Ilka and Tovarisch

The two dogs pictured here are Tovarisch (r) and Ilka (l). Tovarisch is a rescue dog from the Los Angeles area pound. The best guess is that he was imported and subsequently his owner couldn't keep him. He came to me at 5 months of age and was just 27 inches tall and 56 pounds. Today, at a little over two and a half he is 33 inches tall and 150 pounds. Ilka was bred in Boston and was a Christmas, 1994, baby. Today she is 27 inches, about 100 pounds, and a real bundle of energy.













Tovarisch at about two and a half years old.











Ilka's baby pictures should have given us an idea of the mischief to come, but we were too dense to see it in her eyes. She did, however, behave admirably at her first show, the ARBA Hollywood Special, on her first day of eligibility for the show ring.










The picture on the left is Tovarisch in the pound at the tender age of 5 months. Could you have left the big-nosed fella? Neither could I! The one on the right is just two weeks later and he'd already gained 15 pounds!

While there is no way to know about Tovarisch's lineage, Ilka's parents are another story! Ilka's mom is the winningest Caucasian Ovtcharka in US show history (which is admittedly very brief), Audrey Chalfen's Blanche. Ilka's father is an all-white CO (rare, but it happens) named Chelkesh. At the time of their breeding Chelkesh lived at a Bed and Breakfast in Western Massachusetts. Today, he lives here in California, though we haven't arranged a meeting for father and daughter yet.










Benjamin G. Levy,

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