|I grew up in a family where there were no dogs, but always a cat. As I used to walk to school I sometimes ran into some homeless dogs (compared to now there were very few of them in these days) and I used to woo them home with me. My parents said nothing bad about it, but by the next morning the dogs had always found their homes. At the age of ten I decided that I could no longer live without a dog and started saving money for a puppy. My dream was to get an Eastern-European Shepherd. About a year later my friend's dad's dog, that looked like an Eastern-European Shepherd had puppies. I gave in my "order", but the price - five roubles - was too high (year 1967!). I had managed to save only two roubles. Fortunately nobody wanted the smallest puppy of the litter - a gray bitch - so my friend and I made a deal that the puppy would be mine for two roubles and for my sweetest doll. The puppy was named Dzheki. |
When Dzheki was six months I found out that there was a dog club and a training field in Pärnu. As I trained my dog I had to sadly look by when others went to shows with their purebred dogs (year 1968).
These days there was only held one show per year in Estonia, in Tallinn. The other one, that was attended, was held in Riga. I got the urge to get my own purebred dog to go to shows with. I managed to do that with the help of my parents and an Eastern-European shepherd named Rego-Rutta or "Rutt" came to our home. She never became a show-star, but she made all her training exams to the 1st grade. In time I got acquainted with many breeders and one day I was offered a two-year-old Doberman bitch from Riga with "excellent" grade whose owner no longer had the time to handle with her. I went to Riga where I was "tested" during one week whether I fitted with the dog or not. The dog obeyed me already on the first day. Back home I started physically training Klodi (Caf-Clodija) in addition to other training. Year 1973 both Klodi and Rutt had puppies with a week's interval.
I had constant correspondence with many breeders from the USSR and German DR and I had provided myself with lots of literature concerning the German shepherd. It bothered me that the shepherds from German DR looked totally different from ours. The standards only differed in height (the USSR allowed 10 cm higher), but actually there was a difference in everything else, too. I would have wanted to have a German shepherd from Germany, but on the shows here it wouldn't have been possible to break through with a "true German" because of its low height. A suitable dog was found from Latvia instead - Alfa Sangro. Her father was from Finland, "a Western-German" and her mother a Latvian dog, but there were "pure Germans" in the fifth generation.
In the middle of the seventies the shows were held also in Tartu, Pärnu and Narva in addition to Tallinn. It was also common to participate in the shows in Moscow, Leningrad, Pihkva, Vilnius, Panavezhys and Riga. Alfa achieved the highest title - "Winner of the show" - in five shows. Year 1976 I went to Moscow with Alfa, to a trans-soviet show where the dogs' training and exterior were assessed. The result was the 1st prize in training (100 points of 100 possible) and the general result (training and exterior) the 2nd prize, which was the best result for the Estonians.
Year 1983, after the birth of my daughter, I decided to take a rough collie, who is an excellent babysitter. This was a blue merle Lucky Star Candlelight "Candy". She did well on the shows and was a natural at babysitting. She was my first collie.
Year 1985 I got two German shepherds from GDR, a dog Jack vom Baruther and a bitch Gisa vom Haus Assja. These days there weren't held any certificate shows, only Best in Shows. Gisa's best result was BIS-2 and Jalk's 2 x BIS-1. I considered Jalk to be a dog-person with an ideal nervous system and nature, but unfortunately he died very early - he had a heart attack at the age of seven. After a dog like him I no longer wished to take a new German shepherd.
Because my daughter Helina grew up with dogs, she also "got infected with the dog virus". Already at the age of fourteen she started participating at Junior handler competitions and the result was 4 Estonian master titles and the participation in Junior handlers' WM finals in Gruft, England. She didn't manage to reach the top three, but was selected among the six best at two occasions. By now Helina has graduated from the judges' courses and belongs in the list of EKL judges.
There are living 13 rough collies, 14 pomeranians, 1 smooth collies, 2 whippets, 1 polish lowland sheepdog, 1 pumi, 1 puli and 2 dachshunds long-haired in my home. About half of the dogs are on their well-earned "retirement" which means they are over eight years old. Ten of my dogs are international champions, nineteen are champions of other countries.
Our first litter was born in 1973.