Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Quick Catch Up

As the title suggests this will be a quick catch up so you can see the pups this week.
They have started eating solid food as well as feeding from Ebene still of course.  They always start out with more food 'on' them than 'in' them but they soon get the hang of it and within a couple of meals they are digging in like pros :o)  They are much more active and I have taken the whelping box down so they have more room and don't have to try getting in and out of the box, which some pups find easier than others.  They are also starting to get quite vocal and let me know when its feeding time !!

Karen (Awelymore Spinone and Barbet) has just returned from a sucessful trip to Amiens, France with Claude (Netis Hazzah) with him gaining Best Dog in Breed and getting the CACS and CACIB.  This will go towards his French Championship (he just needs one more CACS) and his International Championship (he needs 2 more CACIB) so we are keeping everything crossed for him on his next trip.  Anouk didn't go this time as Karen was picking up her new baby Breea from Anne and Wouter (Holland).  Claude is Daddy to Breea so its going to be exciting watching her grow.
Anne and Wouter had the most fantastic day at the show with their beautiful Barbet, Lotus winning BEST IN SHOW !!!!!!   This home bred girl is not yet two years old and came in front of 2500 dogs to get this amazing title.   We are also very proud of course that my boy Ooli (Novaforesta Dudley) is Daddy to Lotus.  I will put some pictures of her on here as soon as I can.   Huge congratulations go to Anne and Wouter from us here.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Bye for now

Well its goodbye from me for the time being - the next two weeks are going to be hectic as tomorrow we go and pick up my nephew Brad and his lovely wife Kaela from the airport as they are coming to stay with us for their first visit to the UK all the way from Texas, USA.   I'm praying that the weather is kind to us so we can do all the 'touristy' things in the dry :o)    I don't know if they realise what they're letting themselves in for coming here and sharing life with 9 dogs and Jimmy but I think they'll have lots of stories to relay to all the family back home and hopefully have a lot of laughs :o)

I will try to add some pictures of the pups over the next fortnight though so you won't get withdrawal symptoms.

TaTa for now xx

Claude, Anouk and Hannah

We'll better late than never, this is Claude and Anouk with their trophies that they won earlier this year in Douai, France.  Anouk - marked excellent and  Best Junior      Claude - marked excellent, Best Male and CACS

Hannah once again did us proud and was placed 1st in the Gundog Group at the prestigious 5 day show in Paris.  She was due to go back to compete for Best in Show but unfortunately she came into season and couldn't go.  Of course we were all really disappointed but still very proud of her for coming this far.

It was lovely seeing her when we went to pick Italia up in France as I haven't seen her since she was 8 weeks old.   I hope she will still talk to me when we meet again as I stripped her coat out when I was there :o)

Letter to Madge written by Alison xxxx

Dear Madge.
              In February 2010, Annette asked if we'd like you to come and live with us. She knew Pie was grieving since losing our brown boy in December and she also felt you'd prefer a quieter life, where you weren't challenged for tennis balls.

              I was slightly worried you wouldn't like being away from your family and might not adapt to the change, but we all decided to give it a go. Within an hour of arriving, you'd decided which sofa was yours and perhaps most importantly where the tennis balls were kept. You settled immediately and on the first night I found you cuddled up beside Pie, snoring away, without a care in the world. That was the beginning of the very special friendship the two of you were to share. You showed Pie such kindness and gentle encouragement, that my unhappy girl was soon smiling again.

             When we completed our Spin family with Ted, you were in your element. Not only did you have a bestie who adored you and a never ending supply of tennis balls, but you now had a puppy who was destined to spend the first two years of his life soggy, from your devotion to his personal hygiene. Ted instinctively knew to go to you when he was frightened or tired and you'd lovingly kiss his face until he either felt brave enough to face the world again, or fell asleep.

              On warm summer afternoons we'd walk to the river and the three of you would go swimming. You were always the first in and the last out. I'd stand on the bank yelling at you to get your backside out of the water, but you'd just look at me as if to say, five more minutes, as you splashed on by. You didn't win any points for your swimming style, but you did a world class impression of a drowning donkey. Another outdoor pursuit you were passionate about was hunting. You and Pie had many close encounters with the local gamekeepers. All I will say about hunting, is you were very good at it and Surrey's pheasants sleep alot easier now.

              Cold winter nights would find you stretched out in front of the fire and neither Pie or Ted ever questioned your right to the best spot. The only time you'd leave the fire, was to pick up a ball and come sit on my lap while you groomed your fuzzy green baby. Oh how I miss squealing "watch your bloody elbows Madge" as you'd fidget to get comfy. Life was so good. I was living with the three best dogs in the world and couldn't believe my luck.

              In May you began puffing and getting tired during your walks. I thought it was probably the heat, but got the vet to check you out anyway. My legs turned to jelly when they said you had a very large swelling next to your heart. The referral practice suggested it might be an infection, so they put you on a long course of antibiotic. The next few months passed with little change, but even though the vets visits were fairly positive it became apparent that you weren't getting better.

           On September 19th, you became desperately ill. Since your last lot of x-rays a few weeks earlier things had really deteriorated. The main tumour was attached to your heart, but you now had many smaller ones throughout your chest and one in your hock. The vets stabilised you that day, but didn't expect you to survive the weekend. Annette came to see you on the Friday and I was so relieved she'd been able to come and hug you and kiss your beautiful face. By the Sunday you were much brighter and I thought you'd enjoy some fresh air and change of scenery. You were still very weak and wobbly, but I knew you'd be upset if the others went out without you.The idea was that we'd drive to the woods and while my friend walked Pie,Ted and her two dogs, you and I would just mooch about for a bit and go back to the car when you'd had enough. You were happy to do that for about ten minutes and then you took off. I saw you run across a field that borders the wood, obviously following your buddies scents. I phoned my friend to say Madge is trying to find you, to have her say, she's just turned up and is showering Pie and Ted with kisses. You'd run over a quarter of a mile to get back to your best friends. I wasn't sure whether I wanted to kick your ass for scaring me, or be blown away by your bravery and devotion. I chose the latter and continued to be amazed by your spirit, right to the end.

          Against the odds, you survived the weekend and stayed well for three more weeks. We had a few bad days and a couple of very dark nights, but not once did your temperament change. You were the same, sweet, kind, happy girl who had stolen our hearts over three years earlier.

          I don't want to dwell on the day we said "see you later" except to thank you from the bottom of my broken heart for telling me when you were too tired to stay any longer.

         Everyone who ever met you, was completely captivated. Not just by your physical beauty, but by the gentle soul that lay within. You will live on in the dogs that carry your DNA and I hope one day to share my life with another Spin who carries a piece of you with them.

         I will take you home to Annette soon, so you can be close to your boy as you rest beside your mum. The memories I have of our time together will remain locked in my heart forever. The sadness I feel is a small price to pay for loving you.

        Sweet Madgey, I ask nothing of you except that you know how very much you are loved.

        Good night my angel xxx x


Puppies !!!

On 5th April Ebene gave birth to 7 beautiful babies, 4 girls and 3 boys all born healthy and good weights.  They are now coming up 2 weeks old and have got their eyes almost open and are starting to make little barking noises and getting around the whelping box at speed.  I have tried to get some pictures of them but can't seem to get any of them looking like individual pups only one big black blob hehe.  The only one of course that stands out is the little white and black parti girl.  Ive just found my camera and I thought it might take a better picture than my phone but now can't find the cable to transfer the pics onto the PC so at the moment its a no go.  Anway heres a few of the 'better' ones :o)  As the pups grow I can take them separately so you can get to see exactly what they're like.

A few days old
Today :o)

Last month in a nutshell :o)

 I've sooo much news but so little time to get it on here so heres a condensed version for the time being.:o)

We've been to Italy, Ireland and France all in a month, talk about a whirlwind!!  When I was in Italy I decided, after a visit to the highly thought of Dell 'Adige Spinone kennel to  buy a beautiful little Brown Roan bitch pup to the UK to live with is.  She is called Italia and is now 5 months old.  My friends Irene and Keith who live near Limoges, France very kindly drove to Italy to weeks later to pick her up for me and we made the trip to their place to collect her from there.  It was 2 very long journeys for her but she took it all in her stride and has now settled in here amazingly well.  She's been well and truly accepted by the others and her and Dixie and now partners in crime and get up to all sorts of mischief together.

Italia when we met her with her breeder Maria Grazia Poli

She's now a fully skilled counter surfer (that didn't take her long)

All settled in

We went on her first training session with several friends and their Spinone and Bracco Italiano and she didn't let me down :o)  She loved every minute of it and was retrieving from water like a pro within 10 minutes - amazing !!  Thanks a million to Helen for this lovely picture of her first swim.