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Author Liz O'Connor (UK Renza Afghans)


Liz O'Connor and Terry Thomas own and exhibit Afghans in the UK under the Renza Affix. Liz is also a Senior Judge, approved by The Kennel Club to award Challenge Certificates in the breed. Liz and Terry imported from the USA the dog Myways American Dream at Renza (Ali) who achieved great success in the UK show ring. Liz writes regularly for the AHR keeping us all informed and up to date on the highlights of the UK Afghan Scene.

During 1994 Liz and Terry visited the US, a combination of a holiday for them both and also for Liz to Judge regular classes at the LeHigh Valley Afghan Hound Association speciality in Pennsylvania.

The following notes are very comprehensive and cover both the tourist and the Afghan Hound aspects of Liz and Terry's visit. Of particular interest to us all are the notes on Liz's judging experience, her visits to MyWays and Grandeur Kennels, meeting and talking to many US Afghan people and her comments and observations on the US Afghan scene in general.

As there are quite a few pages, we have produced a small list of contents/summary for the pages so you can zoom into the pages of most immediate interest to you.

We wish to thank both Liz and Terry for giving us permission to publish this very interesting and informative report, and hope you enjoy reading it as much as we did. Steve.

America - Our Trip Of A Lifetime

1994 was not a good year for us; one tragedy followed another, and seemingly everything that could go wrong did go wrong, so although our trip to America had been arranged for a long time, the closer it got the more we were nervous about what we were hoping would be our "holiday of a lifetime'. We should never have worried, as soon as we met David and MaryAnn (Giordano) - Ali's breeders - we knew we were going to have a wonderful time, it was as if we had been friends for years (which of course, we had - on the telephone and by letter!!)

We arrived at Philadelphia Airport mid afternoon Thursday 29th September, a little earlier than scheduled David was nowhere to be seen. Panic! Here we were thinking maybe there'd been a mix-up with dates, when suddenly, half an hour later, David appeared, having been held up in traffic - we recognised him instantly!

When we arrived at their place, we could hardly believe our eyes. They had moved out of the hustle and bustle of Newark city to the country, and they now have a beautiful home in rural New Jersey, with farming land all around and a fishing river within walking distance - this is hunting country. Their home is set in approximately 2 acres of land, one whole acre being fenced for the dogs. The house is three stories high. The basement is for the dogs; their "utility" room combines for their own laundry and where all the bathing and grooming takes place, plus all the food preparation for the dogs. Go to the next level and you'll find the dining/living/sitting room area plus kitchen. On the top level are the bedrooms, plus David's office (he's President of his Firemens Union - which meant a lot of talking on his mobile 'phone all through his holiday!) and MaryAnn's studio (she's an artist), and we were able to see her work in various stages. Her latest adventure is into painting on slate and there was a beautiful study of Ch. Applause Majic Show (which was "snapped up" on the first day her booth opened at the National).

Back to ground floor level, they have recently had a "deck" built on the back of the house, with steps that lead down into the garden, where there is a paddock plus the fenced area for the dogs. This deck was wonderful to spend time on - bearing in mind the weather which was warm during the day, with the evenings pleasantlv cool. Then the deer appeared! The hunting season had started and the deer knew they were safe moving into gardens, because hunters were strictly not allowed into these areas under any circumstances.


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