2020, as we all can attest, has been a year like no other in living memory.
We have been very fortunate, here at Kitaco, to be able to count our blessings. We have a great team, had our wonderful puppers to keep us entertained in lockdown, had a number of fabulous litters and live in a country where COVID-19 is now - thanks to the outstanding community spirit of Kiwis and a government that took the advice of pandemic experts from the get-go - something we only read about on the news, rather than have to deal with daily, in the community.
Despite puppy enquiries edging towards 1000 since lockdown, and various travel and/or border restrictions, we have been able to place a few select puppies into the most wonderful forever homes in locations as far ranging as Invercargill at the very bottom of the South Island, Auckland in the North Island, Tonga in the South Pacific and of course, in Australia.
NZ borders are still closed, and will remain so until everyone in NZ is vaccinated (more or less). The flow-on from this is that all competitions locally and both the 2020 and 2021 Nationals were cancelled. All NZ Chihuahua Specialty shows for 2020 were also cancelled and our local Chi club is limited to holding only 1 Championship show in 2021, provided they can find a suitably qualified judge.
The upside of less competition is more time at home with the whole crew, rather than being away with just the show team. It also means we can put more effort toward our primary goal of breeding healthy, sound Chihuahuas with great temperaments that meet the Breed Standard, so that those few among our 1000 enquiries with whom we are able to place a puppy, get to enjoy a long life of companionship and joy with their Chihuahua, rather than a short, expensive one.
Another highlight of 2020 was that many of the other Chihauhua breeders who followed us into the NZ Acreddited Breeders Scheme are now starting to produce their own, health-tested and DNA screened litters. We will never be able to explain to them how much we appreciate their efforts in support of our goal for breeding healthier NZ Chihuahuas.
We are honoured, too, to have been embraced by the wider, international Chihuahua community and have made some wonderful breeder friends in other countries, with similar values to ours, whose mentorship, guidance and generosity means Kitaco's has a very exciting future to look forward too. (See what happens when dog show people are in lockdown, can't get to shows but have access to the internet, hahaha.)
So, on balance, 2020 was full of positives and certainly kinder to us than many others, and for that we are extremely grateful.
We are also thankful for the wonderful new friends we have made in the past year who are now part of our wider Kitaco family, along with their utterly spoiled Kitaco babies, those set to join us in 2021 and to the literally thousands of Chihuahua lovers who follow us on social media so they can share the love we have for our fur babies.
We hope everyone has a great holiday season and that 2021 brings us many more pleasant surprises than 2020 delivered.