Amazing what the website brings. Oh the stories I could tell….
First of all the website was begun as a tribute to my good friend and houndsman, Mike Capozzi. Mike is “old school” so the thought of him doing a website is out of the question. The website is also a tribute to these merry hounds that have brought us so much joy. Without a doubt, most of the responses that I have received have been positive and have come from those that know Mike or myself, and have had a hound with our breeding. Those that did not know me personally, once I spoke with them and they found out that I was “approved” by Mike, felt very comfortable with me. Others question my motives and authenticity and think they are the only ones to know the best direction the Patch Kennel should take. Let me assure all those doubters out there that I’m not out to change the Patch Kennel or even put my own stamp on the hounds. My goal is to keep alive and preserve the qualities that have been handed down in these hounds for over a century. I do not expect to make a single cent of profit and I do not desire fame. I have been truly blessed to have great family and friends as well as a career that is satisfying both personally and financially. When it comes to the hounds, money is not part of the equation.
Mike has told me of breeders who “had dollar signs in their eyes” and I have witnessed it myself. The patch craze blooms and fades. In my collection of Hounds & Hunting magazines (almost 100 years of issues), there are times when the people selling patch hounds rise and there are times when they are absent. In the early 80’s, my uncle and I visited a ‘patch’ kennel that was advertised in H&H and the so-called “breeder” acknowledged that he was producing pups to turn a buck. He never had the hounds out and was just breeding paper. When he learned that my uncle knew Willet, he didn’t know how to react. I learned a lot that day. Today, I believe the internet has its benefits as well as its curse to the hounds. Those with a silver coated tongue can hide behind their keyboards and spew garbage that sounds like gold. They could make a hare hunter want to purchase a traditional brace hound and an Eskimo buy an ice cube. They have amassed verbiage from everyone and everywhere and can emit brilliance (sarcasm intended) with every syllable.
When I decided to dive head first into the hounds, I could have gone in any direction that I chose. I was single, had a fat wallet, and time to burn. I travelled to visit many kennels, big and small, with an empty dog box and my checkbook in hand. I had definite standards and ideals in mind. Also I would not deal with anyone whom I did not admire personally or did not have high standards. Surprisingly, this eliminated many, many people. To this day, I am a very good judge of people. Maybe it’s my business background and dealing with people daily that has refined this skill but I find out that I am usually correct in my initial assessment of people. Some talk a good story, others have the hounds to back it up.