Saturday, 28 July 2012

Weekend in Wales

I had a wonderful long weekend in Wales and must thank my good mate Karen with putting up with me, Ebene and Angel for 3 days and spoiling us all rotten.   The weather was glorious for a change and the 41/2 hour car journey went without a hitch and with surprisingly low amount of traffic!
We arrived Friday and after introducing my 2 girls to Karens gang, chilled out for the rest of the day drinking tea and catching up on all news - my idea of heaven.  All the dogs good on really well and within a few minutes you'd have thought they'd always been together - JJ liked Angel a little bit too much so we had to keep an eye on him to start off with but the novelty of a 'new girl' on campus soon wore off and he went back to doing his own thing :o)  Contrary to what people have said, Karen IS a good cook and we sat down to a yummy dinner before settling down with a couple of glasses of vino and more chatting.
The next day we went into the local village for a look round and sat on the harbour eating a delicious local delicacy - honey ice cream - absolutely mouth watering it was.   All the dogs behaved impeccably and caused quite a lot of attention with most people not knowing what either breed were so a million questions were asked and the dogs got lots of fuss and tickles which they all loved of course.
Then it was off to the beach for a fantastic walk - to say the dogs enjoyed it would be an understatement - Ebene and Angel had never been on a beach before let alone see the sea but the sheer joy on their faces was a picture and they just couldn't keep out of the water!!  There was a lovely stream that fed into the sea so on our way back they all went splashing through it, washing all the sand off before we headed  back through the woods to the car.  What a fantastic place for dogs, makes me want to move there solely for that reason.  Everyone was so dog friendly, unlike what its becoming here in the South. All our beaches ban dogs from 1st May until October which I think is very unfair, they could at least have a couple that allowed us on.
We headed back to Karens for more tea and to feed the dogs then off we went again to the village and sat outside eating the BEST fish and chips (with a pot of curry sauce) I've ever eaten and of course more tea :o)
After we got back we didn't hear a peep out of the dogs for the rest of the night they were shattered!
Sunday morning came and after doing all the necessities we headed of to our friends beautiful place in Pembrokeshire for the annual Spinone Party which is held to raise money for Spinone Rescue and Rehome.  Cant tell you how many people/dogs were there but it was well over 100 + all dogs were off lead and having a whale of a time.  There was lots of activities organised and Gatsby the Vax Spinone was there selling kisses for the cause - Vax also donated an all singing all dancing carpet cleaner and  one of those steam floor mops to the raffle and lucky Karen won the cleaner :o)  Too many things were going on to talk about them all on here but the upshot was that everyone had an ab fab day and can't wait until the next one.  Huge well done to Babs and Mark for organising it all and handing over their home to everyone.  Sadly at 6 o'clock I couldn't put it off any longer - I had to load up and head for home.
Once again Karen, thank you so much for the great weekend - I enjoyed every single minute of it and know Angel and Ebene did too and here are the pictures you took of them to prove it :o)

Clever Claude

Claude passes his Bronze Good Citizen test at age 17 weeks - what a clever boy.

He's just learned to go up the stairs - love the cheeky expression that Karen caught on camera :o)

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Happy 4th Birthday x 17!!

To say it was slightly manic here on this day 4 years ago is a bit of an understatement as 2 of my girls decided that they would have their pups on the same day and actually at the same time!!  Ena (Netis June Bug) had her first one at 9am and Lacey (Netis Brezza) had her first at 9.15 - this went on with them having their pups at virtually the same time as each other and it was so funny with Jimmy shouting to me 'its a girl/boy' and 5 minutes later I was shouting back at him :o) Anyway we ended up with Ena having 9 and Lacey having 8 - 17 pups in total!! Happily they were all strong lively babies.
I should say that I don't normally have 2 litters at the same time as a rule but this happened under exceptional circumstances starting with Lacey deciding that she would really like to have a one night stand with my young boy (11 months) Cenzo and the poor boy didn't know what had hit him.  Lacey was only on the 4th day of her season and the vet said that it would be quite unlikely that the mating would take but I decided to have the misalliance jabs done just to be on the safe side. Although it wasn't a bad mating on paper, Lacey had already had her 3 litters and was due to be speyed after her season and Cenzo hadn't had his hip X-rays yet.  
I took Ena a week later for the planned mating of the year and didn't really think about it again until several weeks later when Lacey looked more and more like she was in whelp - another visit to the vet for an examination and I was told that they couldn't feel anything and was probably just 'fat'.  Well to cut a long story short it turned out that against all odds she was actually in whelp.
After getting over the initial shock of having 17 pups we decided that the only thing to do was enjoy the experience however it unfolded .  As it happened is was crazy - hard work - none stop - but above all - fantastic fun with loads of laughs along the way.  We had what felt like hoards of people coming round to visit their 'little darlings' and luckily the weather was glorious (unlike this year) so it was a bit like having a garden party every day :o)
The 'accidental' litter produced 1 UK Show Champion and 1 US Champion and Grand Champion which I was very proud about and 2 of the girls have gone on to have some beautiful babies of their own, one of which is my lovely Angel (Netis Cesena) so all in all a very positive outcome.
The only downside of the whole affair was that my Great Dane, Luna decided when the pups were about 4 days old that it was all too noisy for her and promptly vacated the house and took up residence in the grooming room only coming back in long enough to eat her dinner - she wouldn't even come in at night to sleep so I had to go out to her and cover her up with lots of comfy blankets :o)  As soon as the pups were gone she moved back 'home' and slotted straight back into her old routine - what a character she was - we still miss her every day.

 Lacey with her pups at a few days old
 Ena with her 3 weeks old pups

All 17 at 5 weeks old

So I wish all of the 17 babies a huge Happy Birthday from all of us here xxxxxx

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Thought this was a lovely picture of Frodo aged 15 weeks 'on point' - He didn't notice the pigeon that was just to his right but he was pointing at the one on the fence in front of him :o)
Thanks Emily for capturing this great shot.

Frodo (Netis Stand by Me)

I've had some good news over the last week regarding hip scores of my 'babies' - really proud that we've had another 0:0 Score !!  Sofia (Netis I'll be There) is now 3 years old and is a daughter of my girl Elsie (Netis Daisy Duke) who also has a 0:0 score as did her litter sister.  My 2 youngsters have also had their results back.

Dori    (Netis Miss Nugent)   BVA Score 2:2
Angel  (Netis Cesena)           BVA Score 3:5

It goes without saying that I am VERY pleased - I guess I must be doing something right :o)

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Well what an eventful weekend I had!!  Started off great with my good friend Karen arriving from Wales with Claude and Freya on Saturday.  The torrential rain didn't stop the dogs from having a good play around even though they were up to their knees in water.  We were all up bright and early on Sunday to go off to a water tuition day that had been organised by the Bracco Italiano Society. I did my usual routine when going off for the day, of loading the car first with all the parafinalia you have to take and then I come back for the dogs.   Everything was packed into the car, sandwiches, towels, dummies, food and water for the dogs, handbag, phone and car keys - I shut the door and went round to open the back ready for the dogs and DISASTER the damn car had locked itself (remember the keys were in there) I couldn't believe it!!  What to do? No spare key :o(  Well to cut a very long story short there was no way I could get in so Karen went on in her vehicle (she was going straight back to Wales when training was finished) and I would hopefully come along a bit later.  Sadly it didn't work out like that and ended up having to get a locksmith out and by the time he turned up it was too late to go - I was gutted :o(   It could have been worse - thankfully no dogs had been locked in the car so at least I didn't have to smash a window to get in - I've now ordered a new spare key so it won't happen again.  An expensive lesson learned:  £45 for locksmith, £50 for new key, £25 for lost tuition - oh well as it was pointed out to me, at least I saved on the fuel lol :o)

On a brighter note, Karen had a really good day with Claude who was swimming and retrieving like a veteran, the sun was actually shining and she met up with Sue and Ooli as planned.  Karen sent me some lovely pictures of the day too.

Hopefully today will go according to plan as I'm having my new granite worktops fitted - hope it stops raining.

 Claude (Netis Hazzah) doing his first water retrieve with feather

 Claude and Karen (love the waders)

Proud Dad Ooli (Novaforesta Dudley)

Sunday, 8 July 2012


Hi All

Welcome to my blog, about the daily comings and goings of life on my smallholding with my 6 Spinone and 1 French Barbet (mustn't forget Jim my husband).  We also have chickens and various other animals that will get a mention from time to time.

This is the first time I've attempted to do a blog as I'm pretty much technology challenged so if I make a few mistakes then I hope you'll bear with me :o)