Tuesday, 31 July 2012

4th birthday

Who's who?  Do not ask me, I do not know!

Very happy birthday to the Devon Nine, aka the Monta litter, who are 4 years old today.  Where I felt that the 5-year-old litter must surely be older than only 5, I have the opposite feeling with this bunch.  It doesn't seem so very long ago that Neka was a young whippersnapper squirting out her enormous litter of nine seemingly identical little black puppies.  Here they all are shortly after birth.

They are a bunch of dogs with fabulous character.  I hear that the boys are big babies like their dad, Keskiyo, but sweet natured and loveable with it.  The girls are ... varied!  Maija is a complete angel who loves to play, comes back when she's called, and doesn't destroy things (anymore...).  Of course, we have been comparing her to her mother whose behaviour as a youngster was a little more, shall we say, challenging.  Little Inko is easy to live with too, although she does have her own idiosyncrasies.  Another sister, Kaija (Sulo), recently climbed 30 feet into a tree and had to be rescued.  So I suppose it must be said that these dogs have originality.

The arrival of the Monta puppies inspired me to start this blog, and you can track their whole progress through the archives listed in the sidebar, right.  But now that they are 4 years old, here's how adorable they were at 4 weeks.   First up the girls in birth order followed by the boys.

Pet name Sybil, lives with Mike & Sarah & her adopted big brother Basil (see the connection there?) in Brighton

Stayed home with us & her mum & dad

Monta Sulo
Now called Kaija who lives with the Collins family near Bath

Monta Viivi
Lives with her adopted big brother Jaska, Dave & Sherralee in Surrey

Monta Aurinko
Called Inko, lives with her new little sister Kiittos and the Glover family

Monta Tarmo
Lives with the McKenney family in Hampshire

Monta Jaska
Lives with his big sister Kia and the Taylor family in Lancashire

Monta Rauhan
Lives with his big sister Sukka and the Hollister family in Berkshire

Monta Tarkka
Lives with his little brother Laatu and the Ross family in Plymouth

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Emmi growing up

We are very fortunate to be spoiled for choice with wonderful photos of Emmi, as Mark and daughter Alexandra are both very keen photographers.  Needless to say, I stole all of these from Facebook.  I'm sure they are absolutely fiiiiine with that.  No, really.

Riemu Emmi at 4 months

 She will grow into her ears.  To be sure. 

She has learned how to get attention - look cute and wag.

With Miika on a rare sunny day.

Two-headed dog?

Practicing her show stand - shortly before reaching the final of her local ringcraft match.  Clever girl!

Monday, 23 July 2012

Kiittaa growing muddy - I mean, up

And speaking of skinny legs, here is a video update from Riemu Kiittaa, formerly cream Lapphund, enjoying her day in the mud.  Luckily, Alan assures me that Kiittaa is Teflon coated and once dry, the mud just falls right off.  We Lappy lovers are very fortunate for that easy-care Lappy coat.  Especially when said Lappy simply loves the water and the mud.

It would appear that the mud doesn't slow her down any either.  I hope all the humans in attendance had easy-clean leg attire that day.  Isn't it amusing to run around, jumping and shaking mud all over the squealing people!  Such puppy japes!

In the meantime, Dotsie maintains a dignified distance and leaves the puppy to her puppy stuff.

And here is the sweet mud-lover at a slightly younger age.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Jacob growing up

Jacob (Riemu Kimi) at 4 months - how irresistible is that face

Although I have posted a few photos on Facebook, I know that not everyone participates in that.  So it's only fair that I should share a little update on Jacob, since Sue & Colin were kind enough to go to all the trouble of sending me photos in the post.

You will find that all Lapphunds, around the 4-5 month mark, shoot up in all directions - the nose grows long, the ears grow large.  And as for the legs - long.  Very long.  And did I mention skinny?   Lappies are known for going through an ugly duckling stage at this age, so it's no surprise.  In fact, I've written about it before once or twice.  Just imagine - this is the ugliest a Lappy will ever be!  And still pretty cute, in spite of that.

Jacob is a growing up boy now, and someday he will grow into his legs.  I guarantee it.

 Long-legged beach baby

With his adopted brother, George, hunting for sea treasures

Chilling at home with his toys...

... and with a chew

Just busy doing puppy stuff

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

goodbye to Lenny

27 May 1999 - 4 July 2012

Lenny (aka Lenny Penny, aka Penard) came to me by a bit of a circuitous route at a time when I wasn't really looking for a cat.  My life was unsettled and I wasn't even 100% sure I was allowed pets in my flat.  But he was the result of bad breeding, he had some serious health problems, and he desperately needed rescuing from his horrid breeder.  Between my friends and I, we bought him from the breeder and in the autumn of 1999 he moved in with me and took over.

He certainly had an individual look that went with his individual character.  He was cheeky and sweet with a wonderful sense of humour.  His favorite thing in the world was to lie on your person - ideally on your arm or hand, if possible - and chew your fingers. He was also very fond of lying right on your chest purring cat breath into your face.

He was such a tiny and frail looking kitten that I didn't let him outdoors when he was young.  When he did venture out into the world, he never strayed far from home, although he frequently brought home friends for a meal - or to move in.

He loved everyone and everything, although he had a jealous streak.   He had a love-hate with his fellow feline housemate, Gink.  Mostly hate, really.  They tolerated each other, although there were occasional rare moments of brotherhood.  Or, perhaps, just a stubborn refusal to relinquish the prized cushion!


When strangers came to the house to visit, Lenny would be right there, climbing onto their laps to make friends.  And if they didn't like cats, well so much the better!  He was pretty sure that he could win them over.

He was even on hand for essential puppy socialisation duties.

Like all strong personalities, Lenny could be an unbelievable nuisance when he put his mind to it.  He absolutely had to be involved in whatever you were doing, whether it was convenient or not.

One of his favorite hobbies was finding a nicely echoing hallway or room and yowling at the top of his voice - which was a considerable volume.

He also gave us one or two frights in his life.  The worst was one night when he came in through the cat flap with a suspicious expression and his cheeks puffed out like a squirrell.  He opened his mouth and out hopped a tiny toad!  I spent the rest of that night worried about him and on the phone to the emergency vet to be assured that the frantic frothing at the mouth was merely a reaction to the surface coating on the toad to discourage just such events.  I don't think he ever bothered the garden wildlife again.

If a lap wasn't available, he liked nothing better than to be curled up against the lovely warm, cuddly... radiator.

But sometimes his own bed was an acceptable alternative.

And sometimes somewhere else was better.

Due to his shaky start in life, he did have some complicated health problems and was on medication of some sort or other all his life.  In his later years he suffered from arthritis and each winter we wondered if it would be his last as he slowed down and hibernated.  Each spring that came round to find Lenny still with us was a blessing.

When the time came to say goodbye to him, we tried to be strong for him.  Typical Lenny - his organs were failing, he was dangerously dehydrated and unable to eat or drink.  He must have been suffering, but he was still alert, purring, making it so hard to do what was necessary.  But there was no way we were going to have his last days spent in the hospital with needles in his skinny little legs trying to keep him going another day, another week.  Instead we gave him a final cuddle and said goodbye.

The house will be a far, far quieter place without Lenny's big personality and even bigger voice.  Our laps will be chilly when we sit around in the evening.

Run free at Rainbow Bridge, Lenny Penny, just don't catch the toads!