THE NORWEGIAN LUNDEHUND CLUB OF AMERICA, INC.

FOUNDED IN 1988

 



















THE INTRIGUING LUNDEHUND

By: Inger Kristiansen, 1968

Translation by: Julia McGrew, 1977

(The original version of this article was co-authored by Inger and Aksel Kristiansen of Denmark. Publication name and date are unknown. This article has material not included in the original version.)

The Lundehund,  which takes its name from the lunde, puffin, (Fratercula arctica) is one of the world's rarest breed of dog not only because of its modest numbers, but also because in one and the same breed we find a whole series of unusual anatomical characteristics.  Some of these characteristics are found, but only sporadically, in other breeds.  The lundehund is rare but is also remarkable--what other breed of dog is marked by so many unusual characteristics?  The lundehund has at least 6 toes on each foot;  can close its ears so that the ear-canal is protected against dirt and moisture;  has neck-joints which enable it to bend the head backwards over the shoulders, so that the forehead touches the back--this is useful when the dog has to turn in a narrow passage.  Furthermore, this dog has extremely mobile fore shoulder-joints, so that both front legs can stretch straight out to the sides.

 

Specialized for Hunting

The lundehunds' unusual characteristics were very useful in a particular kind of hunt.  The many toes gave the dog a good foothold when it had to balance on steep cliffs or slippery rocks, and they were a great help when the dog had to crawl through difficult passageways.  The dog used this extra toe as support, also to brake himself on slippery or uneven terrain, so that on the whole the dog was equipped to go where the man could not.  The characteristic fore shoulder-joints enabled the dog to "throw out his arms" if he lost his footing on slippery rock and was, as we have noted, useful when he had to turn or shift in cramped passages.  The mobility of the dog's neck was undoubtedly of great usefulness when he had to reverse himself in order to come out from the passages to the birds' nests.  It is indeed unbelievable what nature has created here:  the Lundehund is so unusually distinguished by his characteristics as to make one ask if, all in all, this IS a dog. 

If the little fishing village, Måstad, on the island of Væroy in the Lofoten Islands, had not had such hopelessly poor communications with the outside world, the world's most unusual dog would now be only history.  The lively little lundehund is, actually, just as rare and select among breeds of dog as are the Arabian and ling horse (ling is a moor with heather) among horses. Furthermore, had the inhabitants of Måstad not lived in such isolation right down to our own times, it would have gone with the lundehund as with the gyrfalcon (a large falcon, Falco rusticolus, of the northern  hemisphere).  In all the other places where the lundehund has lived, it is now extinct*.

*Note: Not extinct.

A Remarkable Foot (Paw)

The Lundehund's foot has five fully developed three-jointed toes and one two-jointed---the latter resembles man's thumb.  This can be clearly seen in an x-ray.  There are muscles for flexing and stretching trotting these toes which resemble the muscles in man's thumb.  All other breeds of dog normally have only four toes and the musculature for them.

One may well ask--why do they have this foot?  The people of Måstad insist that a good lundehund has to have many toes.  When one goes out in the countryside with lundehunds one can see at once what help this special foot is:  when a lundehund cannot crawl into a tunnel because there is little space overhead, he can lie on his side and squeeze himself farther in.  In this position, he has to use the innermost toes, else he could get no foothold.  Whenever he has to turn or wriggle in this sideways position, it is always this innermost toe which holds to the floor of the tunnels.  The lundehund has eight foot pads on each forefoot and seven on each hind foot.  Their large foot pads are quite different from those of other dogs.

 

Their Ears Can Close

The normal position of the ears is upright.  One can easily see how the lundehund can close his ears by bending them forwards or backwards, leaving a little space open on the outermost part of the ear.  It is far more difficult to explain WHY they have this characteristic.  Clearly it has something to do with keeping their ears free of dirt and water, but this is too easy an explanation.  We might believe that the characteristic has something to do with their need to orient themselves in a narrow passageway. 

When the passage, as so often is very narrow, the ear is flattened in against the head while the upper half of the cartilage can be raised separately and thus works as a receiver for sound.  The tail is carried in different positions, entirely according to the dog's mood.  During play or rest, the tail is lightly rolled upward.  If the dog is excited or running hard, the tail streams out behind.  If the dog is unwell, or uncertain, the tail falls right down between the back legs and slightly under the stomach.

 

Extraordinary Suppleness/Mobility

Those who see a lundehund out on the scree (the old Norse word is uren - the landscape is that of north Norway, Northern England, Iceland -- rocky, steep, slippery cliffs or slopes from the mountains down towards the sea) or up on the mountains are greatly struck by its agility:  the dog is completely adapted to the terrain.  In addition to their foot's natural part in their particular movements, their unusual neck- and shoulder-joints are astonishing. The way a lundehund can arch its head up and backwards over its spine is a characteristic we can not explain with any certainty. Among mammals, only a reindeer has the same flexibility.  If one takes a lundehund up by the front legs and swings them out to the right and the left, the lundehund shows no discomfort.  To understand why this is so one needs to imagine oneself right out in the lundefugl (puffin) screes.  When one sees a lundehund in action--up, down, slantwise over the rocks and unevenly over the cliffs -- one sees a lightning-swift, sure-footed dog.  If one has seen the lundehund here, one can better understand the unusual development of its body:  nothing could have been at all different in its body, otherwise he could not have functioned so well.

It is tempting to ask if it is not the hundreds of years' experience which has shaped the lundehund.  Has this dog been capable of adapting itself so well, or do we possibly catch in the lundehund a glimpse of something far older than the usual dog of today?  The scientist Torbjorn Aasheim says, "We have now the remains of an old breed of dog which, because of the area where it has been a working dog, has characteristics which are not found in other parts of the world.  We know that the breed is genetically undisturbed by foreign blood.  The breed has therefore not alone an antiquarian value, and is not merely a canine rarity.  It represents perhaps the most valuable material for scientific investigation of areas in which we can learn how heredity is modified, and how a species or breed can modify itself to its specialized milieu.  Science has not yet come far enough to answer all our questions, for it is tomorrow's "dog science" we are talking of here.  It is the responsibility of dog-lovers to make sure that this sort of investigation and its source are not destroyed.  The lundehund is the canine world's last example of undisturbed breeding.  It is our duty to guard it as such." *

*Note: DNA studies have shown that the Lundehund, along with all other breeds of dogs, has descended from the wolf, Canis lupus.

Today's lundehund has many unique characteristics.  It has the same jaw as the Varanger Dog (a fossilized dog found in north Lapland, Russia), which dates back 5000 years.  Both these dogs have one less tooth, on both sides of the jaw, than other dogs.  Some scientists suggest that lundehunds are the original, ur hund, and that it has survived from before the last Ice Age, on the outermost islands of Lofoten.  (These islands were ice-free during the last, third Ice Age*)

 *Note: There were four ice ages, named in Europe(from oldest to most recent): Gunz, Mindel, Riss, Wurn. Last would be the fourth.

The Italian, Piero Overini, was shipwrecked in 1432 on Sand Island during a January storm and was, with the last surviving members of his crew, found by a poor fisherman and his sons.  Sand Island is a tiny, uninhabited island below Rest, which itself consists of 365 islands and grass-covered slopes.  When Quirini arrived home in Italy he wrote a book in which he described the land, the population, and a good deal of the fauna.  This descriptionm of the land of winter and the midnight sun doubtless helped lure many to travel northward to study people and nature in the North.,  One of these was the Italian Francesco Negri.  He traveled to Finland in 1664-65 and described the capture of puffins by lundehunds.  So also did the North's poet-preacher, Petter Das (1647-1707) in his immortal book, Trumpet of the North.  There is considerable agreement between Negri and Das, quite independently of one another.  Negri describes Finland and his book was printed in Pdua in 1700.  Petter Das' Trumpet of the North was written at the end of the 1600's but published only after his death.  Petter Das says himself, in his introduction, that he had never been north of Iielgoland:  he got all his information about the capture of puffins and about lundehunds from the island Lovunden.  This remarkable island is the world's largest breeding-area for puffins, and prominent scientists often visit it.  As early as 1591 Erik Hansen Schennebol, a bailiff, tells of the puffins' nests in the scree and earth-passages and says that "one cannot easily get them out of these deep nest-holes unless one has an agile dog who is accustomed to crawl into the passages and drag out the birds."  Schennebel set this description in his chapter on Vxroy.  The use of lundehunds for this work has therefore been general since Schennebel's time.  Nicolei Jonge describes lundehunds and the use of them in 1779, as does also the German geologist Christian Leopold von Buch, in 1807.  The lundehund is also known from Iceland, for Sven Nilson has described them in SCANDINAVIAN FAUNA, in the first half of the 1800's:"  this breed of dog, which has got the name Icelandic Sheep Dog, came with the colonists from Norway to Iceland.  The same breed is found in notable numbers in the islands north of Trondheim, especially in those area where the puffin breeds.  This dog is about the same size as a fox, with reddish brown or black color, is accustomed to hunt puffins and other sea birds who lay their eggs in holes and cracks in the cliffs."

By about 1850, men changed over to catching puffins with nets--this was necessary because the puffin began to disappearand with the puffin, the lundehund.  But to be exact, one must note that there was a great contrast between the dogs who were used in the Lofotens and those used on the coasts of Finland.  Today there exist only Senja dogs (Senja is a very large island in the Lofotens) and lundehunds (these are called by many people Mastad dogs):  there are no dogs like them.  Mastad, on Vxroy, clearly drives its name from a Viking king, King Mas.  His large holding consisted of sheep and goats, and at that time the lundehund was certainly both a bird-hunting and sheep-herding dog.  Mastad, as noted earlier, is very isolated, which explains why lundehunds survived without inter-breeding with other dogs.  So the lundehund is the oldest breed of dog in the North.  The parish priest's home, which carries the postal address "North Vxroy," has from far back in time been assessed at 6 vog.  All of Mastad's village-cluster, which at that time consisted of 30 homesteads and about 150 persons, had a total assessment of 3 vog.  This shows very clearly that Mastad's material assets were small--material wealth consisted of a dangerous harbor swept by wild currents, rocks, and mountain cliffs.  Some hundred years ago an official commented in his report that "the place was easy" for fish but "difficult" for hay harvesting.  He was correct in his observations, for Mastad's fishing harbor is part of the famous Rost Harbour which a Professor Rugh describes as a "whirlpool."  All along Mastad's coast rolls a turbulent sea, and, not to be forgotten, countless reefs.  The sea was rich in fish but men paid a high price for this.  People say that in that area most women were married twice.  The entire harvest of hay lay up on the mountain fields and it was necessary to harvest the whole in order to get enough hay.  In some places men harvested where it was so steep that they had to be on rope-lines--"difficult" is surely the word, and not least because the hay had then to be taken to the village by boat.  Despite all this the population was regarded as prosperous.  When the harvest and the fishing were not good, the birds saved the place.  The people of Mastad never went into a winter without 3 to 4 barrels of about 400 salted young puffins per barrel. 

 

The Puffin

The puffin, also called a sea-parrot, is a bird of the Alk family.  Its characteristic is that it breeds in large colonies in holes and subterranean passages, with many breeding birds in each passage.  It is found in great numbers in the western lands on and north of Lofoten.  The breeding period is 40 days and when the young birds are 40 days old they must take care of themselves.  The puffin comes to the breeding places in March-April.  Before they leave their nests again, they clean the nests and passages of all traces of occupation, carrying out material in their strong beaks and burying it under rocks or moss, so that the passages are clean for the birds in the following spring.  The puffin leaves the puffin-fjeld (the Norwegian word for mountain-meadow, mountain cliffs, moore) about 23 August.  In a good year the young birds are so fat and heavy that they cannot get out of the passages , but after a couple of days without food they lose so much weight that they get out.  They cannot, however, yet fly and are pushed (the word is puffed, hence their name) by their parents out over the mountainside, a somewhat unhappy experience.  Many come to grief on the cliffs or rocky coast and are smashed.  These unlucky birds are gathered up by lundehunds.  Sometimes the older birds go ahead of the younger, calling and tempting them out to the water.  Sometimes when the young are pushed out the older birds manage to take them on their wings, or even fly beneath them and so help them down over the cliffs and out to the sea.

There were distinct rules connected with the puffin catch.  The young-puffin hunt began early in August and lasted 2-3 weeks.  The birds were always fairly high up on the puffin scree, and gathered on a large stone that got the name "Food Table."  Alk (razor bills) and guillemots were salted.  Tola (young puffin almost ready to fly) must not be taken as long as they have down on their backs, for then they were not edible, thought specialists.  Most of the young leave the fjeld along with their elders but there are always some left behind, perhaps born too late or else poorly developed.  These were hunted a good deal -- they were known as "sour young puffins" because they were so scrawny that to be edible they had to be cooked in a mixture of sour milk and water, otherwise they would have had no taste.  Nam nam (the equivalent of saying in English, num-num) were delicacies, fresh puffin dried out on lines like fish:  there was always enough salt-cured food.  Snadderet was their Sunday food, especially if there were potatoes to go with it.  The young puffins were scraped clean of feathers and down, the skin left on the bird -- there was a special knife for this.  Then they were cooked long and thoroughly, opened with a sharp knife along the spine and folded out, then roasted under a weight--not under just any old stone or piece of wood but rather with the "young puffin stick" and the "young puffin stone."  Just before serving they were browned in a very hot oven until crisp, and with them went Norwegian flat-bread and new potatoes, and lots of salt and pepper.  This WAS a delicacy.  Everyday food was puffin soup, for which the flesh was peeled from the bones and put in the soup.  For the population as a whole, these were all tasty foods but, as Petter Das remarked, "everything tastes of fish, for puffins live on fish."

The down of puffin was also important for the population -- it was just as soft and light as eiderduck down, and provided a welcome addition to their income from fishing and small farming.  Puffins were therefore of enormous value.  On Fugleoya (Bird Island) in Gildeskal in 1880 a good puffin had the same value as a cow.

 People in Mastad have always said that there one heard always an incomparable noise of dogs, and this was certainly no exaggeration.  As a rule, the women and older boys conducted the hunt, and often enjoyed a cozy coffee-pause at the Food Table at midnight under the midnight sun's light.  It was considered fine if a dog took 30 birds a night, so that a hunter had to have 2 to 3 lundehunds in order to get a grown man's catch, which was up to 80 to 90 birds.  But there are dogs who can take 80 birds in one hunt.  One dog got up to 130 birds!  The puffin is not an apathetic bird which just waits until fate overtakes it.  It has a fine weapon in its powerful beak.  It has happened that the bird has got the best of it, although it is not often, and it has always been a bloodied dog with ears lying quite flat who has come out of such a fray.  If a puppy is so unlucky as to meet a feisty puffin the first time he is out on the scree, he may be afraid for the rest of his life.  It was unavoidable that once in a while a dog came to grief, or disappeared.  Loose stones could cause a sudden landslide;  often it happened that the dog could get in but could not get out of the passage and the owner could only stand and wring his hands.  Once one of the finest Lundehunds, old Lord, did not come out even after his owner had spent a very long time trying to urge him, to tempt him to come out.  The owner finally tried to calm himself by saying that Lord has been on his final puffin hunt; but three days later Lord came home again, visibly thinner but otherwise in good shape -- the swift weight-losing cure had saved him.

Men are also unlucky and are killed.  One false step and death was near, especially if the man used a fixed belt -- that is, one tied around his waist while he tucked the birds' heads up under it.  When there was no room for more birds, he used his own belt as well.  The weight of this could drag a man down into the abyss.  Men went over to using loose-belts (not fastened to the waist), which could be slung to one side if an accident seemed likely.  (The path up and down the cliffs was often no more that 1 meter wide.)

 

Hunting

One natural scientist tells of a time when he made an appointment with the farm's serving-girl to go out to hunt.  At 2:30, the serving-girl stood out in the middle of the yard and whistled, and 6 lundehunds came barking and yipping around her.  The dogs were small, with pointed noses, short legs, and tails half the length of their bodies.  When the dogs reached the area for the hunt they at once spread themselves out to various places on the scree and began to crawl into passageways towards the birds.  There were 5 "officials" on the island, of whom only 3 had 3-to-5 dogs with which they hunted.

Erik Pontoppidan, the bishop in Bergen, wrote, in "The First Attempt toward a Natural History of Norway" (1753):  "The dogs are trained partially for hunting, especially for bear-hunting, and for this small dogs are used because the bear cannot so easily embrace the dog and therefore fears the small ones the most.  For bird-hunting, dogs are for the most part widely trained in the Northern lands where there are favorable conditions for bird-hunting, and every farmer keeps 12 to 14 such dogs.  they are small and low to the ground.  Their catch enriches the farmer very often more than does his other work.  No farmer may own more lundehunds than his neighbor, otherwise there is some little hostility among them.  Thirteen is, therefore, often the "count" of lundehunds."

 The dog enthusiast, Sigurd Skaun, was the first to "discover" the lundehund.  In various articles during the 1500's dogs were mentioned who were used for puffin hunting on Vxroy and Lovunden.  When he read those articles, Skaun came to think that some of these dogs must still exist, and he began his investigation by writing to countrymen.  He received an answer from Lovuden:  the countrymen there had learned from older people that there had been such dogs on the island, but they had all disappeared.  He heard nothing from Vxroy, so he got hold of the postmaster, Lange, from Bode, who asked the ferry-postman of Vxroy for help.  Skaun got much interesting information here.  Lundehunds were still known on Vxroy and were still used for puffin-hunting.  He wrote an article about the breed, in a Norwegian journal for hunters and fishermen, in 1925 -- the title was "A Norwegian Breed of Bird-dog which is on the road to Oblivion."  He demanded that the Norwegian Kennel Club recognize the breed, but at the time the Club was not interested.  Editor Olaf Holm expressed himself skeptically about the breed, for he thought the "Vxroy Dog" would prove to be of the same breed as the Buhund;  but should the Vxroy Dog, against his expectation, prove to be unique, it should be recognized as such.  Later the NKClub recognized the breed but it was some time before the Club understood that they were looking at a canine rarity.

 In 1937, Eleanor Christie read Skaun's article and wanted to get to know the breed better.  During a railway trip, Mrs. Christie met a political official from Rost and they talked about lundehunds.  He promised to get hold of some lundehunds for her.  But this turned out to be difficult, for on Rost there was a considerable loss of the breed because the men there has for a long time caught their puffins with nots.  The dogs were superfluous, did not get enough to eat, and when they began, therefore, to attack the sheep, the community set a tax of 8 kroner on each dog.  This was a lot of money then and offected a swift solution to the problem of the dogs -- in a few years they had all disappeared, except a few who remained and were mixed with other breeds.  At last he got hold of Monrad Mikalson in Mastad -- he was a fisherman and a farmer in the southwestern part of Vxroy, and he hunted with lundehunds.  Out there the people were dependent on lundehunds for no other breed could perform the work of these small trained dogs.  No other breed was known on Mastad and the lundehunds were purebreds.  Even although in-breeding was fairly extensive the breed had in no way degenerated.  In-breeding is surely also the reason for the lundehund's uniqueness.  At that time there were about 50 dogs.  Although the dog-tax on Vxroy was only 2 kroner per dog in 1895, that was a lot of money at that time, and when the tax was raised in 1904 to 10 kr. per dog there was a lot of grumbling.  Vxroy was the exception -- there the tax remained at 2 kr.  Later there was a demand for lifting the tax from lundehunds, the "unique Lundehund", and they were exempted in Mastad, Asker, and Bxrum, where today we find the most lundehunds.  But the majority pay a tax for their lundehund.  Monrad Mikalsen got 4 large puppies for Eleanor Christie and they were all vaccinated against canine distemper ( the disease had already appeared on Vxroy).  These four were the bitches Hild, Lyey, and Urd, and the male Ask, whom Mrs. Christie got in February 1939.  The whole stock was up to 60 Lundehunds in 1943, the same year that the NKClub recognized the lundehund as an independent breed.

 In 1942 canine distemper came again to Vxroy and, because of the war, it was impossible to get the vaccine, so all the dogs died except one, and that one never again gave birth to puppies.  Mikalsen sent a call for help to Mrs. Christie who, under extraordinary difficulties and with the help of the author Carl Schoyen, sent two pregnant bitches and two puppies to Vxroy -- these dogs succeeded in saving the entire breed from extinction.  Although Otter,  one of the two pups, had never before been out on the puffin hunt, he caught 14 puffins the first day Monrad Mikalsen had him out, and the next day he got 80.  Otter also once saved the life of a girl who had been sent out to look for the sheep who had wandered out on the fjeld.  It rained and stormed, the path was dangerous, many animals had fallen down.  The girl fell backwards and began to roll down the scree.  Otter got hold of her dress with his teeth and continued to hang on until she could herself use her hands and feet to scramble up again to safety. 

Distemper came upon Mrs. Christie's dogs in 1944 and they all died except for the male, Ask -- he was 9 years old when he died in 1947, and he was sent to the Zoological Museum in Bergen.  As thanks for her help earlier, Mikalsen sent her two new puppies in 1950 but they had no puppies.  Mrs. Christie did not get help or encouragement from the NKClub, and later could not continue to run a kennel for her husband was ill for a long time, then died.  But she did not give up.  Once again Mrs. Christie took on the task of saving lundehunds.  Monrad Mikalsen had not forgotten that it was Eleanor Christie who had helped him during the war, and he sent her 3 puppies, from the same litter, born 31 January 1960.

 One pair from those three had puppies 12 August 1961.  Interest in lundehunds now swelled.  The doctor Carl Frimann Calusen )vice-president and alter president of the NKClub), with Mrs. Christie's help, got a male dog from Mikalsen.  And later he saved a male from being put to death -- this was Buster, who came to mean a great deal for the breeding of lundehunds.

 In 1963, Mikalsen lost all his own dogs, so that there was not a single purebred lundehund on Vxroy.  Again Mrs. Christie came to the rescue and sent two puppies, by air.  As it happened, they arrived on Monrad Mikalsen's 75th birthday.  He was so happy that he at once rang Mrs. Christie on the telephone and shouted, "They are lying in bed with Katrine!"

 

The Norwegian Lundehund Club was founded in 1962 with the purpose of preserving and improving the breed.  The club had an excellent foundation on which to build, in that all the dogs were gathered almost in one place and the Club could begin from the beginning -- full knowledge of each dog's pedigree.

Today we can say with certainty that the lundehund is saved form extinction.  The story of how the lundehund has been saved a second and again a third time from extinction is as remarkable as is the breed itself.  It is a good thing that the Lundehund does not himself know how many unique characteristics he has, or he would be very proud and not easy to live with.  But in reality the lundehund is an extraordinarily loyal, observant, clever, good, and affectionate little dog.  He is characterized by those who own one as lively, charming, and playful.  Happy and always in top form as a companion for a tramp.  Somewhat obstinate at times but on the whole obedient, and -- not the least of his virtues -- devoted as are few others.

 In the summer of 1963 we were on holiday in Norway [Inger Kristiansen and her husband Aksel] when we say in one place a lively little reddish-brown dog.  I was fascinated by his behavior and ways of conducting himself, so asked the owner what kind of dog this was. 

"He is a lundehund and you may not buy one because there are only 10 in Norway and none may be sold until we have 200 here at home, " said the owner.  The lundehund had stolen my heart, as he had so many others'.  But I continued to have that delightful little dog in my thoughts, and although I doubted that I could have both Bjorneuhnde and Lundehund together, I wrote to Norway.  In 1972 a film was made for TV about lundehunds and the puffin-hunting.  The got a dispensation from the Preservation Committee and the film was made on Vxroy.  (Danish TV bought the film but has not shown it yet.)  As a result of this film, lundehunds suddenly became very popular in Norway and the waiting list for those who wanted to buy one became even longer.  I wrote again to the Club at the beginning of 1976, and in June we received a letter saying that we could have a puppy at harvest time.  There was not a lot of time to consider the matter, and in early October we traveled to Bergen to get Ogar av Enerhaugen.  This turned into a big event, for all the lundehunds for miles around were brought to show us, so that we could see as many as possible and thereby get an impression of the breed.  We were to stay with the breeder, Christen Lang, who is, to say the least, a walking encyclopedia on lundehunds.  Before we came home he had given us all the information about their pedigrees and history, also about the ways lundehunds behave at Dog Shows, had told us about the Lundehund Club's major work, and at the same time arranged a meeting with Mrs. Christie and after that with the Club's president.  Mrs. Christie, a lively old woman in her eighties, had just recovered from a broken leg, and was very glad to see us -- we talked about lundehunds until my head swam.  At the same time she told us that she was to have an audience with the King of Norway because she had saved the Lundehund Breed.  The Club's president, Sofie Schonheyder, a most remarkable woman who, in spite of all she has to do always welcomes us to stay with her, and to talk a lot -- about lundehunds.

            Half-a-year later we were offered Embla av Valpason, and there, also, at the home of the Harbitz sisters, we were welcomed.  They had bred lundehunds after they got one of Mrs. Christie's first puppies.  That same year, there was a male puppy at Hersholm so at Christmas, 1977, we were again with Sofie Schonheyder -- but things did not go well with Balder (the male pup) because one of his testicles was too large and did not fall into place, so we were offered Froy av Tunvin instead.  We found a home for him in Kerteminde before we accepted the offer, then traveled to fetch him in the summer of 1978.  At this time we again visited the many friends we had come to know in Norway, and had Froy with us in the car.  We discovered that the Norwegians are very observant!  On the way to Balder's birthplace, we became front page news.  A dog in a Danish automobile must be a dog with rabies, and we were held up a couple of hours by county police who said we were sought after in the whole district.  But everything was O.K. and we were allowed to continue, after a telephone call to clear up the matter, but the police could not promise us that it was the last time we would be stopped.  Therefore we ourselves sought out a police station and got a stamped, official statement that the dog had just been bought in Norway.  But we did not see many friendly faces, and drove home at night, Froy sleeping and not visible to anyone.

My doubts about having both breeds together was but to shame.  The small dogs could manage perfectly well.  Aksel called them the Karelians' brakes, for the smaller dogs sprang up, set their teeth fast in the Karelians' tails and their toes firmly in the carpet, so that both Karelians and Lundehunds stood, motionless.

One summer Eberhard Trumler visited us in order to take a closer look at lundehunds.  He compared their behavior with that of the jackal and their feet with those of the grasping hand of an extinct kind of ape.  But, inasmuch as a lundehund says "Bow-Wow," I say that there is no cross-breeding with either a jackal or an ape.

Photo Credits:

Photographs courtesy of Frances Wagner of her late Ch. (CKC) Nondas Thicketwood Bjarni. Thanks Frances for sharing these photos with us.

                                                                                                          

© 2004 NLCA, Inc.    Rev. 4/04