Friday, October 23, 2009

Skype and the Hungarian Sheepdog called Kuvasz

What does a Kuvasz has to do with Skype? Not much I am afraid.
Although Skype Tallinn is known for loving and keeping pets, I have not seen a Kuvasz yet in the office.
Unfortunately because I love this breed.

Long time ago, back in 1985 I bought my first Kuvasz at the age of 18 weeks. Badly neglected and very ill.
But it had a strong will, good care and medication and it survived.
From a poorly, scruffy dog, it changed into a beautiful healthy, active intelligent dog. She was called Älg (Swedish for Elk).

She definitely was a handful, a mind of her own. But I knew that after reading about the Kuvasz and talking to other people.

I fell in love with the breed after visiting an elderly couple that owned a large male dog called Yoszka.
He was at easy with himself, intelligent, raising an eyebrow when his owner (who really wanted to be the boss………) commanded something.

The decision which dog to look for, was made and Älg arrived.

With enough space in and around the house and Älg being a very friendly dog for other dogs, I bought our second when Älg was two years old. Kuvasz no. 2 came from Sweden from the kennel “Trevnadens” in Mariefred near Stockholm. She was cald Kajsa Kavat (after a book of Astrid Lindgren)

Both dogs got along very well. They were big, beautiful, loyal, furry and loved people.

Unfortunately Kajsa died at the age of 6 due to a brain tumor. It was hard to say goodbye to such a lovely animal.

Älg felt lonely and I looked for a new friend. Again from Sweden came Invandra (Swedish for immigrant).
I collected her when Älg was still at home. How happy she was when she found Invandra in the car!

Both dogs travelled up and down Sweden with me.

Älg died at the age of 12,5 years which is old for such a large breed.

Invandra was 2,5 years old at the time and moved with me from Sweden back to Holland to live in Friesland.

She was very special. Very much at easy where ever she went, hardly barked, very cuddly (especial for kids).
If you can call a dog polite, she was it.

She was my biggest friend and when she died at the age of 12 I cried many, many tears.
I promised myself to get another Kuvasz when living in a bigger house with much more free time on my hands.

But I met Tjep and he already was waiting to get his dog, a Basset Fauve de Bretagne puppy who we called Dée.
One month after we got Dée we also adopted her brother Frits who did not socialize with a breeder who had 10 more dogs.

Although we live in a much bigger house with a much bigger garden, there is no room anymore for a Kuvasz.
We are both very happy with Dée and Frits and are (not yet) temped to buy a Kuvasz.

But you can imagine how tempting it is when dear friends, Han and Marjory Koogje of the Kennel “Egymásra Találtunk”, one of the best breeders I know, call you to tell you that they have 5 beautiful pups looking for a home. (Unfortunately the economical crisis is also hitting them).

Tjep and I tried to convince each other that two very active dogs in the house are sufficient.
And we do not only have d
ogs but also twop cats, a crow, a sparrow and 8 chickes.
We also own a sailing boat but far from big. Easy to hoist two smaller dogs on board but not a bigly like the Kuvasz……

Although we took the decision not to go for a big dog long ago and although we are telling each other how sensible people we are not wanting a third dog, there is with me that homesick feeling for those big white fuury, gentle, much at ease, stubborn friends who were for 23 years part of my life.

I met Han and Marjory Koogje in 1986 being a member of the Dutch Kuvasz Club. A year after I became a Board Member, ever since we are friends.

I got to know them not only as wonderful people but also as responsible breeders. They are stars in socializing pups. Therefore I regret that they can’t find a good home for their last litter. I promised to help them and hope to find new owners through my blog.

Please be aware that the Kuvasz is not a dog for inconsequent people. Reading about the character of the dog is a must. But if you and the Kuvasz are a match, you are a match for life and you will not regret it for a second!

Very important to me is that the Kuvasz is a very old and pure breed. Not manipulated, how good is that uh?

Please visit the site of Ham and Marjory and say hello from me when you get in touch with them.

Links: Breed Description Character Egymásra Találtunk e-mail Egymásra Találtunk

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The days before the wedding

Today is my last day online until September 28.
Everyone who ever got married, knows how much there is to do.
In our case it is not just the preparations for the big day bit there is still so much to do before we can house the 100 friends and relatives who persist to witness our happiness.

Last week our backyard was transformed from a huge heap of clay and building rubbish into a descent green flowery garden with nice corners to enjoy the marvellous view of Friesian fields, dikes and cattle.

The back wall got cemented so all old and diverse bricks are now watertight.
A huge transformation!

Tjep is now painting the outside of the doors and I am painting the floor of our guesthouse.
We will furniture the guesthouse tomorrow for the guests that want to stay overnight.
Yesterday evening we went to Ikea for curtains and bathroom accessories.
All furniture is present, after all we moved to housekeeping’s into 1!!

We also need some more flowers, plants to decorate pots. Not a clue when we find the time to do so but we will manage.
Right now it looks like we will get much rest but we will make that up the 3 weeks after.
We both did not have proper holidays for many years. Last year a few days to the UK and I the year before that, a week to the UK as well.
Nothing booked yet, we will see. First we want to have some peace!

To all my loyal readers: it is good to be back blogging and I definitely will keep doing that from October on.

In the meantime, take great care!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Long time no see!

It has been a long, very long time ago since I wrote on this blog. Although all good intentions, I never managed to sit down for a written update. My life (I should now say our life) has been very eventful since my last post in July 2008.
So, time to update you all!!

I start with the sad news. Both our Mum’s passed away in the past year.
First my Mother in November at the age of 80. She broke her hip during a nasty fall and due to her heart problems and the way her hip was broken, replacing it or an operation was not possible. My Mother was ready to go to her Father in Heaven and died one week after the fall. We miss her terribly but we are also happy that she does not suffer anymore.
Life got more and more difficult for her. She was a wonderful, special Mum and will not only be missed by us but also by many other people who she always welcomed in her house and heart.

Tjep’s Mother died in March. She too broke her hip. During the night and died that same day during the evening. She was 93, a very blessed age. We do miss her, she too was special and was so happy that Tjep found true love.
We often talk about our Mother’s and although we know they both rest in peace, we would have enjoyed sharing large bits of our lives with them.

Tjep and I moved to a “new’ house in the very North of Friesland.
Although the recession, Tjep sold his house quickly which was a big relief. I rented a little house and leaving it after 9 years of a good and busy life was done in a weeks without too much emotions. Moving on to a new life with Tjep was definitely something to look forward too!Leaving the village was a different emotion: so many people became good friends. Still, it is only 30 minutes driving from our new home and good friends always stay.

Anyone who ever moved house knows how much things one can collect in 9 years. For Tjep it was even 43 years. Sorting it all out with the help of friends and family, took far more time than the actual move! Our new house is far bigger than my old and about the same size as Tjep’s old one. Remember we had to combine to interiors, memorabilia and much more in house.
But we managed and our house looks like if we have always lived here: everything fits perfectly together.
It was not an easy thing to find a suitable house. After all our budget was not endless.
We have seen many houses but either they were too small in size, too large in money, too run down or too modern. But one day, driving around in the beautiful county of Friesland, we noticed a little farmhouse for sale. I remembered that I had seen it before on sale 5 years ago for a ridiculous high price. We phoned the number on the note in the window and were surprised that the price went down so much. But then of course, there has never been any maintenance too the house in all those years.
After viewing it a few times and falling in love with it immediately although the dated look, we made the decision to buy it after we had the house valued and told there was a lot of work to do before we could move in.
The interior was very seventies and we have walls removed that were not original in the house. It was either impossible or extremely costly to bring it back to its original 1920 state but we managed to get as close as possible including the Oxblood red ceiling in the living room.
After 10 months of renovating house and garden (and still not finished but getting close thanks to the effortless patience and help of people around us), moving in half way the renovation (so much dust, no kitchen, no bathroom!!!) we now live in a lovely little farmhouse with endless fields as our view.
We feel fortunate, happy, settled and at home in the county of our ancestors (as well as Tjep’s as mine).

Our love for each other is growing and growing and we have set a date to get married as an affirmation of this love: September 4 – 2009. Still one week to go.............

From September the 3rd till the 28th, I will be off line. No chats, e-mails and away from my still wonderful job at Skype.
By the end of September I will return to this blog and promise to post frequently again.