A penny saved...
In those early days, there were no real guidelines for Junior Showmanship classes. While I attended handling classes at Packerland Kennel Club and 4-H,I wanted to know why I wasn't always placing very high in Juniors. I distinctly recall one judge at the summer Waukesha Kennel Club show telling me that the quality of my dog was not very good. While I knew that a good showmanship judge should not hold that against me... it was evident that there were enough judges who WERE "judging the dog" instead of the presentation. I decided to start saving my babysitting money and I started researching Samoyed Kennels to find a nice quality dog that I could show. I was very lucky to be in Wisconsin with alot of kennels to choose from. It took me three years of watching dogs grow up to finally have enough money to buy my first "show dog".
Obtaining my first champion...AM CAN CH Windsong's Yankee Doodle Dandi CD
I was at the GMSF evaluation clinic and meeting when I spotted what I thought was the most beautiful young dog I had ever seen. This dog was owned by Joanne and Eugene Hilbelink and would become what is now known as CH. Karalot's Hotshot of Windsong. My mother spoke to Mary Kistner, who was the breeder of this young dog and we found out that she was planning on repeating this breeding. I would have to wait almost a year before I could get my puppy. But I sent in my deposit the very next day. I feel very grateful to Jim and Mary Kistner of Windsong Samoyeds for allowing me to have first choice of the males from their next litter sired by CH Samtara's Suga Dandi out of Ch. Nordic's Kameo of Windsong. I know there are not alot of people who would allow a young girl who had never finished a dog to get a show puppy. I owe alot of my breeding knowledge and mentoring to Jim and Mary, who were like dog parents to me.
Dandi is pictured at the top of this page. He was my first American champion, and first Canadian Champion, always owner handled by a 16 year old. He finished with 4 majors going BOW at every show, which qualified him as a Confirmation Dog World Award recipient. He received 3 BOB's from the classes.
Dandi had a beautiful headstudy with a very tight almond eye, and carried a medium working type coat. He carried the Samtara biscuit freckles on his face and legs, and as he aged also carried a biscuit saddle across his back. Joyce Cain recognized him as related to her line, when she saw him as an 8 week old puppy. We trained in the Oshkosh KC Showmanship classes and for 2 months Joyce and I would talk about pedigrees and handling. Joyce was already sick at this time, but was still showing Pomeranians, although her heart was always in the Sammies.
Dandi was a tough little dog, measuring 21.5 inches at the withers, and was very powerful and pulled over 2000 lbs at a weight pull when he was 10 years old. (We quit at that point, due to his age, but he was willing to keep going!)
Dandi was not the easiest dog to handle and one had to always be on the guard while handling him. He taught me alot as a handler and I really credit him as making me the handler I am today.
Thanks goes to Jim and Mary Kistner of Windsong Samoyeds for the opportunity to obtain Dandi. He will always have a special place in my heart.
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