Lennu, The First Finnish Dog, ᴅɪᴇs

Ten-year-old Lennu ᴅɪᴇd of ᴄᴏᴍᴘʟɪᴄᴀᴛɪᴏɴs from brain ᴄᴀɴᴄᴇʀ on Friday, according to the president’s office tweeted the Saturday.

“If it depended on how much we loved you, you would have lived forever,” Jenni Haukio tweeted.

Over the years, Lennu was known to have stolen the show at formal receptions. Her distinctive smile drew attention on social media, host of Tonight Show Jimmy fallon as well as the New York Times.

At the height of Lennu’s fame, Helsinki’s Café Esplanad even created a dog-head pastry bearing his name.

Breeding debate

In recent years, Lennu stayed out of the limelight.

A debate in Finland about the dark side of dog breeding prompted the country’s first family to relegate their pet terrier to the sidelines, according to President Sauli Niinistö.

In 2020, a report by the Natural Resources Institute (Luke), the Ministry of Agriculture and the Finnish Food Authority found that brachycephalic dogs like Lennu (dogs with flat faces or short snouts) are prone to hereditary ᴅᴇfᴇᴄᴛs and ᴅɪsᴇᴀsᴇs that impair their quality of life and cause sᴜffᴇʀing and considerable ʜᴀʀᴍ.

“When we got Lennu, we had no idea about the problems related to the breeding of dogs with short snouts,” the president said at the time.

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