The Land of Furry Trees

Chris and I had a wonderful much needed break in Scotland or as I named it “The Land of Furry Trees ” (more of that later) .

We stayed in a cottage near Loch Ness, which was situated in the most amazing setting. There was no vehicle access to the cottage a short muddy track, then a field, which was full of sheep, but my was it worth it, the views were incredible . We arrived to a roaring fire in the cottage on a cold dusky teatime .

We were tired, the drive had taken 10 hours which included several stops and walks for the dogs including one along the Caledonian canal .The four of them were so incredibly well behaved we never heard a squeak out of them, even Molly at 4 months seemed relaxed.

The first night I had made a chilli and taken it with us so we settled down with a bottle of wine and Strictly. Much needed after several trips to unload the car ! 

The first morning the views were appreciated properly It was white over with a sprinkle of snow and it looked incredible.

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We headed to Inverness for supplies which is much like any other city / large town but had the necessary supplies. The girls walked around the old part of the town with us and attracted loads of attention. We visited Inverness more times than we had planned but hey ho ! 

Forests abound in the area which the girls adored ,they hunted squirrel, not caring that they were a different colour. Thanks to Cassie who is taking over from her mum, Willows’ mantle of hunting, we saw a Roe deer too and we managed to stop them.

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My favourite place was Glen Affric , it had a huge variety of terrain , old pine forests , lochs, moors and mountains, beautiful waterfalls and the thing I just fell in love with, the trees were covered in many different Lichen, one of which is called Tree Beard. There is so little pollution in the air Lichens thrive. They hang from the branches of the birch particularl, so extensively the trees look like they have furry jackets. We are not great photographers but captured a few shots. We were walking up the side of Glen Affric when we came across what I thought looked like a fairy chandelier just hanging from a branch, a perfect circle of twigs supporting lots of Lichen, it was so pretty.

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 The coast is also stunning. We visited  a nearby harbour village called Nairn, the beach was breathtaking . It had everything, the day was sunny and mild , in fact the weather all week was too good to be true, cold but bright. Willow had sand dunes to explore and hunt bunnies, she does occasionally peep over the top to check where we are. Kite had sea gulls to chase and Molly and Cassie did a bit of both !

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I guess the area is much busier in the summer but for us it was idyllic. One thing we enjoyed was the quality of coffee shops. Cakes seem to be very popular and the quality superb, we did indulge everyday and though the cafes were dog friendly 4 seemed excessive so we sat outside and the girls enjoyed an amazing amount of attention from staff and passers by.  They always shared a bit of cake to.

Unfortunately Betty my Belingo got a flat tyre,Chris put the spare on and we dropped it off at a small garage while we visited another beach. Tyre collected we headed off back to the cottage.

The next morning we walked to the car to set off for our day out and Betty wouldn’t start, the battery was flat. Luckily we parked on a hill so I pushed and off we went ,we called in to Inverness to get the battery checked at Halfords and after the battery was tested to be fine ,Chris assumed it was a faulty connection and the day improved when we went up onto a glen to try to find some Red Deer. Luck was on our side we followed our OS map onto the moors and there in-front of us stood a pair of juvenile stags  Apparently they form Bachelor herds at this time of year when the prime stags are busy defending territory and wives. These were the first 2 of many we saw. The area was isolated away from the tourist routes and they seemed fairly relaxed. Though they were young they were still impressive. I was so excited.

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Friday morning we had a good walk planned so we could tidy the cottage later and pack for an early get away Saturday .

We got to the car, the battery was flat as a pancake and the tyre was flat again! You guessed it another visit to Inverness the one blessing is the main road follows the banks of Loch Ness, really picturesque . The AA were called this time, the battery was the original one we had with the car which was the wrong size, too small, it was red hot and smelling of Sulphur. New battery fitted ,thanks lovely AA man then we went to get a new tyre. Kwik Fit had a 2 hour wait, Chris found another garage which had a 40 minute wait. We took the girls for a walk around an industrial estate trying to find access to the river to no avail. By this time I needed the loo so we went to B&Q ,what a morning.  Betty was finally fixed and we decided to go to the beach again at Nairn for a treat for us and the girls .Finishing off with another delicious scrummy cake and coffee . 

Our special thanks must go to John, Julie and Jas for house sitting. Both Chris and I really appreciated our break knowing our house and extended family were happy and in such safe hands. Bless you. 

 

Last Puppy Blog

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I would like to introduce Molly, Crumpsbrook Molinia .

The litter theme is grasses. I am excited to be keeping a pup, not what I planned, but circumstances or fate, call it what you will, have allowed me to. Hurrah. 

One other bitch will hopefully make an appearance in the show ring and one of the boy pups too. I love encouraging new people to show and I will be only too happy to support them. 

Vet checks and microchips done today. Every pup had a clean bill of health, all anatomy (boys!) where it should be and hearts functioning well. Eyes and teeth good .They start to go Friday so by Sunday evening Chris and I will crack a bottle ! 

I must admit being GSD free ,the first time for 30 years is strange , walking is quieter, Ruby would chase Ebby and hang on to her tail so Ebby had plenty to say at the beginning of a walk . Shepherds being what they are, would then spend the walk trying to keep the human and canine family together, very frustrating and exhausting when your walking companions are Munsters. They are missed. 

 I would just like to say thank you everyone for your kind messages and support. Losing a special doggy friend is never easy.

 Happy times ahead with Molly, her mum, grandmother and great grandmother. We will have great fun I’m sure . 

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Explorers

Bit late I know but there ain’t enough hours in a day ,sorry .

The puppies are outside as much as is humanly possible now .They have full access to the great outdoors and love it . Great Granny Willow is doing her usual job of gentle discipline, so important in the development of any young pup. They do treat her with respect. Granny Cassie loves playing with them and Kite, bless her, is still tolerating them feeding if they pin her down which they are capable of doing when they gang up en mass .

A new agility tunnel arrived which  they were all playing in within seconds without a care. Cardboard boxes are great fun too. 

Meals have been given alfresco, an important foundation for eating on picnics ! 

 

I will have to make my choice of puppy imminently, they are 7 weeks on Sunday. Such an even, good quality bunch  I really would love any of them. The micro chipping adventure is on Tuesday , then Friday they start to leave for their new homes.

I know there are 10 excited families counting the number of sleeps until their pick up day when life alters and a new adventure begins .

Here are some new photos and video clip for you to help the days fly by ! 

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5 Weeks and Such Fun

The Munchkins are such a happy bunch. They are more or less weaned now. Kite gives them a quick feed first thing in the morning ,but after that she loves to play with them but avoids any contact with those sharp teeth, and who can blame her.

 They are eating  incredibly well, loving their Burns puppy food  and various variety of raw meat, all of which seem acceptable ! 

 Second worming course is under way, last dose tonight as well as a nail trim.

 They are going outside after every meal and pooing and weeing and have today been down the field.  Cassie loved playing with them.

They are oblivious to the weather ,which at the moment is not conducive to sitting on the lawn with them.

The chucks have been mostly ignored so far, not sure that will last as they grow up . 

Kennel Club registrations are applied for, they are “The Grasses ” litter. 

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Life and Death

Sorry my blog is a couple of days late.

Kite and her puppies are doing really well, no worries there.

My gorgeous Ebby was put to sleep yesterday, Tuesday. She had recovered so well from major surgery several weeks ago and was such a happy girl. We had a walk on the common on Sunday as the sheep are all off at the moment and the Curlews have now left their nest sites, so off we all went. Kite came too on a long line for her first proper walk since the puppies. I wasn’t going to risk her bounding over the gorse and scratching her teats hence the 20 meter line. 

Ebby really enjoyed it, barking and leaping through the bracken,it was a joy to see her.

Monday morning she was quiet and just lay around doing nothing, not her at all. She refused her meals.

Tuesday she looked at me and I knew something was seriously wrong. 

After a scan at my vets where they found a bleed in her abdomen we decided to let her go. 

Ebby was the first puppy we kept from our first ever litter. She was an amazing person. She came on my training courses with me and helped me get my dog training teaching qualifications. I used her extensively as a stooge dog with dog aggression cases. She was so confident and trusted me implicitly. Ebby used to come upstairs and lie by the side of the bath if I was having a soak. I always knew where she was, with me. She would lie in the dining room watching me cook and knew when I was making liver cake for my training classes that she had the food processor to pre-wash This was her special treat.

Its the end of an era, both Chris and I will miss her, be sad yes,  but we must remember the wonderful, happy times we had with he. Ebby is buried down our field near the wildlife pond where she loved to paddle and will never be forgotten. 

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Thankfully we have 11 wonderful new lives to focus on and how they are growing in stature and confidence.

The family have had lots of visitors and so many cuddles.

They are on 4 meals a day now and scoff it. Kite feeds occasionally, when she wants to. Its Chris’s and my time to feed and clean up now.

They have gone into the conservatory and out onto their patio during the day, which they love, and have started to wee and poo outside.

They have also moved in to the “Luxury Apartment” which was the cats bed, poor Milly! 

They still sleep in the lounge/maternity wing and we haven’t heard a peep from them. Kite is happy to be back with her mum and granny at night. She is losing her coat and her tail looks like it belongs to a Lurcher, but apart from that she is really well. I’m so relieved her responsibilities are lessoning, she is being a fantastic mum and now we will do our fare share.

Puppy worming is due again this weekend coming so they will be weighed. I can’t wait to see how much they have grown.

Not sure what we can put them in, or what will be big enough for them and fit on the scales because they certainly have outgrown the last tub. 

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21 Days Old

Kite and her family are doing really well. She has recovered from her mastitis thankfully. She is looking a little scruffy bless her. Hair is dropping out in handfuls due to her hormone changes, apparently it does sometimes happen with human mums too.

The puppies appetites are growing, as is their demand for milk. Kite is such a good mum but you can’t tell me having 11 growing babies scrabbling at her tummy is comfortable. 

Chris and I have trimmed their nails to help Kite. Those little  paws knead her tummy to encourage milk flow. It helps prevent scratching and gets the little munchkins used to being handled, so important.

Yesterday we started them on a mix of evaporated milk and warm water. Needless to say they loved it, very messy but such fun. By the weekend they will be having their puppy “porridge”. This will ease the burden on Kite. 

One thing for sure is they will be proper cuddle monkeys they love being munched! 

Kite and her family are now receiving visitors so do please get in touch to come and see the wonderful family. 

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2 weeks

Kite and her family are doing well .The pups are gaining weight at a good rate and Kite is maintaining hers . With all of those mouths to feed she is eating every 4 hours and her appetite is very good. 

Chris and I have given the little munchkins their first nail trim. Their claws get very sharp and Kite’s teats can get scratched. She has had mastitis which is a bacterial infection caused by bacteria getting into her breasts, one little scratch is enough.

Kite had a trip to the vet and is now doing well. I was putting hot compresses on every 2/3 hours and massaging the blocked duct .

Hygiene in the whelping box is important too, so my washing machine has been on non-stop full of vet bed

Thankfully no more signs .

All the puppies eyes are now open and they are beginning to be more active, they are so gorgeous.

Looks like the tub to weigh them in will have to get bigger ! 

 Just a few photos and it won’t be long before they will be receiving visitors . 

 Enjoy 

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Days 4,5 &6

The puppies are growing hand over fist , Kite is doing a fantastic job she has plenty of milk and most important her appetite is enormous ! 

She only has to hear Chris or I in the kitchen and she comes for another meal.We are more than happy to oblige. 

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The photos on the red heating pad are of the girls and boys . We name the pups simply for identification purposes plus its fun ! 

In theory their markings suggest their name ! 

 So hear goes … 

Boys

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from left to right    Yum Yum, Storm, Africa,Shades and Ollie

Girls

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from left to right  G G, Gale, Tap, Tadpole,  Nessie and  Stitch 

Ebby is a miracle, she is back to herself apart from the various clipped patches you wouldn’t know what she has been through.

I have had a rotton cold but even that seems to be going, so life is on the up ,yeh . 

Mannerly Mutts are off to Ludlow Dog Day tomorrow. John and Julie who own the pups 1/2 sister Jas, are coming over to puppy sit.

All of the puppies are spoken for and I will post on here when Kite and her family are receiving visitors .

Enjoy the photos 

 

Few More Grey Hairs !

We had a sad occurrence a few weeks ago, one of Ruby’s bitch puppies from her 2016 litter went into the vets for a routine spay and tragically died under the anaesthetic. I must admit I am guilty of thinking when vets or doctors give the spiel about the risks of anaesthetic I have been blase, no longer!

After much soul searching and thinking Chris and I decided to offer Jan, the puppies owner, Ruby. Ruby is an amazing girl but was very much the bottom of the pecking order at Catherton, something she coped with admirably but it did cause her some stress.  

The upshot being that Ruby now lives nearby with Jan and Sarah plus their other dog Vasco (a lab springer cross) 2 pigs, assorted chickens 4 cats and “Rabbit” plus her baby (not convinced of the odds for long term survival of “Rabbit” I must say as she is  free range! ). They have a huge garden so very much familiar territory.

Ruby has settled really well, she has visited lots more of Shropshire in the few weeks Jan has had her, including National Trust properties, tea shops etc etc and they have a lodge in Wales, lucky Rub, plus we will see her regularly.

Kite and Dougie’s babies were due this week but as time progressed it was obvious that Kite had a belly full. Last Friday morning the 14th July I got up, started to prepare the girls breakfast and noticed Ebby my older Shepherd was not well. She was very sad looking and had a swollen tummy which when I felt it, it was rock hard. I phoned the vets immediately and she was admitted with a gastric torsion. Ebby was her usual self the previous evening and had eaten her tea. We came home leaving her to be operated on. We fed the other girls and I took Kites temperature, normal.

Lunchtime, Ann my wonderful vet, rang to say Ebby was seriously poorly, her stomach had twisted and her intestines were everywhere except where they should have been and her Spleen was swollen too. The spleen was removed, her stomach tubed and untwisted and her intestines put back. The problem was her heart rate was dangerously low, 40. We ought to go and see her.

She was lay in a kennel with so many blankets on her and drips in place but she was not really aware. Chris and I felt we were saying our last farewells. Ebby was transferred to Bridgnorth  for monitoring over night.

Kite meanwhile was panting and unsettled. A sleepless night for us.

Saturday morning Kite’s temperature had dropped one degree, whelping likely in the next 24 hours.

Ebby had survived the night her  heart rate had recovered a little to 60, normal for a dog like her is low 80’s 

Lunchtime vet rang to say she had eaten a little bit of chicken, but was still poorly. I asked if we could have her home and the vet agreed as we were going to be with her. We picked her up Saturday evening, my friend Jackie stayed with Kite, who was still unsettled and panting . 

Ebby was so happy to be home, she ate a small tea then lay in the lounge sleeping.

Chris slept downstairs with Ebby and Kite. Our lounge was split into the maternity wing and the geriatric wing ! 

Early Saturday morning Chris went out with Kite, thought she was only having a poo ,but no there was the first sign of a pup!

I was in the bathroom heard him shout and ran downstairs. Her first baby arrived 7.30 am a little girl, ten minutes later number 2 arrived and so it continued until 12.00am when 10 puppies had graced us with their presence.

Kite then settled to feed her babies and have a snooze.

At 3.00 pm she began to be  uncomfortable and contractions started again.  By 4.00 I was beginning to worry a little, the others had popped out with few contractions. This little girl was obviously so much more comfortable with all the space in mummy’s tummy and was not in any hurry to make an appearance. One last push at 4.30 and out popped number 11. 

All of the babies are over 454 gm , now 36 hours on I cannot believe they were inside Kites tummy. She had 5 boys 6 girls.

Ebby has continued to improve, she has a huge wound but is eating and pooing normally, whoopy. 

Phew what a weekend but what a result ,couldn’t have been better ,both of us were exhausted mentally and physically .

Kite is a wonderful mum as we had hoped as both her mum and grandmother were.

Our job currently is looking after her to enable her to nurture her and Dougie’s offspring.

We have had a change of plan and now intend to keep a pup, so happy! 

Enjoy the pics folks.

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Yeh !

We have just come back from the vets where Kite had her 28 day scan . Great news Dougie and Kite are expecting .

 We saw 5 pups at least . With previous litters we have seen 3 and had litters of 9-11 , our vets have invested in a new scanner ,so fingers crossed for a bouncing litter of Munster Munchkins ! 

 Kite will now be monitored ,no rough housing with her family and lots of TLC . Week Commencing 17th July will soon be here !  Kites 28 day scan 1Kites 28 day scan 2

Spring Bank Holiday

The period of time  between my blogs seem to get longer and longer , not for any reason other than time . 

We have had some much needed rain after a dry April and the garden is blooming .Chris and I have everything planted now and after last years disaster with the brassicas and the dreaded cabbage whites , I bought Chris a brassica cage for his birthday.  I hope it works. 20170529_423

The horses are well, Pepper and Chris have been out twice now and stepped up to  Novice level dressage .The last competition I managed to start calling the wrong test. Fortunately Chris knew it well enough to not go wrong ,but it did distract his concentration. He carried on a little flustered then managed to strike off on the wrong canter lead, but the judge loved Pepper and awarded a huge range of scores from 3 to 8.5 .The total was 67.88 % and second place so it all bodes well for the future .

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Issie my cob is a delight , I absolutely adore her . She has qualified twice now for TOYS which is the Traditional Cob Championships in August.

Her schooling is improving ,she is not the most flexible in the world after all she has short  body ,perfect for pulling carts,which means she struggles to bend into her corners ,but she is learning ,this is  aided by the fact she is so willing.

 My friend Jackie has bought a young horse Theo ,he will be 4 in July .He came from the same stud as Issie , his mother is a lighter weight mare and his father a traditional cob . She has done all of the training herself with a bit of support from Chris and I and he is progressing well , Jackie had her first hack on him at the weekend.Yeh !

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 Now Doggies!

Kite has been for a romantic liason with Dougie ,she was incredibly keen and Dougie must have thought all his Christmas’s had come at once ! 

 These pups should be ,all fingers crossed ,an absolute delight, I can’t wait its been 2 years since our last Munster litter.Scan in 3 weeks .

 Cassie went to WELKS and won another RCC  this was a wonderful bonus. She still needs one more ticket to get her title . She will go to a few shows when time allows .It could  be a busy Summer with Kites pups, Issie to ride and show, Pepper and Chris to support at dressage and the garden, but I am a very lucky girl and I LOVE IT !

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Summer Catch Up

It has been a long time since my last blog. It has been a Summer of highs and lows

 Some of you will be aware that I had my cob Johnson put down, what a shock that was. I did mention in my last blog he had shown slight lameness, what I thought was the beginnings of arthritis. After x-rays it was discovered that he had severe degeneration of the pedal bone and navicular bone in the worst foot and slight changes in the other. Bless him he was so stoical I had no idea of the severity, how he coped I’ll never know. We had a difficult conversation with our vet and farrier and made the decision to relieve him of his pain. He was an amazing creature, so trustworthy, willing and happy wherever he went or whatever he did he gave 100%. I had hoped he would go on for many more years and we could retire together.

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The empty stable door on the yard was heartbreaking, Chris and I really struggled, Pepper really missed him too and became quite withdrawn. After much soul searching I decided I did not want to be without an equine companion.  I felt I needed something positive to focus on. The final straw came when watching Chris come back after a ride on Pepper and that was it, operation” find a horse” became my obsession. 

Chris and I had long discussions about what I should buy,finances were limited and a Johnson replacement was going to be impossible. A school master, safe conveyance was financially not an option. We have broken lots of youngsters over the years but neither of us are in the first flush of youth.

I have had a passion for traditional gypsy cobs since I was a little girl, when I used to sneak out of the house and go to see the tethered horses on the old opencast mining  land near to where we lived. This drove my mum insane she threatened that the gypsies would take me away !! This obviously never happened.

Traditional cobs have a reputation for being wonderful sensible characters, so many breeders are crossing them with Welsh cobs to give a little more presence, which can come with a more sparky attitude, not what I wanted. So I decided to look for a pure bred traditional and thought a filly would be something different . Then Chris and I would break her in . 

We went to  Lionheart stud in Warwickshire. We had a most wonderful experience looking around  all their horses ,the temperaments were exceptional even the stallions were so friendly. Issie was one of a couple I liked even though she was older at  6 ,but at least I knew what I was getting size wise, she is 15 hand. Anyway cutting a long story short  the decision was made and Lionheart Isadora was purchased.20160628_38020160628_381

We fetched her in the lorry and bought her home, bless her she was so shell shocked, she had lived in a herd environment all her life. Issie  had been  bred at the stud, had a couple of foals and this was her first experience of the outside world. Patrick our donkey was excited to see her , but she was terrified of him. She would not go in her stable, that was definitely too scary. We took a chance and turned her out with Pepper and Patrick and she settled happily munching the grass with them.

Over the weeks she has learnt how to pick her feet up, had her  teeth done, under sedation, she had Dectomax injections for heel mites as her legs were terrible itchy. We long reined her around our lanes and taught her to lunge. Issie has been  shod and entered into a couple of shows in  in hand classes and has  loved the attention. She has thrived and is now broken in and hacking out with Pepper. I am thrilled with her progress, all of this in 4 months. Pepper and Issie are over at their winter grazing now until after Christmas . I hope to show her next year in hand and  under saddle and do some riding club dressage . British Dressage now have a dressage series for traditional cobs so I may aim for that , time will tell .20160727_386

 

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Chris and Pepper had a wonderful few weeks, he has been out and about competing with lots of success . The best of which was them winning our riding club Prelim Dressage Championship. It seems Pepper has a spring in his step, has got his mojo back and is now  in love!20161031_384

 We have also been training  Cassie and Kite in agility and have been to our first UK Agility competition, now that is value for money. Registering and entering are so cheap, £4 lifetime registration per dog and entries £4 per class, this included official measuring. The day was such fun, 10 of us went from Mannerly Mutts Agility. Chris and Cassie thrilled us all  by winning their class, she loves it and has taken to it so well even at 8 years of age. Kite couldn’t go because she came into season but we are planning to go again in December. Other M.M. handlers had success too, claiming a 3rd and 4th places in their respective classes .

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I am currently exploring all of my options for a mate for Kite. She is an exceptional girl so biddable ,affectionate and trainable. I really would love her to have a litter if I can find the right dog . She was in season the end of October / November and I plan to mate her next time so we are looking at May 2017. She has been slow to mature , she is so much taller than my other girls, exactly what I wanted and has now filled out. She will be going to the Spring shows with Cassie making an occasional appearance 

The vege plot has been so productive we still have parsnips in the ground ,unfortunately we were so busy with life that the Cabbage White butterflies   had a field day and destroyed my sprouts.  We also  have carrots ,beetroot and pumpkins in storage . I will soon be ordering my seeds to start the whole cycle again 

 

 

Enjoy the photos and I will see folks in the New Year probably at Manchester.

Joys of Spring

After terribly cold weather in April, probably the coldest all winter, May has been perfect growing weather, milder, enough rain to save me watering and the vege plants are at last growing.Everything is out of the green house now apart from tomatoes ,peppers and chillies and we are eating radish ,lettuce and rhubarb. Broad beans will be the first to crop I think and the peas and mange tout will be soon after.I love it ! 20160531_222

Chris has been really busy building a toilet in the garden . We only have an upstairs loo so as the agility and behavioural training has meant more folk up here at Catherton so we were getting a little fed up with people wondering through the house to the loo. So the dog runs have gone and combined with an old stone shed a new toilet is now in situ. Well almost , just the window to finish and decorating. The room is also going to have a doggy shower in it and useful storage cupboards.The one slightly sad consequence was an old Ash tree had grown rather huge close to our house and when the footings were dug for the loo it was obvious how the roots were going under the house, therefore it had to come down. The upside is we have a huge amount or logs to burn.The photo is of half the quantity of timber . We are also using some as a table , Chris is using it to rub down the window . 

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 The horses are looking really well and Chris has managed a dressage competition on Pepper, Johnson and I have had some lovely hacks ,but I think he may have a touch of rheumatism, he has shown slight lameness intermittently ,the vet is coming to see him and we can decide the best management plan for him . He loves his rides and I adore him so if we can keep him going without pain for a few years that would be brilliant . If anyone has any experience of keeping our older equines, especially supplements and anti inflammatory medication, do get in touch.

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 Kite has been for her hip and elbow x-rays we went to Malpas with Karen and Hugo , so we are both awaiting results, can’t  wait to find out the scores ,Kite will hopefully be mated next year and I am hoping to be able, for the first time, to use a dog that I have bred. Very excited !!! 

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It has been a long time coming but after a long gap we have a litter of GSD  puppies. Ruby adored both Cassie and Jas’ litter so I was confident she would be a good mum. Friday night she gave birth to 3 pups 2 girls and a boy . We had her scanned at 28 days and could only see 1 puppy ,we followed that up with another 1 week later and saw at least 2. I was concerned because numerically small litters tend to be big pups ,this can obviously make things difficult for mum and I was worried she may have to have a ceserean . I need not have worried the pups were bonnie all of them 700gms or there abouts, the biggest pups born I have experienced , but Ruby had no difficulties. 

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I can’t wait until they are a few weeks old they will be real fluff balls as both Ruby and the father Edmond are long coats. He has the same colouring as Ruby so I am hopeful for the same rich red colour.

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My next show will be Blackpool so look forward to seeing folk then .

 

 

 

Crufts 2016

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I just love Crufts , meeting up with all my Crumpsbrook family its a joy. I always try to encourage and support new people to the showing game . I remember my first experiences at showing at Crufts ,the butterflies in the tummy, the shaking hands, getting emotional when it goes well. The wonderful feeling when you are on your way home and I love it when others get to experience the same, it wasn’t that long ago, and Crufts has been good to Crumpsbrook. Cassie, Crumpsbrook Acacia, has consistently performed well and her offspring are coming up behind her. We treat the whole day as party. Pete ,Marce and Jackie come in the car with us and we were fed en-route by Marce, wonderful sausage sandwiches washed down with a couple of bottles of bubbles.

I do appreciate that not everyone or every dog is cut out to go in the show ring, and it gives me just as much pleasure when my Munsters branch out in other fields especially when one of Jas and Dougie’s litter, Dill owned by Becky and Paul, make an appearance in the main ring at Crufts doing a Cani-cross demo. We arrived at the show in time to rush to a big screen and cheer them on. Well done you 3!

Anyway back to the showing. Firstly I would like to congratulate Karen on showing Hugo, she has struggled with her nerves for a while now and I have taken him in. He adores his mum and I have hoped that one day Karen would feel able to take him in the ring again. She surprised me by giving it a go on the biggest stage, her thinking was that it was such a huge class that people would not notice her ! So in she went.

Mariet has torn the ligaments in her foot so was unable to run Fynn so Pete ,who so looks the part (new hobby here Pete!) who had  run Fynn with success last year finishing 3rd, was called upon again.

Kate went in with Lionel, Hugo’s brother, both of which are Jas and Dougie puppies. He has been really in form doing well at lots of shows this season.

There were 11 dogs entered in this class, Post Graduate, 5 of which were my puppies, Annette with Simon and Annalise, who only just made it being stuck on the motorway in an accident, with Pippin.

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 As I sat by the ringside watching I was so proud of everyone , I know it sounds like a cliché but its true, my heart was beating out of my chest. I couldn’t wish for a lovelier bunch of owners.

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Because the class was large the judge, Mrs Hartley made a second cut. Kate and Lionel, Karen and Hugo and Mariet ,Pete and Fynn were all called forward, along with Mandy with her father Malcom’s Moss, Crumpsbrook Rather Gallant, (a son of Cassie’s brother) and the Masons Ichbin Jedi Obi Wan.

By this time I was so excited and when Mrs Mason walked up to Mariet with Fynn to award him the class I leapt out of my chair cheering , then she went to Karen and Hugo for second, more cheering. The Masons were 3rd, Mandy 4th and Katie and Lionel 5th..I was like a kiddy in a sweety shop. What a result!

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Things calmed down a bit, just a bit! Cassie was in her first veteran class, she is a super star, so professional. Again a huge class 11 entered so I wasn’t confident. As I knelt to stack her something happened to my leg, I had a sharp pain down the inside of my thigh. I hate my ageing bones. Anyway the pain lessoned as I ran her but there was no way I could kneel to stack. Luckily Kite has struggled to focus when I kneel with her she just wants to play, so I stand to stack her, this meant at least I am practised in another way! Cassie looked a picture and ran well and was pulled in 2nd, I am delighted another highly valued Crufts award. I rushed out to swop to Kite for her first time in the ring at Crufts. At this point I must thank my “stylist to the stars” Marce, for fruffing (don’t ask) the girls. In we went, again a big puppy class, 5 entries. At first Kite just wanted to play I could have done with a little more time with her before going in but I needn’t have worried, something clicked in her head and she stacked and ran so well, with all the professionalism of an old hand. I couldn’t have been happier with her performance. Like her mum she was awarded second, brilliant!

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I must mention Keiko and Sarah, Lionel and Hugo’s sister, the poor thing had such a long wait for her class she was totally bored, not surprisingly, so today was not her day, lovely girl though, give her time she is so like her mum Sarah.

We were so late finishing we had to rush off to the horses and dogs at home, another bottle of bubbles was consumed on the way home. 

Well done to everyone at Crufts ,all of the prize card winners, it is a special day. I am off there again tomorrow, Sunday to have a day there shopping and watching main ring events.

Marce bought me a shopping bag with Mad Dog Lady printed on it , maybe it has some truth! 

See you at WELKS 

Out with the Old in with the New

Our house is living up to its name of Upper Marshes.I am fed up, as I am sure everyone is, with the persistent mild, wet and windy weather. So far though we have escaped the floods we experienced a couple of years ago, mind you that was during the Summer!  Having experienced being under water I can appreciate the traumas families further North are living through, my heart goes out to them.

20151228_198All our fur and feather are well, if a little soggy. I bought Patrick our Donkey his first rug this year. He is into his thirties now and struggled a little last Winter, maintaining his weight. I am so glad I did. Donkeys coats are thick, but do not have the same texture as a pony, the hair absorbs rain water, this means they get soaked through and stay wet much longer. Patrick is very happy, snugly and thriving. 

The horses are over at their usual residence for this time of year, thankfully. They have their rugs on too and their belly’s are beginning to bulge out underneath! Their tummy’s will soon disappear when they return home and start being ridden again.

I am a lover of Christmas festivities and  this year Mannerly Mutts Agility had its first Christmas Social. A course was set up to play on, I supplied nibbles, mulled wine, tea and coffee (thanks to some of you for bringing yummy food). There was an assortment of Christmas attire for doggies and humans and most importantly it was mild and dry. It was a fab morning, Chris had Christmas music playing and everyone relaxed and chatted. I can see this becoming an annual event. 20151220_20320151220_20420151220_20220151220_20120151220_200

Our new venture into agility has been a real success. Due to the surface being non slip and mud free I have held classes right up until Christmas and aim to start again early in the new year, assuming this weather continues. I get the feeling folk are happy to have something to do with their dogs when the weather is awful and daylight in short supply. Agility is such fun, we have a hoot !

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I am passionate about my ongoing professional development and want to be the best I can. I am working to become a Member of the Canine and Feline Behaviour Association. They have high requirements for membership and the Fellows only support applications from candidates with an appropriate level of experience in specialist dog behaviour. My tutor is a Fellow and he is sponsoring me, so I have lots of work to do before presenting my portfolio. I am also applying to be a Kennel Club Accredited Trainer now I have enough years practical experience under my belt so 2016 is going to be busy.

Christmas day was as joyous as ever, Champagne Cocktails at Margaret’s, our neighbours, but we broke with tradition this year and returned for Christmas lunch. I supplied the Christmas pud and as there were 12 of us, I made a Tiramasu as well. It was fantastic and very much enjoyed.

20151225_205The girls loved their new toys, tuggy tree and gingerbread man. Ruby enters into the spirit and plays with Pheasant. The old guard Ebby and Willow watch on. They are 9 and 11  respectively this January but though they relax at home more now both have energy to burn out on a walk. In fact Willow put up 2 deer in Wyre Forest on Sunday and disappeared for 1/2 an hour.  Her hunting instinct is unbelievable and she powers through whatever gets in her way, the thickest of cover without a care. We were relieved to see her back. All of the others came back when whistled, but not naughty Granny Willow, good job she is so sensible and worldly wise. She had made her own way back to towards the car. She has always been her Daddy Chris’s, girl and for Christmas I commissioned a portrait sculpture of Willow by Madeleine Vale. Chris loved it as do I, it really captures her personality. We are well aware without her Crumpsbrook would not exist, now she is immortalised. The statue is in the photograph of the girls and their toys, behind them on the window ledge.

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I love national hunt racing , so placed a bet on the King George run on Boxing day at Kempton. I have followed a horse called Cue Card for many seasons now (which is why I love NH racing,  the horses feel like old friends returning season after season) and he won by a short head. As you can imagine I was leaping up and down shouting at the tele , it was brilliant and I am now £50 or so better off . Chris has a soft spot for grey horses so I placed an each way bet for him on Al Ferof who was third, so the Bargmans had a good race.

Sunday we  went to Stourbridge dog show with the girls, it was a lovely atmosphere. I made a Paul Hollywood” bun ring thing” I think it is Scandinavian with marzipan and mincemeat like a Christmassy Chelsea Bun and took that and some alcohol for everyone to enjoy. I think it went down well ! Sorry about the sticky fingers! 

We are off to Cheltenham on News Years day racing with our friends, can’t wait. Plenty of bubbles and a Marce and Jo picnic before racing, perfect! I hope 2016 is a good year for everyone, the weather dries up a little and you and your animals stay healthy and happy. What ever your interests enjoy them!

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