Blind boerboel breeder knows how to spot a champion dog

2015-12-29 14:30
(Werner Hills, Die Burger)

(Werner Hills, Die Burger)

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Port Elizabeth – A blind boerboel breeder can "see" with his hands what few others can see with their eyes - and his track record bears testimony to this. 

Neville Comley, from Theescombe in Port Elizabeth, recently - for the fourth consecutive year - was named Boerboel Breeder of the Year by the Eastern Cape Boerboel Association. 

"Maybe it's just lots of luck... And maybe it has something to do with the two years I spent studying the bloodlines of the boerboel," Comley joked.

Comley, who suffers from the hereditary disease, retinitis pigmentosa, lost about 90% of his sight by the time he was 19 years old. But then he turned to one of his other senses - that of touch - to carry on working with animals. 

First it was show horses. Then, about eight years ago, he stumbled on the exclusive world of purebred boerboel breeders. 

"When I started discovering what the breeding involves, I dedicated two years to studying their bloodline. Then I spent another three years on trying to bring the perfect bloodlines together."

These experimental efforts finally paid off with Ben-Hur, his 2-year-old show dog, which boasts a mark of 92.3 – the highest in the province. 

But his efforts over the last couple of years to be recognised as the breeder of the best boerboels in the province, counted for more. Because this top dog's status reflected in the cost of owning a part of this bloodline - around R10 000 for one of the litter. 

Comley has already started grooming a new champion dog for 2017. For now, details about the "champion dog in waiting" is still shrouded in secrecy, but Comley is convinced it will rein supreme in the boerboel fraternity.

"It's bloodline will be very sought after. I can't even put a price on it yet." 

Comley recently proposed to "his eyes and love of his life" Lizette Matzner. 

"I can tell you one thing - that R10 000 bloodline fee is nothing compared to what an engagement rings costs," he laughed.

Read more on:    port elizabeth  |  animals

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