An Interview with current OWS President, Pam Landers
Tell me about how you got involved with dogs in general, and Samoyeds
in particular. Who was your first Samoyed?
I have always been enthralled with pets, and had a variety when I was growing up – hamsters, turtles, rabbits, chameleons, tropical fish, ponies and horses (often to my mother’s great dismay – she was just not the hamster type!). My many dogs usually came from my dad’s patients in our small farming community in Illinois. Because my dad was the local family doctor, he often received payment with things raised on the farm.
My favorite dog memory was my first sight of a Samoyed. I was about 11 or 12, and had ridden my bike down to the local Dairy Queen one summer day for a cone. A station wagon was parked there with two of the most gorgeous dogs I had ever seen. I asked the lady who owned them a million questions (she probably couldn’t get rid of me fast enough) and then rode my bike to the library to look them up. I resolved to one day have one of my own.
Many years later I had never forgotten them, and when my husband and I finally had steady jobs and a home of our own, I bought my first Samoyed. I saw the ad in the local newspaper – a farming couple had puppies for sale. I just went to see the litter – and came home with a puppy, Fortunately, she did have registered parents and could be registered herself as Master Dustin’s Koryak (Kubla Kahn’s Master Dustin was her sire, but what did we know about naming, or anything to do with registered dogs, for that matter.) Kory was our entry into the world of training and showing dogs. We loved her, thought she was perfect (of course she was!) and started obedience training with her to teach her manners. At dog class we learned about obedience trials and conformation showing. Since we thought she could do anything. we did it all. We started skijoring with her in the winter to keep her exercised – and everything else led from there.
What dogs do you have now?
Now after 30 years of conformation showing, obedience and rally training, skijoring, pack hiking, weight pull, agility and sledding, I have learned that I can’t do it all ,all the time, so we have pared our activities down to agility, sledding, and conformation showing. Five Sammies now live with us, and I co-own a few more. Our resident Sams are
Ch. Sylvan’s Long Distance Travel RE WSXM (10 plus yrs)
Ch. Sylvan’s Airs Above the Snow OA OAJ WSXM SV (10 plus yrs.)
Sylvan-Tsar’s Altai Osprey OA NAJ WSX (5 yrs)
Ch. Prairie Isle High Plains Winter CA WSX (2 plus yrs)
Dbl Helix Somewhere in Time (4 months)
What about your family? What is your background?
I am married, no children. Both my husband and I are now retired. I worked as an Anthropology Instructor, Editor in Anthropology, and Environmental Education Program Manager for the state of Minnesota. My husband owned his own business in dock and boat lift sales and service. We moved to Minnesota in the 1970s and found that we loved winter sports. That fit very well with our love of Samoyeds.
What hopes do you have for the future of Samoyeds?
My fervent hope is that Samoyeds never become merely a breed of fluffy, cute, dumb couch potatoes. They came from the arctic, as tough an environment as there is, and they were a bred for hard work requiring versatility and a brain. I consider that my greatest achievement in the Samoyed world was the instigation of the Samoyed Club of America working program back in 1990. I was concerned then about the split between working dogs and conformation dogs in our breed and other breeds. I talked to Frankie Trojan who was on the Board of Governors at the time about this. She told me about the Malamute Club’s working program, and suggested that if I wrote up a proposal to the BOG, she would present it. I sent the Malamute Club’s written information to the BOG with a request for a similar program. They said they wanted to see a proposal written specifically for Samoyeds. They appointed a committee (Kent Dannon, Bob Ward and me) to come up with the goods. We eventually submitted the forerunner of the current program, which has functioned well now for 22 years. I enthusiastically applaud Samoyed owners that work with their dogs. Its one of the best things they can do for the breed.