President - Goodlettsville, TN
Hello, I have lived just outside of Nashville TN most of my life. I am a retired hairdresser of 25 years and am married to a wonderful man who understands my passion for the AKK. I am enjoying my retirement as it gives more time for the more important things, my AKK…LOL
I first got involved with the AKK in 1997. My parents were on a trip to Alaska when my father called one day and said he found a 7 lb. Onyx (one of my beloved Siberians. I had been showing and breeding Siberians for about 10 years) I said sure you did. But he insisted, so he gave me Eileen’s info and I gave her a call. To my surprise, she was going to the first UKC show the AKK were accepted (Premier 1997) in June so I made arrangements to attend. I was surprised to see these lil’ guys. Unimak was the first to catch my eye. He was beautiful. I knew then I had to have a few of these special dogs. Although my showing experience had been with AKC, I gave Eileen a crash course in showing, practicing in the hotel parking lot. We had a wonderful time that weekend and I knew I had to have Unimak after leaving there.
I got on Eileen’s waiting list and a month or so later she called and said she had a pup for me. Again I made arrangements to take a vacation with my daughter and parents, we were headed to Colorado. I was amazed when I arrived. So many of these lil guys and, until then, I had never heard of them. I also started talking to Eileen about Unimak. She finally agreed to let me have him; I also brought back Cody and Chechako (who just passed at age 15). Before I left there, I told Eileen what I would like to have in an AKK. In January of 1998 I made a return trip to get Popper and also ended up with Katahna. I was set to start my small breeding program. I have really enjoyed my AKK and it has been a learning experience. I now have 12 but there’s always room for more!
I have had a few setbacks in my life, health and family but now that I am retired I am ready to take on the responsibilities of President of AKKAOA. I look forward to getting to know as many breeders and pet owners as possible and making this club the best it can be with help from the Board of Directors and its members. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretary, Knoxville, TN
My husband (Tom) and I live in Tennessee, in the rolling valley of the Blue Ridge Mountains, with our four-legged sons, Drake and Kodi, two beautiful Klee Kai. Our love affair with the Klee Kai began 18 years ago on a spring walk near our home in Colorado Springs. This chance encounter led us to our new friends, Greg and Eileen Gregory, of Peyton, Colorado, who invited us to their home to meet their Klee Kai’s and put us on a waiting list for one. Nanakuli was our first Klee Kai and her blue eyes won our hearts in the first moment we met her and it was a love affair that lasted past her 16 years with us. We moved to Tennessee in 2004. When we took Nanakuli for her first vet visit in Tennessee we were delighted to find out that one of their clients also had AKK. We traded phone numbers then and were thrilled to get a phone call from Lenor & Theo Lynas, who invited us to come meet their two “doggies”. At that same visit, I asked about a younger pal for Nanakuli and was delighted to discover that there was a local breeder in Goodletsville, TN. To no one’s surprise, after visiting Sherry Blose we came home with our little male AKK, to be called Sibridge’s Little Man Drake. Drake is now five and a beautiful grey and white miniature with brown eyed – an altered male. Nanakuli passed away in 2010. Before that we got a second male to help Drake in his sadness over Nanakuli’s decline. Enter Sibridges Take Me Dakota Traveler Again…an energetic grey/white blue eyed altered male. Kodi is now two years old and is still very energetic. He went to numerous puppy classes, obedience classes and agility classes.
We went to our first dog show in April of 2010 and met the nicest AKK folks there. They soon helped the Biscay Boys; as we are known, understand the rules and protocol of dog showing throughout the UKC. We went to our second show in Simpsonville, KY, in June 2012 and Kodi made his altered champion. WOW! I cannot tell you how exciting it was for a novice like me to have stood up there with Kodi when he won Altered Champion. So we continued to the big dog show in October at Purina Farms. Everyone should try and make it to a dog show! This was the absolutely most exciting thing I’ve ever done with my dogs. The contestants, dogs, judges, and venue were superb! I am really looking forward to future shows with the Biscay Boys!
Currently I live in Knoxville, Tennessee with my husband of 42 years, Tom. We have a beautiful daughter, Stephanie and a wonderful son-in-law, Chris. The current joys of life besides Drake and Codi are Abigail Rose and Joshua – our grandchildren! We enjoy cooking, gardening, bird watching, and attending Josh’s hockey games. We love spending time with Tom’s sister, Margaret, who has AKC champion Corgis. She lives nearby and we enjoy her company as well as her expertise on showing dogs! She has accompanied me to some of the shows!
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Vice President - Pittsburgh, PA
Hello. My name is Carolyn Zinsser. I am a recently retired nurse anesthetist living in suburban Pittsburgh, PA. My five Klee Kai live in the house with me. In the back yard they share space with 2 ponds and numerous gold fish. Weather permitting the dogs help with gardening, and then they destroy it all! Gardening is never a static affair anyway.
I enjoy the conformation ring but also have a great interest in the health concerns of our lovely dogs. I am a hobby breeder looking for healthy, happy dogs. And, I love playing with puppies!
I am enjoying serving as VP, especially with the increased communication with UAKKA and Mike Carlin and the formation of the Alaskan Klee Kai National Rescue. However, my most important goal is the continued welfare of these very special dogs.
Please feel free to contact me with any concerns you may have.
I may be reached by e-mail at email@example.com; by snail mail at 313 Constitution Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15236 or by phone 412 655-4476 .
Kara Gamble, Secretary - Wolfforth, Texas
About 1990 I was in Colorado Springs, CO Pet Smart and they were having a show and tell day about different animals and some where for sell. They used to do this. There was a nice lady there with what looked like miniature huskies. Momma mini-husky was laying there calmly agreeing that ‘Yes, she had lovely puppies’. I said to my husband, if I were to get a dog, I wanted one of those. I asked for a card and went on my way.
Nine years later my husband and I decided we wanted to get a dog. I still had the card from that lady with the mini-huskies. She was no longer in Colorado Springs, CO but she was in Peyton, CO and I managed to track her down and got on her waiting list. I was coming to Colorado Springs and I talked her into letting me come and visit. I was still a ways down on the list. During my visit, a five month old puppy climbed into my lap and proceeded to growl at any other puppy or dog that came near. She stayed there the rest of the time I was there.
As I got ready to leave, Eileen told me Mireekle’s (miracle) story. This has been told other places but in short, she almost didn’t survive birth and was thought frozen to death until a can and the sun acted as an incubator. Due to this, Eileen had kept her longer to make sure she was unharmed before finding her a home. Eileen told me Mireekle never liked anyone, yet there she was in my lap. I was at least 5 or 6 down the list for this particular dog so I left with a heavy heart.
Eileen proceeded to cajole, coax, wheedle, persuade, and convince those people to give up that dog so that I could have her. I have thanked her and all those people ever since. I was always a cat person. I am now also a dog person.
Since then my husband and I were adopted by 9 year old Nipnuk who retired from Eileen’s stud service, Mist, a Siberian Husky rescue, and Sitka and Mia, Klee Kais. Not to mention 5-6 cats depending on when the counting took place, mostly rescues. The house was also filled at one time with 4 generations of family, very interesting. We currently have 2 Klee Kais and 5 cats. Also a fish tank.
I’m retired from a career in computers. When I started, computers weren’t even a degree program just an emphasis. I actually retired from Hewlett Packard but only because they had bought Compaq Computers which had bought Digital Equipment Corporation. I worked from home towards the end supporting high end customers. What can I say, I’m a geek. I’m currently working with Photo Shop to digitize my family photos. I also have done most crafts at some time. Mostly I do cross-stitch, sewing, doll clothes, stained glass, whatever I’m currently checking out. I also read a lot, do cross words (sometimes in ink), Sudoku, and watch movies. Larry and I have one daughter, a son-in-law and three grand kids. Technically I’m a wicked step-mother, a role I rather enjoy, especially at Halloween.
We currently live in Wolfforth outside Lubbock Texas which is appropriate since Larry is from Maine and I’m from California.
Lo Binkley, Thousand Oaks, CA - President
I was born in Indiana (that makes me a Hoosier), spent nearly 20 years in Tennessee (that makes me a Southern gal), and have been in Southern California for almost 20 years. I retired 8 years ago, and have never been busier, as I have really gone to the dogs. Briefly, my professional background consists of over 30 years as a nephrology nurse, some of which were spent teaching nursing students at Vanderbilt University, coordinating a large nephrology program at the Nashville VA, coordinating a clinical research program at Vanderbilt University, and the last 12 years were in the corporate setting of a large biotech company.
These activities gave me exposure to clinical research, opportunities to travel a bit to give presentations, and to experience aspects of writing, publishing, and marketing. Such diverse experiences provided a good foundation for my entry into life in the Alaskan Klee Kai world, which I entered after my retirement. It began with the acquisition of a very shy little guy named Mac, who was subsequently neutered because of a heart murmur at 14 months of age. That murmur has now disappeared, and my journey with the Alaskan Klee Kai became more intense when I decided to become active in AKKAOA. As a pet owner, I drove from California to KY a couple of times to assist with AKKAOA dog shows. Mac let me know that he needed a buddy, so I flew to Shalimar Acres to pick up a beautiful little girl that I named Katrina Mali. Mali is now my Grand Champion and the wonderful mother of some pretty awesome pups. Mali gave me Ruby, who is now a Champion, and who is an absolute delight and the squealer that her father, Ninja, is; she keeps Mac and Mali young at heart.
I have since added Shoni, my gorgeous, energetic little guy from Naitok Kennels, who is into everything. All four of these wonderful creatures have brought me so much joy, taught me patience, and have helped me to apply my health care background to promoting the health and welfare of the Alaskan Klee Kai breed. They are so bright and so much fun, they keep my grey matter working to keep up with or ahead of them. AKKAOA has allowed me to utilize my experiences and background in a myriad of ways, thru dog shows, health surveys and initiatives, as well as given me the opportunity to meet so many different people across so many different lifestyles. My first responsibility as Event Chair for an AKKAOA activity was six years ago in the form of Pet Expo. Because of the phenomenal response of AKK owners in Southern California, Pet Expo has become a venue for educating the public about the Alaskan Klee Kai that continues to this day. Pet Expo has always been open to all AKK owners, regardless of whether or not they had any dog club affiliation. All AKK owners are encouraged to bring their dogs to the event site and help educate the public about this wonderful breed. I initially began my AKKAOA Board career thru an appointment as a Director to the Board of Directors to fulfill a vacancy that had occurred. That was followed later by an election to that position, and then election to the position of Vice-President. However, with the sudden resignation of the President at the start of her term two years ago, I found myself at the helm of AKKAOA as President. This past year has been a very difficult one for AKKAOA, but we have some wonderful people who truly care about the Alaskan Klee Kai, and all have worked very hard together for the sake of the breed.
I believe it important to find and utilize talented people to fill leadership roles within AKKAOA. We have so many creative people in the Alaskan Klee Kai world, that we would be remiss if we did not take advantage of so much diversity and strength. Very recently, we have added an internationally recognized clinical researcher to our arsenal as Chair of the Health and Medical Research Committee. We can only grow stronger as we continue to bring in talented and gifted individuals whose contributions to AKKAOA will increase our abilities to enhance the Alaskan Klee Kai as a breed. I truly hope that I will have the opportunity to meet each and every one of the AKK lovers out there, and that we can all develop the trust and respect for each other that will enable us to work together in a united force for our dogs and for the breed.
AKKAOA Board of Directors and Chair, Health & Medical Research Committee
Patty Ramsburg Treasurer - Dunkirk, MD
Hi! I’m Patty Ramsburg and I’m happy to introduce myself to you and tell you all about the life we are living in Dunkirk, Maryland. I continue to work in the accounting department at Community Realty Company as I have done for 10 years. Accounts Payable/Receivable, General Ledger, Cash Management and loads more fill my work days. I’m a single mom…my daughter, Kimberley, is now 19 years old. She’s been a huge part of the AKK life we have and I know she misses the dogs now that she’s away at school. She is in her first year at Frostburg State University, living 3 hours away, where she is pursuing a degree in Education. Many of you know Kim from various shows or from being part of our AKK family. We joined the AKK Community 7 years ago and it was the best decision we ever made!
We always had huskies when I was growing up…my brother got a husky pup, Bleu, in 1994 when Kim was just 4 years-old and she fell in love with him. We did not have the space for such a large dog so Kim enjoyed her time with Bleu. I first found out about the AKK breed in August of 2001 while surfing the web and instantly knew that this was the breed for us. I got on several waiting lists and was delighted to receive an email from Gail Compton in February of 2002 saying a puppy was available to us. She was so cute and we named her Zoe. Kim and I drove to Pennsylvania 2 weeks later to pick her up. Gail said, “You know these guys are like potato chips, you can’t have just one.” She sure was right! We have 10 AKK now and each one is unique and special to us. They live in our house and our lives revolve around them.
I never dreamed we’d be showing dogs or breeding them. I went to a show in September of 2002 and Carol Din said, “Here, take Jazz and show her.” I did and she won! I was terrified but hooked! We are a small hobby breeder who had our first litter in 2004 and got even more excited about our future with the AKK. Our puppies are family raised and well socialized. We are committed to a future of breeding quality puppies. Our #1 priority is our dogs and what is best for them. We breed for health, temperament and conformation. Our puppies have gone to wonderful families and homes and we’re grateful for each and every one of them.
We have AKK from Gail and Kenny Compton, Ruth Elliott and Karen Street. They have been fantastic role models and mentors for us. Gail Compton will forever be in our hearts as she entrusted us with our very first puppy from her very first litter. I think about her all the time and wonder, what would Gail think about this?
In my spare time J I love to travel, all the dogs go along unless there’s flying involved. They LOVE the beach! We love Disney World and the only drawback to going often is that the dogs can’t go. I also enjoy reading, cooking, baking and planning parties. I usually have between 1 and 5 projects going on around the house at any given time... painting, demolishing, replacing or redecorating something! I’m a neat freak and very organized and that helps me stay focused on my day to day tasks.
I joined AKKAOA in 2002. I have served as Treasurer for the last 2+ years and as a director prior to that. I learn something new nearly every day and thoroughly enjoy every minute of it. I am on the Show and Event committee, among others, and am excited to work alongside Carolyn Zinsser as the east coast hosts of the AKKAOA Specialty weekend in 2009, which will include multi-breed shows and obedience trials! WOOHOO! We have some really exciting things happening and even more planned. AKKAOA has a strong foundation to continue to build on. I am thrilled to be a part of that.
Lenor Lynas, Secretary-Knoxville,Tn.
Lenor Lynas, from Knoxville, TN, is a retired Lady of Leisure, happily owned by two AKK, Charmn and Kyli, who she refers to as her “dogettes.” Lenor retired in 1992 after 30 years with the government in Washington, DC. Before moving to Tennessee to work for Lockheed Martin at Oak Ridge for a few years. She finally decided to call it quits for good in 1999 and now enjoys her dogettes full-time as well as traveling with her husband, and her favorite other hobby, sewing. She has made several doggie-themed quilts for AKKAOA.
Lenor is no stranger to northern breeds, having owned keeshonds for over 20 years. Shortly before her last keeshond died in 2000 at age 13, Lenor read about the wonderful AKK in Dog Fancy. Since she had moved to a smaller house and could no longer have the larger keeshond, she decided to seek out the AKK, and later that year, her first AKK, Storm, a toy black & white, came to live with her. Through Storm, Lenor was introduced to AKKAOA, and the rest is history! “Squeezably soft” Charmn, a gray & white long-hair, literally dropped into her lap at the 2001 AKK picnic in PA, but that is another story that she’ll be happy to share with you if you just ask her! Sadly, Storm crossed Rainbow Bridge in 2003, but in 2004 Kyli joined the family.
Although never involved in breeding or showing dogs, Lenor is a strong advocate of the AKK as a pet owner, and she has become very active in AKKAOA. In addition to being AKKAOA’s current Secretary, Lenor is chairman of the Fund Raising/Logo Usage Committee. She was also a member of the now disbanded Logo Committee that developed the AKKAOA logo, and was an alternate member of the Nominating Committee in 2003. In addition, Lenor is the author of the popular “Meet the Alaskan Klee Kai” pamphlet, which she makes available to anyone who requests it for their own use in publicizing the AKK.
According to Lenor, “There’s not a greater nor more dedicated group of dog lovers than the people I’ve met in AKKAOA. I’m proud to be associated with them.”
2008 - Lenor Lynas - Lifetime Membership Award Photo
Cheryl (Chris) Shackelford, President-Millport, Al.
My registered name Cheryl Shackelford, though my call name is Chris. I have been involved with the Alaskan Klee Kai since before the breed had a name, in fact I was present in Linda's kitchen when the naming took place. In 1988 I was honored to be chosen by Linda Spurlin our breed developer to be on the original Board of Directors.
I have been an elected President of AKKAOA's Board of Directors since 1996. I was a participant in the writing of the original breed standards and bylaws, gaining recognition for the AKK with the American Rare Breed Association, Federation of International Canines, and United Kennel Club, a rewrite of the breed standards and Bylaws to conform with UKC's format and gaining recognition for AKKAOA as first a Provisional then a Fully Licensed UKC Conformation club.
I am one of the three (so far) Honorary Lifetime Members of AKKAOA chosen by the membership. I will be retiring as President in 2004 at which time I will serve for one year as the Current Past President according to our Bylaws. It has been a long and exciting journey in which much has been accomplished for the breed and the club, but I am looking forward to passing the torch.