I was born in 1955 and my parents were breeders of Dachshounds, wire standards, up to just a few years ago. They always had at least one dog of another breed beside the Dachshounds, such as German Shepherd, Smooth Fox Terrier, Pug, Poodle, Dobermann, Great Dane, German Pointer, Bloodhound - you name it. Since I could walk I followed my parents to dogshows, trainings and tests. I knew how dogs make dogs much erlier than I knew how people make people .... if you know what I mean?
I moved out when I was 16 and I decided that I never ever should have a dog again. I was so tired of beeing forced to walk them in rain, snow and hard wind. I also had to take care of them for a whole weekend sometime when my parents were away for competitions and how fun is that for a teenager?
But .... when I was 22 I bought my first own dog - a Dachshound from my parents :-)
When I was 20, I gave birth to my daughter Caroline and three years later to my son Michael but only a few years later i devorced their fathter. We just grow apart but we are still good friends.
My second dog was an Ibizan Hound in 1983 and the same year I
met Anders at a dog show, where else?
I moved in with Anders and we have been breeding Groenendaels ever since but we also had two litters of Ibizans. It was fantastic to have two such different breeds at the same time. The Ibizans was more like cats, not very much in the need of us humans and the Belgians who can die for your love. Even the puppies are different from each other. The Ibizan puppies open the eyes a few days earlier and they are almost house clean from the beginning. The three week old puppies wake up, walk surely and determined from the bed to the paper to pee. The Belgian puppies, on the other hand, don't bather to walk away, they just sit up and pee wherever they are.
Well... we had lots of fun over the 24 years we had together. We went abroad a few times every year to meet with other breeders, visiting shows and learning. You are never fully trained and it's very interesting to learn by other peoples experience.
We got friends all over the world. Anders was a popular person, very generous, kind and gentlemanlike. He always tried to be nice and was rather silent than telling anything negative. I am, on the other hand, more the straight one. If you ask, you will get an honest answer, whether it's good or not. That's not always so popular, I've noticed. Most people only want to hear nice things and are not at all prepared to hear the truth.
When Anders died, he thought that all our friends should disappear :-) but he was wrong. I had more friends than we knew of. They stood by my side when life was tough, they supported me through my two most difficult years ever, they cried with me, they laughed with me and they picked me up when I broke into pieces.
I want to thank all of you who helped me through by writing
this. I can't name you all so I don't name any of you. I'm sure you know by
heart. I always learned that it's very common that when you become alone by
divorce or death, many of your "friends" turn their back on you but I can
honestly say that I didn't experience this at all.
I don't forget one evening I was very down and I first got a call from one friend and then from another. Both of them could hear that I didn't feel very well and suddenly I had them both with me. That's fantastic.
Another evening I had a call from a friend who asked if I had dinner yet. I said "no" and it didn't take long before I had her and her fiancé cooking in my kitchen even though they had 45 minutes to go one way.
My darling children had a rough time too, of course. My son lives almost 2 hours from where we lived in Ĺkersberga and couldn't visit very often and Carro had her work but tried to come as often as possible. When you live with a person suffering from cancer and you know he is dying, you can't think of anything else but that. Your whole life is filled with hospitals, doctors, drugs, phoning, writing, rules etc. etc..... and I know I must have been a bitch sometimes. I didn't mean to be nasty but it's not easy to be nice when life is a mess. In spite of that, all my friends held on.
Thank you so much for that.
I didn't want to stay in Anders and my common home anymore. I couldn't remember our good days, I could only see the bad days of illness and the sad memories, so I sold the house. The day I was about to sign the papers with the new owners I was totally heartbroken and when I talked to a friend in the phone she noticed my mood and came to help me out. I really thank her for that because the day after I couldn't remember much. I could have signed anything :-))) if it wasn't for her.
I moved to a place, south of Stockholm, close to where I was born, and today I feel fine. Life is good to me and I have all my friends and my family; my children and my brother and sister. I live just a few minutes from Carro, my daughter, who has a groenendael boy from her own breeding. Unfortunately my son Micke lives 1,5 hours from me so we don't see each other very often.
My sister is a breeder of German mittlespitz and she also has a Bracco Italiano and a White Swiss Shepherd. My brother and his wife are breeders of Shetland Sheepdogs.
Today I feel fine again. I've got a job only 20 minutes from home and that's my dream work where I also can bring my dogs. I have my friends, my hobby and a very good mood so I can look forward to a bright future.
I will continue Anders' and my work with the breed, to protect the Belgian Shepherd as the beautiful, healthy, friendly and pleasent dog it always has been and always will be.