Saturday, 6 July 2013


Everybody asks......will you do it again? Mmmmmm, today is the very first morning without puppy squeaks and squeals and yes it's quiet. Little Miss Turquoise went to her forever family yesterday. 

I really can't answer that yet, it's too soon and it really does depend on how our lovely Bella recovers after the whole experience. Ten puppies was a huge litter for her to feed and nurture and my poor girl is skin and bone.

From our point of view it was incredibly hard work for a brief few weeks, Bella pretty much did everything until that last 4 weeks of intensive weaning and poop scooping! Did we enjoy it? Overwhelmingly YES!

The best bits?

  • The incredible changes in such a short time.
  • 10 pairs of eyes watching everything we did
  • Watching little tails curling over into that "doodle" pose 
  • seeing them rough and tumble together, chewing ears and tails 
  • watching them sleep
  • calling "puppy, puppy" and seeing them rush down the garden to me, all excited 
  • seeing personalities develop from the litter into individuals
  • meeting (and vetting) prospective families, and seeing such joy as we handed them over
  • feeling warm soft tummies and fluffy doodle cuddles

So do I miss them this morning? Yes, undoubtedly, so watch this space peeps, and we'll see.....

Sunday, 30 June 2013

A word, or two from the power behind the throne. Alan, COULD NOT have done it without you!

Thank you my darling Mary for sharing an amazing journey with me.  From the calming of Bella and feeling her release of Lottie on my feet it has been a life enriching passage of time, a magical hands-on experience.

    Bella has been an amazing mum, so proud of her and her sister Maya, the rock solid guardian of the peace,  we could all do with an auntie like that.  Well its all over just about, we have the last pup to cherish for a week and I understand she is now to be called Bella, nice tribute indeed and we have baby Bella to cuddle a little longer.  

We will travel with baby Bella to Yorkshire next week and introduce her to four of our grandchildren who have followed the puppies on line - no virtual reality then, the real thing! Then our little traveller crosses the Mid-Pennines and the Lancashire border to her new home and really eager owners,  Steve and Dawn,  no Wars of the Roses here,  just an emissary of love and family joy.

Thank you all you lovely people for sharing our pleasure, those who have followed Mary's blog and Facebook page and given her support, and especially the puppies owners.  Its been a real pleasure to welcome you into our home and meet your families. Please keep in touch , we have enjoyed your visits and Martin, Barbara and Nick please share your artwork with us on-line,  my fellow artists.

It has been hard work, that's for sure.  Mary tended to do the early morning stuff and I did plenty of poop scooping!  Big thanks to all the unsung heroes who filled in the gaps and our lovely Daisy who has cherished the puppies from day one as well as supplying a ton of newspaper through her pertinacity.  We love you girl and your brawd TJ who has lived through this day by day.  We have been enriched by this experience and truly hope each puppy has gone to a home where they will continue to bring joy. We've loved it! 

So bye Sam and Lola, Hettie and Finlay, Woody and Lenny, Lily, Boris and Lottie. Best of luck to you all, and last but not least baby Bella

Alan Jenkins

ps "Mary, what's our next adventure?"

It's been emotional!

First there were 10, then 9, 8, 3, and now just 1. And we get to keep her for another few days before she travels up north. Warm belly and soft fur, all snuggly. Miss Turquoise may be called Angel (or Crystal) but for now she's still ours.   Ed note: She's to be called Bella!

First Sam (Mr Green) went to live in Gravesend, and his people have rang to say he's doing great, and will be a lovely companion to Bonnie, a rescue standard poodle and to Andre. We hope to meet up with him sometimes when we go over to Jeskyns so our big girls can swim.

Then Lola (Miss Pink) was whisked away in the night all the way down to Tiverton in Devon, and has already learned to "Sit!" She is sleeping through the night already. I hope we'll see her again as we travel down to Cornwall all the time and Carol has invited us to pop in sometime.


On Saturday morning there was a whole stream of visitors following one after another. Families coming in with expectations and hopes for their puppy and going out laden with toys, and instructions and bags of food. Hettie (Miss Orange) is the closest living in Bromley, so close they use our vet! She is going to live with two border terriers and an artist, who sculpts dogs so watch this space. Lucky girl!

Then came Finley, and his lovely family brought us a beautiful dahlia called Bishop of Llandaff, which will flower each year to remind us of little red collar! He is going to live in Farnham in Surrey, going to work with Andy every day. His family sent us photos already and he will want for nothing! 


Then little Woody left us, with Barbara and Nick going all the way to Barnet in Herts. My daughter came over especially to have one last cuddle with her favourite puppy (purple collar) and gave her vote of approval to the family we'd chosen. We all know how much he will be loved. 

Then came the lovely family for Mr Black, now called Lenny. An 11 year old boy now has a friend for life. A dog to help him through those angst ridden teenage times. That comforting head on your knee, someone to tell your troubles to. And to throw a ball for, and get out of the house for long walks with. Ideal companions. And Coulsdon is close enough to do doodle walks together in Happy Valley!

Finally on Saturday afternoon Anita came and took our lovely Mrs White away, now called Lily, to Eltham. When I suggested that she might be lonely in the night Anita said, "I'll just take her to bed with me!" Spoiled rotten is her destiny. That wouldn't be my solution at all, but each to their own. I was going to suggest a hot water bottle, and the toy which smelled of mum! (My dogs are much loved members of my family but they do NOT sit on my furniture or sleep anywhere except their own beds!)

So then there were three..... and believe me they caused just as much mischief overnight as if there had been 10. Miss Turquoise led the revolt and they broke out of their pen on more than one occasion! One day she won't fit through small gaps and she'll get the surprise. I remember her mother Bella using the cat flap in our back door to go in and out and the look of sheer surprise on her face the day she couldn't actually get through it!

They took much longer to eat their breakfast this morning - and despite me putting down a bowl for each they still all shared the same one, finished that and together moved on to the next! So three pups took longer than ten to eat a similar amount each. Methinks the smaller pups will soon put on weight without the bigger ones pushing them aside. 

So Sunday morning, the sun was shining and all's well with the world. Bella was waiting by the door (along with sister Maya) for their walk before breakfast. It was glorious out in the woods today, all sun dappled paths and birdsong. Bliss. I was really struggling with something and had a decision to make, and that walk certainly put life into perspective. The best things in life are free. Yet you really CAN have too much of a good thing, and sometimes it's better to stick with what you need rather than what you want. So back to reality.

Helen and George came for their beautiful Boris, not a replacement for their last dog, but a new reason to go on... and little boy blue will help soothe their heartache. He's a real laid back boy who loves cuddles and will be cuddled that's for sure! His family are one of life's angels who open their home to needy kids who need a helping hand, so even more hearts to soothe. He's not too far away either.

So, the last two girls.....and a family on their way to view them, all the way from Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire. So, my decision.... I knew if they saw my Lottie, they would choose her. But we can't keep her, two big doods is enough for my kitchen, car boot and honestly my purse too. So sentimentality aside she had to be offered. And they fell in love, they have an allotment too and will even keep her name. Lottie. Just like that.

You see, she was born, suddenly, without much warning or fuss, on our allotment, on Alan's foot. Bella was panting, and we (I) just thought whelping was going to be a long drawn out night time activity. Our beautiful Bella had other ideas. She didn't need the cover of darkness, just a cuddle with the people who love her and she relaxed and went for it. Alan called to me, with my hands dirty from weeding I picked the puppy up and held her close, she was breathing, wet and squealing and getting colder by the minute! Bella was busy trying to dig a hole! We panicked! 

The whelping pen at home was sterile and warm and here we were with the worst possible scenario. Dirty hands, nothing to wrap her in, it was a girl, (as if that mattered) and she was squealing fit to bust. Inside my tshirt she went and we grabbed Bella and Maya and ran fit to bust down to the car. That was dirty too, what with tools, and dogs, and stuff! What else could we do? Alan drove home as quick as we could but it was probably 15 minutes since the pup was born. I was desperate to keep her warm! At home, I gingerly opened the boot to see poor Bella, just in time to help her deliver the next puppy, this one still in it's sac. The rest as they say, is history.

So now do you see why I found it so hard to let my Lottie go? I had bonded in a big way with this amazing little pup. It was my body that kept her warm in those first minutes. My heart that thumped with panic, and my stupid idea to let Bella have pups at all. Well maybe not a stupid idea but a fool hardy one. 

I know that Melissa and David will cosset my sweet Lottie for the rest of her life - and that she will bring something special into their lives too. 

Somebody very kind, whom I've never met, but someone on a doodle forum that I use, said something so lovely about this journey. I'm sure she won't mind me quoting.....

my heart goes out to you they are so lovely,reading your blogg has been better than a love story i had a little tear at the last page.think of all the joy you are sharing , well done xxx Tamara

I will miss every one of our delightful pups but know that the story has only just started. Behind every one there's a family with their own story to tell. We are privileged to live in a society where we can afford to have pets as companions, and each one of these pups was born out of love for their mum, and their breed. 

Enjoy peeps, and please keep in touch. As long as people want I shall continue to blog - so leave your comments here - or on Facebook.

Thanks for listening Mary

Friday, 28 June 2013

One picture is worth 1000 words!

Our last night with the majority of our gorgeous noisy pups and lots of calls from anxious families - what do we need? Etc Etc.    Don't worry! I have got info sheets printed up, 3 days food, some toys and poo bags, and a toy which smells of mum. We're always here to help too. If I don't know the answer to a query there will always be someone to help. Anyway, too many words already. Here are some pics from the last 10 days. Enjoy, we have!

As you can see these babies have been LOVED to bits!
We just hope that all the lovely people we have entrusted them too will keep in touch and let us know how these little doods get on in the next months and years. We are all going to miss them.

Life here in Shirley will never be the same again.