March 2011!

Best friends...

Have you ever thought about the friends your dog have brought you?
It's really crazy when you actually sit down and think of how different your life could've been. Just imagine all the wonderful people you would have missed!
I've met a lot of dear friends this way, people I couldn't imagine being without. To be honest, Zodd came with so much more than a big heart and love - he brought me an entirely new pack :)
I am so grateful that Jarmila trusted me with him and sent him to Sweden.
Not only have she been supportive and helpful in all matters, she's also invited me to visit her and Zdenek and the entire Sundari clan of TMs on more than one occasion. I've felt right at home every time and I feel honored to be a small part of all the passion and energy Jarmila and Zdenek have put into this marvelous breed, even if it's only as an owner of one of her pups.
I've said it before, but it can't be said enough - thank you for Zodd, Jarmila! Thank you for this wonderful friend and everything he's brought into my life!

Two of my favorite friends was found, all thanks to Zodd. Veronica Tofte and Frida Jeansson are such funny and wonderful people and we've been on quite a few adventures by now, accompanied by our trusted pups.
We've been on a lot of dogshows and enjoyed both defeat and success together.
Zodd and I go visit Veronica and her two Dogue de Bordeaux(DdB) every week and the boys always have a blast.
Zodd's best friends are, without a doubt, Bulten (Veronica's DdB) and Noblesse (Frida's DdB).
It's great to chat on about our huge interest DOGS and I think it's safe to say that we all have learned a lot from eachother. Thank you girls for being such wonderful friends! And Zodd sends a big thanks to his homies Bulten and Manson and, of course, to his all time number one love Noblesse!

And then there are so many sweet people that I don't meet very often, but that are still in my thoughts. One of them being Ella, the owner of the two beautiful gold TMs Måne and Cenge (ok, to be fair, Cenge belongs to her husband Peter), who will always bring a smile to my face because she's a real person. She helped me a lot when I brought Zodd into Sweden (I got her number from Jarmila) and we became good friends. I haven't spoken to her in a while, but I'm not quite sure why. Time just scurries on...
There are so many TM people who's both kind and full of knowledge and I'm grateful that they have listened to my questions and given me answers, and I hope I have left a mark with them as well.
I'm sure you know who you are :)

Zodd is also responsible for bringing me into the life of Lucas.
Not directly responsible, he didn't push me or anything, but still ;)
Without Zodd I would've never gotten to know Veronica, and if I'd never met Veronica I would never have met Frida, and then Frida would never have introduced me to her brother.
I'd like to think we would have found eachother anyway, but perhaps I would have waited in vain, forever, for my own best friend.
Oh, the ever winding path of maybe and perhaps. It's really strange to actually sit down and think about how utterly different things could've been.
And all this because of one element in my life. All because of Zodd, the Tibetan Mastiff.
Tibetan magic at its finest ;)

When spring comes knocking!

Spring is on its way now, for real. Yesterday I saw this year's first butterflies dancing through the mild breeze. It's time to lose that wintercoat! It's time to shed the winter and the fur!
Zodd has begun his annual process of becoming smooth as a retriever. Two days ago (the day after Malmö CACIB show where Zodd was BOB with CACIB, read more about that ---> HERE) Nina, Zodd and I took a bunch of brushes and combs with us and went into the forest. It was time for operation "FURMINATOR".
First we had a small photosession since I wanted a few photos of him in wintercoat before we begun the brushing.
He was in a real spring mood! Like a wild thing he danced around, threw himself on the ground, got up again and went for one more round. It was not easy to get some serious photos of him, but we managed somehow.
Big thanks to Nina for helping me out!

"Is this pose ok?"

"Hahaha, THIS pose is great, no?! Smile for the camera, Sanna! Smile, just like me!"

"Naaawaaaa! That tickles!"

"What you doing? I like this pose!"

"I've taught my mum to bow down in front of me! She's such a good girl!"

Just before we got started with the grooming he managed to steal the brush and took off with it in his mouth, laughing as he bounced away over the meadow. Nina did her best to catch him and you could tell how pleased he was with the way things worked out. Not only did he get away from the boring poses I was trying to make him take, he also got Nina away from the camera and found someone who was willing to chase him. It was pure joy in those brown eyes as he swirled past me (I had by then picked up the camera to capture the thief in full action). It was a perfect way to spend the morning, according to Zodd ;)

"You want Mr. Brush? You want him? MWAHAHAHAHA! You'll NEVER get him!"

"Let's rest here for a while, Mr. Brush. You'll like the soft grass."

"Chase me? Come on, CHASE ME!"

"I stole Mr. Brush, Sanna! Hahaha, I totally stole him!"

"You've lived such a boring life Mr. Brush. I'll show you a good time. Now FLY!"

"I'll hide Mr. Brush in my mouth... No one will suspect a thing! HAHAHA!"

We then spent two hours brushing, pulling and grooming while Zodd just lay there, happy to be the center of our attention and totally relaxed after the burst of mischief he had just gone through.
There was a lot of fur falling off of him, but to my big surprise he didn't look even a little naked once we finished. That day will come soon enough and for now I'll enjoy his semi-short coat.


"This is THE life! Everyone should get their own personal assistent!"

"Hm... What am I supposed to do with this fluff? Save it for next winter?"

I remember when he was still a puppy and we had been out in the rain for the very first time. When we got back inside I took a towel and started drying him. Oh my, that was the scariest thing he had ever been through (the flight from CZ was nothing compared to that treatment). I remember talking softly and firmly continuing with my task. Finally he realized that I wasn't killing him, not even a little.
I think back to that moment often, especially when I'm grooming or drying him off. I wonder how he would have turned out if I had given in to his angst back then. Imagine not being able to handle almost 70 kilos of TM.
Imagine sharp teeth and strong jaws...
Can anyone say nightmare?
Nowadays Zodd loves it. He enjoys the moment. And after walks when I dry his paws off he lifts them up, one after the other, when I ask for them :)

"It was fun for as long as it lasted Mr. Brush. Now I bid you farewell..."

It's always lovely when the days grow longer and the warmth comes sneaking in.
Zodd and I went with my father for a really nice walk this morning. We took the car and drove to a forest we go to sometimes. Zodd was really happy with the new settings and I set him free. He kept an eye on us and when we got too far ahead he came galloping after us, full speed and unstoppable.
Running fast to get there! "Get where?" you ask?
Well, somebody has to open up when spring comes knocking! ;)

Marching on!

Yes, march is certainly marching on, and in such a high speed that I almost can't keep track of the days.
Lucas came home after 45 days on a job on the eight of march and early this morning Zodd and I drove him to the trainstation and waved him off again. He's now landed in Kuwait where he'll be working for a week while Zodd and I keep things in order here in Sweden ;)
It's a different way of life, not seeing your loved one every day, but we are making the best we can of it and when he is home we spend every waking hour (and sleeping hour, for that matter) together.
That means we do all sorts of things together. And we spend almost a ridiculous amount of time in the car, going from one place to another, picking up the loose ends and tying them back together. And Zodd is almost always with us, curled up and snoring in the back of our tiny vehicle, pleased to have his pack in one place!
So, what have we been up to since my last blog entry?
Where to begin...
Zodd and I tagged along when Lucas went to work on his tattoo in Karlskrona, the marine city and the "capital" of the region Blekinge where we live. It's a beautiful city with water and boats just about everywhere. We had a really nice day there, enjoying the sunny but chilly afternoon. Well, Zodd and I did. Lucas was stuck in a chair getting worked over with needles ;)
Zodd and I walked the streets, doing a bit of windowshopping and then we visited the waterside, easy to access all over Karlskrona since the city is built on several small islands connected by bridges.

Zodd is taking in the views of Karlskrona!

We then joined Lucas in the tattoo shop and Zodd soon had a bunch of fans, including a very sweet Am Staff girl named Vegas. Those two hit it off even though Vegas was a bit careful at first. But Zodd, being a true gentleman, lay still and she came over to sniff him while he just wagged his tail.
He is the ladies man!

Zodd at the tattoo shop.
"Why did Vegas leave and why am I still here?"

We also stopped by for a visit at one of Lucas former colleagues. Zodd was curious as we walked around at his workplace, sniffing all kinds of cans and machines and boatparts. Taking in the unfamiliar scents of greasy, oily warehouse took its toil and he fell asleep while we sat down for a cup of tea on the upper floor of the warehouse. He then tagged along to check out a boat that will possibly become his property one day (well, as anyone with a TM knows - if the human in the family buys something it also belongs to the TM).

The day after (on the 12th) Lucas and I left for a long drive to Askersund and a business meeting. It turned out to be a nice day, but I felt a bit sad since I left Zodd at home and that was the very day we picked him up at the airport four years ago.
Oh, I remember that day so clearly... It was love at first sight when I peeked into his transportation cage and met those soft, brown eyes. He grabbed me with his entire being and he's not let go since then ;)
When we returned late that night he was not as overwhelmingly happy as he usually is when we come home, but as it turned out we had caught him doing something he isn't supposed to do - when we went to bed it was full of fur and sand. That night, after trying to brush away the sand (both Lucas and I were exhausted after the long day) we fell asleep in some sort of Tibetan desert, sponsored and brought to us by the Zodd ;)

And then we've spent a few days in Lund, in Lucas apartment, painting and putting up new wallpaper. Again Zodd had to stay at home with my sister since he's now begun his annual fill the world with soft, soft fur campaign. And Lucas and I agreed that a fluffy wall would perhaps not be the best choise for the place ;)
We've spent a lot of hours there, trying to give the place a facelift since it will be going up for sale in the upcoming weeks. Zodd tagged along to visit the place when the real estate agent came by with his photographer and he made a few new fans, once again.

Zodd is a great friend to have, but can be as whiny as a German Shepherd Dog at times... Lucas and I learned this when we brought him with us to an empty house that we helped clean out since the man who lived there passed away and left no relatives behind to care for such things. Zodd didn't like the place. And it did have a funky smell to it. As a matter of fact that whole village had a funky feeling to it...
It was that same creepy and very subtle feeling that came over you when you watched Twin Peaks back in the day. Zodd was on high alert when the two of us took a walk around the block. He was very attentive and scanned every yard and every driveway for potential threats. I felt it too. The air was strangely heavy. It was one of those places where you have to ask yourself how people can live there. The cleaning (it was more of a
pick-up-everything-and-throw-it-out sort of cleaning) took an abrupt end when we found the lost will that the owner of the house had left behind. Turnes out that a lady he was dating two decades ago will get everything. So we locked the door, packed Zodd in the car and then left the spooky village as darkness came crawling in. I'm glad to say we made it out in time ;)

It's been wonderful to have both Zodd and Lucas around for a week and a half. We've been in the forest almost every day, taking long walks and enjoying the low-key signs of spring. There are a few flowers already peaking out from the frozen ground and the birds are singing, loud and clear. And we've even lit our first campfire in the woods, enjoying hotdogs cooked over an open fire, listening to the Tibetan Mastiff keeping lookout.
Zodd is wonderful that way. He's almost always off leash in the woods (when it's appropriate) and whenever we stop, to check out a track made by some unknown animal or to light a fire he simply stops and lay down, making himself comfortable. He never takes off on his own, like you can read about in most descritions of the breed, but then again I've had him off leash since he was a puppy and it's not a big deal to him.
Sure, he's taken off a few times when I've not noticed the roe deer before him, but he is never gone more than one minute or perhaps two. And the last times we've met roe deer and he's been off leash he's just stood there, watching them bouncing away into the thicket.

We've been to our first dogshow of this year but I must say I'm not pleased with the outcome. You can read more about it here.

Zodd, Fu-Hsing Sundari, being as handsome as only a Sundarian can be ;)

"So, this is my best side? I think the judge should look at me from every possible side then he would know that I don't have anything but best sides..."
Such wisdom, coming from Zodd ;)
Perhaps something we all should take to heart when it comes to ourselves?

Next time I'm sure I'll have some photos of Zodd undressing. Yep, now it's time to loose the wintercoat ;)
We'll go to one more show tomorrow and then it's bye bye fur!

Fatty tuesday!

Today is, in lack of a better translation, fatty tuesday here in Sweden. It's tradition to eat what we here in Sweden so lovingly call semlor, or fatty tuesday buns. This day comes once every year, so you'd better gear up with some kickass buns, or else you'll have to go without.
Well, perhaps that's not entirely true since you can get your hands on semlor all year 'round, even if this is the true season for them.
I decided to make a batch to make time fly a bit faster since I am now counting the hours before Lucas return. And of course Zodd joined me. I can add that he kept away from the kitchen until they were done so that he would not get flour on his paws. Clever boy ;)
Zodd gave me the mark excellent, and if he's pleased I am pleased.

"Hm? Whipped cream?"

"Better not leave anything for the cats..."
And yes, he ate it all, not just the whipped cream ;)

Now I'll chew one or two up and stare at the clock for a while... 45 days away from the one you love is a looooooooong time, let me tell you! But now, if all goes well (there have already been some trouble with his flights) I'll see him in less than four hours :)
Please, I need all fingers crossed! Thanks!


7 /3- 2011
The sidekick!

The best part of having a dog by your side is that you always have someone who's up for an adventure.
Even if the rest of the family is in a boring mood Zodd always oblige. He is my constant sidekick.
Yeah, ok, I admit that it's just something I tell people. As a matter of fact I am his sidekick ;)
Everyone who is owned by a TM knows exactly what I'm talking about (notice how I didn't write "owns a TM")!
So, as Zodd's sidekick my job is to arrange fun outings and events, buy the best food, change the water, drive the car and other chores that are either too bothersome for him to do himself or that is simply against the law (like driving the car without a license). One could probably compare me with a secretary to one of those extremely wealthy men who sits on knowledge and power and rules their own empires.
Or as a servant to a king...
Well, I walked right into this position when I went and brought a Tibetan Mastiff into my home (that is now his), but I will not complain because my boss, my king, is a loving one. His heart is big and generous and he is fair to those who deserves it. He is also loyal to his friends and will keep any foe at arms length.
He is kind, wise and clever and manages to surprise me on a daily basis. He makes me smile and laugh out loud and those brown eyes are so full of wit that it's almost scaring at times. He will kick back with me on a meadow and keep an eye on the world while I stare at the clouds, lost in thought. I never have to fear when he is by my side. I am safe. For he is king of his realm, the ruler of his kingdom, and I am forever grateful to be by his side...

The friend, the king, the puppy...

We've been on a few adventures since my last update.
This past saturday (5/3-2011) Veronica, Zodd and I drove to Hörby to visit Jessica Snäcka and her batch of Cimarron Uruguayo again. The puppies have grown a lot and we had a nice day in the wonderful sunshine out on the fields, where I was trying to get that one perfect shot (the one I'm always chasing).
Zodd waited in the car while we tried our best to handle the puppies and the camera but he was welcome to join us a while later (when all the puppies were tucked away, exhausted after the fun and games) when Jessica went and got her Dare.
Dare is a very nice Cimarron female that is just over one year old. She's a topwinning girl, even at this young age. If you're curious about the breed you can visit Jessica's site ---> here!
The plan was for Zodd and Dare to run and play on the field, but since Dare was a bit skeptical when she saw Zodd, the giant, we took it easy. Zodd did his very best to charm the invisible pants off the lady, but she was not impressed. And so we walked with them in their leashes a while before we set them free.
Well, even though Zodd had been the one full of love at first, he had, by then, picked up on Dare's uncertainty and he was the true gentleman. He pretented that all he saw was air, so that she could use that air and approach him without him noticing. Dare, who's used to playing chase games, was surprised and her eyes grew bigger as she watched the giant dog with the curled tail first sit down and then lay down in the middle of the field, staring into the distance.
Why on earth did he act like that? Was he broken?
She went over for a quick sniff and Zodd wagged his tail, but that was it. So when Dare sat off over the field, mud flying in her tracks, she went alone. Zodd kept staring into the distance.
It was all very strange for Dare. She had no idea how to handle Zodd and soon she did as he had done almost from the start - she went over to him and sat down in front of him. Trying to communicate in that weird language he obviously was determined to use.
It was very interesting to watch them both. Dare, the energetic herder, eager to run and to be chased and Zodd, the reposing guardian, stepping away from the role as playmate and sinking into the very essence of himself.
I'm not sure if it was the huge difference in temperament and character that "clashed", but it was obvious that these two were odd playmates. But it was a good experiance for them both, I'm sure of that!

"Are you broken, Mr Giant?"

Herding the Tibetan Mastiff ;)

Zodd: "So, you're Dare?"
Dare: "Mm, and you are Mr Giant?"
Zodd: "Hehe, close little girl. I am Zodd."

Dare and Zodd are posing perfectly for the camera!

Yesterday we had a visit that made Zodd go bananas!
Bulten and Manson, the two Dogue de Bordeauxs, came by with their owners Veronica and Totte.
Haha, the boys were all so happy and Zodd was the most joyful one! I think it was because it's been a while since their last visit here (we usually go visit them).
He didn't quite know where to put himself and so he spread himself wide, dancing and flying all over the place ;)
We took a walk down to the Baltic sea and enjoyed the spring weather and sunshine. It was a wonderful day and the dogs had so much fun, playing in the sand and taking a few winter baths as well.
Zodd didn't resemble the one he was when he and Dare was on that field the day before. Now he was in the company of MOLOSSERS and if there is one thing MOLOSSERS know how to do it's how to play with their own kind ;)

Bulten is securing supper! There are plenty of lips to go around ;)

Bulten and Zodd, dancing on the beach!

Tibetan Mastiff, straight out of the Baltic sea!

Tomorrow night I will stuff Zodd into the car and leave for the trainstation to pick up Lucas.
He's been away on a job for 45 days and it's about time we get him back again ;) Only one day left now...

Zodd in the same mood I will be tomorrow, when we pick up Lucas ;)