Sami de Hamadan

Sami de Hamadan 7 years, (c) Laura Rodriguez

Sami de Hamadan - 'Muhafhaf'
26.5. 2001 - 26.10.2009
Owner - Micaela Lehtonen
Breeder - Nina Adam

In the summer of -98 I also wrote to Nina Adam (Salukis de Hamadan) in France who uses Western and desert lines in her breeding. This also led to a treasured friendship. Nina had been given two Bahraini Salukis by Shaikha Danah Al Khalifa in -93, the bitch Nuha and the male Dhah'ban who now lives in Belgium.

I was promised a pup from Nuha's future litter. Nuha is a sweet, small and nicely built bitch who has done well at lure-coursing and has successfully hunted hares and foxes. Her parents are tribal Salukis from Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Sami de Hamadan 15 months

The wait was longer than expected. The intended mate was La'hin de Hamadan whose half-Iraqi dam Esmahan de Hamadan and Turkish descent sire Kerim el Riad were accomplished racers. The first mating did not take, the second the male could not come for the best days and the third resulted in one stillborn pup.

It was decided that Nuha would be mated to Dhah'ban instead since he too represents Bahraini/Saudi tribal lines and has offspring from previous matings. Nuha promptly produced 6+2 pups in May -01. In July I went to Provence and spent 5 lovely days there with Nina and her family.

Muhafhaf 2,5 months

Most of the days were spent at the puppy enclosure trying to decide which pup to take. I finally chose the smallest of the males, Sami de Hamadan, whom I nicknamed Muhafhaf ("slender" in Arabic). He was both the prettiest and the calmest of the pups and also the one who played the most hunting games, pouncing on his siblings and flipping them over by twisting their hocks.

The trip back to Finland went surprisingly well. Muhafhaf travelled in a water tight bag in my lap and saved his yodeling for the airports, sleeping soundly through the flights.

Muhafhaf in September 2002

Muhafhaf was a delightful young man. He was unbelievably sweet, calm and affectionate. A real gentleman and stunningly handsome to boot! He was slightly shorter than tall, like Farha very compact yet graceful. Again like Farha he had a nice substantial back skull and a lovely, slightly wolflike expression. He had the longest stride at a gallop, seeming to soar through the air. Farha and Muhafhaf were very close and could usually be seen together wrestling or napping curled into each other.

Muhafhaf 7 years, (c) Suvi Nielikäinen

In early June 2002 Muhafhaf developed what we believed to be idiopathic epilepsy. The seizures were severe grand mal-clusters which occurred about once a month. Muhafhaf was put on phenobarbital and potassium bromide twice a day, in the beginning also homeopathic Cuprum once a month.

Muhafhaf 7 years

With this regimen he's seizures were under control and he only had one grand mal seizure (no more clusters) once ever 12-24 months, but I always had him with me so I could administer rectal diazepam should he have a seizure - this, together with the daily medication, kept single seizures from becoming clusters. He did have some new symptoms: a cough, drooping lips and slight coordination troubles (swaying), but luckily he could still enjoy running like the wind and was in good spirits, altogether a happy boy :) After performing loads of tests we did not find a cause for the symptoms so they were either medication related or stemmed from neurological changes.

Muhafhaf with puppies

Muhafhaf's spring 2003 was spent watching Farha's nine pups. In 2002 we had three pups here in home quarantine from the age of 3 months to the age of 1 year, plus our own Lublub, and Muhafhaf was not particularly thrilled with the puppies. In fact it wasn't until they were about 6 months old that I could leave them alone together in the yard.

Farha's, in fact all of our own pack's, pups were quite a different matter: Muhafhaf welcomed them with a friendly if somewhat puzzled attitude. From the start the pups were allowed to pull on his tail, hang in his ears and snuggle up next to him. The pack all joined in the care of the puppies and Muhafhaf too took their well-being to heart in a most charming manner :)

Hafna & Muhafhaf

During 2004 I noticed some changes in Muhafhaf's attitude toward strangers. With anyone he did not know well he shyed away from them and looked at them with suspicion. Thankfully he was himself with the family - with us he was still the lovable and loving, charming lapdog he'd always been :)


In the summer of 2007 we took Muhafhaf for his regular check-up which monitored how his body and in particular his liver coped with his medication. Once again, to our great pride and relief, Muhafhaf astounded us all, including his vet. All his bloodwork came back terrific, the bloodwork of a healthy dog!

The summer of 2009 was good and Muhafhaf enjoyed it immensely. Unfortunately when autumn arrived he is limping off and on, just as he did in early spring. I suspected the cold, wet weather was the culprit.

In late October 2010 I had to make the difficult decision to let him go :( Not only was he limping, but he seemed perpetually groggy and tired - I bielieve his body just gave in after having been on strong medication for many years. That night he ate his favourite dish - liver casserole with cream. His appetite had not been good of late, but this meal he enjoyed! A wonderful vet I know came here at night and Muhafhaf passed away quietly in our guest cottage. Afterward I held him for a long time, cried into his soft coat and told him of the Rainbow Bridge and all who would be waiting for him there. And that one day we would meet there again, and never part.

It was truly inspiring to watch Muhafhaf's tenacity and zest for life during the 8½ years we had together. When he became ill two vets predicted he would not live to be 2 years old - he had other ideas <3 He was the most loving, charming, humorous boy and I am eternally grateful to Nina for this magnificent Saluki!

Muhafhaf 5 years



(imp. Bahrain)

Adlia Ayman
Creamy of Danah
(Saudi Arabia)
Zabyan (tribal saluki)
Zabiah (tribal saluki)



(imp. Bahrain)

(Saudi Arabia)
Zabyan (tribal saluki)
La'ba (tribal saluki)
Khattaf (Saudi, tribal saluki)
Thubja (Qatar, tribal saluki)


Muhafhaf 's dam - Nuha