My name is Maud Fast. Some of you might remember me from my "first" Afghan Hound life as Maud Selroos, wich was my name before I married in 1989. I live with my husband Mikael, our two of our four children (the boys have moved out already) and our Afghan Hounds in Stockholm, Sweden, and couple of months of the year in Espoo (Esbo), just 15 kilometers from the capital of Finland, Helsinki.
I got my first Aghan hound when I was just a bit over fourteen years old. I had through my interest in horses learned to know Jenny Savander, who introduced me to her grandmother, Anna-Leena Konttinen. Anna-Leena and her daughter Pirkko were the owners of the famous kennel Tuohi-Tikan. Anna-Leena passed away in summer 2003, and the kennel is now owned solely by Pirkko, who in 2009 celebrated 50 years in Afghan Hounds. At midsummer in 1959 was the kennel's foundation bitch Tajmahal Anya imported from Sweden, and that has been hold as the foundation of the kennel.
There was a litter born in the kennel in July 1979. I did of course try to talk my parents into buying a puppy, but they resisted until December the same year. One of the puppies was to be exported to Japan, but had to be, if I remember right, four or five months before it could be sent off. A second male puppy was kept as companion to Hitti, but in the end of November Pirkko and Anna-Leena started to look for a new home for T-T Husaari, "Husku". After having consulting my Grandfather, who had been the opinion that the girl could have worse hobbies than dogs (bless his wise heart!), my parents decided to allow me to buy Husku. Husku was a bit over four months when he came to us. The good thing in not being able to get a puppy when the pups were a couple of months old was that I got to learn to know the breed and how to care of an Afghan Hound under the guidance of Anna-Leena, Pirkko and Pirkko's sister Raisa before I got my own afghan.
In February 1982 there was a new litter born in kennel Tuohi-Tikan. We had not intended to buy a puppy, but when my parents suggested that if we would get one, perhaps Husku, who had been seriously ill, would benefit from it, I was of course all ears. Anna-Leena and Pirkko had allowed me stay with them for the birth of the litter, and I had luck on my side, the puppies were born on one of the last days (nights :)) of my winter holidays. It also happend that my mother and brother visited the kennel at about the same time as our puppy "Maxi" (T-T Liki) was born. Perhaps seing the newborn puppy was the reason my mother loved him so much, and in his heart and soul he always belonged to her, even though he on papers was mine and my brother's.
I met my husband to be in 1985, and it soon became clear to me that I had to make a choice between my boyfriend and the dogs. Due to allergies (no animal allergies though) he was recommended by doctors not to have any animals at home at all. It was a though decision, but I have never regretted it, even though I have many a time longed for a dog. I'm still thankful my husband had time to learn to know my Afghans before they died, he knew how much they meant to me, and he also knew what living with an Afghan is. We married in 1989, and later got four wonderful children, Björn, John, Hanna and Sofia.
Due to several different reasons we decided in 2004 to get a syrian hamster for our youngest daughter. Nino, a longhaired satin yellow female, was soon followed by Zanna (longhaired satin banded cream female), Lulu (longhaired satin normal female) and Marcus (longhaired satin black male). I enjoyed the hamsters a lot, a fact that got my husband thinking in new ways about getting a dog. In October 2007 he suggested that what about getting a dog after all. He had never reacted of the hamsters, and he had in his childhood home for 20 years lived with cats. And as we all know (I had in the beginning of our relationship pointed out this at several occations), afghans do hardly ever trigger allergy reactions. That day I cried more than I can remeber doing for a very long time, partly out of happiness for once again being able to share my life with the most wonderful dog breed in the world, and partly beacause I have the best possible husband.
That autumn there were not many litters born, but a slightly older male puppy was still looking for a home in Sari Laakso's kennel (since 2009 kennel Scented). We went to Tampere to look at Allmylife, "Ludde", and were immediately charmed by his wonderful temperament. What was also beautiful was how much his mother Chica (Khao's La Vida Loca) still liked her puppy, she played with him and was neither fed up with him nor bored. Ludde was 13 weeks old when he moved to us. At that time I thought he was terrible old, and that I had lost a big part of his puppyhood, but later I have many a time thought about how good it was that he had time to learn how to communicate with other dogs in Sari's lovely functioning pack before he came to live as a singel dog by us. He is having very good social skills and communicates very well with other dogs, big as well as small ones.
Already in 2008 we decided that we would be ready to get a second Afghan Hound in 2009. In the beginning of July I contacted Liza Lopez at kennel Yhazin, who had a litter with a very interesting pedigree born about a month earlier. As a result Micke, Yhazin Freelancer, 8,5 weeks old red black masked male moved to us and has now spellbound the whole family with his lovely manners och super personality. Ludde is happier than I thought it was possible a dog could get, and allows Micke everything. A man's best friend is said to be the dog, but a dog's best friend will always be an other dog. One year later, in the summer of 2010, Micke's brother Justin moved to us. And in autumn 2014 will the pack grow with alittle girl, Kalila.
You can read more about Ludde, Micke and Justin in their own pages and about our adventures in the blog, there are links in the sidebar.
Coming back to the Afghan Hound scene after an absence of twenty years was very interesting, and it felt good that so many old friends still remembered me and trusted in me. In autumn 2008 I was elected vice member of the board of the Finnish Afghan Hound Club for 2009, in 2009 ordinary member of the board (for 2010-2011, then re-elected twice), and since the beginning of 2009 I have functioned as its secretary. I'm also member of the show commitee and the internet committee. Working with the club's matters is most of the time very fun and educating, at times difficult and challenging, but most of the time very rewarding.
In 2012 I got elected member of the board of the Swedish Afghan hound club.
I want to say a big thank you, first to my parents, who let me have my two first Afghan Hounds, and who never questioned all the dog show and racing trips, and to my husband Mikael, who after years of consideration decided that he after all was all right with a dog in the house. A very special and big thank you goes to Anna-Leena and Pirkko Konttinen and Raisa Savander for everything they taught me about Afghan Hounds and the Finnish language during my teenage years. I wouldn't be where I am without you!
What a day! 25.7.2015, Mikkeli international in Finland, under judge Hannele Jokisilta: Justin BOB and CACIB, Micke BM-3 and CAC, Kalila BB-2 and CAC!