Chambray Labradors Testimonial's Page
All the Webmaster gurus, including my wife have been advising me for years to add a testimonial page. They tell me that people like to read what other people like about a subject or a website, so here is the Testimonial and Feedback Page. Please feel free to let me know what you think about our Labradors and programs that we offer for the Betterment of the Breed.
UPDATE 09/21/05: My wife and the other webmasters were right, the Testimonials Page has been receiving the 2nd most visitors, next to the Litters & Puppies Page!!!!
All of the following emails have
been answered personally and I want to thank each of you for your feedback.
The following testimonials bracketed by the divider below were all received after the West Palm Beach Dog Shows on July 10th & 11th 2010. More than 125 people came to support Chambray Labradors, the Herzon family and the Labrador Owners Community!
I just love the new look of the website.
Your website is the most attractive and informative on Labrador retrievers! I can never get enough when I visit and I go there at least twice a week and always see and read something new and different and interesting. there is no where else with the things that all of your dogs do with their owners!
Mandy Campbell ND
Your dogs rock, your website rocks, I am always so amazed at your offerings and involvement with all of your dogs and with the breed. How fortunate are all of your owners to have such a mentoring breeder to be there for them with all sorts of perks and amenities, not to mention the best guarantees backing up your puppies!
Nancy Taylor Fl.
Again a big Thank You for this weekend for you and your team, especially Jessie. We had a great time with the entire Chambray family at ringside.
Remember our new slogan for Eko: Always bet on black.
See you Tuesday at 7:30
Thank you for inviting us to the show, we all had a great time and can’t wait for our puppy to be old enough to join in with the fun at shows.
Way to go Herzon, another huge feather in your cap and to all the owners of your Labradors. It was amazing to see it all going so strong after so many years.
Thank you for your entries and those of your owners. We appreciate you all coming out and making our show a success.
TCKC member & officer
You and your family should be commended by the Florida dog clubs for your patronage and support with all the dogs and people that you bring to the shows.
It is always such a pleasure to have your family handle dogs in my ring when I am judging down here.
LC AKC Judge (not judging at this show)
Congratulations on a wonderful weekend in so many ways. All the Herzons worked their collective tushies off! You all deserve a huge round of applause. I couldn’t believe the crowd at ringside! Bill and I had several hometown supporters, from agility buddies to neighbors, come out to root for Hogan and Hanna (By the way, we live in Boynton Beach, not Wellington). Even my next door neighbor saw me today and commented how impressed he was to see all of Hogan’s offspring – and off-offspring – competing. Being “Ring Mother” was stressful but I was glad to help out. My only regret was not getting a chance to sit back and do my ringside analysis which I thoroughly enjoy.
Great new article on the website. It summed up the feeling
of the weekend though I think you really had to experience it to fully
appreciate it. Thanks again for all you and Johanna, Jessie, and Ryan put
in to making it a memorable weekend.
Thank you for bringing me your dogs; it was a pleasure to watch your family in my ring.
AKC Judge (that judged at the show and didn’t know who the Herzon family was until the photo session with the winning dogs)
I am so glad that I bought my puppy from you and not somebody else (actual name used). The friendly nature of your group makes such a difference. Everyone at ringside is so nice and sharing, not so with the other person (actual name used).
I should pay you and your kids a commission for all the business you all bring us.
D. a vendor
We had a great time meeting and talking with so many of your owners. I know that I am prejudice since I own one of your dogs, but Chambray has the most beautiful dogs!
What a class act you all put on with your dogs at these shows. It was a thrill watching class after class with all of your family in the ring working so professionally and without a hitch you all handled more than half the Labradors competing!
I don’t know how you do it, but keep it up man! You got the people talking and that’s a good thing, because when they no longer talk about you then you are history!
Retiring dog handler
Amazing, amazing, amazing, I would not believe it if I had not been there both days to see you and your family handle class after class of dogs and give each and everyone of those dogs the absolute best handling from anyone at that show! A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!
We are proud to be included in your circle of dog owners. We met so many wonderful people that also own a Chambray dog. We had a great time at the show.
Thank you so much for including us in the dogs that you showed this weekend. We could not ask for anymore as our girl looked so beautiful with Ryan handling her.
Greetings from Thailand! Congratulations on the weekend wins!
Great fun at WPB. Congrats to all the Chambray winners!!
The Chambray family should be proud of what was accomplished
this past weekend, I know that you are. We are proud of Cher and Sunny and
their performance and know that great things are to come. Sunny’s win put a
lump in my throat because I know that it was big for him at this point. Nice
article!!!!! Are you sleeping in one of the dog houses you have on the
You have to be kidding! What a show you all put on down here!
Nothing like this in the Midwest. I was glad that I saw your invitation on
the front page of your website and came to watch. Tried to catch you, but
man you are non stop action with your dogs and with your super loyal owners.
I got to talk to dozens of them and they sing the blues about you and your
program. Congratulations on all you and your very talented family do down
here with the breed!
Wahoo for Chambray and the Herzons. Congratulations to all
the dogs and the owners. I couldn’t be there in person but I was there in
spirit and in heart.
What a difference you guys make with your breed! What you do
does not exist in any other breed or ring! What a loyal following you all
have and how impressive it is to watch you all at the Labrador ring.
My next breed will be a Labrador, not just any Labrador, but
a Chambray Labrador. Put me on your waiting list.
I have to tell you that you all put on one class act. I mentioned to you
that there was a particular person talking trash about you and your dogs and
you said to let it be because talk is cheap but actions are solid gold. You
are totally right! No one wants to even stand by that person and listen to
the non-stop garbage she rambles on with.
Thank you for inviting us to be part of your Labrador Owners Community. We had the opportunity to speak with many of the Chambray owners at the show and without exception they all speak very highly of you and your family. Seeing is believing and being part of such a wonderful group of people is something that is not available with anyone else we spoke with when inquiring about a Labrador puppy. Please keep up the great work you do for your Labradors and their owners. We anxiously await our soon to be Chambray puppy.
The difference is night and day with what you provide with
your dogs and what other breeders are doing. In fact your entire approach is
so refreshing and positive as compared to the other breeders out there with
their negative sales tactics. My wife and I were not too sure about this
show thing, but after seeing the many Chambray owners and speaking with many
of them at ringside we are totally sold on getting involved in the many
activities that you provide with your puppies and dogs. Please consider us
for a placement of one of your prized puppies.
I was so excited to see my puppy in the ring that I could
bear to watch, so I missed the whole thing. When is the next show?
Hogan has to be the most impressive Labrador I have ever
seen. I don’t know what that judge was looking at when she overlooked him
and gave Best Labrador to the dog on Saturday! Didn’t she know that he was
the father of the female that won and also of all those other puppies and
dogs in the ring? Anyways, thank you for inviting us to the show and we will
be attending class with our new baby next week.
Ok, I have
calmed down now, I think, and I want to really thank you for everything you
have done with Viper. And Sandy, thanks for constantly reassuring me about
the shows :) It was such a high! However, she is still just the Goober at
home. Anyway, THANKS!!
Editors Note: There were dozens and dozens more that expressed almost word for word some of these emails, phone calls and in person testimonials, so I just concise them into a generic form and didn’t attribute them to one person. I know that most of you will figure out who some of the above belong to.
I just read the Labrador Forum article you wrote and it truly is a masterpiece!!!!! You my friend are in the wrong profession, you should be a writer! I was LMAO through the entire article. You have a way of taking a sticky subject and making it a humorous adventure. Howard Cosell always told it like it was, you my man can put it into prose better than anyone I have ever read. Way to expose those shameless and wacky women that have it "in" for you!
wonderful experience the Boca Raton dog show was!
forward to hearing from you as soon as you are able to
Thanks for everything you are doing for us!
My husband and I want to thank you so much for selecting the right puppy for us, she is perfection a 1000 times over!!!!. When we first contacted you, we were very apprehensive about not being able to have the pick of the litter as that is how we thought it was always done. We were also not quite sure want you meant about you selecting the owners for your puppies and that you didn't "sell puppies", rather you placed the right puppy with the right people and vise versa.
What a wonderful educator you are in so many ways. You referred us to many articles that you had written so that we could have an understanding about ownership, training and other helpful and very informative writings that you make available at your website. You invited us to the training classes and encouraged us to talk with many of the owners there to get first hand knowledge and information about you and your dogs. You had us come by and visit you at your home/farm and answered all of our personal questions. You took the time and had unlimited patience with us and guided us to make the most informed decision about owning a dog. You even joked about my statement "it seems too good to be true". You said to let you know exactly when I overcame that feeling. That feeling was totally gone the minute that I picked Jenny up and smelled her breath and remembering me making that statement brings a smile every single day that I have her with us.
Although our jobs have us very complicated and we have not been able to participate in as much as most of the other owners do, we did attend the West Palm Dog Show and met the greatest group of happy Chambray owners ever and could very well see that our experience with Jenny is not unique and that dozens and dozens of people are as thrilled as we are with their dogs that "YOU PLACED" with them. What a testament to your dedication with the breed and no wonder your success and the enormous effect you have on the Labrador community.
Lacy, Eduardo and Jenny
EDITORS NOTE: Thanks guys for the update. Yes, I take the placement of one of my "kids" very, very serious. In fact, those that know me well, will tell you that I become totally obsessive compulsive from the time that the pups are 6 weeks old until they leave for their new homes. I consider everything about the puppy and the prospective new owners which will ensure the most compatible environment for the puppy and the owners.
Hi Mr Herzon
I would like to commend you on your contributions to the Labrador community and thank you so much for inviting us to be part of the Partners Program. It was so impressive to see all your owners participate with their dogs at the training classes and then to see them at the Ft Myers Dog Show match having so much fun running around with their own puppies and dogs in the ring. Your efforts with the breed make your group standout a head and shoulder above all the others who only offer puppies for sale. My wife, daughter and son can not wait until our puppy is born as we know we have to be patient and wait until you let us know that "our" puppy is here. We can not wait to join all your partners in this great group activity that you have put together. We met a few of them at the show and they all seem like such great people.
Gus, Emelda, Sonia and Gus Jr.
EDITORS NOTE: Thank you Gus for the kind words. I was glad to see you at the match Saturday night at Ft Myers. Making the 2 1/2 hour ride to watch a match shows me your dedication in owning a show puppy. You and your family have visited the training classes 3 times already and you have been to the farm twice since meeting you back at the West Palm Shows in March. I truly believe that we will have a long and lasting partnership when the right puppy comes for you.
Now that Trooper has reached the 3 month point, I wanted to share an update and a couple of pictures. Trooper has really been an awesome addition to the family. His temperament is so even keel and Kathrine, the kids and I have fallen in love with him. Shelby now wakes up on her own ever morning now at 6:30 a.m. to go a walk with Trooper and me. We typically walk him 2 miles in the morning, 1 mile mid-day and 3 miles at night. He is also doing great with the confirmation training you showed us. We are practicing nightly on the stacker, freestyle and outside walking in a straight line using the edge of the sidewalk.
We are also working on the list of AKC CGC requirements you provided us. Kathrine has discussed the K9 for Kids program with the principal of Shelby’s school and we have found out that the principal’s dog is CGC certified and she brings her dog to the school for the reading program. She has committed to us we can do the same with Trooper once the CGC is obtained and will work with us to open doors to other schools.
The family is really looking forward to the fun match in West Palm. We are also planning to go to the upcoming Lakeland and Orlando show in June. Will you have sometime on Saturday night at the Lakeland show to provide us more training items we can perform with Trooper?
Enjoy the pictures and we will see you shortly.
I have just returned home from my annual volunteer job with the MS Society's walk. My beloved husband, one daughter and her husband and son, and our close and dear friend, Robert, were there also. The last (and NOT least) member of our team was our beautiful chocolate Angel, Caramela. Should I call her by her REAL name Chambrays Greenhead Caramela? Of course I should -- it is exactly who she is. She is a Chambray/Greenhead lab and, thus, is close to perfection.
Maybe not "show dog" perfection -- well, at least that remains to be seen. But, in every other way, she is absolutely perfect. Perfect for me.
She arrived wearing her "Cure My Mommy's MS" t-shirt, and Therapy Dog, Inc. bandana. A real stylish girl. From the moment her paws entered the staging area for the walk, she became the good will ambassador for the walk and friend to all that approached. And approach they did.
Children, old people, walkers, and people in schooters and wheel chairs -- all of them asking to pet, and wanting to meet the chocolate angel. Many of them asking where I got such a beautiful dog -- what a great head -- what a sweet girl. I told them -- spelled out the name and told them about the Chambray website. She is a walking advertisement. Really.
Jessie will be proud to hear that she did all her tricks several times and (if I had a hat out) we might have made a some money. She was a hit.
In any case, I am sending photos (below) and a big thanks (again) to the Dogfather Spawnmaster, Sandy Herzon. Thank you Sandy for placing this chocolate angel in my life. She is my partner and my side-kick. She brings joy and tender love where-ever she goes. Whether it be a charity walk, a pediatric hospital, a school room with reading children, or an autistic classroom, she seems to know and adjusts to the situation at hand. She knows what is needed in each instance and provides it with a loving and tender heart.
I love her and I am grateful for her presence in my life and in my family.
Thanks, Sandy. I will always be grateful
With much love - your partner,
I just wanted you to know that I made a donation to the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation in memory of Am/Int Ch. Chambrays Chisholm's Chancey.
I requested that the donation be directed to a specific grant at Texas A&M University that is conducting ongoing research in the treatments and/or prevention of mammary carcinoma in dogs.
The donation will be reflected in the publications as coming from Chambray Labradors, Miami, FL.
Have a great day !
EDITORS NOTE: Hi Val & thank you so much for being a true blue Chambray Partner. It is because of people like you that makes what I do so worth it. Seeing how you care for your dogs and also all the rest of the Labradors owned by the many fine people that make us one big family is truly an inspiration. I know that Martha Chisholm will really appreciate your donation to this worthwhile cause in Chancey's & Chambray's name.
The one year anniversary of the Herzon family entering our lives has recently passed. We thought this would be a good time to put our year’s experiences and thoughts into words.
It started when we lost our black lab Buddy to Cancer. Feeling the desperate need to find a mate for our older chocolate lab Jake, Bob started researching Labrador Breeders on the web. The search for a healthy puppy kept leading Bob back to Chambray Labradors. That's when Bob made the call to you. During this time, Bob and I were having a very difficult time getting over the passing of our boy Buddy. When I came home from work the day that you and Bob had your first conversation I was amazed to find the black cloud hovering over Bob's head was starting to lift and there was light at the end of the tunnel. Bob said that Sandy understood the loss and listened with compassion for some time, not as a breeder, but as the loving and caring person that he is.
Hence the search for Sonny began. When Sandy found our puppy Bob was in Mexico. Sandy sent me picture of this little beautiful puppy sitting in a field with purple Mexican petunias all round him. The e-mail said something along the lines of: What do you think? Well, of course I fell in love. I sent the picture to Bob and that was it. We were picking up Sonny in Miami in one week! Our older lab Jake & Sonny formed a bond immediately and we were in the world of "puppiedome" again. Life was good at the Jakeways.
Sandy had spoken to us about showing Sonny at the IABCA show in Orlando. Not knowing anything about dog shows, we decided What the heck! That weekend changed our lives in so many ways. Sonny was winning, we weren't sure how or why all we knew was there were blue ribbons coming our way! And we met this wonderful group of people that loved their dogs as much as we loved ours. We were now hooked! Life was good at the Jakeways.
We continued showing Sonny and the collection of blue and red ribbons were continuing to grow. Along the way we lost Jake. We definitely knew we needed a partner for Sonny. In October of 2007 we were introduced to one of the 5 Hogan & Connie Diva's. We named her Chambray And The Beat Goes On (Cher). It is hard to put into words the feeling we had watching Sonny & Cher's bond grow as they played, slept and explored their world each day. Life was good at the Jakeways
Then the unexpected happened. Sonny passed away in his sleep. Not knowing what to do, we called the only person we knew who could give us support and guidance. Sandy. What a tough week that was. And to top it off we had a show the following weekend which was going to be Cher's first AKC show. Bob and I didn't know if we could handle it but knew that it was the right thing to do for Cher. After a lot of discussion and tears, we decided that it would be good for us to be around our new family who could appreciate our loss. And right we were. We were overwhelmed with the love and support we received from the Herzon's and Chambray partners.
Cher is the light of our lives. Watching her explore each new day all the while learning something new (Whether it be good or bad). We are now patiently waiting for a new companion for Cher to bless our door step. We relied on Sandy’s expertise in choosing the right puppies for us in the past and we have complete faith that Sandy will once again choose the right companion for Cher and our family. If there is anything we have learned over the year it is to trust Sandy’s complete knowledge in breeding and ensuring the betterment of the Labrador Retriever . His overwhelming compassion makes him the person to trust in the placement & training of Labrador Retrievers. He is truly the “Top Dog” in our minds and hearts .
In summary, we feel truly blessed that the Herzon family came into our lives allowing us to be parents to Sonny & Cher, sharing their expertise, introducing us to the dog show world, and the wonderful people that make up the Chambray Labradors Partnership Program. Because of this life is once again, good at the Jakeways.
Bob, Mary & Cher Jakeway
EDITORS NOTE: Hi Mary & Bob. You guys are the epitome of what a partner should be and we are truly gifted to have you both be part of our Labrador owner's community. Your love and devotion for the dogs speaks volumes of your genuine and down home personalities. Because of partners like you, life is good at Chambray Labradors.
From several Partners to another Partner:
Dear Mary and Bob
I just finished reading your letter on the website and my heart is so full of emotion, I could burst. It put so many things into perspective. This is what being a partner is all about. You said it so eloquently. We are here for each other in the good times and bad. We really are a “family” and it’s nice to know the support is always there. I look forward to many years of happiness watching Cher and her future buddy grow and thrive. I’m the proudest Grand-lab-ma there is!!!
Bob/ Mary: I had not done my almost daily visit to the Chambray site, so Bob caught me by surprise when he asked if I had seen Mary’s letter to Sandy. So, after soaking my poor old aching body I went to look for it in the Chambray site. I still have tears on my eyes and my heart feels both, sad and happy; sad for the pain that you went through happy because you truly are family. We have gotten to love you both in the relatively short time that we have known each other. Although we do not live close, we seem to talk or email each other almost daily. We, like you are part of the Chambray family. Since we met at the international dog show, we “clicked” and felt a great liking towards you both. We have been brought together by our love of labs and the magic of Sandy’s extended family. I remember vividly Mary’s call the morning after Sonny died, we had had a close encounter with Midnight, and that was terrible, how much more terrible and shocking to be waken by a crying puppy that has lost her other half. I don’t remember what I said to Mary, but I remember that I could not seem to be able to stop crying. I tried to get Ray to talk to Bob, but he was so chocked up that he was afraid to start crying and kept telling me he would talk to Bob the next day. I know Mary and I talked in the following days about you guys going to Boca (?) Show; we needed to have you with us, so that you could know how much each of the partners cared about your loss and tried to give you solace and hope. All of us rejoiced when you decided to go and Cher won best puppy, I think that God had a present for you that day… We have the “twins” in common, and seeing Cher put a smile in Bob’s eyes was the best that any of us could pray for. Hang on there, Sandy will find the perfect puppy for you and Cher!
We love you!
Lydia and Ray
Hi Sandy & Family
You probably don't remember us, we purchased a puppy from the litter that your great dog Chancey came from almost 12 year's ago. Congratulations on Jessie and Hogan at Westminster. You must be so proud of your little girl, all grown up now handling your best dogs! I remember her being 6 or 7 year's old handling Kayla, Chancey's littermate. You all have done such a great job with your kids and your dogs. It is always such a pleasure visiting the website and seeing what is new at Chambray.
the Schultz family
EDITORS NOTE: Yes, I do remember you and your family and have always wondered how Sasha turned out. Please send me photos of her if you get a chance.
Hello Mr. Herzon
Thank you so much for your professionalism and extremely informative website. It was such a pleasure speaking to you after weeks of visiting your website. What a vast difference there is in dealing with you and all the other "breeders" we spoke to. I have to share with you that there are a few disturbed people that pass themselves off as Labrador breeders. While our phone conversation was totally upbeat and positive, not so with some of the other people we spoke to in your area. It sounds like there is tremendous jealousy and envy for what you have put together for the Labrador community in South Florida. Please consider us for a placement of one of your up and coming litters.
EDITORS NOTE: Thank you so much for your feedback. Yes, I believe 100% in the positive and refuse to let the party poopers ruin it for all those that truly have the Betterment of the Breed in mind. I really don't have much time for negative people as that becomes a very unproductive scenario. As I told you when we spoke on the phone, talk to as many breeders as you can, visit as many as will allow visits, ask as many questions as you feel the need for and when it is all said and done, come by here and sit a spell at Chambray Labradors.
That is so exciting to hear about all the e-mails and hoopla about Chief and especially Jessie!! Chief has always loved her since he was a puppy! Please give her a great big hug for us and tell her thank you. I think I have her e-mail address and will write her. Ralph and I think the partners are very special people. You really have a great bunch of people who are really in love with their dogs and the Chambray Family! I have not met anyone who wasn't just very sincere and very concerned for not just themselves, but for each other giving encouragement and helping each other in any way they could possibly be of assistance. It all goes back to the strong, wonderful, compassionate and sincere Chambray Family. You know, I ought to write a letter to you for you to publish on your website, maybe on an opinion page or something like that where I can tell others about the "Wonderful Chambray Family". What do you think? I would be happy to tell of all the things you and your family has done for us, if I could remember all of them because the list is soooooo loooooong!
Dee Dee & Ralph Stroup
To Sandy & the Herzon Family
Wow! What a treat to meet up with you at a dog show after 11 years!!! Jessie is a full grown woman and what a beauty, I remember her running around your farm as a 7 year old, playing in the sand with all the puppies. Your son was 2 years old and was actually keeping up with Jessie at the time! You now have no hair, but are stately just the same. Man has the time flown by. My two Chambray Labs are now 11 and 13 year's old and what a wonderful journey they have been through with us. I was totally floored when you remembered each of them and who their parents were!!!!!!What a great following you have that I saw at the dog show, that is a testament of the great dogs you have and the support that you provide each dog that comes from Chambray. I was beaming with joy that my dogs are related to those wonderful dogs that seemingly won every award at that show!
I made my usual daily visit to the website and was absolutely delighted in what I saw….Hogan was inducted into Chambray’s Tribute to Greatness Hall of Fame! WOW!!! It’s hard to believe that it’s been only 3 ½ years that Hogan has been in our lives. I’ll never forget the day Bill and I met you at the West Palm Beach Dog Show in May of 2004 and told you we wanted a show quality puppy. That day really changed our lives forever in a major way.
From the first time Hogan won a blue ribbon in the puppy class I envisioned his success. I just never dreamed how quickly that success would come! I was such a newbie and had no idea what it all meant. I thought the first place ribbon meant he got points! It was quite an education. For Hogan to have won his first points, a major at that, and to finish his championship just short of a year after that is truly incredible. It’s hard to appreciate it when you’re new. You have such high expectations but it doesn’t always translate to wins. I realized only later that Hogan was the exception and not the rule. The dog shows taught me to have patience (although in Hogan’s road to an AKC Champion title was lightening fast) and your children, especially Jessie, taught me that being low key and humble was the sign of true sportsmanship. One day I asked Jessie, “Don’t you get upset when you lose?” And she answered with wisdom beyond her years, “Nope. You lose way more than you win, but winning sure makes it more fun!”
So now we are entering into Hogan’s fourth year of showing and I see even more greatness coming from him. Not just in the ring, but in his get. It gives me tremendous joy to watch his puppies in the ring. Their owners are all special and I know they expect greatness from their dogs too. To them I say have patience, be humble, and above all enjoy every minute you have with your precious pups. Relish each and every win. They often come few and sometimes too far between. But I look forward to the day when I can see one of Hogan’s kids walking the green carpet at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show.
Thank you, Sandy for giving us this special boy. We love him to the ends of the earth and are honored that you inducted him into your Hall of Fame.
Editor's Note: This little passage does not get you off the hook for that story that you have been promising.
A Trip Down Labrador Road (A Tribute to the Partners)
You know, you and I go back a long way on Labrador Road. If my memory serves me correctly, it started 15 years ago, in 1993 when you expressed an interest in breeding one of your bitches (Taffy ?) to my first Labrador, Corky.
As I recall, you really liked Corky's father, Meadow Oaks Blockbuster and out of that interest grew a working as well as a personal relationship with you, your family and your dogs that I treasure to this day.
In 1999, still further down Labrador Road, it became clear that Corky's days were coming to a close and naturally, I was devastated. Your timing couldn't have been better as you offered me the pick of the litter from a future breeding between Kai Dens Chambray's Conquest and Chambray's Miss Ginger Snap. That breeding not only produced clearly the sweetest dog I have ever had the privilege of owning (Sugar Bear) but it also began a relationship with a pair of your longtime partners, Sharon and Arville Hall.
Though Mr. Bear is now happily retired (and I DO mean "happily."), my friendship with Sharon and Arville continues to this day and I consider them to be two of my dearest acquaintances. You see, there's more to this dog thing than shows and training classes.
It's acquaintances who become partners who become friends. It is the very foundation of the Chambray program.
After Bear decided he'd had enough of the Judges manipulating his private parts, you stepped in once again and promised me a puppy out of Chambray's Chisholm's Chancey and Little River Ophir's Calvin. Around the corner came a little firecracker with a missing fuse named Chambray's Amazing Grace; an absolute terror of a puppy with the most awesome head and expression and a heart of pure gold.
And as it was with Sharon and Arville, I was destined to become friends with Chancey's owner and another of your loyal partners, Martha Chisholm. Today, Martha, sweet Chancey, Lance and I are the very best of friends and I couldn't imagine a day without them.
But much like Bear, fate had other plans for Gracie and after several unexpected blind turns down Labrador Road, she too was sidelined and retired to a life of leisure in Brooksville along with her brother.
So now that my dogs were no longer showing, would that be it? Had I reached the end of Labrador Road? Well, I figured it would be fun, or so I thought, to sit on the sidelines as a spectator and cheer on the others. But it didn't take long to realize that there was still a competitive fire burning in my gut and I still longed to experience life in the Winner's Circle.
I still felt there was a potential champion in my future.
So still further down the road I traveled and lo and behold around the bend, there emerged from the shadows another roadside attraction. The difference was that this was no ordinary attraction. This was a neon lights Diva. Her simple aura exuded specialness. So much so that from the moment I laid eyes on her, she was all I could think about. I had to pull off the Road and catch my breath because it was love at first sight !
That Diva's name is now Ellie (Chambray's Out of the Ruff X Chambray's Chance N Counter) and she is now also a member of my family. And through her, I can now look forward to getting to know another one of your partners, Rosie Feeley. I know she will delight with me in sharing the joy of watching one of Hogan's daughters come of age.
I have no idea where Labrador Road is going to take me in the future but I have a hunch there will be lots of excitement on the itinerary. The Road has been long with many a winding turn but the memories and friendships made along the way have made it a wonderful ride.
So I thank you Sandy, your family and all of your wonderful and supportive partners you have managed to bring into the fold who have traveled this Road with me.
May all of us reach and ultimately realize the destination of our dreams.
From the editor: Yes Val the road has indeed been long and winding for us through all these years and quite memorable at that!!! Actually I think we go back even before 1993 as it was before Hurricane Andrew devastated our community in August of 1992 that I had wanted to breed Sunnybrook Acres Cas Chambray (Chammie) to your Corky in 1990 or 1991! She actually was injured during the hurricane and was never bred after that. Your first Chambray dog was Bear and we will always have fond memories of the "dog I hated", of course we know that was a rumor started by a certain "know it all" and we have had hundreds of laughs over that one and will continue to do so every time we all discuss that adventure! Gracie came next for you and she too has provided us some thrills on strawberry hill. Those two Chambray dogs are still with you and are proudly depicted throughout the Chambray website and now you have your hands full with yet another Chambray dog, Chambrays Eloquent N Counter, "Ellie". I miss Ellie very much as her 6 months here with me were absolutely delightful. Thanks Val to your extreme devotion and support of Chambray throughout all these years.
Thank you for entertaining us recently at your farm. We can not wait to take our little boy home. We feel so honored to have one of your prized puppies. For several years we had searched and inquired for a suitable breeder that would offer quality and support with their puppies and each of our searches always ended up with Chambray, be it from vets we talked to or from people that we met with Labradors on the street. For a while we thought that a Chambray Labrador was an improved strain of the breed, of course we now know that it is your kennel name and that the recommendations given us came from the quality, soundness and owner's support that you provide all your dogs. We also were so impressed with your training classes and all the owners that we met there and we can not wait to be part of that family environment.
Sue & Harvey Hansen
Hi Sandy and Johanna,
Hi Sandy & Johanna & Chambray Labradors
It is with most regrets that I have to inform you that Mason passed away last week at the age of 14 years. You may remember that you placed him with us at the age of 10 months after he didn't turn out for show and his original owners returned him for a replacement. The old saying "Someone's discards are other people's treasures". Treasure he was to us and everyone that ever met him. He was truly destined to be part of our family. Not only was he the greatest family dog, he was absolutely gorgeous. You don't know how many times people would stop their cars as we walked him and ask "Is that a Chambray Labrador?"
Our son Garrett, who was only 3 years when we brought Mason home grew up with him all these years as best of friends and misses him terribly. We would not even think of looking anywhere else but at Chambray Farms for another great Labrador. Please consider us again for one of your great "kids" as you call them.
Garrett and Samantha Rodriguez
We just arrived home after our 6-hour ride back from your Labrador paradise. We loved the visit and will never forget those beautiful Labs on your farm. We had visited other breeders in Florida and Georgia also, some show breeders with real nice Labs. I can honestly tell you that no one puts it all together as you have done! We would be so grateful if you would consider us for a placement of one of your babies. We met a some of your owners at the Brooksville dog show and I have to tell you that you really know how to choose people for your dogs, as each one that I met and talked to there was first class all the way. what a great Labrador community you have put together. It is such a win/win situation for all involved, great Labs and a great people loving their dogs!
Beverly, Ashley and Brent
Hello Mr. Herzon
I would like to commend you on your vast knowledge of the breed and your willingness to share with open arms. For years I visited your website and read the articles, the stories, the testimonials and even kept up with your new litters and who each puppy was placed with. It all seemed like such an enviable community that all your "partners" were enjoying. I never imagined that I would ever be included in your close group until my faithful companion Mosey became ill. She was then 9 year's old and I wrote to you about her worsening condition with paralysis of the rear legs. You did not know me or Mosey but you emailed me back and inquired about her condition. None of the vets could really figure out what was causing her to go lame and be lethargic and only want to lay about, Even though they X-rayed and performed other very expensive test. I was at wit's end and finally emailed you. After several back and forth emails you suggested to have her tested for a tick disease and lo and behold that was exactly what she had! You saved her life because her blood work showed that she was in dire need of a transfusion. You even knew what medicine to tell the vets to give her. Mosey, now 11 and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts. God bless you and your family.
Hello To all (this is going to be rather long)
For those of you who are unaware, last month, I made the long trip down from Brooksville to see Sandy's newest litter of puppies. Since it was raining quite heavily that day, Sandy still needed to relegate the brood to a makeshift ex-pen in his travel trailer. The now six-week old puppies were aching to finally see the world for the the first time and feel the grass under their tender little paws but Mother Nature unfortunately had other ideas !
As I hustled into the makeshift puppy nursery and closed my umbrella, I was immediately riveted to five pairs of laser-like eyes fixated on me to my left. "Who was this strange creature who just emerged from the rain?" their little stares seemed to inquire. "Perhaps a new playmate?"
Sandy had nicknamed them the High Five Divas and as soon as I laid eyes on them, I understood why. During my eight years of partnership with Sandy Herzon and the Chambray Partners Program, I have had the opportunity of assisting with whelpings and witnessing many lovely newborn Labradors. But quite frankly, nothing prepared me for what I was about to encounter.
There, directly in front of me was the most beautiful, strikingly typey and consistent litter of puppies I had ever seen in my experience with this wonderful breed. It was impossible to determine which of the five was the nicest. They were all equally outstanding.
Sandy had business to attend to with another one of his partners who had just arrived and left me in the trailer. Before he walked out, he encouraged me to enter the pen to experience the puppies up close. I pondered the notion for about five seconds and opened the door.
In this world, there is probably nothing more entertaining than playing with a litter of Labrador puppies. They are boundless in their energy and their love and need for human interaction is unparalleled in the canine world.
I sat on the side of the pen and within seconds, I had one altering the length of my left pant leg, another was removing the button on my shirt and yet another pair was busy untying the laces on my shoes. That left a final one staring at me, head cocked to the side.
While the others were intent on redesigning my clothes, there was one that very quietly kept insisting to be picked up. When I didn't give in right away, she was content with falling asleep on my right shoe. After a few minutes, I finally bent down and took her into my arms. She again looked me square in the eye with that very special stare and filled me with the sensation that she was singling me out for something. Something more. Something greater.
Not wishing to play favorites, I immediately put her down. I drove all the way from Brooksville and wanted to interact with all of the puppies and afford each the same amount of time and attention.
But this one little girl was different. She kept staring at me, her eyes locked with mine. I couldn't look away. She quietly watched me from the opposite side of the pen, her eyes quietly communicating a soft but commanding message. "I have made my choice."
I bent over and picked her up one last time and gingerly placed her on my lap where she promptly fell asleep. At that moment, I realized this little baby girl had made up her mind.
I was going to be her mother.
By this time, the others had pretty much tired of chewing on the strange visitor and had each fallen asleep in different corners of the pen. I tip-toed out leaving the exhausted crew to dream of bones and the piles of blue ribbons they would most assuredly soon be receiving.
It was about this time that Sandy returned to the trailer. He wanted to know my thoughts and which of the puppies I liked. I don't really remember what I said to him because my mind was still on the little puppy who had just stolen my heart and claimed it as her own.
Upon my return to Brooksville, I emailed Sandy that same evening and thanked him for the opportunity to spend time with the Divas. Despite the rain, it had been a long but wonderfully exciting day.
Though I only had a few days to prepare for my new job in Tampa, my mind was wandering and my thoughts kept returning to that little puppy who, in her quiet but commanding determination, singled me out. Sandy had mentioned that that puppy more so than the others reminded him of her Grandmother Chancey when she was that age. When I realized that it was the same little girl who fell asleep on my lap, I was filled with elation.
My affection for Chancey is legendary. And it's for that very reason I own Gracie, Chancey's only female from her second and final litter. Gracie stole my heart from the moment she was born and I couldn't imagine a day without her.
But would there be a possibility of now calling one of Chancey's grandchildren my own?
Sandy made it official in an October 8th email. He had decided to place Chancee with me.
I have been over the moon ever since. Oh, I imagine I'll come down one of these days. But I predict that I'll probably be up there quite a bit as I fully anticipate Chancee to be a regular in the winner's circle.
So, now begins yet another journey. An 'N Counter" of the Third Kind !
Sandy and Johanna, Thank You from the bottom of my heart for entrusting this beautiful little girl to the Till family.
Thank you for selecting Chancee for us though I believe in my heart that the decision was made by Chancee herself with a single momentary stare that September day in the rain...
Editor's Note: Chancee was the nickname we gave her while she was in our care and now, residing with Val in Brooksville her official name is Chambrays Eloquent N Counter or Ellie for short. I predict that it will be a most memorable name and one that will play a very important part in yet another chapter of Chambray Labradors.
FROM ONE CHAMBRAY OWNER TO ANOTHER
I am just setting here with Beach Boy lying at my feet and Molly sleeping in the other room. As I started reading this I felt tears roll down my face. I had the same feelings with each of my babies. I cannot think of a better home for Chancee to go to and I have no doubt she made the choice. Again fate has stepped in from Chancey’s line. When Sandy said we had to come see Molly I did not know at the time that Lance was her father and Chancey her grandmother. Of course once I knew I had to email Martha the minute I walked in the door with her. All of these puppies are linking all of us into the most incredible family that I am so proud to be apart of. You enjoy that baby girl. I can’t wait to see Gracie with her.
I just wanted to let you know how grateful we are for your perfect selection of our 'new baby girl', Ms. Honey.
Lauren named her on the way home last night...so Honey it is...and Honey she is! What a sweet little puppy...so good, so happy, so roly-poly. Her fur is the softest of any puppy I have ever felt...like velvet. And as David would say, her legs are like tree stumps, (that being a good thing!) and we love to watch her trot after Lauren. They follow each other everywhere.
Thank you Sandy for sharing your expertise, your years of dedication to this amazing breed and for your generosity of time, advice and what will certainly become a lasting friendship for years to come.
We wanted you to know that Honey is adjusting beautifully. She has adapted to her crate very well and is sleeping, well...like a tired puppy!
You must make a lot of people, and dogs, very happy. How lucky for them, and us, that you love your work as much as you do. You've our deepest gratitude...our sincerest 'Thanks'.
We are almost decided on Honeys AKC name...just wanted to see what you thought...Chambray's Affinity Honey.
We'll keep you posted :)
Linda, David & Lauren
To Chambray Labradors
I have read your testimonials and other short stories of interest and I have a testimonial of my own to share with you even though I don’t own one of your dogs.
A day does not go by that I do not visit the Chambray website; it has become as habitual as my morning coffee or as reading the newspaper before I go about my daily routine!
Now you might think that I am an owner of these wonderful dogs or that maybe I am a client of the training classes, or maybe that I have even bred one of my girls to the great stud dogs that are depicted on many of the pages at the site.
The reality is that I have never met any of these great dogs in person although I feel like I now them personally, nor do I know any of the owners or “partners” as you have shown with so many beautiful Labradors on the endless number of pages at your neatly crafted web page.
So, what is it that drives me to click on the URL address almost every day, in fact it is saved in “My Favorites” section for quick access.
The answer is how envious I am of all the activities that all these people enjoy by being associated with such a breeder that goes beyond just producing puppies for sale. Granted, living several thousand miles away really limits how active I could become even if I owned one of the dogs that came from your kennel or from the many associates that are featured throughout the hundreds of pages.
The way the dogs and owners are presented, they seem to come alive, becoming more than some flat, non-dimensional photo. Each dog takes on a living personality with exploits and adventures from day to day or week to week and for some the story is never ending, kept alive by the vivid memories of the breeder. Offering a rich history of past dogs to all those that come next with the newest generation of puppies.
I have been visiting the website for over three years now and have followed the life and careers of many of the dogs there. Many of the dogs starting out as new puppies placed with brand new owners. “Hogan” and a few of his littermates are some of those dogs whose history has been documented so clearly from the day they were born, actually the whole delivery is so personally caught on photo as each single puppy is born. Some of those puppies were born with a whisper and a prayer and each were successfully brought to life by these caring people that seem bigger than life, however from all indications are as down to earth as the neighbors up the road.
How emotional and educational that first story was with the entire family involved in delivering a litter in the warmth of their home. Each puppy was passed from family member to family member until it was breathing deeply and dry and warm and suckling on the proud momma.
The photos provided as the litter grew were what hooked me to come back and visit regularly and soon I was following the “stories” of several of the dogs that were part of the Labrador community there. However, it was Hogan that became the central character for me in this huge, saga-like adventure. Hogan’s real name is Chambrays Out Of The Ruff and is owned by Rosie and Bill Feeley, by now at the age of 3 years and half years he has accumulated many titles, awards and honors and now he is on his way to the biggest dog show in the country, Westminster!
Hogan and his owner are first shown attending training classes, graduating from a puppy class, winning a match as a puppy, going to AKC shows and eventually winning points there. Ultimately, he wins enough to earn him the championship and then continues from there to amass titles in several different organizations. He seems to possess beauty and brains as his awards are in many different activities. He has titles both in front and in back of his name, giving him that all-around personality that is a hallmark of the breed.
He now is also the proud father of many puppies whose stories are just beginning, in fact who seem to be following in his exact footsteps, and the only difference is that each of those puppies is now owned by a different person who is also part of the seemingly complex owner’s network there.
Yes, I do enjoy very much visiting on a daily basis and truthfully sometimes twice a day and I admit that I am envious of all those owners that are part of this wonderful community of Labradors lovers, however as I sip my coffee, unfold my newspaper and turn on my computer in anticipation of what is new at Chambray, I am also happy that this is going on somewhere and that maybe hopefully it will give others with the capacity of these breeders to follow their lead and form other networks of owners in other parts of the country, maybe even in my part of the country.
Although I am not an official partner or owner of your Labrador Owner’s Community, you all provide so much information that I feel that I have gained so much from the many years of visiting your website.
Hi Chambray Labradors
I just visited your site for the first time and I was really impressed with your involvement with the breed. Do you know of any programs like yours in the Southern California area? Thank you for all the information that you have provided for others, in the famous words of our dear governor "I'll be back!"
Great website, greater info and the greatest Lab photos!!!!!
Sam D. (NY)
Where have you been in the last 10 years? I have searched high and low for answers; for someone to be honest with me about my Labs; for someone to point me in the right direction for breeding, training, showing to no avail! Is this one of those "Too good to be true" things"? Please say it isn't. Please write me back and tell me that you are for real. I have spent 3 days surfing your website and have gotten more answers and have learned more than I have for the last 2 years of going it alone. Your stories and your partner's stories have made me laugh and cry. Kudos, kudos, kudos for all of you! What a great Labrador community you all have down there in Florida.
Wendy H. (Illinois)
My name is Cheryl and I have been surfing your site all day. I can't seem to get enough of it. I have one main question and several small ones, the main question being...why didn't I find you 3 years ago and the several small ones are how, what, where, why, and when? Seriously, I have had EVERY stumbling block that I can think of come in my path since I purchased my first show quality bitch puppy in early 2000. I am going farther backward and I have not been afraid to ask for help, but it seems that I am not getting much. I am a good, fair and honest person and it doesn't seem to help. My main concern is learning, helping and advancing the Labrador breed to the best of my ability. I found out the hard way what "dog eat dog" really means and I am not sure that I like the definition. I was so discouraged that for almost 3 years I did nothing, but my heart and my soul is with this breed, but truthfully I don't know where to go from here. I don't want to get too specific in an email. but seriously, my intentions are true and like any other new breeder I have a great deal of money invested and no help or direction.
My goals are of course for the betterment of the breed, but also I would like to have a CH or two at my kennel as well. I have not been in the show ring myself as I have been given VERY conflicting information in ALL aspects of showing, so therefore I have no confidence in what I am doing. My dogs love me and respond to me but if I am unsure if what I am doing is correct than I would rather we go down another road, they deserve that from me, because they give they're all to me. I have several nightmare stories, but I won't bother you with those, but I have decided that I am NOT going to give up on my part in making this breed the best it can be. Please if you can give me in depth info on your program I would be eternally grateful.
I am currently living in MI, however our family is moving to Fla, in the fall, I will also be taking a trip to the Ft. Lauderdale area approx. Aug. to do some home searching. and would love to visit.
Thank you for your time!!!
I would love to hear from you with ANY ideas, or information. Please feel free to call anytime.
This is my 10th visit to your website in 2 days! Is there an end to the photos, stories and information? It seems that every time I search through the site, I find something new or maybe I just didn't find it the visit before. There are hundreds of Labrador sites on the internet, maybe more, but none of them are as complete as this one. Thank you for the wealth of info and sharing your dogs with me.
Your website is better than a good book, I just can't seem to be able to put it down. I keep coming back for more, like a great book that you don't want to end, I dread finding the last page of your website. Keep up the great work.
I have followed your dogs and your family at the dog shows for years and now I found your website and have to say that you have the triple crown jewels, great family, great dogs and great website.
Hello, hello, hello.......
Is there really someone there? Will someone really answer my endless questions? Is this website for real? Are all these people/clients listed real living people? Places like this do not really exist, do they? Can it be true that someone really cares about the puppies they sell and really, really follow up on them and their new owners?
Before you click the DELETE button, please, please listen to my story, better yet my nightmare.
I have always loved animals, dogs especially. When I found myself with the proper lifestyle, I decided that I wanted a canine companion to share my good fortunes. I had been to many a dog show as a child, as my Grandfather raised, trained and showed Dobies for many, many years.
I knew enough to research for "good breeders", even to know that the best bred dogs come from show breeders. So for over a year, I searched for my dog-to-be on the Internet and I even bought all the top dog magazines. I wrote letters and emails to what seemed to be top kennels. I collected hundreds of "good" leads. I double checked all the info I had received. I then called each of what I thought were the best sources and personally spoke with many. From those I narrowed it down to 5 breeders with the best answers to my questions. They had all advertised in the top Lab magazine, they all had great informative websites, they all provided a questionnaire for prospective new owners, they all provided written guarantees, they all said they had the top, best show dogs.
I put a deposit down on a puppy-to-be, as it was just into the breeding stage. I waited 10 weeks and emailed the breeder. Yes, the litter was born and there were 10 puppies and I was to get one of the show prospects. I patiently awaited the call to set up the delivery of the puppy. It didn't come when they were 8 weeks old as had been promised, so when they were 9 weeks old, I called the breeder to ask when the puppy would be ready for pick up, as I was planning on flying over 1000 miles to pick it up personally and drive it back with me in a rental car.
To my dismay, "my" puppy had DIED! Why was I not informed? Why wait until I called to let me know that I was not to receive a puppy? What happened to all the other puppies? Why was I not offered another puppy from the litter? These and a bevy of other questions flooded my mind and yet there were no answers, other than "you will have to wait for the next litter".
NO! I didn't want to wait for the next litter, I wanted my deposit back!
"Read the fine print, it says NON-REFUNDABLE DEPOSIT" was the final answer.
For the next 3 weeks all my calls and emails went unanswered from this "Top Show Breeder" as it states on her website. Yes, they have a long list of champions, awards, trophies and other "top dog" accolades, but they don't mention how RUDE, UN-CARING and UN-ETHICAL they are.
Of course, my womanly emotional virtues got the better of me and I then desperately sought out a puppy from those others on my contact list. Another so-called Top Breeder had a 10 week old "show puppy" that she is keeping for herself but she will "part" with it for the right price. I should have hung up the phone right then and there, give me a break...... "the right price?".
She could ship it out immediately if I wired-transferred her the money. No, I couldn't actually fly over and pick up the puppy as she was going out of town and would not be back for a while, so the puppy had to be shipped as soon as possible! Does anyone see the sucker punch coming?
Well 2 days later I found myself at the airport looking at the sorriest looking little puppy that I have ever seen. My friend that went with me could not believe that the puppy was actually 10 weeks old, "More like 6 weeks old" she said.
I cried as I held the puppy in my arms. "Send it back" my friend Sally said. "You could buy 3 puppies like that from back yard breeders, for what you paid, not to mention the crate, airfare and other expenses that were added to the price." Sally insisted.
Well, that puppy is now 3 years old. She never grew much, about 2 inches under the standard, never will show, although she was the "keeper" from her litter and came from a "top show breeder". I have emailed and written the breeder many times and she once replied that some dogs develop slower than others and that she came from "real slow developing lines."
I drove over to pick up puppy #2. I was doing it all the right way with this one. I saw the mother of the litter and knew of the sire as he was in the Top 25 in the country. I was shown the litter and was told that this particular puppy was "evaluated" by several knowledgeable breeders and that this one was specially selected for me. One year later the puppy was diagnosed with severe bi-lateral hip dysplasia. "Yes, we guarantee our dogs, bring the dog back and we will put it down and you can have another puppy." was the coldest response that I have ever heard from a human being. No thanks, no one is going to be putting her down.
I now have a 3rd puppy and she is now 9 months old, came from another "top show breeder" and this one looks like she might have potential, maybe too much potential as all of a sudden she has been winning her classes and even took a Reserve Winners Bitch. To my dismay, those at the shows that were my "friends" when I was a big loser, are now acting as if I have the plague!
HELP! I really need you all to be for real. I am planning on flying down there to where you are and meeting up with you and your group. Will you see me? Will you give me the time of day? Will you work with me and my dog? Will you be honest with me? PLEASE SAY YES! PLEASE!
I am sorry for this long email, I am just at wits end.
Hi Sandy and Family
You guys are the greatest. From the day that I picked Mia from your farm and now 8 years later, you all have been there for us. Although we have since moved to New York state, you still are there for us. God bless you, your family and your Labradors.
Editors Note: I just received an email from Caridad that Mia has passed away at the age of 13 years old. Thank you Caridad and your wonderful family for giving Mia such a great life with so much love.
Dear Mr Herzon
On behalf of the South East Florida Labrador Rescue and Relocation Project we would like to thank you for all the work you have done for caring so much about Labradors. Your actions last year after the 4 hurricanes that struck Florida were beyond the call of duty. 27 Labradors are much better off today because of your efforts. Their rescue, refuge, relieve and ultimate relocation or return to their former homes was all made possible by your gallant efforts. You housed 17 of these dogs yourself for over 3 weeks and you arranged for the safe rescue and relief of the other 10. What a credit you are to the breed!
Jan Pritchard (Surrogate Home and Project
We would like to gratefully accept your offer to be listed on your website at www.chambraylabradors.com. Thank you so much! I would be quite comfortable to have our organization listed wherever you would see fit. I've reviewed your entire website and would be grateful to be included!
Thank you also for your generous offer of your training services to our Foster Puppy Raisers. Our Foster Puppies are the Foundation of the PAWS program and we truly appreciate community involvement to support our Raisers.
Please let me know if you need any additional information to proceed with the website link. Thank you again for your generosity.
I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your story, Alternate Realities. It was very cute and obviously came straight from the heart. Thank you very much for recognizing and paying tribute to Bear. He is a very special guy and continues to amaze me more every day. I couldn't be prouder of him.
May I please make an improvement suggestion?
I would suggest that you consider linking "Thoughts of a Retired Show Dog" to this story. It would provide the reader with a more in depth background of Bear's trials and tribulations in pursuit of his elusive show career. It would also provide insight to the novice as to the incredible difficulties of showing and finishing a dog.
Hi Chambray Labradors
I spend hours surfing the Internet for anything Labrador. I have been to every nook and cranny with a Labrador present, every boutique, photo and print store, collectibles on E-Bay, you name it Labrador and I have been there. I have researched every breeder that has a website presence and THEN I came across your Labrador Retriever Information Center at the www.labradorwell.com website and was totally blown away with the amount of useful information that you have assembled there. I thought that I had died and gone to Labrador heaven AND THEN you casually mention your Labrador Retriever website at www.chambraylabradors.com and that's when I realized what Labrador Utopia was!!!!!!! Incredible, unbelievable, outstanding, unique, masterful, totally blows away whom ever is in second place, WOW WHAT A SITE! The dogs, the stories, the opinions, the dogs, the people, the involvement, the dogs, the information, the dogs and more dogs, the CONCEPT!!!! Your humor, your ironic sense, your boldness, your expertise, your complete passion and love for the breed, your accomplishments, accolades, awards speak volumes about all that is Labradors. My hat, cap, fedora, chapeau and whatever else I may ever wear on my head is off to you and yours.
May the force be with you.
GREAT PHOTOS!!!! I love the photo of the dog under the tree, I think his name is Chase. He reminds me so much of my dearly departed Sam. I love your dogs. You should have a Best Photo Contest from the dogs on your site. My best friend is in love with the photo with the 3 puppies and your daughter and you holding them.
I agree with you about the different types of Labradors being bred by uninformed people. I see way too many short-legged, overweight, Pit Bull Terrier-headed dogs being passed off as Labradors. Likewise, there are as many long-legged, freight train long, Collie-headed dogs that are referred to as Labradors. Doesn't the AKC care? The breed is the one that will suffer in the long run. Why don't breeders just stick to the REAL Labradors. They should use your dogs as blueprints for the breed!
Toni Morella NY
Dear Mr. Herzon
It is inconceivable that anyone as busy as you are actually has the time to personally answer anyone's emails. Thank you for your advice on the zinc treatment for the inter-toe cysts, it worked and cost under $10. I have spent a small fortune at the vet in the last 3 years trying to get rid of them. I have been using your LabWell Products for several years now and I swear by them to all my friends, even my Vet is impressed with your Lab Flex joint product. Keep up the great work you do for Labradors.
Diane Pimentel CA.
Hi Herzon Family
I met you all at a dog show several years back and have since followed your success at the dog shows. Your kids have to be the most wonderful kids I have had the pleasure of knowing. You and your wife have done such a great job raising two outstanding members of the community. I know that God smiles on the Herzon family.
Your website is amazing! What a great concept to have a "community kennel", where it is just as much about the dogs and their owners as it is about the kennel and its owner. You should sell franchises all over the country, I guarantee that it would sell. There are hundreds maybe thousands of Lab owners without a place to go. I could just envision it, Starbucks Cafe & your Partners Program all in one place!!!!!! I will be the first to buy your stock.
Anthony Des Ruche
How does one join your organization? There are no sign up forms or questionnaires anywhere on your site. How much money does it cost to belong to your club? Do you sell lifetime memberships, if so please send me the form. I have inquired around my area and no one offers anything like what you have in Florida. Do you know of any place else in the south that offers your services. I would be willing to drive long distances to get some training and advice on my Labrador.
Morgan Sutto MS.
Oh my gosh, I read Kiree's Story and cried like a fool! Then I read Hell Hath No Fury and laughed out loud! I just love your stories, they all are so real, I guess that's because they are real! I saw the movie Best In Show and it made fun out of us show people, but you tell it like it really is with our dogs! They should make a movie out of your stories, they are funny, sad and great. I am going to read all the articles and stories and let you know which I like the best.
Sandy - I just noticed the Therapy Dog Section on your web page. It looks really good!
Here is a link to the Therapy Dog, Inc., website. It will give you some information about the organization. I am a tester/observer and will be glad to evaluate teams from your classes or your partners, if they want.
thanks for the invite, (Responsible Dog Ownership
Day Sept 17th)
The testimonials are great. It was a terrific addition to the site. That woman, Cissy suggested we make a movie about our experiences. That's not an altogether bad idea !
Another couple of suggestions:
1) I still think you should add a link titled Gone But Not Forgotten highlighting those special Chambray dogs who have unfortunately left us. Believe it or not, people really enjoy that kind of stuff too.
2) I would also like to see you improve your Partners Program link. Rather than putting only the emphasis on the dogs your partners own, I think it would be nice to go into greater detail about each of the partners themselves and perhaps have each of us add some personal quotes explaining how rewarding it has been to be affiliated with the Chambray program.
I really like the personal touch and I think most people who visit your site do so as well.
What do you think?
that is wonderful about the website!!! (200,000+ visitors in 1 year) I know, I visit @ least twice a day, I just love reading about other people who love the Labrador and the success story that are on there. I have read the testimonials, I think the most interesting one is Claudia's. That is wonderful that you guys are helping her, and her lab.
Thanks, Jessie P and Sammy
The Web site is looking great. I keep thinking I would like to write something as a first time
show dog owner and the experience's we are having. Maybe now that the shows are slowing down I can finally get it done.
I have visited your site from time to time and have to commend the work that you put into all of this. The additions of the Testimonials, Working Dogs section, Paws With A Cause and several other innovative ideas really sets your organization miles apart from all the other "just breeders". Those breeders should take note that it is not just about producing and selling puppies, they should provide services, training, information, rescue and mentorship to those that are new to dog ownership, maybe that way there wouldn't be as many dogs turned in at the shelters and dog pounds! No wonder your Labradors are number 1 in Florida, hard work the old fashion way, always pays off!!!
RE: Donating Obedience Classes
Dear Mr. Herzon:
On behalf of Paws With A Cause®, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support of our program and for generously donating Foster Puppy Obedience classes for Paws Foster Puppies "Zigfield" and "Zelda". We truly appreciate it.
Your help and support is invaluable to our agency. It is the commitment from the community of caring businesses, such as yours, that enable us to continue our work to bring independence to the Hard of Hearing/Deaf and Mobility Challenged individuals throughout the United States.
Again, on behalf of PAWS®, we thank you again for all that you have done and wish you the best.
Very truly yours
Dear AKC® Responsible Dog Ownership Day Participant
Thank you for participating in the third AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day (AKC RDO Day) - We greatly appreciate your involvement. Your event is one of many that will be held across the country in September promoting valuable messages about responsible dog ownership.
The American Kennel Club will be celebrating in Raleigh, NC on Saturday, Sept. 10th and in New York on Saturday, Sept. 17th. The AKC flagship events will drum up excitement for the day and publicize the many activities that our clubs and partners will be hosting across the country.
Thank you again for helping make AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day a national celebration!
AKC Communications Department
It is with much regrets that I have to inform you that Molly has passed on. You probably do not remember us, as it now has been 13 years since we brought her to our home and into our hearts from your farm. She was 7 months old at the time and you were keeping her for show as she was a great show prospect. Your house, farm and kennels were all destroyed by Hurricane Andrew and you had to part with most of your Labs for you had no place to house them and you made her available to us, even though you knew that we were not interested in showing. You said that all you wanted was a loving home for her. Well, I can tell you that it was Molly that brought love into this home and into our lives. I remember leaving your farm and looking back at you and seeing the tears roll down your cheeks as we drove away, it is something that I will never forget, how much you love all your dogs and how much they return to others what you give them. When we can bear to cope with her loss, we would love to visit Chambray Farm again.
the Wahberg family
Dear Mr Chambray and your Family
I have never written to anyone else before. I didn't think anybody wanted to hear from a person with 3 dogs and I am not a breeder. I don't go to shows. I don't know of any clubs or training classes. My closest neighbor is down the road about a mile. One of my dogs was not acting right and you answered my email about him. He is okay now because of you. You took the time and answered an email from a nobody like me and I want to thank you very much because you care about all dogs, not just the fancy show dogs. I know you are a very busy and famous Labrador breeder. People up here in Iowa have heard of you and your dogs. Thank you so much for your kind attentions.
Mitzy Reams IO.
We purchased the most wonderful Labrador in the world from you 15 years ago. Buddy was our constant companion everywhere we traveled to. He was welcomed by everyone that knew him, even years later, he remembered them and they remembered him.
He came into our lives when our two children were 8 years old and 5 years old and he was like a brother to them. He watched them go off to kindergarten and elementary school, then watched as they both went into middle school and was there for both of their high school graduations. He was saddened when both boys eventually went off to college and could not understand why their rooms were empty. He would delight in their returns on school vacations and would be saddened once again as they went back for long stretches at a time.
When he was younger and my husband went duck hunting he would accompany him on those journeys. Jim said that he wasn't the best retriever in the world, but that he was absolutely the best friend he ever had on those trips. As we became busier raising the boys, the hunting trip were fewer and fewer, but the baseball and football practices and games replaced those outings for the family and Buddy.
Buddy passed away in his sleep recently two days after the boys went back to school. He played Frisbee with them on their last day home, although he was stiff and had become hard of hearing, he still wagged his tail when he brought that Frisbee back.
Thank you so much for our 15 years with Buddy.
I would very much like to write a story about Buddy for you and your readers. I will need a little bit of time so that I am not constantly wiping tears from eyes as I write.
The Morgan Family
Hi Chambray Labradors
Thank you for allowing us to visit your Labrador paradise.
My husband and I had poured over your entire website before we visited your Chambray farm. What a thrill to actually see your dogs and recognize each of them in person from the photos on the Internet. They are even more breath taking in person and that's amazing because they are absolutely gorgeous in the photos!
What a sight it was to pull up to your farm and see 7 of the most beautiful Labradors running around your front yard. I could not believe how each dog would listen to you and go in their own runs when you called out their name. Each of those dogs adores you with such passion, as they can not keep their eyes off of you during our entire 2 hour stay!
Your love and passion just oozes as you tell story upon story about your years with Labradors. You are gracious and masterful at sharing your profound knowledge of every aspect of the breed.
We drove away wanting more and could not wait until the 5 hour drive back home was over so that we could turn on the computer and surf through the Chambray website again and refresh our memories of the dogs and the information that you had shared with us.
We can not wait until our puppy is born. We have a name for him already, Chambray's Bacardi & Cola.
Aston and Shea Sills
This is Claudia G checking in! I know that I am on the right track now and going forward with all that I learned from you in the last two months!!!!! The trip to Florida was worth every cent and more. I learned more in those 2 private 2 hour sessions than I have in the last 6 years with the breed. Thanks to you we just won our very first points, I am dedicating Tempest's first Winners Bitch win for 2 points to you.
Needless to say those that were my "friends" before now have a different attitude towards me, just like you said they would. They will just have to deal with it, for now I feel like I am going all the way.
Please keep me in mind for a "boyfriend" for Tempest. I trust you 1000% to send me the perfect boy from which ever breeding you think is suitable for her.
By the way, thank you, thank you for making Tempest the 1 out of 10 "good" evaluation! No need to kill the messenger in our case!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(Editors note: Claudia refers to the 1 out of 10
evaluations from the story at the following page
It was such a pleasure to visit with you and Ryan yesterday at your home. The history and the family memories on your beautiful property and your openness to sharing the incredible wealth of knowledge and experience that you have with the Labrador breed, it was all very moving. Laura kept asking as to when she could return to see Mr. Sandy, visit with the dogs, and play with Ryan; and all in that order.
Sandy, we are so grateful for your offer of placing your "Papita" with us. We understand what this means to you. We know what you have gone through in terms of time, money, effort, and anticipation for this litter to be left with the outcome that you now face. Ironically to use the mother name a true "Twist of Fate". I know that you have great expectations for this dog and because of this I want to be sure that you are at peace with your offer to us and if you have any reservations whatsoever we would understand and not be at all offended.
On the other hand, as I mentioned earlier we are grateful for the offer and should we go forward you have our firm commitment of not only providing a good home but of our involvement with you and your program in raising, training and conditioning this new family member to be the true champion that she can be. We would enter in any shows that you deem appropriate and welcome your help in any potential future breeding for the betterment of the breed and of Chambray Labradors.
Sandy, I welcome your thoughts on this. If you are at peace with your decision and we proceed, I am still available to meet this Friday afternoon to finalize this transaction, pick-up the puppy, and become a proud member of the Chambray family. We thought last night about your suggestions on the naming the puppy. We came up with Chambray Dreams Come True as the official name and "Bella" as her common name. If there is any other information that I need to provide you please let me know.
I just got off the website -- I am just overwhelmed by the beautiful letters you have received from so many people, that I had to fight back some tears.
People you know and ones you don't know -- they all have been able to "tap in" to who you really are, and to how much you love the dogs. All I can say, buddy, is that you truly deserve each and every one of those accolades, and then some.
You're a good man, Herzon. It's an honor to be your friend.
I read the Hell Have No Fury/Evaluation story and has very amused and also was very enlightened by your tongue in cheek approach to this topic. For you see I was one of those who received a 9 out of 10 "not so good" evaluation. Yes, at the time I was very disappointed and yes I did take exception that someone with your credentials could not see the good points of my beloved Dawson and yes he too came from a far away and very famous kennel. I took your negative assessment very hard and very personal. I was determined to show you how wrong you were about his conformation and potential. For four years, I did put poor Dawson through hell and high water at numerous training classes and followed that with countless weekends of shows. The results told the story, as he seldom took a placement, let alone a single point! I still think he is an awesome dog, however I now know that he was not meant for conformation competition as he is lacking in type and he also has some faults that were very evident to the judges. In your humorous story, you don't mention about any of those who held the wrath, who later saw the light. You need to make an addendum to the story about someone that came in from the the other side. I now have another Labrador and I would appreciate it if you would evaluate him. I promise that I will not kill the messenger this time!
(Editors note: I never forget a dog that I evaluate, for I make it a goal to keep up with them to test how accurate the assessment was. I remember Dawson's evaluation back in 1995 at the December, Miami Dog Show. He was 11 months old and came from the Monarch Black Arrogance lines, in fact I was handling Am/Can Ch Grandquest-Chambray Slapshot (Slash) that day as a special and took BEST OF BREED with him over 12 other nationally ranked champions. Slash and Dawson were first cousins through Monarch. Dawson was lacking in bone, thus not typey. He was leggy, as his legs from ground to elbow were evidently greater than from elbow to withers. He had a very low tail set and carried the tail too gaily, in fact at times he carried it over his back. These were my observations at the time of the evaluation. For the next couple of years I would occasionally see Dawson in the ring and those features were a big draw back for him against the competition. I saw different handlers on him and the results were pretty much the same. I lost track of Dawson after the owner moved out of state with him and just recently did I receive the email up above. I would be more than glad to go over the new dog and hope that this one is that very special 1 out of 10!)
Hello Chambray Labradors
I just spent 2 hours on your website and I was totally blown away with the activities that your Labrador community enjoys down there in Florida. I have never heard of any other breeder providing so many services for their dogs and I was so impressed with the fact that you encourage dogs from other kennels and breeders to join in. I went through most of the Labradors that are part of your programs and there are as many there from outside kennels as there are from your breedings. What a tremendous advantage you afford new owners and new hobbyist as a mentor. I have been into Labradors now for 8 years and have made the usual mistakes that all newcomers make when they first get started. I am sending you an attachment of the dogs that I currently own and would like to know if any of them are eligible for your Partners Program for the Betterment of the Breed.
Hi Mr Herzon
I think that your website is so unique. No where else have I seen another Labrador breeder with the offerings of your kennel. I have read all the testimonials and I agree with Val Till about more information of your partners. Maybe you can ask each one if they wouldn't mind giving us readers a little information on how they got started with your programs. I think that it is all so exciting to be part of such a successful group. I only wish that I lived in your neck of the woods so that I could be right smack in the middle of the happenings!
(Editors Note: The background on this page has 3 puppies huddled in a corner, the puppy on the left is Am/Nat Ch Chambrays Twist of Fate, mother of the puppy from the above email, Chambrays Stroke of Genius (Frida) and also the puppy from several emails further up, Chambrays Dream Come True (Bella)
Dear Mr. Herzon
Your stories are great. I love the evaluations stories. Could you write more of those stories? I learned a lot reading those stories. I have 3 dogs and would love to have an evaluation and have you write a story about each. I live in Idaho, maybe we can meet someday.
Trish in Idaho.
(Editors Note: I am receiving about 20 emails a week about the evaluations subject and according to the latest URCHIN REPORT, the Dog Evaluation & Hell Hath No Fury Syndrome story receives the most visitors from all the other articles on the website)
I have 3 Labradors that I purchased from different show breeders and have been active in the shows for 1 1/2 years. I am relatively new to the dog shows and find that a "holier than thou" atmosphere exist at ringside from the veteran breeders and exhibitors.
There is no camaraderie, in fact there are certain cliques amongst exhibitors and breeders and anyone outside of their small social circle is looked down upon. None of the breeders that I purchased my Labradors from offer any type of support system or assistance in showing. They tell me to hire a handler, for that's the only way to win.
I have contacted several of your partners and they rave about the programs that you offer. Some have learned how to handle their own dogs from you and another has co-bred a couple of litters with you and you provided guidance through the entire process and even placed all the puppies for them.
Thank you for seeing me and Blondie. The drive to
your farm was excruciating as I dreaded to hear what your evaluation of her
was going to be. I have had her for a year and could not get anyone to give
me an honest opinion of her show potential. Several handlers would take her
on as a handling assignment as long as I footed the bills and each said she
could "pick up some points". She comes from great lines and was placed with
me as a "show prospect" by another known Florida Labrador breeder.
Editors Note: Update to the email above.
I contacted Blondie's breeder to apprise her of your evaluation and suggestions to wait a while to let her mature and develop. She informed me that she was glad someone finally told me that she was not show material and that at times she was embarrassed that I had her out! I asked her why she had never offered her opinions before and she said she did not have the time to follow up on all the dogs she placed!
If a breeder does not have the time to stand behind what they produce, then maybe they should not produce as many dogs in the first place. Needless to say, I will not be contacting her ever again!
Editors Note: Those puppies born at Chambray are welcomed into the world by the entire Herzon family, right in our family/play room. They remain in the house until their 5th week and then gradually are introduced to the outdoors and finally will be living in the guest house right behind our main house. By week eight, they will have their own large puppy yard and will be following me around most of our 5 acres as a form of mental, social and physical development. Most of the puppies born to my co-owners and co-breeders are likewise born in their homes and then will come to Chambray at week 6, where they will receive the exact same social development as those born here.
PS: Mary Strickler now owns WinQuest Chambray Final Addition (Addy)
I just wanted you to know how happy we are with Celeste. She is everything you said she was. Our handler is very impressed with her and commented that breeders seldom part with the "good stuff". He says that she has excellent conformation and will finish sooner than later. We look forward to working with you in your Partners Program for the betterment of the breed, especially your expertise in selecting the proper stud dog for Celeste when you think that she is ready. We have added your supplements to our other Labs and we can see the improvement in their coat in less than a month! Celeste has absolutely the best coat on any Labrador that we have seen. As you say and the standard says, short, dense and course to the feel. Thank you again for allowing us to have one of your Labradors.
Chris and Jo Mabry
HI, my name is Lenora M from New Smyrna Beach. I have been in contact w/ you before the devastation. I was interesting in a choc. lab and was considering a pup now but my lab is 11 & don't know if she will be comfortable w/ a new addition at this moment but when we are ready I wouldn't even think of choosing another breeder. Thanks so much for all your caring. I hope that things are getting back for you all and was wondering if there was anything you needed in the way of supplies, $$, etc. I would love to do something to help. God Bless & prayers are w/ all the victims of this horrible disaster! Sincerely, Lenora M New Smyrna Beach, FL
In June I visited your farm and fell in love with every single Labrador that you own and care for. When I arrived at your gate, you were cleaning and picking up and all your girls (Labs) were helping create more of a mess, but you made them feel so good. You have such love for your dogs and their devotion to you speaks volumes of how you relate to them.
I went to the West Palm Beach Dog Show in July and saw one of your "babies" Summer, win her first points there and you could not have been prouder of her and it was then that I saw that it was more about the actual dogs than it was about you! One of your own children also won Best Junior Handler that day and your love for her is also apparent by her devotion to you, as she couldn't wait to show you her awesome win in the junior's ring, you made her feel so important.
I heard that you had some damage at the farm from Katrina and I went to the Kissimmee shows to see you and your Labs and find out if I could do something to help. You were so gracious in how you handled those that wanted to help, pointing out that those in the Gulf Coast needed our attention. I was saddened to find out that Summer had been hurt during the storm, but has happy to see her at the show with you caring for her and showing her in the ring without putting any pressure on her. Just like you, she will come back as you are the perfect teacher and example for your dogs and those people around you.
Your daughter was showing a puppy from one of your partner's breedings and they won the points and you and your group were so supportive of the puppy's owners and you all celebrated as if it was a Chambray-bred dog. What a validation for your "Betterment of the Breed" credo! No wonder you all have the largest following at the dog shows.
I have gotten to know a dozen or so of the owners and partners that make up some of your Programs and they are all so friendly and helpful to everyone they talk to. I feel so privileged to becoming a Chambray owner and hopefully a Partner too.
Cheryl D Melbourne Fl
Hi Mr Herzon
I have been searching for a Labrador puppy for over 2 years. I have contacted dozens of breeders in and out of the state of Florida, including your kennel. I have visited countless breeders and litters and I keep coming back to you. Even though you did not have any puppies available when I emailed you on several occasions, you have always been so helpful and informative. I can tell you from my experiences that no one else goes the nine yards as you do with your Labradors. I have compared guarantees, support systems and referrals from others and no one, no one comes close to your offerings. I am now ready to get on one of your waiting lists, as I now know what it means to "wait for the right puppy" and I am now willing to wait for a Chambray Labrador.
Hi Mr Herzon
I have been a regular visitor to your website for over a year and have read your articles and stories written by yourself and others who have contributed. I have learned much about the show world and about Labradors in particular from you and your partners. Recently one of my females was delivering and a puppy came out not breathing. It just laid there and did not move. The mother just looked at it and did nothing. I remembered seeing the online delivery that your family documented on your website and I went to it right away and looked at how you brought several puppies back to life. I had read about the sling technique in some books, but they did not show exactly how to do it, but your photos were so real and I did what you were doing on the photos. After the second sling, the puppy took a deep gasp and started to breathe. Thanks to you, Lucky is now 3 months old and the most adorable Labrador we have ever had.
Hi Chambray Labradors
I just finished reading all the stories in the Great Stories section. Please write more. The dogs in the stories seem to come to life and it is like I know them all personally. What a great dog Bear must be for his owner Val. Chancey must be the most beautiful Labrador ever and her daughters are exact clones of her. Each seems to have brought their owners such delight. The little girl that has Sammy is so cute and wrote such a nice story. Please write more stories. I think that it is great that you sponsor all those service dogs, they contribute so much to others.
I have just poured myself into every story, article and news event throughout the www.chambraylabradors.com web site.
Congratulations on all your dog's successes! How proud you must be of each and everyone of those dogs and their owners. I wonder if those same owners, partners and co-breeders appreciate how fortunate they are to have such a knowledgeable and willing mentor to provide such a nurturing environment for them and their dogs.
I have recommended for many of my Labrador-friends to visit your site and many have told me that they have learned so much from your informative Editor's Page section. As an old time Labrador breeder and exhibitor, I too have refreshed my memory with some of the escapades, laughed at some of the pun and wit stories, cried at some of the sad and maudlin pieces, and yes, I too have learned from your satirical presentations of Labrador life!
I know that your time must be precious with all the different dog activities you are involved in and asking for more articles, stories and informative pieces is probably being selfish on my part, but I truly know that I speak for hundreds if not thousands of Labrador owners that sit at their computer everyday and search the world wide web for answers and most end up at your site with their searches. I would be the first to contribute for the value that you have provided.
Having visited your place personally with my Labrador, Spencer, I can attest to the validity of those that have sung the blues for you and your dogs. You greeted us like old-time friends. Spencer was right at home from the first moment that he entered your front yard. Although the recent hurricanes had destroyed so much of the "beauty" that I heard and read about your farm, you still provided us with the warm and friendly atmosphere that people had written about. You spent well over and hour with us and never looked at the clock. So impressed was Spencer with you and your dogs, that when it came time to leave, he walked me to the gait and turned around to walk back with you, kind of saying, "You go Mom and I will stay here!" I look forward to working with you on Spencer's training.
Good Morning Sandy,
I wanted you to know that I received a telephone call Friday evening from an Andrea at Therapy Dogs International in New Jersey.
She left a message thanking me and Bear for a recent visit we made to an Assisted Living facility in Miami. The coordinators there were so impressed by Bear that they placed a call directly to TDI to convey their compliments and gratitude.
According to Andrea, the ladies and gentlemen we visited that day were still talking about the "big white dog." I recall them saying "He's so big but he's so gentle!"
As a result, she now wants me to call her back because she has a list of other facilities in our area who are requesting a visit from Bear. I will call her tomorrow.
Isn't that just the best news? I know I've said it a million times but I'll say it again:
I'm so proud of my boy ! And I know that you are too.
Have a great day,
You are very welcome for the passes. I hope you and your family enjoy yourself when you get up here.
I just wanted to thank you again for all you are doing for us. I just love Maki and Mirta. They seem very committed and hopefully they will continue with another puppy after they finish Zelda and Dash. Gery is still working with Ziggy but I think with the storms his work schedule has been all messed up.
I will pass on your name to anyone that asks me for a good trainer or lab breeder in South Florida and thank you again. Maybe I will get the chance to meet you in person someday.
Paws With A Cause
PO Box 609114
Orlando, FL 32860
Hi Mr Herzon
Thank you so much for the time you spent with us and our Labrador Retriever at the Orlando Dog Shows. We were saddened to find out about Wally's bad bite and how that would affect his chance as a show dog. We had been attending several conformation classes for the last year in Lakeland and no one had ever brought this to our attention. We even approached a well-known handler from the area and he was willing to handle our dog in the ring. We now see that it is not in our best interest, nor in the breed's best interest to continue with our idea to breed Wally. You pointed out that there were many other activities that Wally could participate in besides the conformation ring. We recently bumped into a yellow male puppy that you placed up here and he is absolutely gorgeous. Please keep us in mind for one of your amazing puppies.
Grace & Ariel Moton
WOW!!!! I just finished reading Carol Aspen’s article the Dog Talker and it made me stop and realize something. Here we have this wonderful dog who has changed our lives in a big way and we have the benefit of “unlimited personal training” as a part of the Partners Program. I seem to take it for granted that you will “train” my dog to be the best in the show ring.
But it doesn’t stop there. Reading this article made me understand what a real blessing it is to have someone like you. I come down to your farm for an hour or two and it is one of the highlights of my week. Not just for me, but for Hogan too. The excitement he feels is undeniable. And I know it has to do with the fact that he gets to see his “Alpha” (aka, first Daddy!). I always learn something new about the dogs and about myself. You push me to keep improving, to make Hogan the best he can be. At times it’s very trying. It’s not easy learning to be the leader of an 80 pound adolescent male lab! I take it for granted that you are there to help us along…but no more. When I see the joy you bring others, I never want to take this relationship for granted again. Whatever it is that brought us to you was a special act of fate. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do for me, the partners, the dogs, and the countless others who you inspire.
We lost our 14-year old Golden Retriever 2 year's ago to cancer. At the time we felt that we could never have another dog as the pain of losing her was so great. Since then, we have seen some real beautiful Labradors in our neighborhood and others walking in Coconut Grove. We could not resist stopping and talking to the owners and without exception all those that we stopped and talked to mentioned that they were Chambray Labradors. What a beautiful breed of dogs these are! They are so different from the regular Labradors that we have seen before. Could you send us information on how we obtain one of your Labradors.
Connie and Hector Cuevas
PS: Editors Note - From time to time I receive a phone call or email along these lines. I have to explain to each that there is only one Labrador Retriever and that what I breed is how they should look like and act as, so that a Chambray Labrador is only the name of my kennel and not a new breed. There are many dogs that come from puppy mills, back yard breeders and from other people breeding that have no concern for the breed as to soundness, temperament nor conformation, thus the many varied types of so-called Labradors that they see.
However, I have to admit that I am elated with each call or email I receive telling me how beautiful one of my "kids" is!!!!!!!!!!!
There is a breeder in Florida that I believe you
should contact. Actually
I just wanted to tell you what a good job you guys are doing with your labs and handling. I have been to a few shows and I just love the atmosphere and you guys are such wonderful people to be around and to talk to. I have learned so much and you take the time to explain things. Your family is doing such a good job with the dogs.
You probably don’t remember us but we were lucky enough to get a puppy from you in January of 2004. Her father is Chambrays Catch Me If U Can (Chase). She is not a show dog and has been known to be quite mischievous but we lover her so much. Her Name is Abby. I have several pictures because she is very photogenic. I thought I would share these.
I hope you are all doing well. My husband works for Florida Power and Light and we too have had enough of these hurricanes! I hope you didn’t get too much damage. Thanks again for blessing us with Abby.
I am impressed – going though you web site I stumbled on your guarantee – wow! That is standing behind your work, my hat is off to you.
Yes, we are interested. What dogs are expecting?
Looking forward to hearing from you.
I just finished reading the Dog Talker on the website.
Please convey my kudos and sentiments to Carol Aspen. What a brilliantly presented testimonial to who you are and all that you do for your dogs.
Gee, maybe there's hope for Gracie after all !
You should be very proud of your many accomplishments and the story reaffirmed how very fortunate I am to be one of your partners.
Thanks again to you as well as Ms. Aspen for the much-needed and well-timed encouragement.
I am not good at writing (please excuse the bad English), I have never written to anyone before about this. I have to write and tell you and the friends how great it is to read about on experiences with their Labradors. This is more better than the books and I have learned already so much by reading all the real stories there. I think that I know all the dogs like I know my dog from the great photos and things that you write about those dogs. I have gone to many other Labrador peoples pages and it is not the same. All of you do so much with your dogs because of you, how much great it must be to live in your town.
The article by Carol Aspen was dejavu for me.
Her trials and tribulations leading to her visit with you could have been my story word for word, except that my dog's name is Pana and he is a Labrador.
Halfway through the article, I thought I was going to break down and cry with anguish and sympathy for Carol. Then as you figured Mitzy out and showed Carol and her husband what a great dog they had, I felt the pride and joy that comes with a positive breakthrough, just as Carol did with her dog.
There are many famous dog trainers on TV and writing books and here you are quietly do great things for people and their dogs. Thank you so much for all you do, as you know Pana is the love of my life.
Hi Mr Herzon
Thank you so much for taking the time to allow my
family and I to visit you at your home. What a wonderful experience that was
for all of us. Sitting in your Labrador room and talking about Labradors was
indeed a trip down memory lane. You are a gracious host and storyteller, but
we were all amazed at how you listen to each of us. Your love and dedication
to Labrador Retrievers is beyond words and for us, seeing was truly
Hello Mr Herzon, Chambray Labradors and the Partners Program
WOW!!!! What a great community you have created for Labrador Retrievers and their owners!! I can attest that there is no other breeder in the country going to the plate as you have for the breed. I have searched high and low, contacted every "named" kennel, by phone, email, snail mail, even visited dozens of the so-called "premier" names of the breed. NONE can match your offerings! I have corresponded with several of the lucky people that hopped on board with your programs and they raise the praises high for you and your commitment to the breed. I would very much like to be included in your Notify List for any future litters.
I have read and re-read each and every article at the Reference Library on training, the breed and other activities. When will your book be published???????? Please reserve several issues for me as I would like to give them as presents to some of my friends with dogs.
Perla here again with Pana. Thank you so much for the continuing stories of Mitzy by Carol Aspen and your own story from your point of view. It makes so much sense to read the 2 sides. Your insight into how Pana thinks and how we are to treat him has made all the difference in the world in our household. Before we came to you, we were very upset with Pana and with each other. The trainer at the club suggested that we "turn him in" at the pound as he was totally the wrong dog for us. You showed us that it was the way we were going about the training that was totally wrong for us and for Pana. You were 110% right. Once we "saw" how he responded to your ways with him, we realized that we could do the same thing. Yes, it took us several visits with you as it did the Aspens, but you had all the patience in the world with us and today we have the perfect dog, actually he was perfect all along, we just now know how to keep him in that state most of the time. I wish I had the gift of writing and could write a beautiful story as others have done. You deserve so much credit for all you do for dogs and their owners.
Dear Mr Herzon
You don't know me personally, but I have emailed you in the past with questions about my Labradors. You always answered them and they really helped out. I am so sorry for your loss with Cori. I am even more sorry about how thoughtless and irresponsible people trashed you on the Lab forums. I live in Arizona and had heard about the great things that your kennel had accomplished. I had visited your website and had learned much about all aspects of the breed from your informative articles and stories. I was totally appalled when I read the threads on the Internet. What really impressed me the most is how you handled the entire situation and did not lower yourself to the depths that some of those witch hunters did. Thank you for being a true mentor for the breed.
Dear Sandy and family,
wanting to let you know that Rivers is the love of our life. He is doing
I was so impressed with your website and your "extreme" involvement with all aspects of Labradors and dogs in general. I wrote to you to share with you my passion for Labs and my desires to get involved in training and showing. Needless to say, I was floored at how soon you answered my email and how much detail you go into to explain your mission, especially with the placing of your puppies. Please keep me in mind when you feel that special puppy is there for me.
Valerie Banyon Ca.
NOTE FROM EDITOR: To the Milanes family and all the others that share their grief and also their love for their departed best friends.
It saddens me deeply to read or hear of the passing of one of my "kids". I console myself with the knowledge that they brought great joy and love to your families.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for having given them the best home that they could have had.
Sandy Herzon - Chambray Labradors
Hi Mr Herzon & Chambray Labradors
I have had Labradors for over a decade and have participated in many different areas of training and competition and I am totally amazed at all the activities you offer the Labrador community in South Florida. I would like to get into conformation and have been researching show breeders across the country. There is no other breeder that offers your programs or guarantees. In fact, many I contacted were very evasive and defensive when asked about your offerings, since they were not able to match your programs. I would very much like to be considered for a placement of a show prospect.
Pat Tierney NC
Thank you for taking the time to talk to my family and me at the recent dog shows in Deland. It is such a pleasure to listen to someone that loves the breed as you do and shares with as much passion as you do. Reading about your commitment to the breed at your website is one thing, seeing it in person with all your owners and partners together at a dog show is totally mind bogging. What a great family oriented community of loyal owners you have created. Each and everyone of the people that we met with is a testament to your successes. My family and I look forward to working with you and our puppy in the future, rest assured that the next Labrador we add to our family will come from your program.
PS: Thank you for the "good" evaluation of our puppy. After reading the article on evaluations, we feel very privileged to have a 1 out of 10!
Hello Mr Herzon
My family and I would like to thank you for allowing us to visit your farm and your Labradors. It is all that anyone talks about, from the moment we drove away to each and every day that we get together for family night. The dogs are all so beautiful and well behaved and your Labrador room has so many wonderful memories from so many owners and partners. My kids can not wait to get their puppy and start training with you as they have seen so many Junior handlers that have gotten their start with you. You have such a great following and it is very apparent at the dog shows who your dogs are by the happy owners that have them there. Please know that we will also be loyal Chambray Partners when we bring our new baby home.
Tony, Beatrice, Melanie and Stephanie Ortega and soon to be "Candy"
Thank you so much for answering all of my questions. I am very excited to get my puppy and become part of your partners program. I have loved dogs since I was a child and I have always wanted to be involved with them on a more active level. My black lab puppy from River's is going to be in the pet therapy program and I am so proud of him. He is an awesome dog, which just leads me to believe that getting a show puppy and getting involved in your program is going to also be very rewarding. The message you put on your website from Laura Van Dalen really touched and inspired me to work towards my goal of owning and raising a beautiful show dog.
Can you tell me where the Miami Dog Show is going to be? Sandy, thanks again for taking all the time to answer my questions. The $200.00 deposit I send to you will be for a reservation of a yellow male show puppy for the upcoming litter with Lance and Sabrina.
See you at the show.
Dear Chambray Labradors, the Partners Program and the Herzon Family
I would like to start off by saying I am sorry!
I am sorry for not trusting your valued expertise 9 years ago. I approached you about handling my Labrador and you were straight forward enough to tell me that she would not be competitive in the show ring. I now see that you were being kind, considerate and honest! Not so with the other 6 handlers that took her and my money for almost 2 years of showing with not 1 single point awarded.
I am sorry for the next 9 years of sitting along the sidelines and maligning you and your efforts with the breed. For you see, I joined in with those that do not understand your commitment and integrity with all that you do with Labradors. I wanted so bad to hate you because you had turned down my Lacey, but now the big picture emerges. Through all that time I have witnessed your sharing, caring and success with people and Labradors and with your family. What a success story your family is, Ryan and Jessie are the perfect kids next door and awesome dog handlers.
Most important, you were always there to greet me and saying encouraging words, even though you must have known that I was among the detractors.
I am sorry for having wasted so much valuable time, for to be honest, I have not advanced since 9 years ago and yet I read and hear about your partner's successes. How you have mentored the beginners as well as the established, I just read Laura van Dalen story and that says it all. I am sure that not too many other breeders would have entrusted her or any other beginner with your best and that's exactly what you preach and deliver!
I now understand why you are not bothered by the "urban legends" as you call them, you just don't have the time for all that, bickering negative and backward way of thinking
Although time has passed me by and I may not be around too much longer at ringside with a dog, I love to visit your website almost every day and see the new developments with all of the dogs that you are associated with.
God Bless You
I just finished reading Laura VanDalen's short story and I would also like to be part of your owner's programs. I have 2 Labradors that I bought from places that I shouldn't have, but they have been great companions. I have been doing obedience with the one that is not hyper and she has introduced me to the world of show dogs. Since I did not want to make the same mistakes as before, I have been researching as much information about the breed and also breeders. It seems that in Florida, there is either your group or all the others bunched up. Most of those others that I have talked to, seem to have such a negative attitude about anyone new getting into the breed, some will not even give me the time of day when I begin to ask questions. None offer any of the things that come with your puppies and most envy everything you do!
I can't wait for you to pick out that special girl for me and to be part of such a positive community of Labrador owners.
We wanted to let you know how happy we are that we are owners of one of your beautiful dogs.
Thank you Sandy, and we send best wishes to you for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Ernie & Kriste
Dear Mr Herzon & wonderful Partners that I met at the Orlando Dog Shows.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. Your group is a joy to meet and talk to. What a pleasure it was to actually meet you, your son and your dog owners and of course your wonderful Labradors. I have visited your website for over a year and I have seen you all at the dog shows here, but this time I decided to introduce myself to you guys. Caramela is even sweeter in person than her story can describe, Beach Boy and his owners were so nice, Hogan is such a mush, Stormy is what I want my next dog to be, Frida was absolutely a delight, I can't believe that Dusty is such a lover and of course Chief is so full of himself but you two were an awesome sight when the judge pulled you guys out for consideration.
I hope to be at ringside at next year's show with one of my own Chambray dogs!
I want to thank you again - for the chocolate angel you brought into my life.
It was one year ago today that Caramela joined my family. When you brought her to me, with her papers and a copy of the Labrador Quarterly (the one with Ty's photo on the front cover), I never imagined what I was really getting into. I had no clue that this brown shaggy sweetheart would take my heart and wrap it around her dew claw in such a short time.
She makes me laugh and she makes me smile. She is my little partner that follows me wherever I go when I am home. She is my chocolate shadow.
Because I take her, she visits the sick and is read to by children. She always makes everyone smile. She is my chocolate angel - as sweet as her name and precious as the Hope Diamond.
I don't know much about dog shows and conformation - but I do know one thing - Caramela is perfect. She is perfect for me. Whatever I ask, she is willing to do. The most important of which is to be my friend. She is an expert at that task. She lies under my desk, while I am at work. Keeping me company and warming my feet. When she is at my office, she is so sweet and well behaved - many of the people who work here come by to say hello, to pet her, and to play with her. She is very popular. They all love her - sometimes I suspect that they stop by to see her and I am just a bystander.
I really can't blame anyone who prefers her company -- I would feel the same way.
As you know, I recently when through a rough few months. There were many days that I was very sad and frustrated. I really don't know if you realize that, part of the reason, I got through it all, was that chocolate dream that stayed by my side. She knew that I was not well. She knew that I was sad. She would look at me with those eyes - those magical eyes. I leaned on her - both emotionally and physically. She lifted my spirit and helped me through the sadness and illness. She is my angel.
Sandy, I cannot tell you enough how important she is - how loved she is -- and how grateful I am that she is part of my life.
Thank you and God bless you for trusting me with your chocolate angel. She is my heart.
The 4-hour ride to your farm was well worth the time and energy as the visit was just out of this world. To begin with, your Labradors are just perfection in every sense of the word. How amazing it was to pull up to your front gate and see a sea of beauties romping around your expansive property! How impressive it was to watch as each dog came when called and promptly entered their designated run! My husband and I still can not get over how each of those dogs adores you to no end! What devotion and love they have for you and how totally obedient they are to their "leader".
As most have testified in your behalf, you truly have a gift for the dog world. Your love and passion for the breed speaks volumes and your desire to share that wealth of knowledge has no rival. Garry and I have visited dozens of "show breeders" in our quest for a Labrador puppy to start our venture into the dog show world. We have attended countless shows here in Florida and in the North East before we moved to Mt. Dora Fl. We have researched pedigrees and have followed some of the top producing dogs at specialties, plus our Internet surfing has provided what we thought was a very thorough education on Labradors.
Boy, were we dazzled to say the least with our 2-hour visit with you! Your tremendous insight on all matters relating to the breed goes beyond anything written in books or magazines. What an education we received in a relatively short period of time. Your story-telling abilities should be captured in books as I know that there are others as us that would benefit greatly from your vast first-hand knowledge of all that is Labrador Retrievers.
You invited us to come back and visit again, please mark us down for when your puppies from Connie reach that 6 to 7 week "critical time of evaluation" as you put it! We would be without words if you were to consider us for placement of one of your amazing treasures.
Nancy and Garry Shields
More to come as they come in.
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The true testament
to any program, endeavor, business or organization comes from those that
have derived a benefit and freely share their good experiences and fortunes
At Chambray Labradors we take extreme pride in each and every testimonial that we receive from those whose lives have been touched by our dogs and our actions.
Thank you all.