Showsight August 2020


Systems, Xerox, NASA, Satellite Direct, Reynolds & Reynolds, Citibank, and the IRS. I have judged several Kees sweepstakes (CKC, KFCS, PCKC, BKC, KCGOC, HTKC), Puppy and Veteran. I was voted by KCA (Kees Club of America) members to judge the 2012 KCA Futurity and Maturity Stakes. Such an honor! I have been an officer and past President of TAKS (The American Kees Society, now dissolved), an honorary member of OVKC (Ohio Valley Kees Club, now dis- solved), past President and officer of the CKC (Capital Kees Club), founding member of the Kentuckiana Kees Club and past officer of the Catoctin Kennel Club. I have held committee positions in KCA and am currently the Recording Secretary. For many years, I was a volunteer trainer for Catoctin Kennel Club, training owners to train their (various breeds) dogs and puppies. Since 1987, I began videotaping and producing Kees national and regional specialties. Since about 2002, all the video is digital and I edit/dub/enhance on the computer. We stopped covering every Kees national in 2017 and now only videotape by special request. I believe in being ethical and fair to all like-minded in the breed. I have been a mentor to many as a result; in using contracts for all dog agreements, even with good friends and relations; in giving back to the breed by sharing of information and volunteering; in health testing and careful selection of breeding stock. I started the regime of Modern Natural Rearing (MNR) in 1991. MNR has to do with making Kees stronger/healthier through the use of herbs/vitamins and a more natural diet, as well as the lim- ited use of vaccines/drugs/topicals. I have written for all Keeshond magazines since the mid-1980s. I am a native of western Ohio (32 years in the Dayton area). I moved to central Maryland in 1989 to start a life with my husband, Lem Burnett. Since then, we’ve moved to West Virginia as retirees. You can find the A*starz website at: Email: or on Facebook. My hobbies, besides dogs, include: art beading, gardening, pho- tography, travel, and training my dogs to be all they can be. Since the onset of the computer age, I was the first videographer to pro- duce dog show videos on a personal computer (as opposed to an Apple computer). Was I initially attracted to the breed’s appearance? I loved their intelligent expression, outline, silver and black coats, sturdiness and their wonderful temperaments. What distinguishes the Keeshond from similar breeds? I only know Keeshonden and Poms from the Spitz family, since I have owned them. I love the size of the Kees and that they are highly intelligent, sturdy and great companions. Kees want to participate in the life of their people. How important is correct size and proportions for the breed? Correct size for the breed is more important when selecting show dogs. When it comes to breeding, knowing the assets of the pair in consideration and knowing the dogs behind them is more impor- tant. With that information and health clearances, you can select dogs to continue the line. Proportions, as outlined in the AKC Breed Standard, are important to maintain proper structure and breed type. What about the Keeshond’s spectacles? How much emphasis is placed on color and markings? The spectacles are defined as the line going from the outer corner of the eye to the lower corner of each ear. The lighter orbital area around the eye, along with the expres- sive eyebrows, makes the Kees appear to have “glasses on.” Some folks are confused as to light heads and dark heads, but as long as the Kees has the hallmark of the markings (as per the AKC Breed Standard) they can have light or dark heads and still be correct. The body color and markings need to be dramatic. This can occur in both light and dark body colored Keeshonden. I prefer the silver undercoat Kees (which some in today’s world border on light

eyes with the spectacles, and that happy, open-mouthed grin. Then they throw their heads back and look exactly like they are laughing! Are Keeshonden well-suited for performance events? The Kees is an extremely versatile and athletic dog. They originally worked as general farm dogs in Germany where they acted as vermin catchers, herders and guard dogs. In Holland, they guarded the barges plying the canals while also keeping them free of rats. They are very agile and active, giving them both the physical abilities and the tempera- ment to perform a wide array of performance events. Kees excel in obedience, agility, rally, tracking, scent work, barn hunt, fast cat and even herding. They are very biddable dogs, enjoying a wide vari- ety of activities with their owners. My own dogs have accumulated 42 MACHs, ten CD’s, six CDX’s, two UD’s, three TDX’s and four Rally Master titles. While I enjoy the breed ring, the performance events are definitely my first love, and I have found my Kees to be eager to take that journey with me. Can I share a funny story about my experiences with the Kees- hond? One of the more amusing aspects of owning a breed that is fairly rare with a foreign name is the many different breeds that people think you have, and the many ways they want to fracture the name. I have been asked most commonly if my dog is a Chow, but they have also been identified as Huskies, Norwegian Elkhounds, Malamutes, Pomeranians, and even wolves. Some people actually want to argue with you that you don’t know what kind of dog you have because it is most definitely a Chow! Then there are people who do recognize the breed. They will frequently say, “I had one of those as a child, best dog I ever had.” When I ask why they don’t have one now, they often respond that they really don’t know, “You just don’t see them much anymore.” Then there are the mispronuncia- tions. Most commonly, people will call them a “hound” rather than “hond.” When I pronounce the name correctly, “Kazehond,” I will get a blank stare and then they will say, “Oh, a Quiche Hound!” DONNA STEKLI I started in 1964 with Shetland

Sheepdogs. I bought my first show Keeshond in 1979, Vixen (linebred on Ch. Wistonia Wylie ROMX). Since then, I have been “hooked” on the breed. A*starz is my ken- nel name. I have produced over 100 (documented) homebred AKC champions/titled Kees to date, including Best In Shows, HOFs, ROMXs, ROMs, many Group winners/placers, several Best and Best of Opp in Specialty, Best In Sweeps and Best of Opp in Sweeps as well as several top-5 Breed rank- ing Kees dogs and bitches, both in the US and Canada. There are

also numerous obedience, agility, rally and flyball titled and two MACHx Kees originating from A*starz. We pride ourselves in the fact that most of our Kees finish their Championships with their owner-handlers. In 2009, I finished my first Pomeranian AKC CH, owner-handled. Starting in 2008 or so, I started training my Kees for agility and now have Kees with many AKC agility titles. At the KCA 75th Anniversary, my Juliette was HIT Jumpers (her first tri- al, breeder/owner-handled)! In 2011, our Allison was the first Trick Titled Kees on the planet. I am “retired” from the Information Technology world where I spent 28 years working as a computer professional, consultant and project manager for such companies as: MCI, Cincinnati Bell Info


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