Canine stories like dogs and dreams, this featured pet story is about Ron Hevener and his champion Collie. Other articles to read included.
Dogs and Dreams
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  Hevener’s distinct pieces are sculpted in his studio with wire and clay and layered with a latex mold. When the mold is sufficiently cured, a casting is made. Hevener describes the process. “After the castings are poured, hardened, and removed from their molds, they are trimmed, filed and smoothed. We set them aside to dry for about a week and then lightly sand them to remove any imperfections.” When each piece is ready for painting a base coat is applied followed by an airbrushing of colors and patterns that are slightly different for each figurine. Figurines can be custom painted to match a collector’s specific pet. “We finish the piece by adding multiple coats of clear lacquer, giving it a unique, old-fashioned style that we are known for.”
  Today, in addition to creating beautiful works of canine and equine art Hevener breeds and shows his own kennel of Collies and Greyhounds and has a small Arabian horse stable. He is also an accomplished writer and singer. He has recorded numerous CD’s and was first published at age 16, when he wrote a book about animal husbandry. For his two most recent books, “Fate of the Stallion!,” a tale about an Arabian horse he saved from slaughter, and “The Blue Ribbon,” a mystery/romance that takes place in the dog show world, Hevener has created limited edition watercolors and sculptures that depict animals and scenes from the stories. Gracing the cover of The Blue Ribbon is a photograph of a self-assured Collie that changed both Hevener’s and Kauffman’s lives.
  Hevener, handsome and direct with kind, dark eyes, calls Kauffman his mentor and gives her a great deal of credit for his success. After meeting Kauffman when he purchased his first puppy, they quickly became friends. As a teenager, Hevener began showing dogs with her help. “Jackie was my teacher. She encouraged me throughout my life, both as an artist, and as a breeder of purebred animals.” He recalls how each month when the Collie magazines came out Kauffman would sit him down and they would review each one, studying the “class” of the ideal head type or the correct stance of a champion’s forequarter. “Later she would call me and quiz me on these finer points of the breed.”
  Kauffman was always looking for that one great dog to bring new blood into her kennels and, according to Hevener, she would relentlessly search ringside at shows or study breed
magazines waiting for a dog with the characteristics she wanted to introduce into her breeding program.
  Under Kauffman’s tutelage, Lochranza Kennels amassed many trophies. Her success was inspiring to Hevener. “She showed me the heart and soul of it. Dog, horse and cattle shows. I can always hear her laughing; no matter how bad things were…she had physical problems and was very overweight, but she had a strong mind.” He recalls her saying, “ You can’t give up Sweetie, you gotta keep trying.” Hevener calls his friendship with Kauffman “the longest I ever had.” One day, after years of friendship and friendly competition Kauffman called Hevener and said, “I think you should come see me.”
  For quite some time Kauffman had been following a beautiful mahogany and white Collie that had been raised on a sheep farm in Alaska, near the North Pole. As a six-month-old puppy, the dog had won a Best In Breed ribbon, and at 10 months won the even more prestigious Best In Show ribbon, only the third such ribbon awarded to a Collie puppy in the past century. The dog was “CH. Amberlyn’s Bright Tribute,” better known as Kane. Kauffman tracked Kane’s career as he continued to win ribbons and attention. In 1983 he landed on the cover of The Collie Club of America’s Collie Review magazine. The dog’s confirmation was impressive, so much so that in later years Kane would appear in the American Kennel Club’s breed video as one of the examples of “the ideal Collie.” He possessed the round, full “cylinder” muzzle, small eyes and the magnificent mahogany coat she had been waiting for. Kauffman had found her dog.

Kim J. Young
Mt. Wolf, Pennsylvania
Email: [email protected] / Phone: (717) 266-4898

  These stories may not necessarily reflect the opinions of this website or it's employees.
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