Hi, my name is Joiz and I’m part of the pack (besides Camilla and Peter) that went to Sweden for a couple of weeks. In the beginning I wasn’t so excited about the idea of going to Scandinavia for 2 reasons: 1) its a long drive and 2) I’m more the mediterranean type (which means I like it warm and dry and prefer taking a nap under olive trees).
Anyway, I wasn’t asked and the pack just dragged me along. The drive was better than I thought and within 2 days we arrived in Tingsryd in southern Sweden. Now Sweden is kind of an interesting place. A lot of people have dogs but they are not allowed to bring them into the restaurant. How strange is that? We share the same room (and some of my friends even share the same couch with their pack) but they don’t allow us inside? How are we supposed to beg for food if we have to stay outside?
Another thing I didn’t quite understand was the fact that I had to be kept on a leash at all times. ALL TIMES!! Do you get it? For a curious dog like me that has “exploration” written in all of its genes this was tough. There are so many different smells out here : deer, elk, other dogs, more deer, rabbits, some more elk, and some other stuff I don’t even want to mention here. Whenever I wanted to find out more about where these smells came from or went to, I found myself limited by an 8m leash.
When we arrived in Tingsryd the weather was quite good but that changed over the night. The next day was f&cking cold and wet. Did they want to turn me into a Husky or what? After I put on my “why-do-you-this-to-me” face, they (at least) covered me with a blanket.
Once the weather got better again I was stuck in a bright yellow life-vest and “asked” to join them for a canoe ride. Let me tell you – this thing is more shaky than the stock market. But I’m a brave dog and didn’t show any fear. I actually started to like it after some time which might have been due to the fact that I was kept happy with treats.
After Tingsryd we had a real nice stay in Gotland (great beaches, lots of rabbits and some cute local babes). I even helped to catch “Ike” a little runaway Border terrier that had decided to have a night out without communicating this to his pack first. His top dog was drained when Peter and Camilla met him in the morning and told them about his missing pack member.
Luckily Camilla spotted the little renegade in the afternoon and we returned the tired fellow to his pack. Even though I had helped, they got the reward (a bottle of Champagne) and didn’t share it with me.
After a stopover in Stockholm (hot, lots of cars, nice swedish babes, too much walking around) we drove another 8 hours north. Man, I tell you, it is deserted up here. For me it was nice as I could roam freely on the beach and something they called “Strandpromenad” – a nice path along the lake that was also frequented by rabbits as I could smell.
For my taste it was too cold. I love it warm and sunny but I guess I mentioned that before. Here in Särna it felt more like a summer training camp for huskies. At least we stayed in a log cabin for 3 nights and as a full member of the pack I was allowed in as well. Missed the fireplace but it was nice anyway.
On the campground I was able to make friends with Boromir, a young clumpsy black dog with good character but no control over his body. Funny enough he carried the same name as Peter’s mail server (… he has this thing about naming his servers after the characters in *The Lord of the Rings”).
What I really enjoyed was our hike in the Fulufjällets National Park and the waterfall. We hiked for 12 Kms on small paths and up the mountains. Finally we were going uphill which allowed me to have a top view on things. This made we feel great. At the end I was rewarded with a vegi-stick while my pack treated itself with strawberry cheesecake. Reminds me to have a word with them on equal treatment.
Nevertheless I was more than happy when my pack decided to go south again.
In Tiveden, about 530 Kms south of Särna; I again was put in a canoe. I don’t understand what they like about sitting in a shaky banana shaped aluminum can steering through heavy rainfall. When we’re back in Switzerland I really recommend that my pack will see a psychiatrist about this.
Now we’re heading back home again. I will miss Sweden for the smells and the beaches and most likely think about it when I’m sleeping under the table in a swiss restaurant.
Cheers , Joiz