One keeps hearing that reading books is not a hobby at all. But I’ve always enjoyed reading and collecting books, especially ancient books. On the other hand, I also prefer outdoor sports a lot. At the age of six I started downhill skiing, which is still my favorite winter sport to this day. Throughout my youth I was a member of the German Lifesaving Society (DLRG). Today I swim about 800 meters in the outdoor pool every morning, all summer long.
My favourite dog – the Tibetan Terrier also called Tibet Apso
After a long search for a robust, natural looking and not too large breed, I bought a Tibetan Terrier. These shaggy dogs come from the “Hidden Valleys” of Tibet, where they were bred and raised by llamas in monasteries almost 2000 years ago. They were known as “sacred dogs” and “lucky charms”.
The breed was introduced to the UK in the early 1930s when Dr. Agnes R.H. Greig, an English surgeon practicing in India, brought home several dogs. A Tibetan monk, whose wife she had cured, gave her a gold and white puppy. Dr. Greig became so fascinated with the breed that she acquired more dogs from llamas and began breeding them in India. This breed does not belong to the terrier group, but is a herding dog (goats and sheep) and is also used as a guard dog in the monasteries. Because Tibet Apso’s are very attentive and reserved towards strangers who do not belong to “his people”.
My first dog of this Tibetan Apso breed – Maya – was trained as a search and rescue SAR dog for some time. Due to a chronic illness Maya had to give up this physically and mentally demanding “occupation” after a while. Maya died a few years ago – and my second Tibet Apso – also a bitch – was two centimeters short of qualifying for SAR dog training. So – I joined a local dog training group to give my four paw companion some exercise and thought work. Tibet Apsos are known to be charming, but also stubborn and very sensitive. They need regular exercise – challenges and positive feedback to stay obedient and fit!
Training with the Singapore Civil Defense Force’s Search & Rescue team
Volunteering in a local environmental activists group
Since the beginning of 2019 I have joined a local environmental activist group, which is particularly concerned with nature conservation for private properties and industrial zones. After doing several projects for this group, I realized that working in an official political position in close collaboration with the local government can take things much further.
Link to activists website (German only)
City council member for the Free Voter´s Association FWG
In mid-2020 I joined the Free Voters Association FWG of Rheda-Wiedenbrück – and was elected as a member of the city council in September 2020. Working as a councilor involves a lot of crunching numbers and munching papers. But it is certainly a satisfying kind of job – serving the city community for their best and helping local industries with infrastructure projects to become more effective and competitive.
Link to Free Voters website (German only)