Hope you Enjoy!
I have been sifting through youtube to try and find some good Highlander dace videos and I found one from the 41st annual 2013 Highlander carnival. This takes place in Bukovina about 10 miles from where I live in Nowy Targ and is part of the Heart of the Podhale Region.
Hope you Enjoy!
You can Find out more about the Polish Highlanders from the Podhale Region here!
I had the Chance to Visit Gdansk and the surrounding cities this past week and it was a great opportunity to learn more about the Polish Culture and History. I saw Westerplatte the start of WWII and I would like to share some info about it with you all.
"The Battle of Westerplatte was the first battle in the Invasion of Poland, the beginning of the Second World War in Europe. Beginning on September 1, 1939, German naval forces and soldiers assaulted the Polish Military Transit Depot (Wojskowa Składnica Tranzytowa, WST) on the peninsula of Westerplatte, in the harbour of the Free City of Danzig. The depot was manned by fewer than 200 soldiers, but held out for seven days in the face of a heavy attack that included dive bomber attacks. The defense of Westerplatte served as an inspiration for the Polish Army and people in the face of successful German advances elsewhere, and today is still regarded as a symbol of resistance to the invasion."
You can read more about Westerplatte here!
Hey everyone, I found some really interesting information about the Podhale "Tatra" Sheepdogs and I wanted to share with you!
The Podhale (Tatra) Shepherd.
"The Podhale Shepherd, abroad less accurately named the Tatra Sheepdog. Together with many breeds of shepherd and molossoid dogs, originated from Tibet, and was probably brought into Europe with the invading Huns.
There are several apparently similar and related breeds, originally inhabiting the Carpathians, the Alps and the Pyreneers, as well as Hungarian lowlands.
Strong and powerful, these dogs are characterised with long body coat, whereas hair on head and muzzle is short and fine and white body colour.
They have been primarily bred for guarding flocks against large predators, therefore size, strength, courage and ability to work independently were of prime importance.
Nowadays they are mainly kept as companions and property guards, since wolves and bears are almost extinct in most parts of Europa and so are traditional sheep farming and herding.
Even though the podhale shepherd is an ancient breed that evolved in Podhale several hundred years ago there had not been many records on this breed until quite recently.
It was discovered in the XlX century by holidaymakers, arriving to the Tatra Mountains, mainly to Zakopane.
Those dogs were not only useful workers, but played an important role in local folklore.
It is quite probable that some dogs were brought to the lowlands; in a letter from 1847 we find a request from the Sieniawski family for a "mountain dog", as the one they had already had proved to be an extremely efficient guard.
On the Arrival of independence in 1918 the breed was already quite well established and was eventually chosen by the Border Guards.
The first kennel, run by the Border Guards was founded in 1922.
Those dogs reported as extremely useful in their work, were not shown or registered with any with any civilian organisation, yet breeding for working purposes continued until the War.
Registrations started in 1935 with the Polish Society of Pure Bred Dog Breeders and the Silesian Working Dog Association.
Maurycy Trybulski, the chairman of the first organisation put an enormous efford in promoting the breed in the lowlands.
In 1935 he reported that several kennels had already achieved good results in breeding.
From 1935 on podhale shepherds were regularly exhibited at major shows all over Poland, but mainly in Lvov area were several breeders took up serious breeding and showing.
In 1937 the first show and breed survey took place in Zakopane in the Tatra Mountains. Mr Trybulski, who ws also the author of the provisional standard, judged 65 dogs; only 18 of them were graded " very good" and registered.
The Polski Owczarek Podhalanski Club was established on that occasion, its mail goal being educating the highlanders and encouraging them to registered breeding.
The Club set up long termed plans, but all those attempts were soon ceased with outbreak of World War ll.
After the War, when the Polish Kennel Club was re-established in 1948, the podhale shepherd remained the only breed in a relatively good state, at least in its native area. Therefore the organisation planned it would become a future star and pride of polish dog fancy.
The emblem of the Polish Kennel Club shows a podhale shepherd.
In 1954 the first post-war assessment was organised in Zakopane, where Dr. Henryk Derezinski, a local vet, was tirelessly searching for typical dogs. He became the greatest authority in the breed (Mr Trybulski had died during the War), highly respected among highlanders.
More than 100 dogs turned up; all were measured and given written critiques by the panel of judges.
After the show a newstandard was drawn.
Disappointingly, many of those dogs have never been seen again.
In the same year the National Park was founded in the Tatra Mountains and - for enviroment protection - mountain pastures became no longer accessible for grazing and so the numbers of sheep and dogs were greatly reduced.
In the following years registrations in Zakopane were decreasing.
Nevertheless, Zakopane has been the major breeding centre, its annual all-breed shows gathering around 50 podhale shepherds.
Although there have been a few kennels in the lowlands, more serious breeding has started there only recently. At presnet, perhaps rather slowly but steadily the breed is becoming more popular all over the contry, recognised as excellent guard and sensible companion dogs.
It can be recommended to families, living in detached or semi- detached houses. Some dogs have been successfully trained as guide dogs for the blind.
The podhale shepherd is known in most European countries, mainly Belgium, Holland, Finland, France, Germany and in the US."
Hey Everyone, HMIP is starting its first promotion ever!
If you want to have a chance at winning a FREE Polish Sheepskin then here is what to do!
Make a PUBLIC post on your Profile that has a link to our website and our Facebook page as well as why you would like to have a sheepskin and of course anything else you want to add ;-) Then comment here so we can see it!
When we get 200 Likes to our page we will pick at random one of the people who posted and commented(as long as they posted public with both links) and send them a FREE Polish sheepskin!!!
Don't miss your chance at one of these handcrafted beauties!!!
***winner will get to chose white, brown or black from our Polish natural skins***
After a long week of last minute website edits and frantic photo shoots we got the site to 100%!
I first got the idea for this online store when I came to Poland in 2006. I fell in love with the local art and hand crafted items. My bags where packed with my first two sheepskins on my trip back to the States and my mind was reeling with the question "how could I get these out to the rest of the world?".
After a few bumpy years of work and perusing my wife Sabina (A Nowy Targ native) We finally tied the knot last November. A few months after the wedding I started thinking again about my idea to get the store up and running.
Faced with a few problems, mainly the fact that my ability to speak Polish was limited at best and a lack of start up funds. I was lucky enough to meet Wojciech in the summer of 2011. He quickly became a good friend and a most valuable ally in this endeavor! He has filled a role of translator and business "partner" in the best possible sense of the word! Together we traveled around the region looking for possible vendors and having a grand time meeting new and different people.
After hours and hours of meetings, paperwork and website building we can finally offer everyone the best Sheepskin products I have ever seen!
I would like to thank my beautiful wife for trusting and believing in me, My family for supporting and encouraging me and of course Wojciech! None of this would have been possible without all of you!
I hope you all check up on my blog regularly for updates and don't forget to like our FaceBook page!
*** Please note that I am not a pro blogger or very good with grammar ;-) So please, if you see a spelling or grammar mistake don't make that the focus of a comment. Thanks!***