My name is Simona and I live in sunny California with my husband Matt and our 3 kids Sasha, Nina and Jake, chickens, horses, a pony, a pot bellied pig and my beloved “white pack”. We have a small ranch called “Dances With Wolves Ranch” in the quaint picturesque town of Agua Dulce in the mountains 50 miles north of Los Angeles.
This small western town consists of many people who moved here to pursue their dreams to rescue, to raise or to simply have animals of all kinds. Many movie animals live in our town; walking through our neighborhoods you might see a zebra, emu, llama, camel or a monkey. You will also see many animal rescues for dogs, horses and donkeys and also exotic animals such as wolves, lions and tigers.
People, including us, sometimes ride to town and tie up their horses to eat lunch. Occasionally, parents pick up their kids at the local school on horseback. On a daily basis, horseback riders and carriages ride through our small downtown. We live here because we love this environment to raise our kids and animals. Our dogs are well known in town as we go on bike rides and walks and take them to lunch or coffee with us. The dogs are even friends with a baboon that often goes along on our hikes!
Taking care of our white pack is a whole family deal. I am very fortunate to be able to stay home and raise my kids and my dogs full time. I have plenty of time to raise, train and socialize all of our animals. They all have my full daily attention. My husband Matt builds and maintains anything that the animals need. The kids also do their part, including washing, brushing, feeding, exercising and their favorite, “poop patrol”. They each have a designated dog that they take through 4 -H training and competitions as I am the local 4-H leader for dog training. They also help me when we go to dog shows, they are my assistants & photographers. All this is so good for the kids and also for the dogs. It’s a win-win situation for our family.
Our dogs are part of the family; you can find them laying around the kitchen, jumping in the pool, enjoying the play ground or trampoline with kids, riding on our 4 wheeler to do chores or simply playing outside in our 10 acre fenced area. My dogs accompany me on my horse rides into the wilderness and follow me and my family on bike rides. In summer, my friends and their kids also come to swim in our pool with our kids and dogs. With so many friends, kids and animals in action, our dogs and our puppies are never bored at our house and leave here happy and extremely well socialized.
About my dogs
My passion to start my small breeding program began with the first dog I owned, Shewa, a beautiful White German Shepherd that I bought in Germany 25 years ago before moving to the US. Shewa moved with me to the US and was my daily companion as I learned a new language and adjusted to life in my new country. Shewa’s stunning looks, intelligence and disposition made an impression on people wherever we went. People simply had not met a dog like Shewa. Even today, after decades have passed, people that met Shewa still ask about her.
When I was ready for another dog, I did a great deal of research but could not find another dog like Shewa in the United States. I wanted a dog with European qualities: pure white coat with dark pigment, standing tall with upright hips and foremost, a calm, self assured demeanor with exceptional love and loyalty for its family.
After several years of research, I found what I was looking for in Europe, a new breed that has recently split from the German Shepherd breed, called “Berger Blanc Suisse” (White Swiss Shepherd). This breed has its own standard now with changes to the hip structure that go back to its natural state (standing naturally upright rather than with over-angulated hips common in today’s German Shepherd). The dogs disposition has also changed to became more sociable with other dogs and animals. I am particularly impressed by how well this breed does with families, children and as a service and therapy animal. This breed is now internationally recognized by the FCI throughout the world. Currently, this breed is considered relatively rare in the US and therefore, not recognized by the AKC yet (there is a move underway to achieve recognition here also).
- BS, Biology, UCLA: concentration in ecology, genetics, and animal behavior
- Extensive experience training and showing dogs in various disciplines such as confirmation, agility, therapy and obedience.
- Experience and background researching animal lineage worldwide. Knowledgeable and experienced importing animals and semen. Fluent speaker of English, German and Czech.
- Formerly worked in animal hospital as veterinary tech and surgeon’s assistant
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*** Below are some photos of our family in action ***