The Origin of the Havanese
There are several narratives floating around the World about the origin of the Founders of the modern day Havanese. Believe it or not, those narratives can be the cause of dispute between Havanese Breeders.
One of the narratives is that Dorothy Goodale rescued 11 Havanese and brought them to the US. 6 of those Havanese were then taken to Europe. They became the Founding Dogs for today's Havanese.
Another narrative is that "the first book about the Bichón Habanero was written by Zoila Portuonto, a Cuban academic and researcher who, already in 1990, presented a paper on the purity of the Havanese in the First Congress of the Americas on Purebreed Dogs. The book is from the year 1999, previous to the American Dorothy Goodall, a book, by the way, with which Cuban experts are not very happy." This description was taken from the Facebook page of a top European breeder.
The bottom line is that the Havanese IS the National Dog of Cuba. No country in the world except Cuba can claim ownership of the original Havanese. Cuban Havanese Breeders have their fingers on the pulse of the history of the Havanese.
It is my understanding that the Cuban Havanese Club is continuing to do research to protect the Breed and their work is recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale. Other countries and organizations are also working towards that same end.
When we become passionate about something, tempers can fly and beliefs can become polarized. The bottom line, however, is that without Cuba there would be no Havanese. Let's never forget that!