Laura D. Young
In 1993 I joined the Sammamish Kennel Club at the behest of Hazel Mage. We met when I was working as a founding member of Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue. Hazel was a delightful woman who dedicated her life to her Great Danes.
I have watched the Sammamish Kennel Club change over the years. I will always be grateful to those folks who stepped up to train and mentor me. People like Hazel Mage, Margaret Wageman, Fred and Merle Marsh.
I worked on my own as Canine Information Exchange, before SPDR, as a person who gave information out to folks on the care and breeding of their dogs. Actually the purpose of the club was to discourage backyard breeding through education. I spent hours helping folks choose the right breeds for their family situations and I was able to convince a large number of folks to not breed at all. I was also the first person to actively rescue and place greyhounds in Washington from the Portland race track. More than 50 local vets and pet stores recommended me to their clients. When I found I was spending over 40 hours a week on the phone I was grateful to have SPDR step in and take over.
I was also responsible for putting together the information and witnesses for a Local TV special on the abuses of the pet store (Doctor Pets) that had dogs for sell in Bellevue Square. As a result of that special Doctor Pets quit carrying dogs and eventually ran into some serious legal issues.
I have acted as an expert witness in dog cases in both the US and Canada resulting in over $100,000 in damages for the persons I testified for.
I have had dogs my entire life. My first dog was a German Shepard that used to watch over me in my walker. From there we moved on to dachshunds. Our family dachshund lived to be twenty years old. We had Dobermans as well. In 1962 we bought our first show Basenji from Bob Mankey in Southern California. He was all basenji and then some.
When living in Oklahoma, my mixed bred dog , Mau Mau, a dachshund/Chihuahua mix passed away. I decided to go back to my purebred roots and purchase a basenji. I found a lovely breeder who didn’t mind selling to a family with young children.It was the beginning of a new life style for us all.
I wanted a “pet” puppy, but agreed to show her if she turned out to be nice. When she placed in a large class at the na-tional, as a 6 month old puppy, I kept my word and agreed to let the breeder show her…OOPS my husband had a job change and we moved a thousand miles away to Sammamish Washington (at that time just the plateau) . I had to learn from scratch how to show and groom a basenji, this was in 1980.
Am/Can CH Raisha Amadi of Jamadi FCH LCM (Basenji) my first show dog and top ten brood bitch two years in a row was a great beginning. It didn’t take me long to learn that Raisha didn’t care for the show ring. I took her to a lure trial in 1983 to do something different. There we both found our passion. I’ve been a lure coursing judge since the late 1980’s. I do some 4H judging and have had the pleasure of judging the Canadian National Sweeps in both basenjis and whippets. I have also judged sweeps in the US and an A match or two for Sammamish Kennel Club.
Becoming a single parent my plans switched up and I didn’t have the same time or money to devote to full time travel and showing, but I have stayed active in the dog community. When the African basenjis came to the US I decided I would move onto whippets. Finding whippets the sweetest hounds on earth, I found I missed a little edginess. I loved the endurance running elegance of salukis, so when George and Sally Bell offered me a stunning red saluki I was quick to add him to our household. My Borzoi puppy is a great happy accident.
Through all of my adventures, I find I am very much a hound person