Friday, December 28, 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

AKC Judge Sandy Wheat, Guy Fisher, Taylor Fisher, Leifur and Totty - Medina Kennel Club.

Father and daughter; nephew and aunt. Jennifer Sanders.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Lokasteinn Edda Rún

You all might remember that recently I was given a book from Linda and Russ - "Song of the Vikings" written by Nancy Marie Brown. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves our Icelandic Sheepdogs (or Icelandic Horses, or Icelandic Chickens, or especially the Sagas of the Norse peoples). It is fascinating reading. I just received the email below from Nancy's husband, Chuck.

They recently bought a gorgeous Icelandic Sheepdog puppy from Linda and Russ Hansen of Lokasteinn Kennels - look to the right above for a link to their website. 
                      Isn't Edda (above) absolutely beautiful.
                                 (Remember: - clicking on photos enlarges them.)

"I enjoy your writings about Icelandic sheepdogs and have gotten much good information from your blog. My wife, Nancy Marie Brown, and I bought a puppy from Russ and Linda Hansen this past June. Our dog's name is Edda, and we are very pleased with her. She's smart, happy, affectionate, fun to be around, a good watchdog but not an obsessive barker, and as pretty as can be."
"I have had English springer spaniels and one English cocker in the past, all working hunting dogs. I don't hunt much anymore, and it was Nancy's turn to choose a breed, and she settled on an Icelandic sheepdog. We know the breed from Iceland, where we have traveled many times, and some of our riding friends here in the US have ISDs. Your blog helped inform our search as we looked for a breeder producing the kind of dog we hoped to find; we count ourselves very lucky to have connected with Russ and Linda. (I understand that Linda gave you a copy of Nancy's book, "Song of the Vikings". I'm glad you like Nancy's book. She's a very fine writer. My favorite of all her books is "Far Traveler", which also deals with an Icelander -- in this case, an Icelandic woman who was among the first Europeans to visit North America (Newfoundland), well before Christopher Columbus "discovered" this new land. "Far Traveler" is a more personal book than "Song of the Vikings"; it's more in the literary journalism genre. But I also like "Song of the Vikings" too."
"I have been in contact with a number of folks in the ISD world. It seems like a good community of people and enthusiasts linked by their love of this breed. I can't say enough about Linda and Russ, and of course about our Edda. She's amazing. I have had quite a few dogs during my life, and I feel very lucky to have finally found this breed (thanks to Nancy's wise choice!). Edda clearly belongs to both of us; we're both involved in training her and having fun with her, including hiking, snowshoeing, playing, and just plain old snuggling. We allow her up onto the furniture, something we've not done with previous dogs, and it is so wonderful to have this close contact with her. One of my favorite times is early morning, after I've made coffee and recharged the fire in the big soapstone woodstove in our living room. Edda and I just sit there very companionably, watching the fire and the day coming on."
 "We live on a 120-acre farm in a part of Vermont known as the Northeast Kingdom. We have four Icelandic horses, and next spring and summer we plan to train Edda to follow along as we ride on woods roads and trails near our house. So far, we've been working on general obedience and manners, and enjoying hiking with Edda. I should also mention that we use, in addition to encouragement and verbal praise, a lot of high-quality treats in training. It's great to have a dog with a high level of food desire. Edda particularly responds to real Vermont "Seriously Sharp" Cabot cheddar cheese! (Nothing but the best for our girl!) She's a wonderful member of the family with a great disposition. We train using encouragement and try to keep things fun for everybody. It seems to be working!"
"Thanks for writing so well about ISD's on your blog, and keep up the good work. I attach a few photos of Edda taken recently in our hayfield."

With best regards, Chuck Fergus

National Icelandic Sheepdog Rescue Alliance

The group Icelandic Sheepdogs In America has asked me to mention on my blog a cookbook they are writing to benefit the National Icelandic Sheepdog Rescue Alliance, NISRA, a national rescue group for Icelandic Sheepdogs

The Icelandic Sheepdogs in America  is a group of concerned breeders, stud owners, and Icelandic Sheepdog fanciers in the North America who have joined forces to raise money for the national breed rescue.

They are soliciting recipes and story donations. If you have an anecdote or a story about your Icelandic Sheepdog(s) and a recipe that might fit the story, they would like your donation to a worthwhile cause.

You can check out the NISRA website below.

Here's more information: - 

The purpose of this Icelandic Sheepdog rescue group is to raise money for rescue and to create a resource to promote the breed. The rescue group is additionally a network for Icelandic owners to meet and interact.

Our current project is a fund raising cookbook! This project combines our love for our dogs, fun people and food. We plan to self publish the books and will sell them for about $20.00 with the profits earmarked for the NISRA rescue. We’re hoping for about 150 recipes. 

 Tentative title: - "Adventures with Icelandic Sheepdogs - a Cookbook". 

This cookbook will be inspired by events centered around our dogs. We want recipes, photos, and stories from anyone who has Icelandics and is willing to share adventures with their dogs. We would like to arrange it seasonally and by event becoming both a story book and a cookbook. It is a way to promote the breed through our experiences with them. Each recipe, photo, and story will have a credit and help raise money for rescue. 

As a possible example: - Penny and JoAnn were showing Stella and Kaffi and were nervous messes. The day before the show Penny and JoAnn were so stressed that that they sat at the computer eating Swiss chocolate from Ruth Laub in Europe to calm themselves.The dogs did finish, earn their championships and the chocolate was really good! That ‘story’ could be followed with a recipe for brownies. 

Tentative Sections: -

Rally-O to Go” - Light picnic fare, fresh fruit and vegetable recipes, great fruit and vegetable dips, really great sandwiches like Po' Boys, chicken, tuna and egg salads etc. Sweet treats that don't require refrigeration. Stories about Rally and the goofs you've made and how the dogs forgave you afterwards, or how you thought you completely blew it but came out with a great score anyway might be lead-ins for the recipes.

Agility Barbecue” – Some of us are really getting into agility. Stories or anecdotes centered on your experiences in the ring could be followed by recipes for your favorite ribs, burgers, fish, corn on the cob butters, barbecue sauces, rubs, celebration "punches", deserts, etc.

Best of Breed” – Comfort food!  Mac & cheese, meatloaf, pot pies, sinfully delicious chocolate dessert recipes, etc. To celebrate victories or to soothe the agonies of defeat.  Pre-trial munchies you take with you to munch on while waiting to enter the ring.

From Home, Farm, and Field” – Some of us have had adventures getting together and meeting one another. What do you like to munch on while you sit around, talk, gossip, and laugh. These recipes might include dip recipes, stuffed breads, quiche, things you like to serve when company comes. Rosie and Evi made Rouladen for a puppy buyer when she visited Germany to pick up her new puppy. Photos of the dogs, people, and homes could be included.

Snowdays” – This is about Winter fare, thick rich stews, chilis, casseroles, fresh baked breads and rolls, hot chocolate, mulled wine, hot toddy recipes, and, of course, always,  photos of the dogs having fun romping in the field and snow with or without livestock.

Gone to the Dogs” – This final section should include recipes like: -  how much hydrogen peroxide to give them to make them vomit, de-skunking recipes,  whelping treats, training bait recipes, other home remedies, etc.

We want fun recipes that folks would like to share and the stories they like to tell as well.
Please have them send their stories, recipes and photo to me at

Thanks for your help


(If you cannot click and go directly there, you may have to copy and paste this address into your browser.)

2013 Icelandic Sheepdog Calendar

I highly recommend the 2013 calender put out by the Icelandic Sheepdog Breed Rescue Organization (NISRA)  
(You may need to copy and paste that information into your browser if you cannot click on it to go directly there.)

The calendars are $20.00 USD which includes shipping and handling. All profits go to the Icelandic Breed Rescue Organization.

Warning: the photos could be addicting!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Thrymheim Ice - Jim Carroll

Just heard from Jim Carroll who is owned by "Ice" (Thrymheim Ice) bred by Cathy Lallemand. Here's his Christmas photo of Ice - isn't Ice beautiful.
I hope he got everything he wanted from Santa.
Hope this e mail finds you well. Just wanted to wish you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Thought I would include a photo of Ice. We went to a pet supply store for photo with all income going to rescue.  We have found a new trainer and will start working with her in the new year. She knows the breed and considered an ISD at one point but got some bad info about temperament and (- - - decided against getting one). After a hour with Ice she said we could be ready to compete in a month! Ice really was showing off. She also said her next dog would be an Icelandic. The ISD's just blow people away. Hope the New Year is a good one for you and your wonderful dogs."

"Being smarter than Ice is not an easy task. Ice, like I'm sure most Icelandic dogs, is  sometimes too smart for me and I wonder who is training who! Trainer commented several times about how smart he was. Anything new just took a couple or three passes and he got it."

Jim Carroll & Ice

I realize I probably sound like a broken record to those who already know me but for the newbies - you may still not have heard: - You have to be smarter than an Icelandic Sheepdog or they will run you - own you. Rule you. They learn faster than any other breed I have worked with. Many or most dogs take days or weeks to learn new stuff. It takes Icelandic two or three times with something new and they truly get it.

They ought to be trained from early puppy-hood. Waiting until they are adults makes training harder, imo, possible, but harder. (It's easier to train a puppy up right than to try and re-train an adult - - works for people as well as dogs.) You have to show them you are smarter and nicer - that's really important - NICER! If you are mean to them, they quickly learn that from you and respond the way you have taught them. If you are nice, they will respond in that way to you too.

The only Icelandics, two or three, that I've heard about, but have never met, that are a problem were raised that way - with an iron, unsympathetic, unkind hand - - at least that's what I truly believe.

They give as good as (or better than) they get. They also give back bad treatment. Karma would perhaps be a good name for an Icelandic (female because of the ending). Karmir for a male? Maybe an Icelander can tell us what the correct word would be.

contact information

James L. Hansen
810 W. 13 Mile
Royal Oak, MI 48073 USA
AKC Breeder of Merit
AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator - 38254

Korpur - Alaskastadirs Korpur - BFF, CGC, RN, RA, RE, CD
Huld - Kersins Huld - BFF, CGC, TDI, CD, RN, RA, RE
Kria - Thórdunu Kría - BFF, CGC, RN, RA, RE, CD
Kata - Kersins Kata - BFF, CGC, CD, TDI, RN, RA, RE, NA, NAJ, OA, OAJ
Pila - Vinlands Piaf - BFF, CGC, BN, RN, RA, RE
Tati - CH Vinlands Totty - BFF, CGC, RN
Bear - Bersi av Isheim - BFF, CGC, RN
Tryggur - CH Vinlands Kani - BFF, CGC, BN, RN

Monday, December 17, 2012

Vinlands Wodin

I just got some recent photos of Wodin along with the following email. Wodin and Sunna are litter-mates.
"Hi Jaime,
Nice to see Totty and Sunna doing so well, not to mention Leifur. Actually Lei looks very similar to Ruffi, in the head in particular.

 Wodin finished his first set of Obedience training on the 2nd and will do another set in the spring. Some things were great, sit, lie, stay when walker being greeted, or when on a stop while walking. We played a musical hoops type game on the last evening and he was great moving straight there and doing a sit/stay in the hoop. We were most impressed! We're still doing lots of work on his "come" especially if there is a distraction around! We're think he's looking good and are enjoying all the new learning we're being exposed to!
Have a great Christmas.
Imelda and Steve"

                          Clicking on photos enlarges them.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Vinlands Sunna

Here are Mike and Sunna, Jennifer and Lee, and Taylor and Totty.
Mike Merrell showed Sunna in the Western Reserve Kennel Club show under AKC Judge Victoria Jordan. They earned her first point by going Winners and Best of Winners. Mike and Debbi should feel very, very proud of themselves and of Sunna. She looked great.
Here she is in the ring with Totty, her mom, the first dog on the left. Sunna, on the right, is looking up at 'Dad' for treats. She is still a puppy and won't even be a year old until April. I love seeing the shorter coated Icelandics in the ring. I think Mike is doing a great job, don't you?
In this photo Mike is baiting Sunna to distract her while the judge is examining her. I love the variety of fur lengths and colors and patterns in our breed. Some people would like to eliminate some colors, patterns, lengths, etc. I firmly believe that the variety in our breed is one of their best features.

Vinlands Leifur

Here are some great photos of Vinlands Leifur taken by Kerrin Winter Churchill this past weekend and used with the permission of Jennifer Sanders. Lee loves strutting his stuff now.


Gilda Snowden

                                               Gilda Snowden - Craig Paul Nowak.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Dawn Hochsprung, Principal

Dawn Hochsprung, Principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, "Be kind to others. That's what matters most."

Totty & Taylor, LeRoy & Jennifer

Under AKC Judge Terry DePietro at the Richland County Kennel Club show on Saturday, December 15, 2012, Jennifer Sanders showed her own dog Lee to Best of Breed and junior handler Taylor Fisher showed Totty to Best of Opposite. Huge and well deserved congratulations to Taylor and Jennifer.
                                            Jennifer Sanders - Vinlands Leifur
                                             Taylor Fisher - Vinlands Totty

Friday, December 14, 2012

Totty and Taylor

Taylor Fisher showed American Kennel Club Champion Vinlands Totty to AKC Judge Sandra Wheat on Friday, December 14, 2012, the second day of the Cleveland Winter Classic and was awarded Best of Opposite. Good job Team!
 Many thanks to Jennifer Sanders!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

San Salvatore?

With "La Petite Poule Rouge" firmly, firmly, in mind, we added a bed, a sofa bed, a desk return, a small TV, a dresser, an old fashioned record stand, etc. to the office.
Some paintings will need to be re-hung. Nails can only be pounded into the walls at very specific locations which complicates things a bit.
For now the return faces out. That may change. (The bright square on the return was the sun shining through the door window.) The day up north was sunny and chilly with a light, a very light, snow on the ground - an absolutely gorgeous winter day. On the way back I noticed a huge dark cloud hanging over the entire Detroit Metro area. Jon and Tom were extremely helpful and considerate. Thank You! (On the way up one of the men became a dad to new born Liam!! Was it Tom? He was very anxious to get back home.)
                                     Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

MIss Timber - December 11, 2011

"Miss Timber is doing great! She/we just completed our Intermediate Obedience class and will continue with the Intermediate/Advanced class after the New Year. She is amazing at obedience--"gets it" almost immediately. We do plan to do agility but will wait until she's older (as both you and the trainer recommend). May also go for our therapy certification.
She has adapted beautifully to both city and country living. She is a favorite in the shops on Walnut Street (the upscale shopping area of Philly)--seems to particularly enjoy the Apple store! In the Poconos, we enjoy long walks together and visiting at the horse barn where she loves to watch the horses work. She most definitely would like to herd the horses!

We are planning to have her spayed later this month--it's longer than I've ever waited to have a dog spayed/neutered but I am mindful of what you said about the breed and when they mature. The timing was decided in consultation with her two vets (she has one in the Poconos and one in Philly, in case) and the trainer.
I have attached photos which aren't the greatest (dog photography is difficult!) but at least give you a sense of how beautiful her markings are and what a good sport she is in getting into the holiday spirit! She was actually on hand for Santa's arrival in Rittenhouse Square (Philadelphia)!"

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Aunt Jen, Aunt Sylvia and Totty

AKC Champion Vinlands Totty and I visited Great Aunt Sylvia and Aunt Jennifer today and got a surprise, to Tot anyway, nail clipping, bath and blow out. Her fur looked so pretty and she smelled so very nice! Thank you more than I can say.
I also got to see LeRoy, Totty's nephew who was a tad upset that he couldn't get out and play with Totty. Poor boy! He craves attention now, thrives on it in fact.
Must be genetic. Totty is a bit of a camera hog and demands to be the center of attention as well.

I ran some errands and after her make over, Sylvia and Jen told me that Tot stood at the door waiting for me to come back - which is a bit hard to believe. If Totty could sing, I think it would be the "I Feel Pretty" song from West Side Story.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

AKC Grand Champion Vinlands Leifur

AKC Grand Champion Vinlands Leifur has met the qualifications for Grand Championship in only six weeks time with 25 points including four major wins and four defeated champions. 
Jennifer Sanders attributes his amazing accomplishment to the help and support of Guy H. Fisher, Jeff and Lucy Bauer, Stacey Williams, Jo-Ann Secondino, Debbie Ostrander, Cherie Berger, Sylvia Sanders and many others.
Clicking on photos enlarges them. Final show photo will be posted when it arrives.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Up to Sans Souci today - Wednesday, December 5, 2012. I love the trip up especially when I get to Lakeport. It's a two lane road on M-25 from Lakeport all the way up to the tip of Michigan's Thumb and down the Saginaw Bay side.

Had my 'usual'  breakfast at Mary's Diner in Port Sanilac, the last 'big' city before my property. Breakfast brightened my mood in spite of the gray overcast drippy day.
I have asked friends to come up with me, but so far it's just me. That's OK. That's the one person I can always count on. I wonder if I'll get positive responses when there's no work to do. I had some productive meetings and hope things might start to move vis a vis the house.

I moved Fred and Annette's great house-warming (pole-barn-warming) real genuine horseshoe from over the door outside into the kitchen where it's warmer and safer. I LOVE it!!!
 There was a light snow on the ground after Port Sanilac and the temperature was cold, low 30s, up at my property but I worked outside in my shirt-sleeves and cleared some trash: - broken booze bottles, salad dressing bottles, pop (soda) bottles, a dish drainer, a broken plate, some pieces of plastic, half of an old iron fireplace grate, etc. from the northern deciduous forest. The bottles were real glass so they must have been there for a long time. I brought them home to recycle but maybe I'll clean them out and use them as flower vases up there.

The new septic tank had not been covered completely by the workers so I spent some time digging near-frozen clumps of dirt and raking the area first.

Then I also cut down some dead popular trees, large grape vines, and shrubs like sumac and viburnum before my old-faithful and reliable tree saw broke. That great saw must have been more than thirty years old and was missing several teeth.  

I piled the brush in front of an access onto my property that is neither a road nor a driveway. My neighbors said that someone had used it in the past and driven over my septic field. Yoicks!

In the northern deciduous forest near the bluff I also planted some small spring bulbs, might have been English hyacinths, not the big Dutch varieties; I hope the critters don't dig them up and eat them. I scattered some Rosa rugosa seeds, some hardy hibiscus seeds, and some seeds from Grandpa Ott's morning glories. I hope some escape becoming food for birds and small mammals and actually germinate and grow.
Lake Huron was a gorgeous cold-green color and with white caps all the way out to the shipping lanes where I saw several freighters. These are both views from my bluff.
Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

I did not teach my Fun with Agility class today with Jerry, Terri and Kim. I never missed a day of work in over 34 years of teaching Biology and French and Royal Oak's high school. I have also never missed a day of teaching classes at my all-volunteer, un-paid instructor, dog training club - - until today. I enjoyed my day off. Now I know why people do that. I may have to take next Wednesday off too!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Vinlands Sunna

Mike Merrell showed his and Deb Hampton's Icelandic Sheepdog Vinlands Sunna today at Agathon in Ohio to judge Mrs. Joan Schurr Kefeli. Mike and Sunna did a wonderful job. Deb is holding their Best of Opposite Sex ribbon. Wow!!

Sunna is a litter mate to Arya, Miss Timber, Saga, Thora, and Wodin.

Lee and Sunna together with Guy Fisher and Mike Merrell.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

Tjok and Thor

Here are Tjok and Thor in the Netherlands ~
They are litter-mates to Lee and Moose ~