Sara and Dogs

Sara and Asheerah


My sister Sara Lehtonen is 17 years my junior, a feisty little redhead who like me loves animals. Sara is now (2003) 13 years but will always be "my baby", naturally. Sara too has grown up with animals, first the Dachshunds Tiiti and Tennari. Tennari is about 6 months older than Sara and spent his first months curled up on my pregnant mother's belly, just as Grogga did when she expected me.

Baby-Sara with Tiiti & Tennari

Once Sara was born he became a competent babysitter who'd sit by Sara's pram for hours while she slept outside.

Sara and B-puppies

At 6 years of age Sara was present at the birth of Tiiti's second litter and helped care for the puppies, two of which stayed with me. (I still lived with my parents then).

Sara and Akasha

A few months later my first Saluki joined the household.

Sara with Tennari and our dear bunny, Caspian  in '94

At that time we also had a darling lopeared little rabbit, Caspian (named Prince Caspian Lehtonen by Sara, inspired by the Narnia books), who never went into his cage except to eat. Otherwise he had the run of the house like any dog, neatly relieving himself in a kitty litter box. He would come when called and always rushed to the front door with the dogs when the doorbell rang. I still miss him very much.

Sara and Zia

When Sara was 8 years old 6-year old Saluki Zia came to us. Zia's former owners told us that she was a glutton and especially fond of biscuits and that she would bite to defend goodies. The day Zia arrived mom, Sara, Zia and I were in the kitchen and behind us on the dinner table was a plate of biscuits…When we weren't looking Zia snatched a biscuit. Before we knew what was happening Sara took hold of Zia's muzzle and demanded that she drop the biscuit. Zia just growled menacingly and mom and I dared hardly breathe when Sara firmly lodged Zia's head under her arm, forced her jaws open with both hands and proceeded to fumble around practically up to her elbow in the growling dog's mouth, finally emerging victorious with the biscuit intact! Zia was very impressed with Sara's authority and for the next transitional few weeks followed her everywhere, sleeping her nights in Sara's bed. Surely this commanding girl had to be the boss here! We learned three things that day: that Zia wouldn't intentionally hurt anyone, that our baby who had grown up with dogs needed to have more respect for strange ones, and that Zia should never be left alone with anything edible..

Safi, Farha and Sara at the Airport

When Farha arrived from Israel Sara again showed off her no-nonsense approach to unruly dogs. It was dark by the time we got home from the airport. My cottage did not have electricity at the time so it was decided that Farha would spend the first night at mom and Sara's since I did not want to put Farha in with my pack in the dark. Later that night, when the then 10-year old Sara was already asleep, Farha discovered the Dachsies' Frolic treats and was immediately ready to fight for them. Sara jumped out of bed, flipped Farha over on her back and lay on top of her growling until the dog calmed down.. Like Zia Farha was very impressed and spent the night in Sara's bed.

Sara get her first dog, Kiara

Sara had long been talking about a dog of her very own and had impressed us with narrowing down her breed of choice with expertise and a great deal of common sense. She wanted a small, manageable dog that would like to do things with a kid, maybe even shows and agility. She first narrowed it down to either a Sheltie, a Whippet or a Parson Russell Terrier. When Sara and mom moved to the country near me Sara had decided on the Terrier.

Sara and Kiara

Taija Jokela (kennel Gwragged Annwn) imported a 4-month placement bitch from Sweden, Jackpack B.B. to Gwragged Annwn and this became Sara's first dog whom she promptly named "Kiara". It was mutual love at first sight and the girls are inseparable.

Sara and Kiara

Even Sara's homework is done with Kiara sitting attentively in Sara's lap. Their relationship is very special and Kiara literally worships her young mistress.

Sara and Tilda

When Kiara was about a year old it was decided that she needed a young doggie friend since Tiiti and Tenna were already elderly. So the search for that Whippet began. In Pori we found little Quatrain's Merry Music, (also a placement bitch) christened "Tilda" by Sara.


Sara chose the calmer of two bitches and Kiara got her friend. Tilda is a very sweet young thing and has confidently taken her place in their flock. Kiara, Tilda and Sara, the Dynamic Trio, were soon joined by a little kitten, "Julia", whom Sara "rescued" from the nearby stables. Tilda and Julia grew up entwined together!

Sara and Bacchus

Sara and mom practically run an animal liberation front: in addition to Tenna 13 years, Kiara 2,5 years, Tilda and Julia almost 2 years, they have three rehomed animals. The man of the house is Romsku, about 8 years old, a big grey male cat identical to Julia. My brother Sami took him from a country home as a kitten but Romsku never adapted to life as a city cat and so now rules mom's country household.

Mother and Zia

In the fall of -01 Zia decided that she no longer wanted to live with my young pack in a small cottage and chose instead to live with Sara and my mom. One of their latest recruits is about 13 year old Dachsie bitch Juulia (Dreidackels Geisha) whose young owner could no longer keep her as her new home does not allow pets. The crew is periodically joined by my father's Dachsie bitch Doris, officially Ilometsän Iines. 1,5 year old Doris usually lives in Espoo with my dad but takes occasional country vacations here.
In the winter of -01 Kiara gave birth to the Gwragged Annwn B-litter, 1+5, at home and Sara capably joined in the care of the puppies. She also loves horses and enjoys riding on her friends' horses.

Sara and Muhafhaf

When she was little Sara said she wouldn't want a Saluki "they are too wild", but has since decided that when she has finished her studies and has a home of her own she is going to get a desert bred Saluki!

Sara with 9 week old Lublub

The spring and summer of -02 were a time of both sadness and joy. In May our steelgranny Tiiti, 15 years, died peacefully in her sleep surrounded by loved ones. In July my pack was joined by a new bundle, the desert girl Lublub, who is of course enthusiastically petted by both Sara and our "fostergirl" Krista.

Sara with 9 week old Lublub

Sara officially became a teen this autumn when she turned 13 and entered the Finnish equivalent of Junior High (I think?). And she sure has the teenage tantrums down pat ;)

In October Sara and mom's pack grew with the arrival of a 4-month kitten dubbed Felicia a.k.a. Lissu. Lissu was born in the Sälinkää home of Sara's colorful godmother Heidi. Possibly because she was born into an active family with kids and every animal possible, including a rambunctious Dobermann bitch, Lissu has a very self-assured air about her and quickly straightens out any ideas visiting dogs might have, not by scratching but by patting them condescendingly on the top of the head.

In late November one of their pack's elderly Dachsies, Juulia, finally lost her battle with cancer at almost 14 years of age. Thankfully she did not suffer but was perky until the end.

Sara 2003

Sara is now a 14-year-old charming young woman, a hip hop gal who has already penned raps of her own. Hopefully we'll see some of them here eventually? Hip hop, fashion and boys are the order of the day. Sara is also planning a future in fashion or interior design. The signs of adolescence are all in evidence and can be HEARD in particular. We eagerly await a time when we can again have a conversation within tolerable decibels ;) Naturally, WE were never like that ;)

Sara & Habwa

On the animal front things are pretty much as usual, although losses have again been endured, the most tragic of these the death of the cat Romsku, brought about by Bacchus :(

But, there are good news too: Kiara is a grandma!! The next generation is thriving in Taija Jokela's Gwragged Annwn kennel.


Sara & Co. lived in an apartment for a bit but have now found a house in the church village, a bit of a fixer-upper but with running water. Sara is getting a drum kit from her new neighbor, so she'll be able to take out her tennage angst on that ;) She'll get the two upstairs rooms for herself, and we made the mistake of telling her she could paint them any way she wants - consequently one will be bright red, the other black/hot pink...

At the moment we are hoping that Kiara is pregnant, in which case she will have puppies in June 2004.