Secret Friend.

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Even though I’m from Finland, I do not, and I mean I REALLY DO NOT like cold!

And it has indeed gotten very cold, and when it’s not that cold, it’s rainy and windy. Oh and it’s dark from like around 6 pm until 8.30 am. And the dark lasts longer every day.

Since I dislike the cold and the darkness, I do not leave the house much on my spare time, except to walk my dog. So I’ve had to come up with things to keep myself occupied while I stay inside. I’ve of course watched a lot of my favorite shows, read books, cooked and baked lots of yummy stuff and surfed the amazing world of the internet, but also started a new hobby. When I was younger I used to have a couple of pen pals. I really missed having sort of a secret friend that’s mine and mine only. And the feeling when you come home, you see a large pile of mail and instead of just bills and clothing catalogs, there’s also a letter from that friend… So much fun! So I decided to post an add for pen pals on internet. And guess what, so far I have 3. From my homeland of Finland, Turkey and Holland. AMAZING!

Sooo, I’ve spent some of my time writing super long letters. Not only is it fun to send and receive letters, but it’s like having your own private therapy session every time you sit down and start writing. Also, you get to develop a friendship in this social media era, that goes so much beyond whatsapping, tweeting, liking your friends posts on facebook, instagramming and hanging around with your friends and their smartphones. You really have to empty your mind of everything else and focus on the letter you got from someone who put their time, thought and energy to write to you. And you get to invest the same amount of your time, thought and energy into replying.

It’s much like writing a blog. Except it’s quite not, because you¬†get lengthy well thought-out comments for every bit of information you give to your pen pal. ūüôā

Do you people have any hobbies?

Ciao,

Hanna

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My little prince, Ismo (and my other best friends forever)!

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I told you I would dedicate my next post to my dog, Ismo. So I will.

Since I absolutely love animals in general, I will also tell you about other pets I’ve had/loved in my lifetime. Sometimes I even seem to develop stronger bonds with animals than people, so needless to say, I’ve loved quite a few animals in my life; dogs, cats, horses and a couple of tortoises. I will not tell about all of them simply because there have been so many and it would take me such a long time, but I will tell about the ones I either owned or otherwise had a deep impact on me. The rest of them will live on in mine and other people’s memories. ūüôā

Bella – My first memory of loving a dog was my grandparent’s (mom’s parents) German Shepherd, Bella. She was the most gentle being, got a long with the many cats they had back then, and I as a toddler was able to take her to walks and hold the leash (under my parents watch of course). I don’t remember much of her, except for her kindness and loyalty and me as a kid loving her to bits. I was 5 or 6 when she passed away and I remember the moment when my grandmother called and told us about her passing and I was so so sad.

Donna – I always wanted a dog of our own. Our dad always promised we could have one, even though he was very mildly allergic to dogs, but the years went by and we never did. One day though, when I was about 9, our parents¬†promised we could go to a pet store and¬†look at a tortoise because he had heard there was one for sale and I fell in love with her. Well, first we thought it was a boy, but no, it was a girl and we named her Donna. Donna was a tortoise that had been given from an owner to another and she had been given the wrong kinds of foods and she was just very sick and had a deformed shell. Because of that, the vet only gave her some months to live my mom mostly handfed her for¬†the longest time and we hoped she would make it. And she did, for 7 long years. One day we can home from wherever we had been and I discovered her lying with her little head hanging out of her shell and her eyes closed and looking lifeless next to a big pile of lettuce. It was the saddest thing I had ever seen and it broke my heart right then and there. I remember asking my mom with my voice shaking whether Donna was dead. After an evening of trying to revive her and talking to a vet, we realized she really was gone and I couldn’t handle it. I decided to walk to my best friends house (cause I just couldn’t stay home with poor Donna being there) and she met me halfway. I cried the whole evening and my friend just listened. Donna was later buried at my friend’s backyard because at that time we lived in and apartment and didn’t have our own backyard. She still rests there next to my friend’s hamsters and turtles. It makes me cry right now, even after over 10 years, thinking about how she could still be alive if it hadn’t been to her previous owners maltreating her.

Rex and Nasse¬†– My parents separated when I was 10¬†and it wasn’t an easy separation. All of the kids, including me, lived with my mom adn so did our tortoise, Donna. My mom had her hands full and I never thought we’d get a dog. Rex came to us after my dad had without asking the permission from our mom bought a tiny German Shepherd puppy to my brother on their trip to Lapland to visit our grandparents (dad’s parents). My mom first thought nothing of it, because she thought the dog would live at my dad’s house, but instead he came to live with us. My mom wasn’t thrilled about it at first but she grow to love the dog. We named him Rex after “Kommissar Rex”, an Austrian show about a police dog that helped his owner solve crimes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inspector_Rex). Rex lived to be 13 years old and he was such a good dog and he will always have a place in my heart. And so will Nasse. Nasse was originally my stepdad’s dog and when both¬†of them came to our lives Nasse, a long haired German Shepherd, was about 4 years old and I was 11. The two dogs became an inseparable team. They were such lovable, loyal, sweet, strong beautiful dogs. Nasse, being the oldest was the first to pass away at the age of 14 and Rex lived on, missing his friend, for about 3 years.¬†Words can’t describe how much I will always love them and miss them. They had their own personalities and little quirks that¬†I will remember forever.

Ismo ¬†My hairy baby, my sunshine, my best friend through good and bad times, my own little ewok. This is how he came to my life: After I had graduated upper secondary school (or high school) I moved out of my mom and stepdad’s house and in together with my then boyfriend of 1,5 years. Already before¬†we moved in together he knew someday I wanted a dog of my own (because obviously Rex and Nasse, still going strong back then, were to stay with my parents). Having lived with in a household with 2 dogs and a tortoise, I felt like I could never again be without a pet for a long time. My (ex-)boyfriend at the time wasn’t ready to commit to a pet yet even though he had had a dog as a child and he did love animals. I had to just accept it, but I kept telling him “someday”. So a year went by and I still really wanted a dog. I kept doing research on different breeds that would suit us, good breeders etc. And still my boyfriend was like “no, no and no”. I started to recent him for it a little bit, because I had always supported him in everything he wanted to do, big or small, and all I wanted was a dog and he just denied it from me time and again. He couldn’t even promise me that in 5 years I could get one. It was just “NO”! So one day after being together for almost 3 years and living together for almost half of the time and the relationship going up and down anyway, I decided I was going to get a dog whether he wants it or not and if he can’t support it, he isn’t the right person for me. That is how much I wanted a dog. One weekend I went to visit my parents. On that weekend in the summer of 2008, I was searching different breeders again and I happened to look at this one breeder’s website, that I had visited several times before, and noticed she had 2 puppies still needing a home. Both boys like I wanted, both the color and coat type I wanted and both obviously the breed I adored. I went to meet them and I FELL IN LOVE with one of them. The smallest of the litter, and he was already named Ismo. I knew this little creature, a Black & Tan Brussels Griffon, was going to be mine forever. The next day I went and bought him. I was so hapy, I felt complete and so in love. I called my boyfriend to let him know and all he said was that I shouldn’t come home anymore. He was so mad and I was heartbroken but also kinda OK with it, because I realized I couldn’t be with someone who was willing to stand between me and my happiness. After a while he calmed down though and wanted me and Ismo to come home and he also grew to love Ismo. Our relationship ended 6 months later because of something else, and at that moment I knew I had made the right decision in buying Ismo. Ismo has been with me for 6 years now, through the break up, moving to a new city, starting a new relationship, beginning my studies and graduating, my current boyfriend and I living our lives, sickness and in health, ups and downs, he’s always my light even in the darkest days. I can’t imagine what these last 6 years would’ve been like if I didn’t have him.

I realize I sound like one of those crazy people who treat their pets like babies, let them eat from their plate, sleep in their bed, carry them in a bag everywhere and dress them i tutu’s. I swear I’m not, haha! My pets are my pets, I do not treats them as human babies, even if I call them my babies. But I have to say, that some times pets can be so much more loyal than human beings and I do love the animals in my life as much as I love the humans, just in a different way. ūüôā

Ismo has had his fair (and some unfair) share of ups and downs too. Only one of his testicles dropped, so the other one had to be removed by surgery and even more tragic, he lost his other eye in a fight with another dog. A dog my (current) boyfirend and I got together. He is a Brazilian Terrier called Tony. He’s a sweet, energetic and cute dog, but he just couldn’t get along with Ismo and started attacking him all the time. Before I was able to make the decision about what to do with them, one fateful day Tony attacked Ismo again and bit his face and injured Ismo’s eye. Unfortunately, despite mine and the vet’s best efforts, Ismo’s eye could not been saved. It was removed by surgery. It was a sad time i my life and I felt like such a failure as his owner. And of course I had to make the decision right then and there about what to do with Tony. I didn’t want to¬†euthanize him, because he is so friendly to all people, and gets along with most other dogs, and I was never going to just give him to some stranger so I wouldn’t know where he’d be or how he’s treated. Luckily my parents decided they wanted to take Tony, so now he lives happily with them on a¬†farm with lots of horses, a cat, Siru, and a tortoise, Kille. We get to see Tony as much as we want, so in the end everybody is happy, and what is more important, safe.

Yes, my Ismo is a one-eyed, one-balled dog. DON’T LAUGH YOU GUYS! Some people say he looks a bit pitiful, but most think he is such a cool dog. He’s easy going, friendly, silly and simply the cutest thing ever.

Here’s a link to Musical Tails’ song about Brussels Griffons on youtube:¬†https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mx8U3WyOXa0

This song represents Griffons so well! ūüôā

Here’s some pictures of my lovelies. I haven’t got very many photos of Nasse and Rex especially on my computer, so they are not of some of these are not very high quality. But I hope you enjoy. ūüôā

nassukka Nasse and I kissing

nassukka2  Nasse taking a nap

vauvaismo Baby Ismo

kiss Little Ismo getting kisses

IsmojaRex Ismo and Rex, buddies

friendsforever BFF

together Friends are forevertony Tony the handsome

Ismosilmä  Ismo after surgery

Ismoparempi  Healing

tonyjahukka¬† Tony and my mom’s dog Hukka, friends till the end

ismoranta Ismo enjoying his Kingdom

mamiiloveyou¬†“I love you”

Take care everyone,

Hanna