Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, owners and fans of chow-chow in Russia and other countries!
I am Olga Ivanova, the owner of the kennel "Avgit» decided to address to you a letter with the history which happened to me, so that it does not repeate more with anybody of you!
In March, 2007 I went to "Crufts-2007." It’s not surprising for anybody that Crufts is the largest dog show and it gathers breeders from all over the world. My colleagues and I decided to see dogs, to meet other breeders. To get acquainted personally with the breeders with whom we were already familiar through the correspondence.
There, on the Foggy Albion, in Birmingham we also got personally acquainted with Mrs. Karen Salter, the owner of “Towstushet” kennel.
Mrs. Salter arrived to the hotel where we stayed to mate a bitch with a dog of Marina Vekovishcheva. Mating is mating, and conversations are conversations. There in such dialogues it was found out, that in the kennel of Mrs. Salter at that moment there were puppies of blue color and she was glad to sell those puppies to Russia. Marina and we agreed to look at them, and the same day late at night Mrs. Salter brought to the hotel two puppies of blue color – a male and female.
Puppies looked of the declared age, though they did not promise to be too big but Mrs. Salter guaranteed standard height. I was not ready to purchase a dog, nevertheless I decided to take the dog as blue color is rarely met, and there was a good pedigree and quite comprehensible price. When I informed Karen, that I would take the dog – the price rose for 500 pounds more and it was said to be the final one…
That fact slightly confused me, but it did not put me on my guard and I did not have an idea of dishonorableness of the breeder. Later I regretted that I did not take into account the change of the price. The person was dishonorable from the very beginning, what to wait further?
I have been breeding chow-chows for13 years, my experience prompted, that the dog could not grow to the standard and I asked Mrs. Salter for the guarantees for the height of the male. I received a them in full. Karen was absolutely assured, that up to the bottom height of the standard the dog would grow! I took Phoenix away to Russia.
Phoenix was the darling, small and fluffy puppy. Though he was much less than his sister, he was of good height at that age which Mrs. Salter told us. Phoenix grew not quickly, but it was not that that surprised me. In the end of June I received his export pedigree from England. I learned from it, that my dog was two weeks older, i.e. at sale of the puppy he was not 7 weeks!?, as breeder told me, but 9 weeks!?
At that age, you see, it’s not a small difference!
I alarmed – the male was small, very small. I wrote to Karen, that I specified the height and weight of Phoenix, I asked her opinion about it. The breeder did not answere at once: «…my dogs of late development, do not worry, he will grow after 8 months…»
I could not stop worrying, it was necessary to buy height measuring instrument, and each two weeks I sent Karen the report on height and weight of Phoenix. But at that moment, he had already ceased to grow…
For the period from 5 till 8 months Phoenix had grown for 1,5 cm, from 8 till 11 months for 0,6 cm. Thus, at the age of 11 months the height of my dog, bought as a dog of show-breed class, made 36,6 cm. It was very a pity, but alas … I wrote to Mrs. Salter that I did not see probability, that that dog would grow to the bottom limit of the standard. It was when my problems started of which I could not even think about.
Having understood my discontent, Karen at once became immensely aggressive, and she started to tell, that price which I paid for Phoenix was the price for a pet class dog, and there was no reason to make a complaint. BUT I did not buy the chow-chow on "sofa", I bought a dog of show-breed class, and the sum of money was named by Karen herself. We had to remind her about it, the blessing I had three English speaking witnesses. A reaction did not follow – Karen simply ceased to answer my letters by e-mail. I decided to call the breeder. I had found an interpreter; I declared everything that would like to tell her. In telephone conversation Karen was not affable, as well as in her letters. She spoke with us on the raised tones and told how many troubles she had with Russian chow-chow breeders. Our tandem (me and the interpreter) tried to explain Karen that it was impossible to generalize and dump all troubles in one heap. In fact she guaranteed standard height of the sold puppy!? Telephone conversation gave us nothing, because it was not finished, – Karen hung up, and all our attempts to contact her again were unsuccessful – nobody answered our calls.
I repeated attempt the next day – nobody picked up the phone. Then we called from another telephone number, probably in the black list there was only my phone, the receiver was taken. The conversation was very difficult, with attempts to invocate to honor and advantage of breeder, to preservation of the good name of the kennel. It ended with no results again. But, few days later, I received an electronic letter with an offer of an exchange of my youngster of blue color for a dog of the same age, but of fawn color. Fawn is not so interesting color in my breeding plan, but Karen wrote, that it was the only offer and I, if it was good for me, had to pay all charges on the exchange of animals (to return a dog to England, except for inoculations it is necessary to make the rabies test, to microchip a dog and still to have a heap of papers). I had been thinking for several days, but I decided, that it was better to have a breeding dog of another color, than breeding marriage of desirable color.
I agreed on all conditions of Karen and informed her about it. The stage of preparing documents for Phoenix’s returning back home had begun, it took some time, finally the necessary papers were collected. I wrote to Mrs. Salter that everything was ready for the exchange and I had already found a way how to exchange the dogs: my friends gathered to England by car and agreed to help me with solving my problems. It seemed to me, that everything was already behind, and it was only necessary to wait for the arrival of the new dog. But, alas, I was mistaken again…
I did not receive any answer to the letter, I sent a new one (in case, previous letter was not delivered – sometimes it can happen) and again there was no answer. In a week time I started to worry, in two weeks –I decided – it was time to call. It was unsuccessful; nobody was answering the phone… I started asking people who were in contact with Karen, whether she wrote to them and whether they got answers from her. I was waited with disappointment – Karen Salter wrote to everyone, except me … The Situation became ugly. We could not receive the answer any ways: phone was silent, e-mail too, and time of departure to England of my friends came nearer …
There was no exit, and I made a decision to send the letter urgent mail, with the notice on delivery personally to hands (DHL) to be assured, that Mrs. Salter received all. So that there were no doubts for the breeder, that Phoenix had insufficient height I attached to the letter descriptions of the dog, made by three different FCI judges, having the right to judge the chow-chow. The letter was sent.
During negotiations, and expectations of answers I heard correspondences a lot of negative responses about work of the kennel Towstushet and dishonorableness of Mrs. Salter. It was insulting and unpleasant. But I waited …
Service DHL informed the time of the delivery of my letter (not a very cheap pleasure) and in 20 minutes from the moment of delivery I received the electronic letter from Karen – she wrote, that her computer (though all this time she wrote to my friends in Russia) did not work and the camera was broken and she had no opportunity to tell me the registration number in the Kennel Club of an exchange dog. But she did not refuse an exchange, but demanded to inform when it would occur.
The situation became absolutely ridiculous, it turned out, that I should give back the "defective" dog, and receive “ cat in a bag”.
I started to beat « in all bells »again – very much it would not be desirable to be deceived. We started to call Karen from unknown to her telephone numbers, on all known to me. At last I was lucky and she took a recevier. Conversation was difficult and long, but was ended with the thrown recevier. (unfortunately, not for the first time). The essence of conversation was reduced to two things: she shall send photos of the dog offered to an exchange, and nothing more to demand. It was not clear if the exchange would place or not.
My friends very much worried, when Phoenix put in the car, suddenly nobody would answer a phone call when they were in England, and suddenly nobody would open a door…
I decided to risk, and Phoenix had left home, and I only needed to wait for succession of events.
I wrote to Karen, that in such dates Phoenix would be in England, but exact date of an exchange I did not specify. Already at English coast my friends called in the kennel Towstushet to inform that they were going to their site. Certainly, Karen was not at home, and those who answered the phone, were not « informed ».
Thanks to the girls who went to England, – they arrived at their own risk to the house of Mrs. Salter, and not having phoned up her. They were very much afraid, that nobody would open a door. But to their surprise the door was opened. No, not Karen was opening the door, don’t be under a delusion. To them was coming out man (it is necessary to note, what in England was about 9 one o'clock in the evening, and in streets were absolutely dark), he saw a car with theRussian numbers told them "now" and he slammed the door … In 10 minutes he appeared again with a fawn chow-chow on a cord, girls deduced from the car Phoenix, exchanged leads with the man (by the way, the man not having told "hello" and did not introduce himself?!...) wished to leave. Girls stopped him – and what about papers? Ah, yes …
Phoenix was accompanied with an export pedigree, veterinary passport, registration certificate of microchip, the rabies test, veterinary health certificate. In an exchange they received a registration card of the puppy... Mrs. Salter did not think at all, that without veterinary documents the dog could not travel. Was it alright to do for the owner of the large kennel?!... It’s strange, at least. It was good, that else in Russia it had been thought of the exchange certificate and it had been made in advance. My friends suggested the man to call Mrs. Salter that she would subscribe the certificate on the exchange of dogs, but he refused to do it. The man took away the certificate and in five minutes he returned it with signature of Karen Salter. Thus, the exchange occurred on the road in front of the house of Mrs. Salter in full darkness and it took 15 minutes, and Mrs. Salter did not find the time to meet my friends.
My new dog for some more days traveled across England and EC while girls did not finish their business, and less than in a week he arrived to Russia. I was not frightened, that he had not been washed and not brushed for a long time already, mats were impossible to disassemble and they should have been cut off, the beaten out wool on back legs too will grow also. At last the history with an exchange has finished.
Let's sum up: I bought a dog of show-breed class, blue color, necessary to me in kennel for breeding for sum N. And one year later I have got a fawn dog, to use which is not so interestingly, as blue, for the sum 3õN and plus to it there is a very unpleasant deposit and a lot of spent time, forces and nerves to make this exchange take place.
It’s not the first time than I bough a dog in another kennel, but for the first time I collided with such dishonorableness and untidiness of the breeder. All that I wished to tell in this letter:
BE CAREFUL - KAREN SALTER!!!
BE CAREFUL - KENNEL TOWSTUSHET!!!
Do not go to the specified address - NORTHFIELD HOUSE, CAMPSALL ROAD, ASKERN, DONCASTER, DN6 0BY
Do not repeat my mistakes …
I wish you good luck in your choice of a breeder!
Olga IVANOVA Kennel "Avgit"