Mokelumne Shibas

"Granddaughter Tisha and Kotan."

Over thirty years ago, when Denny and I were mere children in our early twenties, I decided that my life would not be complete without the addition of a Siberian Husky to our family. Having little money and less sense, I spent hot afternoons giving riding lessons to four young girls whose parents had a litter of adorable Siberian puppies, and, after what seemed an eternity, I had my first little Siberian.

Of course, one was not enough. Most dog lovers suffer from a contagious condition called "multiple dog syndrome," and soon we had several Sibes, including the mother of our puppy. From there came the natural progression of dog shows, puppies, and, with Husky lovers, sled dog racing. Another natural progression for most anyone wanting to be competitive in sled dog racing is to switch to Alaskan Huskies, which are carefully bred, non-registered, arctic type dogs used primarily for sled dog racing. They are the breed seen on television in the Iditarod.

With the Alaskan Huskies began Denny's 25 year love affair with sled dog racing and my 15 year hiatus from dog shows as the Alaskans eventually replaced all the registered Siberians. It was a long, cold adventure for our whole family and one we would not trade for anything.

In 1988 I fell in love with the Shiba before ever seeing one. The perfect little dog. By the fall of that year, I had purchased one as a pet and she traveled with us, just like a miniature sled dog. Although we are no longer racing, she has never adjusted to the reality that she is not a sled dog and she screams with excitement at anything that reminds her of those days.

In 1989 we met Chris Ross and, not long after, formed an enduring partnership that has lasted until today. Although his beginnings in the breed and current lifestyle make for a totally different environment (see the Reno Sakura section of this web site) for the dogs, they are happy at either place. Chris and I have combined our areas of canine expertise toward a common goal of producing happy, healthy, quality Shibas, and to do the best we can for these little dogs we love so much.