Moonlighter Samoyeds
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History of Moonlighter Samoyeds


In search of the perfect Samoyed...

Wayne and I saw our first Samoyed in 1960 at a place in northern Florida called Dog World. They had one example of each breed, all Champions, each in their own pie shaped kennel run. We looked at them all and just couldn't get past the Samoyed. The attendant came over and said that was one of only two dogs he could let out for us to play with and left him out. That dog just could not enough love and we were hooked for life.

So that was the beginning. We came home and after attending the Samoyed Club of America national specialty in Wisconsin and watching Ch. Star Nika Altai of Silver Moon win Best in Specialty Show, we had to have one of his puppies. He was owned by Lucille Miller. His granddaughter, Moonlighter’s Altai Star Mist (Misty) became our foundation bitch. Donna Yokum of Albuquerque, NM, was her breeder. Her pedigree showed line breeding to the Joli dogs, specifically, the brothers Ch. Joli Knika, Ch. Joli White Knight.

Moonlighter's MistyMisty was major pointed when we sent her to the Pacific Northwest to be mated to BIS Ch. Saroma’s’ Polar Prince (Peppy) who was a half brother to the two Joli dogs mentioned above. So we shipped her off to Dick and Martha Beal who were horrified to have her arrive with missing 3 teeth and with a fractured jaw. That was in the days before our nice crates. We will never know what really happened on that trip. We never showed her again after the loss of those 3 teeth. When she passed away, she was the dam of the #1, #3 and #7 top winning Samoyeds in the country, thus proving her worth in the whelping box.

While we were looking for a bitch to keep, the litter consisted of 4 males, 0 bitches. Two of them finished and two of them never saw the show ring but were wonderful companions for young families. Anne Copeland took one of the show potential puppies and made him into Ch. Moonlighter's Celestial Hipy.

We kept the choice of the litter who became Ch. Moonlighter's Hallmark (Ike). Ike was an outstanding dog and dominated the upper Midwest, always novice breeder owner handled. Finishing with all major wins, he won numerous Working Groups and placed in the group about 60% of the time.

Ike was very attuned to me and I to him. I swear sometimes it seemed as though he knew what I wanted before I did. Ike was my dog and we both knew it.

Moonlighter's HallmarkOne day we were at a Dog Fair in Waukesha. We had dressed the three girls up in Eskimo-like costumes, hitched three dogs up to a sled on wheels with one running along behind as a spare tire and put on a little demo for a huge crowd of people. Then we noticed a weight pull going on off to one side. Well, we thought, that looks like a new game to play. So we borrowed a harness, weighed him in, and jumped in at the deep end. When Ike understood what we wanted, he just put his head down, leaned into his shoulders and hauled it off. He showed some of the other dogs how it should be done that day, winning his division. Ike had a spotty weight pull career, mostly pulling at the national specialties, and his personal best was 1,870 pounds. He was all power and always willing. He never, never quit.

I remember at one point when the load was getting heavy, he looked at me and started to bark, clearly saying, "You're crazy. It's too heavy. I can't do it." This was in front of a huge crowd. I yelled back at him, "I am not crazy and yes you can!" And he did! Got a tremendous laugh from the crowd and I think he knew it.

Ike was at the top of the standard, had almost black eyes, a working dog coat, very good bone, an impeccable rear, a perfect front coming at you with a long upper arm, a tight tail and a wonderful intelligence. Side gait was what put him over with the group judges. He was an extremely muscular dog, always in good shape, a credit to the breed. I put HOAD after his name on pedigrees which means "Hell of a Dog". Ike produced six champions and a number of wonderful companions with beautiful temperaments.

Misty's second litter was sired by Ch. Kondako's Sun Dancer. Poor Misty. She happened to be on the East Coast for breeding at the same time that the Richardsons were hosting a Potomac Valley Samoyed club meeting. Some of the members wanted to know how a breeding was done, so Dave and Connie said, C'mon, we'll demonstrate. So Sun Dancer was taken to the basement breeding area and all of the members filed down for some education. Misty took one look when she was starting down the stairs, looked around and said, "Oh no, not me!" and turned around and headed back up. However, the humans prevailed and the breeding was done which produced some lovely puppies. Misty obviously did not think of herself as a demo dog and had a very private body.

Our keeper from that litter was Ch. Moonlighter's Ice 'N Spice, better known as Pup-Pup. She was a beautiful puppy who grew into a lovely bitch, finishing with all majors in some heavy competition. Pup-Pup had a great side gait and very nice front. We always felt her head was a little overdone with a tad more stop that we felt was right, beautiful dark eyes, a nice shoulder layback, good bone, terrific pigment and was a joy to live with. I never saw her curl a lip at another human or dog.

Choosing a sire for Pup-Pup was a problem. She was such a nice bitch that almost any dog we used would be a step down. She became one of the Top Producing Brood Bitches in the country and one year tied with her Granddaughter, Ch. Frostyacres I've Been Samkist for the SQ Top Brood Bitch Award. Anything less than almost perfection would not fly in the hot competition in Wisconsin at that time. Finally we chose Eng. Can and Am Ch. Delmonte This Is It (Lucky). Lucky was an English import and when we used him he was in Salt Lake City. From Wisconsin, flying to Salt Lake City was a real problem, involving some transfers, but it all worked out fine. We felt Lucky had the type we wanted and Pup-Pup could hold the movement. We got Lucky.

The Lucky/Pup-Pup breeding proved to be a fortuitous breeding. Among other very nice dogs, this breeding produced BIS, BISS AM & CAN CH. MOONLIGHTER’S IMA BARK STAR TT, CAN ROM

Moonlighter's Bark Star"Bark" and Wayne were a wonderful combination. In the show ring, they were magic to watch. Bark dominated the upper Midwest in the '70's. While Bark pulled his 1,000 pounds, we never asked him to do more than that. He had other fish to fry. He was the consummate show dog with a wonderful smile, the epitome of breed type and a good mover. His only problem was that he was not owned by people with big bucks but just a normal family with three little girls to play with.

He was as sweet and happy as he looks in his famous photo. Many a weekend, we loaded up the station wagon with Wayne and myself in the front, three little girls in the back seat and two dogs in crates in the back end along with all of the normal dog show paraphernalia. At that time, within a 100 mile radius, there were three owner handled Best in Show Samoyeds competing.

One year, we decided to take a dog show vacation and do the Tar Heal Circuit in the Carolinas. Lo and behold, one of the dogs entered there was one of the local BIS winners, only this time with a hot shot professional handler. This was one of the few times when being an owner handler actually paid off, for the other dog just did not perform for the pro handler as he did for his owner. After Bark won three days in a row, the other dog went home.

Bark almost always got at least a piece of the group in the days before the Working Group was split into Working and Herding. He won five Specialties, innumerable Working Group firsts and a Best In Show at the largest show then held in Wisconsin.

But more important than his show ring accomplishments, Bark Star appealed to breeders across the U.S., Canada and Mexico. They sent their best bitches. Bark was the product of an outcross, but both of his parents were line-bred to different lines. Perhaps that is the reason he was able to stamp his puppies with his very appealing and correct head, his lovely temperament and his solid movement.

Bark's puppies won many Stud Dog classes at specialties for him including the National. One year the Award of Merit winners at the national were 75% Bark Star kids. Bark produced about 60 American and Canadian Champions. His kids won specialties, became therapy dogs, did pack hiking and one of them won the SCA National Specialty. That was Randy and Kathy Lensen's Ch. Moonlighter's Ima Spark 'O Bark, a litter mate to Ch Frostyacres I've Been Samkist, bred by Sharon Kremsreiter. In another area we will give you lists of Champion offspring for the Ike, Bark Star and Stanley and some of our bitches.


Enter Ch. Sambushed Spoonful of Sugar bred by Elizabeth Metz-Simpson. We felt we needed to add a different line to our kennel for versatility in our breeding plans. Spoonie was BOS at the California SCA specialty in 1986, judged by Bob Ward. She finished her championship easily and won the brood bitch class at the national. When bred to the Ike son, Ch. West Free’s Double Oh Seven (Bond) produced a number of Champions. The most notable of these was CH. MOONLIGHTER'S GRANDSTANDER, ROMP

At his very first puppy match, Chicagoland Samoyed Club, Stanley was so confident that he knew who he was that he walked into the ring and simply owned it. He just stacked up out there in the ring (and Wayne knew enough not to interfere with him) and said, "Well, here I am." Yes, he was Best Puppy in Match without our having decided on a real name for him yet. We were just calling him "Puppy". After that performance he became Grandstander and that got shortened to Stanley. He always had tremendous ring presence.

Moonlighter's StanleyQuite like his grandfather, Ike, Stanley was another of those muscular dogs. All muscle with a plush coat and wonderful movement. Stanley won seven Specialties and the day he won the sixth I didn't’t know whether to be happy or cry for he had broken Bark Star's record. He won many Working Group firsts and had a wonderful attitude about life.

Stanley's personal weight pull high was 2,410 pounds, pulled at an SCA weight pull, I think the one in Fredericksburg, MD. Stanley and Wayne were quite a team and I have a video of that pull if anyone wants to see it. After Wayne died, I didn't know if Stanley would pull for me. He won BISS at two specialties after that with me at the end of the lead but I didn't know if he would continue to pull. Took him to the Wisconsin SCA specialty in 94 and he pulled his heart out.

At the 2003 Annual Award Banquet, Stanley received the first and only Register of Merit Excellent (ROMX) ever awarded to the Samoyed Club of America. To achieve this, his puppies had to win enough points for the ROMC (conformation) and the ROMP (performance). What a dog!

Moonlighter's KidKid was a Stanley daughter out of Ch.Sno-Kiddin's Silent Running. This bitch was as close to perfection as I am every likely to own. She was Best Futurity Jr. at the 91 national in Denver and Best in Sweeps in Chicago. She was a beautiful puppy who matured into a lovely, elegant bitch and was a stellar brood bitch. Again, she had that easy to live with temperament and was the consummate bed dog.

Kid produced 12 Champions including Group winners, Therapy dogs, and Specialty winners. She also won a Brood Bitch Class at a SCA national as well as and Award of Merit.

Skimmer is by Ch. Alevers Custom Cruiser out of Ch. Moonlighter’s Ice Star Natasha

Skimmer is another one that finished with all majors including a 5 pointer at the Chicagoland Specialty. Skimmer proved to be a stellar brood bitch.

Current dogs include Ch Moonlighter’s Treasure Chest who finished with all majors, Moonlighter’s That’s My Girl (6 championship points) who is currently pregnant, Ch. Moonlighter’s Glacier Skimmer, Shadowoods Shaboom, and Moonlighter’s Simply Nifty. Oh and the baby puppy Moonlighter’s Hope Diamond. Also, co-owned with Lynette Sylvester is Moonlighter’s Samkist Surprise who was RWB at the ’02 national and just received and OFA excellent on her hips.

Current dogs include Ch Moonlighter's Treasure Chest who finished with all majors, Moonlighter's That's My Girl, Ch. Moonlighter's Glacier Skimmer and Moonlighter's Hope Diamond.

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