My name is Aatu and I live in Finland. In my case it wasnīt so that Minna had considered for many months and then decided to have a Dandie. She had considered getting a small dog but she couldnīt decide what kind of breed it would be. She told herself It didnīt matter which small breed, so she decided to call the SPCA and offer a home to a homeless or mistreated dog. She only wanted to have a friend for her long walks. She  already had three cats from SPCA (where she volunteered sometimes) but wanted to have a dog too. She had had dogs before so she knew how it was like to be a dog owner.

I was 10 months old and had seen a few homes. For some reason people didnīt like me. I never understood why, but they said I was impossible to handle and to live with. I was brought back to my Breeder yet another time. My breeder wanted to find me a forever home so she called the SPCA who gave her Minnaīs number. 

My Breeder contacted Minna and the next Thursday she came to see me. She liked me a lot. I was not at all aggressive and behaved very well when she cuddled me. 

So she decided to take me home with her to see whether I would get along with her cats. If I did, she would keep me. I had never seen a cat before so Minna and my breeder had no idea how I would react. My breeder was quite sure that everything would go fine. And she was right. I was a bit afraid of cats at first but learned to like them in few days.
Minna trimmed my coat with a machine which I thought was pretty scarey. A vet gave me antibiotics for a skin infection. My coat was kept very short for the first 3 months and I was bathed so many times with a special shampoo. Uugh, I still hate to be bathed but it helped and my skin healed nicely.

During that time I also found out how lovely it was to take long walks even though my muscles were hurting a lot at first because I was not used to walking. But I just loved running in the woods so I was always willing to go along even though my muscles were sore. I got a massage almost every day and that helped a little.

It took several months until I settled down completely and got used to everything at my new home. But I did well. I also took part in obedience classes and Iīm still quite well trained. Minna found that Iīm very intelligent so she gave me mental "work" to do. I have to open boxes and packages and try to find a hidden treat. I love that game!

Today Iīm 11 years old and I live with two Dandie girls and 4 cats (two of whom were here when I moved in 10 years ago). I can eat as much as I like and I take my little pack for a long outing every day into the forest. I have my own bed where I take naps. At night I still sleep in Minnaīs bed because it helps me feel secure.   During the day I enjoy the sofa and TV. I have my favourite toys and when I destroy them I get new ones. And I have many many chew bones which I love to chew even though I have already lost 5 of my teeth - painlessly thanks to our vet who also acts like a dentist sometimes. I get many kisses daily and lots of hugs as well. I think it is nice even though I may be a bit embarrassed if strange people are watching. I can give kisses back too even at times like that!

I have charmed some people in my country and two of them are breeding dandies today! I think I have done well for a boy who has never been to shows (they say Iīm not of show quality) and who had as difficult a start in life as I did. Iīm VERY proud of myself. If you want to read more about my life and my family or else see more photos you can visit my home page by clicking here >>



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