The Szuni ‘kennel’ was registered with the Canadian Kennel Club in 1998. ‘Szuni’ comes from the first letters of my husband’s and my names combined, as is traditional for many kennel prefixes! Susan + Neill = Szuni when spelled with the Hungarian ‘Sz’ for the ‘s’ sound. I am the dog trainer/handler and Neill is support system and advisor.
We live in a dense older neighbourhood in the heart of the city. When we purchased our home here, we adopted our first pet, a cat who was raised as a dog – he had amazing fetching ability and liked to go for walks. Not long after, we started to research dog breeds. I loved what I learned of the Vizsla, but when we brought baby Lucy home in 1994, I immediately worried that I would get bored simply walking her, and that she would be bored too. The result was that I signed up for training. Luckily, ‘Human Dog Leadership’ was in its heyday at that time. It provided an education in canine social behavior and communication and an introduction to teaching and training methods that has been a fantastic foundation for lifelong learning. I have gone on to read and study with many different trainers from different dog sports. One thing leads to another, and I have trained and handled dogs for obedience, agility, tracking, conformation and field.
Some of my dog world experiences include:
- Teaching tracking and obedience classes for pet and competition dogs.
- Organizing many Field Dog Tests, Field Trials and Field Fun Days.
- First female president of the BC All Breed Pointer Club in 2004 and the only person to serve as president twice. I have also been Vice President, Secretary and Director.
- Qualified Canadian Kennel Club judge for Field Dog Tests and Field Trials.
- Contributing writer for Vizsla Canada’s national newsletter.
- Competitor in conformation, obedience, field, agility and tracking competition.