Experience, knowledge, ethics, common sense
More than a passion for breeding malamutes and laikas, Souvenir of Sitka’s is a way of life.
When Franck was 13, in 1987, he was lucky enough to take in a bitch who was the 1983 and 1984 French champion named Souvenir, also known as Sitka.
Sitka was to be replaced after a breeding career at two different farms: Michèle Raust’s Over Vale and Dale and Michèle Lavergne’s Of Arksaneq. Taken in at Christmas 1987, Sitka kept Franck happy for almost another 8 years. A passion for sport, genetics and dogs did the rest.
Andrée has owned Nordic dogs, malamutes and huskies, since 1992. In 2001, she acquired “Blue” from Franck, who was living in Toulouse at the time… And so it was that the two of them found themselves, in love, in Luxembourg in 2002, already leading a small troop of 6 dogs.
Social workers, Andrée and Franck organize their lives around dogs: breeding, sled sports, animal mediation programs for vulnerable people, and a cottage in Finnish Lapland. A family passion!
Few breeders are as lucky as we are to own a cottage in Finnish Lapland: Villa Ainola!
In the far north, 300kms beyond the Arctic Circle, we travel with our dogs through snow-covered open spaces for 1 to 2 months every winter! A dream…
In the land of the northern lights, opposite the chalet, we have a dozen or so comfortable pens for 3 to 4 dogs, with wooden kennels adapted to extreme temperatures. They’re a pleasure to return to after long runs in these wild spaces!
We also have starting areas with stake-outs to make sledding easier, especially when it comes to reaching frozen lakes and rivers. These starting areas allow dogs to be tied in groups along a cable or chain before setting off down the slopes.
For bivouacs in wooden huts along our itineraries, we also install this stake-out system, often in the undergrowth. So our wolves can rest, curled up in a ball in the fresh snow, protected by their typically abundant fur.
It’s not unusual for fellow mushers to join us there, or to rent the Villa Ainola. In any season, it’s magnificent… the dogs hike with us, swim, run… Yes, a dream!
In 2006, we set up La Trace, an animal mediation organization that became a public utility under a different legal status in 2022! La Trace has now been approved as a Société à Impact Sociétal by the French Ministry of Labor and the Social Economy.
Our malamutes and laikas are the key players in an extraordinary social project! The characteristics of each dog – its physique, its character, the way it interacts with other dogs or in a unique way with each of the beneficiaries of our programs – are the basis of our educational or therapeutic methodology.
All these exchanges guarantee our dogs optimal socialization and balance, and we’re not talking about puppies! For their development, nothing is better than the interactions we offer them with audiences of all kinds.
Affix FCI nr 310518
Certificat Formation Elevage FCL 24032019
Autorisation d’Elevage Ministère de l’Agriculture nr 537/19 LU
VAT LU31 060 483