-ball to Babe Ruth Baseball, Sharon attended as a spectator and Mom, as well as driver for Kari's Dance Competitions and other busy teenager activities.

Ed has many interests and diversified skills which led him to finding his niche in life and being very responsible as the head of his family.  He trained as an Appliance and TV Technician with Sharon's Dad in his business for two years, when we made the decision to move to Nampa, ID as a Technician for Montgomery Ward Co.  Upon closure of the store in that area, he then worked for Blacker Appliance until Sharon's Father passed away in 1967 and the family moved back to Pullman, WA to take over the family business.  The demands of our growing family soon proved the stability afforded by being employed by Washington State University as a Building Engineer and its benefits were to open the door of opportunity to eventually move our family to Western Washington. Ed was the Director of Operations and Maintenance for the Mount Vernon School District until his retirement in 1995.  Since then he has expanded his interests in fishing, boating and just plain puttering around our house and yard and being Sharon's Right Hand Man..........his assistance with the responsibilities with the dogs is invaluable, and it would be impossible for Sharon to fly to many of the show sites without his ability to take over in her absence.

We have been exhibitors and breeders of Yorkshire Terriers for 30+ years and have never regretted getting involved with this wonderful breed. I consider us a good source of information for the pet owner as well as the aspiring exhibitor of this breed. If you should decide you want to show and eventually exhibit and raise Yorkshire Terriers, we can be an excellent source of help as well as explaining to you cautions you need to consider before embarking on this endeavor. To quote Dr. Alvin Grossman, author of The Standard Book of Dog Breeding: A New Look, "Exhibitors do not have to be Breeders, but Breeders MUST be Exhibitors.".  I really agree with this statement and am a firm believer that not every male is potentially a good stud dog and likewise, not every female is a good candidate to be a producer of puppies and neither one may be necessary to contribute to the genepool for the preservation of a breed.  Responsible exhibitors and breeders test their stock for inheritable defects, be up front with you regarding problems they may have had in their bloodlines, be there as mentors, regardless of your breed, and be willing listeners and offer advice when sought.

The Yorkshire Terrier has become so very popular, many Yorkies are bred that should never be allowed to reproduce due to lack of breed type and/or soundness, they may carry apparent or hidden hereditary defects, and are just not a good representatives of the breed that would lend themselves to perpetuate what the Yorkshire Terrier should be. Temperament of a beloved pet, companion or showdog, does not mean it will always be passed along to it's offspring. If friends or family "want one" just like the prospective sire or dam, it won't necessarily happen that way. Just like our own children,"with the same Mom and Dad" they are all different to a degree in temperament and appearance too. 

Our involvement with Chinese Cresteds began shortly after the breed was again recognized by the AKC in 1991, however this was from a distant awareness of the Breed and looking at it a bit askance.  But then, Again, Ed's sister, Barbara, is responsible for introducing us to Chinese Cresteds as she became an owner and exhibitor of them.  I was not well acquainted with the Breed until I decided I would like to show them and become more aware of their care and was quite fascinated with their 'pony-like characteristics'............LITTLE did I know what bringing home Lucy and Willow from one of Barbara's litters would lead to.  Ed liked Willow the best, I liked Lucy the best, sooo, they both stayed with us.  We showed them briefly as puppies, without being terribly successful in this first venture. Studying and watching the breed ringside at shows all over the country, soon brought me to realize, I needed something a bit 'different' to embark into the Crested World.  Hence, Tuxie 1 made up our first Champion and the rest is pretty much History.  

Chinese Cresteds are a delightful bundle of clown, snuggle bunnies, entertainment on four feet, well some of the time!, part Billy Goat, fast as a gazelle on the run and just as beautiful to watch.  They are addicting, the two coat varieties, Hairless and Powderpuff, the added variety of coat patterning and colors, the Hairless's ability to tan and fade with exposure to sunshine, the need for care of the Hairless's skin, the challenge to have lovely furnishings and 'buttersmooth skin' without excessive body hair, the satisfaction of grooming and presentation of a correctly conditioned powderpuff, the anticipation of what varieties in coat and color in an expected litter, all have come into play in our serious involvement with this Breed.  I can only begin to describe what having a Crested in your life is all about.  They are very adaptable to many activities a person would like to do with them.........but they are also very satisfied to just be your buddy and I find them VERY tuned in to one's menu for the day, so to speak.

We are glad you have visited our pages and hope you have enjoyed your time spent here. You are welcome to Email us for further information about Yorkshire Terriers, Chinese Cresteds or even dogs in general. Companion Puppies are occasionally available for qualified homes and owners. If you think you would enjoy sharing your life with a Yorkshire Terrier or a Chinese Crested, we are happy to have you visit us and our dogs to experience "Yorkiemania" or "Crestedsilliness".. Do let us know you stopped by for a cyber-visit, by signing our guestbook below, and we hope to meet you in person one day. If you are going to be in our area, write us an email or give us a call to arrange for a personal visit. We are located in the beautifully Skagit Valley, gateway to the San Juan Islands and Puget Sound, a vacationland 365 days a year, wet or dry!!

 

 

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