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Cherryska Ykelenstams B&W Xaria, born April 2, 2007. Xaria's story.... her name means gift of love, and that is just what she has been to us. While we of course love all our dogs very much, once or twice in a lifetime if you are lucky there is that extra special dog that just captures your heart and soul, that you feel so closely bonded with that it just defies explanation. I also don't think we ever conciously choose our heart dog, I think the dog chooses us. Xaria is very much my (Diane) heart dog.

She started out as a normal puppy we had just acquired for some fresh bloodlines, being raised in our daughter Kim's room at the time, since our daughter was training and grooming her both literally and figuratively speaking to be a show dog. That is the way it stayed right up until Xaria was 6 months old, and she entered her first weekend of dog shows. She did fine and looked beautiful, though she was a little tentative at the whole thing which was to be expected. Little did we know what that dog show was about to do to our family.

Xaria was the first of almost all our dogs to get deathly ill over the next month or so, one after another. It was horridly expensive and totally devastating physically and emotionally to all of us, human and canine alike.... so much illness, so many drugs having to be injected in so many dogs, to keep them well enough to be able to take bits of liquids and keep them stable enough to get through it. After much research, we were told that it was what had come to be known as dog show crud. All I know is it was severe and turned me off of dog shows almost completely.

The weekend after the shows, hubby and I were off to NB to attend a long awaited weekend long dog seminar by Brenda Aloff. It was certainly a weekend we will never forget for many reasons, and the seminar was absolutely a fascinating and enlightening two days. Well almost two days for us, since we got a call from our daughter Sunday morning that our youngest baby Xaria had been sick all night and was very ill and headed for the vet clinic. I waited to hear from the vet, and when she told us how severe it was and that she might not make it, we headed straight home. That was the longest 3 hour drive home of my life! We went straight to the clinic where our little Xaria was losing weight by the hour, barely hanging on. She was on multiple IVs with fluids and drugs to try and halt severe vomiting, and being only 6 months old and about 12 or 13 pounds to start with, she did not have a lot of weight to be able to lose. I will never forget how I felt that day, wondering if she was going to make it or not, this sweet trusting little 6 month old puppy, and after several days on IVs, she did pull through and was finally able to come home. Of course we went through it with almost all the dogs, about one or two per week, and there was round the clock care required for our puppers for more than a month as they passed it along one to the next. Thank heavens that with diligence and the personal cell number of our great vet who was at our beck and call 24/7 for weeks on end, that everyone pulled through, but little Xaria was the one that had it first and worst.

I will never forget when I went to pick her up to take her back home, just a wee speck of a thing, so thin after being so ill, and her joy at seeing me. I took her home and she instantly became my shadow, my love, my heart dog. For whatever reason, maybe because our daughter was the one who took her to the vet and had to leave her there, and I was the one to take her home, she decided that I was her number one person now, and she went at it full force, like never before. She has wormed her way so deeply into my heart and soul that I do not know what I will ever do if anything happens to her.

So she got healthy and grew up and I never took her to another dog show ever again. Dog shows were never my priority, I simply was willing to show her and see how she would do, out of respect to her breeder since we got her as a potential show quality breeding bitch. Her beauty and personality and quality was easy to see and I did not need anyone else's opinion on the matter. She went on to have two beautiful litters, and we kept a daughter out of each litter to carry on with. She had a difficult time whelping her second litter which all took place at the vet clinic under constant vet care and ultrasound monitoring, but thankfully she managed to deliver all her babies and not need a c-section, so right then and there I promised her she would never have to go through this again.

So now she is retired and enjoying the good life, sleeping in bed with mommy and daddy, and she is never far from my side unless she has no choice. So dear little Xaria has truly been a gift of love to us, we are indeed very blessed!

Xaria's pedigree
















Xaria May 2010.jpg

Diva and Xaria July 2010.jpg


Xaria summer 2010.jpg

3.5 Years.jpg



Daddys Chair.jpg

posed 3.5 yrs.jpg

Focus 3.75 yrs.jpg

4 Years.jpg

pay attention 5 yrs.jpg

Xaria almost 6 years.jpg

Xaria 6 years.jpg

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Kong love 6.5 yrs.jpg

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