Paws in my soul

They say dogs are angels sent down to earth to help people feel Unconditional love. Honestly, my first few dogs in the family didn’t touch me at all. I felt happy when I saw them and sad when they went but did we have a relationship, not more than just friends. My world changed when I met a girl and she had a dog. 

The first paw print to be left in my soul was one from a Border collie named Xabi. This dog changed my life and opened the doors to where I belong in this world. The relationship between me and Xabi’s owner was a very fragile one and had many ups and downs. Xabi and I were best friends and there for each other at all times. You see at first I thought the problem was with me. However, when I looked in his eyes I could see he felt the same way I felt. The first time in my life where I felt I wasn’t alone. Where I felt and saw that my self and this brown-eyed lanky border collie were of the same heart and soul. This moment got me addicted to finding more. After about 12 months of this emotional roller coaster of a relationship, I started seeing the effect it had on Xabi, the choice between two people he loves. I didn’t want to case this dog pain and so I looked for my own set of paws that I could run with. Thus the second paw was placed in my soul.

This paw belonged to my dog named Altair. From the moment we met we were best friends and very soon we noticed that this was a relationship that was well beyond the realms of this world. I knew every thought that went through his mind, and he knew mine. We took the dog world by storm. He gave me a strength that would push me through an emotional suicide and life-changing adventure. This dog taught me things about dogs that I have never been able to learn or get explanations from any behaviourist or trainer. He was my angel that connected me to a world that was worth living in. The need for more brought the next paw.

Ksora, never have I seen a dog who thinks as much as she does. This little girl has refined my ability to understand a dimension of dogs that many people don’t believe exists. The rounded mind. Well, that is what I call it. In a simple explanation, it is the ability to see a situation, think of solutions, and assess the risks, alter the plan based on unexpected changes and not rely on being told what to do. At first, this came as a bit of a shock and frustration. I would ask for one thing and she would do another. It took me 20 000kms and training in Switzerland, Germany, Italy and Croatia before I would find a way to work with this super intelligent mind. Did my dedication to this cause pay off? Well, we compete in dog agility internationally and are always in the spotlight, with judges around the world rating Ksora as the future world champion and competitors asking how I did it. 

With my soft gentle soulmate Altair and my crazy smart Ksora, we would change the world. This mission started with a trip. A trip across the world to show people that there isn’t a reason great enough to separate an owner from their dog, besides the thought that we more important than them. We travelled from South Africa which is where our home was with all our family, to Europe. All this without a job, and income or stability. We would put ourselves in the most difficult environments that a family could end up in and we would show that there was a way to make it work. The aim was never to place my dogs needs below mine. What was to come of this trip has now become my purpose in life. But we will get to that later. I came to Europe to show people that there are no impossibilities when having dogs. This goal didn’t have any effect on people, but what did start taking effect was the people we were meeting on the way. We started changing the opinions about dogs where ever we went. Encountering many people who hated and feared dogs. Many people who saw dogs as just an animal that should be left in the garden and given food and water because that is all they need. These people meeting us in coffee shops or in the parks and experiencing the bond my pack and I have started something. They started seeing what is possible with a dog. It changed their reality. Created a spark in their eyes. I saw the tears of the old as they shared their stories of their dogs who once ran. I felt the struggle of the good-hearted who have rescued past problems. I have smelt the fear in the mistaken mothers. My trip across the world became about changing the image of dogs in a whole. To teach, touch and take people to the world where angels chase balls. 

My dogs have not only changed lives, not only wowed those they encounter, but they have given me a route in life that makes this world seem worth fighting for. They have pulled me through depression, altered my ADHD tendencies, given me ears who listen and do not judge me, given me a reason to wake in the morning and experience life. 
So are these animals just a mouth to feed and a form of security? Or do they have a world of good to share with us? Can they change who we are? Can they alter our soul? We know they touch our heart but are they able to change our being? Guide you to where you belong? My dogs have done all this and more. I will never stop showing the world the possibilities and try to eliminate this mindset that dogs are “just dogs”. 

Why i change food for winter

With the cold weather coming soon. I start looking at new foods. Foods that are high in fat and oils. This is for both me and my dogs. 

We have seen that most dogs that live in very cold conditions have a very fatty and oily diet, this is because oils and fats hep keep the coat and skin well hydrated and insulated. It also stimulates new hair growth and a thicker coat for the winter will help your dogs more then you may think. 

In the summer i feed a very large poultry diet and maybe some Dutch and lamb every now and then. Withthe winter coming i slowly increase the land and add fish to their diet. Salmon is a great prep for the winter and offers the dogs great support for the winter. 

 It is also very important to look after he joints as the temperature decreases, especially in older dogs or your working breeds.

Go to your food specialist and ask them what to do for your breed and how to look after them for the winter.

The shadows behind the photos

I have gotten a lot of negative feedback from people over the last 12 months, as I ask for support in the form of sponsorships I get told that I am not able to ask for any support due to the fact that I am living the dream everyone else wishes to live. Well I can promise it’s not all just beautiful landscapes and pretty pictures. 

I have given up my house for a tent,

I have given up my car for a pair of hiking shoes,

I have given up my bed for a blanket on the floor, 

I have given up my family and friends for a community that doesn’t understand me,

I have given up breakfast and lunch many days so I can afford to take my dogs out and have fun,

I have given everything up to live my life,

I made the choice to reach for my dream and I live it.

Is it always easy? No

Can I manage to survive here? I don’t know.

Do I struggle to put food on my plate? Yes.

Do my dogs ever go hungry? No. 

Do they ever stay at home? No. 

Would I change my life? No. 

If I am asking for support, it’s not because I am looking for an easy way out, it’s not because I want you to feel sorry for me. It is purely because I am not able to carry on posting those beautiful photos, it is because I can’t give my dogs the most amazing experiences 

I ask for help because everything I do here I do it to help and change the world for dogs. And I don’t ask them to pay me for that. 


Why do you wake?

I live to be alive. The ultimate feeling of life is to feast, to drink, to have relationships, to discover both the external and internal worlds. I live so I can love. I hurt so I can love again. I wake up so I can fill my day and once my body is tired I rest my head to prepare for the next. 
I wake because I was given a gift. I wake because I have the possibility to wake. 

I wake because I believe there will come a day where life will be peace, where all heartbeats will be free, where the world will live on love.

Depression in dogs

So after one month of traveling I started seeing something wrong with my dogs. What it was, was never something I would have expected. 

Depression. Previously I knew they reacted to there environments but didn’t think it would have gone this bad. The whole story of dogs just being ok with you being there is not entirely true. You being there and happy makes it easier for them to adapt but they have their own feelings. 

I ended my plan very early, we left on a 12 month walk through the mountains and well month one was great and then we started to really move. Each night in a different house. Different families and people. This slowly got too much. Altair (my fragile boy) decided this is not making him happy and well being as close as I am to my dogs. I felt what he was going through. 

We took a 200€ emergency train ride back to family in Germany and after 2 days they were happy again. I went to the vet to make sure they have no physical problems or health issues. I was told that my dogs were some of the best kept and healthiest they have seen coming in. 

Getting home I wanted to get to the bottom of what the cause of this depression. 

Well my intellect of a friend, Google. Said there are many things that cause depression in dogs. Some are; loss of a family member(We have lost our whole family, left them all behind.), change in environment(only travelling every day so this is possible), change in food(it was impossible to find my food here and took 6 months before I go it again.), not having a place or consistency. I stopped here. It was obviously depression, just to have one of these is a possible cause for depression. We have them all. My poor dogs. So we needed to cancel all the plans we made and needed to start a new one. 

We apologized to all the people banking on us doing what we set out to do but for my dogs they all understood. 

Now that we have a home and a car they have come right. It was hard but we are still here in the mountains and still living as far from the society system as possible. 

We are living free. It brings its problems but also its gifts.