Patti got her first Sam in 1969. He was the smartest dog we'd ever seen, the most fun, and was a constant companion. Because of Nicky, we learned about dog show matches, obedience classes (yes, there was a definite correlation between those two things. lol), and the importance of keeping dogs safely confined when not on a leash. But, this isn't about sad lessons learned. It's about Nicky. Who was so awesome we just couldn't imagine why you would ever have any other breed.
Nicky sired one litter, from which Patti and her sister got a puppy bitch. Tina (Shadowwood's Valentina Taraskovia CD) was a little lacking in the movement required to be a good show dog. However she was an excellent obedience dog who earned her CD (Companion Dog) easily, and had one leg toward her CDX (Companion Dog Excellent) when a jumping injury to her front leg put an end to that career. She had one litter of eight puppies, two of which we kept. (Common new breeder mistake. LOL)
Yuki, Tina, Bobo, Echo - showing off their stays in our front yard in Leesburg.
Our next dog was a young male for Stirling. He'd not worked out in his puppy home, and needed a new home. Although we had Tina, I was used to having a large male around, so Stirling got Yuki (Hiyuki of Winmar CD) to add to the group. Fortunately, I was soon to move out of my apartment in Washington and into our rental home that had a yard. We worked both Tina and Yuki in Obedience classes (lesson learned there - start them when they are young) and put CDs on both of them. By that time we were living in a townhouse and had those eight puppies on the way. Yuki didn't do well in shows partly due to his large size and partly due to his handler (moi) being completely ignorant of anything show related. He was very well bred, from a Champion bitch and a Best-in-Show winning sire. So we were getting definitely getting sucked into the idea of showing in conformation as well as obedience.
The two puppies we kept were Bobo (Shadow-wood's Beauregard CDX) and Echo (Shadow-wood's Arctic Echo CD). Both were good obedience dogs (although Bobo tended to become very deaf if/when he got loose and wanted to go for a run), with Bobo being ranked #5 in the country among Samoyeds while he was showing in Open, and Echo was a very high-scoring dog while showing in Novice. Unfortunately, Echo had a condition that meant she died quite young, so she never got to fulfill her potential. Bobo lived to a very ripe old age (I think he was seventeen or almost seventeen when we finally made the decision we should have made much sooner)
Moving on to wanting to be successful in conformation showing, we got a show quality puppy bitch from a breeder we knew, intending for her to be the foundation bitch in our growing kennel. Zana (Ch. Solitaire's Shadow-wood Start CD) was quite successful both as a show dog and as a brood bitch, going WB and BOS at a PVSC specialty on her first time out. She took our plans for her to heart, and managed to breed herself to an aging (but still spry, obviously) Bobo on her very first season. And there we were with six unplanned for puppies. Again (still making those beginner mistakes of keeping everything we like), we kept a dog and a bitch.
Shadow-wood's Vanilla Mousse CD needed only a major to finish his championship when, the night before he was to leave on the Tarheel circuit, he managed to have a wreck in the back yard and damage his back. (I think he lost a fight with a tree). End of his conformation show career, his obedience career (he was almost ready to show in Open and earn a CDX) and his stud dog career (one of the meds he was on for his back apparently wiped out his sperm count). He was a great dog never the less, making an excellent demo dog for obedience classes and one that my small children could walk on a leash.
Ch. Shadow-wood's Fulla Trouble C.D. was the bitch we kept from that litter. She was a very pretty girl who hated dog shows and never tried to hide it from the judge. She finished in spite of herself with a little help from a professional handler who gave her back to me saying, "Here you go. Your bitch is finished!" Although Stirling continued to do Obedience work with her (she was highest scoring dog at the 1983 SCA National Specialty), other things were beginning to eat into our time and advanced obedience training began to slip away from us.
She was bred to one of our favorite dogs, Ch. Northwind's Running Bear, and we kept two puppies - both of which inherited Bear's wonderful disposition and trainability. Although we never put titles on Bomber and Bits (Shadow-woods Bomber Bear - sorry, kids were naming dogs by then - and Shadow-woods Litlle Bit O Bear) they just seemed to learn things by osmosis and never needed formal training. That lovely temperament of Bear's got passed down to future generations. However, by this time, we were up to our eyebrows in scouts and soccer, and dog training and showing weren't making in onto the schedule very often.
In the meantime, we had bred Zana again (on purpose this time) to Ch. Timberline's Lord Tikal. An excellent combo that produced a couple of champions and another one of our needs-that-last-major-to-finish dogs. (We didn't yet know how much of a habit this was going to be.) From that breeding, we kept only one bitch - Shadow-wood's Lotsa Dots CD. Our last dog to earn an obedience title (I think), Dots won the 12-18 month class at the same National Specialty that Trouble went HIT. Not a bad showing for Shadow-wood Sams that year. She was also a wonderful producer.
Bred to Ch. Neraks No Cents Atall (3 times), Dots produced multiple champions that included sweeps and specialty winners, as well as group placing dogs. The ones we kept and/or co-owned were Boom Boom - Ch. Shadow-wood's Sis Boom Bah, Licorice - Ch. Shadow-wood's the Candyman, Sneak - Ch. Shadow-wood's Sneak-a-peak (co-owned with my sister, he may have had a CD, I don't remember), Bam Bam - Shadow-wood's Bim Bam Boom (pointed), and Indy - Shadow-wood's Last Crusade (major pointed). Other puppies from those breedings went to live with other people and also earned championships and/or obedience titles.
Everything we have currently, and have had through the past ten or fifteen years goes back to that very successful combination at least once, if not several times. We've learned to keep fewer dogs and have been happy to share our puppies with other Sammy admirers. In addition to other conformation champions, those offspring have included one of the first Sams to show in Agility (and to become the Samoyed Club of America's top Agility Samoyed in several different years), a nationally-ranked conformation champion and multiple group placer, a working sled dog that also does weight-pulling, and several other successful obedience dogs.
More information about specific dogs, as well as pictures of them, will be available on each dog's page. (as soon as I get them made).
(The pictures at the top of the page are of Mitzi - who went to live with Kylie Bourke and become an amazing agility dog with more titles than I know how to count; and Muffin - Marge Goodenough's pick from the litter that produced Gimlet, Sadie, Tank, and several other wonderful dogs.)