AUBURN — Most people buy something with four wheels at a Kruse International collector car auction.
But in one corner of the cavernous Kruse auction arena, Adam Sewards offers a chance to buy something with four legs.
Sewards has been selling Lhasa Apso puppies at Kruse auctions for several years, combining two longtime passions in his life.
Sewards grew up in DeKalb County, raised by a mother who bred chow dogs for 45 years. Betty Mae Sewards won best of breed awards for her chows at shows in Madison Square Garden, he said.
“When I was 9 years old, we had 116 chow dogs out by Spencerville,” Adam Sewards recalled.
He branched off into the Lhasa Apso breed.
“I ended up getting one as a youngster and just kept the same bloodline going,” he explained.
Sewards attended DeKalb High School, where he became hooked on cars after working on a cleanup crew at a Kruse auction. Kruse’s annual Labor Day weekend sale took place at the high school from 1972-1988.
As a teenager, Sewards bought a license plate proclaiming, “My other car is a Rolls-Royce.” Today, he owns a 1981 Rolls Silver Spur that he uses in his limousine service in Tulsa, Okla.
Sewards moved to Tulsa in the early 1980s, when a recession dried up jobs in DeKalb County. He wound up running the transportation department at Oral Roberts University.
As part of his duties, Sewards served as evangelist Oral Roberts’ personal driver and bodyguard for 14 years, ending in 2003.
“He was very kind to me,” Sewards said of Roberts. “People have always wanted me to write a book” about his experiences with Roberts, he said. “I would never write a book, because he’s … really earned my respect.”
When Roberts retired, Sewards did, too. He started My Driver, his transportation service that specializes in chauffeuring senior citizens.
Sewards returns to Auburn about five times a year, he said, almost always selling his puppies at a Kruse auction or through newspaper ads.
Auction company owner Dean Kruse has purchased four of Seward’s dogs for himself, Sewards said. Sewards’ dogs have appeared on “Bidding Wars,” a cable network reality show based on Kruse auctions.
For last weekend’s Auburn Spring MotorFair, Sewards brought four adults and 19 puppies. They attracted a steady stream of admirers.
Sewards said “the joy it brings in people’s hearts when they see them” keeps him coming back, and he plans to return for Kruse’s giant fall sale.