Skybreeze Poodles is a small family run passion focusing on standard poodles. We periodically breed, primarily when we are adding to our show stock. We are located in the Fox River area of St. Charles, IL and also in our secondary residence on St. Simons Island, GA in Southeast Georgia.
It all started thirty- something -years ago. Our children were toddlers and we were looking for "the ideal" dog. I had grown up in an apartment in Chicago as a youth and always wanted a dog. But, alas, the lease on my parents' tiny apartment did not permit animals. My friend, Ricky, however had this huge, cool white dog. It was big and friendly. It did not shed. And my friend's dad had been a professional hockey player. So, who was going to argue with Ricky's dad, Clay, that a standard poodle wasn't a tough enough dog for a guy?
So, twenty plus years ago we bought our first standard poodle, Hale (pronounced Holly). My wife and I had honeymooned in Hawaii and we loved it. There was this gorgeous crater where the sun seemed to rise over the earth in a spectacular fashion above us. It was the Haleakala crater. So, our cute black standard poodle puppy was named Haleakala, or Hale, for short. Hale was the kind of dog that everyone wished for. She was kind, affectionate, a fantastic companion for us and our children. She would stay next to us and actually listen. When a squirrel would run by and every other dog on the planet would run helter skelter after it, Hale would stick with us and our kids. Hale was a companion dog, not a show girl. We didn't care. She was everything to us. But as the years went by her health declined. First she had an autoimmune problem. Some thousands of dollars later and after having had her spleen removed, she improved. However she became obese from the steroids her body needed to survive. She also developed a problem with her hips. We would use a harness to help her to a stand position. It was sad.
My wife and I decided that we would get a pup to be a companion for Hale and to maybe lessen the pain when the inevitable came for our precious girl. We decided to find the most established standard poodle breeder that we could. We wanted a standard poodle, but this time we wanted to have a dog with genetic testing. We did not want to be faced with other debilitating problems.
We found Penny Harney of Pinafore Poodles. The Pinafore line was one of the older, more established lines in the United States. Penny had been breeding majestic standard poodles for over fifty years.
Although we were concerned when we saw that her motto was " Buy the best, you only cry once," we bought a white male standard poodle puppy and named him Kai. Kai's parents were both AKC champions and had been extensively tested for genetics.
Hale and Kai were buddies for several months. He was kind and gentle with our old girl. They would lie next to each other and cuddle at night. During the day they would play. Kai would bring toys to her as she was unable to get around very much. They would have epic bone battles where they would gnaw on the same bone and would playfully growl at each other. Hale died at age fourteen and Kai was depressed. He moped around the house which only made our family feel worse. So, what does one do? We contacted Penny and asked as to whether she had any female puppies for sale. She had one female puppy, the pick of the litter show puppy. She would only sell this pup to a family that would show her to an American AKC championship......
The rest is history. We bought Lani and we did finish her as an AKC champion. We enjoyed the camaraderie of the show ring and we also enjoyed the training classes in getting our girl ready for the show ring. After she finished as a champion we showed our boy, Kai, and he also finished as a champion.
Sadly, Father Time is always the winner. Both Kai and Lani at roughly age 14, have passed away.
Lani, Ch. Pinafore Black Velvet If You Please, was the daughter of International Champion, Ch. Pinafore Dark Design. When she would just stand around and was not in the show ring, she looked like she was posing for a picture after winning in the show ring. The look was stunning. People stop over the years all the time and ask as to whether she was a show dog. Her personality was delightful. Inquisitive, playful, cuddly and all business in the show ring.
Kai, Ch. Pinafore White Ocean Breeze had parents that were both American and Canadian AKC champions. He was our class clown. Always happy, always wishing to please. And if you ever walked down a dark alley and needed a dog that would have given his life up for you, he would have been your guy. Absolutely loyal to the family and great with everyone. I cannot say enough about his personality. Kai also was a remarkable show dog. In addition to other requirements, to become an AKC champion a dog must beat a great number of other dogs on two occasions. Those wins are called 'Majors." Most all dogs that eventually become champions win two majors. It may take months for this to happen. Kai won four majors over the course of two weekends, a stunning accomplishment.
Over the years we have established relationships with some one of the most well known breeders and professional dog handlers, including our present handling team of Adriano and Danielle Rocha. Adriano and Danielle have finished our last two champions and showed another of our girls, Gracie, to a Grand Championship.
Years ago our then handler, Ann Rairigh, expertly showed our beloved dog Kai, to an amazing championship. She also finished Maggie to her Conformation championship at the age of eleven months. We also had a second puppy champion. This is a very tough accomplishment. This is the major league of showing. Having a puppy champion is difficult, very difficult. And having two is amazing.
Ries, was our second puppy champion, a gorgeous black male. He was a puppy from our breeding of Lani and Kai. He became a Champion at the speed of light. He now lives with his forever family in Chicago.
As a breeder we have had our dogs genetically tested and tested for OFA validation. OFA recommends testing for hip issues. We are very sensitive to this problem, having lived the program with our girl, Hale. OFA has ratings for hips, which are much like getting grades in schools. Some dogs that "pass" OFA testing, barely do so. Kai was rated as Excellent, the highest and most difficult rating to get. Lani was but one breath lower than that, rated as Good. We are so very pleased to have had dogs that will most probably never have offspring which need to be lifted by harnesses in the future.
Our dogs are generally tested for NE, SA, Von Wilibrands, eyes with an ophthalmologist, hips, elbows. These results may be viewed on the OFA website at www.offa.org. We strongly believe in only breeding with dogs that will better the breed. We have been asked and have declined to breed our dogs with dogs that have not been extensively tested. We do not want anyone to have debilitating problems that could perhaps be avoided.
We do not Doodle, nor do we condone this breeding practice.