As a child in the early 1970's I was crazy for dogs. I hoarded dog books and borrowed more from the library. I instantly fell in love with the beautiful elegant Salukis on the photos and chose them to be my "favourite breed". But I never saw a real, living Saluki. This happened only in 1993 when Christian took up his job in an advertising agency and his boss, Dietrich Munder, talked with him about animals during one late night's overtime working. Christian told about our horses – our Purebred Arabian stallion Ramak, our Quarter Horse mare Citty and their colt Dusty -, and Dietrich talked about his Salukis, MCH Firouz el Taschara and Cambaz Hadi el Basher. It didn't take long and we were invited to visit a track race in which the now 8-years old Firouz should participate. So on Whitsunday we went to the race track in Hoisdorf near Hamburg and after more than 20 years I finally saw my very first Saluki – Firouz, who was not the least interested in us "strangers" and ignored us completely. Dietrich and his wife Ulli told us that a litter by Firouz had just been born, the F-litter in the El Mahbub-kennel. Photos were shown but to be honest, in my untrained eyes these could have been Rottweiler-puppies as well... The race impressed us tremendously, we liked the whole scene and atmosphere on the track very much. So we went to see the training there quite often during the next two months, also visited a show, met further Salukis and fell more and more deeply in love with this wonderful ancient nobility of dog world. So it came that Ulli soon thought us to be ideal Saluki people and convinced us – Christian, that is, I had no clue! – to take a little daughter of Firouz. This little almost black furry puppy was brought from her home kennel in the middle of Germany by Ulli and Dietrich in July, put in my lap and introduced to me as "Fatouma" which was one of the two names that I had suggested for that litter. Still not having any suspicion I uttered, "well, then she's my 'godchild'" – and was told that that's not all, she is now MY SALUKI!! Everyone had known about it, except me...!!! I want to give my sincere thanks again to Fatouma's breeder Willy Fuchs who – in absolute contradiction to his usual custom – had entrusted this puppy to people he did not know, just for Ulli's word.

Fatouma grew up to be a magnificent bitch, the image of her sire Firouz, with a certain touch of glamour added which she owes to her dam Danisa el Mahbub. She is very fond of track racing – when doing her very first run on the Hamburg-Farmsen racetrack she caught the "hare" already after 20 meters – the trainer had not expected such a young bitch to run at such a speed. On her very first lure-coursing in February 1995 she was 2nd. For showing we had to practice a little bit – but she learnt so well to present herself that she finished her German championship at 3 years of age. We are very proud on her title "DWZRV-Winner" which she achieved in 1996 – in that year she won both DWZRV-Winner-Coursings and both DWZRV-Winner-Shows – and on the German Championship for Beauty and Performance.

Apart from the "official" part of her life Fatouma is a unique friend who shares "kisses", "sings" to us and is sometimes very talkative, untiring companion on long rides through the country side, reliable "bed warmer" and sometimes even obedient... Her greatest passion is track racing, still today at nearly 8 years she behaves like crazy when she only hears the machine that draws the "hare" and nearly tears my arm off when we finally move towards the starting boxes.

My second "godchild" Farascha (whose name was also my idea) came to us at the age of 18 months when we could save her from a rescue situation. Her first owner had to get rid of her two Salukis – she also had a 3-year old bitch – quickly because she was having trouble with her landlord. Of course we acted at once! Unfortunately her first owner did not rear her properly. When the two bitches were given to their new owners Farascha was a little heap of bones and skin while the other bitch was a fat as a hippo. Obviously she did not leave much food to little Farascha. Previously living in the countryside both bitches were sometimes away for days, hunting roedeer successfully. At that time Farascha was only 9 months old and very delicate – what remains from this time of her life are her weak front feet (which had been absolutely correct when she was a puppy!), her tremendous excitement when we see roedeer during a walk or a ride, and her greed for everything edible – as if there would be nothing to eat from next day onwards. It was also not easy to wake her passion for the "plastic hare" on the race track. Of course – after hunting roedeer this must bore a Saluki to death. Via the lure-coursing we finally were successful to start her interest and so eventually she became a very clean and reliable track racer who however never really understood why she should run "full speed" – she knew where the "hare" would stop and that she will get it anyway – so why strain more than necessary? Nevertheless she gained her CACIL Certificate, was 3rd on the German Short Track Championship in 1999 and even Club Winner for Beauty and Racing Performance in the same year.

Farascha is a particularly sweet little girl - a small, delicate type of Saluki that sadly is seen much too rarely nowadays – with an incredible charme that lets us forgive her easily when she – being off leash – takes an exploration tour (that's where her nickname "Indiana Rashi" comes from) and rushes back only after an hour or so, her feathering full of little twigs and burdocks, but grinning widely from one ear to the other...

Our bed and her food bowl are her sacred objects, obtaining food her greatest hobby – for example one day she stole a whole flat cake (diameter 40cm!) from the closed!! (turned off) oven where we thought it was safe, and left only a little piece of the edge... Her favourite dish is tuna pizza – her place on Christian's lap during a pizza meal is mercilessly defended against possible competitors with teeth displayed and loud growling.

This year the two girls will be already eight years old, but they don't show their age at all. Maybe this comes from the blood of their paternal granddam Toussan, a bitch imported from Persia, whose bloodline excels not only for brilliant performance dogs but also for long age. From the F-Litter el Taschara there are still several alive and in best health at now almost 16 years, and a descendant of Toussan's litter sister Teezna in New Zealand even lived to her 18th birthday. Fatouma and Farascha are fit and merry, not different to what they were with 2 or 3 years.  Fatouma has a quite grey face, probably because she actually has a black mask which turns grey more quickly in general, while Farascha still looks like a very young bitch. This year is their last "official" racing year and we are planning to be very active in racing and lure-coursing. Furthermore we hope that we will soon be able to ride through the country side again, as soon as our Purebred Arabian mare Binti is ready for it. There is no better training – on high speed through the woods and meadows which even owners of mountain-bikes can only dream of, and what a fun it is – for Salukis, horse and rider!

CH Fatouma el Mahbub, DWZB S Imp.2-4111, *14.04.1993, black & tan

German Champion, German Champion for Beauty and Performance, DWZRV Winner for Beauty and Performance 1996, Winner Berlin-Brandenburg 1997, Racing Winner North Germany 1995/1997, Winner Cloppenburg 1996

Farascha el Mahbub,, DWZB S Imp.2-4113 *14.04.1993, black & cream

Club Winner for Beauty and Racing Performance 1999, CACIL-Certificate