Til Niquidet – Lifetime member of the CFSC
Recently the Canadian Finnish Spitz Club was approached with a suggestion of nominating one of our long time club members for a lifetime membership on her outstanding contributions to the club. I am very pleased to announce that the executive of the CFSC have voted to approve Til Niquidet for her long record of service for a lifetime membership. I could go on about the reasons for this decision but we have had several of our members wonderfully put this into words.
CFSC Secretary –Taru Korrensuo
I am grateful to the Canadian Finnish Spitz Club for this honour. I have been a member of the Finnish Spitz community since 1975. In 1976 we held our first breed booster show and in 1976 I attended the inaugural meeting of the Canadian Finnish Spitz Club. I was editor of the newsletter, was a member of the first Board of Directors of the club and I have been active in the CFSC in every year ever since. It is a huge honour to have my years of service to the club recognized in this way.
The first time that I met Til was in someone’s hotel room where a meeting of the Canadian Finnish Spitz Club was taking place. A friend of mine thought that I would enjoy sitting in on the meeting that she had heard about after watching the breed earlier in the day. My friend wasn’t wrong, I did enjoy it. I had not met any of the people there, but the two people that I do remember from that meeting, and subsequently became long-time friends of, were Joan and Til. I do not remember how old Til was, but I do remember that I was impressed with her presence, her knowledge of the breed and her way of speaking when she had something to add to the meeting. She might say that she remembers our first meeting differently, but this first impression only became more solidified as time went on. Attending any show where Finnish Spitz were exhibited usually meant a trip to either B.C. or to Calgary. These shows, in the early years, provided an opportunity to see more Finnish Spitz, learn about them from either Joan or Til, and to watch them in the ring. We used these shows to conduct the AGM for the club, to gather from near and far, and to meet all Finnish Spitz enthusiasts. We always had a breakfast (hosted by someone from the club) or went out for dinner (if we were not at an outdoor show) and made sure that a group photo was taken. These shows were well attended, and we always had a wonderful time. Til was always willing to discuss, demonstrate, or educate while she was grooming or waiting at ring side. As a family new to the dog show world we had a lot to learn. My children, who are adults now, always talk about going to these shows and of the visits we had with Til. Years later we were still attending shows, not as exhibitors, but a spectator, and we still took every opportunity to find Til’s benching area and then proceeded to help where we could, playing with puppies, walking dogs, holding dogs at ringside and just talking dogs in general. Whenever we met, it was like we had seen each other the weekend before. It was never awkward. We talked dogs and kids, watched dogs, hung out, went for dinners, and just had a great time. The few times that we stopped there while on a road trip, we were always in danger of bringing home something or more than one something. My children call Til when they have a problem with their own dogs (neither of which are a Finnish Spitz) as do I. Her wealth of knowledge and her willingness to share it has been a blessing to all of us. My adult twins will drop by if they are out on the road as well. Til never knows when one of us will telephone and say that we are on the way through and can we stop for a visit. The answer is always yes, and when will you be here. Her yard is always available for a camper or a tent and the tea pot will be on. Til helped me through raising three teenagers, and Bill and I did likewise with her own two daughters. Raising daughters isn’t always easy, but then neither is raising dogs, litters of puppies, or saying that final good-by to a much- loved pet. Til has been there for it all with a kind word and sage advice. I was asked if I would write a few words about Til. I thought about it for awhile, then just sat at the computer, started to write, and just let the words come through as they would. Til is my friend! She has been my friend for many, many years and I suspect she always will be. For that, I am very lucky indeed. Til is my mentor, in life and well as in dogs and I could not have a better one. Now that my interest is mainly horses these days, I always follow what I have learned from her. “Do what you can, with what you have, learn from someone you respect and then use your common sense.” This advice has stood me in good stead for the better part of forty years and still counting. Til is Finnish Spitz. She loves them, understands them and above all protects the integrity of the breed that we all love and admire. I cannot wait for the day that I will pick up a book written by her about Finnish Spitz. And when I see one in Edmonton, I know that it is probably one of hers and I think hmmm…maybe it's time for another one. Til, we will talk…because there is no one else that I would get adog from, and that says it all!