Nenna (Gerd) and Geir Flyckt were both icons in our sport. GREAT dog people— GREAT Breeders, knowledgeable in many breeds … but most of all, fun, darling, humorous and FABULOUS dear friends.
Nenna and Geir were friends of mine all my adult life. Most people who did not know Nenna thought she was quiet and didn’t say much. Boy, were they wrong! She was a formidable force — didn’t speak to you unless she liked you! Geir was boisterous, outgoing and a straight-faced comedian! Both were very quick witted. They were a TEAM! In the dog world they bounced ideas off each other. Whether it was breeding, putting on a party, plans to go overseas, buying and decorating homes, or evaluating dogs, they talked about all aspects of every part of their lives.
Geir Pederson was born in Norway, Nenna Flyckt in Sweden. Geir and Nenna met and knew each other casually at dog shows in Scandinavia. Geir took Nenna’s eldest daughter on a date — that didn’t go so well, as Geir was smitten with Nenna. The rest is history! Nenna and Geir bred exquisite English Cockers, Greyhounds, Whippets, Norfolk and Wire Fox Terriers under “Hubbestad” and “Louline.”
Hubbestad, the Flyckts' home in Sweden outside of Jonkoping.
Our first meeting was here in the States, and Nenna at the time did not speak English. But for some reason, we hit it off! It was a crazy bond: She couldn’t speak English, but she could read English. I didn’t speak Swedish, but we watched dogs together, and they were at our setup. Through hand and head motions and writing in English to Nenna – we agreed on dogs. Geir, on the other hand, spoke English as if he were born in aristocratic England! He had no issue telling you his thoughts on dogs, but he was interested to see what you knew — or didn’t know!
The following summer I went to visit them in Henley-on-Thames. Nenna had been trying hard with her English – and we could communicate! A lifelong friendship formed. We not only had a love for dogs, but we also had a bond with flowers and cooking. And could she cook! Beth Sweigart and I still can’t make her chicken and fennel dish like Nenna could!
The weekly calls to and from overseas at the beginning of our friendship turned into daily calls. Their excitement over seeing breeds — not just their own, but other breeds. The continual learning of all breeds—lessons we could all do with! The history of not just the dogs, but the people who bred and showed them, was always utmost in their minds. RESPECT for the sport. They taught me to have respect for not just the people, and the history of the sport, but respect for each dog — seeing good in each dog, not just faults. Looking for the best in dogs — and the best in life!
Geir and Nenna were incredible dog breeders. They both taught me a great deal about dogs, no matter the breed. Greyhounds, English Cockers, Whippets, Giant Schnauzers, Norfolk, Boxers, Wire and Smooth Fox Terriers, the list goes on. To hear their discussions of why they should — or shouldn’t — breed to certain dogs/pedigrees was a lifelong lesson. Yet they also respected other breeders and were never afraid to look at what other people bred, as they could see certain qualities in specific dogs that may benefit their breeding programs. The wealth of knowledge both had— the breed-specific qualities, the learning of what type was for each breed — was unending. They both had courage, passion and conviction, and neither were afraid to tell you!
The Flyckts and friends showing their Hubbestad English Cockers.
Plus seeing litters of many different ages/stages, and hearing them discuss the pros and cons. Sometimes Nenna would win with her choices—by win, I mean she may have picked a pup at five months of age that Geir wanted to find a home for, but he kept it because she thought it was good …. Only to see that dog at two years of age win CCs and become a champion. She was always happy to tell Geir — I told you! The same was true with Geir — in reverse. Then he would say, “Darling … the dog was wonderful until he grew up, as I knew would be the case!”
And then every once in a while, they would argue about a pedigree or a dog or dog history or what happened where and when, and one would say, “BLOODY HELL” — and then the conversation turned into Swedish! ALL of it was hysterical and then eventually everyone would laugh!
From left, Peter Green, Geir, Gerd, Andrew Green and Elizabeth "Beth" Sweigart.
To be able to spend so many years with them, to learn what I am afraid to say is lost, was a treasure I will never forget.
However, not only did I learn in the dog world from both of them, I learned how two people communicated with each other on a personal note. They were a TEAM. Devoted to each other forever. Respect, kindness and thoughtfulness, yet each giving the other their own space and personality.
The Flyckts' son Eric at a children's handling class in Sweden. Judge is Reg Gadsden.
The world has lost two of the best people — and I have lost two of my best friends. Both icons in the sport beyond compare, and incredible, generous, loving and caring people.