Risha - an arabian princess

Übersetzung: Sloughi-World.de

Eines der späteren
Eines der späteren "Bächtiger-Mobile"

January 1975. It is early in the morning. We drove through the whole night to arrive at Genua-Port punctually. Still a little sleepy we look at the colourful activities at the harbour area. We smell diesel, fruits, pastry and stagnant water. For us a wonderful scent as it means freedom and - who knows? -adventure. All our goods and chattels we have packed into our Land-Rover. Will we be able to continue there what we experienced in 1972? Three months we then spent in the Sahara and made wonderful friends with two- and four-legged inhabitants. The Family Marc-Thomas with their beautiful high-legged bitch Dolly, which had sat up with me day and night at my bedside as I was ill, and when I recovered she with delight dug half of the garden - we wanted to visit this family again at Agadez.

Whilst standing busy with my thoughts somebody gently touches my shoulder. "Now, where do you intend to go?"- "To the Sahara, where else?" - "Glad to hear it, my name is Stallberg", the friendly man introducing himself, by the way: Do you know the Sloughis?"

Do we already see pictures of these wonderful hounds because of only dreaming, for Dr. Stallberg addresses just us? He lived on the island of Djerba for many years, has kept and bred Sloughis, which he had brought exclusively from the region of Chott El Djerid. We look forward to the journey to Tunis, as Dr. Stallberg promises to show to us many pictures of his Sloughis and from hunting-scenes in the Sahara.

Now we are sitting in the pleasant drinking saloon of the Danish Ferry. Our topic for the one-and-a-half day crossing is clear: Sloughis! Before our journey we had been looking for a four-legged companion at animal-homes, breeders and even TV-broadcast by Heidi Abel, but there never was anything useful. Now, after seeing these wonderful pictures of Sloughis and listening to stories about qualities and characters, bringing up and friendship of this race from the Arabian Nights, we know what we had been looking for.

We are enjoying the first mild days of January in Tunisia. At a little market-place outside Tunis we buy some vegetables, bread and fruits. We want to reach Douz very soon, where there are, so we are told, the most beautiful and most typical Sloughis, Sloughis, that are traditionally bred, kept and brought into use when hunting.

Light-sand-coloured, if possible without a mask and it should be a male-dog, our dearest-wish-Sloughi, a whelp of course, with a good back and nice upright legs! Naturally, without the traditionally cut-in-ears and scars from burning on the forelegs. We want to take our new friend back to Europe, and who would understand there, why his ears are cut-in!

At last! We are standing at the entrance of DOUZ. The "Garde National" checks every car going into or out of the village. Wants to know where we come from and where we want to go to. "We are looking for Sloughis", we tell him. He grins and says: "There are no Sloughis here". We decide to wander through the Oasis all the same. Seems to be large and very nice .

After a long walk we sit down in a little Café at the market square and we are disappointed. There is indeed not a single Sloughi to be seen, not even from the distance. We sip our Cola and decide to spend a few days at Douz. Rolf calls the waiter to pay the bill. The waiter shakes his head. "Everything is paid for", he says and points to a gentleman at the counter. The donor turns out to be the "Garde National".

He confesses that he followed us and observed how we behaved. And now he had a surprise for us. Tonight he will take us to a hunter who owns several Sloughis and also breeds them. Perhaps, there is one to be obtained.

Die Gastgeberfamilie mit Rosy Bächtiger.
Die Gastgeberfamilie mit Rosy Bächtiger.
Die ersten Tage mit Richa
Die ersten Tage mit Richa

It doesn't want to get evening! Our patience is tried. Et last - Tabor picks us up and we drive together to the hunter's house. We have to wait outside, but we hear, something is going on in the yard: Several Sloughis must be in there, above all hunting-hounds. The inside yard is very nice: tiled floor, in the middle there is a draw-well, shady trees - we think unintendedly of the Alhambra at Granada. Tahar returns. The hunter wants to negotiate with Rolf.

Light-sand-coloured and graceful, like carved, is the Sloughi-girl - the most beautiful Sighthound we have ever seen. We want to greet her at once, but oha! First she shows her teeth to us and growls. We stand back again. As Rolf doesn't speak Arabian nor French the men kneel down and try to make one another understood by "drawing" symbols into the sand. It seems both of them agree and they confirm the deal by a strong hand-clasp. Only now the hunter greets me too. And now we may also stroke the Sloughi-girl - as she has learnt that we are friends now. Peacefully she allows us scratch her gently. Risha is her name, that means "feather". No other name could better suit her!

The hunter is a Hotel-Owner and we take a seat in his inside-yard. The nights are still cool. Risha curls on the knees of her master, covered by a warming Djella-bah. This evening we learn almost everything a future owner of a Sloughi has to know. But that the Sloughi sleeps in his master's bed is surprising for us and new. I ask myself, how is this going to be? Our bed in the Land-Rover is exactly 110 x 180 cm small. In my happiness I decide to call little Risha my property and if need be to sleep upside-down.

Now we sit straight as a ramrod in our car and think about how to share out the room, Risha cuddling against Rolf.

And what concerns our intentions: There always was something about a male-dog without cut-in ears and scars from burning, and it should have been a whelp. But nothing better could have happened to us than to get Risha (with cut-in ears). This night I sleep stiff and motionless, while Risha is stretching out her legs. As I want to spread the blankets over us the following evening, little Risha creeps quickly as lightning under one blanket and curls up. Thus she shows that she wants to sleep covered.

We stay ten more days at Douz and are handed from family to family like old friends.

Then the journey goes on against the sun: Algeria, Niger, two months at Agadez, wonderful excursions in the Ténéré-Mountains. Far and wide we hear once again: "Aha, you are the young people with the Sloughi". Risha is always with us. Brainy, as the girl is, teaches us everything a good and happy Sloughi-Owner has to know. No book of the world would have been able to lead us into the Sloughi-Soul so charmingly and artfully.

Now at last we know what we were looking for over one year: not a hound, no, a Sloughi, still more exactly: a Risha. Our princess has conquered more than one heart through the years. Friends were made with breeders and Sloughi-Admirers in Switzerland, in France and Germany. The "little lady without ears" was known by nearly everybody. The affection for the Sloughi, but also for the Sahara, this endless, legendary desert, connects us with Monsieur X P (Xavier Przezdziecki) in France.

It is again and again a topic when speaking, as this wise old gentleman had lived in Algeria for 35 years. He is ahead of all of us not only for his knowledge on Sloughis, but he also speaks the Arabian language. On our long journey we wanted to learn some more about the country and people and above all about the Sloughis, but unfortunately the older people with their large knowledge and their rich experiences don't speak French.

The harmony of beauty, intelligence, strength and gracefulness of the Sloughi is a daily miracle.

Richa (vorne) und Sharaf D'Ain Gh'Zel - der Anfang von el Djerid
Richa (vorne) und Sharaf D'Ain Gh'Zel - der Anfang von el Djerid

After returning to Europe we soon had a question: What about Breeding? We were asked whether we would hand over Risha for breeding. We wouldn't of course do that. We never could separate. But we thought over, the Sloughi is a piece of Arabian culture. Risha is perfectly built, is a wonderful positive being, has a fantastic radiance with a brightness in her eyes, so that you can get soft knees, and finally she has an amazing hunting-instinct - ideal suppositions for breeding.

Once more Risha took over our decision. The Sloughi male-dog Sharaf conquered her heart. For hours they were frolicsome and they prattled. And she had really chosen an imposing lover. Big, attractive elegance, light-sand-coloured, nearly mother of pearl-coloured, with large dark eyes and an amazing pigment, nose, flews jet-black, a masculine radiance and a safe and calm creature. Risha's taste was unequalled.

On 1st February 1978 Risha gave birth to five whelps. She proved a strict and high-spirited mother.

Risha mit ihren Welpen
Risha mit ihren Welpen

Today, after fourteen years, we are very proud of our El-Djerid-Family. It is bred by Risha's successors in two Dutch, two German and in our two Swiss breeds. During this time we have learnt a lot. We have learnt to observe. In the Orient every family have their own ideal-attitude of mind, and the colours of the Sloughis vary according to the condition of the soil. For us there were at the beginning only sand-coloured Sloughis without a mask. With El-Djerid today there are three black-and tan ("sable, manteau noir" the Arabs say) and one sand-coloured Sloughi, and now we know: A good Sloughi has "no" colour. Body, being and radiance should be in harmony - as it is with our Arabian Princess.


Impressions from the desert:

Richa im Alter von 10 Jahren bei einem weiteren Aufenthalt in Nordafrika. D'Jadine el Djerid
Richa im Alter von 10 Jahren bei einem weiteren Aufenthalt in Nordafrika. D'Jadine el Djerid - the later world winner
Cous-Cous Essen in Algerien, 1983 Risha und ihre Töchter Debabshah und D'Jadine auf einer Algerien Reise
Cous-Cous Essen in Algerien, 1983 Risha und ihre Töchter Debabshah und D'Jadine auf einer Algerien Reise
Richa mit ihren Töchtern Debabshah und D'Jadine in der Schweiz Begegnung in Mali 1983: Risha (rechts) beschnuppert einen einheimischen Azawakh.
Richa mit ihren Töchtern Debabshah und D'Jadine in der Schweiz Begegnung in Mali 1983: Risha (rechts) beschnuppert einen einheimischen Azawakh.
Extreme-Relaxing: Risha  
Extreme-Relaxing: Risha