Irish Wolfhound Breeder
How It All Began
Let's start by introducing ourselves. We are Dwayne and Kathi Yorke and our home is in Southgate Ontario. Our journey to become Irish Wolfhound Breeders all began in 1995 when we fell in love with this enormous giant of a sighthound.
Our prior love of dogs started when my husband Dwayne and I were kids growing up in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario. Having family dogs while growing made us feel complete. Between the ages of 8 & 12 years old I delivered the early morning tabloid "The Globe and Mail". My brother had a route as well with twice as many customers, located further away from home. He always returned home each morning ahead of me. One day when my father went around with me on my route, he observed that I knew just about every dog along the way and asked me how I knew so much about them. When I replied that I talked to them every morning while delivering newspapers. He looked at me and with a warm smile, he said, "Ahhhhh ... now I know why you are never home in the mornings before your brother... it's because you are out making friends with all the neighborhood dogs. It was the highlight of my day back then. My canine friends never barked at me unless I was in a hurry and paid them no heed and then I would apologize to them as I scurried by.
The first time I met Dwayne, was in Bramalea, Ontario. He was out on his front lawn playing with a beautiful large collie shepherd mixed breed, Tinker. I wanted to meet his dog so I asked the friend I was with to introduce us. It was love at first sight, and as fate would have it, Dwayne and I bumped into each other a few months later, at roller skating, and have shared our lives together ever since. We moved to in Georgetown in 1990 and soon after adopted 3 orphaned two week old kittens that had been abandoned by their mother and were needing an immediate home. They were 2 males and 1 female and all very different in type and personality from one another. All three of them travelled with us to our new home in Erin, Ont. in 1995.
Our Erin property was perfect for having dogs. We joked with the sellers that we would buy the house if their 2 German shepherds came with it. They said "great" because they were downsizing and were going to have to give the dogs up anyways, and so, the deal was sealed. We were thrilled that our dream to have dogs in our lives again had come true.
The 2 shepherds we adopted, Lady and Riggs, were loving sweet companions. Lady passed away first and Riggs had difficulty coping without her best bud. A family member had a 2 year old Siberian Husky, Timber. He needed a new home and so it was meant to be. He was full of spunk and personality and quickly became a good companion for Riggs. When she passed on, Timber was restless, and he needed a companion and so, that is where our life with Irish Wolfhounds all began.
Dwayne had wanted an Irish Wolfhound ever since meeting a pack that lived near us in Erin. It was love at first greet for him. I had only seen an Irish Wolfhound very briefly, and at a far distance. I was thinking they might be too big and scruffy. We found a few kennels to visit to learn more about them. The first Irish Wolfhound that greeted me, leaned gently against me. I felt her warmth as she gently placed her head in my arms and looked deeply into my eyes. In that instant, I was mesmerized. I couldn't look away as she gazed straight into my heart and she gently reached into my soul. I was drawn into a sense of calm and peace. It was unlike anything I had ever felt or known. There was no question about it.... the next dog to join our family must be an Irish Wolfhound.
We brought our first IW, Cuwynne, home in April 2006. Although Timber (our 2 year old husky) was amused by, and enjoyed Cuwynne's companionship, he was somewhat aloof when it came to interacting with him. The 3 cats kept to themselves and completely out of sight . It was clear that Cuwynne needed a companion that was similar in size and willing to accept his energy level. That realization led us to the decision to temporarily adopt a female wolfhound for Cuwynne to play with. While in our care, Drylla's breeder decided to breed her. The breeding was successful and in May 2008, we found ourselves whelping our first litter, and raising a litter of 7 puppies.
Our next Irish Wolfhound, Berrigan, joined us about a year later. That was when our kennel name CuGein (pronounced Cu-Gee-In) came to be. It is Irish derived and composes letters found in the names of our first 2 boys Cuwynne (Cu) and Berrigan (Gein), meaning "Hound Birth". In Gaelic, Cu means "Hound" and Gein translates to "Birth".
Our plan to one day breed Berrigan all came together when he was bred to Rumor. She was black with beautiful white markings and an old style European, moderately curvy physique. Her keen brooding instincts were proven twice over as she raised and taught her puppies. It was all wonderful and exceptional, except when she delightfully invited them all to participate in her digging adventures. Berrigan (Boo), would find a patch of grass nearby and watch. He was a tall, handsome, gentle giant who weighed in at 192 lbs in his prime. The influence of both Rumor and Berrigan remain wonderfully alive and strong in our current hounds.
30 years as a Human Resources Manager in the manufacturing sector, brought us to 2010. When the Union at the company I worked for went on strike, it was time for me to make a career change. From there I decided to try pet sitting and dog walking on for size. Caring for dogs and cats all day, in addition to helping compassionate pet owners devoted to providing the best for their furry companions was a perfect fit for me. Quickly, I became qualified as a certified dog trainer, and formed my own business, CuGein Pet Services. Participating in helping others enjoy and build positive relationships with their dogs is of the most gratifying pursuits that I experience.
It is important that we appreciate the time we have with our hounds. We take pleasure in seeing others doing the same with their companion animals. There are so many great lessons we have learned from our interactions with other dog lovers and from every one of our animals. Each are remembered and celebrated for the good times we shared. They are with us always. Not every day is a cakewalk, but every day is special, and we treasure each moment we have together to be here with them. Our current pack count is at 4. Earlier this spring we said goodbye to a very special hound and good friend, Zavijah. It is wonderful to have shared our lives together for a time. We light up whenever we catch glimpses of our beloved hounds, in the presence of their descendants.
We are grateful to many wonderful wolfhound people who have given us their trust, guidance and support through the years. To our puppy families; we sincerely appreciate all the goodness and devotion you have provided and shared with your fur babies. It is a huge comfort to know that when pups leave us to join you for their next journey through life with you, they are in the best of loving and caring hands. We enjoy keeping in touch, reading your updates and the pictures you share with us.