Limerick Irish Wolfhounds | Linda Souza

Limerick Irish Wolfhounds | Linda Souza

Purebred Irish Wolfhounds Breeder Linda Souza Limerick Irish Wolfhounds interview by Allan Reznik.

Where did you grow up?

Limerick Irish Wolfhounds | Linda Souza: I was born on the peninsula south of San Francisco in San Mateo, California, in 1948 and grew up in the suburban city of San Bruno, between San Mateo and San Francisco. I was the middle child of five. My father was from Richmond, Virginia, and my mother was from San Diego, California.

Limerick Irish Wolfhounds

Did you come from a doggie family? If not, how did the interest in breeding and showing purebred dogs begin?

Limerick Irish Wolfhounds | Linda Souza: I met my future husband in high school in 1962 at the age of 14. He was 16. We married after high school graduation in 1967. He was then 20 and I was 18. We will celebrate our 55th wedding anniversary this coming April 23rd. He is my soulmate and a man of integrity and also quite a character, but in a good way. He is also a dog lover but is not interested in attending dog shows. He is my live-in dog sitter when I attend dog shows. We grew together, always sharing the same goals in life. We started out in an apartment in San Bruno and then moved to a duplex in Millbrae, the next town south. The duplex was owned by my husband’s parents and this is where my friendship blossomed with my mother-in-law, Janet Souza. The duplex had a fenced yard and I immediately wanted to get an Old English Sheepdog. I was smitten with the breed from pictures I had seen. Cliff and his mom surprised me with a puppy on my 20th birthday. Janet was a dog lover all her life, but was never allowed to have a dog until she left home. She was raised by her grandmother in a small house in San Francisco. When she married at 18, one of their wedding gifts was $25 cash and Janet immediately started a family by running out and purchasing a Springer Spaniel puppy. We always got a kick out of that story, but it was actually a sign of things to come. Janet also had a Chihuahua, Poms, and a Miniature Poodle while she was raising her three children. Janet fell in love with AmStaffs in 1968 and purchased a dog and a bitch. This was the same year the Old English came into my life and we were all living next door to each other. Janet went to obedience classes with her AmStaff male, and the instructor convinced her to enter an obedience trial at a local all-breed show sponsored by the Santa Clara Valley Kennel Club. Naturally, I accompanied Janet to the show for moral support, no matter which way the dog was going to perform. Fortunately, the AmStaff did not embarrass her. After the obedience competition had ended, we drifted over to see what this thing called “conformation” was all about. The rest became history!

By 1971, Janet decided she liked watching the Irish Wolfhounds at the dog shows because of their calm demeanor and commanding size. She began an extensive search for a grown bitch because she had already learned that purchasing a puppy for show came with risk and it might not turn out. Janet only wanted the Wolfhound for companionship and the sport of showing, but had no intentions of getting involved with breeding. As luck would have it, Janet found an 18-month-old Irish import bitch with 10 points, including one major, owned by an attorney in Santa Rosa. His wife decided she didn’t want that “big dirty dog” in her house anymore. We were so happy he chose the wife over the dog and we got the dog.