Dark Star is What? Whom?

"Dark Star" is not a kennel, but rather dogs living as an integral part of our family! The dogs are our pets and companions first and foremost: they follow us around the house or yard assisting in our mom-chores and dad-duties, they participate in the family's evening and weekend activities, they (some or all) travel with us not just to dog shows, but to our cabin, on vacations, and the occasional business trip, and they sleep on our beds with hubby & I (or the kids when they are visiting or home from college!)!

We don't have a kennel full of dogs - these are our family pets. Even with our small numbers, we've done well enough with dogs that we have owned and/or bred. I (Sandra) have been an exhibitor and breeder for 30+ years (I started with Labradors and then became involved with the Cavalier world in 1986), and have shown dogs to points and championships, therapy dog certification, CGCs, obedience and field titles. I belong to several dog clubs, and was a 4-H dog leader when my children were younger. I have placed puppies for family pets, obedience, show, field, agility, Junior Show, and 4-H, as well as dogs which have graduated from Guide Dogs for the Blind (the Labradors, the Cavaliers are too small!), Canine Companions for Independence, and therapy dogs in private practices, schools, and for volunteer pet therapy.

While the temperament is very important, so is the health. I'm not a gambler (well, not unless the odds are in my favor!) so I do health testing on the dogs - (especially important with when planning a litter) to increase the probability that the puppies we have are healthy, and I have the puppies screened in an age-appropriate manner. Mother Nature can throw curve balls to all of us, but winning the game is more likely if we start with healthy players! In short: I breed for a good temperament (it's a critical issue for me), correct conformation, and sustained good health. I want the whole package!

Being a "dog breeder" is a hefty responsibility - one entailing not just bringing puppies into the world, but involving oneself in the advanced planning and welcoming of puppies that are healthy, typey, and with suitable temperaments. Our puppies are born in the master bedroom, and raised in the kitchen/family room, and always with time and attention lavished upon them. They are very well-socialized, and therefore they are happy, confident, and loving; it's a good combination of genetics and nurturing.

One of my jobs as a breeder is to know the personalities of my puppies so that I can match them with prospective buyers, and to do that I spend a LOT of time observing and playing with my puppies (such a tough job!), and, while doing so, learning about them as individuals. Knowing the temperaments has been a critical component in successful placements over those years. (Sadly, there are many breeders that do not socialize their babies, nor do health testing. Scary, isn't it?)

I was always a ‘doggy' person: I was the girl in the neighborhood that took everyone else's dogs for walks, brushed and trained them! It seemed a natural progression to dive more fully into the dog world, and so in the 30+ years I've been involved in the purebred dog fancy I've enjoyed the camaraderie of the dog shows, obedience trials, therapy training & visits, and field work; cherished the personal rewards of making a positive impact with a school-child or a nursing home/convalescent facility resident while doing pet assisted therapy visiting; and thoroughly enjoyed raising a litter of puppies - knowing that I would hand over precious bundles of fur to excited families. Such are the rewards for this labor of love!

We - Mike Lince and Sandra Reiley-Lince - met when we were in high school, he worked at an Aquarium and pet store and I had gone in to buy a parakeet; how appropriate is that for a couple of animal lovers?!? We dated through high school and college, married in 1977, and recently celebrated our 31st anniversary. Our children are Colin (25), Kyle (24 and recently married, do visit their wedding photo page!), and Brittany (21). Mike is a Realtor, and the Senior Vice President and designated broker of his company, and manages two of their branch offices. Sandra was in sales and sales management, but has been a 'stay at home' mom for 25 years (a lady of leisure, hehe). We enjoy traveling (within the states, and especially to warm, tropical places with colorful fishes and enticingly scented flowers), and hope to mark on our world map with even more places as we enjoy being empty-nesters! *(update - we bought a travel trailer! Check out the trailer page!) Mike grew up with Labradors, and our first dog as a married couple was a yellow Labrador (below!), and all of us have been in the ring with Labradors and/or Cavaliers, although, dangit, the kids weren't bitten by the show bug! Mike goes to the occasional dog show with me, and if he's not too busy chatting, he actually gets to see the dogs win!

That's the condensed version... Please visit our webpages - dive in and snorkel the dogs' and family's pages - meet everyone!

Dark Star Cavaliers & Labradors



Way back then.....

They'll drive you happy!!


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