My dogs

My dogs
All together in spirit: Back row L-R Gemma, Maddi, Bruno, Kizzy, Charlie and on front row L-R, TJ, Tommy, Sami, Lotte and Bliss. Maddi is the only one who knew all of the others.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Happy New Year and a very belated Happy Christmas

Hmm, forgot to post the Xmas card that Charlie, Tommy and Lotte took ages to make.
So here it is - belatedly !!

See from left to right: Charlie, Lotte and Tommy

Hope everyone had a good time over the holidays.  Our dogs had lots of pressies and still have some left. Charlie and Lotte loved all of their toys.
Hope to be able to upload a video clip at some point. It really was a joy to watch Charlie enjoying herself so much. I treasure every day she is here and Lotte, well she is always such a happy pup. A total joy in our lives.

Tommy is 6 years old today - he will get his pressie at tea time.

It was a time for new dogs in the family as my sister and her huband had their first Xmas with their new puppy Visla Harry and my niece and her family celebrated theirs with their relatively new 4 yr old, Woody, who is settling in nicely in his new home. They both lost dogs last year - Murphy and Jake sadly went a few months apart and Billy went in between them. So very sad as they were super dogs and sooo much loved. I hope they are enjoying themselves together at the Bridge. Photos to follow soon.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Catching Up

It is ages since I posted so I thought today I would catch up a bit.
Since my last posting, I have been to Crufts; celebrated first 6 months, then a year with Charlie still being well; celebrated Lotte's first birthday; been on a march and this summer have become the proud owner of 3 new chickens.

The best news for me is that Charlie is still with us over a year since becoming ill. She goes back to see Adam on Tuesday for a checkup. Her last blood tests 2 months ago with Mark were good and showed just a little extra improvement on the last ones. The worst thing is her mobility which isn't great at times, so something to talk to Adam about.

Lotte has been a joy. She plays a lot with Charlie, managing to annoy her, but also getting her up and about. She really is a bright spark. She loves to hug and presses her face into mine, with her paws round my neck.

Tommy is doing fine too. He loves his cuddles.

The new chickens have just about settled in with the oldies now. I got them 2 and 1/2 weeks ago and the last couple of days have been able to leave them roaming with the oldies and Annie Oakley.

The top photo is of Gently and Josephine (white one). Angie is in the bottom picture. Good news is Angie and Josephine have already started laying. Marvellous !! The 3 old ones are just over 6 years old now and surprise many people with their longevity. Must be all the grapes they are eating !!

I am still waiting for my tomatoes to ripen. There are 37 plants, loads of green tomatoes but not one ripe one.  Spuds have grown but am waiting a bit longer to start harvesting these. Plums - well, we have had these by the bucketful this year. Never had such a bumper crop ever. I have made 2 dozen pots of jam and chutney with more to be done this week with the last of them. Gosh I feel like a proper homely house Mum.

Well more later about the rest of the household.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Charllie has had problems again

Poor Charlie has had a rough month or so. After all 3 dogs had the poops, she then got an infection - possiby cystitis. I decided to clip all her hair off 2 weeks ago and poor girl was visibly trembling / shivering. I thought at first it was just her hair cut, but as the days wore on, I realised there was something else amiss.

Took her back to the vets last Saturday and basic tests didn't come up with anything, so back to see Adam on Tuesday where I left her for the day. Got good and bad news. The bad news is that she has two vertebrae which have very little gap left between them at the base of her neck and also she has ear mites. Now either, both, or neither of these could cause her to tremble. We don't kow how long she has had a problem with her neck or what has caused this and worst case scenario is that she has a tumour somewhere.
So am trying very hard to be proactive and positive - the latter isn't so easy for me, I'm afraid. However, I am arranging an appointment for her with Liz Harris who is a McTimoney chiropracter and whom helped us a couple of years ago with Maddi and TJ.

Good news - well this was very good. Her kidney numbers have improved again and are now almost as good as they were when she stayed in the vets for 3 days to get maximum hydration - hence she is no longer classed as being in renal failure - yippee - long may this continue.

Oddly, the tremblling hasn't happened now for 24 hours. I am so hoping and praying that her ears caused this and that she has nothing else major happening. Fingers crossed eh ?

Off to Crufts tomorrow for the first time since Charlie qualified back in 2000. Am very excited !!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Lotte is starting to grow up

Well the last few weeks have once more been about sorting out dog problems. All 3 started with what I shall politely call the poobums almost 3 weeks ago. Tommy first, followed 2 days later by Lotte and unfortunately Charlie picked up their bug 2 days following Lotte. Another vet visit for Charlie and Lotte and some great paste for all of them - canicur - which did indeed stop all the problems a couple of days later. Can highly recommend it.

Haha - poor David, the vet, got "Lottied". Lotte took a great liking to him and threw her "arms" round him to hug him. Fortunately he was really nice. We really are so lucky with our vets. Adam is such a gem too.

Charlie then was ok for a few days and then not so great. Looks like she may have cystitis. If things don't clear up fully, we may need to investigate further - well this is the Royal "we" seeing as I am not the vet. Worst case scenario is some sort of growth, so hoping - and praying - very hard that all is well. Poor Charlie really doesn't want anything else to go wrong. Luckily she seems to bounce back well so far.

So, on to Lotte and seeing her growing up fast now. It was time she had her hair sorted out. Apart from my Sami - first standard I owned on my own - all the rest have all been in a puppy show trim for a while and though I didn't think I would be showing Lotte, I still grew her hair. Well it has certainly grown and she had a good coat on her - not in the best of shapes though as the pipes froze outside before Xmas and she hasn't had a bath for several months. That is my excuse anyway.

Now, who would you go to if you needed a good haircut for a poodle ? Yes, only the best for our Lotte. Of we toddled to our very good friend Marita's with Nanny Miller (Carole, Maddi's breeder and wonderful friend) sat with the drooling Lotte on the back seat. All I can say is WOW, WOW, WOW. My girl has now been transformed into a very stylish young lady. Boy does her new trim suite her. Marita was very patient - as always - and performed her magic.
See what you think from the before and afters

Before 1
Lotte has just been brushed and wants to have fun

Before 2  
On the table prior to being bathed.

Had some hair cropped off first before bathing - no point drying hair you don't need to.


 After 1
Now what a difference a few hours and a steady hand makes. Didn't I do a good job ? Hum, no, it wasn't me, it was Marita of course.

Mind you she does have Tommy
(CH Montravia Tommy-Gun) watching over her shoulder while she does it
After 2
What a beauty. Ok so I am biased -  not ashamed to admit it. She is though, beautiful in ever way.
Have to admit that I took her out training her today. When I got home, I realised it was me that needed
 re-training. Not her. She is a total natural.
Maybe, just maybe she will get to a show this year after all.
I hope Buddy's Dad, Don, doesn't mind me quoting him, when he said: " She is beautiful and she knows it. She looks so proud of herself. Wonder how they know when they look so great? They seem to carry themselves differently "

Don, I couldn't agree more. What is it about these beautiful creatures that makes them stand out? I cannot imagine my life without standard poodles. To know one is not just to love one, it is to learn what life is all about from an intelligent creature who always loves you, no matter what. They understand what life is about far better than I do. Just wish they could live forever, or at least stay with me for all of my life. They are in my heart and in my soul.

Just have to add also about the joys that friends bring - Carole, Marita - it was like old times again when we used to go to the dog shows. Thankyou to Carole for helping out with Lotte on the day and a huge thankyou to Marita for sorting out my girl. It was also lovely to catch up with Lotte's super brothers and sisters. Can't wait now for Crufts.

p.s. In case anyone is wondering, one other reason why Carole and Marita are so special to me is that I got Maddi from Carole and Kizzy, TJ, Charlie, Tommy and Lotte from Marita ! AND, my heart dog, Bruno, was bred by me from my Bliss to Marita's Tommy Gun. Oh and Carole got Pudsey Bear from Marita too. More than enough reasons I think - plus the fact that they are also very nice people.

p.p.s. My other special friend, Auntie - alias Karen - is currently down under in the Land of Oz. I have never had a dog off her, as she has only has ever bred rats !! But, she is Godmother to a number of them (dogs that is), so that sort of counts !

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I just had to share these pictures with you, of Isobel, my great niece. They were taken before Christmas. I just find them stunning and bound to make you smile.

Meeting and getting to know Isobel has been and continues to be, a great joy in my life. She was 9 months old yesterday and is so much loved by her wonderful parents, Kerry and James as well as the rest of her family.

Monday, January 10, 2011

More about Charlie

The last 4 months have been a bit of a roller coaster. It was at the very end of August, that Charlie had a couple of days where she didn't want to eat. I took her into the vets for a checkup just as a precaution and asked for blood tests doing to check all was ok. The results came back and showed that her potassium and sodium were out of whack. I thought we might be going down the same route we had with TJ, with Addison's disease, so as she had the same Dad and their Mothers were sisters, I had an ACTH test done. This came back more likely to be Cushing's.

Thus started a whole raft of tests and suddenly we found Charlie was very poorly indeed. She tested positive for Cushing's, but also had pancreatitis, high blood pressure, hypovolemia and scans showed her heart was on the small side. She also had kidney disease. To cut a very long story short, Charlie spent the next few weeks in and out of the vet hospital, 9 days at one go when we thought we were going to lose her altogether. She was desperately ill.

It took several weeks to get Charlie feeling much better. The dedication shown by the vet - Adam Bell in particular - at Caldervets in Dewsbury, and the nurses who looked after her day and night, was immense. They saved her life. I cannot ever thank them enough. Adam is our hero.

At this point, Charlie has early stage kidney disease as well as hypertension. She has decided that she won't be a typical kidney patient - her biggest problem is staying hydrated. We started her off with giving fluids via a catheter in the back of her neck, but that had to be removed eventually as it was clogging up. She now has oral fluids - glutalyte - several times a day, has 4 meals a day and has amlopidine for her blood pressure in addition to various supplements.

Christmas was magic as Charlie looked and acted so well. We know that kidney disease can get worse at any point. She has regular blood tests and her bp checking to try to keep her on track. We live each day for the moment with Charlie, making more memories and making sure we have loads of very important cuddles. Tim bought me a new camcorder for Xmas to take lots of videos of her. 
Lotte loves her to bits so we hope so much that she will be with us for awhile yet.   The photos below show her when very ill at the hospital, on her birthday 13th December and bringing home her new toy.

What a brave star girl she is.

In her kennel at the vets, about 6 days after being admitted.
 Starting to perk up a bit and play with a toy.
Look at all her bandages and patches

Looking beautiful again and feeling loads better.

Fetching home her new toy she had just chosen after going to the vets for more blood tests

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Bruno - born Boxing Day 25 years ago today

I haven't mentioned much yet about Bruno. Maybe because he is the hardest one of all to talk about. He was my best friend, my soul mate. There could never be another dog as precious again as him. I was there at his birth exactly 25 years ago today, but unlike any of my other dogs, I was missing when he left this World. And almost 15 years later, that still hurts. 

Bruno was born on Boxing Day 1985 at home with me acting as midwife to his Mum, Bliss and looked on by his Grandma Gemma and Sami. Bruno was the son of the Crufts Supreme Champion, Montravia Tommy Gun and like his Dad, he was incredibly proud and handsome. It was love at first sight for me and he was never going to leave me.

Bruno was a wonderful show dog, getting more 1sts at all levels of shows than any other dog I have shown, 2 Best in Shows at open shows and qualifying for Crufts every year I showed him.  He was magnificent and such a great friend to me. He looked after me and I tried my best to look after him.
He produced some marvellous pups, one of whom, Maddi, I kept and she lived to the age of 16.

Sadly Bruno died the youngest of all my dogs. He was just 10 years old and he left us 3 weeks after losing his Mum, Bliss, to cancer. Bruno developed a cough and within just a few days we had lost him. Dad and I sat up with him all night, propping him up, taking him twice back to the vets in the middle of the night, but by the morning he was so poorly. Our vets saw him as soon as they opened and then called for me to take him to a specialist in Manchester. He was struggling to breath and his chest cavity was filled with air. I cuddled him all the way there and it broke my heart to leave him. Dad and I had just got back home when the phone rang telling me he had suffered a massive heart attack shortly after we left him. A post mortem revealed he had pulmonary cysts which had burst and effectively he had suffocated to death.

My heart well and truly broke that day. I felt I had let him down not being with him at the end. I loved him so very much. He was supposed to have been best man at our wedding the following year.

I hope somehow that he knew how much I loved him.

Me and my boy
Bruno and daughter Maddi