Dogs have been an important part of my everyday life ever since the 1960s – for that reason, one can easily draw the conclusion that I am a well over middle-aged, passionate friend of dogs. My grandparents had a few Lassie-like shepherd dogs and later a Welsh Corgi. We always had dogs at home, everything from Karelian Bear Dogs to Pinschers. We got our first Saluki in the autumn of 1980 and started breeding them in 1984. So far, we’ve had altogether 27 litters. I’ve also bred one Pinscher litter in the summer of 1979.
The Saluki has always been The Breed for me in all respects – even though I sometimes feel that my hands are completely full during our walks when we meet dogs or people we know, not to mention cats and bunnies! The intelligence and ease of the Saluki make everyday life together comfortable. On the other hand, their independence and stubbornness make my blood pressure go up from time to time. Nowadays, my work in the Customs, judging appointments and hobbies fill my calendar years ahead and take up a great part of my time. Consequently, I don’t breed as much for now – I like however to follow up on the development of the breed and litters both in Finland and abroad.
I felt that studying to become a dog show judge was a natural way for me to pursue my interest in dogs; ever since I got involved with dogs, I’d been active in different clubs as a secretary, member of show committees, as a ring steward and as chair of the Finnish Saluki Club from 1995 to 2003. Today, I'm in charge of training new judges into the secrets of the breed. Studying and judging different breeds is continuous learning and that’s why it’s interesting – I also feel that it gives one new points of view for understanding and judging one's own breed. The first time I judged Salukis was at an unofficial show in Sweden in 1997. This gave me the idea of applying to a judge’s course. I was authorized to judge Salukis in the summer of 1999. Today I’m authorized for many different breeds in all groups. Judging appointments have taken me and my family to several different countries, but it's always wonderful to get an invitation to Winner Shows in Helsinki. The shows are always so well organized and for me, it’s like going home! See you in December!