Sunday, 29 May 2011


While we were in Scotland there were yet more family members to meet up with. The Persikka puppies are almost 6 months old already and 2 of the littermates are yapping with a Scottish accent. After the show we all met up at the beach in Elie where Wendy & I went with Karhu during my last visit. Alas, the weather was rather different on this occasion than on that one.

But we didn't let the damp horizontal wind affect our spirits.

L-R: Siblings Sisu & Bo, uncle Karhu, granny Neka, auntie Taika & Minna
People: Kristiina, Rona & Jay

As with all photos like this one, there is plenty of chaos in trying to wrangle everyone into place.

Looks to me like Wendy might have been trying to get everyone's attention with sausages.

The brother & sister Sisu & Bo had a wonderful time racing and playing on the beach. Karhu adopted a little more dignity and simply nicked Bo's tennis ball and played by himself at the water's edge. Later, when we were back on dry land, he gave it a toss to see if there were any takers amongst the younger family members.

Later still, the humans had a well deserved drink at the Ship Inn next to the beach. Karhu was his usual well-behaved self, snoozing under the table. It was Sisu's first time at the beach, and like most unsuspecting puppies, he drank rather more sea water than he should have done and we had rather a lot of mopping up to do on the pub floor when all the water came back up. Here he is looking a bit green around the gills. Poor puppy!

In the meantime, Karhu & Bo look smugly on.

No, she's not actually bigger than Karhu, it's just the camera angle.
But just look at the size of her paws! You can see they're related.

Friday, 27 May 2011

and on the way home

After a flying Scottish visit, we took off back down the motorway, pausing along the way to visit Minna's sister Lana who we haven't seen in the fur since she left home a year ago.

Her family had only just returned from holiday the day before, so our timing could not be better. They might have had other ideas, I suppose, considering the 8-hour coach journey they described it taking to get home. Yeesh. So perhaps not exactly perfect timing for everyone, but I'm not complaining.

There was time and (almost enough) energy for a little stroll in the rain so that the family could all get re-acquainted. Even Lana's big sister Ellie liked everyone else, although you wouldn't necessarily guess so from this photo.

L-R: Ellie, Minna, Lana, Taika, Neka

The sisters together

You can see a family resemblance, for sure, although Lana looks more like her brother Kallio and other sister Kesa. However, most of all she looks just like her dad, Lapinlumon Albmi.

After waving farewell to Lana and family, we scooted on down south to retrieve Maija and return Taika & Minna. But we couldn't come home empty handed of visitors, so you see there are yet more stories to come.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Minna & Taika head north

Last week Jay & I packed up the car and drove the 500 miles to Scotland with 3 dogs. Neka came with us, Keskiyo was at his hotel and we swapped Maija for Taika & Minna. Somehow I don't think Maija was complaining as she gets to sleep on the bed when she visits there.

3 generations of girls heading off in the back of the car

L-R: Minna, Taika, Neka

About two-thirds of the way we stopped at Penrith in Cumbria, a town I've never visited before. A more charming and beautiful town I have never seen. It's a place that seems to try really hard and it gets everything right. For one thing, the town centre is stuffed full of lovely buildings like this one.

And there is nary a chain store in sight. No Boots, no New Look, no McDonalds. Just lots and lots of beautifully presented independent shops, restaurants and pubs. How refreshing! And I must say they were all looking rather wonderfully prosperous too.

Needless to say, while in the neighbourhood we also had a great walk in the sunshine and the wind - after all, Cumbria is nothing if not walking country. Unfortunately there were a few too many sheep around to let the dogs off lead, but they had a nice time anyway.

Pause for a drink in the stream

When we finally made it all the way to Glasgow we stayed with Wendy & Scott and had a great visit. It was particularly good to finally see Karhu & his "twin" sister Taika together in the same room. As Wendy said, peas in a pod. Indeed they are.

(Photo: Wendy Hunter Gilmour)

At the show, Karhu qualified for Crufts and Minna, at her first ever show, and barely comprehending the "stand" command, won her class and also qualified. Neka was just about as naughty in the ring as she ever has been - barking, jumping, playing the clown. She's 7 years old. That makes her a veteran in dog show parlance. Someone really ought to tell her.

Minna chilling before going into the ring at SKC...

(Many thanks to Evelyn Miekle for this photo)

... and chilling at the pub after her triumph.

This is a dog whose easy, relaxed character is matched only by that of her mother. And possibly her uncles & aunties as well. I must say I was surprised by how well behaved she was when she stayed with us the few days before we left for Scotland. At 14 months, she's still really quite a baby, but she just slotted right into the family routine and we didn't have a minute of trouble or concern with her.

Er, apart from the deep and abiding (and rather worrisome) mutual affection she shared with Keskiyo, that is. He even let her steal his toys.

When she got to Scotland, let's just say she wasn't quite so accommodating with Karhu. Lest her family think she's just a softie who can't stick up for herself, fear not - she had no trouble whatsoever keeping her uncle firmly under her paw. She claimed all his toys and even his window seat and kept him in line with a brief, simple bright white "smile".

Monday, 16 May 2011

family reunion

Yesterday we drove up to High Littleton in Somerset to meet a bunch of other Lappy folk for a walk in Greyfield Wood. We've been there before and yet somehow I always manage to get a little lost when trying to find it. I was amazed when the other people who came - and who had not been there before - all found it quite readily. Especially as the directions were wrong. Who wrote the directions? Uh huh.

Don't ask me what the moral of that story is.

Anyway, we had a fantastic turnout of 12 Lapphunds, at least twice that number of people, and one honorary Lapphund in the form of Toby. Missing from this photo is said honorary Lapphund and one ornery little madam off to the right who didn't squidge in close in time for this particular shot.

Dogs, L-R: Marja, Keskiyo, Maija, Neka, Kaija, Usko, Taika, Minna, Ben, Seppo, Miika

What was particularly nice for us was that, in addition to our own 3 dogs, of the 12 Lappies were at least one member of every litter of puppies we've ever had. Later at the pub (which, needless to say, we had no trouble finding), We tried to get a few family shots but had to make do with just a couple.

You might remember Marja who was the Marilyn of the last litter. She's 5 months old now, still platinum blonde, very little and super sweet. She wasn't too sure about getting out of her car when she first arrived at the walk. I don't suppose she has seen so many dogs in one place at once time - let alone 11 Lapphunds all in one place. Then granny Neka spotted her and started to bark with excitement. When Marja heard her and recognised her, that was it - she was off and utterly fearless from that moment on.

Trying to keep up with the big dogs

Scrambling up the water fall

Pause for a treat or two

It's pretty tiring stuff for puppies, but there was plenty of time for recovering at the pub later.

Marja's sister Tippi is coming to stay next week and I can't wait to get the 2 girls together for a play date. Check back - there should be plenty of news over the next couple of weeks.

In the meantime, here is Taika and a selection of her kids.

L-R: Kesรค, Taika, Minna, Usko