Hi, I’m Phyllis Zusman.
Probably the reason you are reading this is because you are interested in getting a PWD. (It’s a good sign of your interest that you have read this far.)
The first thing I should tell you is that Miraval PWDs isn’t the name of a commercial kennel. At any given time I own a few dogs that are my companions and live in my home. I enjoy spending time with them; I show them in the breed ring, compete in agility, obedience, water work, tracking and have tried carting with my dogs, freestyle (it looks like dancing with your dog) and a bunch of other sports.
I occasionally breed my dogs in a quest to improve the breed, to breed dogs that fit the Standard of what a PWD should be. My goal is not to breed show dogs but to breed healthy dogs with good temperaments who conform to the standard and who are conformationally better than their parents. However, every dog in my breeding program has earned its Championship.
And every few years I breed a litter of PWDs. When I’m not doing dog stuff I help small businesses make sense of the internet and use it effectively. You can find out more about that at TechEasyMarketing.com.
Miraval is the prefix to the names of all the I have bred. It is registered with the AKC so only dogs that I breed can carry that name.
I got my first PWD in 1994. I was taking an obedience class with my partner’s Bassett Hound when I met a dog that was so well trained she seemed to be communicating telepathically with her owner. That was the kind of relationship I wanted to have.
During the class, Salsa – the PWD I met was bred. I talked to her owner, Bobbe Kurtz about getting a puppy and she said she would put me on the list. I was #13. At that time there generally was a 2 year wait to get a PWD puppy.
I was lucky that Bobbe knew someone having a litter soon and I got to skip to the head of the line. About 4 months later I was picking up my puppy near Seattle.
And as they say “the rest is history.”
Since getting my first PWD about 20 years ago I have been very involved in the PWD Community. During those years some of the high points have been…
- 1995 I got Aramis,(the sire of the 2014 litter) and started showing him in the conformation ring. In 1996 at the age of 14 months, I handled him to his Championship, and he became CH Roseknoll A Crest of Sunrider.
- 1996 I founded 4myDogs, which has since become 4myPWDs.com. It was the first online store to sell equipment and gifts for PWDs.
- In 1997 Aramis won High-in-Trial Agility at the PWDCA Specialty.
- In 1998 I got Dora, Ch Mariner Faladora do Miraval and in 2002 I bred my first litter.
- That litter produced Pixel, CH Miraval’s Picture Perfect who won Winners Bitch (by beating nearly 200 other bitches) and an Award of Merit at the 2005 PWDCA National Specialty.
- In 2005 I was elected to the Board of Directors of the PWDCA and served as Treasurer for a year. Over the years I have also been a member and served on the BOD of the SCPWDC (Southern California Portuguese Water Dog Club) and the USSPWDC (United Sunshine States Portuguese Water Dog Club.)
SInce 2007 I have been working with my dogs and been busy with my “real” business (helping small businesses develop an online presence.) In spite of having bred relatively few litters, I’m proud that Miraval has qualified for the PWDCA (Portuguese Water Dog Club of America) Breeder of the Year awards in 2007, 2007 and 2016. This award recognizes Kennels that are producing outstanding dogs and demonstrating the versatility that PWDs are known for.