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Author Liz O'Connor (UK Renza Afghans)

We're up to Thursday now and this was the day for us to visit the Grandeur Kennels. Once again we had to travel through New York - they even sell burgers and newspapers on the subways!

Long Island is a lovely place, much more ·leafy- than we expected with some gorgeous properties. We arrived at Grandeur down a winding lane (I was surprised at how hilly the area was), passed Roger's beautiful home (He'd said he'd be away in Arizona) and down to the ·kennels-. Well! They call them "kennels", but this was more a luxury home!

We were given a guided tour by Michael. By the side of the entrance there is a coloured Afghan plate-glass window, Afghan paintings (originals) adorn every wall and the feeding/grooming/drying/ working area is scrupulously cban with stainless steel surfaces everywhere. There were a couple of puppy kennels; bathing facilities; all round drying facilities with a warm (airing) cabinet to finish off dogs; there are stafl everywhere and all the washing/grooming facilities you could ever want.

Their set up for training the dogs prepares them for all the various conditions they are likely to encounter at shows, i.e. outdoor grassed rings, indoor rubber matted rings etc. The amount of effort that goes into the dogs in their training, preparation, the whole spectrum - is extensive, Grandeur is not just a hobby kennels, it is a way of life and to see the trophy room tells you all the effort brings its rewards! It is believed they possess the world greatest collection of Afghan memorabillia, and some of the antique pieces must be incredibly valuable, but so fragile. There are some that are so beautiful you can't take your eyes off them, there are others that are almost child like in the way they look, but all equally coveted. The champion certificates cover a whole wall (and believe me it's a big wall); there are huge paintings of Grandeurs past and present; pastels, bronzes, porcelain...

Then you move on to Michael's office and his filing system of photographs and his memory of the dogs and shows and wins kept us enthralled. He very kindly gave us a couple of rarely seen photographs of Blu Shah which we shall treasure.

Michael also showed us around the kennels, all easily cleaned, self watering, with outdoor facilities for puppies and older dogs. We were introduced to Am. Ch. Tried & True of Grandeur, we thought him superb; then we met Sunny's sister - Sumahari's Delight to Grandeur, who didn 't look out of place with her American relatives. We were also formally introduced to Tony, Tribute of Grandeur, a son of the famous Am. Ch. Triumph x his daughter, he won every time out over the National week. I was really taken with him, so sound and true coming and going...


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