Name problem dogs owners of Afghan hounds

Associated Press

HOUSTON — It’s just fine with Lisa Bryant if strangers think her beloved Afghan hound is a poodle these days.

"I told people at the airport he’s a poodle," Bryant, of Philadelphia, said Saturday as she brushed the long, silky coat of her 16-month-old Afghan, Loki, in preparation for the first of three shows for the breed.

About 200 Afghan owners from throughout the country and elsewhere have gathered for the annual Afghan Hound Club of America Specialty Show this coming week in Houston, and some plan to attend separate weekend shows in Dallas and Houston.

Some owners said Saturday they have heard a few nasty comments about the breed’s name since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the airstrikes in Afghanistan, where the breed originated.

Such comments aren’t so much related to the dogs, they said, as to the owners’ license plates reading "AFGHANS" or window signs displaying the breed name.

"Yes, there have been incidents like that," said Dr. Ted Blackerby, president of the Afghan Club of Dallas.

The breed originated in Afghanistan, Pakistan and northern India as a sleek hunting hound and was introduced to the West by British soldiers.

The national Afghan club’s board of directors recently briefly discussed changing the breed’s name back to the original name, Tazi.

"It was never a real consideration," said Brenda Brody, who has four Afghan hounds. "There was a unanimous vote to keep the name what it had always been."

On the Net: Afghan Club: clubs.akc.org/ahca

Copyright ©2001 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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