In Memory of
Mufasa Borzoi
Home of the True Blue Located in Baltimore, MD

Two Generations-Knight & his Mom Ebony Rose

Vanessa Johnson passed away in November of 2014. These pages are being maintained as a tribute to Vanessa, not only as a successful breeder of Borzoi but more importantly as a wonderful and loving person who brought joy and happiness into the lives of all who were fortunate enough to meet her.

Her life was much more than just a life of a dog fancier, it was a full life with a wonderful family, parents, a daughter, grandchildren, brothers, sisters and many, many friends. The Borzoi brought joy to Vanessa and also joy to others who were fortunate enough to own Borzoi that she had bred. I hope that in the future these pages will serve to remind us of our friend and introduce people who may own descendents of her dogs to Vanessa and her hounds of Mufasa.

Notes and additions to the original site by Bonnie Dalzell, fortunate owner of Mufasa Midknight O Silkenswift, one of the finest dogs I have ever owned

After her retirement Vanessa founded ShuttlePet, a highly rated dog transportation service

The Beginning       

As was the custom every year, for my daughter's birthday, we went to the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus.  It was during these times that I became enamored and fascinated by a Russian circus performer who used Russian Wolf Hounds (Borzoi) in her act.  The dogs were not only elegant but seemed surreal.  So, when in 1979 I saw an ad in the paper advertising Borzoi for sale, I immediately jumped at the opportunity and cut out the Ad, pasting it to my refrigerator only to discover to my dismay that I could not afford the price.  Disappointed but not daunted, I kept searching the paper and in 1983 I finally saw an ad for a 6 month old Borzoi.  I contacted the lady, made an appointment and two days later went to see the puppy.  Without knowing anything about the breed, I bought my first Borzoi: Gayland.

 At six months old Gayland was a very spirited and dominant puppy who had a very difficult time listening to my eight year old daughter.  It seems that Gayland would get into the trash and when reprimanded by my daughter would growl and snap at her.  After another one of those episodes my daughter called me frantic and I coached her into how to reprimand Gayland.  Not knowing exactly how to train a Borzoi, I immediately sought help and found an ad for Borzoi training by Bonnie Dalzell.

 When Bonnie met Gayland, her first reaction was, "boy this dog is obnoxious.  I began meeting with Bonnie twice a week and immediately saw the improvement in Gayland's attitude.  While working with Bonnie, she began talking about a sport for dogs called Lure Cursing.  I attended a trial, and was hooked.  Unfortunately, I found out that Gayland couldn't run because he had a degenerative spine disease called wobblers, and had to be put down. Bonnie suggested that I contact the breeder who now lived in Florida and tell her of the problem and request a replacement for Gayland.  At this time I knew a little bit more about Borzoi so  requested not only a replacement, but a show quality replacement and I would pay the difference.  She sent me my first show dog, Victor, a beautiful white and gold.

 Victor and I entered the show ring in 1991 as novices, he trained me and I trained him and we emerged better for the experience.  I was excited and motivated to move forward in the breed, thus when my friend who was staying with me, decided to move after buying Rosebud from Bonnie, I convinced her to sign the bitch over to me since I was the one taking care of her anyway and she happily agreed.  Rosebud became my first ASFA (American Sight hound Field Association) field champion, CD (Companion Dog) and JOR.  A CD on Rosebud was a great accomplishment because this title is not easy to receive on a sight hound due to the fact that they do not have the temperament of a working dog.  Since then I have been able to acquire 2 more CD's.  I bought another bitch, Ebony, from Bonnie who became the number one ASFA hound in 1992, and thus began the making of my kennel.

 My kennel name Mufasa (king leader) came from the Lion King, a movie that is one of my favorites.  In 1995 after researching and learning as much as I could about Borzoi, I decided to breed my first litter.  This litter was intended to be bred strictly for coursing and obedience and thus my choice was a breeding of Rosebud (Silkenswift Rosebud, CD, JOC, SC, FC) to Banner (Silkenswift Red Banner).  The pups from this match took placements in the sweeps at my first National in 1997 and produced two field champions.  At this same Nationals, Ebony took fourth place in the triathlon and two of those pups got their first leg of a CD.

 After the success with my first litter, I decided that my second litter would be bred for showing/confirmation and coursing.  In 1997 Ebony (FC Silkenswift Ebony Rose, CD, ORC, MC, FC) was bred to Phoenix (DC Kalakirya Howoff Phoenix, SC), which produced two dual champions and three field champions. 

 In 1990 I joined  DASH, lure coursing club and then in 2003 the Potomac Valley Borzoi confirmation club.  I am also a member of BCOA (Borzoi Club of America) since then I have been breeding, coursing and showing as well as gotten more involved with my clubs.  Due to my involvement with my clubs and my great interest in Lure Coursing, in 1997 I became an ASFA all breed Lure Coursing judge and in 1999 an AKC (American Kennel Club) judge as well.  I have judged quite possibly everywhere in the Continental United States.

 My future goals are to handle a dog of my breeding to win a Triathlon at the Borzoi National Specialty and continue to breed healthy long lived dogs.  Because I've never been in a hurry to breed, my motto is, "Breeding for Quality not Quantity.

The Past

The Future

Important Contributors
to our success

The Next Generation

Living with others

Indigo, Novel & Basa breaking from the box

Knight Coursing