~ Honeybears Barley Ann at Lumikoira ~

It seemed as though everyone in our social circle owned a dog, or even two, the adage "if you can't beat them you might as well join them" came to mind and after meeting some friends' working Cocker Spaniel puppy in the summer of 2005, the search for the perfect dog began.

I had always loved Huskies however research into the breed suggested that, perhaps, they would not make the perfect pet, especially when one considers their potential dislike of cats; Sam and Lucky most definitely would not approve.  I also looked at Alaskan Malamutes (too big), Japanese Akitas (escape artists) before discovering, by chance, the breed that would one day become a part of our lives.

What a wonderful thing the internet is, through it I discovered the Finnish Lapphund, a breed that, to me, was previously unknown; a smaller version of a Husky, utterly adorable and perhaps the perfect pet.

Further research into the breed further took me to a number of websites including www.elbereth.co.uk and the decision was made, when we got a dog, a Finnish Lapphund it would be. Finding one was to be another matter, they were a very uncommon breed!

A trip to Surrey, in the course of business, allowed me to visit Toni Jackson, a leading figure in the breed and it was there that I first saw the dogs in the fur, including Hapmi (pictured here) a dog that Toni had brought into the country to introduce a fresh gene pool into the British line.  Unfortunately there were no puppies available anywhere in the UK at that time, but the decision had been made, when a litter became available a Lappy it would be.

The next step in the puppy purchase programme was to convince my partner, Louise, that a dog would be the perfect addition to our lives.

Louise was reluctant to even consider the introduction of another pet as she was devoted to our 2 rescue home cats, Sam & Lucky, and certainly did not want their lives disturbed or disrupted. I had 3 jobs on my hands, convince Louise that a dog would be a good thing to have, secondly to demonstrate that Lappies could get on with cats and finally to find one. 

The task of finding a puppy was out of my hands as Toni Jackson had kindly agreed to inform me of any litters that she knew of. 

Over the course of the next 15 months we were made aware of a number of litters, however due to the popularity of the breed, and a couple of phantom pregnancies our quest was unfulfilled. 

However in June 2006 we were advised of a litter due to Carol Stuckey's bitch Nina, pictured left, who was the same colour of the Lappy that was featured on the Facebook Wikipedia page and that sparked my enthusiasm in the breed. 

Our excitement grew when he discovered that the sire of the litter would be Hapmi and as a result, puppies could likely be my preferred colour, sable.

Phone calls and email exchanges began, and we were told that we would be 3rd on the list for a litter due in June 2006

Next job, a name.  The tradition seemed for Lappies to be given Finnish names, however I had always liked the name Barley, however consideration was given to names as diverse as Koira (dog in Finnish), Dylan, Rugz, Roscoe, Trotsky, Teemu, Bailey and Mylo, however Barley it would be.

A trip to Carol's home near Great Yarmouth allowed Louise and I to see the 2 puppies available to us, a delightful snow white pup and the one we were to decide upon, a bundle of fur that would, we were assured lighten to become pure sable and mature into dog of similar colour to his dad, Hapmi.

The next 4 weeks saw us prepare for our end of August arrival; vets were spoken to, the bits and pieces necessary for a pup's development bought and the home made ready for the new pet.... the weeks dragged by until August bank holiday weekend, Sunday August 27th

The 3 hour drive to the east coast passed in a moment ... journeys normally do when the expectation is high, and we arrived on time to pick the puppy up.  Barley was the first born and largest of the litter, he would also be the first to leave.

Having been warned to expect the worse when a pup is first separated from its surroundings, a bit of crying, an accident or 2, even car sickness we were well prepared for the 3 hour drive home. Barley, on the other hand, merely dropped off to sleep in my arms as Louise drove.

A journey that we had not been looking forward to passed without incident - well apart from nearly running out of petrol - and we arrived home 3 hours after leaving Carol.  I say the journey passed without incident, one notable event did occur, some 10 minutes into the journey Louise turned the radio on, "Children", by Robert Miles was playing, my favourite track then and of all time, I looked at Barley, glanced across to Louise as she said "Mylo" and from that moment on Barley became Mylo.

Three hours later and the journey home was over, now the bit we had been dreading, the introduction of Mylo to the cats and his settling for his first night, well that went easier than expected, Sam, as aloof as ever, merely exchanged a glance or two with Mylo as if to say "this is my home, behave and we'll get on fine"  Lucky, was a little put out and, at the time of writing, was less than impressed - we are sure that she will come to love Mylo as much as we, and our unexpected visitors that evening do already.

The cats had already retired for the night, Lucky was on our bed and Sam was on the sofa, his normal sleeping place. 

Mylo was put into his bed, told "goodnight" and the door closed on him, it was 11.30.... what would the night hold in store for us, the cats and Mylo?

I'm not sure what first woke me some 7 hours later, the pheasants in the garden, the cat on my chest, or a restrained yelping from downstairs - Mylo had woken for the day, 7 hours of unbroken sleep, and they say the first night is the worse!

Update; sadly in 2010 we lost both Sam and Lucky but they did become friends with Mylo before Sam was put to sleep to end his misery with cancer and Lucky joining him a month later after being run over by a callous and speeding motorist.

At the time of Mylo joining us neither Facebook or Instagram had been thought of and most of social interaction via the internet revolved around MSN and Yahoo groups. There was a very active Finnish Lapphund ground originally set up by Liz Mowatt (who would, a few years later, be the breeder of our second Lappy, Kiva), Louise and I were both members of this group and I used this to share updates of our time with Mylo - I was encouraged to do more with these ramblings and as a result Mylo's Blog came into being.

Day 2, August 28th - Bank Holiday Monday

The night had passed peacefully and the paper laid down in the event of accidents had been used twice, breakfast came and went and Mylo's first full day began and it was time for him to start experiencing what would become normal activity in his new home.  The dishwasher, vacuum cleaner and washing machine were taken in his stride as we made the house ready for our expected influx of visitors.

My son Matthew and his girlfriend Lucy came for lunch, well that was their excuse, and as it cooked we took the short stroll to the village pub, Mylo being carried of course.  It has been said that when not busy herding reindeer a Lappy is busy herding peoples' hearts, how true.

We must remember that in future a trip to the pub with Mylo might involve quite a lot more conversations with total strangers than normal.

Mylo's list of first experiences was rapidly growing, a man with a walking stick, a lady in a hat, a baby in a pushchair and the smell of cider....

Though we are feeding Mylo according to the advice given his appetite has not yet fully returned since leaving his first home and there are instances when his bowl of freshly prepared food goes untouched, no doubt he will eat when hungry, however he seems too busy exploring and sleeping.

Having so far been confined to his pen and run we thought that the time was right to introduce Mylo to the garden and for 15 minutes he enjoyed the fresh air and grass, maybe I should have cut it however Mylo seemed to enjoy its lush texture.

The picture of him to the left shows Mylo experiencing the garden for the first time and perfectly captures his symmetrical markings and colour which will, we have been told, gradually fade as his natural sable colour becomes dominant.  We had hoped that, whilst outside, he might have taken advantage of the garden to relieve himself... alas no, paper seems to be one of his favourite surfaces.

Mylo's lunch was prepared, and served... and ignored, playing with Louise seemed preferable, well at least for a short while, before settling down for a nap under the kitchen table.

Ten minutes later we heard a muted growl from Mylo fearing something was amiss Louise and I turned round, no problem Mylo had merely wandered in to the living room to ensure he hadn't been left ... his growl was simply a means to attract our attention.  Assured that all was well he wandered back to the kitchen and settled again under the table, sleep beckoned.

Perhaps the downside of grass being green is its similarity to the colour of our living room carpet which, at the moment seems to be his second favourite watering place .... ah well, he has only been with us for 24 hours.

After an evening spent snuggled under my chair it was time to put Mylo to bed, hopefully the night would pass as peacefully as the one before.

Day 3, August 29th

Oh dear, perhaps we spoke too soon, bed seemed to be a good idea and Mylo settled well.  However a episode of barking at 3.30 awoke Louise and I from our slumbers... Mylo wanted some company.  I went downstairs and opened the door to the kitchen and then to Mylo's pen, his cries subsided, his tail started to wag and I put the kettle on.  He was released from his pen and he trotted over to what now seemed to be his preferred resting place, under the kitchen table.  As I sat down to enjoy a coffee and read the paper Mylo promptly settled his head on my foot and dropped off to sleep, as I did too, though not quite as comfortably, half an hour later I awoke and put Mylo back to bed for, what I hoped would be a few more hours sleep.

6.30 saw Mylo awake and his barking woke us too, another day had begun.

His list of experiences continued throughout the day, a tractor, the bin men and the post person came and went without any distress and a trip out in the car to the post office was calmly taken in his stride.  Though more than happy to sit in the car I decided to take him in with me..... bad move, a 10 minute visit to buy a few stamps extended to half an hour as Mylo stole a few more hearts.

Once home Mylo enjoyed another play in the garden, experiencing the joys of damp grass, made more so by a couple more toilet trips.  Dinner came and went and the evening was spent with him exploring his new surroundings and getting used to Sam and Lucky.

A new plan for bed time has been agreed, Mylo will be allowed free use of the kitchen, which he so obviously feels comfortable in, rather than being confined to his pen.... will it work?  We shall see.

Day 4, August 30th

An undisturbed night... woo hoo.  Mylo, allowed free roam of the kitchen went through the night, awakening around 6.30, his litter box had been used and, other a slightly chewed leaf had done no damage to Louise's beloved kitchen.  Ignored, but acknowledged, for the first 5 minutes as I made tea and coffee, Mylo was then given a little attention before being given his breakfast and then taken into the garden... and to do his business.

A good night's sleep works wonders for everyone and we were all set for the day.

The working day came and went with Mylo becoming an integral part of it.  The breaks necessary for his welfare provided an opportunity to leave the computer screen and enjoy the weather as Mylo discovered the delights of wet grass - strange to note that even when wet from his romping in the grass Mylo still managed to smell of .... well nothing really.

Not only did the garden provide an opportunity to run and jump, OK, pounce, it also gave Mylo the opportunity to begin his toilet training.... things seem to be working out quite nicely.

Visitors in the evening - odd that we now seem to be the most popular people around - ensured that Mylo got the attention he enjoyed and, as a result, was tired out from it.  Once again the last few hours of the evening were spent with him fast asleep under my chair, head on my foot, before putting him to bed in the kitchen.  Fingers crossed we would have another good night, after all seven hours should be enough for anyone ...... so they say.

Day 5, August 31st

Seven hours, pfft, let's make it eight... Louise once again took the early shift, feeding Mylo his breakfast and tidying up the minor mess from the night.  The toys that our visitors had brought last evening certainly seemed to have been appreciated by Mylo; company and chewability.... perfect.

Today has been a day without the need to leave the house and Mylo made the most of the weather to enjoy the garden and the freedom it gave him.  Louise came home with more of what has turned out to be his favourite food along with another cat flap for me to fit to the front door to give Sam and Lucky another route in, and out, of the house without having to pass by Mylo to closely.

Mylo appears to have discovered the joys of chewing.... time to put away the valuables.

The cats' attitudes to the intruder are interesting to say the least, Sam merely glances disdainfully at Mylo, while Lucky does all she can to avoid him.  The upside of this is their desire to spend more time in the security of our bedroom, the downside is the fact that I have to get the electric saw out over the weekend to fit the new cat flap. 

We are hopeful that an entente cordiale will prevail and that the cats and Mylo will become friends as we have no desire to see any of them upset.

Louise commented that Mylo's colour seems to be lightening, I think that you'll agree that is the case.

As I sit in my chair and create today's entry Mylo is once again nestled under me ... he will be really miffed when he has grown to big to do so.

Day 6, September 1st

The concern of disturbed nights seems to have been unfounded as Mylo now understands that bed-time means no noise for the next 7 hours please.  Mornings have taken on a whole new meaning though for Louise and I, making tea and coffee is now accompanied by Mylo's enthusiastic but loving greeting to either one of us. 

His breakfast is followed by a romp in the garden - his opportunity to do the necessary - and to hunt out more slugs - creatures the hold a bizarre fascination for him.  Its surprising how my days have become more enjoyable, working from home means days sent with no company, Mylo has changed this, knowing he is in the kitchen and the hourly checks on him means an opportunity to leave my office and enjoy his company for a while.

Though he still has the odd accident Mylo is becoming accustomed to the hourly visits to the garden, and Louise and I are now aware of his early warning signs meaning we might no longer need to buy shares in the kitchen roll manufacturing company.

It's quite amazing how he is growing and, as Louise thinks, changing colour .... I'm not convinced, but that might be because I have grown to love his markings, who knows, maybe he will take after his father, Hapmi and become a pure sable, rather than his mother, a pale golden colour.

Day 7, September 2nd

Today would be the first when Mylo would be left during the day with Louise going shopping and me having to run a few errands that would not be safe for Mylo to accompany on.

Well that went well, 2 hours on his own, no accidents and no chewed furniture...Mylo seems to be able to be left for short periods with no problems.  Being a Saturday I would normally spend the afternoon at the rugby club, however today's fixture was a friendly and it was not vital that I went.  Two other factors influenced my decision, it was raining and Mylo could not yet accompany me, his booster being scheduled for next week meant another 2 weeks before he could have the pleasure of interacting with other dogs.  Instead, my day would be spent at home relaxing with Mylo, something he seems to do quite well.


There was still a major obstacle to be achieved in Mylo's integration into our life .... he, and the cats had to begin to get on.  Though we had had no real concerns, Mylo seemed to look upon the cats as members of his litter with whom to play, the cats viewed him somewhat differently.  As an intruder into their previously calm lives Mylo was NOT approved of, Lucky spending most of her day either outside or on our bed and Sam, superior as ever, looking down his nose at Mylo. 

Day 8, September 3rd

What is it about a Sunday that makes one want to lie in?  Mylo thought so too and did not stir till 8.00, just before the Sunday papers arrived and when they did, a slight bark was all that was necessary to notify us of their arrival.

Today would be a week since Mylo joined us and, apart from the cats' disdain towards him, he had settled in remarkably well, in fact better than we had expected.  The puppy guide recommended that pups be introduced to new experiences as soon as possible, however Mylo was NOT impressed with the noise from my drill and jigsaw as I fitted a cat flap to the front door to give Sam & Lucky another means of entry - it was getting too cold to leave the lounge window open.

Being Sunday a stroll to the pub at lunch was called for, and with harness on and in my arms the 129 yard walk was undertaken.

Now our local pub is exactly that, the hub of the village, and with all manner of characters frequenting it.  Mylo most definitely approved as he sat on my lap watching the door opening to allow new faces in, each one was greeted with a slight tilt of the head and then vigorous tail wagging as he was introduced to what, most probably, will be a rather large fan club.

Mylo spent much of the day in the garden with Louise, someone who 18 months ago was adamant in her refusal to even entertain the thought of a dog, Mylo had certainly won her over.  The garden had not seen a lawn mower for several weeks and as it was becoming harder and harder to see Mylo in the grass so my afternoon was spent with the mower, which for Mylo was not a pleasant experience.  Once cut though he was out and about enjoying the smell of freshly mown grass.

His evening was spent sleeping, well he had had a busy day, and we were concerned that his night might be an active one .... totally unfounded as he again stirred sometime after 7.00 am - this is a clever dog - he even knows our sleep patterns.  Tomorrow might be less pleasant for him however as he will be visiting the vet for his booster injections, 2 weeks to go and he can be taken out properly, we can't wait.

Day 9, September 4th

Another good night, Mylo certainly seems to have settled in to an excellent night time routine, which saw us all wake at an acceptable hour.  A trip to the vets had been arranged for Mylo to have his booster, 2 weeks to go before he can be taken out for walks, and a check over as this was to be his first visit.  Mylo managed to steal a few more hearts as he met other pets in the waiting room, but, what a wonderful practice it is, appointment at 9.30, seen at 9.30, now that's efficient.  His check up showed him well and healthy apart from what could turn out to be a small hernia where his umbilical cord had been, a return trip in 3 months will tell us more.  Trips out in the Jeep are taken in his stride so it appears as though Mylo will enjoy car journeys with us.

Mylo's day has taken on a regular routine, wake, garden, eat, play, garden, rest - wake, garden, eat, play, rest ..... that is until the evening when he joins us in the lounge and manages to distract us completely from the television as he plays with his toys.  Invariably he will settle down for a nap, either under my chair, Louise's feet or the coffee table.

The cats have yet to accept that Mylo is no threat to him, however the newly fitted cat flap in the front door seems to have gone down well.

Day 10, September 5th

Our days have now developed into a comfortable pattern, Mylo's routine seems to be established, one which suits us all.

During the evening Sam, our laid back tomcat, appeared to forget about the front door cat flap when he wandered through from the back and promptly came face to face with Mylo - a Mexican stand off ensued which saw Mylo politely raise his paw in greeting and for Sam to hiss. 

Mylo decided that the best course of action would be to lie on his back in submission to which Sam responded by lying down in front of him.... oh well a slight improvement.

Ten minutes later it is was all over, Sam on Louise's lap and Mylo under my chair, for a change.

Later in the evening Mylo had a mad half hour which saw him gamboling around the lounge and trying to jump on the sofa, not something to be encouraged, before settling down for another nap.

Day 11, September 6th

A later start to the day as Mylo did not stir until after 7.00.  Much of the morning saw him enjoy the garden which was bathed in sunlight, Mylo deciding though to take up his favourite position in the one flowerbed that was in shade all day.

Day 12, September 7th

Hi folks, this is Mylo, I've had enough of the old guy writing about my life so I've pinched his magic box and screen and decided to tell you my side of things ...

All in all it's pretty good here, the pack leader and the lady look after me pretty well and my new home is OK.  I get lots of attention from them as well as all the other strange people who keep calling in, and everybody keeps wanting to stroke me, now that's fine by me too.  The only things I can't work out are the 2 black furry things that keep hissing at me - I think the cats don't like me much.

Pack leader was upstairs in his office today and I had free run of the kitchen and the garden which was pretty good, that was until 2 strange people with big ladders came round the back, I barked once and then ran into the kitchen, I was a bit scared, I don't think that I am going to be a guard dog, I like people too much.

Day 13, September 8th

Just another day for me, the pack leader's partner came down first today and made a fuss of me as I nibbled her toes.  I had some breakfast whilst she cleaned up after me - I like the bits of paper they leave out for me each night.

Other than all the normal things that happen in my day things were pretty quiet, well at least till the evening, those damn cats!  The big one sort of tolerates me but the little one is pretty nasty, especially when she scratched my nose last night, that hurt and for a while my tail wouldn't wag.  All I want is to be friends with them but they don't understand that when I lift my paw I'm just saying hello, and that when I lie down and roll over on my back I am telling them that I'm not a threat to them.  Oh well, one day.

Spent most of the evening alternating between lying under the coffee table and under the pack leader's chair.  I got a little concerned though when lots of bright lights and heat came from next to the television but relaxed when I found out that it was a thing called an open fire - kind of nice to look at, but a bit warm for me.

Day 14, September 9th

This is one of those days when my master and mistress are around most of the day so I get lots of fuss and attention.  In the afternoon my master went out for a long time, apparently next Saturday I can go with him to something called rugby, I'm not sure what it is but if there are lots of nice people there I am sure it will be fun. In the evening a man knocked on the door - was I supposed to bark? - and the house was full of strange smells, they were having a meal called an Indian, mmmmm I like the things called popadums. 

When I get a bit warm I go and lie down on some metal plates, I think that they're called loudspeaker stands, they're nice and cool, my owners laugh and say that they now have something called a woofer, is that another name for a dog?

Day 15, September 10th

I must admit that I kind of like it here, I get fed regularly, there is always plenty of water for me to drink and I don't get told off when I have a wee or a pooh on the paper that is left for me, and I get lots of praise if I wee or pooh in the garden. 

We went out at lunch time - why do they insist on carrying me, I can walk perfectly well - to the place called the pub, I really like it there because lots of people come up to me and stroke me whilst I just sit on my master's lap, wagging my tail and looking at them, I think they quite like me. 

I made friends with another dog there, he is quite big but very friendly, he is called Blue, which is strange because he is white and brown - some humans are a bit strange I think. 

When we got home I played in the garden, had something to eat and then went to sleep in the lounge.  I like that room because there are lots of things to do there, jump on the sofa - they don't seem to like that much, and sit in the basket full of wood.

I still haven't managed to get the 2 cats to like me yet, I wish they would because they look good fun.

Day 16, September 11th ~ Day 17, September 12th ~ Day 18, September 13th ~ Day 19, September 14th

Not a lot to report  just normal stuff, eating, playing and sleeping - I am really trying to make friends with the cats, I hope they like me soon.

Day 20, September 15th

A pretty normal day, eating, sleeping and playing in the garden - now that is fun, lots of places to hide and dig. My master got a bit cross with me though when he found me sitting in the pond, well I like water so why shouldn't I?

In the evening we went for a walk, which was a first for me as normally when we go out I am carried, it was quite exciting walking along the road to the pub because I had a chance to sniff things outside the home for the very first time.  We went to the pub again but this time I didn't have to sit on my master's lap.  There were lots and lots of people there and they all made a fuss of me, which was GREAT.  The man who was with Blue was there too - I think he likes me a lot.

I realised that if I sat still my by master's feet that I would not get told off - he seemed happy about that because he took me out into the garden for me to have a wee.  When we went back inside my master and Louise had something to eat, it smelled really nice and I was treated to some bacon and some brie cheese, now that WAS tasty, I think I like cheese.

I think the walk to the pub thing might become a bit of a habit - which sounds good to me.

Day 21 September 16th

Now this was an interesting day which began early with Louise going away on a thing called a holiday for a week - I thinks that's 7 days.  I was given breakfast early - it was the new stuff, rice, tripe and chicken, mmmm, yummy. When the master came home I played in the garden and then fell asleep on his feet, I'm not sure who likes that most, him or me. After lunch - which was the dry biscuit stuff, he put me in my harness and we went out in the car - I'm still not sure about the car thing - and we went to a big area of grass, where there were lots of people with their legs showing and running around after a funny shaped ball.  Apparently this is something we will do every Saturday.

There were quite a few other dogs there too, which was nice, 2 Husky puppies, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier called Tillie and a big black and white spotted puppy, which I think was called a Dumbation

It was good fun playing with all of them, especially Tillie with whom I shared some chicken.  The master was busy with his camera taking photographs of the men with the funny shaped balls and whilst he was doing that lots and lots of people came and stroked me.

When we got home I had something to eat and went to sleep - it had been a busy but really fun day.

Day 22, September 17th - Day 29, September 24th

Sunday being Sunday a stroll to the pub was in order, the weather was fabulous and it was a perfect opportunity to sit in the Hollybush garden and enjoy a pint.  Three hours later I managed to prise Mylo away from the throng of children who had been playing with him and we took the long route home.  A very pleasant way to spend an afternoon indeed.

The rest of our week without Louise passed without too many misadventures, apart, that is, from him disappearing from the garden - panic.  We had assumed our garden to be escape proof however Mylo had discovered that he could wriggle through the gaps in the fence to our neighbours, fortunately their garden was escape proof and I discovered Mylo safe and sound on their lawn..... either time for some DIY or for Mylo not to be left unattended in the garden. 

The cats seem to be becoming more accepting of Mylo, we even had a couple of evenings with them all in the same room, an improvement indeed.

Monday evening saw us take our constitutional stroll to the pub where I met one of our local builders who said he had some spare fencing which I could use to secure the garden, see pub's aren't just about drinking!  Tuesday saw me busy with saw and hammer and the garden was escape proof much to Mylo's delight.  He certainly enjoys his time in the garden and despite warnings otherwise he is not a digger so our lawn is pretty much unscathed, snails, however are a different matter as he enjoys nothing more then crunching his way through their shells to get to the delicacy.

Our walks have now become longer and the walk up the hill and then down through the village is a wonderful way to spend an hour, the views around us are magnificent and the recent fine weather makes them even better.  I'm not sure who designed our village but strangely enough almost every route leads us past the pub, much to Mylo's delight.

Spending every day with him I am not so aware of his growth development and changes in his colour, however those that see him less often comment upon both.  Perhaps his coat is changing colour but to me he is just Mylo, a perfect and loyal companion.  The breed standard allows for a Finnish Lapphund's ears to be either erect or floppy - ok, we're 50% there as one of Mylo's ears is proudly sticking up.

Saturday saw another afternoon out at the rugby, a day which both Mylo and I enjoyed tremendously, Mylo because of the attention lavished upon him, me because we won.  Mylo was even asked to attend school, well to go to a local school for the children to see and to be involved in a geography lesson about Finland.

The 4 hours we were out should have been enough to wear anyone out however Mylo insisted that he be taken out for an evening walk, well it was a nice evening and the pub is so local that it would have been cruel to say no.

Our lives together have developed into an enjoyable routine with Mylo now well and truly settled.  Walks are a thing of pleasure for both Mylo and I, he enjoying the new experiences and me the pleasures of discovering the footpaths in and around our home. 

Mylo manages to make a half hour stroll into an hour's adventure, not so much due to his insistence in exploring everything more due to the number of people stopping to meet Mylo and chat about him.

Day 30, September 25th - Day 36, October 1st

Mylo continues to grow at a rate that we find difficult to comprehend, and having at long last been able to find a source for his favourite food - Nature Diet Puppy - he seems to be eating much better; not that this was a concern. 

The week has passed uneventfully and our days continue to be spent in a comfortable routine for us all; we wake, Mylo wakes, we have breakfast and Mylo has breakfast - another day is warmly welcomed.  We have discovered that Mylo is more than happy to use his run during the night, the combination of the security of the kitchen and access to outside provides him with the best of both worlds, now, if he would just learn not to use the paper for his wee things would be perfect.

We have recently managed to convince Mylo to accept his collar and though somewhat disconcerted by it the fact that we no longer have to struggle with his harness means that the picking up of his lead is welcomed a lot more readily by him.

Walks within the village continue to be a pleasure, I am discovering aspects of it that I never knew existed and have spoken to more people in the past 5 weeks than I had spoken to in the past 5 years - Mylo certainly is an excellent ice breaker, even to the extent of having conversations with total strangers opening with "ah, so this is the puppy we have heard so much about".

Mylo has yet to learn to tell the time as he finds it frustrating when we walk past the pub outside of opening hours only to be denied access to what, to him, has become a favourite watering hole.  However when we take our early evening walk and are able to pop into the Hollybush for a swift cider he is happy beyond measure, he too seems to like the taste of apples as invariably he will collect one from the pub's garden and carry it in with him when he announces his presence in the bar. 

We are truly lucky to be blessed with a pub friendly dog and dog friendly pub.

With our Jeep now back on the road we are able to take Mylo out with him safely restrained within his cage and, as long as he has a toy or 2 to play with, journeys are no problem at all.

Saturday saw us off to Stratford on Avon for another rugby match, the morning's torrential rain had fortunately ceased and the afternoon was warm and sunny, a glorious day for rugby and for a dog to enjoy.  Jumping down from the back of the Jeep is no problem for Mylo, its just the jumping up we need to deal with, and the expanse of grass and number of people around saw Mylo as happy as Larry.

He spent the afternoon contently watching the men run around after the funny shaped ball, made friends with many more people - and they say rugby players are hard - and enjoyed his 3 hours of fresh air, as did I, well we did win again.

Many people forewarned us of the disruption to our lives that a puppy would bring; chewed furniture, damaged flooring, holes in the lawn, messes all round the place, barking etc - how wrong they were, Mylo has been impeccably well behaved, in fact there are times that we forget he is there, I believe that it is the Borzoi that is known to be a non-barking dog, well now there is another, a Mylo. A deep woof occasionally can be heard but a single word of; "quiet" is enough to bring this to an end - (please note that at the time of writing this was true - Mylo since discovered his bark and can, at times, be a very yappy lappy - his barking has since been partially controlled by the use of a Spray Commander training collar - we're getting there).

Day 37, October 2nd

My humum and hudad took me for a walk to the pub after mum got home from work and then when we got home a little later my hudad took me out in the Jeep to something called "Dog Training Classes", but I couldn't understand why wI need to learn to be a dog when I already know? 

When we got to the hall where the classes were held there were lots of people and lots of dogs there, in fact it was quite noisy with lots of barking. 

Things went a bit quieter when I walked in though and a number of people came and stroked me, which was nice.  Not all of the dogs were friendly though, I couldn't understand why, especially a grey Husky, which I think is a relative of mine. 

I just sat there watching what was going on though I wasn't too sure what to do when people kept saying "sit", "stay", "heel" - oh well I suppose some dogs need to be taught these things.

Later in the evening with the fire alight I decided to lie down under the coffee table (is the table getting smaller?) whilst the big male cat, Sam, lay on the sofa - I decided to join him once, he didn't even hiss - maybe he is getting used to me, which would be nice.

Day 47, October 17th

I should apologise for not having added to Mylo's blog for the past 10 days - pure laziness on my behalf I'm afraid and not a case of having nothing to report on Mylo, who continues to be a constant source of amusement.

Over the past 6 weeks our lives have taken on a new dimension as Mylo becomes an integral part of our lifestyle and despite all the warnings of the disruption that a new puppy can bring we must count ourselves blessed that he has added to the quality of our lives rather than intruding into them.  Our furniture remains unscathed, our kitchen floor still has tiles on it and the only damage he has caused has been to my favourite pair of moccasins - mind, they are the best part of 20 years old and I could do with a new pair, oh yes, and several pairs of shoelaces. 

Mylo seems to enjoy my feet, either gnawing on my laces or falling asleep on them when at work at the kitchen table or relaxing in front of the TV. When he has had enough of my feet he curls himself up around one of the loudspeaker stands, and there was me saying we needed a new woofer.

Mylo seems to have discovered the art of barking - callers to the front door can come and go without fear, birds however are another matter and with 3 bird tables in our garden we get more than our fair share of feathered friends, and more than our fair share of Mylo barking - a stern "quiet" normally does the job though, the birds fly off and Mylo looks up to the heavens as if to say "who, me?"

We have yet to fully integrate Mylo and the cats, Mylo is totally blasé towards them, as if to say; "if they want to be my friends that's fine, if not ... pfft".  The cats are still a little wary of him, however we have managed to get them to share the same room on several occasions.  The one good thing from this is that Sam and Lucky have remembered that they are related and now tend to share each other's space more than before.

We had the gardeners in during the week, something Mylo enjoyed no end, what fun it was to take the weeds out of one gardener's sack and carry them across to deposit in the other's. 

The freshly turned flower beds looked wonderful, especially to Mylo who decided to bury some of his toys, and one of my much loved moccasins in them. 

Unfortunately our neighbours have a Yew tree whose berries drop into our garden to tempt Mylo into eating them - not a good move as this has seemed to upset his stomach. My hastily erected screen to protect Mylo from them has now become one of Mylo's pet hates, his mission, should he decide to accept it, is to totally demolish the willow screen to gain access to the bed full of berries.

Mylo has continued to enjoy his evening strolls to the pub and Saturday afternoon outings to rugby matches and, more recently, the delights of the walks around the local reservoir - well apart from the fishermen's carbon fibre poles. 

Sunday saw us out and about for the first time at Boddington reservoir, a walk we all enjoyed until Mylo decided he was tired and conned us with a poorly paw - ok, back home via the pub then.

On Monday I took him out for a long walk to a local fishing pool, ironically named "Dog Lane", a walk he enjoyed enormously until he decided to chase the ducks - into the lake, thank goodness for a strong lead as I was able to drag a wet and bedraggled looking pup out of the water without having to dive in to get him out.

His left ear continues to be of the floppy variety however I have learnt that he could be up to 9 months before it decides to become erect so we are not that concerned.  Other than that, all is well in Mylo world, well apart from him having chewed his way through his lead, watch this space.

Day 51, October 21st

Saturday is  Mylo's day for going to watch the rugby and today was no different - except for the weather, which was foul - not that Mylo minded as he seems to like the rain (a one off, as after this he much preferred to stay dry).  So many people ask if he requires a lot of bathing and grooming and are amazed when I tell them that he needs hardly any, we seem to have a self cleaning dog.  Mind you he did get a bit wet, not that it mattered, we won.

On our return Mylo was a bit put out to find Sam on the sofa so he decided to nap in the kitchen - for a while at least.  As always Mylo tried to make friends with Sam who continues to regard him with disdain, however they did share the same room for a while.

Now the cats are excellent hunters regularly bringing in mice, voles, shrews, birds and the odd mole or two and this evening was no exception with a shrew being brought in by Lucky.  Now the normal practice is for Sam and Lucky to share their prey as they chase it under the furniture - this evening however saw Mylo join in the fun. He knows that his boundary lies at the living room door and ,with it open, he watched as the cats began their play.  His patience was rewarded when the shrew fled from the hall into the lounge, straight into Mylo's waiting paws. 

Being Mylo he was as gentle as he could be but got slightly agitated when the shrew managed to work itself under the carpet - parents to the rescue time as we tried to; A - rescue the shrew and B - prevent it from getting further under the carpet. 

Things went a bit pear shaped though when the shrew committed suicide by impaling himself on the carpet gripper tracks.  Mylo was quick off the mark as he got hold of the now dead shrew and took it onto his bed - well for a while, until he brought it back into the lounge to proudly show off, and to gnaw ..... mmmm, nice. 

Day 52, October 22nd

Now this should have been a day in which Mylo would be taken out for his regular Sunday walk, to the reservoir or maybe even to another rugby match however the heavens opened and his walks were restricted to a couple of excursions around the village dodging the rain showers.  Not that Mylo minds the rain - I do !!


We are delighted to be able to report that Mylo has now decided to confirm to the UK breed standards and that ear number 2 has decided to mirror ear number 1 - yes, he now has 2 erect ears, no need for the Copydex treatment after all. 

As I write this Mylo is settled at my feet, sleeping soundly and, at the same time, keeping my feet warm ... a perfect end to a perfect day.

Day 161, February 8th

Wow, has it been that long, sorry folks. 

The puppy is no longer a puppy, though not fully grown Mylo is now, most definitely a dog - and what a dog he is. 

Snow fell overnight leaving a covering of some 6 inches or so for Mylo to enjoy, and a photo of was the featured on the cover of the inaugural (2008) Southern Finnish Lapphund Society calendar - it was also the picture used for December.

So, Mylog, Mylo's blog, ended on a high note, thank you for taking the trouble to read it. 

Since Mylo came into our lives Finnish Lapphunds have become an important part of them - in August 2007 we got our 2nd, Kiva, TabanyaRuu Hyppia we had hoped to be able to breed the 2 of them but circumstances are such that it will not be possible. 

I have put in a request for a 3rd Lappy (there is a long waiting list) and in order to be able to surround myself with them I set up Dogs to Stay.

I migrated the above from an old web site on March 1st 2009 and can now (July 2011) report that;

  • The dogs and cats coexisted quite well even to the extent that Lucky will happily eat out of Mylo's food bowl - sometimes even when Mylo is eating from it too.  Sam remains aloof and though now happy to lounge about downstairs still is inclined to make his presence known to the dogs - normally a hiss is all that is needed to dissuade either of the dogs from sniffing his rear end - Lucky is quite happy for them to sniff her.

  • Mylo can be a yappy Lappy and can, at times be quite vocal - Kiva on the other hand is the complete opposite.

  • Walking with them is a pleasure - though their recall is not 100% - Kiva is much better than Mylo however I am glad to say that they have yet to disappear for too long ;-) - I have found the key to good recall is walking them with other dogs, as then they are not as easily distracted by; rabbits, deer, pheasants, ducks etc.

  • Both Mylo and Kiva went to dog training, both passing their bronze - we may resume when we can find a more local establishment but they sit, they wait, they stand and they stay, sometimes they even come back when called.

  • They are not expensive dogs to keep, their food probably costs less than £1.00 per day. We used to feed them kibble however moved them across to raw food when Mylo was two, in our opinion it's a healthier option, only marginally more expensive than a good quality kibble, and far more user friendly when it comes to 

  • We do show them occasionally; in fact both Kiva and Mylo qualified for Crufts in 2009; Mylo having won Best Open Dog at Welsh KC show and Kiva winning Best Puppy at the above as well as being placed in several other shows.  We will, however, not be showing them at Crufts; Mylo is a little overweight and Kiva will just be ending her 2nd season, better safe than sorry, and is out of coat.

    Kiva loves the opportunity to strut her stuff in the ring, she is a natural show off.  We did show her again and at Crufts in 2010 she was awarded Reserve Best Bitch - and on that note she decided she wanted to be a mummy rather than a show dog.

    Mylo hates it, loathes it, despises it - to the extent that he will slip his lead and try to escape the ring leading to his nickname of "Houdini".

  • We have no regrets about getting a Finnish Lapphund, hey, we loved our first so much we got a second.  They are an independent breed and do take a little managing however they are loyal and loving and, in our experience want to be friends with everyone, be they of the 2 or 4 legged variety.

If you would like to know more about living with a Lappy do not hesitate to get in touch, as always;

Lappy days