Ventura County Star-Free Press | VISTA | Sunday, Nov. 19, 1989
A kinder, gentler canine
In search of the perfect canine
By Brett Pauly S-FP staff writer
Away from the congested city and out past the citrus farmland, at the southern base of Pine Mountain ridge, there is a woman who talks to the animals.
Like a mythical character in a medieval book, Lois Kingsley reigns over the canine world she casts her powers from a throne in a ranch house on a 40-acre plot of land in the Los Padres National Forest.
Kingsley claims to possess a spiritual unity with dogs, which paves the way to an esoteric communication. "I know more about dogs than any person in Ventura County as far as I'm concerned", Kingsley boldly stated. An intense gleam shone in her hazel eyes. She meant what she said.
"I sleep, dream and live dogs. Everything is directed toward dogs. When you spend 24 hours a day thinking about dogs you've got to know something."
Tapping her knowledge of canine genetics, she created a new crossbreed of dogs in February 1988.
In an attempt to produce a kinder, gentler dog, she bred the smart, typically high-strung German Shepherd with the strong, lackadaisical Malamute. The result was Hoss, a first-generation North American Shepalute - a dog that looks and thinks like a German Shepherd and has the mild temperament of a Malamute. Hoss sires second-generation Shepalutes. “I get a very mellow dog that's got intelligence," said Kingsley. "I want to create a dog that I'm happy with." She considers her practice a scientific art. But like a painter at the easel, she's not sure when the work will be finished. "It's by chance and choice, " she said. "I don't know if I'll ever get it right."
Kingsley is carrying on an age-old tradition of developing new breeds of dog, according to Gary Ogden, a professor of biology at Moorpark College. “The dog is an offshoot of the wolf family. Each species of dog was created purely by a chance mixture of genes- a result of man's propensity to crossbreed animals, Ogden said. "Until you do the crossbreding, you don't know what you’re going to get," he said.
Honing her guesswork, Kingsley envisions that four generations from now the Shepalute will take on the looks of a timber wolf. The former truck driver and electronics technician believes there is a market for the Shepalute. Her pitch is to sell dogs that are smart, strong and friendly. She thinks that although the dog would be lazy, it could easily be trained to show aggression to protect its owner and the family home. "I want a dog that every American household wants," Kingsley said. 'What I want is a dog that would fit into any family. I want a dog that will protect the home just by its looks alone." Kingsley, a former police cadet, said a timber wolf appearance of the Shepalute would discourage burglars. The five pups she has sold so far fetched $60 each. One of the puppies, Wolfgang, was purchased by Sue and Art Buckley of Simi Valley. The couple wanted their 11-year-old son, Allen, to have a canine companion. Wolfgang fit the bill.
"He likes children,” said Sue Buckley. "He has a nice temperament." Veterinarians have mistaken Wolfgang for a German Shepherd and are surprised to hear the dog is a Shepalute, according to Buckley.
The five-month-old dog is performing well in obedience class. "He’s just real sharp and he learns quickly," Buckley said.
Kingsley said her Shepalute endeavor must be lucrative if she is to continue her natural lifestyle.
The 36-year-old Oxnard native dreams of living purely off the land-having to depend only on supermarkets and department stores for her bare necessities. But for now she spends three hours a day, Tuesday through Saturday, commuting from the ranch to Oxnard- to operate a small dog shop- and then back again.
Leaving her metropolitan roots behind two years ago, Kingsley moved up to the ranch to pursue her quest of becoming closer to nature. She is Ventura County’s answer to Doctor Doolittle.” She can walk up to almost any animal and know its disposition before she gets to the animal, " said her husband, Gary, 42, a retired U.s. Navy Sea Diver. She soothes savage beasts like a green thumb makes gardens grow, according to Gary, the ranch caretaker. He tells the story of the time he was unable to approach a crazed, caged dog for fear of being bitten. Yet his wife was able to control the animal. "As long as the dog was around her it was as gentle as a little lamb, but when she was away from it, it was as mean as a bear,” he said.
According to Kingsley, it's her spiritual nature that allows her to relate to dogs. "When i see a dog I see the total being of that dog,” said Kingsley. She somehow communicates to a dog that she is the dominate one of the two animals. "I’m boss," she said. "When a dog comes up to another dog, one must be boss. If two bosses meet, they have to fight it out." Once in a while Kingsley is confronted with a dominant dog that will not back down to her. In rare instances the six-foot-tall woman has to become physical with an animal before it will behave. She is a big person, however, and usually does not have trouble handling dogs. Most of the time, though, she is able to 'psych out' an uncontrolled dog. Kingsley feels she acquired her ability to reach animals through her relationship with nature. "Whenever you're in tune with nature and yourself, then you're in tune with animals in nature," she said.
The ranch is a key link between Kingsley and the animals. It is a private retreat where she does her best thinking.
The roadway that leads to the dog lady's ranch winds dramatically as it ascends. The yellows, oranges and light greens in the deciduous trees suggest fall is upon the land. What leaves aren't on the ground already are left clinging to branches. The sun is high. There isn't any fog or smog-only clouds- to block its rays.
At the ranch, from amid the rusting farm equipment and machine parts, kingsley appears riding atop Petunia, an old quarter horse. Horse and rider trot up the dirt road. Adorned in jeans and an old white cowboy coat, kingsley dismounts to unlock the gate. Her reddish-brown, shoulder-length curls bounce as she drops to the ground.
Down on the ranch, behind the corrugated tin sheds and small wood houses, horses neigh, chickens cluck. and dogs bay like coyotes. At night wildlife roam. Fixes, raccoons and black bears tread freely through the apple trees and grape vines. The apples provide the main ingredient of 12 pies Kingsley made last week. There is no electricity on the homesteaded ranch. A wood stove heats the kingsley home and gas is used to cook food and heat water. "It’s pretty primitive up here," said kingsley. "But we love it. "it's a little weird at night. You have to use candles."
Occasionally the Kingsleys will crank up a generator to watch a movie and pop corn. The ree springs supply drinking water.
Despite her desire to reside full time at the ranch, it is a necessity for Kingsley to make a living in Oxnard. She runs K-9 Emporium. There Kingsley trains and grooms dogs and sells pet supplies. She teaches dog obedience, grooming, training, breeding and genetics, assistant veterinary, and origiin of species classes. "Mostly I'm a teacher," she said. "i like that better than grooming, but grooming helps pay the bills."
Kingsley offers free advice to dog owners who are experiencing difficulties with their pets. "What she's doing is helping dogs relate to humans, and humans relate to dogs, so that they can get along togehter in today's society" said kingsley's 14-year-old daughter, Jennifer.
Kingsley's work is truly a labor of love. She squeaks out enough income during her 60-hour workweeks to live on, but at this point she is unable to save any money. She hopes to change that with her new breed of dog.
To protect the purity of the Shepalute, Kinglsey will sell male dogs only. The females she keeps as breeders. Sick, weak or undesirable puppies are culled from the litter to better control the breed. Inevitably that means having to take some dogs to the pound to be destroyed.
'If because of human love you save a sickly puppy that was meant to die, then you're ruining the breed," said Kingsley.
She said she has to be insensitive sometimes. "It’s not all glory dealing with dogs. There's a lot of pain involved with dogs. If you're not strong, get out of dogs." Kingsley sticks by her convictions and lets the sick puppies die.
A third set of second-generation Shepalutes sired by Hoss are expected to be born in late December. Tassy, an all black German Shepherd, is the dam.
The fittest pups will survive, Kingsley said. Their sound genes ensure that future generations will be as healthy as possible. "We're mixing the genes up and creating a strong bond," said Kingsley. "This is selective breeding-picking out the strongest characteristics for the betterment of the dog you're creating."
Kingsley relied heavily on books and her extensive experience with animals for her breeding work.
At age 7 Kingsley was breeding rats for intelligence. She used mazes to test for environmental conditioning. She also bred guinea pigs for coat coloration.
By 10 she became aware of death. At the time she was inbreeding pigeons. One of the birds died. Even though she cried for days, she didn’t quit breeding animals, because she loved what she was doing.
Later she bred "six generations strong' of chocolate cocker spaniels.
Kingsley anticipates that by its sixth generation the Shepalute will take on the color and shape of the timber wolf. Yellow eyes and big feet are two of the desired standards of the purebred Shepalute. The dog should stand straighter and squarer than a German Shepherd, according to Kingsley. Proportionately the Shepalute should be slightly longer than taller.
Kingsley is organizing the North American Shepalute Club, which is responsible for registering the purebred animals.
by Lois Schwarz
First there was one and an infinite circle. No change, no conflict.
Then there were two and a magnate of force both positive and negative. Separation. Push and pull of energy. Positive and negative could not be in the same space. No negotiation. Extremeness.
Then there was three… a go between, a negotiator, a chance, movement was now possible between the two.
Our Father……….. Without him we would not be the children.
Who art in Heaven……… There is another place. A place that is invisible, a place that is not fully known to me. A place where my father lives.
Hallo be they name…. a name, a word has meaning. A word is spoken from within. A word is formed by the thoughts and conjured up into reality and into existence. A word is spoken and within the universe the sound of the word vibrates and continues to go forward forever… My father’s name is Holy and has a terrific impact. When this word, this name is spoken it has power, his name is power.
Thy kingdom… My father has a kingdom and he is king
Thy kingdom come… His kingdom, his rule is coming forward, closer and closer. It moves toward me.
Thy will … My father has a will, a powerful force.
Thy will be done… I pray that my father’s will completes itself and in these words there is no doubt that whatever he wills, will be and it will be to completion. Finet.
On Earth….. There is a place called earth which he created when he spoke his will for it.
On earth, as it is in Heaven… He rules heaven, he resides in heaven, and he willed heaven. Earth will be a place like heaven. His will be done here on earth as it is in heaven. Whatever his will was for earth it will be so.
What is Gods will for the earth? The bible explains this in Genesis before the first sin.
Poems by Lois
Alcohol and drugs (1996)
I wake up, my spirit is happy as I smell the morning air
I open all the windows and with the earth I share, the wakening of a brand new day.
I think about the past; those days are no longer here
And yesterday tries to push itself into this day so clear until the past creeps up to bring me thoughts of deadly fear.
I think about this moment and how slow the moment is, it seems to last forever as I then made a verbal commitment that just for today I would not lie, no lies, no matter what.
So I could hold my head up high until thy self be true.
The next words to be spoken a truth that means so much, is that just for today, I would not kill myself.
My body is a holy temple a place where I reside
The bible that cannot be destroyed within me it does hide.
The principles of who I am my love, my soul my pride… everything of which I am; can vanish with a lie.
Just for today I will not partake in alcohol or drugs.