KIRA SERIES – P. Gail Burnham


The Kira Series is a 13-part articles series by Patricia Gail Burnham about Sheena, an AKC greyhound, and her life with her pups — especially tiny Kira —  beginning from conception to birth, to puppyhood, and to their adulthood. The stories ran in CG Magazine from Fall 1997 through Spring 2001. The author, her bitch, Sheena, and several of her pups lived together all of Sheena’s life until Sheena passed away at age 13. If you want an intimate look at the life of a greyhound family in every stage, this is the place to read about it.  You will see humor, sadness, sibling love and sibling rivalry and get an intimate view of what AKC greyhounds do and what they are all about. They are probably no different had they been NGA greyhounds raised and living at home.

Who Is Patricia Gail Burnham?

Gail Burnham adopted her first Greyhound from the Sacramento SPCA in 1968. He was a middle aged coursing dog and the best sales dog for his breed that one could imagine. She acquired her first show bred Greyhounds in 1973. Back then there was no such thing as Greyhound adoption. The racing people were still telling people that Greyhounds didn’t make good pets and killing their surplus dogs.

Gail started writing about obedience training Greyhounds in 1976. Her first two Greyhound puppies became DC Midnight Shadow Traveler UDTX and his sister DC California Sunshine Traveler UDT, LCM. Tiger was the first CH. UDT and the first TDX Greyhound and Sunny was the first Lure Courser of Merit Greyhound.

Gail wrote hundreds of magazine articles, plus two dog training books illustrated with Greyhounds, “Playtraining Your Dog”: in 1981 and “Treats, Play, Love: Make Dog Training Fun For You and Your Best Friend.” in 2008. She contributed regularly to Celebrating Greyhounds for the magazines first five years, most notably the Kira series which was a finalist in the Dog Writer’s Association writing contest. She won a DWAA award for the poem, “The Red Bitch’s Hunt.” which was part of a series of poems about Coventry and the Red Bitch. Currently she is retired, still writing about dogs, and living with the descendants of the original Tiger.

She and several friends, who also show and course their Greyhounds, share puppies from a litter, so that when one of them has old dogs, they all have old dogs. Then whomever has the best bitch breeds a litter and those puppies are shared among the friends as replacements. The current youngsters are the sixth generation of dual champions down from Tiger in almost forty years. He had a great personality, and temperament is inherited.

She is a judge for Conformation, Obedience, Tracking, and Lure Coursing, and is still training Greyhounds for all these events.

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