THE UNITED STATES EURASIER CLUB - ~USEC~
A historical overview based on personal notes and memories
For a longer time, I contemplate if I should attempt the time-consuming endeavor of putting the story of the formation of a club that once meant the world to me in writing. I look down to the three beautiful dogs who are sleeping at my feet. At that moment I know that this club is part of the Eurasier history in North America and, as such, should not just disappear unrecorded at some time since this breed is an incredible one. Its fanciers, future breeders and future club officials deserve to have a source to consult, to learn how everything started here in the United States of America, and particularly how the United States Eurasier Club, Inc, USEC for short, evolved.
We write the year 2022 and almost 16 years have passed since the USEC’s Inaugural Meeting in 2006. It will be tedious work to go back, look through old files and notes and to put all the puzzle pieces together again. Thousands of pictures taken by me during many privately organized Eurasier meetings and during the Annual Club meetings will help bring back memories, I am sure.
Since the initial club founders but one are no longer a part of the current Board and are no longer closely involved in the club work, it might be helpful for the next generations of club management to learn what was of great importance to the founders, and to learn about the background of the club and its principles. For me personally, latter is one of the most important reasons for this project.
Now – where to start and how to structure this project is another story. I guess everything will evolve while I write. I cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, neither will I rule out personal impressions that will flow into this article. This internet version will be a much shorter one too than the one I am writing down in length - but enough words, let’s get started.
This article is under construction and will grow as I continue to write it. So check in occasionally to see it grow and to see galleries of club and personal meetings over the years.
THE VERY BEGINNING OF THE BREED IN NORTH AMERICA
I am thinking back to late October 1999 when I received a call from Professor Dr. Kurt Kotrschal in Austria, informing me that his beautiful red Eurasier female “Briska vom Heiligkreuz” had a litter and a wolf-grey female would be available for me to take home to the United States. I had fallen in love with the breed but at the time there were solely two Eurasier breeders in North America, both located in Canada. I had researched the breed thoroughly and knew it from my home country Germany. I decided that I would prefer adopting a Eurasier from Germany or Austria, an “original” from the countries of origin of the breed. I liked the fact that the dogs were bred under strict supervision and guidance of the clubs and that health testing was mandatory prior to breeding. It was a controlled breeding environment based on scientific research and a big database that contains health information on, by now, thousands of Eurasiers. A pretty unique process for a dog breed club. At the time I had not yet found any German breeder who would have agreed to have one of their puppies live so far away from home. Professor Dr. Kotrschal, scientist, biologist, chairperson of the Konrad-Lorenz Research Station, by now founder and researcher at the Wolf Science Center in Ernstbrunn, Austria and last but not least, the President of the Eurasier Club Austria for many years, came through for me. He wanted to part with a puppy. In January of 2000, my husband flew to Austria and meet the Kotrschal family. This was how “Alpha-Laika vom Tal der Raben”, called Laika, came into my life. She was a tremendous dog. She was all I hoped for and so much more. I should learn later that her brother Aladin also traveled to the United States and settled in Massachusetts and that he received the call-name Otto.
At the time, Professor Dr. Kotrschal suggested that it might be nice to think about breeding my female Laika at some point in time. He generously provided me with the By-Laws and the Breeding Code of Ethics of the Eurasier Club of Austria to educate me on how the Eurasier breed was protected by its breed club in Austria and how strict the breeding rules and the requirements for breeders were to receive permission to breed. It was something new for North America, as breeders here were used to making their own decisions without being regulated by strict breed club rules. Since I am from Germany it did not take long for me to have acquired valuable contacts in all three German Eurasier clubs, the EKW (Eurasier Club Weinheim), the ZG (Zuchtgemeinschaft fuer Eurasiers) and the KZG (Kynologische Zuchtgemeinschaft fuer Eurasier). I received so much information on how the clubs worked, of their breeding require- ments, of their minimum requirements for raising a litter, information on breeding and a lot of tutoring when it came to the breed itself. I needed to learn how to interpret the Standard, I received many pictures and had endless conversations and emails discussing all the information above. I would like to take a moment to thank a few people specifically.
As mentioned above, Professor Dr. Kurt Kotrschal provided the basis for me with his club and breeding information and the beautiful dog Laika who would have the second Eurasier litter born in the United States.
Mrs. Annelie Feder, then President of the EKW, took a lot of time, effort and patience tutoring me. She was and still is always available for questions and I think I “tortured” her plenty of times with questions over questions. I still own folders of Eurasier material and emails.