Hieman meistä kasvattajista

You can imagine, sometimes it is difficult to have a 'kennel' with your own mother - especially if differing opinions occur :) I would say that we have gained enormous amounts of experience on dogs and also each other during the years that we have been breeding dogs. But whenever there are difficulties, one can get over them together and in the end I think, it's wonderful that I share a hobby with my mother.

At my mother Anita's childhood-home animals were more than abundant. To begin with the German shepherds (In the picture: Tuija) that were always around, but also the horses, cows, pigs, cats and hen etc. etc. etc... So the grounds for her being very fond of animals were great. And when Anita started to earn her first wages she bought herself her very own Collie called Julie. And as she was a pedigree dog, Anita took her to a couple of shows and had even a bit of success. Already interested in breeding, Anita mated Julie and she had one litter.

She lived up to nine years old and even I remember the big furry doggie at my grandparents' where it was lovely for her to spend her 'pensioner days'. But even travelling around the world and settling down with a family couldn't replace the animals and their place in my mother's heart - and that's why we are here today! :)

I guess we had a little 'conspiracy' against the male-part of our family. First we 'couldn't' get a dog because we lived in Helsinki in an apartment without our own yard. But even when we moved to Turku and into a big house with a garden and us children were of school-age - my father was against any pets. I don't think anything else than the fear of getting too attached to the pets was the reason. Luckily not having a dog did not stop us from going to dog shows as audience.

Then suddenly things started happening so quickly I don't quite remember how, but I know my mum was behind it when I was allowed to have my first pet Unski. Unski was a pedigree dwarf rabbit and lived a long and happy life of almost 11 years and was the most amazing, clever little rabbit. Unski melted the hearts of the my father and brother as well, and in no time at all me and my mother were going to dog shows as before and took care of our friends' dogs during their holidays as well. The final contact with Cavaliers however was made through curly coated retrievers. My mother has a friend who was an active curly person taking her three curlies to shows quite often. She was also about to add a Cavalier to her pack. Around those times I preferred bigger dogs like field and springer spaniels.

But due to a quirk of fate and an unborn field-litter, we went to see newly-born Cavalier puppies. At Oak's kennel we were introduced to this breed that was not really familiar to us by any other terms than 'big-eyed and small in size'. But after that were were sold. I guess I had never realised that my favourite colour of black&tan could be also found in smaller size! ;D And that's how little Honey (Oak's Humorous Honey) moved to our home and stole our hearts ;)

I was the most active one to train Honey (obedience training, agility, junior handling) but my mother was also extremely happy to get her warm and loving lapdog and yet an exercise loving walking companion. And of course we went to the dog shows together. Our dog family has since grown with time and puppies in Turku, and now I have Pammy (Pilliwink's Pamela Panpiper) in Helsinki (obviously my mum refused to let go of any of the ones living in Turku ;D) and a newer addition - the lovely charlie-girls Buffy (Contrariwise La Bohéme) and her daughter Coffy (Contrariwise Caffe Alla Nera) who have introduced us to the exciting world of King Charles Spaniels.

With a fantastic dog like Honey, we were of course interested in breeding Cavaliers and the help of Honey's breeder and other breed specialists was important - and remains to be. As I am looking back, I can only proudly say, that we have had the best possible foundation to our breeding anyone could have ever produced - Honey's health, character and beauty are so unequaled, that she has really showed us what to aim for.

We have come quite a long way during fifteen years, but still, it is ever-increasingly fascinating and encourages us to continue. We still love dog shows and of course we have always the time for hobbies that are together with our dogs. For already a few years theres has been an unofficial agility course at our summer cottage (must be one of a kind - it's on an island!!) which has seen some really tough racing - Honey almost always wins with her sympathetic performance and the most wagging tail! This is surely the loveliest thing about these dogs, the way how they are so 'multipurpose' and with such a loving and happy character. They are perfect lapdogs and yet they have the ability to learn almost anything you wish to participate in in the field of dog-hobbies. When it comes to learning as well, they are so clever and quick to understand (not to mention the hunger for attention and treats!)

When I returned to Finland after my university studies and living in UK for five years, new activities have filled my free time. Obviously to do with dogs in particular, I was the chairwoman of publications of the Finnish Cavalier club for three years - this mainly included the making of Cavalier-magazine for the breed club. I have also been the club's webmaster for several years and a board member since 2003. Due continuing my studies in art conservation, I have since tried to lighten the 'load' but am still an active board - and publications committee member. After 8 years' break I have also restarted riding. In addition to all of these activities a couple of times in a year I try get some time to work at shows as a ring stewardess, it's a lot of fun.

Both me and my mother have passed the Finnish Kennel Club breeders' courses (1 & 2) - I have also attended and passed the Finnish Kennel Club's breeding consultants' basic and advanced course. In addition, we have signed the Finnish Kennel Club's breeder agreement. We have been accepted as members to SuKoKa Ry. (The Finnish Dog Breeders' association) and to the CKCS Club of Great Britain and Sweden. We always plan the possible combinations for breeding meticulously with great care and think about the choices in the long run. And evenhough, as I mentioned in the beginning, somethimes it is difficult to have a 'kennel' together with your mother - we always agree on this: Life without (our) dogs would be meaningless and boring!

Sara - 2002...2007