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Searching with Dogged Determination

by June Rogers

Published in Sympatico NetLife -Ontario & Quebec Edition -January/February 1997 issue

(with minor revision)

For years, Cori Kalinowski, 31, had dreamed of getting a dog. She and her husband finally got serious and bought Dogs Annual magazine last year, which helped them decide on the breed. "I am allergic to most dogs and all cats and so I had to choose carefully," says Kalinowski, a Toronto lawyer. Combing through all the varieties of canines in the publication, they settled on a Bichon Frise, a small dog with a fluffy white coat that doesn't shed. "I could have called all the breeders in and around the area, but I didn't have the time to do that," she says.

A recent Sympatico subscriber, Kalinowski plugged into the Internet to sniff out more information. She doggedly pursued a search and within 10 minutes found a home page on the breed in California by Janice Sheehy . It contained the history, care, grooming and breeding particulars that Kalinowski had been looking for. There were also comments from Bichon Frise owners on their experiences with their dogs, as well as books to read about training. Kalinowski e-mailed the breeder, Janice Sheehy, for referrals to Canadian breeders in the Toronto, Ottawa or Montreal areas.

The scent led her to the path of a breeder in Udora, near Uxbridge, Ontario, one Norma Dirszowsky , the Secretary of the Bichon Frise Club of Canada. "I e-mailed her a ton of questions," says Kalinowski, "which she answered very quickly. She is right on the ball."

In October, Kalinowski and her husband drove out to see Dirszowsky and her dogs. When they arrived they learned that there was a new litter of pups. "We weren't planning on getting one right then, but after we played with (the Bichons), we were ready." Out of the litter of seven, Kalinowski was given a male, which they have named "Rocky".

Now for the hard part: training. No worries. Kalinowski will be able to e-mail her breeder whenever she has any burning questions. Says Kalinowski, with confidence: "She'll be there all the way."

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