ETTs of Finland
Article submitted by Miisa Saukkonen
How it all started
We’ve always had dogs in our family. First a dobermann and then miniature dachshunds. When I moved away from home to study I started to think about having my own dog. It was just weird to be without a tail wagging friend!
At the time I had to travel a lot by bus so I was looking for a small dog. I was used to dachshunds, but I wanted something different. My main goal was to find a nice little family member without any serious hobby goals. One day I started to look up different breeds from the internet in alphabetical order and as you may know it didn’t take long to discover ETT! Right away I knew I wanted this kind of dog. The size was perfect, I loved the petite appearance and the health situation was pretty good. Also the personality seemed to be suitable for me.
As always with a breed you don’t know already, choosing who to ask for a puppy was almost like a lottery . For the time being there were maybe about seven breeders here in Finland. I chose to send a message to three of them, told about myself and waited for the response. One of them just clicked.
Both of my dogs are bred by Anne-Mari Suoniemi (Kennel Great Bernina’s). I waited for Niisku (my first dog, Great Bernina’s Niiskuneiti) for one and a half years. Niisku was born in 2013. She stems 100 % from the old English lines and I’m very proud to have her while the traditional ETT is disappearing. We tried to mate her four times, but sadly we were not able to have any puppies from her.
I got my second ETT Nyyti (Great Bernina’s Qastehelmi) in 2016. My waiting time for her was a little bit shorter – 2 weeks exactly, oops! I had planned to have another ETT at some point and Anne-Mari intended to keep Nyyti herself. But sometimes life surprises you! Nyyti is almost pure English lines and there are some features where you can see she has a little bit of TMT in her.
Kennel Great Bernina’s dogs form the oldest line of traditional old English type dogs in Finland. The main goal for Anne-Mari is to pursue representing this type also in the future.
Living with ETTs
My girls have the same dam but they are like night and day. Niisku is very ladylike, she hates cold and wet. I always say she goes hibernation in the winter time and wakes up when the sun starts to warm up. She is very playful and loves to run free (in the summertime). Niisku’s favourite hobby is to sleep under the blanket. Niisku is also very shy when it comes to unknown people (which has been a real problem) but loves her own people to the moon and back.
Nyyti is like a scout – always ready when needed! You could say Nyyti’s personality is very interesting. She has many different sides in her. She is very sensitive (excessively in some things) but at the same time the police of the house. She has been a very nice companion for sports. She is willing to please and has a lot of energy to do things long-lasting. Unfortunately she has patella luxation in both of her knees. Her left knee was operated in 2019 and now it seems the other one needs the surgery too.
My girls are the best cuddling buddies, but simultaneously you can do almost anything with them! We have competed in agility, we have done canicross, kickbiking, skiing, tracking, obedience, rally-obedience, hiking etc. Dog sports have fully taken my heart and that’s why I now have a working Tervueren (by pedigree she is mostly Malinois) Naava (9 months old) growing up to become my main sport buddy with whom I can do also the things I couldn’t with ETTs (weatherproof breed, working dog sports + more suitable personality for different sports).
I have always loved making crafts. In 2014 I decided to try to make a collar from paracord for Niisku. I made a couple of them and my friends started to ask if I could make collars and leashes also for their dogs. And that’s how it all started.
I made products regularly over the years and in 2018 I set up a website and came up with the name for my brand. VIMOENA comes from two Latin words: vim = lively and amoena = lovely. That’s how I describe my ETTs, lively and lovely ♥ At the moment I create dog products in the evenings beside my day job.
I have work mates – my girls! They test the new products and are my main models. Especially Niisku and Nyyti have been the greatest models for my brand. They know how to pose and the short coat is a big plus for showing the products.