We are happy to announce that we have not only finished our first race ever successfully, we have also finished 3rd out of 15 in the 4-dog class mid-distance! I am very proud of us, the dogs, our training, everything.
We took about 2 hours for each of the two heats of 26km. The trail has been perfectly prepared, snow was excellent and we really have appreciated this first race experience.
The trail was rather hilly which we appreciated a lot. We aren't used to very flat trails and we were lucky the flat part was in the begining of the trail.
2 heats of 26km each with 560m of altitude (click on the plan to enlarge it)
Jaakko was born in Finland and brought to France by Valérie du Rétail when he was a yearling. He has been a major stud dog of her kennel Léva Nève in the french pre Alps (Vassieux en Vercors). He was notably father of Tolkien Léva Nève who is leader of Sarah Audetat's team and ran several times the Grande Odyssee.
Jaakko is Daika's father and has rejoined us when he was 10 years old. He was living with a profesionnal tourist musher and handled very badly his retirement (he didn't want to stay at home with the other retirees). We took him and he stayed with us his remaining 3 years. I will never be able to thank him enough for these years with him. Thanks to him I got to know a truely exceptionnal dog who taught me so much about what a dog can be capable of. He had an exceptionnal intelligence as well as charisma and a construction perfect for any sleddog discipline. Our breeding strives to preserve and reproduce his legacy.Ever since I have known Jaakko I dream of living with dogs like him. But contrary to him, to also grow up with us.
Date of birth: 04/10/1998
Date of death: 13/06/2012 at the age of 13 years
Heigth: 61 cm
Weight: 27 kg
Suitable for breeding
Position in the pack: the boss. He has been the boss of the Léva Nève pack (30 dogs) as well as our little pack. He only very rarely needed to show his power. He had charisma and good humour and everybody respected him. But on the rare occasions where he felt that it was necessary he could unleash hell in one second. He was a dog better not to pick a fight with.
Position in the team: wheel. Being powerful and big he has been wheel dog for most of his life. Valérie also had the philosophy that the same dog shouldn't be leader of the pack and leader of the dog team. Jaakko being leader of the pack she thought that he was under enough pressure already in his everyday life and it wasn't necessary to add to this the pressure of being leader at work. Thanks to his very good construction Jaakko was capable to continue run with the team until he was 12 years old. He had such a big stride when trotting at up to 18 km/h that he could easily keep up with the rest of team who was already loping.
- His presence. Jaakko had a very strong, soothing presence that was very impressive. Even people knowing nothing of dogs noticed it. At the same time he never put himself forward and was very reserved.
- His gait. When trotting he seemed to float without touching the ground.
- His intelligence. Jaakko understood absolutely everything I said even though he has not grown up with us like Daika for example. He learned very quickly just by observation. Just by observing and thinking, and all this when he was already 10 years old!
Jaakko 8 years old
- Having grown up in a world very different of ours Jaakko always stayed a little distant with us, even if he appreciated contact a lot. Especially scratching his cheeks!
The wise one, the grey wolf, thank you for everything Jaakko!
Berny was a giant yorkshire terrier of 8.5kg. My first dog of unknown origin who came to us when he was 4 years old. He has grown up and lived in Austria before rejoining me in France when he was 10 years old. After 6 months of my Erasmus stay I was finally able to keep him with me and my husband had to learn the austrian commands rapidly...
He has left us a big emptiness when he left and has been burried in our garden.
Surname: Burbi, Börbl, Börbsl, Börsch, ...
Date of birth: 20/05/1996
Date of death: 29/06/2011 at the age of 15 years
Height: 35 cm
Weight: 8.5 kg
Not castrated, never bred
Position in the pack: The pest and Iris' mascot. Berny didn't like other dogs and he never mixed up with the husky pack. I liked the females in heat of course but he ignored the huskies the rest of the time. He had a particular, very strong dislike for Jaakko and did everything to make his life miserable. Jaakko, boss of the huskies, was very respectful of Berny and quickly treated him with the same indifference as Isis the cat. I let him correct Berny two times in the very begining but Berny just didn't get it and so we just let him be.
- A true warrior. When Berny decides on something there is no turning back. It made him the perfect companion for walks, hiking and even bike.
- Very attached to us and very affectionate. My husband sais that Berny was always close to me, et was almost frustrating for him. Very intelligent he loved learning new tricks.
- Very strong hunting drive with an impressing number of victims unter his belt, in spite of all our precautions
- Very gardian he loved to catch the legs of people he didn't like.
- Not very social. Not very well socialised he badly communicated with other dogs and took everything for a provocation. His stubbornness gave me despair for quite some years
In the begining I unleashed him naively thinking that a dog walk just happens that way, just like in the movies. Of course this didn't work out at all with Berny: he sped off alone one hour to walk alone. This is how we started out our odyssee through multiple dog schools with multiple approaches to dog training. Our first one was a dog school specialised on german shepherds and protection dog training (Berny was the only non-GSD, it was ridiculous!) and working very old school. I had the feeling that this method didn't work at all and Berny completely refused any cooperation. The two of us were less and less motivated by the lessons. So we changed to another club to start agility and on internet I got to know clicker training. We progressed a lot with clicker training because Berny simply loved it (he was very creative). We had finally found a common passion. With all of his primary passions, hunting et fighting, I had no choice but to stand in his way.
When he was 8 years old he was finally well educated even if my husband thinks I have gone way too far (circus dog!!). But it was necessary because of his past. I have never been able to walk Berny without leash without causing death. He has killed several chicken, two ducks (one of them caught in mid-air when it was flying low) and to top it off: a deer. Berny has managed to strangle a young deer to death during the 5 minutes it took me to rejoin him in the middle of dense undergrowth.
Berny came with me everywhere. I went everywhere on foot and Berny went with me. He came with us on vacation in France and in Norway, at the sea and in the snow. I even built him his own little X-back harness to make him pull a little.
Berny was a real warrior. And I was glad he was so because he was only 10 years old when he started to have severe problems with arthritis. When he was 12 his knees got problems and he had a pain in his shoulders that made him walk like a bulldog, ellbows out. From 13 years onwards his hind quarters weakened with a very slowly progressing paralysis.
This dog has faught all his life and has given us everything until the very end.
Surname: Juli (say "Yoolie")
Date of birth : 05/07/2014
Height: we will see
Weight: we will see
Health: we will see
Position in the pack: we will see. Playful and easy he goes along well with everybody. He is very attached to us without being overly sensitive. He is very easy to live with and to take out to walks. This dog has chosen me and loves me, what more can you ask for!
Position in the team: we will see.
Strengths: we will see but we already see a little
- Affectionate and playful this dog loves me
- Open minded and curious he is easy to take on walks and relishes life
Weaknesses: we will see but we already see a little
- Very talkative but managable Loves to eat our socks!
Fritz has rejoined us in summer 2013 when he was 3 years old. He has grown and lived in a long distance kennel and has run 2 seasons (3500km each) there with his breeder Catherine Fontaine-Mathis. We didn't plan on taking him but he got us with his caracter. Further his pedigree, his construction and his working experience made him an ideal partner for a possible litter with Daika. After Jaakko has left us I had like a giant hole in my heart. And Fritz, his grandson, gave me back a little bit of Jaakko in the form of a much younger dog. I have the same bond with him, I am so happy. Thank you Cathrine for having let him go to us!
Surname: Fritzi. Fritz got his new name when he came to us. After one week of trying to call him Chico I gave up and changed his name. Why Fritz? Because I am austrian and have always loved this name!
Date of birth: 22/06/2010
Health: HD C ; eyes OK
Position in the pack: He is the one who has the last word with the other boys. He loves to play with any dog, male or female, outgoing or frightened. He makes everybody fell at ease and have fun together. Always in good humour he is a very relaxed dog. He goes along very well with Daika and also plays often with Roots. Ebi is giving him the cold shoulder and Ewok doesn't understand how another male might want to play with him without caring for who lifts his leg where and who goes where.
Would like to eat Isis the cat but has understood now that I don't want him to do it.
Position in the team: any position. Loads of will to go and very forward oriented in any position. He does a good job in lead where sets a good pace. I like to put him with Ebi: Fritz for the power and Ebi for the brain. I'm sure that next year he will also learn the directions. In his first life he has run two seasons in a long distance team with a stay in Sweden all winter.
- His caracter. Cool and relaxed, affectionate and full of energy. I love this dog! Our dog team cruise missile. Thank you Catherine for having taught him the job so well!
- Thinks he is a kangaroo and jumps up and down like a rubber ball when he is excited.
- I very interested in Isis, I prefer to keep an eye on him. Can not (yet?) be unleashed. If ever I get there it will be lots, lots of work.
His mother, Ultra Léva-Nève (Shamane LN x Polar Speed Jaakko)
His father, T'Georges du Fur Rendez-Vous (Rolling Stone Léva-Nève x Pepite du Fur RDV)