And just what's a “rememblog?”  A rememblog is a takeoff on a weblog, but instead of being written by one person, it's made up of the remembrances of many.

So here, chronologically, are short stories that club members have dug up from their PVSC experiences:


Why PVSC was Formed

Because the founding members were all bored?  I mean, like, it was the sixties, man.  Vietnam was still on page three or five.  There was nothing happening!

Actually, PVSC was formed because we had a coterie of young(ish) Sammy exhibitors at the local shows, we were all breeding an occasional litter and decided that a local breed club would be a useful way of learning about the Samoyed, about the dog game, about breeding, about health issues, about..., about..., about....  It was an opportunity.

The Samoyed Club of America was about to be broken up from the Division structure into a purely national organization and it was time to start forming local breed clubs for the Samoyed.  The Samoyed Club of Los Angeles beat us to the punch for being the first local breed club with AKC, but hey--they had the Wards.

If I remember correctly, the original membership was Jim and Joan Sheets (Dr. Joan Turkus), Bill and Audrey Lycan, Win and Marilyn Orr, Dave and Connie Richardson, Art and (can't remember her name) DeCosta, along with the indefatigable Lillian Crist, who was Secretary in Perpetuity in those days.  Dave was elected, appointed, whatever, charter president of the club.  Shortly after the club was formed Bob and Betty (now Chamberlin) Arnold and Al and Elsie Buhaly joined as members, followed not long after by the Quigleys.  We now had a group of people who were workers!

There was a young Air force couple whose name I can't remember, also.  Barbara something...Hayward?  A little redheaded fireball and her high rank non-com husband.

The Orrs were heavily into obedience, Joan Sheets was driven to have a top-winning dog, the DaCostas were social animals, and the Richardsons and Lycans were into showing their puppies. The whole PVSC thing was held on a straight and narrow path by Lillian Crist who moved mountains within AKC.  As more and more puppies were generated by the PVSC membership (remember it was the late sixties and the AKC registration numbers were skyrocketing for all breeds), more people joined in.

The idea of becoming a specialty-giving club came along as AKC allowed.  The real reason for the club's existence was for all of us to try and figure out how to cope with the animals we had brought on ourselves.  What happened to all these people?  Jim was elected president of SCA in a breakthrough movement in the late sixties with Bill Stukey as his AKC delegate.  That got us a new SCA constitution.  Jim and Joan were divorced in the early seventies, as I recall, the Lycans likewise after moving to Huntsville with NASA.  The Orrs moved to the Phoenix area. The Buhalys went to Florida.  Connie and I went to Los Angeles on 1972-73 and were divorced in 1985.  The Quigleys stayed in the area but slowly left the game.  The Stukeys moved to Pasadena, which if you know Pasadena was very appropriate.  Betty Chamberlin can tell you her own story but I will say she found a good man even if he did have Rotts.

The bottom line is that a bunch of local exhibitors and owners founded a breed club to learn.  Which is the only reason that is worth the effort to form such an organization.  Plus, we had a lot of fun.

---Dave Richardson---

[webmaster's note--PVSC was formed in 1966. What Dave neglects to add is that he, too, became a president of SCA...and that this happy band gave us the Winterway, Kondako, Solitaire, El Al and Taymyr lines, which some of us might say has been a good thing.]


It was 1975, and I had just joined PVSC a couple of years earlier so was very new to Samoyeds and dog clubs. Patti and I were at the SCA National Specialty in Frederick, MD, which was being hosted by PVSC.  I felt a tap on my shoulder, turned around and met my first AKC Rep, Connie Barton.  I don't know whether you've ever met Connie, but as a rep, she is very imposing.  She asked whether Patti and I were club members.  We said, "Yes".  She then pointed to a very young puppy at the end of a complete stranger's leash and said, "That is an unentered dog. Unentered dogs are not allowed on the grounds.  Please have it removed."

---Stirling Rasmussen---


The first PVSC memory I have is from sometime in the early 1980's. This was before I was a club member and before I was "hooked" on showing my dogs.  At that time, I was raising Thoroughbreds and had only one or two Sammies purely as family pets. The thing was, as a horse breeder, I had a passion for conformation. Therefore, my pet Sam had to meet the top of the breed standard.

It had been a couple of years since we had lost our previous Sam.  In those pre-Internet days, I would occasionally browse "Dog World" and classified ads looking at ads for Sammies (oh, such confessions)! This is how I encountered an ad for a "looking for good home" Sammie.  The ad was placed by PVSC. The club at that time did rescue as this was before there was a Mid-Atlantic Samoyed Rescue.

To make a long story short, I said I was interested in "adopting" a dog but it had to meet certain criteria of the Samoyed Standard. This is how I met Cynthia Mora, PVSC member and at that time, the club rescue person. We talked and she said she may know of a dog that would "fit the bill.”  I agreed to go take a look at this animal.

I approached the house where he was to be. He was in the back yard looking at me. I was quite prepared for a less than great example of the breed. But, to my delight, there was this gorgeous young but fully mature male waiting for me. His name was Sherriar and he went home with me.

As much a Cynthia tried, I could not be coaxed into showing him. I was still ten years away from "retiring" from the horse world to join the "dog world". But, I did learn what dedicated people were part of this Potomac Valley Samoyed Club

---Marge Goodenough---

I don't remember the year, just the event. It was at a meeting for the selection of officers, and membership had dropped off to next to nothing. I know that Patti and Betty and I were there...I don't remember who else--maybe Cynthia, but beyond that memory, as they say, fades. We were all very discouraged and were talking about disbanding the club. Betty Chamberlin disagreed, passionately arguing that too much work had gone in to gaining AKC sanctioning to just give that up (I learned later as Middleburg Kennel Club president just how much work is involved in that). Her argument won us over. I don't even remember whether we had elections that year. I think we just agreed who would fill which positions. I know that I got to be president.

It was right after that we put together our first information fair. I think that a combination of that positive activity and the new members that it and succeeding ones attracted had a lot to do with the resurrection of the club. Our information fairs were mentioned in the Ward's second book about the Samoyed.

---Stirling Rasmussen---

This is about the 1983 National in Frederick. I was not yet a member, but had just adopted my first Samoyed and was asked by the adoption group to "help" with refreshments at the National. Of course, I said yes, having no idea what a National was. I remember a handler bringing a dog into the refreshment room and putting him in a down-stay while she got her food, commenting, "He's obedience trained." I was so impressed by that dog, I decided I had to obedience train my dog, too.

---Cherie Smith---

PVSC's second go at sponsoring a national specialty (1983) was again at Frederick, MD, but this time on a large motel's grounds...much less muddy that the first at the Frederick Fair Grounds. Two remembrances come from this National:

The first is of Patti in obedience. Patti had BoBo entered in Open. One of the open exercises is the drop on recall. The dog is left on a sit stay and when the handler reaches the other side of the ring and turns to face the dog, the judge gives the command, "Call your dog". The next command from the judge is a hand signal to the handler to drop her dog. The handler is then to give either a hand signal or voice command to the dog. Patti, before going into the ring, had talked to Ray Murphy, the judge, about her indecision about which to use. So, of course, when Ray gave the command to drop BoBo, Patti gave both commands. Ray cracked up. BoBo dropped (how could he not?) but failed the exercise (and therefore Open) because of handler error.

The second is, again, of Connie Barton (see the '70s above), the Specialty's AKC Rep. I was on the 'official' show committee, which is the poor group of hapless souls who have to adjudicate problems that are brought to their attention and make a decision that is binding with the AKC. There was a challenge to the sled dog classes..a claim that one of the entries wasn't a racing Sammy. So Connie, to whom the challenge had been presented, gathered us together, laid out the challenge, wished us luck and left. Talk about feeling abandoned.

---Stirling Rasmussen---

It was the mid-80's when I attended my first PVSC meeting with my new friend and mentor, Slava Bloom.  It was held at the home of Inez and Jim Willoughby in Northern Virginia (I can't remember where). I can remember the names of a few people from that night -- Betty Chemberlin, Patti Rasmussen, Babs Birdsong and Linda Evans.  For the topic of the meeting, each person in the room shared a tidbit of personal advice about Sams-- grooming, bathing, home remedies, etc.  And I most definitely do remember that at the evening's end, Inez served coffee and her homemade lemon meringue pie.

---Carol Younoszai--


This took place at one of our specialties in the early 90's when Mardee Ward judged. I had Ch. Danica's Gallant Russian Bear (Misha) entered in Veteran Dog. We won the class and went in for BOB. It was a large entry and Mardee narrowed it down to about 6 dogs. Misha was in consideration until the end, so of course we had to have a picture taken. It had been a very rainy day the day before and there was mud as there usually is at OD. Just before we were to take the picture, he decided to roll in the mud. He was a mess but only on one side so Mardee took one look at him started to laugh and said to the photographer that we would have to turn everything the other way to hide the mud. In one way, it is my least favorite picture of him because it really doesn't look like him but in another it's my favorite because he has such a smug, self-satisfied expression on his face that it expresses everything that we love about our Sams.

--June Smith--

When we returned from a four-year military tour in Germany, having lost our first Samoyed, a rescue, while overseas, we contacted PVSC about breeders and ended up buying our first show puppy, joining the club, and learning to show in both conformation and obedience.  From that one dog in 1992 we have grown to an 8-Samoyed family now with a sprinkling of conformation, obedience and small working titles.I can't imagine how different my life would be without my Samoyeds and the influence of my friends in PVSC.

---Cherie Smith---


This story was occasioned by the passing of a long-time member in 2004: Kondako Returns To The Scene Of The Crime.

Referencing the start of PVSC, I would add the personal note that Connie and I left the Washington, DC area for Los Angeles in 1972 and 1973, respectively.  Twenty years later, the end of 1992, I returned to the east, specifically Rochester, NY, with my faithful female companion Diane.  Where else would a Xerox engineer end up?  Connie and I had split up the marriage but not Kondako and she stayed in LA with her husband, Jim Konoposis.

For whatever reason, I entered Kondako's Queen of the Nile for the Fall 1993 Specialty at Bull Run and won Best of Breed over some very, very good competition.  Like bitches who would go on to win Best in Shows.  Good competition and a lucky win.  But that's not the point of the story.

As always, PVSC had a pot luck lunch after the show.  Diane and I were sitting around having a good time and visiting old friends while watching this stray young female tortoise-shell cat working the picnic tables for whatever she could cadge. Finally, Duane Johnson captured the cat and as a joke presented it to Diane and I as an official PVSC BOB trophy.  So there I stand with this squirmy young cat in my hands and Di and I decide we need to put her in our motorhome to keep her from getting hurt.  The cat was basically fearless.  The cat went home to Rochester with us, was named Amber, and became part of Kondako Samoyeds (and Stray Domestic Shorthairs).

In 1999, Diane and I moved back to the DC area, and I rejoined PVSC.  In the process I mentioned to Duane that his Best of Breed trophy from 1993 was doing well.  Duane said, "You've got that cat?  I have been yelled at by Lois for six years because I let that cat disappear!"  Lois always had a soft spot for strays.  PVSC will miss her.

--Dave Richardson--