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Dan & Bardine Levin
From Interview by Bernice Leroy in 2006

 

In an attempt to collect more information on the foundations of the Chow Chow in South Africa, Bernice & Franck Leroy tracked down a few “old-timers” and went to listen to their stories ...

Bardine & Dan Levin form an integral part of the "Rogoff story" - as their love for the Chow Chow as a breed stemmed from childhood, growing up with top quality Chow Chows.

 

Dan Levin is a business owner with a flair for the most enticing cooking! The sights in that kitchen had our tastebuds cheering!

Bardine is a graceful lady who is also very well known in the 'cat world' - for many years having bred beautiful Turkish Vans registered by the name "Bards".

Although she has stopped breeding the cats, Bardine showed us her last boy - Mr Balloo, and he is not only very beautiful and charming, but very very talkative! He carried on his own conversation with us at length!

 
   
 

The Turkish Van, like the Chow Chow, is a natural breed, very instinctive and can easily go feral & survive anything. It was not difficult, listening to her define the temperament, to understand her affinity for the Turkish Vans as well as for the Chow Chow. Some photos here courtesy Bardine as they appeared in All About Cats magazine.

 
   
   
 

Their daughter, Caron Cohen, is Head of Concepts at the University of Jerusalem in Israel (Bezalel) - some of her artwork adorning their home.

Their son, Alan, after obtaining his MBA, has been actively involved with the internet world, based in Cape Town & travelling extensively. Alan secured .co.za for South Africa.

Forming a stunning feature of their home is the artwork on the walls! Beautiful pieces that adorn a comfortable, unpretentious home of people quite at ease with themselves... they are a rarity in modern society where sense of worth is often found misplaced.

Bardine & Dan imported their own Chows from the UK. Minhow Monarch of the Veldt was imported to SA from the UK, in 1966. (Also known as "Lord Linus Levin" and "My Boy Linus".)

The story of how Linus ended up in their home, was quite entertaining, but slightly risky!

Puppy dog Linus arrived on Friday. Customs wanted the state vet to check the dog & provide the necessary documentation, but the state vet was not available until Monday! No way was that tiny puppy going to be left crated until Monday... so he was taken for a walk. And not returned, but taken home to their apartment in Corlett Drive, Rosebank. On Monday the state vet was given the opportunity to examine him and provide the papers, but not after a LOOOOONG lecture!

 
   
   
 

When Barney Rogoff saw this pup, he encouraged them to show him, as this rough red boy held much promise! He attended very few shows, but did superbly well:

** At 3 months of age, Non-Sporting Challenge 2nd (Utility Group 2nd) - Goldfields Kennel Club Match Show, 31 July 1966. (Judge: Mr H Pretorius)

** At 5 months, Non Sporting Challenge 1st (Utility Group 1st) at the SALKA Match Show, 11 September 1966. (Judge: Mr J Thomas)

** At 6 months, Reserve Grand Challenge Winner (Reserve Best in Show) at the Eastern Districts KC Match Show, 30 October 1966. (Judge: Mrs AJ Browning)

** At 11 months, CC & BOB Winner Eastern Districts KC Championship Show, 11 March 1967. This was his first, but also last championship show, as an unfortunate event at this show left their prize winning boy totally disenchanted with showing, and they decided to just enjoy him and his offspring back home.

 
   
   
 

The late Norma Sher, Bardine's sister-in-law had produced a lovely bitch named Katja. She was mated to Linus & produced a beautiful big red rough boy named Sonny.

Sonny was mated to a bitch named Hosea at the Lechengjoli Kennels of Mr Hawkins and produced litter sisters Lechengjoli Sonja & Lechengjoli Zocha of Kungfu. Sonny was also mated to a red girl named Heidi and this produced the last of their Chow Chows named Honey, a gorgeous shaded red rough bitch.

 
 

 

The Levin family were most generous in sharing their time & the remainder of their historical Chow Chow paraphernalia with us, and we thank them so much for filling in a gap in the South African Chow Chow history!

 
   
           
 

Written by Bernice Leroy.

Made possible by kind contributions of Bardine, Dan and Alan Levin.
Photos courtesy of Levin family & Franck Leroy.

More stories will be added over time as more memorabilia comes out of attics!

 
           
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