For me the longhair -and the photograph of Paris had made that clear to me- represented the old, the "authentic", the unspoiled. Ir. Voskens after the war once said about the longhair "This imposing variety" and that is what I felt. Not imposing to others, but a dog that left a very distinct impression on me. Perhaps my partly Brabant's heritage played a role in that as well. The longhair represented the "old-fashioned" Dutch Shepherd Dog to two such different people, both in age and background. Nowadays that might be seen as over the top and even romantic, but it was the incentive to continue to search and to hope. Ir. Voskens holds the distinction that he was able to supply or point out to Dr. v.d. Akker three longhairs in three years, straight from the Brabant countryside. They were either herd dogs or guard dogs. The first time was the most significant.

Foto 3
Foto taken by Dr. v.d. Akker in 1939

A new start and setbacks: Faust-Adri van het Eigen Land and Herder
This first longhair (bitch) came from Loon-op-Zand and was of unknown parentage. This was mid-1939. The small, not very young dog was a dark gold brindle with brindle on the muzzle, so without the black mask. Dr. v.d. Akker had his own kennel name by that time, "van het Eigen Land" and just as Mr. P. Drost in Haarlem had done, Dr. v.d. Akker registered his new dog under his own kennel name as "Adri van het Eigen Land". She became the foundation bitch for all modern officially registered longhairs. I have mentioned in passing the fact that Dr. v.d. Akker not only used his own dogs under his own kennel name, but also the dogs he had bought or acquired from litters from others, so that he could keep some claim to them. This sometimes makes it very hard to trace their true ancestry. He was also not consistent in the alphabetical order in which the litters were named. Adri van het Eigen Land was mated by the almost forgotten and almost legendary dog of Queen Emma. This dog, Faust (foto 3), was at least 7 or 8 years old. Although, as Dr. v.d. Akker wrote to me, the mating was not easy, in mid-October of 1939 the litter from the combination Faust - Adri van het Eigen Land was born.

As Adri (foto 4) was the foundation dam for all official longhairs, Faust is the foundation sire. In this litter apart from the brindled pups, there were also self-coloured pus. At the beginning of December I could pick up my pup. Since I wanted a bitch to be able to breed her, I did not have a lot of choice, Dr. v.d. Akker gave me a light grey coloured pup with a black mask. He would not give me a brindled pup, perhaps I was too young? Only months later he offered me a beautiful chestnut brown brindled bitch from the same litter, that was staying with him temporarily awaiting re-homing. At the time I was too attached to my own dog to want to exchange her. Dr. v.d. Akker probably bred Adri again later, but not in combination with Faust.

Foto 4
Adri van het Eigen Land
Foto taken by Dr. v.d. Akker

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