Stormy's Introduction to Sheep

Sormy herding sheep
We were in Missouri for the 2008 SCA National Specialty, where 16-month old Stormy had her first introduction to sheep.

These were very tough sheep and Stormy was quite young, but she handled the sheep with confidence. She earned the first half of her Herding Capability Test title, and received lots of praise.

10,016 Feet In The Air

2007 Mount Massive Sled Dog Race in Colorado

Here is our team at the 2007 Mount Massive Sled Dog Race in Leadville, Colorado. This picture captured all 16 dog-feet in the air. I was very proud of all the dogs: Lightning (left lead), Moonrise (right lead), Canyon (left wheel), and Nimbus (right wheel). Lightning and Moonrise (who are siblings), celebrated their seventh birthday earlier in the year. The whole team worked as if the altitude and warm sun were of no importance. This was a fabulous race site on the highest golf course in North America. The course went out along a fairway, then wove back and forth through the forest before returning.

The two grey dogs on the far right are another team that left the starting line at the same time we did at this “dual start” race. We had never started this way before, and it went really well. As you can see, we beat the Alaskan Husky team out of the chute, and followed them closely for a mile or two.

This was one of the races that helped our team earn the SCA Top Sprint Racing award for the 2006-2007 season, as well as the 2007 OWS Sled Dog Racing award. Our dogs won these awards all three seasons they raced. Running this team was a dream come true!

National Specialty Best In Show

Lightning winning Best In Show at the SCA National Specialty
Lightning was Best In Show at the 2004 Samoyed Club of America National Specialty under breeder-judge Mardee Ward. He was in the show ring all day, and never stopped showing for me. It was one of the special moments in my life that I will carry with me forever. We have a short video showing this win on our movies page.

Nimbus Earns WSX Title

Nimbus (right) finishing up his WSX title
Nimbus completed the requirements for his Working Samoyed Excellent (WSX) title. This title is granted by the Samoyed Club of America to dogs that have earned over 2,000 points in various working categories. Nimbus specialized in: sled, scooter, and skijor racing; excursion sledding and scootering; and backpacking.

Nimbus (closest) is shown with Lightning on the 5-mile scooter run that finished his title. He is an incredibly hard worker and loves to run fast!

Working Events At SCA 2002

Backpacking with the Samoyed Club of America group hike

The 2002 Samoyed Club of America National Specialty took place in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Lots of fun working events were offered, alongside the conformation show. Lightning and Nimbus hiked with nearly 20 other Samoyeds (including their brothers Loki and Draco) on the Appalachian Trail. Our boys, seen on the right, hiked in their royal blue Wolf Packs Reflector dog packs. Their brothers are next to them wearing their purple Banzai dog packs.

Lightning pulling at the SCA Weight Pull event

The picture above shows Lightning pulling 14 times his body weight in the SCA Novice Weight Pull. He worked his heart out for me, and pulled the second highest weight that day, 757 pounds! He made 12 pulls in all, increasing by 50 pounds each time. All of his pulls were under 6 seconds, with the exception of his last which was under 7 seconds. Several people commented that Lightning really lives up to his name!

Nimbus pulling at the SCA Weight Pull event
Nimbus had fun at the Novice Weight Pull event too, hauling a total of 402 pounds. He had never done this before, and seemed to get a kick out of the applause and attention. We look forward to entering more weight pull events with him in the future!

Nimbus herding sheep
Nimbus participated many other activities at the National including sheep herding. This picture shows his introduction to sheep. He was very enthusiastic, and it was fun to watch him interact with them. 

Lightning also worked sheep, and completed his Junior Herding Dog (JHD) title at this event. He did a lovely job of moving three sheep around a field the size of a football field, and through several gates, in a controlled manner.

Best Working Award Again and Again

For the second year in a row, Lightning earned the Best Working award at the 2002 Williamette Valley Samoyed Fanciers Specialty! Our judge was Howard Dullnig, who also awarded Lightning's brother Nimbus Reserve Winner's Dog at this large Specialty show. He defeated many older dogs to earn this prestigious win. 

Also for the second year in a row, Lightning was the Best Working winner at the 2002 Samoyed Club of Washington State Specialty, under judge Estelle Cohen. This image was taken right after he won his class and shows him awaiting a treat from his loving owner-handler. Thank you Ron Manor for this nice image.

We are very proud of our boys, and even more so knowing that they are active workers with many trail miles behind (and still ahead of) them.

Lightning Wins Back-to-Back Majors

Lightning going Best Of Winners for a 5 point major at SCSD Specialty

On May 17, 2002, Lightning earned a 5 Point Major at the Samoyed Club of San Diego Specialty! After earning 1st Place in a large Open Dog class, he was awarded Winners Dog, and then Best of Winners at the Specialty by Australian judge Lynn Harwood.

Lightning's second 5 point major to finish his American Championship

The following day, under breeder-judge Jeanne Zuver, Lightning was awarded Winners Dog for another 5 Point Major, which completed his American Championship! Lightning is our first purebred dog, and was handled by Linda (his owner) all the way. You might say we learned about dog shows together.

Lightning's grandfather, Ch Wolf River's Drumlin ROMC (a well-known and important contributor to our breed), finished his Championship at this Specialty decades earlier. It is an honor for Lightning to echo the past.

We wish to thank all of our judges for rewarding this very special dog!

Nimbus is Best Puppy in Sweeps

Nimbus gaiting
At the Samoyed Club of San Diego Specialty, Nimbus was awarded Best Puppy in Sweepstakes! He won $9.00 which bought him a little purple horse toy made of rope.

Nimbus winning Best Puppy In Sweeps
Our judge was Alaskan Malamute breeder John Boughton. He was pleased to learn that he found a true working puppy among the entries when I mentioned that Nimbus has run in harness since he was five months old.

Nimbus' brother, Lightning, finished his American Championship this Specialty weekend with back-to-back 5 Point Majors. It was a weekend for us to cherish.

Master Lightning

Lightning completed his Master Working Samoyed (WSXM) title on March 16, 2002. This is the most advanced working title issued by the Samoyed Club of America. He is only the 11th dog in the world to have earned this title. At 25-months old, Lightning is also the youngest Samoyed to have earned this advanced level of working title.

Lightning earned his Master title in these areas:

Lightning has traveled many miles, and is always ready for a new adventure. We are very proud of our hard-working boy!

Nice Show Wins

On March 9, 2002, Lightning was awarded Winners Dog and Best of Winners for a 3 Point Major by breeder-judge Annella Cooper at the Centralia, Washington show.

Nimbus was chosen as the Reserve Winners Dog (to a major) out of the 6-9 Month Puppy class on the same day! It was very exciting.

This image shows Lightning waiting for the judge to inspect him during the Open Dog class. Thank you Ron Manor for this candid picture of our boy!

A well-attended sanctioned Fun Match was held on the previous day, so we entered both of our boys as a way to remind all of us what to do in the conformation ring. Lightning went Best in Match, and Nimbus was the Working Group 2 winner! The boys won lots of ribbons, some mugs, and a pretty stained glass window hanging.

Hiking At Castle Crags

Puppy Nimbus (left) and Lightning (right) enjoy exploring Castle Crags State Park in Northern California. From this spot we admired the rugged granite spires of the crags, and could also see the sleek white shape of Mount Shasta to the North.

Later in the month, Nimbus earned his Canine Good Citizen (CGC) title, and made his debut appearance in the conformation dog show ring, receiving 1st Place in his class. He loved all of the attention and treats, and charmed everybody with his calm disposition and sweet nature.

Canadian National Specialty Win

At nearly 18 months, Lightning was awarded Winner's Male at the 2001 Canadian National by breeder judge Jeanne Zuver. Winner's Male is similar to Winner's Dog in the USA. It means that the judge felt he was the best representative of the breed among the non-championed male dogs present in the ring.

This win earned him 3 points toward his Canadian Championship. The judge commented on Lightning's beautiful movement. We are so proud of our boy!

Best Working Award

Lightning entered the 2001 Williamette Valley Samoyed Fanciers Specialty. A "specialty" is a dog show that focuses on a single breed. Since he has a title, he was qualified to compete in the Working Dog class, which is only occasionally offered at specialties for working breeds such as the Samoyed. Here are Linda and Lightning gaiting in the Working Dog class (we're the team in the lead). 

Our boy was awarded 1st Place in the Working Dog class under breeder-judge Shirley Mangini. Next we went into the ring with the winner from the Working Bitch class. Lightning was again awarded 1st Place, to become the Best Working Samoyed at the specialty! Lightning was also awarded 1st Place in the 12-18 Month Dog class. It was all quite exhilarating, although win or lose, he's always a winner to us.

Lightning received lots of ribbons and prizes. He won some pretty nice stuff, including some special grooming products to help keep his coat in top shape. We met many nice people, admired many beautifully groomed dogs, and had a fun day all around. Lightning didn't let all the attention go to his head though, and slept soundly on the drive home.

Working Samoyed Excellent Title

Lightning completed his Working Samoyed Excellent title on April 22, 2001. Here he is at the halfway point on the five-mile scooter run, which completed his WSX title. Due to a light snow overnight, I couldn't decide between the kicksled and scooter. Upon studying the driveway, I saw that not enough snow had fallen, and running the sled would have risked damaging the runners. Out came the scooter. As we climbed 400 feet to the halfway point, I was wishing for our sled. There must have been six inches of lovely snow out there, which was surprisingly easy to run with a scooter. Our scooter, a white Blauwerk Downhill, is one of the most rugged mountain scooters made.

Lightning's focus has been in skijoring, excursion sledding, excursion scootering, race skijoring, and herding. He is likely among the youngest Samoyeds to earn this advanced working title. Working points are awarded by the Samoyed Club of America (with proper documentation - here is a listing of all Working Samoyed titled dogs) for adventures which meet certain criteria. Many of the rules require a distance of no less than five miles per outing. We have waited to backpack with Lightning until spring. Until recently, he was too young to carry the required 25% of his body weight over a minimum of five miles. We are sure having fun earning these titles with Lightning, and hope to continue our adventures together for many years to come!


Above all else, Lightning enjoys snow sports. He has put in enough miles in front of skis, sleds, and herding sheep to qualify for his Working Samoyed (WS) title. Our boy also earned his Canine Good Citizen award prior to his first birthday. What a good puppy!

Here are Lightning and Linda kicksledding together, cruising home from a five-mile excursion (this picture shows him completing his Working Samoyed (WS) title. The kicksled is a lightweight device, often used in Scandinavia for winter transportation. It normally is not pulled by a dog, but offers an inexpensive alternative to a racing dog sled for the single dog team. Lightning can really get it moving, and when he does, it almost feels like weightlessness when riding on the runners.

Just wait until the snow melts though, because we'll be hiking the trails again come spring!

Herding Title

Lightning completed his Herding Capability Test (HCT) title on January 7, 2001. Our boy earned the first leg toward his Junior Herding Dog (JHD) title too!

Our puppy entered the arena with much enthusiasm for running after those sheep or play with the other dogs present. Many of the people there were surprised that an energetic northern breed non-herding group puppy could display proficiency in herding, and were surprised that he was entered in the trial.

When our turn came, the crowd's interest level spiked. Lightning walked into the arena like he owned it. Debbie Pollard, one of the judges, introduced the Samoyed breed to the audience with a nice historical reference to their reindeer herding heritage. Lightning did a perfect sit and stay, controlled the sheep with grace and style, and returned them safely to their pen. The audience applauded loudly. Lightning looked very pleased with himself, nether knowing nor caring about his new title. He just enjoyed moving those sheep!

After the herding trial, we had to stop at one of the unspoiled beaches of northern California. This picture was taken on the ocean side of the gigantic sand spit that forms Big Lagoon in Humbolt County. Lightning's friend Tilly is chasing him along the water's edge. Tilly belongs to one of our friends who has been training her in herding, too.
Pacific Crest Samoyeds ~ Blog