Jean Lau was killed Monday August 12, 2002 in an automobile accident near Cheyenne Wyoming. She was survived by her husband Harold Lau and her children Jennifer and Curtis. Sadly Harold himself passed away a few years later.
I have assembled a list of descendents of the Val Yet Borzoi here
A Memory from Bonnie Dalzell
I will always remember Jean for her joy in life and her dogs and her art. She was an excellent artist and accomplished in ceramics as well as in 2 dimensional work. For a long time I had a small sculpture that she had created of a standing Borzoi. After a field trial it vanished from my house along with a few other ceramic pieces. I still miss it but not as much as I miss Jean and Harold. Among the often bitter and competitive people involved in dog shows they were always pleasant and patient with me.
Jean and Harold sold me my first Borzoi - Dobzhanski of Val Yet - who was my companion through my graduate program for my MA and PHD at the University of California at Berkely. He moved with me to Boston and was stolen when he was around 7 years old. He was a very intelligent dog and a great character.Around a year after Dobzhansky was taken I purchased a breedng quality bitch from Jean and Harold - Valyet's Zolotaya Zaria - who produced a number of really excellent lure coursing Borzoi for me an who was the foundation of my breeding program. Aurora's page is here.
A memory from Marian Jones Broadhurst
I bought my first show quality borzoi from Jean and Harold Lau back in the 70's. Ranchitos Katrina Clelie Valyet (Ranchitos PJ x Ranchitos Gypsy Rose Valyet), was the dog love of my life, and the friendship that resulted from that purchase with the Laus was even more valuable.
Though our lives ran separate courses in later years, both of us busy with the time constraints of busy families, we would always catch up, at least annually at a dog show and it was like we hadn't lost any time. I would camp in the DogsDArt booth and watch Jean finish touching up some figurines she'd sculpted and Harold showing pieces, to customers, who weren't just customers, but friends. Sitting under the booth canopy with the familiar wooden DogsDArt sign overhead, I would watch people come to share their triumphs and disappointments with Jean and Harold as well as select purchases from the well stocked booth. There was always something to choose from, that satisfied the gamut of dog fancier budget.
Jean was a fabulous artist. She captured the beauty of Borzoi and other breeds in her paintings and sculptures. I think the thing I remember about Jean, most vividly were her beautiful hands. She held a paint brush in the most wonderfully, artistic way, and I would marvel that she held a coke can as elegantly as she held her brushes. Jean was a fantastic wife and mother, a great cook, a warm, fun, and caring friend. Her passing is a tremendous loss in my life, but it would have been a far greater loss not to have known her.
Marian Jones Broadhurst This is a slightly different version. I don't want previous patrons of the Lau's thinking that Jean touched up the antique figurines they purchased, because they didn't do that. I think this version is a little clearer.
A memory from Bonnie Dalzell
Jean and Harold Lau sold me my first Borzoi, Dobzhanski, and later my foundation bitch Valyet's Zolotaya Zaria, who was known as "Aurora". Jean was very helpful to me as a beginning breeder in her discussion of the attributes of the dogs I got from her, and never malicious or self serving in her comments on the Borzoi community.
Jean was a marvelous artist. As their interest in competition in Borzoi lessened, Jean and Harold continued to attend shows as vendors of dog related artwork, their enterprise was called Dog's D'Art. Jean was a kind soul who always had time to talk to me. The dogs she and Harold sold me were lovely Borzoi and Aurora was a fine foundation bitch who was healthy and vigorous and passed these traits, as well as her beauty, along to her many generations of descendents who make up Silkenswift Borzoi.
Jean tolerated my mistakes and encouraged my successes. Although I moved to the east coast and she stayed in California, we stayed in contact and whenever we spoke it was as if we had picked up a recently dropped conversation.
Sadly, now that conversation is ended.