Midbar Salukis run through the hours of my days and all of my writing -- they are the inspiration of my edited volume. Their character, intelligence, devotion, heart, and beauty gave me the determination to create a tribute to them and their like, the desert hound, in The Saluqi: Coursing Hound of the East. Had The Archives Azal of Davijoya and Div Tarabin never produced their litter -- the book never would have come to be. Dar and Div Tarabin, The Archives Azal of Davijoya, then the exceptional puppies (now 16 years old) lead me from the engaging but superficial dog-show world back in time, back to the beginnings of our wonderful breed, back into the coursing field where the essence is still found, where the heartbeat of history is still heard.
My first ten years of involvement were devoted to studying, showing, and writing for various Saluki and sighthound publications in the USA and abroad. For my efforts, I won several Dog Writer's Association of America awards and nominations and served as a contest judge on several occasions. In 1984 I bred a lovely litter of what I then considered "dual purpose" salukis -- the first purpose to be pretty and feathery -- lots of hair! Good coursers were also hoped for, but I was still in the mainstream of dog-show mode.
When that litter was about a year old, the fateful accident occurred -- Div Tarabin navigated through my son's barrier right into the eager embrace of our dear Azal, then very ill and near death. Marvelous hound that he was, a breeding took place and the amazing puppies were born on 3/22/85 -- TEN of them, all smooths, 7 boys! It never occurred to me to breed open-field coursing dogs nor did it occur to me that gaining open-field coursing titles for as many of this superb litter as possible would become an obsession. It did. I drove thousands of miles over the five years they ran in competition. Had we lived nearer hunt locations, they would have earned more points -- but I did what I could. I had this belief that the early American hounds, close to desert origins and "desert breds" were where the "real" Saluki was to be found. It was just one of those "preferences" all fanciers create to locate themselves in the breed. When the Azal X Div litter entered the field -- my theory became fact. I have continued in this direction, as all who study pedigrees can see.
Midbar Salukis descend from early American, English, and recent Mid Eastern imports. They are registered with the American Kennel Club and can participate in all events. In almost 25 years of involvement with Salukis, I have bred only 4 litters and co-bred 2 litters. A total of 38 Salukis bear the Midbar prefix. Most of these are "smooths" and few have been shown. The outcross to Knightellington Wizz was the first infusion of "glamour" into my line and the puppies are being noticed in the show ring as well as the coursing field.
The Azal X Div litter (whelped 3/22/85), produced 7 NOFCA title winners, with 4 earning both CC/CM and 4 winning American Saluki Association cups. Only one pup from the Beershevah CC, CM X Galit litter (whelped 8/9/94) entered the field; he earned two 5th placements and one 1st placement in a breed hunt and was invited to the Grand Course his first season. He was hit by a car in New Mexico and killed. From the Knightellington Wizz X Shavov litter (whelped 5/30/95), Magic and Khalil are coursing in California and both have earned points and numerous kill credits in their first season. From the repeat Wizz X Shavov litter (whelped 11/3/95), Asuwish Ava has earned the first AKC title for Midbar Salukis, AKC Junior Courser.
As a breeder I hope to have litters of unif. Midbar Salukis exude athleticism and a natural sort of unmanipulated beauty. They are smooth bodies from muscle mass and good care. No healthy animal should be "bony". They are sturdy, responsive, love to cuddle, and have their instincts intact. They are super sensitive, obedient, and deeply devoted. Most of the puppies I have placed have gone to people who have had the breed for a long time -- a few have gone to newcomers who recognize their uniqueness and are not afraid to walk into competition with a Saluki that looks like it stepped out of the desert yesterday rather than 100 years ago.
If, outside of my family, my name is remembered by future generations, my Salukis are the reason. I couldn't be more proud or grateful.