Founding the Red Jacket Family
Red Jacket Vizslas began in California twenty years ago when my beloved Doberman Brunehilde died of chronic pancreatitis. I couldn't face another decade of Doberman diseases and so, still grieving for my warrior princess, I made a short list of healthier breeds to research. That list included vizslas.
By the hand of fate Marilyn Fowler lived within walking distance of my house. I went there to negotiate for a show-quality puppy and ended up with Ch. Piroska Top of the Line. I promised Marilyn I would breed Topper at least once, and she lived to see the pick male of that one promised litter, mothered by the incomparable Sundown's Evening Primrose (aka KiKi ). Topper was nine years old and Kiki not quite two. I kept Red Jacket Roxanne, a tall, beautiful image of her father.
In time Roxanne mothered Ch. Red Jacket Zoltan Piroska (aka Zoltan) and Red Jacket Princess Bride (aka Buttercup). And I became a breeder as a way to keep Topper's beauty, gentle heart, courage and intelligence alive in this world.
Topper was 16 when I lost him. I will miss his sly sense of humor, kindness, and regal dignity forever. Kiki died last year at nearly 17, and their daughter Roxanne followed her parents at 15+, at least in part because she missed her mother so much.
Roxanne's son Zoltan, sired by Ch. Mad's Nyircsaszari, now 10+, is still staggeringly beautiful, frighteningly strong, and easily able to vault a six-foot fence. Buttercup was sired by BIS, BISS Am/Can Intl Ch. Dirigo Gambler's Marker, ROM, HOF who died in his sleep at the age of 20. As you can see from their long lives and sturdy good health, I am serious about breeding for the long haul. So before you acquire a Red Jacket vizsla be sure that you love the breed. With good care your red puppy is likely to be your companion long into white-faced old age.
My thanks and gratitude to the late Marilyn Fowler of Piroska Vizslas and Suzanne Gray of Dirigo Farms Vizslas for mentoring me and not laughing at my quixotic determination to produce a vizsla that can outlive a parrot.
This is Topper at Two -- a living bronze
masterpiece bounding around in Marilyn's back yard. I took this snapshot of him freezing to point a bird the day I first saw him.
I had come for a puppy; I left with Topper and a contract to provide Marilyn with 40 hours of computer support and lessons. That turned into years of willing serfdom during which Marilyn relentlessly morphed me from an obedience trial nerd to a show dog breeder.
Nobody warned me that owning a show dog would be a cross between becoming a slave and joining a tribe. I am hereby warning you.
Once, when I brought Topper to a show, three strangers stomped up, affectionately greeted Topper by name, scowled at me and asked, "Who are you and what are you doing with Marilyn Fowler's dog?" Keeping and honoring their memories, I hope.