Casa Lago Portuguese Water Dogs

We bought our first Portuguese Water Dog in 1990, after watching the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on television. In 1990, PWDs were hard to find and it took many calls to find a person who had actually seen one. On our arrival to view this breed, we knocked at the wrong door and heard what sounded like a pack of ferocious Dobermans. We looked at each other with the full understanding that these dogs might not be for us. We stayed with the dogs for 5 hours and would not go home without a promise of a PWD to join our lives.

Four months later, Neecho came to live with us and our lives dramatically changed. Although we had dogs all of our lives, we had never thought of entering them in a “dog show”. Since Neecho became AKC conformation eligible at six months of age, most weekends at least one of our dogs is being shown in conformation somewhere

Because there were so few PWDs in the Midwest in 1990, everyone knew everyone else and we got together as often as schedules allowed. The Portuguese Water Dog Club of America had been formed in 1982 and was based mostly in the East. The Portuguese Water Dog Club of the Twin Cities (MN) was having a get-together and we brought 9 week old Neecho to meet more of his relatives. Many of the people at the party were from Chicago and in Fall of 1990, the Portuguese Water Dog Club of Greater Chicagoland was chartered with Rich Quigley of Chicago as its’ first president. Rae volunteered to begin a Newsletter. The first issue of Shorelines was out in Fall 1990. Tim has been President, Vice President, and is currently Treasurer of the PWDCGC; Rae was Shorelines Editor for the first three years, the Water Events Chairman for the past two years and has been active on several National committees.

Nine months after Neecho entered our lives, Frankie came to live with us. Totally amazed with this breed, within the next few years we added Azi, Vada and Myke-Myke.

Casa Lago is located in Antioch, Illinois and currently consists of 2 ½ fenced acres in the country with a pond. Our dogs have full access to the house and the pond, to swim and play and romp.

Casa Lago has been the site for the PWDCGC Annual Picnic for the past 11 years. Club member and guest dogs are free to run and swim and play off lead all day while their human parents can relax and enjoy the interaction with other PWD owners. We hold water training classes each weekend in the pond – The Pond Puppy Training Center – where we train young puppies with no water experience up to Courier level dogs. The trainers are local club members who have a track record with water training as well as trainers we may invite from around the country. There is generally no fee for these classes.

Tim O’Neill and Rae Kweder


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