So 2020, the start of the Corona virus pandemic…
The year started much like any year, just with the joy, hope and excitement that we had a dog in the Top Ten and in June Eirik was going to show his socks off in the 2019 Top Ten line up at UKC Premier… Or so we had every reason to believe…Before the world came to a total stand still…
Reflecting on 2020 it was a year with such highs but also such gut-wrenching lows. It was a year where we saw our dogs achieve new highs but as we also lost one and so those highs that we should have truly been celebrating were to a large extent overshadowed. . .
On August 19th we had to make a horrid decision for our dearest Honey, Daughter of Missy and Jager after she suffered a spinal injury in April. We made that last choice for her as her quality of life was never going to allow her to do any of the things she loved and that made her, well, her. We said goodbye to the most precious little princess and assisted her in crossing the rainbow bridge after her injury sadly paralyzed her.
This broke us, the whole HoKK family. Honey had been such a ray of sunshine and to lose her just after her 1st birthday was just devastating. . .
A few months later we entered Honey in a Virtual dog show to support the German Shepherd Dog Rescue (North East branch), we were not going to enter her at all but then I don’t know why but we just felt we should and not only did she win the Rainbow Bridge class (dog’s no longer with us), but she then went on to win the non-German Shepherd Best In Show! As we had such high hopes for her in the show ring when she was with us, it was extra special that she did so well in the only show we ever entered her in. Her mother Missy had been entered in the show and won her class of “Any other breed of dog” (so non GSD) which was also wonderful and Trixie placed second in the action photo class. While not a “real” show, it was still lovely to see our girls do well, especially Honey.
It was not just Honey, Missy and Trixie who were accomplishing things during lock down. Nuka showed that Klee Kai can really do just about anything and won a “Gundog Pickup” challenge which was judged based on Directionals, retrieve, cueing, delivery, responsiveness, steadiness, picking up and handling. Proof that you don’t have to be a gundog to do gundog work!
Over in Finland Anna of our Finnish branch of HoKK was hard at work with Bambi and Enzo achieving their Trick dog Novice titles. Oh, I think we forgot to mention that we have added Anna to our ranks at HoKK as a trusted breeder who shares our morals, ethics, mission and vision for the breed. We could not be more delighted!
As Well as Anna joining the HoKK team, so did a very special, yet much younger person. . .
In March 2020, Emily and Kaine of House Of Spades welcomed a bouncing baby (human) boy to the pack. Despite Cole’s age he has been a welcome addition to the group, showing everyone how much Klee Kai love “their” kids.
While now we would normally tell you guys about the neat new titles the dogs attained at UKC Premier, as Premier did not go ahead in a traditional sense, instead I will tell you about a neat new title the dogs attained at Premier 2018 and 2019. So, when we returned from Premier in 2018 Nuka and Missy had attained their Runn title, the same for Eirik in 2019. Well Precision coursing was not a UKC licensed event at that time but now it is which means that now it has different titles for the same thing but more importantly it means that these titles are now officially part of our dogs REG names.
As I said above Premier did not go ahead in a traditional sense, by this I mean that there was instead a Virtual Premier Total dog and while it did not include a Top Ten, it did give people across the globe a chance to enter meaning that House Of Klee Kai was represented by Cosmo, Eirik, Missy, Mayhem, Ivy and Cooper in the UK, Enzo in Finland and Pippin in Norway! We were across all breeds the largest entry from a single kennel!
To partake in the Virtual Total dog, much like the normal Total dog each entrant must also compete in a sport and this is why we are such supporters of the Total dog philosophy:
“UKC has supported the Total Dog philosophy through its events and programs for over a century. Essentially, the UKC world of dogs is a working world. That’s the way it was developed in 1898, and that’s the way it remains today. A Total Dog displays equal parts Function, Temperament, and Structure. Total Dog is a way to showcase dogs who look and perform equally well. The UKC Total Dog philosophy places an emphasis on dogs who shine in multiple venues, such as displaying the gait appropriate for their breed type while in the show ring and then using that superb construction to effortlessly run full speed in a Lure Coursing race. A sound, well-bred, well-adjusted dog can easily transition from the show ring to a performance event. They have the looks to excel as a proper specimen of their breed, while also having the brains and ability to perform athletically in a variety of sporting events.”
So many people in this day and age think that show dogs are just pretty dogs that cant do anything but UKC’s total dog shows that actually, being a show dog is but one aspect of the dog, that there is so, so much more to each and every one of them.
And this is when 2020 became Pippin’s year…
We were so proud of all of our dogs and their owners for entering Virtual Premier but as we sat there, glued to our screens little did we expect that Pippin would win Best of Breed and then attain a group 3!
We always knew Pippin was stunning and soon we would find out that he has some rather prestigious admirers…
In October the American Kennel Club accepted the Alaskan Klee Kai into their FSS. The FSS is the same as the Import Registry in Kennel Club terms. It is the first step to full AKC recognition.
Now we (as a breed that is) were accepted by the FSS the AKKCOA who were the club pursuing AKC acceptance sprung to action, scouring the internet for images of Klee Kai who were as close to Linda Spurlin’s vision as possible. This was extra special because Linda Spurlin herself, the creator of the breed is on the BoD of the club, she would have the final say.
We were unaware that any of our dogs had been chosen to be presented to Linda, we were utterly clueless until we got a message that Linda herself adored Pippin, that she felt he was the one that she wanted on the AKKCOA website and moreover, he is the one she wanted on the AKC website depicting our breed!
Speechless. Speechless is how we felt when we were then sent Linda’s critique of Pippin, something Marie will always treasure. It is not every day your breed creator sees your dog, let alone likes them!
“Well, the grey and white, from what I can see of him HERE, is absolutely breathtakingly gorgeous! In a perfect world, the grey and white might have a little better mask (goggles) but he looks so much like a true husky with an AKK tail that he’s just flat beautiful.” – Linda Spurlin
Photo release after photo release and there he is, pride of place on the AKKCOA website, our very own Twyla x Jager son Pippin.
And here he is on the AKC website, once more representing the breed!
And THEN to top it off Pippin successfully completed his health testing along with his sister Trixie, half brother Cosmo and totally unrelated but still HoKK pup Isla!
So while 2020 was not what we expected it to be, it still had its moments. During the ease in lockdown we even saw both Twyla’s final litter and Mayhem’s first.
We don’t want to say that we look forward to 2021 as quite frankly we are mildly terrified of what it holds but lets hope there is a little less heartbreak and that when we sit down to write about 2021 we have at least as much good news as we did this time around.