Irish Wolfhound Breeder
How It All Began
Let's start by introducing ourselves. We are Dwayne and Kathi Yorke. Our journey to become Irish Wolfhound Breeders all began in 1995 when we fell in love with this breed. 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 and further away from home but he was always ahead of me in returning home each morning. One day when my father went around with me on my route, he observed that I knew just about every dog along the way. He asked me how I knew so much about them and I replied that I talked to them every morning when I delivered papers. Ahhhhh he said... 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 neighbourhood 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, he was out on his front lawn playing with his beautiful large collie shepherd mixed breed. His name was Tinker. At the time, I was with a friend who knew him. I wanted to meet his dog so I asked her to introduce us. Although my initial attraction was his dog, it was love at first sight, and as fate would have it, we bumped into each other a few months later and have shared our lives together ever since.
In 1995 we moved to Erin, Ontario. Up until that transition, we had always dreamed together about sharing life with a dog one day. Before making an offer on the house we bought, in Erin, we jokingly said to the sellers that we would buy the house if their 2 german shepherds came with it. The sellers were delighted. They were downsizing and could not take the dogs with them to their new place. The deal was sealed. Their turmoil was over and our dream to have dogs in our lives had come true. That "one day" finally came. We have been living the dream ever since.
Lady and Riggs were loving sweet companions. When Lady passed away 5 years later, we realized just how much she meant to Riggs. Riggs became more and more depressed as time went on. After 3 months we could see a personality change setting in. We rescued a 2 year old Siberian Husky , Timber. When sweet Riggs passed at the age of 14-1/2, Timber pined for another dog. It was clear that we needed another dog.
Dwayne had wanted an Irish Wolfhound ever since he met a pack that lived nearby. It was love at first greet for him. At that. time, our 3 rescue dogs (2 german shepherds and a young husky) and 3 rescued cats, kept us busy. It was many years later, when the shepherds sadly left this life, and Timber, our husky was pining for a new friend. That was the turning point.
I had seen only seen an Irish Wolfhound from a distance and thought they would be too big and scruffy, but I agreed to go visit some IW breeders. The first IW that greeted me, leaned herself against me me, gently placed her head in my arms and looked sweetly into my eyes. Her gaze went deep into my soul. She embedded herself in my heart that day... it was an unforgettable feeling. I was completely hooked.... and so it began... my love affair with these gentle giants. It was in 2006, that we brought our first IW, Cuwynne, home. Although Timber, our husky, was amused by him, the cats were settled in their ways and not so happy about an 8 week old, 32 lb. puppy in the house. Our next IW puppy, Berrigan, from Wolfhaven Kennels, joined us a 1-1/2 years later and so began the conception of CuGein Irish Wolfhounds. We created our kennel name "CuGein" by combining Cuwynne and Berrigan's names. "Cu" translated in Irish is "hound" and the Irish translation of "Gein", derived from letters in Berrigan's name, means "birth". Rumor, from Caraglen Berwyck arrived the following year and we bred Berrigan to her and so the expansion began.
Here we are looking back; 5 litters and 25 years later, at having had the pleasure of sharing both our lives with many lovely animals and anywhere from 2 to 10 IW's, at various times, (not including litters of IW puppies). We dearly miss all our friends who have left this world. We miss each and every one of them dearly and love that they live strong in our hearts. The sensitive nature and willingness to share their compassion with us any time of the day or night is precious. Although not every day is a cakewalk, every day is special and we treasure each moment we have together with them.
I have continued my education and connection with dogs of all types, shapes and sizes through my dog training, pet sitting and dog walking business. This all started, after 30 years of working as a Human Resources Manager in the manufacturing sector, when the company I worked for ceased production operations. An opportunity arose to earn an income while pet sitting and walking dogs as a service for people in the local area. Coincidence?...perhaps yes... perhaps no. At the time, I just knew that it was mean't to be and it felt right. I contract worked for a year and then formed CuGein Pet Services and struck out on my own. Over the next year I was certified as a Dog Behavioural Trainer and continued to love and learn about animals, I have had the good fortune to build friendships and working relationships with a wealth of compassionate people who are devoted towards providing the best for their four legged furry friends. The value and gratification for me, whether I provide assistance, support or guidance to them, comes from knowing that I played a part in making a positive difference towards improving the wellbeing of animals and the quality of life with their humans and vica versa. Thank you to all my clients past and present for allowing me that pleasure. Since moving to Mount Forest and I have retired the pet sitting and dog walking side of my business. I currently offer local in-home dog training services.
Along this journey with our Irish Wolfhounds, there are some amazing people who my husband Dwayne and I (Kathi), have met. They believe in us and have been there for us, every step of the way in raising these hounds. We are grateful for their support and for sharing their experiences and expertise. They have taught us to listen, observe and keep an open mind and find our own way in brining happiness to others with this breed. Thanks to good friends and thank you to all you wonderful puppy people and families who have endured the rigorous process we put you through when placing a CuGein baby with you. It is comforting to know that these pups are in good hands with you and that they are loved and well cared for. We thoroughly enjoy reading your updates and pictures are always a treat.
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