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|In the Autumn of 2001 we started
to look for mate for Pip (Canouan
Absoloodle Doodle).. We were trying to consolidate the Cliffhill
and Wardhill lines in our pedigree, and this was not really possible
in the UK. Several days of surfing the internet later we came
across Ch Streamsides Kingfisher (Kinko).
Kinko was bred by Wenche
Farstad (Streamsides Kennel Norway) and is now owned by Irene
Jauhonen (Kennel Fariinin Finland). We had no knowledge of
Kinko, but remembered his father - ShCh, NuCh DkuCh Chaigmarsh
Orchid. We asked our friend, and the source of encouragement behind
this project, Peter
Olsson - (Qvarnhill Kennel Sweden), and were told, in his
words, that Kinko was "a really smart dog". The idea
2 x BOB Puppy
4 x Reserve-C.C.
3 x C.C.
Best Of Breed
2 x Open Class 1
Won 2 x Northern Finland's Spaniel Club Challenge Trophy
(Best Spaniel and Springer Spaniel of the test)
Passed working test for Champion Title
So to arrange Pip's Passport
was the next step. Kinko was already hip, eye and fucosidosis
tested, as was Pip Six months later we had the Pet Passport
in our possession, and began to plan the trip.
Pip was due in season in July/August 2003 and this was the date
that we concentrated on. The next problem was how to get the
two dogs together. It was not possible at the time to fly dogs
to Finland from the UK. We asked Wenche about the possibility
of using AI, but would of course prefer to take Pip to Kinko.
We investigated the possibility of driving to Finland from Dover.
As luck would have it in the following few months DEFRA accepted
Helsinki as an approved port for the Pet Passport Scheme. Kinko
and Irene live in the North of Finland, a long way from Helsinki,
and the travelling aspect seemed to be becoming more and more
We had not banked on Finnish
helpfulness and hospitality however, and with Mervi
Nousiainen (Kennel Hightides)
Maarit and Ilkka Nurmia's (Kennel Marmade)
Finnair's 100% co-operation, a great many telephone calls, and
emails, and a near nervous breakdown, it was on a summer's day
in July 2003 that Pip and I found ourselves at London Heathrow
Airport. Tickets and Passports in hand we were ready for our
adventure almost two years since we first discovered Kinko.
||Pip was a big hit with the guys
at Finnair Cargo, apart from the fact they put her on the luggage
carousel, and in Helsinki Airport Arrivals we were met by Maarit
and Ilkka, and found Pip who had recovered from her "round
Trip" exceedingly well!
The following day we met with Mervi,
Irene, and of course Kinko at the Marmade Kennel, took advice
from a Finnish Guru, had a summer barbecue and mated Pip. We
were also introduced to Maarit's two gorgeous bitches, Liinu
(Int & Fin & Est & Lv Ch, LvW-01, BaltW-01 Marmade
Déjà Vu) and Demi (Marmade Extremely Kind). We
trimmed the girls the "English" way which must have
been acceptable as Demi went out and won a ticket the following
A really enjoyable weekend
had to come to an end, and our return home was not uneventful!
I have a total horror of paperwork and when Maarit and I arrived
at Finnair Cargo for the return home there seemed to be a problem.
Fortunately I do not understand a word of Finnish, for as Maarit
explained to me afterwards Finnair were expecting Pip's flight
to be confirmed, when I had been to led to believe that this
was confirmed from London. They allowed us on the flight however
and Kevan and I were relieved to find that on arrival in London
Pip was safely at the Pet Reception Centre, processed and ready
for her short drive home.
The result of this trip
is "The Vikings". Whose Father is a Norwegian living
in Finland, and whose Mother is one of the sweetest English
Springer's it has ever been my privilege to know.
"Paula" (left) and "Pomo"
(right) at three days old
"Pomo" (left) and "Paula"
(right) at three weeks
|There are a number of people to
whom they owe their existence and we would like to thank them
Wenche Farstad - who bred Kinko and was truly helpful in
the first instance.
Peter Olsson - without who's encouragement and by line
(we sort it out) we would never have had the courage to make the
Irene Jauhonen -Kinko's owner who made the long drive from
Lappland to Helsinki, and despite the language difficulty did
everything she could to ensure a successful mating.
Mervi Nousiainen - who co-ordinated the whole trip from
her end, and is one of the most helpful and positive people I
have ever met.
Maarit and Ilkka Nurmia- who welcomed us at their lovely
home, met us at the airport, and made our stay such a happy one.
And finally Jean and the late Doug Shepherd for letting
us have "Winsie" all those years ago, and for breeding
such exceptional dogs that we set out to consolidate in our breeding
program no matter what the hurdles we might face along the way.
A final note about the journey.
It took less time to travel from Dorset to Helsinki than it
does to travel from Dorset to Edinburgh! You don't have to go
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