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About Me
a.k.a "A Vizsla is not just a dog, it's a way of life!"


The first time I recall hearing that "_____<fill in the blank> is not just a ____ <fill in the blank>, it's a way of life" was in the classic movie of my youth, Cameron Crowe's 1982 film, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, when one of the characters declared that "Surfing is not just a sport, it's a way of life." The phrase has been adapted to special interest fanciers ever since then...everything from BMW to teachers have used it, and it perfectly describes our life here and now!

 

Most fanciers will say it while they continue to work full time or have spouses who support them financially with their hobby. Since 2003, I have truly lived that phrase. In 2003, I gave up paid vacations, company vehicles, expense accounts etc. in order to pursue my passion for Vizslas as a full-time endeavor. In 2006 I purchased 30 acres with a ramshackle house in the middle of nowhere with the intention of being able to properly start young dogs in the field and to be able to offer puppy buyers a safe place to train. I don't consider Vizslas a "fancy"or a "sport" - I live and breathe Vizslas 24-7-365 here, and have scaled down my lifestyle and given up new cars and vacations so that I do not have to work full time outside of the home and can instead devote myself full time to my dogs. Everything in my life is secondary to the dogs...so Vizslas really are a way of life here.

 

In early 2017, I partnered with Rodan & Fields as an Executive Consultant, and have been thoroughly enjoying this experience that has actually freed up more of my time to enable me to enter and attend more dog events (see NEWS to check the placements and titles we're earning so far this year!).

 

More history....

 

My parents purchased their first Vizsla in March of 1969 for $100 (Tanya, pictured here in 1977 with me and my brother TJ) . I was 8 months old at the time Tanya came home. I literally learned how to walk with Tanya. Her pedigree is here. My mother's kennel name was Strider Vizslas, and her dogs are the foundation for my kennel.

 

 

My kennel name, Mira, is a combination of the firt two letters of my first and middle names (Michel Rae). Pronounced MEE-rah, the word "mira" is also Spanish for "look" or "watch". This is an appropriate match, since "vizsla" means "seeks" in Hungarian. ("vizsla" is also a generic term used for any pointer).

 

I was very involved with the Vizsla Club of Illinois for over 15 years. I held various positions ranging from event secretary to club secretary, newsletter editor, website creator, director, membership chair, and pretty much doing whatever needed to be done. I belong to the Vizsla Club of America (AKC parent club) where I served as Breed Historian and currently compile the Top Ten Field and Top Field Producers and have volunteered my design services for the both the VCA & AKC National Gun Dog Championship catalogs, and the VCA National Championship catalog. I am a Lifetime Member of the National Vizsla Association (American Field parent club) where I served as editor of their Vizsla Field magazine and webmaster for a few years, and am a general member of the Central Wisconsin Vizsla Club. For several years, I also maintained memberships in the Vizsla Club of Eastern Iowa and Hawkeye Vizsla Club, though I was not as active in those clubs so cut back some my memberships. I have been very active in all-breed clubs as well, and on top of serving as secretary for countless AKC field trials and hunting tests, I have also been secretary of a 3-day agility trial and will be judging the sweepstakes at a specialty show in 2016. With nearly three decades of volunteering for dog clubs, I decided to step back away from the politics and just enjoy my dogs while we compete and only volunteer for things that I can do from home with a flexible schedule.

 

Cass and Michel.I have dogs that I show, some that are field trialed, some that compete in agility or obedience, or that work as therapy dogs and even assistance dogs, and all that hunt for various game. We also attend regular obedience classes, and dabble in agility classes, with no intention to compete in either of those two venues. I have been a Full Member of the Association for Pet Dog Trainers,member of the International Association of Canine Professionals, a Licensed Presenter of the Dog & Baby and Dogs & Kids programs through Family Paws Parent Eduation and member of DogGone Safe in the past. I am a dog training education junkie. I am eligible to take the Certified Professional Dog Trainer- Knowledge Assessed (CDPT-KA) and follow the science-based training philosophies of Dr. Ian Dunbar, Patricia McConnell, and Grisha Stewart. I have let my memberships in these organizations lapse in the last year as my time has been taken up with starting young dogs.

 

My primary goal as a breeder is to produce a good-tempered companion with the ability to live a long, healthy life. I also expect my puppies to have the genetics and insticts to be superior hunting companions. You will never see any of my puppies advertised for sale on the various "puppy finding" websites (or "clearing houses" as I like to call them). People who are claiming "Strider aMaggie and Michel.nd/or Mira lines" probably did not get their dogs directly from me or my mother, but are trying to use our reputations as a marketing ploy. If you have any questions about whether or not we bred a certain dog, shoot me an e-mail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo descriptions:

 

Top: Michel with her first vizsla, Tanya, and her brother TJ in 1977

 

Middle Left: Michel handles Cass to a show win in 2006

 

Middle Right: Michel presenting Maggie after getting 2nd place in a 30-dog Open Derby stake held the day before the National Gun Dog Championship in 2007

 

Bottom: Michel presenting Maggie after she was awarded 2nd place at a Minnesota GSP field trial in 2006

 

 

 

 

 

Contact Mira Vizslas:

Ms. Michel Berner

michel@miravizslas.com
(715) 563-1459 between 9:00 am - 8:00 pm CST

 

E-mail contact preferred for initial contact

 

(#402366-DS)

 

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