The Parti Poodle

Twenty-first Century
Parti-color Standard Poodles
New Zealand

After many months, I found Sandi Savedra-Dixon's Yahoo parti Poodle group. Upon going through Sandi's website, I fell in love with Star (a parti Standard) and decided that I wanted a Poodle with her tuxedo markings. I immediately sent an email inquiry to Sandi (and learned that she is a native New Zealander transplanted to America). Instead of getting the usual negative reply, imagine my surprise when she was willing to send me a puppy and subsequently sent me a page of questions to answer. She said she was going to breed Star in her next season. I was on cloud 99!

So began the waiting game. Wait for Star to come into season. Wait until she was bred. Wait another 63-65 days while she was pregnant. All I seemed to do was wait and wait. At last, Sandi posted that the puppies were born (Star gave birth to ten puppies) and that I could have one of Star's beautiful girls. I asked if I could choose my puppy, but Sandi said that she would select the puppy whose personality best suited mine. By this time, we had emailed, talked on the phone, and corresponded on MSN - so she knew me quite well.

Author: Anne Bennett
Auckland, New Zealand

Twa Awa Bama Girl 
Registered with the
New Zealand Kennel Club

Article first appeared in the International Parti Poodle Gazette
October 2006

Having seen old-time black and white photos of parti color Poodles and a color print of a parti Toy in a Poodle book back in the 1990s, I knew that the parti color had historically occurred in Poodles but was unaware that partis had recently made a stunning comeback in the United States. That is until I attended a seminar in November 2003 and saw a video of two of them.

At the time, I had two Poodles, a black mini named Ebony (who is currently eleven) and Panda (a nine-year-old black Standard mismark who is getting quite grey). The parti Standard Poodles belonged to Charlene Dunlap of Canine Horizons in the U.S.  The seminar was on Bridge and Target training, and in the video Charlene was demonstrating some of these techniques with her two parti Poodles. My first thought was, “Oh, my God! They really do exist!” My second thought was, “They are the most beautiful dogs I have ever seen. I want one!”

Immediately after the seminar, I began searching for a parti Poodle throughout New Zealand, then Australia, and finally England (where I have relatives) - all with no luck. I did not speak other languages, so the United States was my last hope. Through the Internet, I found a couple of parti breeders in the U.S. and emailed them about exporting one of their partis to New Zealand. Their response was, “Sorry, we don't ship out of the U.S.” I was almost ready to give up. This was heaps more difficult than I ever imagined.

Sitting by her Canine Good Citizen Silver Award, Dixie seems to be chanting, "Self-control, self-control, self-control . . ."

Swimming at the beach

Of pets arriving in New Zealand on overseas flights, 95 percent will disembark in Auckland. The pet service picks up the dog immediately after it clears customs and transports it to their quarantine facility. I had also employed the services of an agent who looked after the Import Permit papers, another NZ MAF requirement that guarantees that the imported dog is not one of the dangerous breeds such as American Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino, and Brazilian Fila which are now banned in New Zealand. (How a Poodle could be mistaken for one of these breeds is beyond me.) I also had to send photocopies of my passport and driver's license to prove who I was and where I lived before the dog would be released to me.

My puppy has arrived safely at Auckland's quarantine facility where she is now required to spend 30 days. Owners are encouraged to visit their pets. Since I live 30 minutes away, I can visit often. Recently, when I was visiting my puppy Dixie for the second time, I could hear Panda barking in the car (someone had parked too close for her liking). When Dixie heard Panda, she cocked her head and listened. It was so cool. I told her, “That's Panda, your sister, and you will meet her very soon.”

I have told both Ebony and Panda about their new American sister. They do not seem overly enthused at the moment, but I am sure there will be much excitement when they finally get to meet her and perform their doggy greeting rituals.

A big thank you to Heather who looked after Dixie and made sure she had all of the necessary tests and shots on the dates that the NZ MAF required. She took such wonderful care of her and socialized her so well. And, my heartfelt thanks to Sandi for breeding such a beautiful, sweet-natured dog and entrusting her to me here on the other side of the world.

Agility at the training club

When my puppy was 11 weeks old, she and her sister were flown from Sandi's home in Alabama to Arizona to stay with Heather who would be looking after my puppy until all of the New Zealand import requirements were met.

After 12 weeks-of-age, puppies can have their first rabies shot with a titer test three weeks later. If the titer shows clear of rabies, six months from that date the puppy can leave the U.S. to fly to N.Z. Additionally, my puppy was microchipped at the time of her rabies shot.

Because there is a lot of paperwork critical to the successful importation of dogs to New Zealand, I employed the services of a pet transporter company that liaised between myself, Heather, and the appropriate agencies. They informed Heather of the necessary tests that had to be done and at what time. They also kept in touch with Heather's veterinarian. New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries requires that all shots must be given by a veterinarian and not by the breeder. All blood tests are sent to Kansas State University.

Required vaccinations for dogs are:

Canine Cough (adenovirus 2, parainfluenza, and bordetella)

A week before travel, my puppy had to have more blood tests, get a flea bath, and be vet checked again. She was then put onto a plane and flown from Arizona to Los Angeles and spent the night and the next day at the pet transport kennels where she was vet checked yet again. She was then sealed in a crate and put on an overnight plane to New Zealand. She arrived here about 6:00 a.m. the next morning - a 12 hour flight.

At Groyne Park

Born in Alabama, U.S.A., Dixie is now living the good life in New Zealand

Dixie in historically correct Poodle cut