We’re lucky to have four seasons in Estonia, our summers can be very hot and our winters can be not only snowy, but also very cold (up to -25 C, which is -13 F), but the spring and autumn between them make the whole year interesting. We have it all – the beach season, white christmas, blossoming spring and golden autumn 🙂
The place we live in, is Suurupi, which is a village in Harku Parish, Harju County in northern Estonia. As of June 2010 it has a population of 756.
Even though the place is not big, we still have beautiful scenic landscapes and interesting places to visit. First to mention would be a beautiful rocky bank of Suurupi, a loved place by photographers and romantic scenery for couples coming to see a beautiful sunset.
The lighthouses of Suurupi are likewise unique. The oldest, the Suurupi Upper Lighthouse, was built in 1760. The light is 22 m above ground and 66 m above the sea level and it is visible at sea 18 miles away from the shore. The Lower Suurupi Lighthouse, built of wood, was erected in 1859. The lighthouse, which is 15 m tall, is the only functioning wooden lighthouse in Estonia, the visibility range of which 11 miles.
In the Harku municipality, the majority of the defensive structures of the Sea Fortress of Peter the Great, built between 1912 and 1918, are located, some of which were placed under the Heritage Conservation protection in 1997.
These military buildings are both spooky and exciting 🙂
I like exploring these places by bicycle and usually take one or two adult dogs with me to keep them fit and in good condition. Good condition is essential for whelping the puppies, not to mention the dog shows. I think there is a strong connection between C-sections and bad physical condition.
The distance of the ride varies from 4 km to 12 km and most of my adult dogs are trained for this. They are leashed during the ride for their (and my) safety, but I let them run free occasionally for them to have the possibility to slow down, have a small snack and also to check them once in a while. Some of the running is done on the road pavement, but the dogs are used to it and their paws are strong.
Swimming is excellent for the joints, muscles and coat. Living very close to the sea we do use every opportunity to let our dog swim. We have a 10 minutes walk from our house to the sea and our dogs are used to swim a full year around, exept when the sea is frozen. Some people witnessing it have been terrified seeing Labradors swimming in icy water next to big ice cubes with -5 C outside and after coming out of the water, having the top of their coat frozen in a minute. But the truth is that dogs enjoy it, they rush into the water themselves and have never had any problems because of it. On the contrary, as a result of it, they grow very good and thick coats, which don’t let the cold water get close to the skin at all. I find it logical thinking what was the first purpose of the St John’s dogs, the anchestors of Labradors – they were used to dive into the icy waters and help pull in the full nets and to go after the fish that escaped.
We have many forests around the place we live in, so all together it is a wonderful place to exercise the dogs for field work and hunting tests. I get to choose different kind of landscape for the beginners and advanced dogs, the places are only a short walk away from our house and there is not much distraction. The place is also nice for organizing get-togethers and Puppy Parties.
These forests are full with wild animals as well, on our walks we come across deers, foxes, hares and sometimes even elks. Well, You don’t even have to go for a walk to see them, they come as close as our yard. This photo was taken before we had a fence over the yard and this dear deer was eating my bushes!
In springtime the birds gather in the bay of our beach, you can see a big variety from seagulls to swans. And those last ones are just gorgeous.
HAA! I found it! Here’s the photo of Nimbus (Mallorn’s Chocomania) swimming with 30 swans. Actually I have couple of those photos.
The great thing about Labs and swans swimming together is that they actually get along so well! I was afraid in the beginning for both sides, as swans can be quite agressive towards intruders and dogs are usually not very discrete. But it turned out that dogs really don’t care much of the swans and swans are a bit curious about the dogs, so it works out just well 🙂
Our village is full of small children and this is another thing I love. Not only do my kids have many friends, but so do my dogs. We have kids coming into our yard every day to play with our puppies and dogs. They sometimes walk the dogs around the village, take them to their playgrounds, even feed the puppies and help me with taking them inside. I love it!
I hope to have more photos and videos to share with you soon.