This all started back in 1998. I had taken the kids to the library and while waiting, I was paging thru a book on dogs and came across an entry for the Danish/Swedish Farmdog. Being Danish on my dad's side, I began to read up on the breed, but there was very little information and no pictures. So it's off to the internet to search. In 2004, I finally came across the site for Kennel Little Denmark and Helene Riisgaard Petersen. After a few months and a lot of e-mails she finally put me on her list as a future puppy owner from one of her females litters. I understood that it would be a couple of years before my name got to the top of the list so I kept this all to my self. (no need to alarm the wife about my plan yet.)
The best laid plans of mice and men, right?
A few months after Helene and I began our conversations, she called me that her friends at Kennel Javika in Denmark had a male puppy available out of a litter with three males. Helene called and helped with the translating and a deal was struck for a male to come to our home. Problem was that the puppy needed to be picked up in Denmark within two weeks. I had just started saving up the price of a puppy, I had no current Passport, no tickets, and STILL had not told Pam.
Back in the summer of '98, we were looking for a family dog. Paul was looking through a book from the library on the many different breeds from around the world. Since his father hailed from Denmark, the Danish/Swedish Farmdog caught his eye and the fact that this dog was a good companion, both outside and in front of the TV, it seemed like a match made in heaven. My husband declared that some day he would have one or two.
“Yea, right, I thought. They come from Denmark, a very long ways away!” Since he was always fascinated by airplanes I was content to leave him to this flight of fancy.
Danish/Swedish Farmdogs were mentioned occasionally over the next few years, and then…….April 11th, 2005—"Puppy, puppy!!” my husband proclaimed over the phone. “There is one available.” What was he talking about? When I got home I was brought up-to-date on the Danish/Swedish Farmdog Fantasy that had been brewing for almost 8 years. My husband had been doing some checking and found a very special lady in Wyoming who bred Danish/Swedish Farmdogs. After he had passed muster with Helene Riisgaard-Pedersen a.k.a. Kennel Little Denmark, he had been put on the list to receive one of her puppies… somewhere down the road, in two or three years. He was ready to wait it out, but fate stepped in. A breeder in Denmark had three males in a litter. As three males weren't needed in Denmark with the same lineage, Paul was offered one of them but ....the puppy needed to be picked up by the end of April. Remember..it is April 11th! I looked and acted as if my husband had lost his mind and he wisely dropped the subject to let me contemplate his sanity. The following evening, as I was about to drive our daughter to violin, he poked his head into the car and asked if there would be a divorce waiting for him if he would get this puppy. I then said the words that sent him to the basement to turn part of his gun collection into cash.
So, here it was Wednesday April 12th and this puppy needed to be picked up IN DENMARK, by the end of the month. Right?! The countdown began….. The guns were converted to cash, plane reservations made for the 22nd of April, an application for an expedited passport, ($$$ TALK), phone calls following the passport and prayers offered that if it was to be, things would work out. On Tuesday the passport arrived and Friday, Paul drove himself up to Omaha to catch his plane. Very late Monday evening our lives were changed, as only children and those whom we consider family can change them. Javika’s Terkel had arrived.
Not too long after Terkel’s arrival, my husband did not seem quite as crazy to me. Little Tukko loved to snuggle next to mommy at night, and I realized that we had a very special little dog. Now it was time to reflect. Paul had gone all the way to Denmark for the kind of dog he had been thinking about for 7 years, and now that puppy had taken to his wife, and he was thinking, "this just is not fair"! So, what to do? His fantasy did include breeding, but so soon? The insanity returned and soon Paul had found a lovely female in Norway called Olga. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if a little female from one of her litters could come to the United States to be a potential mate for Tukko? With Helene firmly embedded in our “family” Paul looked to her for guidance and affirmation on what he saw in Haritza’s Orange Olga. Helene too was taken by Olga, and she offered her assistance in contacting the owner of Olga by way of her friend Pia, who had moved to Norway. After the contacts were made, we waited to hear. Would Inger Asmundsen allow one of Olga’s offspring to come to America? "Yes", that would be nice she thought, but first we need to see what the puppies would be like. Olga had just been bred, so now the waiting game began. The puppies arrived on November 29, 2005 and there were 3 females. Would one of them be our new puppy? We waited anxiously for Inger's assessment of the puppies, and were delighted to learn that "Anna" was chosen to come to America to live with us. Preparations were made for a trip to Norway for the second week in February. As hurried as the plans for Tukko were, the plans for Anna were laid and the waiting was long and arduous. This time our daughter Kaytee, was to be included in the trip. Her 13th Birthday was on February 4th, so this was a wonderful Birthday present! The day finally arrived, and our son Michael came home from boarding academy just in time to see his Dad and sister off to Scandinavia. Their first stop was in Denmark to see the friends that started us on this journey! Bjarne and Lisette gave Paul and Kaytee a place to stay and then took them to the airport the next day for their flight to Norway.
Ingwer and Osvald picked Paul and Kaytee up at the airport and took them to their home in the woods north of Halden, Norway in the area known as "The Wilderness". There they were introduced to the newest member of our family....Amanda's Anna. On the long flight home, Anna was snuggled inside a baby sling that Kaytee wore, so she was close to a beating heart. She arrived in Lincoln to take over the heart and household of Paul and Pam...