Wednesday, 24 August 2011

interview with a PRO: Karolina Pettersson

Karolina ,from Sweden with an excellent carrer in heelwork and freestyle.
She's representing Sweden in all the big competitions with some beautiful results, two team gold at the nordics, one silver medal individual and one 4th place at the nordics and 9th at the world champion.She is also a champion in agility and got to the elite level in obedience.But her curriculum does not stop there , because she's also an agility, obedience and freestyle instructor and a judge in freestyle.
now you can read the interview :)

Karolina and the warm up questions...
last time you eat pizza?
Actually that was yesterday, but before that it was ages...

Do you smoke?
Absolutly not......I have bad bloodcirculation so I would probably die at the spot if I tried ;)

your favorite swedish dish
Hmmm, what´s swedish then...can´t come up with anything typical swedish more than my grandfathers meatballs, I´ll go with that :)

OK, let's begin with the real interview

Could you tell our readers a little about yourself
My name is Karolina (Lina) Pettersson and I´m soon turning 30. I live in Karlstad in the middle of Sweden with my two pumi bitches, Offa (13) and Zing (8). Weekdyas I work with environmental issues at the municipality of Karlstad.

For the moment I train and compete only with Zing. Offa is a happy old lady which just recently decided that she wants to start of her freestyle carrier but not with me...with my friends. So just a month ago she got points to move up from class 1 to class 2 at her first competetion in both heelwork and freestyle. When we were active toghether we did obedience and agility. And she is a champion in agility and got to the elite level in obedience.

Zing is my soulmate! We have done so much in dogsport and she is always happy to see what I come up with next. We have trained and compete, agility, obedience, field work and of course freestyle. At the moment she has championtitle in freestyle, obedience and freestyle and is in the highest level in people search. She is the only pumi in Sweden which has that :)

In freestyle we have had opurtunties I could never had imagine, we have been representing Sweden in both the nordics in 2009 and 2010 and at the world championsship 2010. With some amazing results, two team gold at the nordics, one silver medal individual and one 4th place at the nordics and 9th at the world champion. And this year we fullfilled a dream and was invited to represent Sweden at Crufts. She never stops surprising me to do her verry best when I least expects that. She really is my little sunshine!

I am an agility, obedience and freestyle instructor. I also just recently became a judge in freestyle.

Why the Hungarian pumi?Tell us when it's all began
Our first pumi wasn´t planed at al. When I was twelve my family hadn´t had any dog since we put our german shepherd to sleep some years earlier. Then, my mother wanted to have a dog but we didn´t have any possibility to have a puppy. Some friends had heard about a 10 months old active pumi male, which still lived with his breeder but wanted his own home. Lovin (as his name was) became both my mums and my training companion. Lovin will be in our minds forever, he was a really special dog and we experiencec a lot with him, both positive and negative. I could write a book just of his advantures  After a while I wanted my own dog. I the newspaper I saw an add which said 10 month old pumi bitch wanted a new home. I got interested and rang the owner. I found out that Offa didn´t got along with her sheltie and therefor needed a new home. I trained a competed a lot with Offa but she didn´t keep up the same speed as me, I wanted to do more than she wanted to.

At this time I heard about the best pumi bitch in Sweden (in my eyes) was about to have a litter with a nephew of Lovin. I realy wanted a working dog and the planned litter had really opportunities to become good working dogs. When then the first male didn´t work out and the owner of the bitch chosed to try out Lovin ( at the age of 10!) I had to have a puppy. And that is how Zing got in to my life. And she is everything I ever wanted from a dog and a little bit more ;) Now I have difficulties to imagine a nother breed, you got pretty spoiled by the size, the coat and their charm :)

Three things that you like about dog dance? (only the top 3 )
It allows your dog and you to be creative
You adapt the routine to your dog and not vice versa like in other dogsports
The variations of what you and the dog can do never stops

Tell us about the dog dancing in Sweden.
How are the competitions. Is there a lot of interest about this sport?
The competitions are often very small and pleasent. In Sweden you can compete official in Freestyle class 1-3 and Heelwork to music class 1-3. It is a quite small sport and people are really friendly, open going and supportive towards eachother. There are not a lot of competitions and most of them are in the middle of Sweden. So we are looking forward for the sport to spread in the whole country. What is really positive is that we now have competitions at two of the biggest indoors show , Stockholm hundmässa and My Dog in Gothenburg. That brings a lot of positive attention to the sport!

The interest for the sport in Sweden is getting bigger and bigger. At first there were a lot of young people doing freestyle because the young kennel club was in charge of freestyle in Sweden. Since the Swedish kennel club took over (2010) more people of al ages have found this wonderful sport and it is growing. Since 2010 you can get a champion title and Heelwork to music is official. I think this will make the sport even bigger and that some obecience people will find in intersting.

What comes to your mind if I say Nordic Championship 2009?

Joy! That was such a positive experience. We have had so much trouble with the team and just a couple of weeks before the big event we only hade 2 dogs in the team! But our coach pulled a team together and we decided that the most important thing was to be supportive and to have fun! And we really had a lot of fun together! And to win the team goldmedal was just a bonus :).

I was also really proud of my dog which was able to perform twice at a really high level in a verry short time. Neither of us had been representing Sweden before and to win the silvermedal with only 0,006 points away from the gold was such a joy and made me really proud of us!

What are your best memories about Crufts competitions?
Well the whole trip was absolutly fab! That was really a dream coming true! I have been dreaming about this since I first saw freestyle 2001! And what an experience! We had so much fun travelling with Emmy and Sidsel from Denmark and experience Crufts together with them.

What also come to my mind is how awesume it was to lie on the floor in this giant arena with more than thousands of people watching and go in to the feeling that it was me and Zing doing this together and we will enjoy the moment! I was so proud of her doing her really best in such an environment and she always surprise me to do her best when I least expects it. It was also very nice to meet people from Europe to chat about freestyle.

One thing I never think I will experience again is to feel lika a movie star. There were so many people who wanted to stop and talk to me and Zing, to congrat us, to praise our programe. asking questions about the programe, of Zing, about the breed etc. I took me ages to be able to take her outside. But what a nice feeling and experience!! :)

What is the routine that has made you "work on" more?(the most difficult)

Well,all the routines I´m working on for just that moment are the most difficult just then :) I always try to come up with something new for every routine and that is what I have to work on at that moment. But the trick she did in the programe at Crufts, mowing sideways away from me, is the hardest thing I ever tought here, it took ages before she understood what I wanted her to do. And when she did so good at Crufts she made me so proud!

How much time you devote to training during the week?
I train freestyle with Zing every second day. I have tried earlier to train more but that´s not working for her. The other days we do some people search and physical excercises and have a bit of rest. I also try to train myself at the programe the days I don´t train Zing if we have a show coming up.

Where do you find the inspiration for a routine?
I listen to a lot of music and often it just come to me when I hear the right music. But I can also use the movie for inspiration if it is film music or things in our daily life I like to express. I also have good help of my training partner Johanna.

What ware your best moments in your carrer?
Well there has been so many times that I have truly enjoyed the moment and appreciated that we were able to experience things together, me and Zing. That includes everything from training sessions to Crufts!

But if we are talking about competitions, the first one that comes to my mind is the first Swedish championship. I had worked realy hard with Zing wich became stressed when there was loud music and she couldn´t here my commands. At the championship you should present two routines in two days. And after the first day we had such a »flow«, it was like she read my mind in the ring. I was so proud of ourselves so it really didn´t matter how the next day would go. When we did it again the next day with a different routine and won the goldmedal, that was just amazing. And it would have been amazing even if we wouldn´t have won the goldmedal, just because we found the »flow« together!

Who has had the most impact on your life?
Ofcourse there are a lot of people in your life that make an impression on you and make you develope in different directions. But most impact on my life I must say has my mother had. She has supported me al the way when I was really young with my interests, from the beginning wtih horses and then dogs. When you are young it´s hard to do hobbies without supporting parents. My mum has always supported me and been there for me and is still there for me. She has followed me on al big shows we have been to. Since I´ve been sick this year, she going with me, made it possible to be able to attend.

The last thing you do before a race and the first thing you do after a race?
The last thing I do is to go thrue the programme in my head, to show Zing where the bowl with treats are and then put her on a lie down. The first thing I do afterwords is to praise my dog, after that I´ll walk her down to cool of both of us and to have a bit of time for ourselfes. I like to have it like that no mather what the experience was on the routine.

A typical day in your life
Well a typical day (weekdays) is getting out of bed, have som breakfast for both me and my dogs. Take the dogs out for a short walk and leave them back at home. They´ll go to bed and sleep and I´ll go to work. Since I´ve been sick I haven´t worked fulltime this last year. So that mean I go home have som lunch and take the dogs for a walk around the lake at twelwish, we have a lake just a few minutes away from us and we still live just a couple of minutes from the city centre  After that, time for some rest and house choirs. In the evening I meet up with some training friends and train Zing or we´ll go for a long walk. I also ride western and go on theatre classes, so it al depends on wath day it is.

In what consist a fantastic day for you?
Nice wether, fresh air with no bugs flying around ;) and do something I really enjoy together with my best friends, both fourlegged och twolegged :)

Yours plans for the future
Well, I hope to be able to train and develope me and Zing as much as I can. I also hope to work part time teaching in both Sweden and abroad. I hope we will have the opportunity to go abroad more times, to compete, to teach and to judge. I also hope to do more theater, both med and Zing. Zing played »Sandy« in the musical »Annie« last year and that was one of my best experience ever, so much joy!

Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview! Do you have anything else you would like to add?
Just remember to have fun with your dog and enjoy the whole ride, it is easy to forget that just to reach the goal you set and we don´t have our friends more than a short time!

All the photos are a courtesy of Yvonne Öster 

Lina o Zings finalprogram från freestyle VM
by scorpica81

Lina o Zing My Dog 2011
by scorpica81

Freestyle Mälarö brukshundklubb
by scorpica81


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