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(What Happens When An Opera Nut Goes to the Dogs) logo

Drawn toward several of the larger sighthound breeds, I acquired my first Italian Greyhound in 1966, partially because our San Francisco home had nearly no yard. Owning an Italian dog to complement my lifelong enthusiasm for Italian opera was definitely a plus. A passionate and lasting involvement with this charming breed ensued.

Originally neither my husband nor I had any intention of showing or breeding, but the person from whom we bought our first IG convinced us to try it, and one thing led to another. As a photographer and freelance writer, I am usually a keen observer and tend to pursue my interests with a natural curiosity. A deep love for dogs in general developed into a permanent love affair with the IG and its idiosyncrasies as well as its affectionate nature, beauty and adaptability. In spite of the limited breeding program necessary to someone whose dogs are all house pets, we have bred more than 70 champions, most of them finished from the Bred by Exhibitor class. I have also shown occasionally in obedience. Dating back to the days when there was almost no reliable information available on this breed and having to learn much of it "the hard way" I am very happy to see new forms of communication, like the Internet, making it much easier for newcomers to get a good start.

A past president of the Italian Greyhound Club of America, I have been the IG breed columnist for the AKC Gazette since 1975. I have had four books on the Italian Greyhound published, am a regular columnist for the Italian Greyhound Magazine (and The Windhound during that magazine's existence) and have contributed to several other periodicals articles on subjects that include dogs, travel, music and exotic pets. Approved by AKC to judge several toy breeds (Chihuahuas (Long and Smooth Coats), Chinese Cresteds, Italian Grehounds, Maltese, Miniature Pinschers, Pekingese, Pugs, and Silky Terriers) as well as Junior Showmanship Competition, I've judged the IG national specialty twice, as well as the Houston regional. In 1989 I judged the Italian Greyhound specialty in Australia. In 1998 I judged an IG specialty in Italy, its acknowledged country of origin. In 2013 I judged a specialty in Japan. Most important to me, I have met and corresponded with IG aficionados all over the world. What better way to keep learning?

I live in Southern California with my beloved Italian Greyhounds.

In May of 1997 fate stepped in when (at a dog show, of course) I met Elias P. Duarte, Jr., a computer wiz (he said he doesn't agree) from Brazil who was in California for a computer science conference. Elias twisted my arm and convinced me to let him design a web page for La Lilian's Signature Scala IGs. You can learn more about him at Elias' homepage.

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