All about the trip from the country where today can be yesterday
Russia is large country and I know there is not many beardies in this land. I have received the first e-mail from Russia sometime in november last year with the asking for Luca´s pedigree (MultiCh.Firstprizebears Lukachukai) and some pictures of him. When I got back also the pictures of the beardie girl who is interested in him I was quiet surprised to see very lovely bitch. Her name is Ch.Snow Stail Elegance at home called „Bonnie“ and she is bred in Russia by MultiCh.Firstprizebears Eminence and Ch.Double Scotch Blue Film Star.
Unfortunatelly the comunication with her owner Nadja was a bit complicated because Nadja has no internet and I always got a message from her friend Lida. Both of them are living in Ekaterinburg (Ural).
Well just around the New Year Eve I have got a message that Bonnie is in heat and Nadja has booked the flight for 9th January she also needs my invitation to get the visa. She should come at 8,45 a.m. to the Prague airport where I pick her up. I confirmed to Lida the received e-mail and just asked about Nadja´s english – to be sure that we can talk english to each other. I was affraid to get the answer that Nadja is not speaking english. My expectations were filled by next e-mail I receive. It meaned for me to take from the bottom of my brain all the rest of my russian which stood there after studying russian language at the basic school (note: during the comunist time it was duty to learn russian language in the school in all comunists countries without any other choice. So it is not such surprise when many people cann´t use this language anymore). Likely the slavonic languages are a bit similar when you know at least the basics of the other language and between the dog lovers is also some other unspecified language.
Nadja used Ural airlines company which has regular flight to Prague from Ekaterinburg and back each thursday. Ekaterinburg is big city just on the borders of Asia and Europe. Probably can be known from the Soviet Union times like Sverlovsk. Ekaterinburg itself and all the area around is industrial area known for the metallurgy industry. Anyway also the mountains are just behind the town and accross the mountains the huge wilderness Siberia is located. The time different between Prague and Ekaterinburg is 4 hours.
Before I left home I promised Luca to come back with very special girl for him. I was just on time at the airport in Prague with the board says „Nadja with Bonnie“. After a while waiting when many russian speaking people has passed me I went to the the info desk to ask if probably the exit for the person who is travelling with the dog is not somewhere else. I have been told that the dog has to be picked up in cargo later on. So I was still waiting and waiting as I have seen near the second gates young woman with the bag and very charming bearded collie on the lead. Bonnie was very happy and Nadja and me have decided better to go directly to the car and drive a little further from the airport that Bonnie can make pie, pie after 4 hours on the board. Near the closest petrol station we let Bonnie to run and play – there i have realised that we have probably forgot Bonnie´s crate at the airport but Nadja told me that surely not because Bonnie didn´t come in the crate in luggage department but she was with Nadja on the board liying near the seat. I have never heard about any other company then Ural airlines where this is possible, the rule says that max. 2 adult dogs can be on the board. Nadja had to pay for Bonnie´s ticket just according her weight – what was very strange that even Bonnie didn´t lose any weight during her stay in Czech republic – Nadja paid for her half of the price on the way back comparing the price when they traveled here…
The funny thing was when going into the car – Nadja went just directly to the left front door as she is used at home when her husband drives her somewhere – the cars are driving on the right side of the road in Russia but there are many older cars bought from Japan (the left driving country) with the wheel on the other side in Ural area….
When we came home Luca knew immediatelly who came to visit him. Of course he was not interested in the distance of 4000 km which the girl had to make for him. Because Bonnie was just on 12th day of her heat we have decided to test her ovulation with Luca directly. As soon as Luca was presented to her I was sure that today is the right day for the mating. Luca gave me very clear signs and the mating was ready. Nadja was happy for such nice mating and we had finally time to sit down, have something to eat and talk – the language barrier was broken already during the one hour drive from the airport. It was very interesting to listening to the stories of the dog´s people life in Russia. As I have mentioned there are not many beardies in Russia – I got known from Nadja that you can use just fingers on both your hands to calculate the beardies in Russia. There are other more popular breeds in Russia – f.e. american staffordshire terrier - the prizes for a puppy of such breed can go up to 2500,--USD – and we are talking about any no-famous breeding. The financial situation of the society has the mirror in the dog´s world in Russia as well – there are some really very very rich people who can buy anything what comes on their mind but on the other hand side there are people for those just keeping the dog sounds like luxury. The middle society is very narrow and if those people breeding the dogs it means really a lot compromises in their lifes. They are not usually travelling to the dogs shows by cars or the long distances (in Russia it means always more then 1000 km) cannot také by plane but by train. The train is generally very popular in Russia but we have to think that when somebody is living in the central Russia to travel anywhere except the hometown to the dog show the travel times is not calculated in hours but in days. For example to travel by train from Ekaterinburg to Moscow – it means two days in train – to St.Petersburg three days and there are people and dogs who do so !
The centrum of the politics, culture and of course also the centrum of the dogs world is in Moscow and St.Petersburg. The Moscow is the capital of Russia – there is settled the Kennel club - Russian Kynological Federation (RKF) with one million members, and there are many breeders are living around Moscow. There is also taken place the most important show in year – Eurassia. St.Petersburg – according the words of many people - the most beautifull town in Russia – used to be the settle of the czars – is another centrum of dog world – the location of this town brings many advantages to the exhibitors – they can very easily (comparing to the rest of Russia) travel to other countries – Finnland is just behind the corner, the Baltic countries are not far either. The people who are living not in those two centrums of the dog world in Russia are not out of the game but all the travelling cost them a lot of effort, time and money. We have not to forget that there is just few countries in Europe where the Russians doesn´t need visas to come in.
There are several CACIBs shows taken place in all Russia during the year – the greatest entries are getting the shows in Moscow - Eurassia around 3000 dogs and in St.Petersburg. On the other CACIB dog shows there are up to 1000 dogs entered in all breeds.
I have got known that Bonnie is very famous and very succesfull show dog in Russia. Belong her Russian championship she has won many times the group and also several times BEST IN SHOW. Nadja has at home very interesting collection of the prizes (it is also quiet speciallty in Russia) – f.e. sets of the pots for cooking (prize for BIG), videocamera (prize for BIS), bicyckle etc.
Russia has also exception from the FCI rules for awarding the international championship. There is not necessary to gain 4 CACIBs from 3 different countries but just from 3 different regions in Russia. For example when Nadja wants to travel for the closest dogshow in different region – she has to travel to Omsk – it is 1200 km !!! – again by train. Nadja with Bonnie has also participated on the international dog show in Hungary – Kecskemet. She had to travel with her friends by car this time – it took them 5 days and it was their first experience of the dog show outside of Russia.
During Nadja´s and Bonnie´s stay here, Luca has mated Bonnie two times and we have crossed the fingers for the great results very strongly – as well as we have burned some candles in the cathedral in Prague. We have spent very nice time during one week of Nadja´s stay here – we have visited Prague and Carlsbad – as it was the first visit of Czech republic for Nadja, I wanted to introduce her some nice places in my country. We have really enjoyed the time and I´m very thankfull that my view at the dog world was extended again.
The results we all have been waiting for very impatiantly came on this world on 10th march 2003 ! 4 lovely black girls and 4 charming black boys ! Bonnie became very nice mother and Nadja very proud and happy breeder.
Nowadays all the puppies are in their new homes and some of them has already been succesfull on their first shows – by winning BEST PUPPY IN SHOW titels. The puppies are living in so far distances all over Russia – one boy has found his new family in the island Sahalinsk – just 20 km from Japan, another in Vladivostok – also far in the Asia, one male is living in the central Russia and the one who is closest to Europe is still in far away Kursk.
I´m very proud about Luca and Bonnie and all the little ones as well as I have to appreciate all the effort what Nadja is doing for her ethusiasm about beardies and for the promoting the breed in the part of the world where you can easily meet wild wolves in the forest then the dogs.
text: ©Lenka Klimova
Photos of some of the puppies of Luca and Bonnie in adult age:
some more photos of Luca´s offsprings you can find here