Sunshine Island

31 10 2012

The trip, Part I – The Customs

Autumn. ‘All the leaves are brown …’ the song goes, and they are, here in Denmark.

Last week it was schools holiday here, and my husband and I also took some days off. To go to the island Bornholm – also called the sunshine island – together with Auntie B.
Denmark is small, but to go to Bornholm, you’ll have to sail. (Hence the island-thing.) 🙂

Czechoslovakian wolfdog

Pandora looking good

Our main focus  was to sail for as short a time as possible, ‘cos we did not know how Pandora would react to the ferry trip. This meant we had to go through Sweden, driving to the Swedish town Ystad and sail to Bornholm.
This is two hours by car and almost two hours by the ferry. And to cross the Swedish border, all Pandora vaccinations had to be in order or else we would be send back with a fine for illegal transportation of animals. So, Pandora is always vaccinated against any relevant illness inclusive Rabies which is the most important when going to Sweden.

Leaving home early Wednesday morning, we crossed the border around 11 o’clock, passing the Oeresunds Bridge into Sweden (This bridge is the actual Bridge from the tv series The Bridge, if anyone’s interested).
In the customs in Sweden, we were stopped!
The custom officer looked at Pandora and said:
–    You have to go to the people over there.
We drove the car to the ‘people over there’, which was three customs officers, four men with photo cameras, one with a movie camera and for me it felt like there was a bunch of other people running around.
A very kind guy explained that they had a campaign in Sweden regarding transportation of animals, including dogs and smaller pets. They asked to see Pandora’s passport and she was requested out of the car so they could scan her chip (placed in the neck right under the skin).
I was a little nervous. We just had a new passport made for her, as the old one has vanished into god-knows-where, and the new one therefor only have the rabies vaccination listed and the vet even made a correction at the first page with correction tape, which I hoped the Swedish customs officer wouldn’t see as an attempt of forgery.
Bringing Pandora out of the car was also kind of exciting. She hated the cameras (movie star or not) and she was very confused of all the people around her.
Luckily the Swedish customs officers were kind and helpful.
We walk away from the crowd and the guy with the chip scanner was gentle and non-threatening as he scanned Pandora.
I crossed my fingers and hoped the number on his screen was the same as the one in the passport, as we had never had it checked.
It was. Actually everything was so much in order that we were praised for the good work and was told that Pandora’s papers were better than ok.
We were ‘set free’ and could continue our trip across Sweden.

The Trip, part II – Sailing

Entering the ferry was no problem to Pandora. She showed no fear of the noise on the car deck and when we left the car to go into the ferry cantina, she was fearless. Indoor though, she stressed and gasp for breath.
The problem was to get space in the cafeteria. There was an area for people with dogs, but it was occupied by people with children. And did they make room for us when we came? NO!
Did they give us the possibility to eat our dinner at the dog-owners-table? No!
So we had to bunch together to eat and to nurse Pandora. She was a little stressed, but she took it very fine.
There were several dogs on the ferry, but Pandora just watched them, didn’t react to them, but somehow it made her more comfortable. If the other dogs didn’t die, she might not either.

Holiday, hotel and hot sun

Well arrived to our hotel, Strandhotellet, we had a small room, but it was okay. I asked if Pandora could go with us to the restaurant, and they said she could.
Great. Now we knew that if it was impossible to find other places to eat on the island we could bring Pandora with us to the restaurant of the hotel.
You see, in the summer time, it’s no problem. We can always eat outside, but in the autumn, it’s a lot colder and eating outdoor is not just a very cold experience, it might also be impossible if the restaurant won’t serve outside.
But let me say: Our four days at Bornholm turned out to be the best and most sunny days since July.
Every day except Sunday, we were able to eat outside.

Czechoslovakian wolfdog kissing human

Pandora kissing Auntie B.

Bornholm is very different from the rest of Denmark. Denmark is known to be quite flat. No hills, no mountains, no rocks. Except for Bornholm, which is solid rock all the way around.
This also makes trekking a lot harder and walking with a dog a lot more dangerous. Therefor I had brought Pandora’s harness. If she fell from a rock, I wouldn’t strangle her, but be able to lift her back to me.
But Pandora hates her harness. HATES!
Actually she gets mentally castrated by it. Seriously. The second she had it on, she went completely depressive, unhappy and definitely not in any danger – we thought.
But visiting an old ruin, a medieval fortress Hammershus, the silly dog jump up on a low wall. On the other side of the wall there was more than 10 meters drop into nothing. I tugged Pandora down quickly, and while we all got our nerves together she had an even shorter leash.
After that, the harness had to stay on her most of the time, but oh dear, did she hate it.

Czechoslovakian wolfdog at Hammershus

Pandora at Hammershus, frustrated by the harness.

We had many nice walks during the days. The weather was fantastic and both at middays and in the evening we were able to go to restaurants and eat outside. Pandora behaved like an angel.
Every day we bought raw biodynamic beef for her in the supermarket so she was quite spoiled.

The Opal lake

One day we took a walk around an artificial lake called the Opal Lake.

The Opal lake and czechoslovakian wolfdog

The Opal lake seen from above

It’s very beautiful and the colour of the wather is opal blue. I guess perhaps there is 2-3 kilometres all the way around and again, Pardora was in the harness as the edge was a steep fall at more than 20 meters.
As we got all the way around, there was a path where we could go to the lakeshore and let Pandora free.
She went completely crazy-happy. Running around and jumping into the lake swimming. Those of you who follow this blog, might know that Pandora swims, but not much.
She did that day. Obviously she needed to cool down. And after her swim, she found a spot in the lake and there she stood relaxing. Observing her surroundings, not moving at all. She might have needed to cool down. She was sooo sweet, just sitting there.
After that, she seemed refreshed and we found another sport where she could let out some steam before we had to go back to the hotel.

Czechoslobvakian wolfdog bathing in the Opal Lake

Pandora relaxing in the Opal Lake

Dueodde

The next day we went to Dueodde.
This is a very different landscape than the rest of the island. This is a beach with white sand as far as the eye can see. Here we had yet another chance to let Pandora be free and we took a lot of photos there, as the colours were so beautiful.
It was a great day.

Czechoslovakian wolfdog at Dueodde

Pandora at Dueodde

Czechoslovakian wolfdog at Dueodde II

Pandora at Dueodde, II

The last day we were at the island, we took a long walk into the rocky landscape. The rocks were ascending and the higher we went, the more careful we had to be with Pandora. As we went back down, we found a sort of natural bay, where Pandora could run free. She was so funny, blowing out steam again, jumping around from rock to rock, bathing and playing.
It was obvious that she missed her time off the leash.

Czechoslovakian wolfdog blowing out steam

Pandora blowing out steam

Dining

We eat several different places during the holidays, but I’ll recommend these:
At the Strand Hotel (Strandhotellet) in Sandvig we could bring the dog to the restaurant. Pandora was even offered water to drink.
At the cafe ‘Margeritten’ in Allinge, we ate outside, but we were treated very kind and Pandora was offered water
At the cafe ‘Det Gamle Posthuset’ also in Allinge, we went for lunch and Pandora was invited in. Great!

The trip, part III – Going home

The trip home was actually the hardest.
I’m not sure why, but Pandora was so stressed on the ferry this time. It took at least half an hour before she could relax, but finally she did. I think she might have been tired, as she didn’t want strange people to touch or caress her, just the three of us in her pack.

We came home Sunday night. Monday Pandora slept like a baby, eyes hard shut and dreaming.
I guess the trip had made an impact on her after all, or perhaps she was just having nightmares because of the harness.

PS. Looking at all the holiday photos when we came home, it appears that in 90 out of 100, a wolfdog is showing. How can that be?





In wolfs land

26 05 2010

Cember
Coincidently our trainer from the Boxer club called a guy to buy a cage from him.
He lived in one of the coast cities at Fyn where we live.
He told our trainer that he had used the cage to his Czechoslovakian Wolfdog.
My trainer told him that ‘in her club she also had a Czechoslovakian Wolfdog.’
I guess the guy was pretty doubtful, but to make a long story short, we got his phone number and contacted him Thursday, Friday we met.

Czechoslovakian wolfdogs

Pandora and Cember

Mac, as Cember’s father is called, was very pleased to meet Pandora, and we were very happy to meet Cember.
Finally a Wolfdog, not too far away from us.
The two dogs made friendship immediately, played and went along very well.
Cember is a big and beautiful guy. A good 75 cm tall which is a great deal bigger that Pandora, but he treated her so nice.
The two dogs met in the dog forests. A smaller one than the one we usually go to, so we made a new appointment with Mac and Cember, and met them again Sunday in our big dog forest.
Here we also met the Jack Russels, the white Swizz Cirkeline and some new friends.
But Cember is a great supplement to the circle of friends. I hope we see him soon again.

Czechoslovakian wolfdogs

Pandora and Cember

In wolfs land
Last Thursday we went to Sweden.
A long car ride of nearly 400 km. It’s not that long to us, the humans, but to Pandora it is a long trip.
To bring a dog from Denmark into Sweden, the dog must be vaccinated against Rabies and within the last 10 days before crossing the border, the dog must be treated for intestinal worms.
All that was of course in order.

It was one tired Wolfdog that we brought to the summer house in the late afternoon.
Although she’d been sleeping all the way (with only two stops to stretch legs and get something to eat) she was tired and had these cute looking sleepy eyes the rest of the day.
She played around a little, but slept like a baby all night. Actually our bedroom was very cold the first night, so Pandora slept in the foot end of my bed with a cover.

Czechoslovakian wolfdog in sweden

Pandora in sweden

Call of the wild
Next morning we went for a long trip in the Swedish forests. It was so quite and beautiful there and the only sounds were the birds chirping.
By chance we let Pandora off her leach. She was wearing a luminous waist coat in case hunters should think that she was a real wolf. But we never saw anyone.
Pandora never ran very far away. It was like she was a little insecure of her surroundings.
Before noon we went shopping and all the sleep Pandora got was ten minutes twice in the car.
Home again she was let loose in the garden around the house. And she stayed.
She found small pieces of wood or went digging and sniffing in the nearby forest or in the heather. Thousands of new smells was surrounding her and she just walk around and tried to figure out where they all belonged.
It could have been from wild pigs, squirrels, other dogs, foxes, and with a little luck: moose’s.

After dinner in the evening, she was too tired to go out.
She looked at me with annoyance as I brought her out to do her stuff just before we went to bed.
And then it hit me: she had not been sleeping at all that day. Only 20 minutes on the trips forth and back from the stores.
Even as we shopped, Morten and I went in to the stores on turns. If I went in, Morten walked the dog, and then we changed.
So no sleep for the Wolfdog had made it tired!

Discovering the fear
Next day, we went for 5-6 km walk, but this time Pandora was in her leach. This meant it was a ‘sniffing’ trip, not an exercising trip.
We saw water falls and Pandora climbed the stones near the edge of the cliff.
We also crossed the huge stream on a locker. It was build with an open grate that you could see straight through, and it took Pandora all her courage to follow me across the wild river. But she did it!
As we returned, Pandora was let loose in the garden. She spent half an hour to run around in insanely high speed to burn off the rest of her energy.
After that, she could relax.

Czechoslovakian wolfdog afraid

Pandora discovering fear

Again the evening was quiet. Pandora amused herself by taking wood pieces from the woodpile in the living room and chews it to pieces.
The last day, Sunday, I took a long walk with the girl before we hit the road to return home.

Did she have energy when we came back to our home Sunday afternoon?
Oh yeah.
She managed to take a hike and follow another dog that was out for a walk.

All in all we had a fantastic trip and Pandora was so sweet all the time.
She really enjoyed climbing the cliffs, drinking from the stream and sniffing around to all the new smells in the foreign country.
As usual when she is in the nature, she is so well camouflaged it is obvious that this is her right element.
I sincerely hope we’ll go again soon.

Czechoslovakian wolfdog in Sweden

Pandora in Sweden





Bark at the moon

24 09 2009

Facts: 55 cm, 17.8 kg, 4.5 month old

Lost 2 teeth this week

Stars shining
I think I mentioned it last time. In the morning Pandora always has at least 10 stars in her ‘book’ and sometimes she looses them all half an hour before we go to bed. But not this week.

She seems to be more and more competent at: being alone, not peeing in the house, in our beds or where ever.
She’s been very good.

Growing fast – loosing teeth
To my big surprise I measured her Monday evening and discovered that she had grown 3 cm in one week! That’s crazy. But I’m certain that as I look at her last weekend she suddenly looked like an almost grown up dog. Her features were suddenly matured and her chest had broadened. And I was right. 3 cm is quite a lot in such a short time and I started to get a little anxious that she could be in pain. Sunday morning she seamed a little tired and worn out. That was also when I discovered that one of her teeth was very loose, so she didn’t want to eat her own ‘hard’ food. We gave her a little boiled chicken and raw salmon. In the evening she lost the tooth. We heard her playing with it at the wooden kitchen floor, so we actually found it.
After that, she could eat her normal food again and she brightened.
Yesterday she lost one more. Now she looks a little silly as one of her canine teeth is missing.

Rabies vaccination
Wednesday we went to the vet to get her second and last Rabies vaccination. In 120 days (not less!) she’ll have take a blood test to see if the anti bodies are in her blood.

Explanation: Rabies and worms
To go to Sweden a dog has to be rabies vaccinated. After the vaccine it has to be confirmed that the antibodies are in the blood. Sometimes the first vaccine can be a little too weak, and therefore our vet (most vets I guess) vaccinates the dogs twice, to be sure that it’ll make anti bodies.  After the second vaccination there has to be 120 days before the anti body confirmation. NOT 119 days but could be 125 days, it’s ok. The vaccination will be written into Pandoras passport so that she can go with us to Sweden next spring.
Just before we go, she’ll have to have a worm treatment also as Denmark has a sort of worm that Sweden does not have.

Over exercising
I walk 6-10 km once every week. I’d started to bring Pandora with me as her fitness level is increasing, but suddenly I got afraid that I might have overrated her ability to walk 6 km. Now I’ve talked to friends, vets and pet letterboxes and they all seem to agree that 6 km is a little too long, but if we are careful and she doesn’t jump too much it’s ok.
As she was vaccinated, the vet also tested her joints to see if she felt any pain but she didn’t. There were no reactions what so ever.

By the way she loves to climb big stones and she spends a lot of time examining water. All kinds of water.

Clicker training
This week I bought a clicker to use for training.
I’ve heard a lot of good and bad about clicker training. I understand the different opinions. Clicker training is only for people who know exactly what they are doing or are guided by an experienced trainer.
The clicker is used to guide the dog in the exact moment she does the right thing, but first she’ll have to connect the clicking sound with something positive, so all Saturday and Sunday she ate sausages and listened to clicks. Yesterday I accidently pushed the clicker and Pandora came to me for sausage, so the training worked. I haven’t done much into it yet, but I’ll tell more as we use it more. I think it’s good training for her. Especially because she’s having trouble with ‘COME HERE’ commands. And with the clicker I can guide her the instant she’s doing the right thing.

Little wolf by the lake

Little wolf by the lake

Pandora at the stream next to our house

Pandora at the stream next to our house





Use your doggy language

17 08 2009

Second week with Pandora alone at home wasn’t too successful either, but also not worse. She still hates it, but as she is picked up after two hours alone by my parents she isn’t alone for very long.
I’ll give it two months to normalize and there are indications that it is possible.

First: Now she can relax in the car as we go shopping and leave her for half an hour or even an hour. When we return, she’s laying on the back seat resting. That’s a good sign. It means that she is ok with being alone in the car even though (or because of?) people are passing by all the time.
Two: Her stomach seems to have become a lot better this last week, my parents noticed. Could indicate that her stress level is falling.
Three: She finds it easier and easier to be alone in another room than us. Or laying in the garden while we are indoor or vise versa.
We haven’t given up yet.

Tooth broke
Pandora had an accident the other day. As she was jumping out of the car, my parents dog tumbled over her by accident and Pandoras snout hit the door frame and one of her baby canine teeth broke. She hardly made a sound. Only the tinniest ‘eerv’ left her mouth. I’m so happy it was a milk tooth that broke. She has no problem chewing anything after this. But Wednesday we are going to the vet to get a rabies vaccination and the vet can look at the tooth then.

Barking
Pandora has begun to bark a lot. It’s not completely at dog bark, but she makes us smile because her bark is very deep for such a small dog.
She is always barking in protest.
If I tell her NO to something that she really wants, she barks in frustration. Like I am very unfair. It’s very funny but we also try to teach not to bark at us as she may look or sound frightening as she gets older.
This is also a quite funny situation as I have started to bark back, growl and show my teeth. And she respects that!
She actually got terrified the first time.
Doggy language is a good language to know.

Bathing
Yesterday she went into some really nasty stinking water at the lake. At home she had to have her feet washed. This doesn’t any longer cause a lot of sounds, only an urge to escape.

The girl is growing
Now 11 kg and 43 cm.
She is charming everybody. Even my mother in law.
“I just love that dog” one of my friends said the other day. And our neighbour likes her and always greet her with hugs and smiles and she likes him and greets him with smiles. She smiles with her ears (laying them flat down) and her black lipped mouth always looks like smiling. He seams to be a ‘real’ friend to her.

Learning
This week I’ll spend a lot of quality time with her. As she grows she needs to learn more stuff and I need to be more strict.
Barking on command is about to become possible. (But not needed – just for fun).
She needs to learn “lay”, “get down” and “here”. Especially coming by command is extremely hard as she is sniffing to everything on her way. I don’t know if she hears my but she sometimes look like I am the least interesting thing on her way.
Staying at our ground is also essential and will not be a problem to learn as long as no other dogs passes by.

Wednesday it’s rabies vaccination day, and that’s only to make it possible to travel to Sweden.
More about that next time.

Enjoying the sun in grandma's chair

Enjoying the sun in grandma's chair