Onida Halona. A combination of the native languages of the Oneida and Muscogee nations, which means “the awaited one of happy fortune.”
Befitting her name, Halona, a champion Great Dane, brings happiness to those around her, especially her owner, Kathy Patterson.
Halona won three awards at the 2018 Great Dane Club of America Midwest Division on Oct. 25-27 in Topeka, Kansas. She brought home First Place in “Open Bitch Fawn,” and “Winner’s Bitch,” and “Best of Winners.”
“To get this win was a lifetime dream,” Patterson said. “It doesn’t happen very often with Great Danes.”
To get an award winning dog isn’t easy. Patterson said to get a dog like Halona people need to start with quality breeders, food, training, and socialization.
Patterson said it’s important to make sure a dog is coming from a quality breeder.
Quality breeders will test dogs for the heart, hips, elbow, eyes and thyroid. The heart is the top killer of the breed.
People need to look for breeders that look at type, temperament and health and not for money, Patterson said.
“Unethical breeders don’t test for that stuff,” Patterson said.
Kibble isn’t on the menu for Halona. She is only fed raw foods of 1.8 pounds of a balanced meal, morning and evening.
“You feed them the best food you possibly can. My dogs are 100 percent raw fed,” Patterson said. “Raw meat, no kibble.”
Patterson said being fed a raw diet gives Great Danes a better chance of surviving.
Training a show dog starts from Day 1 until the day they die.
Patterson said Halona has been training every day for 2 ½ years.
“The judges said that she was ‘so correct for the breed,’” Patterson said.
At competitions, judges looked at Halona to make sure she met the Great Dane standard. They examine the dogs to make sure they have all their teeth, their ears are positioned correctly, the parallel and size of the muzzle to the back skull, length of neck, the transition from the neck to the shoulders, movement and other qualities.
For a show dog to be confident in front of the judges, they need to be comfortable with all sorts of people.
“Socialization is key because they need to be confident around strangers, other dogs and in strange places,” Patterson said.
Why Great Danes?
“Why Great Danes? Why not?” Patterson said.
Patterson has shown over 50 dog breeds in her 40 years of showcasing them. She has owned Great Danes for about 20 years now.
“They actually become part of your heart,” she said. “They truly do.”
Patterson would like to thank her two sons and her dog show family.
Halona truly lives up to the happy fortune her name brings.