About Kiva Kennels

1992 was an eventful year for the Binick family as Vada left her marketing career to become a stay-at-home mom for son Jonathan.  With Vada at home, we also could add a pet companion to our family.  We researched dog breeds and decided the American Eskimo Dog was the breed for us.  Although AKC had not yet accepted eskies into its registry at that time, the Eskie was all that we had hoped for. 

In the spring of 1992 we chanced to meet an Arizona breeder and his Eskie at a local AKC show.  When we first went to visit their Eskie litter they had for sale we had planned to purchase a female pet companion for our family.  There was a litter of five 5 week old puppies of which two were females.  We watched them play in the backyard that windy cold afternoon in Northern Arizona and we were told that the only dog which would be sold as a show dog was a little female.  

We played with the whole litter and one of the girls just made herself at home in the crook of Vada's arm, beaming with love at her prospective owner.  They spent a lot of time together, the little female carefully cradled in Vada's arm   Of course, this was the show quality female which could only be sold to a show home.  

Well, the rational side of us won out and we placed our deposit for the pet quality female.  After saying our goodbyes and making our way to the car, I asked Vada if she was going to keep on wondering for the rest of her life how that loving little puppy turned out.  She said yes.  We figured showing dogs couldn't be that difficult.  After all, “How hard could it be to show a dog?!” we said.  So we went back and agreed that we would show the little girl.   

After Nikki came home with us, we found much needed training and help through the local Arizona American Eskimo club.  Kit Kelly was a member of the club and she, too, was training an Eskie show puppy.  A longstanding friendship developed as the three of us took our puppies to handling classes and dog shows.

By 2000 Jim’s job had taken the family from Phoenix to Northern Arizona and a home on a small bit of acreage.  With more room for dogs, we decided to breed our next champion show dog.  Vada contacted Kim Galloway of Sun Shadows American Eskimos in Atlanta, GA, whose outstanding show dog “Asia,” had just produced a litter of five.  We drove 1800 miles to Atlanta on July 4th weekend to pick up two female puppies.  

As dog shows became a big part of our lives, Vada approached Kit with the idea of partnering in a kennel.  Kit agreed.  Letters “KI” from Kit’s name and “VA” from Vada’s name were combined to form the word Kiva, the place in Indian lore from which the gods emerged.  Kiva has described our kennel well as our puppy owners have treated their little ones like gifts from heaven.

With that little turn of events way back in 1992 and life choices we’ve made to this current date the whole direction of our lives have changed.  Where we live, the cars we drive, the vacations we take, and the friends we have and even our retirement plans.  Everything and I mean EVERYTHING in our lives is so much different from what we could ever have imagined!


~ Jim & Vada Binick ~

Vada and Jim 2008



~ Kit Kelly ~

Kit and Stitch



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