SSDCA Advisory Board Nominees: 2008

Nominees are listed alphabetically.

Jeanette Arnold

Thank you for the honor of being nominated to serve on the board for the Shiloh Shepherd Dog Club of America.

I first learned of this magnificent breed several years ago. Back in 1998 I had adopted a stray dog from one of the local no-kill shelters. This dog was incredible: he was a gray sable, huge, and the happiest, sweetest dog I’d ever met. We named him Ozzie, after the Magnificent Oz from the Wizard of Oz movie, because Ozzie was indeed magnificent in every way.

Our vet thought he might be a mix of some kind. That was what we thought for years, until our neighbor’s daughter was online and happened across a website showing Shiloh Shepherds. Immediately we recognized Ozzie’s conformation. So I emailed a photograph to that breeder, whose name was Jessica Strauss.

Jessica thought Ozzie was a Shiloh and she confirmed this with a woman I met later, Pam Dymond-Weed.

Well, I loved Ozzie. I loved everything about him: His luxurious coat (he did not shed!), his smile, his huge size, the way everyone stopped in their tracks to admire him. Mostly, I loved his demeanor. Ozzie never growled ever. He was ALWAYS happy, even when his legs finally gave out on him and we had to say goodbye.

I wanted another dog like that, so I called Jessica. Well, now I have three more shilohs! I got Gracie first, then Teddy (who is my fabulous show dog) and Rocky, my sweet sweet Rocky.

I love this breed! I want to help keep the vision for this breed strong and to help the club. And so, full circle, here I am…humbly willing to serve.

Kindest, warmest regards,

Jeanette Arnold
Owned now by three shilohs, and in loving memory of Ozzie, who started it all!

Vanessa Dutton

My name is Vanessa Dutton and my kennel is Guardian Kennels. Many of you may not know me well or have just come across me on the forums. We are located in Alberta, Canada (western Canada for those that don’t know the Canadian geography). Due to our location, we are often too far away to attend such events as Homecoming, or many of the Chapter events or shows so very few have met me personally. I, however, do my part locally to promote the true original Shiloh Shepherd and educate people about them through exposure of our dogs to many local events.

I became an SSDCA member and breeder in 2000 when we got our first Shiloh and have been an active member since. When such issues as the splinter application to the UKC arose, I stood with the rest of the breeders in protest of the application and support of the ISSR through correspondence to the UKC that finally turned their decision in our favor. When the last exodus of breeders from the ISSR occurred, despite being friends with many that left, my allegiance to the ISSR was unquestioned. In many of the other “upsets” that have occurred through the past 8 years, I have stood resolute beside Tina and the other dedicated ISSR breeders and owners in our conviction that the ISSR is the sole organization for the promotion, preservation and development of the Shiloh Shepherds breed.

Despite the fact that I am often not “front and center” on the forums and use my “soapbox” a little less than others, I often step back and see situations from a different perspective. I am a true believer that our ISSR dogs (inclusive of mine) can and will win out in our discrepancies with the splinters. When new people ask about our breed politics, I go out of my way to explain to them what we, as the ISSR, are doing RIGHT in our selected breedings with our dogs which make them superior and rightful owners of the “Shiloh Shepherd” name rather than what the others are doing wrong. When I take my dogs anywhere, they speak volumes as to why our rules and regulations are the correct path to the finished product of these incredible dogs. My ways are quieter but the message is still the same and united with all the others that cherish this breed.

As a breeder, I spend many hours in my day lending support to new breeders, helping them understand the many hoops we need to jump through in order to do things right. Whether it is information on breeding, genetics or many of the other questions that arise in the steep learning curve that comes with becoming an ISSR breeder, I am always open to help (whether they are my co-owns or not). I believe that by this support system, I am helping develop new breeders that will continue to see the virtue in following the very important rules that have made this breed what it is and will help our breeding base stay strong.

I currently, and for the past 3 years have served as president on the board of our local gymnastics club and through diplomacy and being very straightforward, have managed to keep the peace among many parents (who often think that their child will be the next Olympic champion!) and have helped developed our club into a competitive force that can proudly compete with the clubs from much bigger centers. With this experience, I feel that I can be a dynamic, positive force on the SSDCA board.

The fact that the SSDCA board is the governing body for the ISSR makes this position an extremely important one. Through our decisions we can set the stage for the progress of this breed through to recognition. With this being said, that makes it all the more important to have members on the board that can work well with each other, to express our views and opinions while still being open-minded enough to see the value in other’s opinions and to be able to come to a compromise that will best serve this breed and the people involved.

To this board I would bring the strengths of diplomacy, strong convictions that we are on the right path and the efficiency of getting things done! It is not enough to sit in a position this important and just “decide” things but to follow through and accomplish the goals that are set out by the board. It is always said that if you want something done, ask a busy person to do it…that would definitely be me!

In the long run, we cannot do anything about the problems in the past history of the Shiloh Shepherd. We can only learn from these events and issues and move forward to the future. I feel that it is the mission of this board to set the events in motion to push this breed forward in a positive manner that will see the ISSR Shiloh Shepherd as a recognized breed. I hope to be part of this process through a position on this advisory board and feel that I can be a strong asset in making this happen.

Vanessa Dutton

Pam Dymond-Weed

To the Members of the SSDCA,

Election year again. How the time does fly. Thank you for considering all of the nominees. Thank you for taking the time to read our letters to you.

When I look around the house and see our three Shilohs relaxing or playing it still makes my heart lift and soar. This breed that Tina has worked on for more years than some have been on this earth is truly amazing. Their intelligence continues to blow my mind. Their beauty does not stop with what you see on the surface. Their hearts and souls sing and dance with us. This breed is why I continue to want to work side by side with Tina towards completion of this breed and towards a club that can stand tall and strong together. We are seeing chapters growing and sharing together. We are seeing people bonding through this breed and club. We need to be able to continue in this direction. Your elected Advisory Board members are the people who aid and guide all of this.

On the forums I am known as iamme or pam dw & the three amigos (or the gruesome threesome). I do not say much there, so the newer people really do not know who I am. We live outside of Seattle, Washington with Dalemuns (9 1/2 years old), Phoenix (9 years old) and Shatay Ista (8 ½ years old). I joined the SSDCA in 1998 and was elected to the board in 1999. Whatever was asked of me I tried my very best accomplish. From writing articles to working on the Genetic Task Force, it did not matter - I would try my best. There are times my husband thinks I am married to the club and not him <g>. There are times I agree with him. That is me in a nutshell. My positions have not changed through the years and there are three previous candidate letters on the SSDCA website. [1999 Letter 2002 Letter | 2005 Letter]

This club is entering an exciting period of time. The chapters are holding more events. We have people who work on cyber problems. There are people putting together dvds and possible books about Shiloh stories. Tina is writing for magazines and internet articles. All of this will impact our breed; which will also impact our club. More than ever we will need an Advisory Board who can work well together. I hope we can elect a board that will work well with Tina and Karen and each other.

Good luck and happy decision making!

pam dw & the three amigos

Corinne Filipski

Thank you for another opportunity to run for the SSDCA Inc Board of Advisors.

Some basic information about me:

I have been an active member of the SSDCA since 1999. I have been on the Board of Advisors since 2001. I am a signer of the Breeder’s Code of Ethics, and a Licensed Breeder – kennel name – City Brick Shilohs. I am a member of the Genetic Task Force, past membership co-coordinator of the SSDCA and am part of the local chapter, NESSA. I am also the current SSDCA Liaison to the ISSR Inc. I live in the city of Buffalo, NY with my two Shilohs, Charley and Danny.

Some of the activities that I have taken part in:

  • Collaborated on the GTF letter that accompanied the Health Survey

  • As membership coordinator I initiated the membership website to allow online membership application and renewal.

  • Helped organize a NESSA specialty that included not only conformation shows, but also an introduction to sheep herding and an STM seminar.

  • Showed both Charley and Danny in conformations events. Charley became a Grand Victor in 2005; Danny was Top Puppy Dog Plush.

  • Stewarded at several shows both at Home Coming and elsewhere.

  • Frequently participated in co-op advertising as a means of breed promotion

  • Active participant in the online forums

  • Attended all online meetings of the Board of Advisors; actively participating in discussions and in problem resolution.

Although I have been a participant in all the SSDCA online forums, some of you may not really know me. I hope you will make use of the opportunity to ask any questions that you may have.

I joined the SSDCA before I met my first Shiloh Shepherd at Home Coming in 1999. My introduction to the breed was through magazine ads and the One List. I was looking for a special dog – my 1st purebred. The look of the Shiloh Shepherd in the magazine intrigued me and I went online to search out more information. My initial introduction to the “politics” of a breed left me thinking that I had ventured into a crazy world. All I was looking for was a place to buy a dog whose looks had fascinated me. I “eavesdropped” on the One List for a while to try to make some sense of what was going on. I liked the dogs for sure, but, oh, my! The people! (at that time the list had members of several “shiloh persuasions”.) For a new person, it was hard to keep the players straight without a score card. In fact, I did keep one – to keep track of who was for and who was against whom.

It was hard for a new comer to try to decide who was “right” when there were diametrically opposing views. Tina either walked on water or was the devil incarnate. I stepped back for a while and began to study the articles that Tina had written. Just when I thought, “AH HA! She IS right!” someone would post something in opposition that sounded logical. I was so still confused. Then, I went looking for proof – who could back up what they said? Are there any parallels elsewhere in the dog world?

Three independent events convinced me that Tina KNOWS what the real deal Shiloh Shepherd is:

Jeff Bragg’s website on the Siberian Seppalas held so many parallels in dog breeding that I thought he and Tina must be related. The same methodology Bragg was writing about – Tina was talking about online.

At the time, the LERs for the Artus progeny were online. I studied them over and over again. One dog went to a show in Texas and that judge’s written critique of that dog was almost word for word the same as the LER conformation report. BINGO – this lady (Tina) knows her dogs!

So, I had two independent and unrelated sources that confirmed for me that Tina was right about her dogs.

The last and to me the most important was something Pam Dymondweed said to me online when I was questioning about Tina. She said simply – trust Tina. Didn’t defend her, didn’t try to paint a glowing picture of Tina, just simply – Trust her.

Those events above made clear to me where I belonged – with the SSDCA as a supporter of Tina’s vision as the Breed Founder of the Shiloh Shepherd. While I waited for my first Shiloh, I studied Tina’s articles over and over again and plagued her with questions. I bought every GSD book and dog genetics book I could lay my hands on. I needed to learn, I wanted to understand.

The genetic history and health of our breed is still the keenest interest I have – from the foundation dogs to the puppies that are currently being bred. I can see Tina’s work solidifying and getting better with each generation of dogs.

These dogs captivate me. I’ve had other dogs during my lifetime. None of them have the being that shines through a Shiloh Shepherd’s eyes. None of them had the intelligence or the ability to communicate in the manner that a Shiloh does. Truly, it is because of the dogs Tina gave me that I am here and will stay here. I wouldn’t chance not having what I have now in Charley and Danny by going anywhere else.

Through the 9 years that I have been involved with Shiloh Shepherds, things have not always been easy. Some folks have left and in leaving have tried to cause confusion and hurt. Some harsh words have been written and said. Some folks I thought would never leave – did. I made my decision 9 years ago where I belonged and that has never changed.

My aim, my goals for the future as it relates to the SSDCA are simple – to help where I can. To answer questions that I can. To help someone else learn the things that have been taught to me. To stand firm in support of the promotion and protection of the ISSR Shiloh Shepherd. To support Tina in her vision of breed development.

My purpose is to ensure that the best interests of the SSDCA are forefront in all my actions as a member of the SSDCA Board of Advisors.

Thank you for your consideration of me as a candidate.

Corinne Filipski

Michael Kerr

Dear SSDCA Members

This letter is to introduce myself to those of you that do not know me. My name is Michael Kerr, PawPawMike to those that read the forum. I have been a Member of the SSDCA since 2004 and am President of the NBC Chapter. I am an LBIT and doing my share to expand our breeding program.

I was born on a farm in NE Ohio and have had a connection with animals ever since. I started training and showing dogs about 40 years ago (I must have been 2 at the time LOL). I later started breeding GSD's but became very disillusioned with the direction that the breed was going and ended my breeding program. I continued to show my dogs and compete in obedience trials which lead to training dogs for others and holding Classes in obedience. I later started to work with out of control dogs when I was retained by a security company to retrain their dogs that could no longer be handled by their officers. As a result of these experiences I made it my goal to help others with dog problems in an attempt to avoid misunderstood dogs having to be euthanized as a result of lack of knowledge on the part to the dog owners.

About 5 years ago I went in search of a new demo dog to help with my training. I came across the Shiloh's, drove to New York for Homecoming, and the rest is history. I discovered the breed that I was striving for when I was breeding, met Tina who used training methods that were almost identical to mine and was welcomed by all the wonderful people involved with this breed. Within a month I was ask to help with a very special case, Storm, and have not looked back.

I have been involved and am familiar with all the problems over the last few years. The UKC problem, the Wikipedia problem, and the breeders that left. Like most of us here I had become friends with all of them. They even asked me to join them. I declined and did my best to warn the club what was happening and to convince the breeders that wanted to leave that they were making a big mistake but it was to no avail. Emotions ran high during that time and there was just no reasoning with them. I think that this experience puts me in a unique position to help prevent something like this from happening again in the future. To this day I can not understand how they could let their emotions cause them to go back on their word and violate their contracts. My word is my bond and I could not live with myself if I acted otherwise. I guess I come from a generation that a handshake means something, let alone a written contract.

Enough about the past; it is the future that we need to focus on. I feel that the path we are on is the right one. All we need to do is to stick to it, make it more efficient, and expose it to the world. I feel that I am uniquely positioned to help with all of these. Dog training has never been a lucrative business so consequently I have had to supplement it with other things, all of which have given me experience that can be very useful to our group. I have had my own business so I know how an organization should be run. I have served on boards before so I know what to expect, one of which was dog related that included political discourse. I have been a Computer Consultant and had my own computer stores so I know how to automate an organization. I have used my skills at understanding dogs and applied them to reading and understating people as a Human Resource Manager. After all that is what we are dealing with here, people and dogs. And finally, I am a man.

If Hillary can run on the fact that she is a woman in a male dominated world then I can run on the fact that I am a man in a female dominated club. All joking aside I feel that we need to draw more men into this group. and that would be one of my goals. After all we are good to have around if you need something built, never want to get lost or need someone to escort a stray bull back to its pen at Homecoming again.

Paw Paw Mike (Michael Kerr)


Jessica Strauss

My name is Jessica Strauss, also known as Sirius' mom, or as Strauss Haus Shepherds. I joined the SSDCA in early 2000, just prior to the arrival of my first Shiloh, Sirius. Following Tina's genetics seminar in May 2000, I put in my deposit on our second Shiloh, Isis. I was hooked on the breed. I started showing our dogs in IABCA shows in 2001, and several of our dogs have International Championships, or are breed champion pointed. I attend every show we can, as litters on the ground allow for. I became a licensed breeder (VIB) in 2001. I then became a certified Shiloh litter evaluator in March 2007.

I have been interested in genetics since I was a child, and raised Netherland Dwarf rabbits. wanted to create my own breed of rabbit, a mini-angora, using the standard size Angora with the Netherland dwarf. Unfortunately, my mom would not let me have enough
rabbits to achieve this. I learned much more about genetics as an exotic bird breeder from 1995 to 2005.  My main interest was the color mutations of Quakers, Ringneck parakeets and cockatiels. I was the co-owner of one of the first Blue Quakers in our State.

About Strauss Haus Shepherds. Leo and I are the proud owners (or should I say we are owned by) 10 ISSR registered Shiloh Shepherds. To date, we have produced 9 litters, a total of 84 puppies, many of which are now contributing to the future of our breed through showing or by producing ISSR approved litters of their own.

My Experience: I have been a Board Member of our  SSDCA-NWC chapter since it's creation in 2002. Past board positions include Treasurer of PAYSC, our localsoccer club. I also was a Board Member on the AnimalIssues Advisory Committee, and also one of it's
sub-committee's on re-writing local animal ordinances with our local Law Enforcement.
I have worked in the Criminal Justice Field for 18 years, as a Juvenile Corrections Officer, a Legal Secretary and as an Animal Control Officer. Politics are not foreign to me:) I was Union Shop Steward for 2 years, and took us through Union Negotiations with the County.
For fun, I am a K-9 decoy for the Port Angeles Police Dept., Sequim Police K-9 unit and the Olympic National Park K-9 unit. I have been quarrying and assisting in training new K-9's since 2002.

I am currently working toward my degree in Veterinary Technology, and have been working in a Veterinary Hospital as a Veterinary Assistant, and now a Veterinary Technician, since September 2003. My recent career change has allowed me much more free time now that I am "down to" just one 3/4 time job!

About me: Animals are my passion. My biggest strengths are my organizational skills. Another of my strengths is my ability to step back from the emotion and deal with a situation in a rational, fact-based and intelligent manner. In past employment, I have worked in Supervisory positions where I have had to write criminal citations to acquaintances, be involved indisciplinary procedures against co-workers, involved in detaining juvenile offenders who are members of a families I know, or the office representing half of a divorcing couple who are people I have known for years. Union negotiations were also an experience in which my level headedness was a virtue! I believe this strength would be an asset to our board.
Why vote for me? I dont come to this board with hidden agenda's or an ego trip. I am just a breeder who cares deeply for the future of the ISSR Shiloh Shepherd. I want to be part of the team that oversees our future.

Jessica B. Strauss
SSDCA Member since 2000
SSDCA-NWC Secretary
ISSR Licensed Breeder
Certified LER evaluator

Olga Twombly

Dear friends,

Thank you for allowing me to run for a position for the Board of Advisors. I am deeply honored, as I was of the appointment to finish Debbie Knatz’s term this year as interim Board of Advisors member.

Throughout my life, I’ve met many people who’ve shown a passion for something. For some, it’s a passion for sports, for others, it could be religion, politics, art, or something else that drives them. I’ve admired these people’s drive and dedication. Although I’ve supported many causes and contributed to many organizations, I hadn’t developed a passion for any..... Until I discovered the Shiloh Shepherd.

Soon after joining the SSDCA, I realized this was where I belonged, and promoting this breed became my passion. MaShiloh’s dream to see the Shiloh grow and become a recognized breed has also become my dream.

Through the years I’ve made some lasting friendships, and grew to care very deeply for the friends I’ve found here.

Little did I know more than 6 years ago how far I would stretch and how much I would grow and learn. When I first joined the SSDCA, I volunteered to do anything I could. I’d walk other’s dogs. I helped with events, planning, organizing, running them, I even volunteered to show other’s dogs. Anything to help me learn.

When I could no longer show Orion, I learned to be a Show Steward, which turned out to be one of my biggest learning experiences... being up front and personal with the judge, listening to those who would share their thoughts as they judged our dogs.

After surviving two chapter breakups with close friends leaving the club, I volunteered to become the president of the SSDCA-MAC chapter and help our area grow again. With a lot of help from other MAC members, we’re starting to see the chapter grow, and we’ve started organizing events and conformation shows.

I recently also volunteered to take over the SSDCA membership coordinator position. I won’t lie, it’s a lot of work... but very rewarding when you start receiving renewals and new membership applications. I have to say though, I have a new appreciation for all the work Corinne did during the years she was coordinator!

What is in my future? I hope to be able to continue to serve the SSDCA  in any way I can. I would be honored to be elected by our members to represent them as one of their Board of Advisors. And I will continue to help promote the Shiloh Shepherd in any way I can. Working towards bringing Tina’s dream into reality!

Thank you,

Olga Twombly

Pat Urso

Dear S.S.D.C.A. Members:

I am Pat Urso. I have been a member of the SSDCA since 1992. My husband and I purchased our first Shiloh from Tina. We enjoyed Trask for 10 years. After he passed over the rainbow we purchased Smoke and two years later Ember and became “Smoke and Ember Kennels”.  We currently have three Shiloh’s-Smoke, Ember and their pup, Smoka.

I have been involved in club activities since 1993. From 1993-95 I was a “Director at Large” for the northwest. When the club was being revived in 1998 Tina asked me to serve on the Advisory Board of Directors. I was elected to a full term in 1999 and helped develop the SSDCA’s amnesty program. I chose not to run in 2002. I was asked by the board to serve out the remainder of Audrey Harrison’s term in 2004. I again chose not to run for re-election in 2005 but agreed to serve if needed. In March of 2006 I was asked again by the board to fill the remainder of Dawn Swick’s term. I have been nominated to run for the board again in 2008 and have agreed to do so.
I am a Shiloh Ambassador, and have been a member of the Genetic Task Force from its inception in 2000 to the present. I started the CLASS Chapter in 1998 and been a Licensed Breeder in Training since 2005. I am currently serving as Chair of the Grievance Committee.

I have worked constantly to bring people to the breed and have assisted our breeders in finding appropriate matches for their pups. However, the accomplishment that I am the most proud of is my contribution in helping to obtain the information that Dr. Padgett needed to complete the 2000 health survey and analysis.

If re-elected I promise to continue my commitment to the continuation of the Shiloh Shepherd breed, and will work hard to promote the breed and the success of our club. We continue to face many challenges and need continuity to allow the successes that we have achieved as a club to continue.



Jackie Watson

I am truly honored and humbled to have been nominated to run for a position on the SSDCA Advisory Board.

I first heard of the Shiloh Shepherd in 1994, when my husband and I started looking for a second dog to help us with security and guarding our property. We lived then in New Jersey, on two very secluded acres; hubby worked nights in New York City, and I was alone in the house with our very gregarious Sheltie, Buddy. The search began for the perfect guard dog, when I brought home a Puppies USA, opened the pages and there was this magnificant looking shepherd, with a description that matched exactly what we were looking for! After much soul searching, we decided to open our homes to a rescue dog rather than a purebred; my dreams for a Shiloh were put on hold when we adopted Gus, our mixed breed who turned out to be a Catahoula!

I first joined the forums in April 2006, joined the SSDCA in August of 2006, and brought home my first Shiloh pup, Caili, in October of 2007. Between April and August, 2006, my goal was to read every post on the 'friends' forum, as well to read everything Tina had written that was online and available to me, and so embarked on a crash course to learn everything I could about Shilohs; as my reading evolved, I realized that ISSR Shilohs, with Tina's vision, were going to be the only Shilohs for me!

It wasn't hard for me to understand the 'politics' at all. These were Tina's dogs, Tina's vision, and Tina's work that went into their development. I was horrified as I read of the scams and deceit that took place as people tried to gain control of the breed, the club, and Tina. I could relate it to a similar experience, and perhaps it helped me understand a little better. For 25 years I studied the martial art of Aikido under a teacher who himself studied with the founder of the art. He was a devout student, and always taught us the techniques and philosophy of the art as the founder himself taught them. As with any martial art, there are those who think they can do better - create 'better' techniques, or dispense with the philosophy (which is the foundation of the art, even more so than the physical technique). Those who couldn't 'leave their ego at the door' soon found themselves booted out of our organization. Sound familiar?

I am currently the Secretary-Treasurer for SESSA, the Southeast chapter of the SSDCA. The club had been inactive for a while, as there just weren't a lot of members and territory was (is) so huge, it was hard to get folks together. I offered my energy to Lilli Anglin and Jenn Grazer, the remaining officers of SESSA, to try and get the chapter up and running again. Since I've been involved, we have grown to 18 members, have had two get-togethers, and developed a website for our chapter. I also began a project to fund raise for the chapter, which resulted in our 'Shiloh Brag Cards', which we're very proud of! I also participated in the conception, development and 'birth' of our very own 'J' - what other breed has their very own limited edition 'poopless puppy'?! Most recently, I was asked to chair the Nomination Committe for the upcoming Advisory Board elections, when I found myself nominated - a humble thank you to those of you who suggested my name! I also plan on becoming an LBIT, and joining the OSS, so I can help Tina further her vision by doing some great breedings with Caili, if she turns out like we think she's going to!

The skills I can bring to the board are not so much involvement with dog breeds, or showing, or politics (although my dad did have a small German Shorthair Pointer kennel as I was growing up). My skills run more toward being organized, being able to plan and carry out tasks, and being a crack typist by trade. I would hope that those skills would be of benefit to the advisory board as it carries out its many tasks of the club's business and the protection of the Shiloh name.

Do I believe in Tina and her vision of the Shiloh Shepherd? You betcha! Am I a loyal supporter of the ISSR? Yes, I am. Do I know or associate with any of the people who splintered away? Nope. I came on board during the last exodus.

So I hope you'll consider me as a member of the advisory board; even though I am the most junior SSDCA member running for the board, I feel I can do a good job and bring my qualities and skills to help the board run smoothly. I would be proud to wear the title of 'newbie on board'!

Jackie Watson


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