We are Selma and Eddie Kominek, and we live in Durham, North Carolina. I am a fourth year resident in neurological surgery at UNC Chapel Hill and Eddie is an electrical engineer who has the luck to be able to work from home for the small industrial software company he works for. Eddie and I have now been married for nine wonderful years, and I am so thankful each and every day for him. As you can imagine, a neurosurgical resident and engineer's life can be hectic, but we still manage to find time for show class, shows, coursing, and coursing practice when we can. However, no matter how busy our lives can get, our Afghan Hounds, Joey, Reza, Soleil, and Cersei, remain firmly ensconced as the centers of our lives and help ground us when life becomes hectic or stressful.
We got our first Afghan Hound in October of 2002. How we got to that point is a somewhat interesting story. I had loved and drawn Afghan Hounds in my notebooks since I was in grade school. I only rediscovered this when I was cleaning out my childhood room a couple of years ago and saw an Afghan Hound I had drawn in 5th grade (we already had our first two Afghans). However, my father, being more practically minded and having had a German Shepherd as a child, said we could have a GSD or nothing (certainly not some large, long haired dog). So naturally, wanting a dog, my sister and I chose the GSD option, and we were given Hawk. I trained Hawk to the novice level in obedience, and he taught me so much about loving and caring for a dog. He truly was a great friend and protector, and he would have done anything for my family. I was just beginning my third year of college when Hawk died at age nine in August of 2001. I had no idea I could grieve so strongly and so long for a dog, but I did.
It was during this period that I joined a support group for those who had recently lost a GSD. From this site, around January of 2002, I somehow got linked to a Saluki site, and from there, to an Afghan Hound site. My breath caught. This was the breed that haunted my imagination as a child. A breed so beautiful and magical I that I would have felt honored just to be near one. I quietly surfed Afghan Hound sites for the next few weeks, learning about their temperament, coat care, exercise requirements, etc. I literally became obsessed, surfing thousands of webpages that first year alone. I would day dream about them in my undergrad classes, and once again my notebooks became adorned with Afghan Hounds. Then came the book purchases off Amazon and ebay. I bought almost every book written on the breed in the last 75 years, and I still collect Afghan Hound books and magazine articles. Thankfully I maintained my straight As in college. Early into this obsession, I started mentioning the breed to Eddie, and quite honestly, he was not convinced. We had a Siamese cat at the time, Sasha, and I kept telling him how "catlike" the breed was, how gentle, how regal, and yet goofy with loved ones they were. Finally, Eddie acquiesced to visiting a dog show with me in Montgomery, AL, in the April of 2002. We were both entranced with the quiet elegant beauty of the Afghan, and well, the rest as you say is history.
So, naturally, for my dream of us owning an Afghan to come to fruition, we now needed a house of some sort, as we were then living in an apartment. I can honestly say that us wanting a dog (me being the main instigator) was probably the main reason we bought our townhouse. By mid October of 2002 we brought the 4 month old Phoebe, Enchante Let Them Eat Cake, home. Phoebe came from a small hobby kennel in Tennessee. Her mom was a champion, and her father was bequeathed to her breeder, Linda Wright, by the late Joe Klutchinsky of Bokhara Afghan Hounds. Phoebe soon taught us the ways of an Afghan—how we should never leave something edible laying around, how confoundingly intelligent they can be. But Phoebe also taught us the gentle, loving, regal nature of an Afghan. She loved when strangers would "ooh" and "aaah" at her beauty, and would now and then honor a lucky passerby with a quick lick and a wag. We had high hopes for Phoebe in the show ring, but unfortunately, as she matured, it became evident that not only did she not enjoy showing, but that her conformation was simply not competitive. We would later rehome Phoebe to a nice pet home as we could never really get her over travel sickness with any extended trip and she really preferred being the only girl Af in the house. We still miss her, our tulipy-roo.
It was at this point, in the early fall of 2003, that we began to look for a male to show. I had in my mind what I wanted, a goofy, confident male with attitude, and movement. Little did I know that we would have every single wish fulfilled in Joey. Joey went on to finish both conformation and Rally titles and has been a joy to live with. Because of our limited time and resources, he was never really campaigned to the extent that I feel that he deserved.
In the spring of 2006, we added Reza to our brood, and she is a regal, ladylike, prissy creature that adores us. She is now retired from conformation, a major short of finishing, but she never did love it to the extent Joey did. I think in a way she deemed being exhibited beneath her. She is very much old type Dureigh in style, with patterning galore. She did do well in lure coursing and was our introduction to this wonderful sport. Reza was nationally ranked in 2007 in ASFA coursing.
Soleil joined the family in April of 2009, and she has been so much fun. She was our second conformation champion, and is beautifully correct. Soleil's true love, however is coursing. She adores coursing. Soleil has multiple Best in Fields, and has her AKC and ASFA Field Championships, and has an AKC LCX. She was also the dam of our first litter in June 2011, the Game of Thrones litter. Soleil is a fabulous bitch, and we are very grateful for her.
We are serious about lure coursing with our guys, so much so that we have our own coursing machine that we use for practices. We believe that an Afghan should not only be beautiful and conformationally correct, but also be able to prove their soundness, speed, and instinct on the field. Our first Afghan, Phoebe, got her JC in 2005 and this was the first time Eddie and I saw coursing in action. Reza enjoyed coursing in 2007/2008, and Soleil has been our first really competitive coursing hound with 3 Best in Fields and an LCX. She was the #3 AKC Afghan Hound in 2011even though she took half the year off to have her first litter. Cersei, Soleil's daughter, is Dual Champion as well, and has also racked up 3 Best in Fields in her short career to date! Multiple pups from our first litter are pointed in the ring and field.
We live on 3 acres, and the dogs enjoy over an acre of fenced running space which we feel is very important for development of running gear and emotional well being of the hounds.
Eddie and I have been married since August 1, 2003. He is the light of my life, our senses of humor and out interests mesh so well, and I feel so lucky that both of us share a passion for our hobby of dog shows, and of course, the regal, the unforgettable, the ancient, and glorious breed that is the Afghan Hound.