This is how I know Shera Chuat - surrounded by her pack of Salukis and being on tour (Photo: Shera Chuat)
The Saluki-Breeder Shera Chuat I learned to know on a big dog show in Dortmund (Germany) many years ago. However, I had already admired her Tal Amal Salukis earlier, how they were called at that time, on a Saluki-annual exhibition. The breeder from Southern France, previously from Switzerland, I immediately noticed, because she handled her dogs on an exhibition in wonderful peace. But even her Salukis were a mirror of herself and spread out a lot of calmness.
Shera never spared kilometres, so she even arrived from Southern France to Germany. Since this effort should be worthwhile, she often took her whole pack with her. I remember Shera always been surrounded by her dogs. Often she appeared at an exhibition with ten Salukis who showed a lot of discipline and were well-behaved on the leash. I particularly admired that none of her dogs even showed just a spark aggressiveness among themselves or with other dogs at the exhibition. Similarly, I admired Sheras patience and diligence because of the numerous leashes that never got muddled. A breeder that I have noticed at once because of her appearance I liked.
A few years later I met her on a Coursing Field near Belfort in France. We did not learn us to know only during the coursing, but also in the French hotel restaurant. I had been delighted that her dog Raquim and my Gorazan immediately understood well, and I enjoyed the feeling that I could have two beautiful Grizzle Saluki-males on the leash for a while. I got a personal relationship very quickly with this unknown young dog. Really, an unusually nice character had this dog, which I noticed at once. And this Saluki, namely “Raquim Chalid Al Firdous”, how he was completely called, I liked so much that I would have liked to talk the breeder into parting to him. After this incident, I still watched Raquim's career later on and became aware that he got a famous stud dog, as he was allowed to pass on his genes not only in his own kennel, but also in some others. It turned out that his offspring inherited his appearance, health and readiness to perform well.
Raquim is the littermate of Daoud's Dam “Rabi'a Chatun”. Before her eighth year of life she should have a litter in the Al Firdous Kennel, yet. Well, I hope that my Daoud will honour his famous Uncle Raquim.
In this place I want to thank Shera for this beautiful and sunny Saluki-boy and for the trust she placed in me.
Shera has mated her Salukis in the way I would do, if I wanted to breed Salukis. The breeder built different strains with many different breeding partners during three decades. She owns not only females but also males and therefore she has always had a mixed pack, which for a breeder means much effort. Her dogs are her children. That is the impression one gets immediately if one visits Shera in her house in Southern France. Additional to Shera's and her husband Henri's hospitality, the visitor has immediately the feeling that here are living Salukis accompanied by their inhabitants. Also the area, in which the Salukis live is very large and therefore ideal situated for breeding Salukis. Especially, I like to remember when Shera rushed up with her car through many curves to the hills of the Mountains of the Southern French Coast, to land in the “prairie”, and when she let her eleven Salukis off the leash then. And it is hard to believe – but all these dogs came back after one (or more) whistle(s)! That is admirable. With one Saluki, I had also coped, but with so many dogs it's already a special experience.
Now I want to let the breeder speak:
Shera Chuat showing Vajra Habiiba Al Firdous on the Saluki Festival 2007 in England
Since 4.5.1977 I am breeding Salukis, so it will be 32 years this year. Twenty years I bred under the prefix TAL AMAL. Given this name in Switzerland it was not internationally protected, according to the FCI I had then to request a new Breeding name. Since 1997 my kennel is called AL FIRDOUS, which means in Arabic “in the Paradise”.
My breeding aim has always been to breed healthy, loving and powerful Salukis that meet both - Beauty AND Performance. Some of my Salukis are only family members in their new homes. But even some of them, which live with their owners now, take part at exhibitions and participate in racings and coursings, too. Many of them were and are very successful. This gives me great pleasure, and I do hope that I can achieve this breeding aim – Beauty and Performance - further on.
The partners, that I choose for my bitches should have a pleasant nature and must be healthy. CH. titles don't say much, because everyone can get them, if you have enough time and invest money. For me, the partner has to fit, if I see him. But I also follow the descendants of the dog, to see whether they are okay or not, how I want to have them. Until today, I have only been rarely wrong.
In February 2009, signed Shera Chuat
Here are to be seen a few photos, which already present Daoud during the time at the breeder's in France. Daoud, what a cute puppy - just to fall in love with him and fetch him!
Daoud at the breeder Shera Chuat in South France (until 6,5 months old). - Photos: Shera Chuat
All texts and images, except otherwise noted, copyright © Dr. Margrit Miekeley