Roadtrip essentials.

The best time of year is the time you go on a vacation or a road trip with your dog. I never thought about how much you need to pack just for your dog. I mean Jari has the biggest suitcase of all of us. Here are some advice and a checklist that I personally use. I bet there are things that I forget but this checklist is a good start.

Passport

In my opinion the most important document is the passport. We live in a very small country in Europe and it happens that we visit several countries in a short time. You always need to have your dogs passport with you to be sure that you won’t waste any time with bureaucracy. As I said, we live in Europe, but every european country has different requirements that you and your dog must fulfill to enter a country. Did the dog receive all the vaccines and so on. I always do a little research on the internet do look what requirements need to be held onto.

Breed related bans, Leash & Muzzle

In Europe, lots of countries do have breed related bans, mostly Pitbull Terrier, Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire, etc. Always check if your dog is listed on such a ban list. Besides there are also different laws about being “off-leash” or muzzles. In Germany for example every federal state can have different laws. Always check if your dog needs to wear a muzzle and if it is allowed to let your dog off leash. In some countries you see panels in the woods where the warn you that your dog can be shot if he takes off to hunt wildlife. Are there any laws for taking your dog to the beach? Always check it before you are on vacation and so you don’t get frustrated because you can’t do the things you planned with your dog.

Muzzle training is so important. I bought Jari a muzzle when I knew that I’m going to visit the south of Germany and Austria. Dogs need to wear muzzles on public transportation or on some mountain railways. Most of the time you don’t need to put the muzzle on but if you are asked to do so you avoid stress. The most fun thing is that people are shocked when you tell them that your dog is muzzle trained. They believe that your dog will attack them as soon as he can. Sure, some dogs need to wear muzzles because of aggression but there are so many other reasons to wear a muzzle. If your dog is in lot of pain and needs to see a vet he may won’t let the vet touch his body – in this case a muzzle is needed.

What do I need to take with me

My personal packing list is listed below:

I’m sure that my Checklist isn’t perfect. Maybe you see some things that you always take with you on vacation that aren’t listed. Please leave a comment so I can update the list.

Hello Doc!

Hopefully you won’t need this advice but I always check where to find a vet near our vacation destination. I don’t want to be more stressed if something happens and I don’t know where to find the nearest vet.

So that’s it for my recommendations. Do you have anything that comes to your mind to add in this list?

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Collar Club Box

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Few months ago I researched to get a suprise box for Jari. Most boxes I know are from the US and were no option for us as we live in Europe. After some research I found the Collar Club Supscription Box. I subscribed to Collar Club Box to receive a monthly suprise box for Jari because I really loved their approach. Here’s what the Company says “Subscription box for dogs, full of natural treats & safe, eco-friendly toys”

I needed to test that. What I liked most is that you can cancel your subscription any time. If you don’t like it or your dog isn’t into it you can cancel your subscription. Cancel it at least 5 working days advance of your next billing date to ensure you are not charged for the following month. But we already received 3 boxes now (i think) and Jari loves them so much. Jo, the owner from Collar Club is so sweet. She answers every question you have and she really is so happy to receive feedback on her boxes.

What is Collar Club?

Collar Club is a monthly subscription box for your dog; containing only natural treats and sustainable toys. Every collar club box will contain:

  • One carefully selected toy, tested to the highest standards and usually with some eco features to boo
  • A selection of 100% natural treats, usually one meat & one fish based.
  • One tasty natural chew or chewy toy.

In addition every month there will some surprise items! These will include amazing grooming products, doggy accessories and recipe cards to make your own natural treats.

Subscription

You can choose between 3 boxes – Monthy, Bi-monthly and quaterly. But most important you can tell them if your dog has allergies and so on. You chose the size of your dog, your dogs name, if they have allergies.

What I love is that a percentage of the profit from each Collar Club subscription sale goes towards their Collars for Shelters project which provides Collars and bandanas to dogs in need.

April – Happy Easter Box

To show you what a box looks like I took some pictures of it. Jari was so happy that he directly took the toy out of it and played around. He’s always so happy when the box arrives that it’s really hard to get some pictures done.

In this months box we had so yummy things.

  • Harleybearcocobites
  • Raw Dry Irish Beef Jerky
  • Nandi of Africa Freeze dried lamb treats
  • Jr pet Products – Rabbit ears
  • Lee Lee’s Doggy Kitchen – Easter egg biscuits
  • The golden Paste Company – TurmerEase Snacks

And of course a super soft plush toy filled with 100% natural wool.

Jari did try some of the delicious treats and he really was so happy to try them.

Jari is always so cautious when he gets new snacks. At first he looks at them, sniffs, tries to take a bit, sniffs again. Sometimes people think he doesn’t like them but in reality he really just takes his time.

He’s a real gourmet.

If you’re interested in trying out these amazing boxes just head over to: https://www.collarclub.co.uk or follow them on Instagram http://www.instagram.com/collarclubsub

You can use our code “JARI30” to get 30% off your first order.

Sit, Stay, *click*

Who doesn’t know the feeling of being overwhelmed by all these perfectly taken shots of dog pictures on Instagram? The dogs strike the perfect pose, show their puppy eyes or are just 100% in focus. And then there are my pictures with a dog full of mud who refuses to look at the camera. Jari thinks that he always looks majestic and he hasn’t really the will to please for pictures or commands in general. He’s a stubborn little fella and I have to say I love him for this, even if I get annoyed sometime when he doesn’t want to take any commands.

Jari wearing his “Northwoofs” collar and his beautiful bandana from “Lieblingspfote”

Your instagram feed shouldn’t be a burden but you need to have fun! Don’t get sad if your picture doesn’t get many likes. I know the struggle. When my account was smaller (I’m no big account with a little over 2000 followers) I realized that I had much more interactions with followers and people in general. Now, I’m happy when I receive more than 150 likes and some comments. I always see those big accounts with hundreds and thousands of likes and comments. I would lie if I tell you that i don’t care about likes but I always need to refocus. Is my life better just because I receive some likes? But anyway, that’s not what I wanted to talk about.

In my opinion taking pictures of your dog is a great training. Your dog learns to sit, stand or lie down and be still. Even in places with lots of scents, people or distractions in general the dog has to be concentrated. Your dog has to learn to be patient because they have to wait until you take the picture. I’m mostly all by myself when I take pictures of Jari. It’s always easier if you have a person that assists you but it’s also fun being all alone and figuring out how you could take a certain picture

The most important thing for me is to keep the photoshoot fun for Jari. If I feel that he’s not in the mood for posing I don’t stress him. I just take some “normal” pictures on our adventure or even no pictures at all.

I would love to share some advice that helped me taking better pictures.

Focus on the eyes

The first thing a person sees on the picture are normally the eyes. If they’re blurry the picture loses his magic (Unless you want this blurry look and took a #boopmynose picture, or if you want to show your dog’s favorite play or treat). My biggest problem is to get the focus on the eyes and I know I have to work on it. It’s a work in progress and no one takes perfect pictures. So don’t get sad if it doesn’t work instantly but try to get better over time. Keep it fun and share all the pictures you love.

Try out different angles

Another good advice that I want to share with you is : Try out different angles. Take the same picture from different angles – One where you stand, one where you are on eye level with your dog and one where you’re lower than the dog. You’ll see that the pictures are so different. I can’t tell you to be always on eye level with your dog but mostly I like those pictures the most. The pictures taken from above look mostly like snapshots but you still can take beautiful picture from above. This is also a very good workout! Your abs will burn if you lie on the ground trying to get the best angle. 🙂

Take lots of pictures

Dogs love to move and they don’t always run or look in the direction you want them to run. I set my camera on “continuous shot” to have a higher chance of a good picture. Sometimes dogs close their eyes, see something and tilt their head. If you take multiple pictures you may have captured a sweet moment that you didn’t even see.

Multitasking

As a single parent dog mom, I need to multitask a lot. Jari is very adventurous and for this reason he always has a long leash on when we go on adventures. He loves to run around and run after wildlife. As long as his recall isn’t reliable he needs to stay on leash, sorry my love. But the long leash helps me to relax when I take pictures. I know that even if something happens behind my back, Jari will not take off. Safety first! I edit the leash out of my pictures. As our photoshoots are not planned most of the time I don’t always have my mom or a friend by my side to look after Jari. I just hold the end of the long leash (+/- 7m – i think it’s 22 feet). I always look that the leash is not tangled around his feet and that you don’t see it easily on the image. I look to find the perfect angle – get down on the ground – and take multiple pictures. After the first pictures, I review them and look if the lightning, shutter and aperture are fine. I really don’t take perfect pictures but I try to take “honest” pictures. Jari isn’t the born model and won’t stay still for a long time. I want to mirror his character and his adventure mood. I teach him different tricks but it’s a lot of work because mostly he feels secure at home and does the tricks but outdoors he gets easily distracted.

Have fun!

The most important advice. Have fun. Play around. Enjoy yourself. Don’t stress out because of taking pictures. Just have fun, play with your dog, enjoy your day together and document your life. Every picture will be a memory that you can hold on to.

I hope some of these advice help you and I would love to get some advice from you! Feel free to comment and now get out and have some fun with your camera.

Finnish Lapphund?

Is that a polar fox? Mostly I get puzzled looks when I respond to people what breed Jari is. And really, I heard everything. People told me they had a golden Retriever looking exactly the same (I mean, come on!), they even thought he was a husky, partly fox, wolfdog, Samoyed and many more.

But enough of that, how did I end up with a finnish Lapphund?

I wanted a dog as long as I can remember, but I had to wait for 27 years until I got one. My parents wouldn’t allow me to get a dog when I was in school. They told my brother and me that they loved dogs but we couldn’t get one because both my parents worked full time and my brother and I went to school. They said it wouldn’t be fair to get a dog if he has to be alone all day. I totally get why they didn’t let me get a dog when I was younger but it was hard and back then I wouldn’t understand it.

When I had the possibility to get a dog I didn’t need to think long about it, but what kind of dog should I get? A rescue dog or a dog from a reputable breeder? As a future first time dog mom I took the decision to get a dog from a reputable breeder. Always make adoption an option but if you want to get a dog from a breeder, that’s fine too. I don’t like that nowadays people are shaming each other for getting a mutt or getting a purebred. Do some research and think about your decision because a dog is a commitment!

After many hours of research on the Internet I asked myself what kind of dog I want. At first I had a Husky or an Australian Shepherd in mind but I wasn’t convinced that my lifestyle would fit these breeds. I always loved northern breeds and so I spent many hours on the internet researching all kinds of dogbreeds. I wrote down everything I looked for in a dog. Medium sized, long fur, gentle, adventurous, kind…

Then I started to look through almost every dog breed I could find. I wrote down the dogs that interested me and then did some research on their characters and common diseases in that breed. I also researched possible breeders.

After a very long time I found the perfect breed for me: The finnish Lapphund. But where can I meet a finnish Lapphund? This breed isn’t well known where I’m from and I wanted to meet one in real life. On the paper the breed looked perfect to fit my lifestyle but I wanted to meet one in real life to be 100% sure. I contacted a breeder and asked him some general questions, told him about my lifestyle, asked him if he thinks a finnish Lapphund would suit my lifestyle and if I could visit his kennel. I had to drive 600km (370 miles) to meet this breed. I met all of the dogs and some puppies that were born 5 weeks earlier. I fell so in love and I instantly knew – I need a finnish Lapphund.

I was added to a waiting list and on November 15th 2017 Jari was born. On December 23rd I met him for the first time and on January 15th he came home.

So this was the story how I ended up with this sweet fluffy cloud. He’s the sweetest boy I know and I enjoy every day with him. Do you have a dog? A rescue dog or a purebred? How did you chose your dog? I would love to read your stories.