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Mrs. Saija Juutilainen
Already in my childhood I was used to live with dogs, because my grandparents had a couple of Rough Collies and later a Welsh Corgi Pembroke. In the late 60's we lived in Helsinki, where I met for the first time a Sighthound – the borzoi male 'Leo' who was owned by our President Urho Kekkonen, which he had got as a present from the Soviet Union. Later at our next door was the famous Finnish borzoi kennel Korotai. My parents bought their first dog in the early 70's – a Carelian Bear Dog which they used also for elk hunting and we also had a Bear Dog litter at home. My first own dog was a black&tan German Pincher and I bred my first litter with seven Pincher puppies in the July 1979.
The first Saluki came into my life 1980. I was really attracted by Afghan Hounds, and wanted to have one, but my family didn't agree with me because they already knew how much work it would be with a huge coat. The other breed I liked very much was Greyhound, but at this time it was not easy to buy a puppy from Finland. Before we got our own smooth saluki, I had never heard about two different coat qualities and now I had such a unique saluki at home – usually people thought that she was a small Greyhound or a big whippet...
At the moment we have three Salukis at home – a smooth grizzle male and a red fawn female from Germany and a young cream smooth female bred by us. We don't have a separate kennel building - all our dogs live in the house with us, completely sharing our lives, beds, chairs... They go out in the garden for free exercise as often as they like, and of course they are able to go walking on leads daily.
I have always been very much involved in the Club activities, as secretary, show committee member, a ring steward and the President of the Finnish Saluki Club during 1995-2003 and a board member of Finnish Show Judge Society – at the moment Im a member of the Finnish Kennel Club Show and Judges Committee.
I have judged Salukis for the first time in 1997 in Sweden (in Club Show level) and since summer 1999 when passed all Kennel Club seminars and test, I have judges salukis on CC level around Europe and also some Specialities in USA and Australia. To be qualified to judge different breeds in Finland you have to take part to different seminars and test – so I have been part of group for moose, fox and rabbit hunting test and also for herding and retriever test. During those 15 years I have judged different Specialities around world – Keeshond, Great Danes, Hungarian Vizlas, Hounds, English Bulldog, Springer Spaniels, Miniature Pincher, Finnish Lapphund, Karelian Beardog, Norwegian Elkhund etc. The next Specialities will be for Finnish Lapphund and Brasilian Terrier
At the moment I´m qualified to judge all breeds by Finnish Kennel Club and FCI and until now I have judged besides Finland, in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, Germany, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, The Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand and USA – the next oversea appointments after Canada will be in Portugal and South Korea.
Looking forward to meet you all in Canada.
Saija Juutilainen and Wallaby's salukis from Finland