The Laeken Funday
“Laeken shepherd: very common dog in Holland”
This writing you easily can find in the photoalbums of the Japanese tourists who were sitting in the bus on the parking place of the Kynologenclub Ijmond en Zaanstreek. On their way to the Zaanse Schans a very touristy attraction nearby, they were lost and they stopped to ask for the right direction. Standing on this parking place you could easily believe this text. There was a coming and going of people with Laeken shepherds. Very many Laeken Shepherds. How could these Jappanese tourist know, they accidentally were witnesses of a unique kynologic event in Holland. It probably never happened before that such a big amount of Laeken shepherds were gathering.
We didn’t count them but we think the total number of visiting Laeken lies between 70 and 90.

The Laeken Funday in Wijde Wormer

People would love to come. We noticed in the morning at nine visitors and organisation arrived at the same time one hour before the official opening. Together the place was prepared for the event and around ten o’clock the first Laeken Funday began.
The program had some repeating element so you could make a choice in what you were going to do or see. Because of this people went spreading around the place searching for activities and companionship after their choice. Very soon there was a very nice atmosphere.
More and more visitors came, with or without dogs. Many variation in Laeken: old young ready to be groomed or just stripped, dark light and so on. There was a long row of people waiting for the agility for beginners. They were all curious about the hidden skills of their Laeken. Under professional supervision of Yvonne dogs and persons were lead though the circuit. Some Laeken surprised their owners with a clear talent for this kind of sport.

There also was a workshop stripping, where many people asked questions and saw some basics in trimming and grooming.
After that there was the group photo at the back of the field. Jan Kruf, a very experienced Laeken owner, said he never saw so many Laeken together. After the group photo, there was the tribute to some people, who we think were very important to the Laekenbreed of today. They all three did very much to the goodwill and the popularity of the breed, in their own special way.

They were called Laeken Ambassador (Laekenfunday 2002) We talk about the Swedish Mikael Magnerholt, who have made a virtual gathering place for all Laekenlovers all around the world with his website and the Laekenforum. By this the Laekenpeople are gathered, informed and inspired. That is what a breed needs!!
Then there were Maria and Jan Kruf both Dutch. They also inspired many people. Not so young anymore, they travelled around all the shows in Europe with their dog Nellie van Balderlo. Everywhere they came they were friendly and sportive and made many friends. The best advertisement a breed can get.
These three people were made Laeken Ambassador, a title not (yet) improved by the NVBH, because the time was too short. But the committee of the NVBH fully approved the nomination of this persons.

After the tribute to the Laeken Ambassadors, the day went on with socialising, talking about Laeken, agility and the minicoursing. Here the dogs had to chase an imitation rabbit. It was very nice to see the spirit of the dogs once they knew the meaning of the activity, and they chased the rabbit seriously. Than we came to the end of the day where Michel Plate presented the Kennel Parade.

In the very pleasant and relaxed way, he always does, he presented the present Kennels and breeders with their dogs to the public.
So there was Kennel Humlans from Sweden, Mc William’s from Holland, van de Baarbeekhoeve and the van de Schranshoevefrom Belgium and kennel Pelsens from Denmark. It was a very international happening.
There were people from: Canada, America, Scotland, England, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Belgium and Holland. Almost everybody said the day was, also because of the good weather, a big success. The Laeken Funday 2002 was made possible by:
· Kynologen Club IJmond en Zaanstreek
· The cooperating Belgian breeders
· Yvonne (agillity)
· Redaction of the NVBH (promotion)
· Monique and Edwin Stammis (photo’s)
· Breeding group Laekenshepherds “GEBELGD”( in special Mirjam and Han Busser. without them we could not do this)
· Matthijs and Gosse v.d.Walle (operation assistance) especially Matthijs with the Minicoursing)
· All these people, we thank them for making this day into a success.
But we also thank all the visitors for their being with us, which made this day very special.

Ton v.d walle