Dark time


Difficult to take a positive picture at this time of year. I mean a picture that contains light. It´s been dark most of the time. Days are like nights and nights are completely black. When the light returns the temperature drops and it´s cold. But I think I prefere that though my hands are stiff and frozen and I have to put warm clothes on me that disturb free movement. We had very few cold and sunny days during November. And it´s just a beginning…Many difficult months wait ahead. I´m dreaming about moving to Spain during wintertime as soon as I retire, which can be quite soon. The hope is keeping me alive.

Yesterday I even had my hand operated which does not make things better. Nothing serious and it is my left hand but I have to change the way of rewarding the dogs and it is going to take time.

The nearest plan is to go to Swedish Winner Show with Ruda. I do not expect her to win any titles because she is not so enthusiastic about big shows and does show her best, but it will be nice to be there, meet others and watch obedience trial with the best competitors.

The doggies are doing well and are happy. The big ones are in love with each other as Ruda is in season right now and then they “make love not war”. Basqa is in teasing period and it really tests mine and the dogs´ patience. She barks a lot, steals everything from them, does not come when I call and is thoroughly sassy. She can steal food from the table and bite our shoes. Nothing special for a puppy but I never had one like her! I just hope she will get over that period without injuries as she moves around quickly and without watching. She has had few small accidents, leading to screaming and limping for a while but nothing serious. We have a lot of rocks, roots and ditches in the woods and one has to be careful. Will she ever learn? But she is really sweet in between so there still some hope that this part of her will eventually take over!


Training season


With 3 working dogs my days are completely filled. Thankfully there has been some changes at my job that allow me to have some more spare time that is happily spent at some excercise field at a dog club.

Little Basqa, though not so little in size, needs some special treatment as she does not resemble her mother in character at all. Ruda was a happy puppy with no special needs. She would play and run for a while and the lie down and rest. Basqa is an energy bomb ready to explode if not disarmed. Running and playing is not enough to tire her off. She needs some brain work as well, not only obedience training. I started tracking with her and this seems to work very well. I plan to start nosework training and searching hidden objects soon. I suppose she is a real piece of a working dog…

I am quite sure I would not keep her if I had a full litter with few bitches to choose between. Now I do not have a choice and maybe it´s for the best.


The dog is thankfully a really charming type though sometimes a real badass. So sometimes I think she is too much for me, that she would be better off in a house with just one dog. Where she would not have to share the time and attention with 2 others. But this will pass soon, and she will settle down I hope.The only thing that´s worrying me is that she grows too quick. She is almost as big as her mother but just 5 months old…


Last week I took part in two day obedience training course with two great coaches. We had the worst weather of this fall. Very cold ( we even got some of the seasons first snow) and windy first day and pouring rain and windy the second. I was very proud of my dogs! Both Prima and Ruda did great job despite the weather and this experience was just what I needed to get some inspiration to go on. The puppy was trained in between and made some progress as well. And all of them had to stay away from me in the club cottage and were behaving very well. Sometimes it is so important to get a proof from others that one is on the right path, especially for me, training alone most of the time. I`m happy I got some new energy for it might be needed for that long winter that´s ahead of us!


Right now the weather is back to mild and I hope it will stay that way for a long time! The other day we had a pleasure to meet Christel with Compis and train the dogs together. I managed to get a nice pic of the little family!


I really hope we will get a full litter from this combination as that might show a big diversity of fenotypes. Basqa looks a lot like her great grandfather- a Malinois. The harsh coat is coming but she will never get as much as any of her parents. Perfect for a working dog!


Back home after holiday in Poland


Wonderful weather, lots of new and old places to visit, meeting many old friends and relatives, that was a holiday full of events! Something I really looked forward to but in the end got tired of. Next time I think I will choose something different. For Basqa it was maybe a great opportunity to get many new experiences but I am not sure if all of them were so positive as I hoped for.


Running on sandy beaches and playing with waves, taking bath in rivers and lakes, meeting new people and dogs, travelling by ferry and car, all without problems. She has been very easy going most of the time. But meeting unleashed unfamiliar dogs running towards us , which is quite common in Poland, was not always easy. The dogs are generally very friendly but too quick and too excited. Some of them big.That was too much for her. It would be different if she got more time to get to know new dogs, then she would play and tease them to chase her. Like she did with our friends Jack Russel. People walking those unleashed dogs don´t care about others. They say their dogs are nice and all the others ought to love them! Unfortunately this is typical Polish ignorance, I wouldn´t even try to explain anything. They wouldn´t understand anyway. Such a pity!


For me it was a jouney back to my childhood but in many ways a negative one. The environment has changed to the worse. I come from south part of Poland which suffers from dramatic changes in terms of increasing population and the traffic but no changes in terms of enviromental thinking are visible. Burning coal is common, as this is a cheapest way to warm the houses when nights become cold and doing that produces a lot of smog. Sometimes the air smelled so bad I was unwilling to take deep breath. It was so frustrating watching my beautiful country being so neglected! I am so lucky to live in Sweden and be able to breath fresh air!


We would find nice places for long walks with the dogs still but how long can it last before it all collapses?

The second week was spent in Warsaw and I must say the air was a bit better as people can afford other sources of energy.

The last walk on Polish side offered a beautiful sunset at the Baltic sea.


Coming back home wasn´t without problems. Prima was very happy to see me but growled hostile towards Ruda. It took two days to get them to walk close to each other and for me to relax. Though Ruda does not trust the Border any more. She keeps avoiding her and stays close to me. It makes me very sad! They used to be so good friends!

Now I am back to our ordinary routines. Working, training and trying to keep up with everyday duties and enjoyments. Exceptionally bright colors of fall this year add a lot of color to my life. This is time of a year when I tend to see everything in dark. It´s getting colder, it´s getting darker and I cannot do anything about it…Winter is on its way…


Wonderful September


The real fall begun today. Until today the weather was more summer-like but last night I was suprised by the very first frost. Cannot complain really though. It has been such a wonderful month, most of the time.

This September will be remembered as a month of bad things that got a happy ending. Hopefully all of them.


First bad thing that happened was disappearing of our cat. Mr Cat was gone one day when we came back from work and did not show up for next 3 days. We contacted our closest neighbours, left the notes with his picture in all the postboxes around and searched for him everywhere. I knew he must have been locked somewhere, because he usually stays close to the house and comes quickly when called. I could not sleep. I was getting mad. On the fourth day a woman called and said she had seen a man with our cat. With help from mutual friends and neighbours we got Xenon back within an hour. A lonely man who is not completely clear-headed kept him closed at his place as company. What a relief it was having Xenon back home again!


The weather, that allowed us to swim in our lake in September was not what I planned for. I entered Ruda for 2 obedience competitons hoping for moderate temperatures as I know she is affected by the heat. The first start was in the early afternoon on a hot and sunny day. I have never seen so dozy Ruda! We managed to collect about 200 points of 320 possible and a third prize. The only positive thing about this competition was that I did not give so much room to my usual nervousness. I was attentive and gave my all support to the dog. The positive feeling I took with me to the next trial. The day was again sunny and warm but the temperature was a few degrees lower and the air was clear. I acted again like a handler Ruda deserves and this time we made it! We got excellent with 256,5 points and with this result we are now allowed to start in class 3, the highest one! I am so proud of Ruda and even of myself and really hope theese two starts have opened a door for future trials without that paralizing fear I usually feel! Another happy ending!


Now about the puppy. Basqa is 3,5 months old now but weighs 15kg and is 50cm high. We are going to have a monster! She has a half brother in Finland who is called My Little Pony by his owner. Will she be a female version of him? She looks more like Malinois still but harsh coat and furnishings are coming, so this should not be a problem. But will she stop growing in time? I doubt it… So I believe I have to forget about a show career and concentrate on training…Thankfully she is a very clever and easily trained pupil! And a very happy and playful puppy!


Now about an event that I hope will have a happy ending!

Yesterday Prima attacked Ruda! I have never had dogs fighting within the pack and I am so worried! I have noticed some time ago that when I go somewhere with Ruda only and come back home Prima is not happy to see her. Ruda would friendly greet Prima but she just growls and goes away. Which, I thought was a bit strange as they are good friends but as long as it was just verbal I did not interfere. But yesterday when Ruda played with the puppy Prima jumped on her and started a real fight. I had to separate them as Prima would not listen to my stop command. She always does…

I can try, of course to avoid the known situations that trigger Primas hostile behaviour but our harmony has been shattered…I hope this would never happen again! Border Collies are strange…


Such a pity as she is such a sweet dog most of the time and so patient with the puppy!

But I have promised myself that I will never accept such behaviour at home and if this happens again she will have to move to my younger son. He loves the idea as he is very fond of her but I hope I will never be forced to make such a decision!


Next week we are going away for 2 weeks vacation in Poland. The plan was to take all three dogs with us but in this situation I will leave Prima with my boys at home. I do not think that would change anything but it will give me some extra time for the puppy and Prima would get some quality time with her favourite people. Let´s hope for the best!


It´s harvest time


Never before have I seen so many apples on our trees! In a big world a Swedish Champion competition in obedience goes on in south of Sweden and a biggest specialty show for Belgian Shepherds takes place in France and here I am, peeling the apples to be cooked and frozen for the winter...  I do not have the ambition and probably the skills neither to participate in big competitions but I would love to be there and watch. Maybe even one day I would like to show a dog in France, especially of my own breeding? Maybe Basqa? Well, we will see how she develops. As far as I can judge she is a cutest little puppy in the world!


Both ears are up, building a hat over her head, the hard coat is coming, her looks all over are very promissing. The character is outstanding. She is brave, playful, happy and docile. She enjoys new places, no matter how noisy or crowdy they can be, does not care much about strange dogs and follows around without leash. Loves travelling by car and playing in water. I cannot see any disadvantage of her being a single puppy. So far so good!


The days are not so hot anymore, though the weather is very nice still. More like a normal Swedish summer. I have restarted our training though I think it will take some time before we are back in normal routines. I have to think about the puppy first, it´s her time now. 

On the other hand I have entered Ruda in obedience competition in class 2 in the beggining of September. There are some things I would like to polish before our start or I will have to let it be a training competition to see what we have to work on. I always train alone and this is isn´t optimal, neither for me nor my dogs. It´s so important to have someone to point out all the unaware mistakes and get the dog used to stranger giving commands.

Hopefully I will find someone to help. It will feel better.

The summer is inevitably coming to an end. Soon we will go back to 5 days week and I can hardly cope with 4. I cannot find anyone reliable to take over some of my duties at work. And I am not getting younger. Working full time, taking care of the house and having some energy left to do what I love seems to be more and more unrealistic. I feel there must be a way out of this trap, I just have to find the best solution. Let´s hope it will be soon!


One ear almost up


Home after a nice weekend in the countryside. Top weather the whole time though the heavy rain met us on the way home. First time after such a long time it was very appreciated. I hope that this will be the end of the very hot summer and we will get some normal temperatures for this part of Europe. 

The puppy enjoyed  exploring new places, meeting new people and even the first bath in the lake.


Both Prima and Ruda have shown a way, they are such good swimmers! And afterwards the dogs could dry themselves running on the sandy beach. I really love this place!


One week earlier we visited my sister in her cottage in Stockholm Archipelago. It´s a very nice place as well but there are many people there during summertime and it´s difficult to find a place where dogs are allowed. We usually stay away on an uncomfortable rocky beach where we can be alone. It´s risky though as the wet rocks are slippery and I am always aware of the possible injury of runnings dogs. Nothing happened this time except the bad stomach the puppy had following night after consuming great amount of algae, duck extrements, sand and different plants.

Is there something more miserable than a wet Border?

Is there something more miserable than a wet Border?


I always enjoy coming back home, even after a short break. Not this time though. Xenon, the Cat, usually meets us when we drive up to the house. Today he is not here and I am worried sick. He was left outside but he has a cat flap and the whole wintergarden open, the food is almost gone so he must have been around the house as usual. But he is not here now.

I hope he will show up before the night comes, I will not be able to sleep otherwise!

Last minute update: Xenon is back! Hungry and untidy but healthy and happy! Now we are whole again!


Brown puppy on burned grass

Brown puppy on burned grass

The disaster continues. Not a drop of rain has fallen here in several weeks and the temperature reaches above 30°C every day. The woods are burning all over the country and the farmers are running out of food for their animals. This is not fun any more. Some people thrive, especially those who spend their vacations in Sweden but most are fed up with the situation and hope for rain. It´s difficult to work as most places are not not equipped with air condition and it´s difficult to sleep at night in the city.

The only activity I am able to do is to walk to the lake early in the morning and swim with the dogs. Later they spend time sleeping inside the house through entire day and show some signs of life again late in the evening. We are lucky living in the countryside where nights bring some relief. I have not trained the dogs in 2 weeks. Although the temperature would allow training in the evenings I am just too tired after working in this heat.


Basqa or Bashka ( we cannot decide ) has become 6 weeks old and I am quite happy with her development. She is open towards new people, curious about everything around and very  playful. Ruda does not permit her to suckle more than twice a day now but the puppy eats everything we give with great apetite.

Having hard time with the strict mother the puppy enjoys getting some positive attention from aunt Prima.

She has been kind to the youngster lately and plays with her when the temperature changes to more comfortable. Rough and clumsy while playing with Ruda she reveals all her gentle and careful side towards Basqa ( or Bashka?)


Xenon, the Cat, has teared off 4 claws on his hind paws. Accidents like that teach me to trust animals and their judgement. I had a friend here visiting with her Border Collie. According to this friend, whom I trust a lot, the dog had no interest in cats at all. But when Xenon wanted to join us on the terrace the dog stirred at him and the cat stopped. Normally he would just pass by but this particular dog scared him. I should  have understood what was going to happen and stop the the Border Collie. I did not because I trusted my friend. The dog started to chase Xenon and he climbed a tree and damaged his claws. We had to sedate him and remove all the broken nails and put the collar on for few days. He wasn´t happy about that but accepted the treatment with dignity.

I love this cat! And from now on I will never ever let him deal with unknown dogs, no matter how much I trust their owners!


Four weeks have passed


Time flies! The puppy is growing fast and almost every day brings something new in her quick development  She started to play with her mother of course but also with people and toys. Just few days ago she was walking around on shaky legs and now she is able to control the body in full gallop. She carefully examins her nearest surrounding with curiosity and bravery. She gets all our attention so she is nearly housbroken and she already eats real puppy food with minced meat and egg yolk twice a day. I am grateful for the rare opportunity to witness her grow so closely as this is only possible when there are very few pups in a litter.


The worries about raising a single puppy are still here but not so substancial anymore. I have tried to find playmates about the same age for little Basqa, as we call her, but have not succeed. I hope finding young playful pups will be easier but I have to wait a couple of weeks until she is more mature. It should be enough for her socialization, it has to be.

In the meantime I hope Prima will take some part in rising the puppy. She has stayed away from it so far but this morning she started to play and I suppose it was just a beginning!

Otherwise life is good right now. We work only 4 days a week and our summer guest, my dear cousin, helps a lot with the little one so I can leave and train the dogs sometimes.

Wonderful summer weather continues! I cannot recall a summer like this in Sweden! But, of course, everything has its price. The lawn is brownish and a lot of plants are running out of water. We still have some water in our own well but it may go dry anytime now.

Hoping for some rain, that´s what I do now! I never thought I would!