Thursday, 28 August 2014

A well earned holiday

Cornwall 2014 - Bella on tour!

First stop, the Lost Gardens of Heligan, near Mevagissey, Cornwall. Dogs are welcome! Water bowls and bins everywhere, even in the cafe. 

I had to laugh... my phone took this photograph all by itself! Bella, walking beside me, at the Lost Gardens of Heligan. She managed a whole day walking on the lead and we all enjoyed every moment. 

Here she is with Maya posing in the Italian Garden, they really were very calm all day long. The only place they didn't come was the new rope bridge across the jungle, only because they weren't allowed. 
I enjoyed the day at the Lost Gardens with the dogs, it was the first time we could stay as long as we wanted without worrying about them being on their own back at the cottage, or worse in the car. This really is the way forward for the tourist attractions in this country, if we are to spend more holidays (and pounds) at home in the future.

My sister is very generous allowing us to bring our doods down to her tiny cottage in Cornwall. We help out with odd jobs, but not enough to repay her kindness and hospitality. Bella and Maya love visiting her dog Gracie, a lovely golden retriever, and together the three of them love the beach. 

So, as you can see Bella has really been able to relax and enjoy herself with no puppies to worry about. 

We did plenty of country walks too but those aren't so easy to photograph as the dogs are never still with all those wonderful smells to investigate! I tried.

Anyway, so we've had a wonderful break from routine and now we're home. I am thrilled to report that many of our puppy families have contacted us to say how well their little ones have settled in their new homes. So all is well that ends well. 

I will still blog over at Art, Life and Doodles. See you there. 

Sunday, 17 August 2014


Shirleygoldendoodles are NO MORE! We said goodbye to the last pup this morning and lost no time getting our kitchen and garden back to normal. It has been a rewarding, but costly process, a success in many ways and extremely emotional. 

Overall there are 21 lovely and loved Goldendoodles  out there who would not exist without Bella's efforts (and we played no small part) but no more. Bella is retiring. Alan and I are just tired!

Friday, 8 August 2014

The last day.. and a trip to the vets

It's almost the last morning of cacophonous squeals, of rushing into the kitchen to be greeted by 11 pairs of appealing eyes, and a perfume you'll be glad I can't describe.
It's my job, the early morning one, and I attacked it with relish this morning. Put the kettle on! I know my priorities. Fresh liner in the bin, gloves on...and...

No! I won't spoil it for you. These pups are delightful, so full of character, you don't need reminding about poop scooping! Plenty of time for that. A lifetime.

It was grooming time this morning, we felt our vet deserved to meet the pups at their best, so wash and brush up it was. All clean and fluffy, but not for long.
Baby wipes are brilliant. As are Les Pooches brushes.

Are you wondering how we would take 11 pups to the vet? In a huge basket we borrowed for the purpose from Andy, our vet, and in batches. These pups now weigh on average 4 to 4.5Kg so we really struggled to carry the basket with 5 pups in.

Bit of a squash in there....We have a single carry box for our cats, so we took one pup in that. So 6 boys came on the ten minute journey to our vets. All quiet, even driving over the very many sleeping policemen (traffic calming measures) - not really running over the old bill! So all was well, we were even there on time. Result!

What a fuss everyone made of them - we're struggling to carry this crate in through the door and people crowd round all saying "Aaaah!" Yes, they are beautiful, cute, gorgeous... but they're also heavy.

Andy was waiting, and had the vaccinations lined up, along with the paperwork, how do you spell Shamus and what colour would you describe him as? Brave boy, stood on the bench with his tail firmly between his legs. As if he knew. Andy declared both testicles where they should be, hips ok, heart ok, no cleft palette, eyes clear, weight a stonking 4.672Kg more than 10 times his birthweight of 410g and declared "Nothing wrong with him then!"

That was repeated 4 more times and I thought that was it - but Andy had one more injection so who had we missed.... Dylan, of course. So he was finally seen and all was well. Then we had a mad rush back home, to change over. At least some of the girls were lighter so not quite so heavy this time. 

Margot wasn't impressed, but the other girls were quite excited by the outing. Lots of waggy tails. In fact I was particularly pleased to see no one was sick, or distressed by travelling in the car. An adventure, yay! 

Our older dog Maya used to be horribly ill when in the car as a young puppy and it wasn't much fun for any of us. Luckily she got used to the motion and now she loves it - as does Bella. They travel for hours at a time up to Yorkshire or down to Cornwall several times a year with no problems at all.

Andy declared all 11 pups healthy and they are all now ready for their next big adventure, going to their forever homes. But before that, Alan and I have one last day to cuddle and photograph - and clean up after all eleven!

I can't say I have loved every moment - but I wouldn't change it.... 11 more healthy, happy, very much wanted and loved puppies, 11 happy families. Bella has coped much better this time, and is eating well, and not so overwrought. We will not put her through it again though, the idea of those poor breeding bitches in kennels and puppy farms having litter after litter, just breaks my heart. Bella can be what she has always been our very precious girl, and get lots more attention.

Hasn't she done well?

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Basket case? Or a bucket of frogs!

Basket case? Or a bucket of frogs!

The former definitely describes me - and as for the frogs....I'll let you all decide. This was last years litter
five boys, and five girls. 

I'm sure many of you are expecting the most amazing photos again of this year's litter. Well the teachers among you will know what I mean when I say, NOT "this year group!"

Well, make what you will of this....and you can't say we haven't tried.

Seven boys.... seven, and they are SO different from last year. Where we had gentle lads and lasses we now have HOOLIGANS.

Look out mums and dads, here they come!

So we tried a different approach, on the bench. Hmm

Well, even the girls were not much better. 

So we tried the individual approach, and tried to get them one at a time. And that as they say is where the trouble started. 

Dylan (brown collar) beautiful teddy bear coat, but not at all interested in the camera.

Zeus (orange) leader of the pack - into everything and so friendly.

Little Miss Pink - no name as yet, she is just adorable

Buddy (purple) is just going to be so cuddly, his coat is so thick and fleecy. 

Shamus, (green) so self contained, not shy but will wait to be cuddled, and his is the straightest coat. 

Sweet little Gertie (lime green) has a twinkle in her eye and is full of mischief!

Friendly, interested in everything we do, Otis (red) is lovely.

Beautiful Barney, (yellow) the darkest, curliest pup. 

Mylo (blue) is beautiful. so keen for cuddles and fun.

Hattie (black) is off to live by the sea in Guernsey. 

So you're thinking that's 10.... where is Margot?
Well, there is always one.... a right little madam, well not so little. She runs with the boys and WOULD NOT stay on the bench. 

This is all I could get, she must have jumped down 4 times and in the end I thought Alan would have to hold her - not that he minded, but it's not the photo I wanted. So here it is....

so, all eleven, as individuals. I looked away, picked up some poop, got on with stuff and then turned round...Margot, large as life sat on the bench!

butter would not melt!