This is my first column and I hope to model it after a newspaper column I read faithfully growing up in Winnipeg. It was called “Your Dogs and Mine” by a dog-loving writer named Fred Edge. Each column featured a locally-owned dog and information about its breed. There was always tidbits of information about dog care as well. I have raised and shown purebred dogs for nearly 40 years (I know, I started when I was still in the womb!) but I am a total pet lover too. Our home has cats and dogs, and over the years I have owned rabbits, horses, birds, various small animals. So with a nod to Fred Edge I would like to introduce my new column “Your Pets And Mine.”
Mine? Well, I obviously love dogs. My kennel name is Pikkinokka, and dogs with that registered name have won 15 all-breed Best in Shows, many National Breed shows and obedience, agility, hunting and show championships all over the world. We have two main breeds here at our kennel on Brouse Loop Road: the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever and the Finnish Spitz.
Both medium-sized dogs, both red-gold, both foxy-looking but there the similarities end. The Toller, as the breed is affectionately known, works by luring ducks closer to the hunter and retrieving the game. It is playful and obedient. Its job is to “return to you.” The Finnish Spitz is the exact opposite. It races ahead of you in the forest, tracking and flushing game birds into the trees. Once it has “treed” the bird, it barks to alert the hunter to the game. Unlike the Toller, which comes when it is called, the Finnish Spitz calls you to come. Both breeds are loving and affectionate, but the Toller is much more a “follower,” the Finnish Spitz is more independent. In fact, in Finland the Finnish Spitz is called a primitive breed.
We keep about five of each breed. The famous little Toller puppy, “Jolie” is our newest youngster and we also have a new champion in “Hawk” our Finnish Spitz.
We have cats too. Many will remember “Marble” the lovely calico cat I had in the grooming shop by the Leland Hotel. When we moved the grooming shop to our new home on Brouse Loop Road, Marble made the move successfully and spends her days sleeping in the clean laundry and tormenting our many dogs.
“Jessie” is our outside cat. That was his choice, not ours. He was a barn kitten from a feral mom that was rescued in Kelowna. I guess that wild nature was too instilled in Jessie who as a kitten took to being outside and living the life of the hunter. Outside cats are always a worry, too often prey for the coyotes, so we are always happy to see our little tabby waiting for a scoop of food on our porch railing every morning.
So these are some of my pets. Would you like to tell me about yours? Call me at Brouse Loop Kennels 250-265-2166 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org Next week we will feature a special pet and talk about a hot subject on these cool days: fleas.