Holiday, sheep, water and stuff

12 08 2010

Farewell Thor – old guy

Thor

Farewell Thor

First a farewell to Pandora’s friend, Thor, the 13 year old White Swiss shepherd.
He left this world the 21. July.

We are all happy we got to know you, sweet boy.

Holiday’s over
We began our official holiday almost four weeks ago.The holiday has been extremely active for Pandora and it’s been great.

Lets begin at the beginning

Holland
Day 1.
The 22. July we started the car in the early morning and drove to Holland.
It’s approximately 800 kilometres and we arrived in a little town called Gronningen in the early afternoon.
Here we stopped to eat dinner, watch the beautiful wooden ships in the canal and stretch our legs.
We had only had a few shorter stops on the way.
After the break we continued and arrived at our destination Mercure Hotel in Zwolle.
Let me just say that if you’re ever going to Zwolle with you dog, use Mercure Hotel!
The were so welcoming and Pandora was allowed to join us in the restaurant at breakfast, lunch and dinner, they even served her water as we were dining.
After dinner we walked in the surroundings which were green lawns, trees, a quiet road and very country-like.

Pandora in Groningen watching ships

Pandora in Groningen watching ships

Pandora behaved perfectly. As we were eating, she was sleeping next to us, and in the night, she just slept through and never made any trouble.
(Don’t tell anyone that she slept in the bed, of course.)

Day 2. Mom and dad
This was what we all came for.
We went to BG Hall where Letty and Koos from Kennel Goverwelle lives.
We were very excited about what they would say to the beautiful girl.
And they loved her.
Letty said she was a big girl. Not as in ‘fat’ but as in ‘tall’.
Then Koos brought Pandora’s father, Elan, from the kennels boxes and Pandora liked him from the first second.
I don’t think they had the slightest clue that they were each others flesh and blood, but Pandora like Elan and kissed him a lot.
She was almost as tall as him, and we went for a little walk in the nearest forest.

Elan Spod Dumbiera, Pandoras father

Elan Spod Dumbiera, Pandoras father

In the afternoon we went to see a small vintage village nearby, and when we came back, Letty picked up Kahjah, Pandoras mother.
She was a lot darker than Pandora, and a lot smaller. Okay, Pandora is a big girl.
The two dogs licked each others lips as greetings, and they sniffed a little to each others tales, ears and mouths.
Then a small plastic can fell to the ground with a noisy sound – and all hell broke loose.
The two dog attacked each other, probably thinking that the other one had coursed the noise.
We got them separated but Pandora never fell in love with her mother.
This was only the second dog in her life that didn’t just love her.

Kahjah von Goverwelle, Pandoras mom

Kahjah von Goverwelle, Pandoras mom

After all we had a wonderful day with Letty and Koos, and it was so great to talk to them again.
We left them in the evening after many laughs, hugs and picture-takings of Pandora.

Day 3. Amsterdam.
We went to Amsterdam and enjoyed 4-5 hours in this gorgeous city.
Pandora behaved fantastic, and we decided to take a boat trip on the canals.
Pandora didn’t mind the sailing at all, but she hated the queue we had to wait in to get on the boat.

We arrived at our hotel in the evening and had a quiet dinner at the restaurant.

Pandora sailing on the canals of Amsterdam

Pandora sailing on the canals of Amsterdam

Next day, we drove home.
It took 12 hours as we ran into several queues at the highway and it was one tired wolfdog we brought home Sunday late evening.

Denmark, Rømø
For four days we went to the Northern Sea at a little island called Rømø.
Here we have been many times as it’s such a good place for swimming and also a good place to bring a dog.
This was the first time Pandora really got the chance to swim in an ocean instead of a lake.
The first day she swam out, but had to struggle to swim.
The waves in the Northern Sea can be very big. And at one second the water is knee high, the next wave rolls over you head. Swimming is very hard. And PAndora got scared of the big waves. Perhaps she was swimming for 10 minutes, then she was so tired, we had to go back in.
The swimming really wore her out.
The next day the waves were small and the water low, and then she had no problem swimming for half an hour or so.

Legoland
We went to Legoland shortly last weekend and it wasn’t really a trip minded on Pandora, I just want to tell that she managed all the children so well.
She wasn’t fearful or reserved to them. She really would have loved to play with the kids running around the fountain, or tasted a little boys ice cream, but what she got was a big hug from a little girl and she repaid with a long tongue kiss.

A wolf in sheep skin?
Vibeke, the owner of deceased Thor, Cirkeline and Arthur invited us on a visit after we came home from Holland.
She had a surprise for us.
We were invited to a farm where a man had specialised in teaching herding.
So now it was Pandora’s time. The wolfdog should try to herd sheep.

The first time round we went into a meadow with Pandora in a leash.
She had no idea of what was expected from her.
She had fun though.
The guy who taught us said that Pandora should try to herd without a leash.
I said to him, that I would take no responsibility of his sheep. He just laughed and said she was ready!
So we went into a smaller fenced area and let the dog loose.
And see, she actually began to figure out what it was all about.
She wasn’t too hard on the sheep and she actually managed to round up the sheep a couple of times and she never got aggressive or ‘hungry’ for the sheep.
I think we shall try herding again.

Czechoslovakian wolfdog_herding_01

Pandora herding

Czechoslovakian wolfdog_herding_02

Pandora herding a little more

Czechoslovakian wolfdog_herding_03

Pandora still herding

A little ekstra note:
Two women saw Pandora and said: “Are you really gonna let that dog loose with the sheep??”
Another woman said: “She’ll be tired the rest of the day!”, but Pandora was tired for half an hour, then she was on top again.
Recall: As Pandora’s recall is only 20% stable, I was a little frightened to let her herd if I couldn’t make her come, but in the end she was so tired, I could just go to her and put the leash back on.

Agility
Last Thursday we went to our first agility lesson.
After half a year of waiting, we finally had a place in a team.
The trainer was a very capable woman who had two Border Collies herself.
She was very good at teaching the attendants stuff, and Pandora learned to: jump over small obstacles, going through the tube and going through the tunnel. And she did all the things without any hesitation.
After an hour she was pretty tired (for 20 minutes), but she had learned a lot.
The trainer asked if we had ever trained agility or any other thing, and I told her that Pandora had been herding the week before.
She look very surprised and said: Why on earth would you wanna her with her?
And I told her it was just a test and for fun.
I’m sure she thought we were a little crazy. Especially because she had the Border Collies which are made for herding. They are so good at it.

Training
Last monday as we went to training (the ordinary obedience), and we were told, that we had been ‘upgraded’, meaning next time, we’ll have to train with the ‘big’ dogs.
It’s a little annoying as we just had a very good trainer on the beginners team.
But it’s also funny to see Pandora now can sit, lay down, walk in leash perfectly, with goodies she can walk without the leash, too. She can come back on recall as long as we’re in the training area and she can stand, show teeth and behave nicely.

In the end
This was a lot of information, but it has been a lovely holiday with Pandora. All in all we are so proud that we can bring her to a restaurant and she just lays down and sleep, or we can walk in the city with a lot of people and she won’t pay attention to anyone.
These days she also seams more mature and grown. She is more calm, though not low in energy, but she seams more confident with herself.
She’s relaxed and forthcoming but if she’s not let loose to burn off some steam, she literally protests with her wolf howl and an offended look in her eyes.

Czechoslovakian wolfdog and white Swiss Shepherd

Pandora and Cirkeline kissing or ...

Next time:
I don’t know when I’ll have the time to write again, so I think Pandora will write the next blog 😉

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