Molly in a hurry!

Gosh this litter has been long awaited by me and the pups new families.

Covid got in the way big time, a Molly season came and went. With a new stud dog, Otto, chosen it was full steam ahead. 

Molly popped out the 3 girls 4 boys in 3 hours, on Saturday 28th August. The first arrived soon after 7.00pm and she was all finished by 10.00pm. She is the fastest whelper we have experienced, so easy for her. 

They are a bonny bunch, very even in weight, and a mix of markings.

 We like to give our litter nick names while they are with us which usually have a tenuous link to their markings.

 So here goes, I’ll let you try to figure out who’s who.

The white male pup is called Barnaby, nothing to do with his markings but named after our friends who both have birthdays close to the due date. The other names are …

The Girls – Wilma, Saga, and Pony

The Boys – Barnaby, Dicken, Flight and Woodstock

 All will be revealed soon. Good Luck !!! 

Molly is a brilliant mum, she loves her babies and currently Chris and I are at her beck and call. After all I have never had babies and I arranged for her to be in this situation so its the least we can do. 

She is eating brilliantly, bless her, and has started to wonder outside with her mum and granny for a few minutes. 7 munchkins is a perfect number, not so draining on Molly feeding and cleaning wise, or on Chris and I when she hands over responsibility in a few weeks time.

Enjoy the photos, we will post them on here at regular intervals.

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2020 What A Year !

Spring 2020 started so well, BoB at Crufts with Lionel and Kate , PG win for Otto and Jan. Molly and Roskos’ gorgeous litters’ arrival the very next day and Cheltenham races the following Tuesday. Whoopy, life was good.

Then the world turned upside down. Life for us here at Catherton didn’t change too significantly ,we continued to exercise the dogs and ride the horses .The weather was glorious and Chris and I spent many a happy hour outside with the puppies. Sadly their families couldn’t come and see them but we recorded lots of video footage to enable everyone to feel a part of their development .

 Jan , Rosko’s mum, was unable to make the journey to see the pups, that didn’t stop us analysing each and everyone by video and photo! 

The beginning of May the little splots went to their new homes. They were blissfully unaware of the task ahead of them, giving their owners a focus for the troubled times we were experiencing. 

The garden was beginning to get into its stride and plans were afoot to maybe open for the National Garden Scheme, after all this wasn’t until July !

We did in fact open with online prebooking and no refreshments. Picnics were encouraged , the sun shone, though it was very windy and we were fully booked. All charities will have suffered this year but we did our bit and raised almost £800 on the gate and plant sales for NGS cancer care charities . They are an amazing organisation. If you have never visited any private gardens open for the NGS look on their website, it is a lovely experience and hopefully home made teas will be allowed this year, a useful enticement for Chris particularly who loves cake! 

Chris and I have made a few alterations to the garden ready for next year, enlarging the herbaceous borders, adding steps in the shrubbery and a bird bath in the veg garden. Chris has been beavering away on a clock tower for the barn roof. There will be a weather vain on the top, a 4 sided clock with a brass bell hanging underneath striking the hour. I have been reassured that the bell will not strike through the night as the tower is in close proximity to our bedroom window! 

We were forced to postpone agility during the November lockdown ,the season normally ends around then with a competition/ party. Once the lockdown finished we arranged the competition immediately and invited everyone . We had the best day, such fun and laughter, humans and dogs were so happy. We ate pumpkin soup , Chilli and cheese scones, Ginger cake and Carrot cake, just managing to keep warm. Everyone was so appreciative, especially of Jill and Gracies’ agility to music demo, fantastic. Fingers crossed for an Easter start to the season.

The horses have been for their holidays as usual. We are preparing to fetch them back having fetched hay, painted stables, washed out the rubber flooring and put new bedding down. They are both looking fat and resemble polar bears so a bath and clipping will be order of the day made much more civilised by our gas powered hot shower, an addition last year.

Both horses had a good year competing wise after a slow start. My new cob Heathcliffe  has grown in confidence, he struggled working in with other horses, being a submissive soul he was very wary.  We finished the season on a great dressage test and I can’t wait to get going this year. 

We managed to attend a socially distanced outdoor concert in the summer at Malvern Three counties showground. A Queen tribute band played, there were 6 in our bubble, we had a picnic and thoroughly enjoyed the evening as did the band who were playing for the first time. It felt so good to be out and about with friends again.

Chris and I returned to Malvern for the Autumn flower show. We were loaded up with plants, after all I was suffering withdrawal from horticultural retail therapy! 

Our newest member of the family Puzzle, Molly and Rosko’s daughter had an arthroscopy in October on her elbow having had lameness issues. Our main concern was the practicality of her recuperation here at Catherton where our dogs are blessed with lots of space. Our amazing longstanding friends “the Harrisons” took on the challenge. Puzzle remains with them and is doing incredibly well, she has been to hydro therapy, has had weeks of controlled exercise and, fingers crossed, is looking brilliant. We will be forever in their debt, thank you. She loves her new family, and her new best mate Sox. Before the covid tiers altered The Harrisons bought them over for the first time since the op, this was harder for me than Puzzle, seeing her here again, a beautiful grown up 9 1/2month old was tough. She ran around the fields with Sox, not her mum, grand mum and great grand mum, and never cast a backward glance when getting in the car to leave. I am pleased to say all of her litter mates are doing extremely well and are much loved.

Munsterlanders are wonderful dogs and we are fortunate to still be able to influence the breeds health. As their popularity increases this may became more difficult and we must all pull together and be transparent about our pedigrees /lines and health scores . My own feeling is transparency about non tested puppies who have had issues like Puzzle is essential and once x rays are taken those plates must be scored. The improvement will be a slow journey, especially as elbow scoring  has not been around for as many years.

It is very easy to focus on the negative aspects of this year, covid continues to affect all of us in one way shape or form but I am optimistic 2021 will be better. Projects for 2021 are a revamp for the kitchen, to join British Dressage and compete in the Traditional Gypsy Cob dressage series. Chris can do veterans BD with Pepper now along with his dressage to music. We are going to redo his music this year to suit the next level for his freestyle. My fingers are crossed that some dog shows will go ahead to,  I have missed them. I also hope to be able to take our holiday with our girls and the Harrisons, Sox and Puzzle, postponed from this November.

I wish everyone a Happy New Year. Look after yourselves and I will look forward to socialising again soon.

 I  

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Last day at Catherton

Though the country has been in turmoil, we here at Catherton have been kept busy with Molly and Roscoe’s brood. Our daily routine has been pretty much as it would have been feeding, poo picking and hunting for puppies. They are a gorgeous bunch, they have missed out on visitors but Chris and I have tried to stimulate them as much as possible, giving them as many life experiences as we could.

I know many of you have been following our “puppy diaries” , we have posted as many videos/ photos as we could just so the new owners could feel a part of the families development.

They are 8 weeks tomorrow, 2nd May, and are ready to go and start their new lives with their wonderful families. Vet check and microchips happened yesterday and they were all given a good bill of health. They were so good considering their lack of human interaction. They coped with being handed over to a vet nurse in our vets car park, being taken into the surgery for their examination and then delivered safely back to the car. It was an odd experience for them and us. Really missed  our hands on helpers John, Jas’ dad, has sat in the back of the car with them for many litters , but alas not this one. Missed you. 

The weather has been condusive to plenty of adventures into our fields, several have been swimming, Tom actually swam right across the pond, bit disconcerting, but they all shook and carried on. They thought the”rub dubs” with towels afterwards was huge fun.

We took them onto the arena and introduced them to the wobble boards and agility tunnel they loved them, no fears. When I compare them to how some dogs worry when doing these pieces of equipment for the first time I was so thrilled with their bold attitude. Its such an important time in a puppies development. I am feeling confident they will thrive out there in their new homes.

We have been through the pecking by the chickens without mishap. Great Granny Cassie has done a sterling job of teaching them manners when approaching other dogs, unlike Granny Kite who allows any amount of mauling.

They are a fantastic bunch, Chris and I are very proud as I know Jan, Roscoe’s mum, is to.  So sad she has not been able to come and see Roscoe’s babies. We will have mixed emotions when they leave but they now need to have that one to one attention we cannot provide.

Fingers crossed, if the showing season ever starts, 2 puppies from the litter will be coming out, Bob who is going to a family in Cannock and my little girl who will keep her litter name of Puzzle.

All of the families have been so supportive in these unprecedented times, so lets hope we are beginning to see the long road to normality.

I wish them well and know they will gain huge pleasure from their new family members. Life with a Munster especially a young one is never dull!

We are still riding our horses who are really well. Not hacking quite as often but the roads are so quiet, which is a joy. Their schooling is coming on though. We lunge, do pole work to give some variety and they are enjoying the Spring grass. Life for them is pretty much the same. 

The garden is doing OK. Loads still to do so I am looking forward to having more time in the soil! 

Some of you may remember we were open for that wonderful organisation the National Garden Scheme last summer. I doubt this will happen but we have offered to open at short notice in the Autumn if allowed. There will be charities everywhere struggling for funds this year and a lot of worthy causes will be struggling, so I hope to be able to do my bit . 

Must sign off now, puppies to feed for the final day ,it is the last day they will be all together.

Last morning sunshine

Stay safe everyone.


 

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