How it all began
In the early 80's Johanna was a young woman about 20 years old. She was at the agility field with her german shepherd for the first time. Agility was a new dog sport which had just arrived to Sweden, and because Johanna had already tried (and succeeded in) everything else with her schäfer, she wanted to see what this new hobby was all about.
She had always hated all the little "yap yap" dogs, who were in her mind not only stupid but also irritating. You can imagine how she was more than amazed when she saw their agility teacher's dog for the first time - a little Shih Tzu in full show coat! "What the heck?" she tought "Do those fur balls have BRAINS??"
And so it happened that she had to get more information about this unusual, smart little breed. And that is how she also met her mentor, Annika Malmhäll (kennel Suki-Yaki's, Sweden), and how she started the long road to become first a Shih Tzu fancier and later also a breeder.
Johanna applied for her own kennel name Jo-Kin's in 1987. The very same year Johanna also gave birth to her daughter - me. Annika remained as Johanna´s mentor and became also my godmother.
When my little brothers came to the world in the late 90's Johanna slowly stopped breeding and showing for about 10 years. Then in 2005 when we had only one Shih Tzu in the house, a male called "Borje" (Suki-Yaki's Yield to Temptation), Kirsikka from kennel Red-Deego asked if they could use our male for breeding. From that litter I got my first very own Shih Tzu called "Dippi" (FI EE LT Ch Red-Deego Rebel Romance).
It was really Johanna's idea of mating Dippi, but I got really excited about it. The turning point came when after some months, we went together with my mom to the Finnish Shih Tzu Club's Speciality Show (in 2007) with our puppies. It was so exciting! I had practised handling and grooming, and we had invited puppies' owners to the show.
Then something amazing happened. My own girl, our bred puppy "Jelly" was BOB puppy! And I was showing her myself. Also the BOS puppy, and the second and third best male puppies, were the ones we had bred. And they definitely were not the only puppies in that show, there were many puppies that day competing. The judge was a legend (I learned later), a Swedish judge and breeder Mr Paul Stanton. That might not seem much, but that was just amazing for me as a young girl who had just begun a new hobby.
After that breeding and showing Shih Tzus became my passion and way of life. I volunteered for the work in the Shih Tzu Club Of Finland and I still am an active member. I have many positions in the breed club but also in the Finnish Kennel Club.