Earlier in the year I got into a series of conversations with other barbet friends, we were trying to discover where certain dogs that are recorded on older pedigrees came from. As I have a love of geography, history and research, this conversation sent me on quite the detective hunt!
The interesting part of it for me was that it led me into a search which involved both breeds that I am passionate about, the Portuguese Water Dog and the Barbet.
Now it has been documented several times that a Portuguese Water Dog was brought into the South of France from Portugal in a bull truck, yep, literally a truck full of bulls. The dog was used by a barbet breeder at the time, and I was interested in how this arrangement came about, I mean, this was a very long time ago, no internet or emails, so very hard to imagine how a bull breeder had a PWD that he agreed to send to a barbet breeder in France!
Of course, you have to see the common link. Bull! The south of France has still going on to this day Bullfighting. As did at that time Portugal. The type of bull used in the French arena, was a very particular breed, and they were often traded between the two countries.
Now bring in the bull fighter, her husband, nobility, philanthropists, the Carnation Revolution, abandonment and slaughter, fleeing, a zoo, crossing continents,clever advertising across America, English lady in a toque, New York couple, Affenpinschers, importing rare breeds, my new friend Cathy, the Sunday People newspaper, exposed, cruelty, money, The Kennel Club ladies and so on.
It is a very long and interesting story that has plenty of good and lots of bad, not unlike the dog world of today. I'll break each story down into bite size pieces as I go along, and hope it becomes clear at the end of it, how love, money, greed, and power all play a part.
Part one coming soon :-)