The Karlsen Family

This is what we look like when we are all gathered. The Karlsen-family consists of me Dorrit and my husband John Bernhard. 
We have 2 daugthers together, May-Helen and Elly-Mari
Before I met my husband,John, I had my son Marius.
And before John met me he had two lovely daugthers named Marte-Kristin & Linda-Iren. In our house lives my husband and I, May-Helen and Elly Mari. 

Marte-Kristin and Linda-Iren live and work in the city of Stavanger. 
And ofcourse we have 2 beautiful basenjis who live with us who make our house a home, Shaka Savoy Eyla and Nganga's James Dean Diesel.

About me, Dorrit

 I am Dorrit.

The youngest of 3. My sister Wenche is 11 years older than me and my brother Åge Olav is 10 years older than me. Growing up with siblings that are much older than me has made me feel more like an only child. Wenche married when I was 7 years old and my brother went into the army so I was left with my pets. 
Fortunatley my parents let me have pets. I've had cats, hamsters and aquariums while growing up.

In the summer that I turned 10 years old, my affection for dogs was lit.
Near my childhood home where my parents still live, is a kennel. This kennel is owned by a lovely lady named Målfrid Byrkja. 
She has devoted her life to bringing great Norwegian Buhund and Welsh Corgi Pembrokes to the world. Her devotion to dogs and breeding was my inspiration and she is still my mentor and best friend.
At the age of 10 I started visiting kennel Leite-gård as often as I could. I would help Målfrid with everything that she needed doing as there were around 20 dogs that wanted food and exercise. After a while I got the privilege to accompany her at some dogshows, where I practised showing in Juniorhandling.
Sometimes she brought a lot of dogs to the shows, I felt so proud when Målfrid let me handle some of her corgis. 

At the age of 12 I got my own dog. And no - it was not a corgi...Daisy was a cute little mix-breed between her mum - a buhund/lundehund mix and her dad a Cocker Spaniel. Daisy looked like a little terrier but behaved like a cat. We went to several obedience courses where we had lots of fun.

But, I love corgis. When I turned 14, Målfrid convinced my parents to let me buy my first pembroke boy Nuch leite-gårds Lord Louis.
We, including my parents travelled around Norway entering dogshows and juniorhandling competitions. Louis was a clever boy and loved all the attention in the show ring. He knew all the moves and presented himself in an excellent way every time.
In my 17th year, Nuch Leite-gårds Queen Victoria became a member of our pack. Vicky was a loving & relaxed girl and helped me take care of my first born son in 1991.
We were so sad when Vicky got sick and had to be put to sleep at just 7 years old.

One year earlier we had been joined by a young Rottweiler girl named Zita, but she only stayed with us for 18 months before she went back to the man who we bought her from. The timing was wrong - 3 little kids, work and training a rottweiler...I had to let her go. At this time the man I'm married to today, had moved in with me and my son Marius, he had 2 little girls from his previous marriage. My family was growing fast.

But, I needed a new corgi in my life. Målfrid had no puppies available at that time, but she lent me a tricolour corgi girl named Ursula. 
Ursula stayed with us for nearly 9 months until Leitegårds Elvis was old enough to leave his mother. Elvis was not a showdog.
It turned out that he had long fur, so he looked like a Colliedog.
Elvis and I went to several obedience courses, he was amazing. 

In 1997 me and my husband, John bought our first house together in Kverneland just outside Sandnes. I was still working as a beautician in a perfume shop, we were planning our wedding and I got pregnant with my first daughter May-Helen. She arrived in April-98'
Sadly around this time my son Marius struggled with headaches, the Doctor said he was allergic to dogs.
Luckily my parents suggested they take Elvis, he lived there till his time came to cross the rainbow bridge.

Then followed 2 years without any dogs in my house. I got pregnant again with my second daughter Elly- Mari, she was born March 2000.
I struggled with depression but kept it to myself. I avoided leaving the house, I saw no reason to go for walks without a dog.
Marius had started school and my little girls had "nannys" who came and took them out to play every day.

I needed a dog. We decided to try again, hoping that Marius had grown out of his allergies. Målfid let us borrow Uni for a few months, so we could examine if Marius had any affect from having a dog around and if I could cope with the extra work of having a dog again. Needless to say I was in heaven! Marius did not get sick and I just loved having a dog in my home again. This time my husband got a say in the matter and we bought a grown lady Rottweiler named Emma. She was an excellent dog and after a year we had a litter on her. 6 pups lived up, 2 girls and 4 boys. We decided to keep one of the girls for future breeding. Her name was Amber. When Amber was 7 months old we moved to Hellvik. The man we had bought Emma from called us up, and asked if we wanted to take in Amber's big brother (from a earlier litter) Bosse. He was 2,5 years at that time. I was not sure at first... a Rottweiler male is no joke... but after meeting Bosse we were convinced. He was calm and well trained as could be. For nearly 2 years our house contained 3 big Rottweilers and it got to be my job to train and care for them.

Amber got to be 3 years old. We had done all the tests on her and we decided to have a litter on her that year. There were 3 families that were waiting for puppies from that litter. Amber did not take and deveoped a hormone-dissorder instead. She was no longer to be trusted, we had to put her to sleep before she hurt somebody.

Emma was getting old and had retired at a lady's home in Egersund. She stayed there and was taken well cared of for over a year. Emma died when she was 10 years old, just a couple of months after Amber. But we still had Ambers big brother Bosse. He tragically died at the age of 5 1/2 years from pancreas cancer. We were paralysed. Our home was empty. After one month, we bought a cat. Her name was Peanut and she was a Holy Birma.

I thought long and hard about what breed of dog to get next, I then remembered the fascination I had with Basenjis. I had seen them over the years whilst showing corgis at dog shows, but I had been told basenjis were a difficult breed. But, I thought that I had enough experience with dogs to handle one. So I bought Shaka Savoy Eyla She charmed us and stole our hearts

We entered her in 2 obedience courses, in the beginning I had to re-think everything I had learnt about dog training. A basenji is not like other dogs. Eyla is the perfect dog for me. She is clever, kind and well behaved. She listens to my commands, we are more like friends, than dog & owner. After about a year we bought one more basenji girl. Her name was Azanias Rosegarden Pia and she was 6 months old when she moved into our house. She tragically died a year and a half later- she was sadly hit by a car.

Eyla had her first basenji litter in our basement at that time, and I decided to keep a little girl named Demani. And of course, I just had to have a new corgi. My basenjis are so easy to have around, that I felt there was room for another dog. So, last fall when Målfrid phoned me to say she was going to have her last corgi litter ever. She really wanted me to have a puppy from that litter. Well how could I turn that down? Leite-Gårds Hertug Harley came to us Feb 2010, we had him for a couple of years, but is now living with my son and his girlfriend Becky not too far from us. 

I hope to be able to breed and own dogs as long as Målfrid. A life without dogs is dull and grey. I also use my experience to help people with dog training at our house.


Best regards

Dorrit Karlsen