I was in high school when I bought my first boxer.  He was by SoMarLe Firechief out of Vel-Hi's Tigger.  We called him Eeyore.  Our family instantly fell in love with the breed.  When I graduated, our family purchased another boxer, Dean's Widow Maker, also of Vel-Hi breeding.  The two had one litter which produced my first Special K Boxer.  

Special K's Baron of Christo C.D. was my first obedience boxer.  Not long after, I bought Special K's Brandi Wine, C.D.X. She was a wonderful obedience dog and I was hooked!  Which led to dreams of Boxers with titles on both ends.  I next purchased Special K's Candy Bandit, C.D., also Vel-Hi bred.  I soon found out how hard it would be to finish plain.  By this time, I had raised, loved and finished many obedience titles.

Then I met John and Carol Connolly!  They helped me rescue a Huffand bitch that was not being cared for.  She was Nastinan's Ace In The Hole, C.D.  This poor girl was surrounded by bad luck.  I put a few points on her, then decided I should giver her a better chance with a handler.  Dave Schwartz of DeJon Boxers put a few more points on her and eleven major reserves.  Frustrated and out of money, Abra and I headed to the ring, and together, accomplished another C.D.  I bred Abra to Am.Can. Ch. Wincaster's Tyger of Huffand.  She didn't get pregnant but was very ill after that.  She was found to have an infection and a lot of damage to her uterus.  After a lot of vet bills and getting her well again, we bred her again to Ch. DeJon's Double Dutch and got two male puppies.  I kept and showed Special K's Ala Kazam, C.D.  He was minored out quickly but never got his majors.  Back to the obedience ring and another C.D.  While working Alex for his C.D.X. he started to pass out on occasion (about once every 6 months).  Knowing what we know now, he probably had cardiomyopathy.  He died at six years old in my arms.  Abra was never bred again and lived to be eleven.

I really thought that would be the end of my hopes of having Champions after hitting so many brick walls.  Then two wonderful people came to my rescue!  Meg Sailor and Sue Ann Thompson had co-bred a litter and had two beautiful little girls.  They told me to take my pick.  I took the love of my life, Ch. Sailor's Special K Carbon Copy, better known as Ditto.  She was my dream come true, and more!  She was my first Champion, my first Grand Sweeps, my first Best of Breed and produced my fist home bred Champion.  I owe so much to these two wonderful women!

I bred Ditto to the one and only Ch. Heldenbrand's Jet Breaker, SOM LOM.  My dreams were coming true.  I kept two from this litter.  Special K's Surely You Jet, a semi-flashy brindle girl, was pointed, but plain was still and issue back then.  I bred her once.  Soon after I found myself in the beginning of a divorce.  I placed the puppies in loving homes and took some time off.

The male Ch. Special K's A Jet of My Own, SOM was my first home bred Champion, my first Best In Specialty Show winner, my first Group placement, my first Group 1 (all owner/breeder handled), my first Sire of Merit and my constant companion!  I know in the right hands he could have been great, but to me he already was and I couldn't part with him.  But thanks to all who tried to encourage me to let him go!  He made Special K Boxers what we are!  He is missed daily!
Jet died two days before his twelfth birthday.  

Out of Jet's first litter I was given a nice fawn bitch, KO's Special K Precious Jewel.  I never got her majors on her and that's my fault, she deserved to finish.  She gave me one litter but had to be spayed due to pyometra.  That litter produced two Champions, Ch. Special K's New Beginnings, co-owned with Val Lillibridge and Ken Beck, and my girl, Ch. Special K's New Hope.  We now had three home bred Champions.

In 2004 our life changed again.  I married my best friend, Pat Epley.  He understands me and loves the dogs as our children.  What else could I ask for?  Oh, unpaid kennel help and constant cheerleader of Special K kids!  Pat is a farmer so we have moved to the farm, still in Iowa.  

We don't breed often, but when we do it's with a lot of thought and love.

Good luck to all and give those Boxer kids an extra hug today, you never know how long you get to keep them!

-Rhonda Epley