The story of the owner of Squaw Creek Kennels and its owner Edward VanDoorn
As a young boy, I grew up on a farm with my grandfather Casey. We weren't exactly the wealthiest of families, in fact, we were probably one of the poorest family's around. That fact alone pretty much meant that my idea of a pet dog was the good ol' Heinz 57 stray that wandered past our place. My grandpa always believed that the second worst thing in life was to have was a female dog, and the only thing worse than that was having a female dog that somehow managed to have nature take its course and get herself pregnant. Getting homes for puppies in that day and age was practically impossible. I had no idea that there were people in the world that actually had dogs, and them have puppies with great attention, care and skill on purpose, let alone were able to sell these puppies to others that had to struggle to get such a beautiful creature.
When I was about six years old, our family was given a purebred dog -- a dachshund of whom I named Buster. Buster and I were absolutely inseparable constantly playing together, talking together, he was my best friend. Even though buster has long since passed, I still to this day love him dearly and I will never forget him or all of the times that we shared.
In 1981 my grandfather passed away, and with his death came a terrible void in my life, and emptiness that I wasn't sure would ever be filled again. It was around that time that a good friend of mine gave me yet another purebred dachshund, but a female this time, who I named Nicki. I grew to love her almost more than life itself. Her unconditional love along with a very small inheritance that my grandfather had left me was just barely enough to put a down payment on the property of which I still call home to this very day. I didn't know it at the time but my precious Nicki was the stepping stone to the rest of my life and to the beginning of what we know today as Squaw Creek Kennels.
It was Nicki and I against the world. I worked two jobs and looked for any little way to make a few extra dollars, from baking and selling my homemade bread and sweets, to wallpapering houses, even renting my bedrooms to the occasional pheasant hunter. Nicki on the other hand passed the time chasing rabbits while she waited for me to come home. The comfort of knowing she'd be there gave me the strength I needed every day to get up and do it all over again for both our benefit day after day after day.
As time went on I learned more of my neighbors as fate would have it my neighbor across the street bred Labs and Scotties and one day suggested maybe I should breed Nicki to help bring in a little extra money. I thought he'd lost his mind, I promptly told him that the last thing that I needed were more mouths to feed. His response came in the form of a promise to me that he'd help keep them fed, watered and in good health and together we would have no problem selling the puppies to good homes. With much apprehension yet a little sparkle of hope I decided I'd give it a shot. If nothing else I was certain I could find them good homes, after all who doesn't love puppies. On a cold day in February of 1982 Nicki gave birth to 3 puppies. Despite my being a nervous wreck, everything went as smooth as could be. If I didn't know better I’d have sworn this wasn't her first litter of puppies. Watching those babies be born, grow and change on a daily basis was one of the most amazing things I’d ever witnessed. The best and hardest part was when the time came that I had to send them off to their new homes. Even though it pained me to do so, the really hard part of letting go seemed to melt away the moment that I saw their new families' faces, it’s hard to convey how gratifying and rewarding it was/is to know that the little life I helped bring into the world could bring another person so much joy and happiness. All I could think of is that each of those little puppies had the same potential to change and better these peoples’ lives as both Nicki and buster before her had bettered mine.
Throughout the years I've sold many puppies to many different kinds of people and people of varying stages of life. Some who had recently lost a loved one, or someone who was going through the pain of a divorce, some individuals battling depression or even a serious illness; My greatest joy and my own personal measure of success has been in those moments on down the road when I get a call or a note telling me that the puppy they got from me was their saving grace and gave them the strength and support they needed to fight on, push through and pull themselves up from the pit of despair, beat cancer, completely recover from that stroke or heart attack or whatever their particular life challenge and been and are living happy healthy and successful lives.
Dogs give so much and ask for so little in return. Giving their unconditional friendship, loyalty, their companionship, their love that can even put a smile on your face no matter how bad your day was and or what tragedy life may have thrown you that day. They too give us reasons to get up in the morning and to come home at night, and a reason to keep going on even though you just don't think you can. I truly believe that if we all tried to be a little more like our dogs, the world would be a better place.
Nicki and those first little puppies opened the door to the rest of my life and to the beginning of Squaw Creek Kennels. Nicki had given me what so many people struggle their entire life to find - a career that they love and a life filled with love. I started working harder than ever and finally saved just enough to buy my second female doxie named Molly. I made sure that I kept one of the pups from Nicki's second litter too. As time went on and I found myself a fancy for Miniature Schnauzers and began breeding them as well as Cocker spaniels. It wasn't long before I began to notice that there was a surprising difference in how the champion pedigreed puppies looked. Everyone I knew at that time, friends and breeders alike, thought I’d lost my mind when I saved up the $400 to buy my first Cocker sired by champions named Casmars Knight Moves. Heck I thought I was crazy too after all it was an amazing amount of money - especially back then. Turns out I wasn't so crazy and it was the best thing I ever did. Casmars Knight Moves was so beautiful and the sweetest thing ever. He looked almost regal, nothing at all like all the Cockers that I and everyone I knew was used to seeing. It became so clear to me that just because a dog had registration papers doesn't mean they have anything close to the best of the breed, only that it's been registered. I knew that my dogs had to be more than registered and certainly more than just acceptance by a registry. I began searching out the champions in the pedigrees, which naturally lead me to showing dogs.
When my grandfather passed he left me far more than a few thousand dollars, he'd left me a piece of himself. I'll always have that piece of him because it taught me about the things that are more important than money, those crucial things that are the most important things a person has in life. My grandfather gave me the same values that carried him through his life and will carry me through mine; the values of honesty, quality, and integrity. These are the things that count the most in anything you do. You always do the very best job you can, and always give 110% no matter if you're doing it for yourself or someone else. This is why no matter what I do, I strive to set an example by doing the absolute best that can be done.
I'd like to thank you for taking the time to visit my site and for taking a few minutes to read my story. This simple story describes the simplistic things that have made both Squaw Creek Kennels, as well as myself, as we are today. More importantly why it is our sole mission to strive to be the Alpha Dog, Leading the pack of Professional Breeders. I invite you to visit the rest of our website. As with everything else I do in my life, I always want to be the best, and this site is no exception. What I want to make his website includes having a website that is here as a resource to help educate and give the best information possible. My goal is for this to be a place where all dog lovers (not just potential customers) can gather for reputable, reliable information. So that no matter where you get your dog you will know that you can be confident in choosing a breed, a breeder, and most importantly the next little furry love of your life, and know that you can always rely on us to provide you with information that can be relied upon, to have discussions with other dog lovers.