Leading the way to Chinook magic!

About Vanguard Chinooks
What's in a name?
I'm starting off 2021 with a transformed kennel name, Vanguard! I am incredibly proud of the legacy of healthy, happy, active family companions that have come from my kennel over the last 12 years, and am so very blessed with the wonderful families that love them. I celebrate those successes and recognize both the problematic background of the name Bashaba and the loss of my first Chinook, Conaway. 2020 was an opportunity for renewal and reflection, and a catalyst for change. I look forward to pairing the powerful foundation of dogs I've built with an enriched name for the future!

The word "Vanguard" has some nuanced definitions - the one that spoke to me when considering it as a kennel name is "the group … leading the way in new developments and ideas". My goal has *always* been to "lead the way to Chinook magic"… especially through the use of science and new understanding on genetics and health and behavior. Leveraging these advances to preserve happy, healthy active family companion Chinooks for the future is my goal. The name Vanguard is a positive way to inspire me to strive for that goal in each and every puppy I produce.
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Why change?
When I started on my Chinook journey, the breed origin in New England was admittedly a part of the draw for me. I named my first Chinook "Passaconaway" (Conaway) after the famous Abenaki leader, wishing to honor the origins of the dog and respect the people native to the same area — a place I fell in love with the first time I saw it. The name "Bashaba" was a tribute to Conaway based on statements in a few old books about New England History. It was purported to be an Abenaki word that recognized the positive attributes of the original Passaconaway.

My Conaway had a powerful and magical impact on my life - a kindred spirit, a devoted mentor, and a true Emperor of dogs. I am forever grateful that he came into my life. Recognizing him and his impact on my life through my kennel name felt true and right.
While the *intent* was respect and tribute, of course the *impact* when blundering through other languages and cultures is unpredictable. It is unclear if the word "Bashaba" actually means anything, and if so, what, in many of the native languages of the Wabanaki Confederacy. Modern references to it that I can find all stem from colonial writings. Using the name "Bashaba" feels uncomfortable and disrespectful in the context of my clearer understanding of the background of systemic racism and the grave harm that has been done to Native communities through centuries of Western colonialism. I am deeply sorry that my misguided attempt at recognition and respect in fact may have done harm.
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And so, I'm officially changing the kennel name to Vanguard. As Dolly Parton said when questioned about why she removed the name "Dixie" from one of her shows "As soon as you realize that [something] is a problem, you should fix it. Don't be a dumbass. That's where my heart is, I would never dream of hurting anyone on purpose."

I apologize for any harm or discomfort from my prior use of the name Bashaba, and am focusing on doing better in the future. Dogs already registered under the Bashaba name will remain that way as many cannot have registration changed at this point. References in social media use dog's call names. Future litters will be registered as Vanguard Chinooks, and if any owners are interested in changing their dogs registered name, they can reach out to me to explore options.

Please come join me in the Vanguard for the future of Chinooks!