Hi my name is Zoe Louise.
Growing up my mum bred and showed Yorkshire terriers which is where I first experienced the world of showing and breeding. I was only very young but used to take part in the junior handling classes at the breed club shows which I really enjoyed.
The first time I met a Pomeranian was when I went with my mum to buy one for my little sister in 1999. We went to view a litter of 2 a black and a cream. My mum wanted a girl as she still had yorkies and they were all girls. She looked at the little black one and asked if this was the girl. It wasn't it was a boy, she knew exactly what she was doing when she handed him to me. I went and sat down with him while my little sister and mum were looking at the girl. Another couple arrived who had come to see the boy I was holding and right there and then I couldn't let him go so I told the breeder to send them away he was coming home with me. He was a pure bred pedigree but had no papers and was only for a pet anyway.
My mum and I talked about me getting a pom to show so I started to look around for shows and breeders.
I went to crufts with my mum and we saw so many beautiful dogs. She was looking for another pom for herself and there we met Carl sparrow who said he had an older puppy he was pet homing and we went straight to his home after the show and home came Sherry a red devil daughter. Whilst there I discussed getting into showing and how to get my first show pom and who I could talk to. I later contacted the Pomeranian club of south wales and was given Robert niven-lewis's phone number, He had a 6 month old cream girl available. Again my mum came with me and we met with Rob and Lady came home with me. She was to be the start of my breeding program.
This is when I decided I needed a kennel name. I thought up many names and one day while at my local pet shop I found the name I wanted. The pet shop was called PetMania. I thought it was perfect. PomMania.
As lady was an older puppy she had already been show trained and it was just me that needed training. I kept in touch with Rob and everyone from the Pomeranian club of south wales so I started to go over to south wales to go to open shows where they could help me with trimming and guide me in everything I needed to do.
I found a local ringcraft club run by the world famous Vanitonia kennels and the help and advice they gave me was so valuable.
Vanitonia had a beautiful imported stud from Jersey from the thelbern kennel so my first litter was planned. Harrison (Thelbern the new century man at vanitonia) was a beautiful red sable with a beautiful head and fabulous coat.
3 boys were born and I kept my first home bred show dog Pommania's Mighty Atom. He went on to many great wins at open shows and did well at Championship shows although he was never champion quality he taught me so much about training and handling and grooming but most of all we had fun together.
My next litter I used Ch Bilijees Link to Lady and Maria was born Pommania's Cherish.
She was my first big winner. At her very first show she won. best puppy in breed and reserve best puppy in show under Mr Albert Easdon. She went on to gain many great wins at championship shows always in the top 3.
Personal problems lead me to take a couple of years out of the ring and in this time I concentrated on breeding and buying in a new girl.
Maria was mated to Parapom Dennis the Menace and a litter of 2 boys was born and in the litter was a little boy who would change my life.
Diddy Pommania’s P Diddy. He as everything I wanted in a dog, Everyone loved him and he loved the attention. Unfortunately he had a very short show career after breaking his leg at his 2nd show but at his first he came 3rd qualifying for crufts first time out. 2nd was another boy bred by me Pommania’s Prince of Darkness.
Next a very special boy was born, Pommania Diddys Soulja boy aka Bobo son of Diddy and Maria.
Bobo turned out to be my highest placing home bred dog. He was a multiple bob and group winner at open shows and consistently highly placed at champ shows. He was a real challenge to show, very outgoing and excitable at shows. So much so I had to go on the end of the line and no one would stand near me. He made me blush terribly but he had so much fun.
A day that will live with me forever was 21-8-09 WKC Championship show where the judge was Mr Alan Bendelow. Bobo was at the point where I wasn't sure if he was ready to go up to the limit class so I put him in post graduate and Limit. He won 1st place in PG out of 9 dogs which was amazing, He then went on and won 1st in Limit again out of 9 dogs. Winning this 1st meant he had just gained his stud book number and was now qualified for crufts for life. My first one. I could not believe what happened next. I had 2 dogs in the challenge. My puppy Pommania's Diddy Rascal had won his class and Bobo had won his too. Bobo by this age was well settled and showed like a pro he knew it was time for business and he did not disappoint. Bobo was awarded the CC, the first for me and one of my dogs. I remember the judge holding his hand out to shake mine but I just hugged him and gave him a kiss on the cheek. I was thrilled.
Mr A Bendelow - WKC 1st PGD and 1st LD and DOG CC
PGD 1 Slocombe’s Pommania Diddy’s Soulja Boy, sable in top coat & condition, lovely dark pigmentation, scores in head qualities with all the essentials. Good reach of neck, with no stuffiness, good body, bone & muscle, sound undercarriage, giving sound firm action, very attentive with good vibes between dog & handler. CC
Sadly this was to be Bobo's last show as the next championship show we went to he was poisoned by another pom exhibitor and left with health problems that ended his show career.
My next top winners were a brother and sister both creams Sugar and Kane Sired by Pommania’s Diddy Rascal. Pommania’s Flyin high was the prettiest little girl I had ever seen but also the naughtiest ever. She was a real handful for her handler and you could often see him blush from her behavior but this never stopped her consistently taking 1st place best puppy bitch and best puppy in breed many times at championship shows. Pommania’s Cooler than Me her brother was more reserved and another highly placed often beaten for best puppy by his sister but he did get past her once.
Then came my imports from Char’s 3 parti colour and one solid black. Sadly none of the partis were small enough to show in the UK but they were the start of my parti line. I went on to breed some exceptional poms from these lines who were best puppy in breed winners and group winning at open shows. 2 of these boys went overseas one to Israel and he is now a champion there and another to Italy and he is on his way to his title which we hope he will soon complete. Sadly due to my relationship ending I needed to cut my numbers down to a level I could look after on my own and if I can’t do it properly then I won’t do it at all so I had to sell all my partis. I found them to be wonderful and different to solid poms and so exciting waiting for litters to see what colours and patterns will be born.
Snoop was my black import Char’s Sensual Seduction at Pommania and he was an absolute joy to show. He really was a top show man and consistently placed top of his class. Sadly never gained a CC but was a best of breed and group winner at open show level. He produced Pommania’s Sun Blushed Parti aka Lilly. Lilly was my first female to win her stud book number and she is constantly placed top of the class. Also Pommania’s Dynamite aka Tao He was a best puppy in breed winner at championship show level and consistently placed in the adult classes but the decision was made to put Tao aside to mature when my new imports from Russia arrived.
Mickey Pomstyles You Make Me Feel So Good At Pommania was a very long awaited import taking over 1 year before he came to me. He was a very chilled out laid back boy and the first time I met him was when I went to the world dog show at Paris where he was shown by my dear friend Yvonne and graded Excellent. Within weeks of him arriving my friend Rob took him home with him to show as he was so taken with him which I was happy with as I would be showing the other boy due to arrive soon along with all the others we were showing.
Mickey went on to win 4 RCC’s and many bob and group wins at open show levels. I have 2 sons and 3 daughters from him and hope to get some exceptional offspring from them.
The next to arrive was DEN/NOR CH Aesthetics Asta La Vista for Pommania aka Kodie the most stunning black and tan boy I had ever seen. He had been trained and looked after by my dear friend Ans Weijers until he was ready to come to me and I can’t thank her enough as he was ready to hit the ring. Black and Tan is a controversial colour for some in the UK because of how our breed standard is worded. Black and tan used to be included as one of our standard colours but during one of the revisions it was removed and there is no record as to why. Those who do not want them shown in the UK also cannot tell you why they should not be but as it states all colours are allowed and we have no disqualifications in our standard. So out he came winning many 1sts and his first RCC under the world famous Derek Hill who had this to say –
22nd April 2012 - Northern Pom Club Champ show - Judge Mr Derek Hill - Deronill
1st Junior dog and the RCC
Junior Dog(13 entries) ( 3 absent)
1.Slocombe, Aesthetics Asta La Vista for Pommania. Black & Tan. I have always stated this colour must be dense black and bright tan & in this boy I would prefer better tan. Whilst I realise many frown on this colour, in an entry which abounded with poor dentition and movement this exhibit had what is necessary. He is of nice size and moved so well on lovely feet and his mouth is a joy with teeth of correct size and placement. He is very well balanced, pulls up well and is responsive. Then mostly this colour is always typey. He has correct eye shape and his look is bright and intelligent. He also has the air of majesty making a nice picture. I thus happily considered awarding RCC as I feel he benefits against what now become two serious faults within the breed. I would not condone breeding for this colour but suggest that one can, through correct breeding obtain rich oranges from it – something else the breed appears to be loosing. Gone the days we saw a line up of deep, bright orange exhibits, all the same size and shape. May I suggest too much emphasis is now given to attempts to obtain various colours instead of adherence to type and rectification of faults.
Derek taught me a lot over the years and it was because of him I started to import after spending a couple of hours sat ringside talking to him at Crufts 2006 where he pointed out the faults on all the dogs and the correct and incorrect movement. The day he gave Kodie the RCC he left me with some more advice which I have been following. I spoke with him a few times after as he was a big supporter of Kodie and knew the walls I was coming up against showing a black and tan and he himself got a few phone calls after awarding an RCC to a black and tan but he judged the dogs and not the faces or colours. It broke my heart to hear he had passed away, many could have learnt so much from him.
I can’t go without talking more about my heart dog Diddy. He was my soul mate and my life. Diddy was born 2nd Nov 2006 a year later he was taken ill with meningitis. The test for this is a spinal tap, the vets who did this made 2 failed attempts. Mri’s were clear and he responded to steroid treatment and recovered. 9 months after this he got sick again with very different symptoms and it was found the spinal taps had damaged his spinal cord. The next 5 years my life was put on hold and he was like my child. I had to give him meds 3 times a day and carry him around as he could not bare to be separated from me so I bought a kangaroo pouch so I could free up my hands to work. He lived a very happy but far too short life. He got weakened by the years on meds and repeated steroid use and eventually pneumonia took him from me on 6th Nov 2012.
I stopped all showing and shut down and have done very little since. I have been trying to pick up my life again and named a few puppies in his honor. There will never be another Diddy and those who met him loved him dearly even though he just wanted to bite them.
Health has always been a massive concern for me. I saw my first balding pom which I had actually just used at stud. I had never seen anything like it and the dog was only bald on the back legs with thin hair on the body and half the normal hair on the tail. The breeder told me this was normal for him and he would re coat again soon. of course this was a lie and the breeder just wanted to cover up that he had a problem, he was later diagnosed with hyperthyroid. I had never seen anything like it so did not know there was a problem and trusted the breeder as she had been doing this for 20 plus years. I started to nose around and found out about it. The puppy born from the litter had already gone to a show home who knew about this. He was a best puppy winner but came back to me when the breeder had to downsize and with the new information I had I decided to pet home him. He still to date has all his coat at 7 years old but I’ve learnt it’s not worth the risk to breed from dogs with this condition. I have collected many pedigrees over the years in a bid to never produce a BSD dog and to date I have been lucky enough not to. Although I have never been a commercial breeder and I’m sure if I had produced more puppies then I would have seen it at some point and no doubt will in the future as every breeder does.
(update 24/04/17) After finally getting to the bottom of the facebook posts and an issue with a girl i bred that has lost coat i have now seen all the tests and vet reports and the girl was diagnosed with a hormone imbalance which meant she got stuck permanently in season. The vet decided she must be spayed to put this right so this has been done and she is over the surgery and only time will tell if her coat comes back as normal. Although it was noted by their vet that after the spay there had been some coat regrowth and i suspect they will continue to see more coat now it has started.
Unfortunately coat loss it is a big problem in the breed around the world and even being super careful it is inevitable that pom breeders will produce affected dogs at some point in their time breeding but all too often people are quick to claim it is BSD/Alopecia X instead of getting to the truth. I have nothing to hide and nothing to be ashamed of it happens to us all at some point but in 18 years of breeding to have produced one with hypothyroid from my old English lines and this girl with a hormone imbalance i am happy it still is not a big issue in my breeding. Also i have to add i am much happier to only be facing to odd dog with coat loss which will not hurt them or end their life too soon and not having to face all the devastating conditions that are in the English poms. I saw too much in my short time breeding from the top known English pom kennels and will never touch another English bred pom for breeding. It is it just too heartbreaking all the health conditions they face that could so easily be bred out if the UK breeders cared enough to do it.
Sadly shortly after i lost my Diddy i found out his son had been diagnosed with Syringomyelia because of a post on facebook. He did not live with me and was not owned by me at the time and the truth was hidden from me and i was told he was ok to breed from by his then owner. There were a number of poms diagnosed with this and chiari malformation in the same year and it became apparent there was a problem in the UK. Since no one ever imported and UK dogs are so heavily inbred if you go back far enough they are all related through the same dogs. I had already imported a number of poms so i decided i would stop breeding from the UK dogs and start again which can clearly be seen in my new dogs and their pedigrees. Unlike the other kennels who are still breeding from there affected lines without doing further testing of the offspring because they know they will all be affected to a degree so they breed on from them regardless. I decided i did not want to take the chance with my poms. Some of the affected dogs can be found on the kennel clubs health search database but you must know what names to search for and check there parents and grandparents but you can also see some of these pedigrees and results on my Syringo page
Importing from America taught me about PL testing, cardiac and thyroid testing. In the UK there are no health tests in place for the breed because the breed clubs voted not to have any but since importing from America and learning I can just get the tests done without the breed clubs or kennel club support all my breeding dogs are PL graded between 12 – 18 months and cardiac checked every year. These are the 2 biggest conditions pet owners have come to me with along with BSD and hyperthyroid over the years asking for help and advice.
I've learnt so much from my research and studying pedigrees from around the world and I’ve learnt from my mistakes to.
Never let anyone take one of your dogs to show without a firm contract signed. Even when they are your closest friend in the world things go wrong. If they really are your friend they will not object but i learnt the hard when when 4 of my dogs were stolen from me by someone i called my best friend.
A partnership should be just that and not one person putting in all the dogs and all the money while the other one takes the glory and your hard work and the dogs you own are never returned. Nothing hurts more than the betrayal of trust and worry of your dogs and their care. I have had dogs stolen from me including my import rosie and all of her children. This woman has no morals and has been breeding from my dogs even though i legally own them and the kennel club has frozen all of their registrations so transfers and litters cannot be registered from them. She put one of my girls to sleep because she would not give her the medication she needed to live a normal happy life and refused to return her to me to take care of her. This is not the first time she would not care for a dog because of a condition and she told me more than once she would have never given up things like i did for diddy or cared for him the way i did so i fear for my babies. I hope to one day be reunited with them and i will never give up hope they will be home safely with me one day. Rosie, lily, annie, ivy and there children are all legally mine and i will see them all again. I was cheated and conned into thinking i was being helped when my mum died and allowed them to stay in her care and then i never saw any of them again. Rosie was was pregnant to kodie with ivy at the time she took her last and she kept my girl and sold her brother to a lady i arranged the sale with and kept all the money as well as giving a discount i did not agree too which was not the issue the issue was she kept my dogs. I asked for them to be returned and was told no just because she did not want to and i have been getting blackmailed by her and her accomplice ever since. The lies told to justify keeping my dogs simply are not true. i have proofs of asking her to handle my dogs and witnesses for some of them when she was asked and not given ownership of my dogs. Having dogs stolen from you in this way in some ways is worse than not knowing where they are because i know who they are with just not where and i don't even know if they are still all alive and safe.
Take advice from everyone but make up your own mind with all the information you collect. You can never have too much information and there is always something new to learn.
I am happy to help people and use the knowledge I have gained and friends I have made to help newer people to the breed get the best they can afford and i regularly bring over new imports for other people.
So what does the future hold.
My black and tan breeding program is well underway with Kodie and the beautiful Envy lola brandy Trisha and a new boy joining me soon. Sini my blue and tan boy from Russia is just superb and with some of my offspring from Snoop Char’s Sensual Seduction who has produced me a chocolate boy in the past I hope to be able to produce some truly stunning blues chocolates and & tans. Jordan is starting to produce some outstanding offspring of show size and super quality.
Colour is a passion of mine and I hope to perfect the show quality in the colours as well as using the black and tan to bring back reds to the UK. So many colours have been lost and I have been investing heavily for a number of years to buy what I see as the best available to me to achieve this and more.
I have some very exciting puppies born and more plans ahead but you’ll have to wait to see what comes next in the ring and in the nest.
I hope to see many more tickets top wins and new champions as i started showing and judging again at the end of 2014
To New friends and new beginnings.
Written in 2014 for a pom magazine in the usa but i will add updates to my blog from now on