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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World Beauty

30 06 2010

Facts: 13,5 month old. 32 kg. 63 cm.

We went home from The World Dog Show in Herning last Friday after much excitement and many new friends.

Wednesday evening we went to the Givskud Zoo together with 10-12 other Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs (CsW) and their owners.
A woman told about the gray wolfs (North American/Canadian) in Givskud Zoo.
She didn’t tell a lot though, but our primary goal to be there was to meet other CsWs and to see the dog’s reactions to the real wolf.
Well Pandora couldn’t care less.
Whether they were dogs or wolfs, she didn’t pay attention to them at all. The wolfs weren’t too interested in the dogs either.
As we were dining a woman asked:
– Is that Pandora?
– Yes, I replied.
– Oh, how nice to meet her. We are friends at Facebook.
(To those of you who doesn’t know, Pandora has her own Facebook profile. Sometimes I help her with the writing, though.)
And then I recognised the woman, Birgitte – and we had a long, good talk.
A very nice person who had been the very first owner of a CsW in Denmark back in the days.

Canadian grey wolf

Canadian grey wolf in Givskud Zoo

Back to the camping area and enjoy the evening before Thursday morning where Pandora should attend the real WDS-show.

Thursday

Here we met a lot of CsWs but we only talked to a few owners.
(It seems like it’s the owners of these dogs that are shy and reserved, not the dogs.)

Both Morten (my husband) and I were wearing T-shirt with the print: ‘Pandora van Goverwelle’ and a woman came over, poked me on the shoulder and asked:
– Is that Pandora?
– Yes, I replied.
– Oh, how very funny. I am from Holland and I used to work in the van Goverwelle Kennel. I know Pandora’s mother Kahjah.
She was very pleased to meet one of Kahjahs puppies and it was very nice to speak with her.

Czechoslovakian wolfdogs everywhere

Czechoslovakian wolfdogs everywhere

After that we went in the ring and got ‘Excellent’, and no. 3 Junior (– out of three, so I don’t really know how she would rank if there had been others.)

We also saw the Saarloos Wolfhound which looks so much as the CsW that you have to look very carefully to spot the differences.
But a good trick would be to look at the tail. The CsW mostly have a straight down or happy lifted tail, while the Saarloos keeps its tail between the legs. A beautiful dog, almost as beautyful as the CsW :-).

Saarloos wolfhound

Saarloos wolfhound

We bought some goodies for the girl in some of the uncountable shops for dogs, amongst other things a big rubber ball – it was so big that she couldn’t bite in it … until we heard the well know sound psszzzee after 3 minutes. That’s how long it lasted.

Here Pandora tried a treadmill (running machine for dogs).

Czechoslovakian wolfdog in treadmill

Czechoslovakian wolfdog in treadmill

Then we went back to the campsite and enjoyed the evening.

Friday
Next morning we went to the special exhibition for Pandoras Club (cattledogs and shepherds).

Pandora attended the exhibition and the judge was very meticulous which was nice.
It was less nice that she said that Pandora were too fat and needed to loose weight.

Exhibition in KHKG, czechoslovakian wolfdog

Exhibition in KHKG

In all other descriptions she was close to perfect. That made me very happy as the judge is a CsW breeder herself, and though we only (and for the first time) got ’Very Good’, I could use this statement so much more than the one for the day before at the ‘real’ WDS.

After we had attended the ring, a woman came over and poked me on the shoulder and asked:
– Is that Pandora?
– Yes, I replied.
– Oh, how very funny. I often read her Blog.
And I was very happy and proud. How great it is that people came to see exactly her and meet the CsW.
A lot of people came just to see this breed as they had heard about it, but never seen it.

After the show we went back to the campsite, packed down and returned home.

And the weekend offered a very lovely weather and the tired Wolfdog, filled with impressions.
Her need for socialization with other dogs was covered the next few days.
She had met Divo from Germany, Azar from Sweden (whom she fell in love with), and her good friends: Cember, Xtreme and Uno.

Pandora and her new friend Azar

Pandora and her new friend Azar

Well home, the summer came and with the summer, the opportunity to swim.
But more about that in the next blog.





The awaiting of a new friend

19 05 2009

A few days ago I was told that a new puppy has been born in Holland.

MY dog! Our dog!

My love for animals is like other peoples love for children, so I was so happy to know I was to become a ‘parent’.

For more than 6 years I have wanted this kind of dog.

I‘ve grown up with dogs, had my own dogs for 30 years – so I’m no beginner.

I have almost always had German Shepherds, but as they keep getting more and more ‘breeded’ into illness and problems with especially the hips, I figured I didn’t want at German Shepherd again. It’s such a lovely and clever dog – completely ruined by obsessive breeders now. Hell if I understand why.

Look at the hind legs! The shepherd is almost sitting while standing to be a premium dog. Makes my heart bleed.
Never the less, I’ve lost 3 of them, all had problems with the hips.

After that experience, I started to look for a dog, a little closer to nature and a younger race which hadn’t been spoiled yet.
I started to look at the Saloos but 5 years ago I saw the love of my life at a exhibition in Odense, Denmark.
Two of the most wonderful looking dogs I ever sat my eyes on. My heart completely melted.
The Chez Wolfdog.
I talked to the owners of the dogs and they told a lot about them.
Their reservation, which was obvious and their nature.

I all ready had half a dog at that time (I still have, she is now 14 years old and the most intelligent cross between a German Shepherd and a yellow Labrador), so at that time it wasn’t the time for yet another dog.

But now, as my old and dear friend is 14 years old, and will end her life within this year because of Rheumatism I can allow my self to have a new dog.
I’ll miss my dear Bella but the age of her is quite outstanding so she have had a good long life.

Fortunately 2 years ago I met the same two owners at a new exhibition in Odense, Letty and Koos from Holland.
We talked again and I got their address in Holland.
21st March this year I wrote Letty and asked if there were any new puppies coming, and Letty told that they expected a litter in five weeks.
Right on!
It meant that the puppies would be ready for the summer holiday. Perfect timing!
I’m not religious but when things ad up to my benefit that way I’m sure it means I should react.
I asked Letty if there was a puppy for us and luckily she said yes.

Here we are now.
The little new girl was given birth the 3rd May and is given a name today, ‘Pandora.’
Now we just have to wait 8 looong weeks before we can go to Holland and pick her up.

I decided a while ago that I would create a blog if I got this dog, so from now on I’ll share my experiences all the way from now and hopefully a year ahead.

.: Kim :.