Back in 2 Weeks

Phil and the Beautiful, Muscly Redhead

I tentatively perched on the edge of the couch, not knowing the proper etiquette for these things in Sweden. Phil sat beside me but was forced to squeeze up as a beautiful, muscly redhead proceeded to climb onto the couch and make herself at home practically in his lap! 

Perhaps I should start from the beginning…

Having a dog in London wasn’t practical due to long working hours, time-consuming commutes and regular stints out of the country. It wouldn’t have been fair to have a pooch live with us under those circumstances, but with Phil working eight minutes walk from home in Sweden there was a glimmer of hope.

Cue months of googling late into the night searching for a breed with a temperament that would be happy chilling in an apartment, but also willing to run with Phil for hours at a time, multiple times a week. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers – high pitched barkers = unhappy neighbours, Newfies – too big, Pomskies – too small, Carpet Commandos – too yappy, Border Collies – very sadly, too desperate to work. Finally, we narrowed it down to Rhodesian Ridgebacks – lion hunters who are known to be lazy at home, but with the stamina and athleticism to run.

During my holidays back in Australia, I visited every Ridgeback I knew – a breeder, a vet and multiple homes where owners raved about their love for these dogs. You can imagine my joy when I discovered that Ridgebacks are popular in Sweden too! Better yet, spring and summer are peak puppy seasons, so I set about emailing every breeder with puppies pending that met my requirements – a black nosed, round-eyed female with a correct ridge. Unfortunately, I discovered that Ridgebacks are VERY popular here and all the puppies are sold long before they are born – especially the females. 

Last week a breakthrough occurred! I found a breeder who lives in a town just near Malmö. They’re having puppies in late August and they invited us to their house to meet their three Ridgebacks.


It was a perfect evening to venture out into the countryside. The bright sunshine highlighted fields of exquisite green and gold. Each small town was populated with blooming tulips and classical Swedish homes tucked under high, sharply angled roofs. We considered ourselves so lucky to live so close to such beauty.


Our hosts welcomed us with open arms and cautious, but waggy tails. Then we spent a delightful couple of hours fika-ing (i.e. having coffee and cakes – a well known Swedish pastime) while we discussed the art of raising a dog and everything that entails, in a good natured mix of Swedish and English. Phil hadn’t met a Ridgeback really up close before, so I was pleased that one chose to snuggle up with him on the couch. He now understands why we need a bigger couch than he imagined!

I don’t know if we’ll get a puppy from this litter, but spending time with this warm, generous family was definitely worth the trip. I hope we get to see more of them.

  1. Judith
    25 May 2015

    WOW – Philip’s lucky day – but he already has a beautiful redhead! Perhaps one is never enough.

    • Katherine Thomson
      27 May 2015

      Ha! I haven’t been a redhead in a very long time! Unless you’re talking about someone else I should know about 😉

  2. Maree Hoban
    25 May 2015

    Looks gorgeous! I hope you get a pup and I’m enjoying your posts! Say hi to Phil from Declan and me. 🙂

  3. Sahaja
    27 May 2015

    mmm Xena is not allowed on the couch or the bed but she pretends she doesn’t know that!

    • Katherine Thomson
      28 May 2015

      It’s amazing how many owners (myself included) say their dogs aren’t allowed on the furniture, but then can’t resist a little snuggle when their pets hop up to make themselves comfortable!

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