Our Story

A Story of a Hobby Breeder

 

So many things in our life are destined to be, and to what extend we are able to change fate – no one knows. It varies in complexity of life.

What is the main intention of any good breeder? To preserve and continue the beauty and the grace of an animal for years ahead and for people: to cherish and preserve. Many good hobby breeders understand and do just that. Ironically, not all the show breeders uphold such a vital priority, and require that the offspring of any of their show dogs be fixed.

This story started 19 years ago. When I was a teenager, I really wanted a small, fluffy dog. I was raised in a very loving family and I dreamed about a small intelligent creature whom I would love and caress. My omnipresent uncle fulfilled the first part of my destiny. He found a red sable Pomeranian in a Ukrainian village, hanging out in a local store and eating salty herring. He brought me the boy and I was mesmerized… Despite that I had never seen a Pom before, I instantaneously knew, that this is the prettiest kind of dog ever, and he is the dog of my dreams. Nobody even knew back then what breed it was. It was the mid-90’s in Ukraine, when Poms were very rare, despite that our Brovary city was the closest in conglomerate to the capital city of Ukraine.

I was the happiest child and I fell in love with my Ryjjyk (Reesh-jick ) very much. When I was walking him one time, one pedestrian said – you have not a doggy, but a fairy tale. I’ve memorized that until this very day, because all the Poms indeed are like a fairy tale – tremendously beautiful and an incredible breed. Back then, just a couple years after the USSR broke apart, dogs were treated like yard guardians in many cities and villages. It was like they all just got domesticated yesterday. Most of them lived on properties, many on chains; leashes and walks were a rare suburban fancy. Vaccinations? What? You need to vaccinate a dog? Yes, that was a reality, but it started to change even back then.

My father, Oksana, and Ryjjyk

So yeah, I was a naïve and innocent child, loving my Ryjjyk, enjoying sunny days, growing, and not knowing what the future will bring. We lived on a decent 5 acres, subdivided between our extended family property.  It was fenced and while Ryjjyk enjoyed the expanse, he would take off once in a while, plunging under that old fence. I really worried about it, but my parents were saying not to worry, and that he will come back. Those rare episodes were stressful to me back then. I was a clever child and I intuitively knew that such taking offs are very dangerous. My parents were old school and they never took it seriously. They were great parents and I didn’t really blame them for being careless in regards to the dog, such as they were a typical product of that old USSR culture.

Right around that time, the cooperative of the factory my father worked for, was building a ten floor big three section apartment complex, for which factory workers lined up. That was the usual scenario. Our family moved to a brand new two bedroom apartment; my parents, my 7 y. o. sister Oksana, and I. I was 15 y.o. at the time. Life unraveled its new busy page and Ryjjyk and I adjusted to our new environment. We still often visited the old place and the members of our extended family on my mother’s side. The primary landlord was my beloved great grandmother. She was the reason that I learned to love old people and to have a very special and touching place for them in my heart. She shared a lot with me. I bet she thought that she was sharing serious life’s stuff with a pet. However, I was a very insightful child and understood a lot of things she said and even life and death questions started to become a common topic for my way to early contemplation. I always prophesized her to have a very long and happy life, and I was only five.

So, we were happy to visit the old place and to see my great grandmother. My parents were needed to do something at the old place, and of course I was playing around; enjoying life. My Pom Ryjjik zoomed around the property like a little torpedo. I so loved to see him running free, but during one of those visits he took off and never came back. I rode my bicycle and covered a big area and I found my dog dead on the highway. I was absolutely devastated. I focused and wished very, very strongly in my heart for my Ryjjyk to return to me in future. I was wishing like that very profoundly and many times. What has been said about our thoughts is true; they are more material then most of us think. He returned to me many years after in the shape of my gorgeous Chewbaca. Believe it or not, but I think even his character is incredibly similar to Ryjjyk’s, not just the color. Yes, they are as different as we are. All of our current Poms have very distinct personalities.

Oksana, Ryjjyk, and Me

However, I will return to one episode which preceded that tragedy and which I always will remember along with a smile or a laugh. So, miraculously, I found a parti orange Pom girl in the same city and proposed my dog as a stud for free. Being 15 y. o., I already formed a notion to preserve beauty. I took their girl to our apartment when she was in heat and watched a miracle happen. That was the first time I observed them mating and was wondering why they were stuck. My mother said it is natural, so - oh well; something interesting and new for me to observe! After, I had lost contacts with girl’s owners, despite that they resided on the same street. It was already well developed neighborhood with many apartment complexes around.

So back to the time I lost Ryjjyk, we had just moved to a new apartment. I was a 9th grader. I was walking behind our building and I could not believe my eyes; the dog that looked exactly like my Ryjjyk was trotting with a black poodle and a woman on a pedestrian boulevard. I was amazed. Again, Poms were very rare back then. I approached the woman and we got acquainted. I told her my story briefly and it appeared that she had my dog’s son! I was absolutely amazed, but hold on to your horses!  His owner Antonina said that she had a puppy-boy out of him and her poodle. She was considering giving the puppy to her son. However, after hearing my story she decided to give the puppy to me. I was flying from happiness.

View from Apartment in Brovary

The day had come and I brought home my little miracle: a Pom-Poodle mix of cream color. Antonina was a school teacher of the English language. She called Ryjjik’s son Joy and her Poodle was Cherry. She gave my puppy the nick name “Nice”, and I gladly retained it.

It’s funny afterwards… Yes, again I found a girl in heat and tried to breed Nice this time, but he was never able to produce anything. His dingies had never descended. I knew that it looked impossible, but tried a couple of times anyway. Nice was the end of Ryjik’s line, and the beautiful small breeds continued to be rare back in those days. Nice lived with our family for 12 years. He became pretty fat when he was older. Despite my sister and I begging them to restrain their urges, our parents always felt obligated to feed the poor little dog. Regardless of him being obese, he still managed to make it to 12 years, which was an achievement with his condition, I believe.

Nice

When Nice was around 9 years old, I met my dear James and moved to USA. Despite that our love was flourishing, the separation with my beloved dog and my sister was torturing me.  I started to see Poms on streets and they weren’t so rare anymore. Every time I would see a Pom walking with his owner, fountains of squeaky emotions were emerging and James was notified every time that we are observing a true miracle – a Pom walking on a street. James’s mother use to breed Old English Sheep Dogs and  later Shar Peis, so he was also a dog lover. Seeing all of that and caring a lot for me, he found me Gizmo. When we drove to get her – I was thrilled. We met the breeder half way and I held two little miracles – a black and white parti girl and cream and white parti girl. Every time I picked one – my face was licked and I laughed with the joy of a child. I picked them both up 3 times and the most intense licker let me know that I was hers.

Gizmo

I was thinking initially of the black and white girl, but I was so glad that the breeder brought them both, because I fell in love with my Gizmo so hard - it’s indescribable in words. Gizmo proved to me that she is special. She is very smart and entertaining and she stared to heal my heart. To describe Gizmo’s character would be a separate book, but I will mention a trick of hers that I’ll memorize for the rest of my life.

First of all, I told her to quit doing her clumsy, slimy trick, but I highly regret not making a video before that. Gizmo grew up with a cat and decided to try what the cat did to get attention. She would stroke my leg with her very lips and nose slowly like a cat, sliming me every time she did that. That was funny as hell, but I could not handle those wet strokes and I asked her to stop. She agreed, being a very smart Pomeranian.

Gizmo and Us

The apartment we resided in did not allow dogs (I truly hate that) so we needed to move out soon after. Once we finally got to a place where we had the room and time to potentially breed Gizmo, we decided to breed her with a friend of our’s dog; Hugh Heffner. She had two puppies; a boy and girl. When we sold the boy, my heart was ripped into million pieces (there was always such a cupid-boy in every one of Gizmo’s litters). That was the hardest first experience, but we adamantly continued what we started.

We decided, that we were going to get our own boy to breed to the next time around. We purchased Chewbaca right after we sold pups from Gizmo’s first litter. The funniest episode - Chewbaca is 3 months old and he is retrieving a stick. He enjoys doing it tremendously, with all of his passionate and brave Chewaca heart. I am throwing a stick, Chewie flies like a hawk in the thrill of the hunt…and plunges right into a four foot wide creek. Woosh! I get scared but not losing my composure, and while I am running to get him, I see my little Pomeranian puppy paddling toward the bank, but a strong current is swiftly carrying him away. I promptly ran in the correct trajectory, jumped into the cold water and caught my swimming puppy. Anyhow, that experience had not discouraged our brave Chewbaca from swimming afterwards.

Chewbaca and Dad
Chewbaca

When Gizmo was 6 years old, she had her last litter of puppies. We initially agreed to keep the girl, but one of the boys was a destined troublemaker, so we ended up keeping two puppies: a rambunctious fluffy girl of a tomboy character – Mini Moo and a very girly and silky boy - Cream Puff; nicknamed Trouble. Afterwards, I told James – let’s go completely crazy and get another parti girl and continue having our tradition – a litter a year. And we did just that.

Team Cream
Team Cream

Soon, our little sweet tri colored Mojo girl arrived here in Washington. She flew all the way from the state of Michigan. The same state where we found our Chewbaca, albeit from a completely different breeder and line. The day we drove to the airport to get our girl was another happiest day of my life. When we received our crate – a little sleepy black and white miracle climbed out of it and I gave her the gentlest kisses and petting right away. We gave her water and Nutrical and walked around on the grass, where our sweet girl did her first good job. Right after I wrote these very words Mojo came here I put her on a big fluffy pillow on my lap and gave her the same, but louder kisses…

Moj and Ella
Mojo

So, we still continue our tradition. We have a litter of pups once a year and we immensely love our Poms.

When we had just Chewie and Gizzy, we went to the Oregon coast in 2012. And that was so Zen and awesome.

Gizmo, Chewbaca and a view out the window

In 2014 we finally were able to buy a used RV in great condition (like new), and we went for a vacation to the Oregon coast with all our 5 Poms for the very first time. I was afraid that we wouldn’t be able to share good time for us and for them, but luckily I was mistaken! We observed a lot of beautiful scenery and were able to check local stores and souvenirs and of course we walked with our babies along the ocean’s shores. We were very happy to visit Cannon Beach – a very rare off-leash beach, where our Poms ran free…and that was one of the most touching and amazing things I ever observed in my life. A Pom running on a beach…

Oregon Coast 2014

Ella and our dogs  Rainier Pomeranians  Rainier Pomeranians

We found an awesome owner of 4 Poms through Face Book - Janae, who helped us to discover a very fun and useful local fundraising dog event – Doggy Dash for the Oregon Humane Society. We drove 2 hours to Portland and paraded proudly with all our 9 Poms combined. We gave people compliments, received plenty, observed very many awesome and happy dogs, and chattered about the world of Poms and purebred dogs. The event went great and we continue being distant Pom friends. If life will treat us right, we will do it every year and maybe will form a bigger Pom team next time.

Rainier Pomeranians at Doggy Dash 2014  Doggy Dash 2014

We went to a second fundraiser – Seattle’s Furry 5K during the same summer and had a similar, exhilarating experience; although it wasn’t as great as Janae and I with our 9 Pom team. Hopefully, we will form a bigger fluff-ball team next year.

Seattle Furry 5k 2014  Seattle Furry 5k 2014

James manages our Rainierpoms web site and I pamper our photo gallery and our Rainier Pomeranians Face Book page, where I post many fun photos of our Poms, my painting of them, and the greeting cards I make out of their pictures.

Art.jpg  Greetings.jpg

My sister is a professional photo-editor for a successful photo/video studio in Ukraine and she taught me the basics of photography and photo-retouching. It is a very time-consuming hobby, but the results are always the best reward for an artist’s heart.

Our poms in their new window view  Our Poms at Alder Lake

Rainier Pomeranians