CH Starborn's Diamond in the Sky of Kailani - 2014 Brood Bitch, HSDAA National Specialty
Starborn's Diamond in the Sky of Kailani (Lani) was born Nov. 20, 2009 in North Carolina. She comes from Pam and Tom King's Starborn Havana Silk Dogs. Lani is personality plus and wants nothing more than to please you. She is a little firecracker. If I had to use only one word to describe Lani, it would be spunk. There's absolutely nothing that Lani doesn't want to do - and she always does it with a silly grin on her face and her tail wagging at lightning speed. Lani always jumps in with all four paws and then looks at you with a "see what I just did" look of accomplishment on her face.
Lani, which means Sky in Hawaiian, is full of surprises. One of her many surprises is her coat, (Havana Silk Dogs come is a variety of colors and patterns). She is registered as a Blue Irish Pied (although we originally thought she was a Black Irish Pied). Blue puppies are born black, but lighten to varying shades of grey over a period of years. In addition, there is more than one form of blue. One type is caused by a premature greying gene that results in a gradual depigmentation of black hairs giving a salt/pepper appearance. The other is caused by a silvering gene that limits the expression of black pigment over a period of time. This dog usually becomes a softer, bluish grey. We think Lani is the latter and we've been watching her gradually change colors. She is also showing some beautiful havana brown in her coat.
The Irish Pied refers to a specific pattern of white markings. Lani has white on her belly, on each of her four paws, on the tip of her tail, on her chest and she has a partial collar of white around the neck. She also has some unique white markings on her muzzle and the top of her head.
Lani loves food! You might think this is an odd thing to say when talking about a dog (don't all dogs love food?). But Havana Silk Dogs are known to be picky eaters. I'm not sure if picky is the right word. Kai eats when he's hungry, but is not overly excited about the fact that he's being served breakfast or dinner. Now that I've found the perfect treat for him, I can motivate him when doing new tasks or working with him in agility, but he turns his nose up at most other dog goodies. However Lani is definitely food motivated! She enjoys her meals with the same gusto that she enjoys everything in life. Pam King says that all of the Starborn Silks have great appetites. Genetics? Perhaps. This is a trait that we hope Lani will hand down to her offspring.
Starborn's Diamond in the Sky of Kailani earned her Junior Certified Championship on Oct. 30, 2010 at the HSDAA National Specialty in Virginia Beach, VA. She amazed us by earning her Junior Championship in just two weekend shows - the Blue Ridge Silk Lovers' Classic in Richmond, VA and the National Specialty in Viginia Beach. She topped off her weekend in Virginia Beach with a 5 point major. That was followed by another 5 point major at the Havana Daydreamin' show in Orlando, FL in Feb. 2011.
Lani took a break from the show ring while raising two litters of puppies. She returned to finish her championship by earning a 4 point major at the 2012 HSDAA National Specialty. Lani is a Certified Havana Silk Dog.
One of Lani's puppies recently started puppy kindergarten. The instructor asked each owner to find out what their breed of puppy was originally bred for. Knowing what your dog is meant to do gives you a better understanding of why your dog acts the way he does!
Lani exemplifies what the HSD was bred for. Silk Dogs were bred to be lap dogs for the aristocracy. Lani can be playing hard and running fast, but when it's time for us to sit down, she jumps up on a lap and just melts into it. She doesn't squirm and wiggle, she just snuggles perfectly. She can make any lap seem like another part of herself. And she always makes the person whose lap she is sitting on feel happy. She has that effect on her people. A lap with Lani is so much better than a lap without.
I've also heard that Havana Silk Dogs were bred to herd the poultry, like chickens. Well, there is nothing that Lani loves better than to chase and be chased (she enjoys both and she will flip flop - first she chases, then she turns around and gets chased). I can tell by the way she runs that she has herding instincts. She runs fast and turns so quickly - its amazing. And when she is chasing another dog, she likes to get right up by his flank, almost like she is going to nip him. She can make another dog turn in the direction she wants him to go. It's fun to watch. We do not have a need to have our poultry herded, since we don't have any. But Kai and Lani love agility. They are very good at it because they can run so fast and turn so quickly. It's important to be able to do the things that you're good at and that make you happy. Kai and Lani are truly happy dogs!
I don't know if HSDs were bred to be circus dogs, but I know that they were used for that. As early as 1700, an entrepreneur by the name of Mr. Cowley brought a troop of small dogs advertised as “the Little Ball of Dancing Dogs” from Cuba to the court of Queen Anne, who was by all accounts enchanted by them and later owned several. Lani and Kai both love to entertain us. Kai has a marvelous sense of humor, but he is very careful not to overuse it. That way he surprises us! He waits until he thinks we need to have a good laugh and then he'll do something very funny. Lani, however, lives to entertain (perhaps because she hopes there will be a cookie in it for her). She loves to dance on her two hind legs. She spins and dances and all the while her tail is wagging and she is smiling.
Lani is now retired from breeding. She has whelped 24 beautiful puppies, many of which have gone on to earn their championships and become certified Havana Silk Dogs. She does still show sometimes. Lani was named the 2014 Brood Bitch at the Havana Silk Dog Association's National Specialty Show in Virginia Beach in Nov. 2014.