Þorri Litter
born 2*13*2011
Viking Lilja X Heimskauts Reike
6 little boys
This litter is all about friends and being part of a
wonderful canine community right from the moment
of conception. This litter is proof that sometimes it
really does take a village!

Heimskauts Reike, sire of this litter is the product of
the first Icelandic Sheepdog Artificial Insemination
using frozen semen ever in the United States.  His
Breeder, Heather Jeanblanc was as bold as she was
dedicated to this breed.  That boldness payed off
with 2 successful litters from frozen Semen A.I. from
her girls Kaepa and sister Gledi. Here's an
about Heather's experience with Kaepa and Gledi's

Sadly, Heather passed away before she was able to
see any of her Grandpuppies.  Of the nine puppies
produced from both of these A.I.litters, Reike has the
been the only one to so far go on to be bred.  We are
very happy to be able to carry on Heather's memory
with this litter, and hope that we have matched her
vision for the puppies that she wanted to see come
from her dogs.  

John, Emily and Justin Gitelman, Reike's family, long
time email pals, welcomed us into their home.  They
rearranged their schedule, to pick us up at the airport
so that this miracle could happen on Friday Dec,
10th, 2010.  

When it became apparent that Reike and Lil' needed a
bit of assistance, Emily and John started making
calls to Canine Reproduction clinics in the area that
could get us in before we had to leave.  As luck
would have it Canine Reproductive Specialist Anita
Migday, DVM of
Slade Veterinary Clinic in
Framingham, MA was not only nearby, but able to
see us.  Dr. Migday and staff of 3 techs made the
whole insemination process a fun experience, Lil'
was completely relaxed when we did the
Trans-cervical insemination without having to use

When the realization hit me that these puppies would
be due when Kaffi and I would be exhibiting at
Westminster.  More folks in our "Canine Village"
stepped up to lend us a hand and we had offers of
help from even more.  Lilja's breeders Liz and Bob
Hurley of
Viking Icelandics, Hagerstown, MD. baby
sat Lil' while Kaffi and I were up in New York City
doing a pre-Westminster press Conference, Time
Magazine Shoot and Closing Bell Ceremonies for
NASDAQ, until we could get home on at 12:00 am
Saturday 2-12 the day Lil' was due.  They then drove
her back to us to us right after we got home at 12:30
am so she could have her puppies at home.  Bless
their hearts.

After a sleepless night for both of us, Lilja's puppies
began to arrive at 5:24 am Sunday 2-13, the last one
arriving at 11:10 am.  Mom and the puppies were then
packed up and brought to another friend in our
Canine Village, Ann Silverman of Encore Shetland
Sheepdogs, Union Bridge, MD.  She watched over the
little family while Kaffi and I raced back up to New
York City with Rachael Toren of
Clantyre Shetland
Sheepdogs, Catonsville, MD. so that Kaffi could
compete in the Icelandic Sheepdogs debut at the
135th  Westminster Kennel Club Dog show.  I can say
I felt totaly guilty leaving them but knew they were in
good hands with Ann.

Meanwhile Jon's sister Lisa Pickett Morgan, devoted
golden retreiver owner, was coming over and letting
the rest of the crew out everyday, while Jon was at
work.  Jon took over the night shift when he got
home.  While in Westminster we were further blessed
with having Icelandic Sheepdog friends Elaine Mozur
and sister Dolores Porrino of
Runestone Icelandics,
and ISD owners Trish and Katelyn Baker, and Kathy
Birnie to come and cheer us on as we entered the

We came home to fat happy pups and momma on
Tuesday 2-15.

Sigurlaug "Silla" Hauksdottir, from
Icelandics in Iceland, breeder of our incredible
Thordunu Leppatuska, helped us come up with the
names for this litter. Þorri (Thorri) is the name of the
coldest darkest month from the old Icelandic
calendar, this is the month that this litter was born in.

We are so blessed to have made so many wonderful
friends in our Canine Community and they have
offered us so much encouragement and support. I
can never fully express my gratitude to all of these
people. This is  how the dog world is for us and why
we are so completely involved in it.  It is not about
competition but community and a shared love of all
things dog.

This litter is very special to me, it is the union of the
breeding efforts of several fabulous women.  Elisabet
Stacy-Hurley "Liz" of Viking Icelandics got the ball
rolling here in the United States for the Icelandic
Sheepdog to become a fully recognized breed.  She
is the founding member of the Icelandic sheepdog
Association of America, parent club of the breed.  Her
kindness, mentoring and support have been what
has helped shape my devotion to this breed and my
relationships with my puppy families.

Ans Beer Schell of fra Thytur Stadir Icelandic
Sheepdogs of the Netherlands is credited with
introducing the breed to Holland.  Her breeding
program was a huge success; today the progeny of
her dogs are spread across Europe, the USA and
Canada.  I was able to chat via email with Ans Beer
some time ago, I am glad to have gotten to know this
wonderful woman who is absolutely dedicated to her

Heather Jeanblanc served on the ISAA's Board of
Directors as Chairman of Breeding Compliance.  She
was devoted to preserving Ans' breeding program
here in the USA.  I am happy to say that I could call
her friend.  

We would like to dedicate this litter to Elisabet
Stacy-Hurley and Ans Beer Schell, and to the memory
of Heather Jeanblanc, I wish she could see these
puppies today.
Puppies at week 7
Fox Meadow Þorra Frosti
Thorri's Frost now lives in Oregon
Fox Meadow Þorra Garri
Thorri's Frosty Wind lives in Maryland
Fox Meadow Þorra Freri
Thorri's Hard Frozen Snow lives in Maryland
Fox Meadow Þorra Kári
Thorri's Winter now lives in Maryland

Silla explains" Kári is a very old name for
winter, in the poem Þorraþræll, after Kristján
Jónsson anno 1866, Kári is referred to as the
cold hard wind singing his freezing winter
song. In scandinavia the word is most
commonly used for wind, and wind is often
referred to playing his harp." Thank you Silla
for sharing this beautiful name with me.
Fox Meadow Þorra Kalsi
Thorri's Cold Biting wind
lives in Pennsylvania
Fox Meadow Þorra Bylur
Thorri's Snow Storm
lives in Great Britain
Heather with baby Heimskauts Reike,
learning to do stairs
Heather saying goodbye to Reike at the
Reike with mom Kaepa fra Thytur Stadir and
Aunt Gledi Fra Thytur Stadir
Heather thankfully shared a few photos
with me over the years this is Ans Beer
Schell and Frani vom Dennenberg, her first
ISD.  The beginning of fra Thytur Stadir,
Ans Beer is creditted with introducing the
Icelandic Sheeodog to the Netherlands
Liz Hurley, Lilja's Breeder, and her Viking
Family.  Sadly, Asa Grima, Liz's first ISD
(standing behind Liz) passed away at 16.5
years old in her sleep on Feb. 10th, while
we were in New York.  Liz's dream was to
see the ISD compete at Westminster.  I wish
Grima could have been there to enjoy it
with her.  We all mourn Grima's loss.
Þorri is one of the old Icelandic months. It always begins on a Friday, between
the 19th and the 25th of January, and ends on a Saturday between the 18th and
24th of February. The first day of Þorri is called Bóndadagur or "Husband's
Day/Farmer's Day", and is dedicated to men (formerly only farmers). The month
after Thorri is Góa, It begins with Konudagur - Woman's Day.

From Silla - according to mythology Kári is the son of Fornljótur, Kári had a son
named Snær and he was a king, and his children were Þorri, Fönn, Drífa and
Mjöll (one son and three daughters) Þorri had three children, two sons named
Nór and Gór, and a daughter named Góa.  From the
Orkneyinga Saga.  To read
more about the descendants of Þorri follow the Saga's link.  To see

The next month after Þorri is named Góa named for his daughter.

The months Þorri and Góa were the most difficult months in the year.  Þorri is
winter personified in medieval folklore and the Þorrablót (Þorri Feasts) are
mentioned and today is still celebrated with traditional "sour foods".  As it being
in the middle of winter foods would have to have been preserved in some way.  
The sour food has been pickled in extra strong skyrmysa (whey) for several
weeks. The trick is to get it sour enough to tell where it's been, but not so sour
that you can't tell what it is. Most of the sour food is also served non-sour.  In the
old days, sour milk was sometimes uses instead of mysa.

Þorri personifying Old Man Winter in the poetry of latter centuries, is usually
portrayed as an old man, tall and grizzled, who is as cruel to those who
disrespect him as he is gentle to those who show him respect. The housewife
was supposed to greet Þorri, presumably to soften his heart, and thus the
weather. Góa is known as the daughter of Þorri, It is known that in the
Northeastern part of Iceland Góa was presented with a red wool lock,
presumable try to influence the weather.
An old Icelandic saying: "To survive Þorri and Góa",
means that you have passed the hump.

Bóndadagur - Husband's Day
The beginning of Þorri, often the hardest month of the winter.
Dedicated to men, but traditions and celebrations vary,
and are vague. In some places the man of the house received treats, in others it
was up to him to treat others.
There is even a tradition that the man of the house
should run a lap around the house in his knickers.  
The husband's favourite food was also usually served.

Konudagur - Housewife's Day
First day of Góa. The name is from the 19th century and
the husband is supposed to bring his wife the morning cup of coffee in bed.
Flowers have replaced this of late  If you'd like click the link to learn a bit more
Icelandic Holidays and calendar

It amazes me that the Icelandic language has so many words describing the
different winds, snow and ice they encountered and how specific they can be.
Our puppies carry just a few of them.  I guess when living on an Island where
these elements were one of the biggest challenge to life there would be.

I love the tradition of Þorri and how the Icelanders in the bleakest time of year
found a reason to celebrate with family and friends, and honor their loved ones.  
We hope that our puppies always give their families a reason to celebrate even
in the darkest of days.  

Best to all
Jo-Ann and Jon
Lilja and the boys all snuggled up at Ann's
on Valentines day, while we were at
Ans Beer Schell at the Dutch ISD Clubs
Anniversary Show in 2011
Heather Kaepa and Gledi after their first
litters together
Ann Silverman of Encore Sheltland
Sheepdogs, Godmother to our Thorri litter.  
She baby sat them while we were at
Ans Beer Schell, 99 years young with Djarfur
fra Thytur Stadir and friends in 2011
See Our Thorri Litter Video
Kopasker fra Thytur Stadir with his owner
Christina Sattel, in Germany
Reike's sire Kopasker fra Thytur Stadir
Lilja's sire Aldebaran Fjari in Washington