The Bellingham Bulletin — October 2012
Change Language:
Bellingham’s Fisk Is Nationally Recognized Dog Breeder
Maud Dill ingham Bulletin Contributing Writer

As the owner of Akiko Akitas and
Wishing Well Kennel in Bellingham,
Nancy Fisk (above) has been breeding
champion Akitas for more than
30 years. She is an American Kennel
Club breeder of merit and breeds up
to 2 or 3 litters per year. She typically
keeps one male and one female from
each litter to show. She also breeds
champion beagles.
Nancy takes her responsibility as
a dog breeder very seriously. Her
Akitas are in the top 20 of breed
champions year after year. “I try to
raise dogs that can be wonderful
family companions,” she says; but
she cautions, “This breed is not for
everybody,” calling Akitas “strong
and independent” and sometimes
territorial with other dogs. Akitas
are “protective by nature,”
Nancy says. They originally
were bred in Japan to hunt
bears and boars.
“Akitas are incredibly loyal
and devoted dogs,” Nancy
notes, citing the movie
“Hachi: A Dog’s Tale” as
an example of the breed’s
faithfulness. “Nationally, my
dogs have a reputation for
the best temperament,” she
says. “Temperament has to
come first. In this society,
if they can’t be family companions,
it doesn’t matter
how pretty they are.”
“Akitas require someone
to be in charge,” Nancy
continues. “The owner has
to be confident and knowledgeable.
You don’t need a
tough or a rough person,
just a confident person.”
She is the Vice President
of the Massachusetts Federation
of Dog Clubs and
Responsible Dog Owners,
which teaches about responsible
dog ownership.
The Federation makes sure
that legislation is in the best
interests of dog owners.
“Many people think of
Akitas as an aggressive
breed,” she says. “Akitas will
take control in a household
that has no pack leader.”
Nancy also is President of
the Hockamock Kennel Club and
a delegate to the American Kennel
Of Wishing Well Kennel, Nancy says,
“I own this boarding kennel not to
make money, but because it allows
me to have a place to bring a dog
that needs it.” She works with Big
East Akita Rescue to foster dogs that
need homes. The kennel costs $25
per night and accepts unspayed and
unneutered dogs, unlike other kennels.
It has indoor/outdoor kennels
that are heated and air-conditioned.
The dogs go out individually in fully
fenced play-yards twice a day.
Nancy started her kennel in Bellingham
18 years ago, moving from
Franklin where there were neighbors to worry about. “This is an industrial
zone, and no houses can be built
nearby,” she says, adding that she
has a 50-dog kennel license.
It’s interesting how we came to
write a story about Fisk.Thirteen years
ago, Nancy sold an Akita named Tica
to a young man named Rich Payne
of White Plains, NY. This summer he
contacted her, very upset because his
beloved dog needed heart surgery
and he couldn’t afford it. As Nancy
tells it, “I am responsible for a puppy
that I breed from when it is born
until it dies.” She offered to pay for
the surgery if Tica made it through
the weekend, but unfortunately Tica
was not ultimately strong enough to
undergo the surgery. Nancy paid for
her to be euthanized and cremated.
In an e-mail to The Bellingham
Bulletin, Rich wrote, “I believe in my
heart, Nancy went above and beyond
what most ordinary people would do
for one another. I feel she deserves
recognition, not just for being an
outstanding breeder, but also an
outstanding citizen of Bellingham.”
Nancy says, “That’s what a responsible
breeder should be doing, as far
as I’m concerned.” Rich subsequently
brought Tica’s ashes home to Nancy’s
place and spread them on the property.
Nancy had a litter of puppies,
one of whom resembled Tica. “He
held her,” Nancy smiles, remembering
Rich bonding with the puppy. “He
got his Akita fix.”
“Nancy told me that when I am
ready, when my life situation will allow,
there is another puppy waiting
for me in Bellingham,” said Payne.
Wishing Well Kennel is located at
235 Maple Street in Bellingham. The
phone number is 508-966-7654.