Interview in American weekly newspaper
"DOG NEWS", which was printed in November 2006:
Speak a little about yourself, your profession, your family (if you have a partner please do the same, and tell me how and when this partnership began?)
*Since when, and how you got involved with dogs?
My name is MALGORZATA ( Margaret in English ) SUPRONOWICZ. I am a veterinary surgeon and I live in Poland. I have loved dogs since I was a little girl. For a long time I could not have my own dog -my parents were dentists and we were renting a small apartment in the city of Warsaw. My parents thought that it was not enough room for a dog and that I will be tired of him after some time as happens with many kids.
During the summer vacation on the country side I enjoyed being among animals, including dogs. I wanted to visit those friends and family who had dogs. I have read all the books about dogs which were available during that time. You have to remember it was the communistic era and small animals were not popular at all.
Finally after begging and begging I got my first wire fox terrier bitch AGA in 1968 when I was 13. (My fathers’ first choice was a dachshund but I DID NOT want such a short legged dog) . I showed her two times but did not win - one time she was fourth out of 21 bitches in her class - and then I realized that she was not a show dog. I trained her and she was able to do all the tricks including simple addition. But there was no way that I could have another dog , even me and my twin brother were excellent students. I was National Winner of Polish High School Olympics in mathematics and chemistry .During my veterinary study I never failed any exam and graduated with the highest score.
My parents both died while I was still getting my education. Later I bought another fox terrier bitch. After 6 months I had four dogs - smooth fox terrier bitch and afghan hound domino bitch.
* Are the member(s) of your family also involved and helping you at the kennel/shows?
My husband also vet. PhD Tom Borkowski has been supporting me in my dog show life. We are both international FCI , States Kennel Club and ARBA all breed judges and are very passionate about it. We have been supporting and spreading the knowledge of Polish breeds through publications and special events. My husband is the head of the Polski Owczarek Nizinny Club ( Polish Lowland Sheepdog in US ) in Poland.
We are going to dog shows together. I am washing and training our dogs, he is stripping some of them. Tom does the packing and driving while I do most of the showing. He shows sometimes when we have more than one dog at the same time or if we win more than one group.
Our son Przemek is not interested in dog shows. He likes dogs, but only one at the time. I am sure he will have at least one in the future. He says it will be golden retriever.
* How or why you decided for your kennel name
My dog life I can divide for 3 parts.
First part : when I was alone in the apartment I ended up with 15 dogs on the third floor. I had dogs from Germany- Bismarckquelle kennel, wire fox terrier male from Denmark-Seloy, wire fox terrier bitch from Czechoslovacia - Tornado, two afghan hound bitches- one sired by American male CH. Jeheran`s Tutenhamon out of English bitch PL.CH Khanabad Celestial Blue. This black and tan bitch Int.Ch Kontrapunkt GRUNT TO GRAMATYKA was my star. She was the first International Champion afghan hound bitch in Poland and I won several time BIS with her including West Berlin in 1983 beating almost 4 000 dogs. At this time I was breeding my few litters under INBRED prefix.
Second part : We went to USA in 1988 and spend 5 years there. I wanted to see outstanding American dogs and we were looking for a job connected with purebred dogs. And we were successful. We spent over four years in Blythewood Kennel where we could work with some of the top miniature schnauzers in the country, go to dog shows and meet many wonderful people. Our first dog in the US was afghan hound bitch AKC .CH. PL. CH BIS Pahlavi BOSA NOVA from Karen Wagner ( Pahlavi ). Next was Int.CH.AKC CH.Pl.CH. multiple group winner Gingery`s TUMBLEWEED- chinese crested from Arlene Butterklee ( Gingery ) . It is very hard to mention them all. I wanted so many dogs. I took my Polish Lowland Sheepdog bitch from Poland and she was BOB at first National Speciality and Gr 1 at SKC show this day- INBRED LAPOWKA. We had miniature schnauzer bitch from Althea Millar..We were fortune to be asked to judge over 50 dog shows –SKC ,ARBA , UKK and AKC from New England ,Florida , California up to Alaska.
We had a few litters in USA under prefix PRZEMEK`S – it is name of our son.
Third part : We went back to Poland in 1993 with 10 dogs and 3 parrots on the plane. 10 other dogs were with our friends waiting for us in Poland – they were sent earlier. We started our breeding program back in Warsaw mostly based on American dogs and because we stayed in Pennsylvania in America we wanted something connected with it - something unique and special. The Susquehanna river the longest and the most beautiful river in Pennsylvania which we crossed so many times is the basis for our kennel name, which in Polish is spelled Sasquehanna.
* How came your decision for the breed(s) you are involved with?
My first love was fox terriers, then afghans and then they expanded going to shows in US and seeing the characteristics and show quality of many breeds. That’s how we fell in love with Chinese Crested which reminded us of horses. Their characteristics are amazing and they are truly terrific animals. Just as pugs, miniature schnauzers and so on. We base our love for the breeds we have on beauty and character aspects of the breed. Being in the States we wanted to have American breed that’s why we had American Staffordshire Terriers. Our first amstaff dog was Pl.CH BIS 12 x Cacib Kar-Ron ZBIR and first female PL.CH Fraja EC HILARY the dam of 11 champions.
My Polish friend Marzena asked me to find her a good pug. So we were looking at the show rings, we were talking to people and we started talking to Margery Shriver ( Sheffield ). She was very nice but did not have litters very often. During this time Marzena changed her mind but we were waiting almost 3 years and we bought future World Champion,Int.CH.2 x European CH,32 x CACIB ,5 x BIS Sheffield’s ONE O`CLOCK JUMP.
Meantime we talked to Allan Harper ( Harper ) and at the same week we bought Int.CH.Pl.CH Harper`s CHANCES ARE. Having two males I wanted a girl so we got Int.CH Pl.CH Sheffield’s CHARDONNAY.
Another friend from Poland wanted (and also quit) a white standard poodle so we got Ch.WHISPERWIND ON THE CAROUSEL`s son - Int.CH.Pl.Ch.13 x BIS Dacun`s DELTA WE LOVE TO FLY.
I was in love with American springer spaniels, so we bought Int.Ch (he finished working trials at the age of 12 !!! )Pl.CH. 5 x BIS Shaner`s SHADOW OF THE CONDOR –of course Salilyn`s CONDOR son.
When I saw some beautiful American dachshounds I wanted one and this time very ,very short legs did not bother me at all. I got Pl.CH Kochana`s BENDAZLE OF NITRAM.
We went back to Poland but it was not the end of my dreams.
*Which breed was your first election? What other breeds do you have or still have?
It is so hard to say which breed is my favorite. I love them all. From my childhood I wanted rough collie and I never had one. Maybe some day it will happen.
But coming back to the breeds we have.
Every year from 1989 on I am visiting the greatest dog show in the world WESTMINSTER. It is possible thanks to our American friend Luana Nedich. And every year I am bringing new dogs to our house.
So we also have American Akita, Siberian husky, Chow-chow, Beagle and lately Pomeranians.
Up to this year we brought from US over 50 American dogs including 20 AKC Champions.
We also go to Cruft`s Dog Show every year and we have some dogs from England- Pipeaway Pointers and Redwich Akitas.
Golden retrievers are completely different in US than in Europe so our first Goldens were from Hungary based on English dogs and than an English import Int.CH PL.CH Ritzylyn TOAST MASTER.
We also had for a while English Setter from USA who was living in Finland-World CH,Europian CH, AKC ,Fin,PL,S CH 3 x BIS Windem`s KEEP ON RUNNING.
I had for some time to finish Polish and International titles a wire Dachshund from Germany, Miniature Poodle from Finland , English Bulldog from Slovenia and West Highland White Terrier from Sweden.
All together for all those years I owned 27 different breeds.
Being a judge I am only allowed to show dogs registered on my name.
* Where your breeding kennel is located,
(the city, or the closest metropolis,and if it is a separate place or if the dogs live close by you?)
We live in POLAND 23 km outside of Warsaw city centre in a country side. We have our own 15 acres farm and the dogs have a lot of living space. The whole house and area was designed to fully benefit breeding and have a good quality space kennel facilities.
* Please describe your kennel's facilities.
Our house has been built with the dogs facilities being the most important place. They have a couple of rooms on the ground floor, where they live. From the rooms there are entrances that go outside to the walking areas where each one has a fenced walking booth. There is a grooming room, a cool room for the pugs during the summer due to the heat and a “nursery room” for new litters. When they reach a certain age, they come to the kitchen so they can “socialize” with people. We take great care in the character of our dogs, and we strongly believe that dogs cannot be afraid of people and should be friendly whenever approached by a person. So the kitchen and outside territory is where people and dogs meet. The rest of our house is used as living quarters, where dogs are present through literature, art and trophies. We also have other animals on our land such as Arabian horses, miniature horses, two goats, a donkey, Indian Runners ducks, chickens, geese and pigeons.
* How many dogs do you presently own?
I never count them.
* Are you involved with any other dog-related activity? (judge, handler, dog clubs directive activities, dog-writers etc....)
We were judging in many Europian countries , in USA and Canada ,in Azia and next year we are invited to judge in Australia.
Tom with other photographers established WORLD DOG PRESS ASSOCIATION and he is a member as Professional Photographer and Reporter supplying Polish and foreign journals and books . He is also member of the Editorial Board of Polish Official dog magazine PIES .
We are co-authors along with E.Jane Brown of THE OFFICIAL POLISH LOWLAND SHEEPDOG book t . f. h. publication and authors of many articles connected with dogs including annual reports from WESTMINSTER and CRUFT`S Dog Shows with plenty of pictures.
We introduced the junior handling competition to Polish Kennel Club .Every summer we have a couple of juniors who are practicing showing dogs ,going to dog shows making friends and having a lot of fun and gaining a lot of practical knowledge.
We also have Veterinary and Animal Breeding Students for practical training in the field of dog breeding and management during summer time.
* Are you familiar with the North American dog Fancy? Do you whish to speak about your impressions about this?
Yes we know many American breeders and handlers .We have a lot of friends in North American dog Fancy, . Our successes are possible because of their support , knowledge and friendship. Americans lsuch as Betty Augustowski , Carole Weinberger , Mary Ann Posh , Bonnie Harris , Janet Taylor , Patty Page , Margery Good and David Frei and many others helped us a lot and we will never forget it .
Thank You all very much .
Dog shows in America are different than in Europa. We can see much more professionalism in every aspect –in organization of the rings , grooming area ,unloading dogs and most importantly superb showmanship.
And maybe the most important think is that the quality of many , many breeds is of the highest level.
*Please mention your achievements at the shows - your top dogs in general.
As I said I love to show my dogs. From 1993 I have shown 180 of my own dogs. 170 of them became Polish Champions. We finished over 80 International Champions ( To be International Champion the dog has to win 4 x CACIB at International Dog Show in 3 different countries in longer than one year )
We have won over 120 BIS and it is hard to count how many group 1.
We have 2,445 trophies in our big trophy room upstairs. We bred over 200 champions.
My top winning dog is a Golden Retriever born in Hungary –now 12 years old-
Int.CH. Polish and Hungarian Champion CHICAGO of Top Team.-he was 18 times BIS becoming the most winning dog of all time in Poland,12 times res BIS and 53 group 1.
These results are nothing to compare to top handlers in the US –but we have only shows on Sunday, and some two day International shows Saturday and Sunday so the dog can win BIS only once a week. Plus we have our family, Tom has 4 dauthers and 5 grandchildren so sometimes we are busy during the weekend not only with dog shows. Every year we go to Polish Arabian Horse Championship ,two weeks in USA for the Garden, one week for Cruft`s and some judging take our time out of dog shows.
Chicago has some kind of record winning two BIS in one day. He won the group on Saturday in Warsaw at International show and the next day was National Speciality 3 hours drive away. He went there with my husband and won SBIS, best sire and best brace with his daughter. Then Tom drove with Chicago as fast as he could-I was showing other dogs in Warsaw-and was back just 10 minutes before BIS.
This was very lucky day for us because res BIS was our Chinese Crested AKC.CH.Int CH Pl.CH.Rus .Ch. Gingery`s KRIMSON `N` CLOVER and third in BIS was also ours Siberian Husky INT.CH.Pl.CH Blaquejack`s SUGAR `N SPICE –American import.
Another wonderful dog I had was USA CH. Int.CH Pl.CH .Rus.ChH. Pahlavi FERRARI. He won BIS 13 times and group 1- 34 times.
One of my favorite dogs I own is Pug Sheffield`s SHENANDOAH. He came to me when he was a little over one year old as AKC Champion. He finished his Polish Championship easily ,than he became International Champion and European Winner 2000. After this win he went for a while to Scandinavian countries and became a Finish, Swedish, Danish and Norwegian Champion and 2 times best sire in Sweden. Then he went to England for one year and became English Champion and NR 2 Pug in GB. He was happy to be back home and at the age of 6 he was again European Champion 2004.
Another Pug I love is my breeding bitch sired in USA by AKC Ch.Sheffield`s STUFFED SHIRT- Sasquehanna SHEFFIELD FOR ME (MEME ). Her brother and sister went to Margery Shriever and both finished American titles. MEME is World Junior Champion 2003, European Champion 2004.Int.CH.Pl.CH and multiple BIS puppy, BIS junior and 5 x BIS including the biggest show in Poland Poznan 2003-with over 3 thousand entries.
AKC CH Gingery`s KRIMSON`N` CLOVER was the dog I was very proud of. He was grandson of my Int.Ch_AKC CH.Gingery`s TUMBLEWWED and came to me for a while when he was almost 5 years old as Westminster winner 1999 and nr 2 Crested in US. He was 5 x BIS and 23 group 1 with me and he produced many World and European Champions.
We also have some Polish dogs. Our best Polish Lowland Sheepdog is TOP PON of all time. MALINA z Gangu Dlugich spend some time in the US by Karen Wagner ( Pahlavi ). She finished her AKC championship and was WESTMINSTER WINNER in 2002.Than she came back home and has won 11 times BIS and is European Champion 2002 and World Champion 2003.
* Any dog (s) in special?
All my dogs are special but of course they can not be loose all the time. The variety of characteristics, sizes and sex are the reason that we have many runs and rooms for them.
But we had in the house a very special Akita bitch Pl.CH Winspirit AKIKO NO KEISUKE she came to us as 3 year old dog and did not want to be on any run. After few days we let her loose on our property and she was sleeping at the front door. Very soon she moved inside the house and was our guard dog for over 11 years. She was not dog aggressive dog, but had her own rules. Some people did not like her but we loved her and we miss her very much.
Another house dog is little Chinese Crested bitch Int.CH.Pl.CH Group winner Sasquehanna DZIEKUJE (that means THANK YOU ) Her son Int.CH.AKC.Ch.Pl.CH Sasquehanna DARDIR was nr 1 PP in USA in 2003 and two times Award of Merit at the Garden with VICTOR HELU.
* Something different (funny or sad) related to your life with the dogs, or doc activities?
Dziekuje sleeps in our bed and can do whatever she likes. Every morning she goes with my husband to HELP with milking our goat and loves to drink warm milk.
I entered 27 dogs to Europian Dog Show in Poland 2000 and could not sleep for 3 weeks because I was worried how to organize this .It was OK , I won 16 titles and was very happy .But I promised myself that I will never do it again .
This year we have World Dog Show in Poland - Poznan 2006 and I entered only 25 dogs. I have to add that we both were invited to judge this prestigious show but we choose to be exhibitors . I hope the judges will like our dogs and we will add another title to our collection.
To see WORLD DOG SHOW held in POZNAN You have to come to Poland Nov 9 till Nov 12 2006.
For ages Poznan has been recognized as a destination of meetings .The Poznan International Fair is modern , high-quality and the largest convention centre in Poland.
It is 41st International Dog Show under patronage of FCI including Europian Dog Show in 2000.
* Feel free to say or mention what ever else you want, even if I did not asked.
My webside is www.sasquehanna.fr.pl
Some cups of our dogs