Manuela Paraíso, radio broadcaster, journalist, author of the book "Cuidar do Cão da Serra da Estrela/ Rearing the Estrela Mountain Dog", founder of the breed portal www.caodaserradaestrela.net and of the largest Facebook group dedicated to the breed, organizer of the 1st Estrela Mountain Dog Global Meeting.
Ponta da Pinta
Estrela Mountain Dog
It all began last century in the mid-twenties, with a short-haired Estrela named Tolvi. My father’s dog. White spots on his head, nowadays unacceptable by the standard, but a daring, courageous nature, loyal and intelligent as only an Estrela can be. I grew up listening to the most wonderful stories about Tolvi and the other Estrelas my father used to deal with, and I felt bewitched. However, it was only in 1997, after a trip to the Estrela Mountains (back to my own roots), that I realized the time to have my own Estrela had come. Rui Garção, my life companion back then, agreed and after a short while he was haunted too.
The owner of our hearts was named Csar da Casa das Azenhas – Mambo, as we called him. He was everything I had ever pictured an Estrela as. We started taking him to conformation shows, just for fun, and the excellent results made us become even more involved with the breed and start studying it. For him, 4 years later, we took the gigantic step of changing our lifestyle completely and moving to the countryside. We bought a farm next to two small villages, Vale da Pinta and Pontével, close to Cartaxo, in spite of the fact that we were both still working in Lisbon, some 60 kilometers away.
We wondered whether it would be worth starting a breeding project, as there were already many people breeding Estrelas. As we perceived the Estrela Mountain Dog was losing fundamental traits that had allowed him to survive throughout the centuries (such as morphologic functionality, temperament, working abilities, survival instinct, genetic diversity), we understood there was a lot of hard work to do for the breed and our contribution could be important. We could hardly imagine that breeding Estrelas was to become an addiction that would consume all our spare time, energy… and a lot of money.
Our first litter was born in the summer of 2002 and a year later Ponta da Pinta established itself as a reference in breeding Estrelas, with several dogs bred by us summing up victories in dog shows and becoming conformation champions, in Portugal and abroad. Among them, the first, the most famous, a referencial multichampion Estrela: our much beloved firstborn Baden Baden da Ponta da Pinta.