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The history of Fissan

Hello, my name is Carol Nassif, I am the owner, breeder, trainer and handler of Fissan American Eskimos and Fissan Training Kennels alongside my husband Robert Nassif. I originally grew up in Rochester, MN the youngest of a very large family. As a youngester I always dreamed of owning show dogs. At a young age I started watching Westminster Dog Show. Growing up my older siblings had dogs from time to time, none of them purebred and no one showed.


The first dog I recall was a black lab cross named Cubby. I was probably 3 or 4 and would use my mothers thread from her sewing basket to tie to his collar and a stool. He followed me everywhere and waited patiently as I tied him up. My mom would tell stories how he could have easily broken the thread but never did. Unfortunately Cubby died when a neighbor poisoned him.


Our next dog came when I was again young probably 5, this time it was a cockapoo Jauko. My dad never really liked the dog and the feeling was mutual. When my father would be gone Jauko would get into his office and do his business in his open briefcase. Needless to say this would be the last I would see of dogs in my own home for a very long time.


At 6 I got a kitten for my birthday, at 8 I choose a hamster over ear piercings and our backyard became home to rabbits, pet mice, orphaned birds and a stray pet every now and then. I tried to prove to my parents that I was mature and responsible enough to have a dog. By 10 I was fully engaged in walking, training, and hanging out with all the neighbor dogs. When I was 12 you would find me walking 4 to 5 neighbor dogs at the same time. I read every book and watched everything I could on dogs and dog training. I even joined 4H and leased a neighbors Irish Setter. We won Grand Champion and I went to the State dog show. I spent many years with dogs as my best friends, Maya was probably the biggest part of my life. A beautiful dark red Golden Retriever.


The turning point in my life came when I was in Jr. High. After a stray dog "Brandi" found his way into our home, my parents finally agreed to let me have a dog. Unfortunatly Brandi's habit of running didn't end when he came to our home and in a few short months he met his fate. It happened the summer between 8th and 9th grade. It was crushing. Over Easter break of 9th grade my mother convinced my father to let me get a dog. My sister and I drove around looking at strays in foster homes. We narrowed it down to 2, a little black and white terrier mix and a Cocker/ Golden mix named 'Ladi'. We ended up adopting a little white and black terrier mix named Sadie. Sadie was my very own dog. I fed her, walked her, bathed her, took her to the vet, and trained her. I learned about obedience through Sadie and did fun matches with her.


Sadie was with me for 15 years. She died peacefully in May of 1996 of old age. During her life, I graduated from High School, attended Waseca for small animal medicine, got married to my wonderful husband and partner Rob, completed training for my nursing license, and learned more and more about dogs.


So where do American Eskimos come into this picture? Eskies came into my life when my husband saw an adorable white fluff ball being walked near our apartment. He never spoke to the woman but came home and told me we should get one. He didn't have to ask twice for a dog, as soon as he spoke the words I was at the library determining what it was, he was sure it was not a samoyed. The internet was not part of our life so books taught me about the American Eskimo a small dog originating from the German Spitz registered by the United Kennel Club. A whole new world. A new breed, a new kennel club and a legacy began. By the way later on we learned the puppy my husband saw was a SAMOYED!


Our first American Eskimo was "POCA" 'PR' Powhatan's Pocahontas she was UKC registered and had no disqualifing traits but was truely a pet quality eskie. But she is how I learned. Although pet quality I showed her like she was the most beautiful dog out there. She taught me how to be humble and how to lose graciously.


As time has gone by I have owned better dogs. In 1993 I purchased a beautiful pup 'PR' Jaybar McKinley Maggie Too. I had asked Barbara Blackwood to pick a nice quality pick female for me. She did just that. Maggie turned out to be the most beautiful American Eskimo. She went on to win Best of Breed in 1998 at the Prestigious Westminster Kennel Club in Madison Square Garden with me handling.Also in 1998 Maggie won the title of National Grand Champion, at the time she was the first female American Eskimo to be awarded this title during a Fall national. In 1996 and 1998 Maggie was the #1 American Eskimo in UKC, I believe this was the first time a female had been ranked #1 overall for UKC.She and I had a great time showing and she is the foundation of FISSAN Kennels.


FISSAN kennels now includes children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of Maggie. They continue her legacy of winning in the ring.On May 26, 2009 my beloved Maggie went to the rainbow bridge. She was 15 years, 7 months and 2 days old. She was in my arms as she took her last breath and will live in my heart forever. FISSAN is my last name spelled backwards. Many people recognize me by my screen name AEFISSAN, it stands for American Eskimo and my Kennel name.

In October 2021  my life dream became a reality. I along with my husband opened Fissan Training Kennels in Farmngton MN. We offer Dog Daycare, Training, Grooming, Boarding and Dog related supplies.

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