Hello and thank you for visiting our site. We hope you enjoy browsing our site and meeting our dogs. We love our dogs very much and each one holds a special place in our hearts.
My name is Bonnie Hansen. I have been breeding, training and showing Labrador Retrievers since 1998. My husband Matt is very active in this hobby as well and does most of the hunt/retrieve training with the dogs. Our children, Kyle and Emilee, were quite active as youngsters, participating in dog care and training programs through 4-H and actively participating in shows. They are both grown now and attending college but visit often. It's hard having the kids away from home now, but I keep very busy with the dogs and my other animals. I am also proud of the bright futures they are creating for themselves.
In addition to the dogs, my husband and I also enjoy other hobbies such as horseback riding and attending horse shows, Kayaking on the beautiful lakes here in Northern California, Hiking and target shooting competitions. We also keep quite busy with all the work that is required when having a ranch.
Many people ask how we got our name Japatul (Hap-uh-Tool) and what does it mean. Both my husband and I were raised in the East mountains of San Diego, in a small town called Descanso. Just after we were married, we purchased an 8 acre parcel of land on Japatul Valley Road. It was this place where we built our first home, started our family and began our Labrador Retriever program, thus becoming known as Japatul Labradors.
I am not 100% sure of the meaning of Japatul but have been told my many elders of the area that it is an old Indian term meaning "Water Basket" At one time, this area was a beautiful, lush, green area with a creek running right through the heart of the valley. With years and years of drought and too many people building homes in the area and tapping into the ground water source, it is no longer that lush, green place it once was. Wells went dry, ours did too, and it is looking more and more desert like. There are a lot of Indian artifacts in and around the area which tells us that this was paradise for those people. It is still a lovely place but not paradise for us.
In 2001, my husband and I decided to start searching for a place to relocate. A place with more water and more land. Due to my husbands California retirement, we had to stay in California, so we decided to look as far north as possible, to find what we wanted and for him to be able to find employment. We found 22 lovely acres on a private Ranch Estate in Corning California. Surrounded by snow capped mountains in the winter and lakes in every directions, we felt it would be a great place to finish raising our kids.
In 2006, we packed up our 8 dogs, 4 horses, 1 cat and all of our other stuff and headed North. We rented a small house, and I mean SMALL, and for 2 long years, we built our dream home and barn. Twelve years later, we are still here on this lovely ranch and there are always endless amounts of projects needing to be done. There is never time to be bored.
Below are some pictures of our life. Thank you for viewing and we hope you come to visit sometime. We would love to meet you.