Harakka is as her birdly counterpart the magpie very curious and adventurous. While still living at her breeder's place she made Joan's life very thrilling. Joan has told this story about Harakka's first actions as an explorer of the big, wide world:
"At one point I remember taking a moment to lower my heart rate, and control my breathing and I was thinking - My dear, if you pass out here no one will ever find you. Why would anyone suppose you are lying flat on your belly, in the deep snow, down the hill, beside the creek, near the pasture fence?
It started as a ordinary morning. Feed the animals. Clean the runs. Cut a few toe nails. Give out some hugs and scratches. Let the seven pups out for exercise. Then it all rose to a different level.
As I watched the pups from the computer there seemed to be a shortage of them. I opened the door and whistled and four came on a dead run. More whistling and hollering and two more came OVER the back fence and in through the open door. Only six. I ran into the house, donned boots and jacket, grabbed my gloves and closed those pups inside as I darted out. (Yes I can still dart.)
A very quick recognizance of yard, feeding shed, horses, fences, and then I realized I was hearing a pup frantically barking. I had no idea of where I heard it barking from, except it was not the house! Picture graphs flew through my head as I raced - (not darted this time) back to the house. I can't get any gates on this side of the yard open. I can't get over any gates without ladders, preferably on both sides. I can't do this. I have to. Where is she? Near the creek. She might be in the creek. As this last though hit me I went into panic mode. Out of dart mode, out of racing mode and into panic mode. The creek never freezes over. I remembered when the first pup in creek episode occurred. There was no snow then, just very deep and very, very cold water.
By this time I am down the basement stairs and out the door and on the path towards the woodpile. Along the sides of this narrow path are gigantic fields of SNOW. One step and fumble and I knew that running in snow up to ones hips is absolutely not possible. (And I don't think it would be possible for any of you younger folk either.) That is where the lying down started as I first crawled on my hands and knees with my arms sinking to the armpits, then on my belly and chest, meanwhile listening through my gasps for air to a very frightened pup. At one such pit stop - for air and control you idiots - I looked over at the creek and thought "How can I possibly get to the water with that show heaped nearly all the way across? But I knew I had to.
Under the large trees I was able to stand and walk a few steps and listen again. No cessation in the yelping. That was good news and bad new. Which do you want first?
Okay, already, I will just tell you. Good that she had not drowned yet and bad that she was still terrified. This breather brought me to the lower side of the trees where the snow was once again the problem. On my belly again, with the snow working its way into my boots, into my gloves, into my pants and into my mouth every time my head dropped with exhaustion. Finally I saw her - not in the creek. Not in the creek. Relief flooded over me and I nearly wept. Part of me did a bit.
That was when I had the thought about my predicament. I had no choice but to release this girl from whatever was 'trapping' her AND I had to get back to the house as my location was not going to just pop into a mind somewhere. The only way was the way I had come.
I have now had a hot shower, a complete change of clothes, a wonderful hot cup of tea, and a cuddle with the pup. When I finally did reach her where she was stuck in the old pig fence, she was tired enough that she never left me through all the struggle back up the quaint trail I had pioneered getting her. When I came out of the shower, I identified her as she was curled up in their special shelf, while the others continued to litter the entire area with teeny pieces of a catalogue they had pulled off the couch.
Hot Nickel Harakka will always remember that she was saved by a strange sounding and oddly positioned, scarcely human being."
After leaving Joan, Harakka got a new home at Leslie and John Elliot's Tsankawi Kennels in Los Alamos, New Mexico, USA. Quite a change from the snowy mountains to sunny south. It seems that Harakka likes to live with her daddy Nicc and I bet she is giving a hard time to his dad :)
Harakka is the sweetest girl around, however, she is also quite the little brat right now too. She thinks she should run the house, much to the disgust of my older bitch Morgana, who DOES run the house. Harakka is growing like a weed and we love her very much. We are looking forward to her show career as well as getting her involved in Agility like her Daddy.
I have included a few pictures. Two of Harakka last weekend. She won Winners Female and Best of Opposite Sex both days, beating two much older girls. This earned her 2 points each day for a total of four, her first points. I will send you a copy of her picture from the show when we get it. The other picture is a professional one of Nicc that I plan to use one day in an advertisement for him. Just some pictures for your enjoyment. I am very proud of Ruuti, and hope she is doing well. Thank you for making such a nice webpage for the girls!! Leslie
What can we say? Congratulations!!! This is a really good start for the Hot Nickel litter - I bet there is a proud "Papa" too nearby.
Notice the happy faces of all three :)