Training dogs requires a kind heart and a cool head. ...
The master always must be a source of comfort and security.

   -  Colonel Konrad Most

I'll take a puppy back, no questions asked, at any age (there are lots of reasons that sometimes things just don't work out despite good intentions).  Almost all the few pups I've taken back over the years, have been rehomed, to homes as good, I think, as any of the original puppy homes.  The sole exception is my Mango, my fastest dog, who has a barking problem.  I'm afraid someone will debark him if I give him up.  So I wear earplugs around Mango and we get along fine.

A tipoff that the "anti-puppymill" laws are unjust, is their communist-style, Orwellian name.  It's like the Leninists calling themselves Bolsheviks, which means majority, at a time when everyone knew they were the minority.  Using the term "puppy mill" implies a pejorative prejudgment without trial.  It's a disgrace to the government that a law would be given such a name officially.    

The Iowa ag dept says I can't charge for the pups because "breeding dogs" in the new "anti-puppymill" law means, they say, "breedable dogs" (I talked to a dozen lawyers all of whom refused to take the case - Perry Mason they're not!) which put me over the limit for regulation, and the regulations require gravel+wire, stone or concrete pens so they can't dig.  But my dogs love to dig to escape cold, heat, insects and boredom.  Digging into cool earth may well have saved poor kidney-damaged Rover's life when my A/C was out.  Plus I'm not strong enough to haul in the tons of gravel required.  Plus it's impossible to clean runny poop off gravel or straw as well as off dirt.  Plus I'm not from New Hampshire but I should be because I believe in "Live Free or Die".

When I heard from a puppy client, about the confiscation of the dogs at White Fire Kennel, I made a pro se petition to federal court, asking for a court order against sterilizing the dogs.  It was denied on technicalities, mainly the technicality that I didn't know exactly who has the dogs now (in lawyer jargon this is called "getting rid of someone by setting the bar too high").  Of course I can't know who has the dogs now:  I lack law enforcement authority.

I'm also lobbying all kinds of private and public persons.  If WWIII breaks out, most likely those now destroying our dog breeding capability, will be prosecuted for treason.  Our legal system also will evolve:  under Anglo-Saxon law, close male relatives were fined for the felonies of their kinsman.  But that won't bring the breeding stock back.  When your slightly wounded son dies of hypothermia on a winter battlefield in Canada, it will be small comfort that someone already has been lawfully punished for it.  

Purebred as far as known, ancestors mostly AKC registered, socialized to multiple people (though mainly to the owner) and related Samoyed dogs, and to ponies nearby.  Not well socialized to cats, unfortunately - at least some do prey on them.


Joseph C. Keller, M.D., 1980, Univ. of Nebraska; B.A., 1977, cum laude, Harvard Univ.                                                            
home phone:  515/382-2530 landline

(cellphone is for family matters only, sorry!)

address:  16201  620th Ave
                Roland, Iowa   50236   U.S.A.
From a Newsbrief in the journal Archaeology, July/August 2000, by Sandra Olsen Ph.D., of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, USA:

Recent excavations at the Eneolithic (3600-3100 B.C.) settlement of Botai in north-central Kazakhstan have produced the earliest evidence for many ritual practices that are seen thousands of years later in Bronze Age and Iron Age sites on the steppe and documented in religious texts of those periods.
Botai dogs had the stature and cranial features of the Samoyed breed, which may have originated in this region...


According to zoologist Stanley J. Olsen, "Origins of the Domestic Dog:  the Fossil Record", 1985, p. 92, there is

"swelling of the frontal [brain lobe] area in dogs"

including the orbital and prorean gyri.

(Olsen cites a 1973 article by Radinsky which is included in "Behavior and Evolution" edited by Riss).  Olsen also says the dog's larger frontal lobe (more precisely, the fossa of the skull that the lobe fits into) is one of the main ways to tell apart ancient dog and wolf skulls.  So the dog seems to have a more primate-like brain, than does the wolf.  It does NOT seem to be true that the wolf is more intelligent than the dog.  The dog seems to have an enlargement of the brain area that enables him to think more like a human.

The dam KeeKee was bred by White Fire Kennels of Manly, Iowa (parents Sultan and Cattibrie, both full AKC registered Samoyeds).  KeeKee has a "limited" AKC registration, i.e. her pups are not AKC registerable.  

KeeKee and pup.

Diego (both eyes are brown but lighter than KeeKee's).
Diego's a puppy again!  Rub his little tummy.
KeeKee's dam Cattibrie (one of several dams at White Fire Kennels of Manly, Iowa, where I purchased KeeKee at age 19 weeks).

KeeKee due late Nov, Marcy due early Dec

site last updated Oct 21, 2020
Recommended book (one of many good ones):

"Before and After Getting Your Puppy", 
by Dr. Ian Dunbar

My genetic lines:

Lando and KeeKee have no two dogs in their AKC pedigrees (back to great-grandparents) the same.  However, some of the names indicate a relationship to dogs from the same breeder.

My pedigree on Diego is the longest, because I have the AKC pedigree of his sire and the America's Pet Registry pedigree of his dam.  KeeKee's and Diego's pedigrees have no dog in common, but there is one dog found in both Lando's and Diego's pedigree:  

Diego's paternal grandsire is Chief Jay Apache.  Lando's maternal-maternal great-grandsire is this same Chief Jay Apache.  So, Lando and all of KeeKee's Dec 2013 pups, have a great-grandsire in common.  However, this amount of inbreeding is rather small compared to the amount of inbreeding already found in most dog breeds due to the limited number of founding animals and also the "popular sire syndrome".

So, those are the facts to the best of my knowledge.  

Olga is from KeeKee's first litter, sired by Diego.

Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be. 

   -  Saint Thomas a Kempis
pups exploring

Rover's leptospirosis

Sept 20 or 21, 2016, I noticed that Rover was ill - unwilling to move and not eating.  On Sept 22 I brought him to the veterinarian, but the trip perked him up a little, he had no fever (this is common in leptospirosis) and no definitive diagnosis was made.

He improved somewhat but not completely.  Almost two months later, he worsened again - unwilling to move and not eating - so I took him back to the veterinarian (should have done so sooner!).  A diagnosis of renal failure was made and I was told to return (in five days it turned out, though I had hoped to be seen in two) to see the clinic's new part-time junior associate.  With the help of blood and urine tests, she made the diagnosis of leptospirosis, and started doxycycline, immediately:  the only delay was the turnaround on the tests, which unfortunately were sent to the ISU vet school by Fed Ex the day after they were drawn, arriving at ISU on a Saturday or Monday, but not done by ISU until Wednesday.  I should have offered to take the blood myself but had thought it might be counterproductive to meddle too much.

over had been vaccinated for leptospirosis.  The vaccine was against mainly two common strains and Rover was made ill by one of these:  Leptospira grippotyphosa.  I understand that there are thirty or more known strains in all.  It is important to note that the leptospirosis strain which made Rover so sick and damaged his kidneys permanently, is one of the very strains against which the vaccine is supposed to protect.
Leptospirosis is said to affect male dogs oftener but some think this is only because males are out and about more.  It is much commoner in late summer / early fall, especially when the weather is hot and wet like it was in 2016 (not our usual dry August).  It's a tropical disease and I wouldn't expect arctic dogs to have much resistance.

I'd been keeping Rover inside except for walks, and sleeping in the same room with Rover (he is not thought to have been a danger to the other dogs).

Mice and varmints carry lepto, shed it in their urine, and Rover always has been the best mouser - the first of his litter to catch a mouse, 

Rover never fully recovered his appetite or renal function.  He died, despite various oral medications and other basic palliative veterinary care, of his gradually worsening renal failure, in Sept 2019 and is buried by the main cedar post of my smallest pony shelter with the roof decoration copied from the Narmer palette: the hawk (Lower Egypt), dog (Upper Egypt) and cobra.

Iowa statute says "A person who owns or harbors three of fewer breeding males or females is not a commercial breeder."  Lando is my breeding male.  KeeKee and Olga are my breeding females.  That's three.  But today two officers of the Iowa Agriculture Department came and told me that "breeding" doesn't mean "breeding" in the usual sense; it means "breedable" as in "not neutered", and that therefore I have to have a commercial breeding license, because my males Fido, Agni, Rover, Curly, Mango and Charly aren't neutered.  They gave me a two page application ($175 yearly fee), 11 pages of statutes and 12 pages of administrative code.  They told me I'll also have to get a yearly veterinary inspection.  Then a neighbor told us that years ago, this state government rule which includes nonbreeding but breedable males, as "breeding", was a major reason he had to quit breeding too.

The regulations pretty much would make me the unpaid employee of the Iowa Agriculture Department.  I would have to keep orderly records of the birthdate, vaccination dates and purchasers of all dogs and pups.  I did that for the first year or two, before I got too busy, and it is a significant recordkeeping burden.  I don't like the Orwellian aspect of it:  I wouldn't be able to sell a dog without the name and address of the buyer going into a government computer.  I do keep the vaccination records but right now they are just thrown into a pile with all my other records.  I do keep the names and addresses of the buyers, but likewise these are stacked here and there in various notebooks or on various scraps of paper.

Worse than that, I think I would be gradually sucked into raising my dogs exactly the way the government said to.  The only violation they found today, was that my dogs should be on gravel, not dirt.  There would have to be wire under the gravel.  At first I thought that was a good idea.  But think again:  my dogs love to dig; it's the most interesting "toy" there is for them.  If they can't dig - a natural activity - they might resort to tail-chasing or even self-mutilation or some other harmful activity, no matter how many toys I give them.  With eleven dogs, the amount of free adventure time each one gets per day, is limited.  Samoyeds in their native land love to dig, and dig holes in the sides of riverbanks to get in, to escape from mosquitoes.  My dogs dig holes that they seem to like to protect them from insects, or from cold in winter, or to get next to cool earth in summer.  

What is the evidence, really, that dogs on dirt are sicker?  Only one of my dogs ever has had a major illness - Rover's leptospirosis - and that is believed to be caught from eating infected mice or from mouse urine.  Rover's leptospirosis was a strain against which he was vaccinated.  The lepto vaccine is said to be not very longlasting - only 6 months or so - and it was unusual for my dogs to be current on their lepto vaccine, but Rover was current, and he had had a greater number of lepto vaccines in his life than any of my other dogs.  Yet Rover is the only one who became very ill from lepto.  Some veterinarians are on record as saying that the lepto vaccine shouldn't be given.  Their idea is basically that lepto is one of those infections that causes harm by causing an autoimmune response - like rheumatic heart or rheumatic kidney disease from strep infections in humans.  These veterinarians say that quick diagnosis and antibiotic treatment (which is extremely effective at eradicating lepto) is key, and that vaccines do more harm than good - just as anti-strep vaccines are not recommended for humans.  So even if the dirt had lepto germs in it, Rover's severe illness might have been because, unlike the other dogs, Rover happened to be heavily vaccinated against that very strain of lepto!  

Gravel takes away my dogs' "dig a hole" option, so maybe they get frostbite or hypothermia in winter or heat exhaustion or heatstroke in summer, and are more tormented by insects.  Sometimes chains accidentally get tangled and they can't get into their house for an hour or more.  It's good then if the dog has an option besides wire-backed gravel.  What's the use of a partial gravel pad if the dogs prefer dirt?  They already have their houses, and often small plywood sheets I give them too, if they want to get off the dirt.

A full gravel pad for each of the ten dogs, five feet in radius, one inch deep, would weigh 6200 pounds (using 95 lb/ cu ft as the density of gravel).  More than three tons of gravel is a lot for one 60 year old man to carry out there.  I can't get the pickup truck or even the wheelbarrow all the way to their areas, due to holes, fallen branches, trees and other obstacles.  It's 77 1/2, eighty pound bags of gravel, or 155 trips if I carry it 40 pounds at a time.  And then the effort would have to be repeated if I ever move the dogs.      

Dr. Julia Wilson, executive director of the Minnesota veterinary board, emailed me scientific journal articles saying that every three years is somewhat TOO OFTEN for the rabies booster.  The law in Iowa is the "NASPHV" recommendation which says there is no evidence to support requiring the rabies booster to be repeated any oftener than three years for any reason.  Yet the bureaucracy in Iowa - which apparently cares neither about science nor law - has threatened to take my dogs, and has denied them rabies tags.  This is because I don't comply with their fictitious "day late rule" which says - contrary to Iowa law - that the booster is only good for a year if it's a day late.  Dr. Johnson - the head veterinarian at Iowa State Univ. - admitted to me that he has seen serious reactions to the rabies vaccine, but he denied Iowa State Univ. veterinary school care to my deathly ill Rover with renal failure from leptospirosis and thereby delayed the initiation of curative doxycycline by a week (my regular veterinarian took almost two weeks to make the diagnosis) and caused more permanent renal damage than Rover would have had otherwise. This was even though Rover always was fully compliant with the "day late rule". The reason for denying care to Rover, was that I had politely disagreed with them about the "day late rule" on a previous occasion involving another dog with a minor skin condition, who was slightly noncompliant with the day late rule but for whom rabies was not an issue.

Some of my dogs are in violation of the "day late rule".  For a typical example, they might have gotten their booster two years ago and it was a month late.  It's not right for these dogs to be subjected to something - the day late rule - that is harmful and unlawful.  But I would have to do it to get a veterinary "pass" - I can't find a veterinarian in this state who will stand up for the law by standing up against the unlawful "day late rule".  Even the best of them tell me, they have to do it because "the state veterinarian ordered it".  Also it's likely I'd have to get an excessive number of other vaccinations which are not yet law for most people but which would be "coming in the back door" by being required for commercial breeder licensure. The law mandates that veterinarians give rabies tags to those who are compliant; I am compliant with the law, but they won't give me the tags, because bureaucrats say the law is something different than what is written.  If veterinarians won't even stand up when the law tells them to (giving me rabies tags) they're even less likely to stand up when there's no law telling them to do it (signing a form that I pass inspection).  

So, my plan is to hope that the bureaucracy respects the law's definition of a breeder, as one who does it for "consideration".  If I give away the pups absolutely free, then there is no "consideration" and I'm not a breeder.  So the pups will be free of charge.  But at this rate, I think I will only have at most one litter this winter.  KeeKee will get a break this year and I'll only breed Olga.

Of course, the bureaucracy might define the word "consideration" their own way.  They might say, "Well, you used to take money for them, and you still could take money for them, so we say that's consideration, and we'll take your dogs and/or throw you in jail if you don't put down the three tons of gravel, get the extra shots however harmful or even unlawful they may be, pay the fees, keep the records and fill out the forms."  I've already seen them get away with defining the word "breeding" their own way, and defining the word "triennial" their own way.  Despite extensive searching I've not been able to find any government official or any private lawyer willing to get involved on my side - the side of written law, the side that says that words mean something, not just what the bureaucracy says they mean.  The side of freedom.

So we'll see what happens.  If WWIII breaks out, I do have an "ace in the hole".  We'll need a million sled dogs and General X isn't going to be happy with anyone who destroys my breeding operation.  The most ruthless generals will quickly rise to the top - this always has been the pattern in total war situations, especially the losing side, which the US might well be this time.  North Korea is Russia's sacrificial pawn; they've always helped Russia, for example by sending US POWs to Russia for terminal mind control experiments and torture during the Korean War.  The opening nuclear exchange with N. Korea will allow the Russians to observe our capabilities and refine their own tactics before they strike - N. Korea is the sacrificial pawn in the opening gambit of the Communists' chess game.  Much, but not all, of our newsmedia likely will lie and say that our own President launched first.

The sheriff's deputy who accompanies the state officials who confiscate my dogs will be thinking - if he's young - "I really don't want to do this, I'm going to be drafted next week and I don't want General X to be mad at me."  If he's old, he'll be thinking, "My son is already in the army and I'm worried that General X might take this out on him."  Our military command, after the first nuclear exchange, is going to be more like something from the Wrath of Khan, than the bureaucracy it is now.

So, my plan for next winter is to give KeeKee a rest, and give away Olga's litter.  I'll say I don't have to comply with the "registered breeder" rules because it's not for "consideration".  Some will be afraid to take a pup from me, afraid to "get in trouble" or "get their name on a list".  That's fine with me.  I only want to provide pups to brave people who understand what freedom is, and are willing to exercise theirs.

Many years ago I held a BATF license.  This was in the days when they were much easier to get and maintain; when the rules tightened up I let my license expire.  Once I loaned (loans were freely permitted) an "assault rifle" (another prejudicial, Orwellian name) (semiauto, legal, civilian version of the M14) to a retired U.S. Army officer.  I wanted to see what he thought about it.  In Boston, it was stolen from him:  it was in the trunk of his car when his car was stolen.  I called the Boston office of the BATF.  They didn't want to know what the registration number of the assault rifle was; nor were they willing to bother to take any information from me at all - it was "It's not our job, have a nice day, bye" the usual bureaucratic donothingism.  So here we have a case where it's a fact that a felon, a car thief, has stolen an assault rifle from a licensed BATF dealer, and the BATF doesn't care.  It was the one and only time I ever needed to contact the BATF about anything, the whole time I was a licensed dealer.  That was a wake-up call for me:  I realized that the number on the gun isn't to control guys who steal cars and guns.  It's to control you.

I've had other experiences or found out about other situations much like this.  Yes, there are "Serpico" type government officials out there who think that what they're doing is legit and who try to be legit about it.

The Bolsheviks rode around in motorcars shooting Samoyed dogs because they thought if they got rid of the dogs they could destroy the Samoyed people's way of life and force them into collectives.  There is also the well-known military value of sled dogs and dogs generally (see the book, "Soldiers and Sled Dogs").  The modern Russian army is heavily into dogs.  They're also heavily into subversion of their potential enemies like the US.  The new, amped-up crackdown on dog breeding isn't just a crackdown on bad breeders.  And it isn't just a cushy job for somebody getting paid $100,000 a year to run the "tax exempt" anti-cruelty to animals vigilante outfit here in Iowa, or a way to make a business out of taking dogs from one person and giving them to someone else who is supposedly better.  It's a conscious effort to strip the people of their dogs (just like stripping them of their guns) preparatory to some kind of Red Dawn scenario.  Most of those involved are mere "useful idiots" - inside and outside of government - but some aren't.  I've had someone park crossways on the paved highway and shine his headlights on me for more than a minute while I fed my ponies at night.  I've had two people - two of the same people who for years picketed the local mom&pop petstore until they drove it out of business - pull into my driveway and obviously photograph me while I cared for my dogs.