When I got Gino Pugnetti's book (back in 1983) All about the dogs I noticed and fell in love with a lovely, teddy-bear looking black dog with medium brown eyes, which happened to be a Swedish Lapphund. But no such dog was in Slovenia at that time and I had to choose a smaller dog and a dog which was present in Slovenia at that time.
But I never forgot this black little teddy bear from the book. I put the breed aside for many years but when I saw a gorgeous looking black Lapphund in summer of 1991 on the bridge in Gothenburg, Sweden my memories were alive again. I was amazed and totally captured by this very friendly and handsome dog with great coat. It was love at first sight and I promised myself that someday somewhere, when the time is right I will have a Lapphund of my own.
Since that magic summer day I have only seen Lappies on World dog show in Bern, Switzerland in 1994 and on European dog show in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1997.
I knew I will have a Lappie when Gari is over the Rainbow but searching of the right dog has started back in 1997. I got many valuable opinions and made many new friends on my way of getting a Lappie. And all people were very friendly and very honest with telling me about Lappies characteristics and different breeding lines.
Without help of my friends I could never get a Lappie because they are national pride of Sweden and trademark of their Kennel Club like Karstian Shepherd (Kraški ovčar) is for Slovenia. On every Swedish kennel club's pedigree there is a Lapphund head.
Because Lapphunds were never bred for commercial reasons, breeders don't like to export and sell puppies to everyone. Approximately 130 Lapphund puppies are born every year in Sweden, so the breed is not very spread and with strict selection breed remained healthy and with good temperaments.
Many good breeders speak only Swedish language and this is another obstacle when talking to them. After long talks and considerations I decided for Raidis kennel because they really love Lappies and their first priority in breeding are mentally stable and good tempered healthy dogs which are also beautiful. They have reached Breeders of the Year Award many times, which speaks about quality of their Lapphund breeding for itself.
I especially cherish the help of my friend Lena, who has a wonderful Lappie girl Raidis Flisa and who made all things possible and helped me very much with getting a Lappie girl of my own. I don't think I would have Nati if there was not her and her great, unselfish help. She was a big helper and media between Birgit and Kurt Johansson and me. So let me say a big thank you Lena for making my dream reality. I will be forever grateful to you and your lifetime debtor for helping me make my dreams come true in June 2000.
In June 2000 I flew to Boden near arctic zone to get my Lappie. Her name is Raidis Nathalie and she was born on 6th March 2000 in a litter of 3 boys and 1 girl. Her mother is Raidis Lara and her father Spette's Bårro. Both of her parents are Nordic champions and BIS winners of big special shows for Lapphunds in Sweden, Norway and Finland.
Nati was already three months old when I came to pick her up. My friend Lena, her husband Patrick and their beautiful Lappie girl Raidis Flisa waited for me at the Luleå airport and they drove me to Birgit and Kurt's house in Mjedsjön near Boden.
When the car stopped a lovely, teddy-bear looking puppy curiously came to the car and she greeted me when I stepped out of the car. I could not believe my eyes, tears of happiness were flowing down my face. I asked Lena if this is my dog and she said 'Yes, this is your dog' and Nati behaved like she knew it all already.
She knew I will be her new matte and in a minute she was in my arms giving me wet kisses and biting me tenderly. So few days I spent in Boden and I enjoyed the company of nice people and dogs very much. I was also fascinated by wonderful nature and by white polar nights. I will never forget the wonderful hospitality at Birgit and Kurt's place and the wonderful time I had there. I think I could stay there forever. I simply adore Scandinavia and it is my favourite travel destination since my first holidays in the summer of 1991 which were also fatal for my Lapphund future.
Below are some photos from Sweden: