Sunday, November 29, 2009


Can you find the three Icelandic Sheepdogs?

Hint: One is a black and white dog from the 1700s.

Click on the photo to enlarge it.

(Mousetraps are non-functioning. Can you guess why they are there?)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Lillemor Kullman

Arne Håkon Tunheim, Lillemor Kullman's partner, notified me that Lillemor passed away during Sunday night, November 22, 2009.

This photo of Lillemor shows her with a teasing gleam in her eyes and was taken by Arne Håkon on a rainy day in August, 2005 when they attended the World Championship for Icelandic Horses in Norrköping, Sweden.

Lillemor was one of my mentors. She produced truly amazing Icelandic Sheepdogs. All you have to do is look at her website to see the many, many wonderful Ullälvas dogs, many of them champions, to know how successful she was. She had "the eye" and knew how to breed dogs that exemplified the standard without sacrificing things like temperament and health and intelligence.

One of our newer imports, Tófi av Isheim bred by Arne Håkon of Isheim kennel and co-owned by Jenifer Brimmer and me, has several Ullälvas dogs in his background.

Lillemor's kennel is Kennel Ullälva. Although it's early, probably Lillemor's daughter Åsa will take over the work she started. Some Ullälva litters that were already planned for early next year (2010) by Lillemor and Arne Håkon will go ahead with Åsa's help. There is a current litter on the ground now; all of the puppies are already sold.

I always felt comfortable going to Lillemor with any question about Icelandic Sheepdogs for candid answers. She told it like it was not splitting any hairs.

You can visit Kennel Ullälva and Kennel Isheim by going to the ISIB website and clicking on either kennel name. (Look in the upper right hand corner of this blog for the ISIB link.) Arne Håkon and Åsa will continue to monitor her website and they can be contacted through it.

Lillemor will be sorely missed.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Alaskastadirs Korpur

In late October 2009 Korpur earned his RE (Rally Excellent) title which just arrived from the AKC last Friday. He pays close attention to me in the ring - lovely dog.

(Cathi Winkles photography gave me permission to use his photo in my blog.)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Autumn in Kensington

We are having a beautiful autumn.

For the second week we went to Kensington Metro Park not far from Royal Oak and reveled in the day. The lake is filled with various kinds of ducks, geese and swans stopping on their southward migrations. It's not Silver Lake where I spent summers and grew up but it's very close. I fell in love with nature at "The Cottage" as did my brother David, and my cousins Tom and Tim.

Pila ran in the oak leaves, played in the muck along the shoreline until she was gray, swam in the lake to clean up and then ran some more to dry off. She must have felt like she was back on her farm in Vermont before the evil witch cursed her - which turned out to be a blessing for me.

We agreed today that fate has been kind to both of us. To all of us. The curse turned out to be a blessing. That happens sometimes. Good does triumph.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Autumn in Michigan

We've had an amazingly gorgeous fall so far this year.

If pictures are really worth a thousand words, these should do a lot of talking.

Click on photos to enlarge them.


Totty, Kria, Huld, Korpur


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Companion Dog Title

CD = Companion Dog Title

Handler and Dog are tested by an AKC judge for the following actions. The team must achieve a score of at least 170 out of a possible 200 points three separate times.
This is often referred to as a “Novice Title”.

Individual Exercises
These exercises are done by dog and handler teams separately.
1. Heel on Leash. On judge’s command handler and dog heel an “L” shaped pattern performing the following: forward, halt, left turn, right turn, about turn, slow, fast, normal.
2. Figure Eight – On leash. Handler and dog heel a figure 8 pattern around two human “posts” halting twice following the judge’s commands.
3. Stand for Exam. Handler removes leash, stands dog, leaves and goes 6 feet away and faces dog. Judge then touches dog on head, shoulders and back while dog remains in a sty. Handler returns.
4. Heel Off Leash. On judge’s command handler and dog heel the same “L” shaped pattern as was done on leash.
5. Recall. On judge’s command handler leaves dog in a sit and goes to other end of ring. Dog is called to front, then finished to heel position.

Group Exercises
After up to 12 exhibitors have finished their individual exercises above, this group returns to the ring for the following group exercises.
1. Group long sit – handlers on judge’s command sit dogs, leave dogs, stand across the room for one minute, return to own dog, walk around behind own dog and return to starting position.
2. Group long down – handlers on judge’s command sit dogs, leave dogs, stand across the room for three minutes, return to own dog, walk around behind own dog and return to starting position.