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SINGING IN A FOREIGN LAND
Gorgeous sunshiney spring days, albeit shivering frosty cold in the minus temperatures. The kids play in the gurgling water-filled ditch behind the house, stomping the ice edges, building bridges, muck schlurping around their sodden ankles and mud-spattered playpants. We can't keep them out of it. They're drawn like magnets to water, that new, cool plaything.

This morning we went to the International Dog Show in Malmö in the hopes of accosting a flat-coated retriever breeder or two and bombarding them with our ignorance and questions about puppies, the acquisition of, the care of, the raising of, the logistics of. No luck. Not an FCR in sight. A gazillion other dogs though, everywhere, and all around, big ones, little ones, shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen. The bummer was that after about an hour in the trade show center, despite the huge open spaces and high ceilings, I started sneezing and feeling all itchy-eyed. Not good. Well, hopefully it was the overwhelming amount of dogs packed into the space...but we'll have to see about MY allergies as well as Anders'.

Then Karin and I took the camera on an expedition to the willows and stopped at Södra Sandby church afterwards.

Willows
(more) On the willows there...

Church
(more) Tiptoe through the tombstones...

Really Great Writing Out There Right Now: Fat Buds
 happy
mood: happy
music: ABC—All of My Heart


Comments

What a lovely churchyard and cemetery! So fun to explore, because they're always so beautiful. Thanks for sharing the loveliness. Wow! So you're contemplating a dog. They're a lot of joy and a lot of pain in the *ss all built into one, kind of like children ;)

I know! I'm a little worried about my stress level, but we REALLY want a cat or dog and since we can't get a cat right now... :)

(Anonymous)
muck schlurping!

Let the muck schlurping begin!!

All hail the season of muck schlurping!

~bluepoppy

Oooh! I'm the link! (There's been a little too much Dora the Explorer in our house lately and I've got "I'm the Map!" running through my head). Thank you!

Those pictures of the trees are exactly the picture I had in my mind from your entry the other day about the one that fell in the drink.

All the talk about dogs had me wondering if Anders wouldn't be allergic to them as well as cats, since G is allergic to basically all animals. I hadn't figured on you having allergies too! Here's hoping it was just too much in a confined indoor space.

Those willows are beautiful! I love the way they all have different shapes.

Why don't you try a little more investigation and see if there are some dogs out there that fit into the not-so-allergic-to category that you could live with, as well as check out and see how the retriever rates on that scale? Some really are worse than others. I'm fortunate, cairn terriers are pretty far down on the list for allergic reactions in people. Karl is known to be allergic to dogs and he hasn't seemed to have any problems while he's been visiting us.

Well, we've both been tested in the past and didn't come up positive for dogs, just cats...but it's been a long while, so I think it will be good to doublecheck anyway.


Those are wonderful photos--thanks for sharing them :)

And I agree with idahoswede -- I think I read somewhere once that dogs that don't shed/dander much are the ones people are less likely to have an allergic reaction to...

The landscape with the willows could be Holland. I didn't realize they had the same practice in Sweden.

The gnarled trees remind me of old men.

***
Are these photos taken close to your home? They give a good impression of the types of plants that grow in the area. Birches. Beeches. Old Apple trees. Willows. And, of course, in the cemetary the obligatory Abrorvitaes.

The landscape is VERY similar to Holland here, very flat, and farmland. I miss the canals and the trees in rows, though! :) The willows are in my village, although on the other side of the river, and the church is in the next major village over.

I reccomened Poodles if you have allergy to dogs.
They have another fur.

It's not the fur, it's an enzyme in the blood (and consequently in the skin cells that are shed) that causes the allergic reactions. NO offense to the lovely Pelle or that queen of poodledom, Lambi, but a poodle isn't on our short list for dog breeds. :( We'll have to get tested before we know more, though.

I am really allergic to Snauzers, but strange enough when I visited a dog show with a friend a little while ago I had no allergy problems and I was there for hours. I like talking to breeders, these people are usually so passionate about what they do.

v. nice Hair reference.

Also, I think Irish wolfhounds and hounds in general, such as Vizlas and Weimareiners are low allergen. They all need a lot of space to run though. Gorgeous pics, of course.

We saw Irish wolfhounds at the dog show. Those are BIG!!! dogs! :D and thank you :)

Liz, love the photos and just want to let you know I'm reading, if not commenting, faithfully. You always seem to have 17 or 23 comments, and so I figure someone else has said what I thought. But I'm here. See me waving from the corner???

Comments are always appreciated, but it's nice knowing people are reading, even if they're not commenting. I'm glad you're there!!

(Anonymous)

O No! Allergies ABATE! Allergies Abate!!!! I so want you to get a little flatcoat puppy! and regale me daily with news of his/her development. And pictures! oh yeah, lots of those!!!!

Not to belittle the allergy problem, but a lot of people I have talked to (most noteably my father-in-law) become less allergic overtime as they get used to the animal and their systems adjust. When my husband was a kid, his sister got a dog (a terrier cross of undefined sorts) and at first his Dad was really allergic and kept threatening to give the dog away. After a month though, "Gyp" (that was the doggie's name) had wound his way round his heart and the allergies had progressively abated. They had him for 15 years and I dare say my faher-in-law was the one who loved Gyp most!

Also... at the dog show, who know if you were reacting to the actual dogs or all the products (perfumes, hairsprays, shampoos) they use on their coats?!!

Oh... you just have to get an FCR! You just have to! And if not an FCR... then another kinda woofie at very least!!

One thing i keep meaning to mention in terms of selecting a breed... and you may know this already, but it can't be pointed out enough... is that you really need to think about how you will "train" a dog. It's just like parenting. Think about your parenting style. Dogs which were bred to be Guard dogs and must be "dominated" by their owners (rottweilers, german shepards, dobermans, pit bulls, akitas) are NOT a good choice for your first dog or as a family pet. I have met lovely dogs of all those breeds, but I would never get one myself because it's just not in me to dominate a dog all the time. We have broken all "the leadership" rules with Finn, but it doesn't really matter as it's not in her nature to be agresive or to seek to dominate those around her.

Field Dogs or Sporting Dogs (dogs bred to be hunting animals which includes all retrievers, setters, some of the spaniels) tend to be really good family pets as they are bred to listen and obey their owners and are eager to please. They tend to be very emphathetic and responsive to humans and do not have to be dominance trained which is why they make good guide animals.

Working Dogs (herder groups) like collies (border and standard) can be superior family pets too, but tend to be more protective which can lead to nipping or biting behaviour as they attempt to herd or corral everything in the vicinity and they can be barkers too. And if their herding instinct or drive to work is really strong (ie. most border collies) they can get bored and destructive if not stimulated enough (ie. by agility training or what have you)

Just a reminder to really examine what the breed was breed for before you buy. That's one thing I think a lot of people forget nowadays... they get hung up on what they look like. But more than anything, you should be looking for a dog breed that has the same traits as your family. Not that their aren't individual variations... I suppose it's possible you might find a retreiver who refuses to play fetch, though I haven't met one myself!... it's just the easiest way to limit behaviour problems.

I could go on spouting about this forever... so if you want to chat doggities, just let me know and i'm so there!!!

xoxoxox Wee

Hee! You obviously know so much more about this than I do, and I had a subscription to Dog World magazine for YEARS! :D

Hmmm...we have a huge split in our family in regards to our "type"...Karin and Anders are outdoorsy sporty types, and Martin and I are laid-back (I know you'd never guess it) homebodies. So we need a schizophrenic, 2-personality dog.

I want a black dog for purely selfish reasons, and we both want a bigger dog, not a small one. Our dog list includes: FCRs, black lab, german shepherd, border collie and for some strange reason, since it doesn't fulfill either of the 2 traits I mentioned above, west highland white terrier. I could also go for a collie or a bull terrier, but Anders doesn't want either one.

I want a dog that is fairly easily trained, that is obedient, that isn't a yapper, that walks itself and cleans up its own poop...oh wait, that's my fantasy dog. Hee! Okay, at least the first 3. We wouldn't get any of the dominance dogs either (except possibly the shepherd) for the same reasons you mentioned.

Anyway, a guy at work said he has contact info for an FCR breeder in the area, and he's promised to put us in touch. Step by step!

And I know about the allergies tending to slack off after some time, but the reason why we're worried about it is because while my allergies tend to be the itchy eyes/sneezing kind, Anders has asthma (as a result of my cats) and we can't mess with that. :( So we're really hoping that he isn't allergic to dogs...he didn't react at the dog show AT ALL, and you are right, I could have been reacting to the products, but either way, I don't think 1 dog will be a huge problem for me, and I can take medicine if necessary. :)

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(Anonymous)

O! And p.s. the bonus is puppies sleep ALOT! Like 16 hours a day up until they're like 6 months or so. all that growing, i guess. Finn would practically tip over on her side in the middle of playing and be ut like a lightbulb. freaked me out at first. I was like Shirley Maclane in Terms of Enderament, poking her to see if she was still breathing and calling my mom wailing "Oh My god! She's asleep again!!! What do I do?! Is she sick?" LOL.

hahaha! I used to sneak in and poke my children at night to make sure they were still alive. :)

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