My beagle dog Daragoj Matter of Time left on loan for the United States in December 2002 when Mrs. Lesley Hiltz came to Finland to pick him up. Details of the loan were agreed in writing before her arrival. My condition for the loan was that the dog would be returned to me by the Hiltzes after the Beagle Club National Speciality in 2003. I never relinquished my ownership of the dog, although it was agreed that the dog would be nominally in co-ownership with the Hiltzes while he was in the United States (as it seems to be important for some people to have their own names on a dog even if it is not bred or owned by them!).

Despite repeated requests in writing asking the Hiltzes to return my dog as agreed, they have refused. Instead, they and some of their friends have embarked on a malicious whispering campaign against me - and it seems to me that people who I have had very little to do with over the years seem to know my affairs better than I do myself! it is also astonishing how many people believe these stories without checking the facts. The purpose of the campaign seems to be to divert attention from the fact that the Hiltzes still have my dog in their possession. This, in my mind, constitutes theft.

In view of the above, I would appreciate it if anyone who owns dogs bred by me would refuse to sell their offspring to these people or to allow the use of these dogs in breeding by them.

Update as of April 2005: You may have noticed that the presentation of Daragoj Matter of Time has disappeared from the Starbucks-Torbay website. This does not mean that the dog has been returned to me. In fact, I don't know whether the Hiltzes still have him or whether he has been sold to someone else. However, I hear reports of his offspring going to various overseas destinations so apparently he is considered a useful stud dog.


Daragoj Kennel