Gemma made some photo collages of the pups as they grew through their first weeks.
Venla's Mountain Pups
Venla had her pups in the Autumn of 2016. They had been long planned and the only question mark was the father. Following the advice of our local vet Marianne, who said that many farms bred first with an old male who had reached old age with minimal health issues and then let the younger 'bull' male (the main father target) have a go a bit later. That way, the theoretically slower sperm of the older dog would have a head start and the untested through whole-life but currently excellent 'bull male's' offspring would probably still dominate.
We tossed up between Kous Kous and Pikkis for a while as our old man candidate and settled on Pikkis simply because Kous Kous suddenly found himself a forever sofa. (We had thought that continuing his Taimyr genes would have been good). Pikkis had zero issues in complying and then a day later it was Leon's turn - but he didn't understand how! Two or three days of shy coy Leon tempting resulted before he managed to follow Pikkis's lead - by which stage Pikkis' sperm had well and truly had a head start.
As a result, from looking at the pups, instead of having one or two Pikkis pups, we now have one or two Leon (Sven Engholm lines) pups and many Pikkis (Valimaa Farm lines) ones...but the good news is that the mix is still excellent and we have little Siberian-husky-looking dogs on the farm again. A very different litter to the last S and H ones!
Cuillin was called 'Monday' for a long time, since she was the first pup to emerge. Other options for her name were (Mountains of the) Moon or Pumori...We finally settled on Cuillin since The Cuillins are a range of rocky mountains located on the Hebridean Isle of Skye in Scotland. The true Cuillin is also known as the Black Cuillin to distinguish it from the Red Cuilin across Glen Sligachan. Some believe the ultimate mountaineering experience of the UK is the full 12km ridge crest traverse of the Cuillin Ridge, especially under winter conditions.
FYI The 'Buachaille', as Buchaille Etiv Mor is commonly referred to, is an iconic mountain in Scotland and when they reached its base and started to climb, during the Adrenalin Rush, 2001, it was the first time Anna had recognised where she was during her back and forth traverse of Scotland.
Tyree / Denali (Wednesday)
'Tyree' is the 2nd highest mountain in Antarctica, located 13 kilometres northwest of Vinson Massif, the highest peak on the continent. Denali (officially known as Mount McKinley) is the highest mountain peak in North America, with a summit elevation of 20,310 feet (6,190 m).
Lhotse was very close to being called Sierra, after the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the Western United States and the highest mountain range in Europe after the Alps. (El Chorro (before the tourist walk-way) also brings back good memories for Anna and Pasi). However, somehow she turned into a pup that looked more like a majestic 'Lhotse', (the fourth highest mountain in the world at 8,516 metres (27,940 ft), after Mount Everest, K2, and Kangchenjunga).
Tryfan is a mountain in the Ogwen Valley, Snowdonia, Wales. It is one of the most famous and recognisable peaks in Britain, and has the twin monoliths of Adam and Eve at the top. Eliel climbed it with Anna in his 6th year (having been on Crib Goch in his 5th).
Mt. Kailash, at 22,000 ft., has the unique distinction of being the world's most venerated but least visited holy place. The supremely sacred site of four religions and billions of people, Kailash is seen by no more than a few thousand pilgrims each year. Anna travelled there by bike and truck and circumnavigated it in 1995. Hindus believe Mt. Kailash to be the abode of Lord Shiva, lord of yoga and master of Tantra. The Jains call it Astapada and believe it to be the place where Rishaba, the first of the twenty-four Tirthankaras attained liberation. Followers of Bon, Tibet's pre-Buddhist, shamanistic religion, call the mountain Tise and believe it to be the seat of the Sky Goddess Sipaimen. Tibetan Buddhists call the mountain Kang Rimpoche, the 'Precious One of Glacial Snow', and regard it as the dwelling place of Demchog and his consort, Dorje Phagmo. Nearby is the highly sacred (and very cold) Lake Manosaravar: the Lake of Consciousness and Enlightenment. Kailash also lies near the source of some of the longest rivers in Asia: the Indus River, the Sutlej River (a major tributary of the Indus River), the Brahmaputra River, and the Karnali River (a tributary of the River Ganga).
Lyngen / Rainier
The Lyngen Alps are a mountain range in northeastern Troms county in Norway, east of the city of Tromsø. The mountains are of alpine character, popular among extreme skiers. The highest summit is the 1,833-metre (6,014 ft) tall Jiekkevarre, the highest mountain in Troms county, which Pasi has skied many times. Lyngen nearly got called Rainier after Mount Rainier, (also known as Mount Tacoma, or Mount Tahoma); the highest mountain of the Cascade Range of the Pacific Northwest, and the highest mountain in the U.S. state of Washington. We figured that lyngen berries are pretty close to our heart and his beautiful colouration made us think of autumn.
The Eiger is a 3,970-metre mountain of the Bernese Alps, overlooking Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen in the Bernese Oberland, just north of the main watershed and border with Valais.