Jelayne Nygren Calbri, Vice President 2019-2021
Jelayne has lived north of Chicago, Illinois for most of her life. She has been the caregiver for her elderly parents over the last several years. Prior to this, she has worked in Customer Service, Marketing, Sales, Business and Systems Analysis, and Information Technology. She became interested in the Alaskan Klee Kai after her husband, Dave, mentioned that he always wanted a “husky with blue eyes” when he was younger. With Jelayne also loving the northern breeds, and now having a “reason” to possibly get another dog (lol), the quest began…
Researching Siberian and Alaskan huskies, she stumbled on this unique, beautiful little mini husky called the Alaskan Klee Kai and fell in love. This was a gorgeous husky in a lap size companion package! She researched everything she could find on line about the dog, owners, and breeders. Analyst that she is, she tracked breeders, and where they got their beginnings, all the way back to the first breeder and AKK creator, Linda Spurlin, in Alaska. Not able to find a way to contact Linda directly, she did the next best thing and contacted the other pioneers who worked with Linda, Eileen Gregory and her daughter Chris Shackelford in Colorado.
Jelayne and her husband took a vacation to Colorado to enjoy the Colorado Springs area and attend an airshow. She just ‘happened’ to also set up visits to meet some nearby AKK in person with Ellen, Donnell, Eileen and Chris. She continued to talk with them and do more research. She was able to attend a UKC Gateway Show in 2017 to meet them again, along with other owners, breeders, and their amazing dogs. Jelayne was officially obsessed with the AKK and AKKAOA. Shortly after this show, Eileen and Chris offered them their beautiful little Ziva, who continues to steal their hearts every single day. Confirming the ‘potato chip rule’, 2 years later they added Cheillin (Kylin), from Sherry Holloway (Sibridge Alaskan Klee Kai), who continues to help with their AKK and AKKAOA education.
Jelayne pursues knowledge and experience from all the wonderful breeders and owners in AKKAOA, in and out of the UKC shows, and wants to help contribute, educate, and protect this amazing breed. She is honored and excited to take on the responsibilities of Vice President of AKKAOA, and working with the Board of Directors and members, to get to know, and grow, this breed club.