Bismarck&Co visits Zula, a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever and her parents Tristan & Luiza
Bismarck&Co was born out of the love we have for our animal companions and the life-changing bonds we share with them. In celebration of this love, we bring you a series that explores these unique and beautiful relationships.
Our first story is with Zula and her family; Hasty cofounder Tristan and entrepreneur Luiza Roulliard. We spent some time with them, chatting about navigating city life with their new pup Zula- an adorable Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever.
So a Toller! I am sure there are some fun pun situations with that breed name here in Germany. She’s beautiful. How did you come to adopt a Tolling Retriever?
"Haha! Yes the puzzled faces when answering that our puppy is a "Toller" and at times getting "Ja. Ein toller was?" It's a great conversation and laughter starter.
Both Tristan and I grew up with large dogs. Tristan with Golden Retrievers, me with Huskies, German Shepards and Labradors, and so we were both longing for many years for a medium to large dog that would suit an active lifestyle – both socially and sporty – but would also be a happy dog in an apartment and friendly and trainable enough to take to the office, on public transport and around our friends with kids. All these qualities we found in a Toller.
After reading a lot about Tollers and falling more and more in love with their personalities on the Instagram accounts we followed, we eventually made the decision to make this dream (a life with a dog) come true and adopted Zula in March this year."
How has your life changed since adopting Zula?
"Privacy is over! Ha ha ha. I have a constant companion aka spectator. Like following me into the toilet.
On a more serious note, I feel more love and joy in my life. I take more time for the simple, quiet, yet most important moments; family cuddles, thoughts of appreciation and caring.
We spend more time in nature – whether it be for Zula’s daily walks or weekend activities. Because our families are all great dog lovers (Trist and I are not the best at communicating) sending updates on Zula has even connected us more to our families again."
What has been your biggest challenges with raising a dog in Berlin?
"Living in a Dachgeschoss (rooftop apartment) of an Altbau (old German building) without elevator is a weightlifting challenge at times; good for the flutes though, so we don’t complain ;) Also not having a spacious backyard that we are used to from our Johannesburg upbringings, is a readjustment for potty training.
Overall we are very grateful that we can both take Zula to work and most restaurants. Berlin is a very dog-friendly City, with a four-legged playmate around most corners and many parks. We do wish the dog parks were a little more green, but perhaps something us dog-owners and the city can work on now that there are more dogs in Berlin than ever before."
Did I hear you say that you’ve been feeding her B.A.R.F?
"There are so many theories or opinions around barf (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) and dog nutrition in general that it can become tricky to navigate. On top of that, Zula is a very picky eater with a low appetite and gets bored of food very quickly.
We try to give her a very versatile diet so that all nutritional needs can be met. At the moment consist of B.A.R.F and a mineral mix in the morning, steamed veggies & meat with oils (like salmon oil) and kibble for dinner with some snacks for training and vitamins in between."
"Since adopting Zula, we spend more time in nature – whether it be for Zula’s daily walks or weekend activities. Because our families are all great dog lovers (Trist and I are not the best at communicating) sending updates on Zula has even connected us more to our families again."
Research suggest that people with dogs, live longer for various reasons. Perhaps it’s simply because they make us laugh. Can you share some unforgettable moments you’ve had with Zula?
"So many! I am currently writing this from our first camping trip on the beach in Rügen, where she has just taken her first leap after her older cousin Levi into the ocean and spent the night in our tent to run right back into early-morning sunrise waves with me. Pleased to report she is a real lover, adventurer and, true to her name's meaning in Zulu; 'wanderer of nature and adventure' :)"
Do you have any tips or insights for Berliners looking to adopt a Toller?
"Tollers can make the most amazing companions. They are incredibly smart, loyal, and social. Something to keep in mind is that they need an incredible amount of physical as well as mental stimulation."
Shop items from this story:
Quilted Velvet & Sherpa Mat in Light Caramel
Plaited Leather Collar & Leash in Cognac
Leather Waste Bag in Cognac
Bio Waste Bags