In November, 1975 I brought home my first saluki, the future foundation bitch for what became Shahanshah salukis, Ch. Canem-Dei's Rodha. Her full registered name should have been "Canem-Dei's Rodha Bint Rahma," but for some reason AKC cut off everything after "Rodha." Rodha was a granddaughter of Ch. Canem-Dei's El Salta 'Aun ("Cancer"), Mimi Carlyle's nationally ranked Number One multi-BIS and Group winning saluki. Rodha was one of only three grizzles that Mimi ever produced. Her father was Ch. Enchalla's Ahmadon Puca, a handsome black and tan dog going back to old the old Warm Valley breeding partially behind Canem-Dei, bred and owned by Ethel Brogan of Fishkill, New York. Rodha's mother, the Cancer daughter Ch. Canem-Dei's Rahma (nick-named "Plain Jane" due to her almost complete lack of feather; she was also a lemon and white parti) had what Mimi called "the best shoulder and neck-set at Canem-Dei." I happily took her daughter home!
The following spring, Mimi called to say she had a group winner for us! A bit later, Canem-Dei's Ajriya Shahil Mahis, "Shahil," joined our household. Shahil was a lovely red and white parti male out of another Cancer daughter, Ch. Canem-Dei's Zunali Zeilah. Shahil's sire was the sole son of Mimi's multi-BIS bitch, Ch. Canem-Dei's Kitan Tiy Taj, "Kaja" (Ch. Canem-Dei's Kirman Kaja Az Al Taj, owned by Owen and Arnita "Sam" Prussing of Kansas City, MO). Due to the startling marking on his left side, he was known as Mr. Lonely Heart.
With two grand-offspring of Cancer and both sides of their combined pedigree going back to Taj and her forebears, how could I go wrong? Mimi's claim for Shahil promptly came true! Both Rodha and Shahil breezed to their championships, even with a young, inexperienced college-student handler on the other end of the leash. But Shahil finished in amazing style! That day, at the Lawrence/Jayhawk KC show (piloted by my mother, Doris Kadel, as I was back home in Hastings, NE taking my first spring final exams), not only did he complete his championship, he went on to take Group I under Michelle Leathers Billings.
Salukis exclusively since 1975
That same summer my Mom and I headed headed east to Illinois and the Saluki Club of America's Golden Anniversary National Specialty show held at the Stone City KC show. The judge was sighthound specialist and author Connie Miller. The result: Shahil went Winner's Dog and Best of Winners, then went on to claim Best of Opposite Sex over specials! His future mate, Rodha, won second in the Open Bitch class, a nice accomplishment in its own right but completely overshadowed by her future "husband's" glory!
This was the first of several great thrills we have been honored with over the decades at the SCOA National. Since it was the first, it remains one of the high points of my life.
Rodha and Shahil had one litter, my first. This litter forms the Second Generation of the Shahanshah salukis.
Rodha at home in Nebraska, about 18 months old (left) and at Mimi's, about two years (right).
Shahil at three and a half months (left) and just over six months going Best Puppy in Group at the Manitoba Canine Association's show, summer 1976 (right).
Rodha gaining points under Ed Bracy, Doris Kadel handling, not long after the 1977 SCOA National.
Ch. Canem-Dei's Ajriya Shahil Mahis, finishing under Michelle Billings with a BOB and GROUP I.