Monday, 15 April 2019

show milestone


Ch Lecibsin Salo of TabanyaRuu JW ShCM x Infindigo Riemu Emmi ShCM
Date of birth 10 July 2015

Ulla with her Best In Show Rosette & Cup - photo by Mark Treasure
 When you show dogs there are ups and downs.  Even if your dog is not exactly a great match for the breed standard that judges should be working to, you will have a few exciting moments at shows.  Even if your dog is an outstanding example of the breed, you won't always win.  That's the way it goes.  I tell everyone who starts out in showing that you need to be a good loser and you need to enjoy it whether you win or not.  Because, the truth is, you will rarely win.

Occasionally a dog will come along who is extra-special in terms of showing.  They will be a great example of the breed, sure, but they will also love being in the spotlight, have someone willing and able to train them to perform as expected, and someone to take them to shows.  Lots of shows.  I have had all of that with Ulla.  She's a sweet-natured, high-energy, clever little sweetie-pie with owners who did a terrific job of training her and who are committed to keeping her fit and well groomed and are kind enough to let her be my showdog.  And in my 15 years of owning, breeding and showing Finnish Lapphunds, she has given me most of my greatest thrills in the showring.

NWPB July 2019
 There are different levels of winning, too.  There are the open shows where you may or may not get a judge who is knowledgeable about the breed - or even likes them! - and you might not even have specific breed classes.  There are the championship shows where the top winners keep on winning and, under the UK system, other dogs who are still excellent representatives of the breed and worthy of the title of champion unfortunately never reach that pinnacle because they can rarely get past the top winners.  Then there are the special shows, of which you might get two a year, if you're lucky.  In Finnish Lapphunds, there are 3 such special shows each year for me.  They are Crufts in March and the two shows where we get Finnish judges every year:  Southern Counties in June and the Finnish Lapphund Club of Great Britain championship show in April.  I always like to make sure I get to those shows, at the very least, because it's always good fun.  Even better fun when you don't already have a good idea what the judge likes and who they will choose.

My biggest and most exciting show win in 15 years of participating happened 2 days ago at the FL Club of GB champ show.  In an entry of 91 dogs under one of our kindest, funniest, most entertaining and enjoyable judges ever, Mr Juha Kares from Finland, Ulla won Best in Show.

She first won her Limit class in tough competition.  There was even a final, nail-biting run-off with the second place winner.  She then went into the lineup against all the other bitch class winners.  She was looking so good and moving so well that as I stood there I had a brief hope she just might get the Reserve CC.  When the judge gave her the CC, I admit to being rather overwhelmed and tearing up a bit.  The great roar from the spectators was incredibly moving.  No one got a photo of my face at that moment, but one of the few clear memories I have is making the shocked-face emoji in real life with bugged-out eyes, open mouth and hands to face.  Then this happened.  I look just a bit thrilled, and it's so lovely to have these photos of that moment, thanks to Sally McKinlay.

A bit excited about winning the Bitch Challenge Certificate
Outside the ring, gathering my wits and waiting for the Best in Show challenge with the Dog CC winner, there were so many hugs and congratulations and genuine well-wishes.  I was still a bit stunned.  One friend asked me if I was going to be able to pull it together for the challenge.  My reply was (something along the lines of ) ab-so-flipping-lutely!  And so I did.  Unfortunately I can't remember the judge actually awarding Ulla Best in Show, nor the cheering that I know erupted when she did. 
Sept 2017 - Photo by Adele Liu

And then I stood outside the ring, still a little teary, accepting congratulations and watching, rather dazed, the challenge for Best Puppy in Show and Best Veteran in Show.  I had recovered pretty well, and I thought I was holding it all together pretty well.  But the thing that completely "did for me" (as I believe someone commented at the time) was Ulla's mum, Emmi, being awarded Best Veteran in Show.   To do so, she had to beat the lovely Special Vintage Bitch and the top-winning Best Veteran Dog.  Jane's face says it all!

Infindigo Riemu Emmi ShCM, judge Juha Kares & Jane Treasure
These wins were all the more special because Ulla's sire, Ch Lecibsin Salo of TabanyaRuu JW ShCM, also won his first CC and Best Opposite Sex in Show at this same show 5 years earlier.   The family resemblance between Ulla and her special dad made for an emotional day for a lot of us.

Ch Lecibsin Salo of TabanyaRuu JW ShCM with Liz Mowatt
Ulla December 2017 - photo Thomas Hinchliffe

Here are a few of Ulla's top wins in her career to date:

Reserve Best Bitch - Midland Counties - judge Helena Hutchings-Brooks 
Reserve Challenge Certificate - Driffield - judge breed specialist Vikki Lloyd
Junior Warrant 

Best of Breed - WELKS - judge Cath Moffat
Winner Special Beginners Stakes - WELKS - judge Joe Smith
Reserve Challenge Certificate - Birmingham National - judge Liz Cartledge
Best Opposite Sex - Midland Counties - judge Helen Gutteridge

Gave birth to 3 gorgeous puppies, the Sisko litter

1st Limit Bitch - Crufts - judge breed specialist Pat Patch
Best in Show - FL Club of GB - judge Juha Kares, Finland

Just after judging finished

At some point the full results should appear on the Club website here

The judge gave Ulla the most lovely critique I've ever read... but I can't reprint it here until it has been published in the dog paper.  Watch this space.  But it said, among other things, that she was perfect and that he loved her.  Well, who wouldn't! 

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

12-week check in

At the time of writing the Sisko girls are just about 12 weeks old.  They are deep into training, socialisation and ... swimming.  At least one is a skilled escape artist like her dad, at least one other is super-clever like her great-great-granny, at least another is a very good girl like her mama.   But they are all, without exception, loving the water like their maternal grandpa.  Actually, come to think of it, he was a pretty good escapologist himself, so I guess these puppies don't stand a chance.  Or, should I say, their families don't.

Big thanks to their families for frequent updates and some photos.  I'm still waiting for the swimming video, but hopefully that will be along too in due course.


At home in her new garden

Got the paddling pool sorted

A day at work

Insta-famous at Pets at Home


Mid-game with new big brother, Bergen

Being a good girl

Growing up pup

Also got the paddling pool sorted

who is now also called Nukka

"I'm allowed on the table, right?"

Getting sleepy

Playing tug with Mr Fox

Another sweet wet pup

Friday, 10 August 2018

sisko girls head out

I'm a bit late catching up, but the puppies had their microchips, clear vet checks and clear eye tests.  

They endured a bit less than the normal amount of in-town socialising that Infindigo puppies usually get because it was so very hot in the weeks leading up to the leaving dates.  But there was plenty of noise acclimatisation, a few car trips and only a small amount of vomit.  

Eventually they set off on their big adventures to their new homes.  They were all surprisingly lucky with cooler days for their long car journeys.  And as with every puppy who has left here for the past 10 years, we collected going home pics of the Sisko girls.  

First it was Suvi (Patty) & Kukka (Maxene), followed a bit later by Piia (LaVerne).  They are all settled in now and I hope to have some great photos to share in the coming days of the girls in their new homes with all the new cat and dog siblings.

Suvi (Patty) 
Off with Anna and John all the way to Manchester

Kukka (Maxene)
Heading up the road to Dartmoor with Naomi & Mark

Piia (LaVerne)
The longest trip of all - about 18 hours door-to-door to Northern Ireland with
Beverley, Gareth & Kristen.  Officially the best-travelled 9-week-old Infindigo puppy ever.

Good luck pups and new families!  

Tuesday, 31 July 2018


What's so funny???

Happy 10th birthday to the puppy blog!

And, of course, that means it's also happy 10th birthday to the Monta puppies who were the inspiration for starting the blog in the first place.  There were 9 of them - still the biggest litter of Finnish Lapphunds born in the UK to date - and we had several weeks of very hard, noisy work ahead of us.

All of Monta puppies - the Devon Nine!

Their mum, my beloved Neka, popped them out unbelievably quickly... except for the last two, who arrived after I had gone for a much-needed shower after being up all night with the mama and babies.  With so many of them - almost twice as many as my first litter the year before - we had to dash out and buy two of everything.  There was another indoor pen, another outdoor pen, several more vet beds for the whelping box, and more food.  Lots more food.

Then there were the towels.  Many of our good, human-grade towels went to the Monta puppies because as I recall, it rained every single day of the 7 or 8 weeks they were with us.  No sooner would we put them into the outdoor pen to quickly clean the indoor pen when the sky would open up again and drench all nine of them.  To say that we were quickly exhausted doesn't even begin to cover it.

Viivi & Inko - soaking wet AGAIN

We had our ups and we had our downs with the Devon Nine, and, boy, did I learn a lot.

So, happy birthday to my blog that has given me so much pleasure for 10 years and an irreplaceable record of 11 of the 12 litters born here.  And wishing the very happiest of birthdays to the Monta puppies who grew into 9 of the noisiest, most beautiful and sweetest natured Finnish Lapphund dogs you could ever hope to meet.  Special then and special now.

Here are some of my favorite photos of each one of them at various ages.  In some cases, they are some of my only photos.  If anyone has some great updated pics to share with me, please feel free and I'll happily update this page.

Infindigo Monta Jaana - Sybi
Sybi 7 weeks - photo by Joanna Bradshaw
Sybi with a "few" toys - age 9

Infindigo Monta Tarmo - Tarmo

Tarmo 6 weeks

Tarmo 5 years

Infindigo Monta Maija - Maija 

Baby Maija with Lenny

Maija 10 Years

Infindigo Monta Viivi - Viivi

Viivi 12 weeks with big bro Jaska
Viivi age 9

Infindigo Monta Tarkka - Tarkka

Tarkka 8 weeks - photo Joanne Bradshaw

Tarkka 9 years - photo Joanne Bradshaw

Infindigo Monta Aurinko - Inko  

Sand baby 9 weeks

Inko 9 years

We have lost some of the Monta puppies - taken far too early.  So we are remembering them today at the rainbow bridge.  Gone from us but never forgotten.

Infindigo Monta Jaska - Jaska

Jaska 7 weeks

Jaska 1 year

Infindigo Monta Sulo - Kaija

Kaija 7 weeks
Kaija 2010

Infindigo Monta Rauhan - Rauhan

Rauhan 7 weeks - photo Joanne Bradshaw

Rauhan handsome showdog

Thursday, 26 July 2018

7 weeks old

Phew!  The photos are a very mixed bag this week.  But between the virus (mine), the hospital visit and operation (not mine), working, the big dogs and the puppies, I wasn't sure I would get any photos at all.  But here and there I still did manage to get some.  As they are - i.e. mainly amusing and/or blurry.

And we have some names to reveal this week, all newly minted by the Kennel Club.

Infindigo Sisko Suvi
was Patty

Infindigo Sisko Piia
was LaVerne

Infindigo Sisko Kukka
was Maxene