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December 2013:

Well, I don't know where this month has gone - all a blur of trying to keep 14 puppies, clean , dry and entertained. Christmas is coming and ( hopefully) many of the new owners to collect their puppies. All should be quieter by the beginning of the New Year!

Happy Christmas to everyone.

November 2013:

30th November - Finally got round to taking some more photos of the pups. They are just over 4 weeks old now and starting to look quite cute. However, try as we might, they always look a bit gormless at this age in photos!

The first row of photos are Amber's litter - the bottom row are Scarlett's.

4 orange boys

Amber's blue bitch puppy

A different orange boy

Another pic of orange boys!

All 6 playing

Blue & tri bitches

2 more tri bitches

Orange sister & brother

18th November - a visit from Whisper's sister, Darcy, today. They had a great time racing around together - they were not so keen to sit still for a photo!.

Sitting still at last

Like 2 peas in a pod

16/17th November - Wow, what a weekend!

Sunday morning early start for the drive to the Reading area for the Southern English Setter Society's championship show. Quite a journey as there were so many road closures and diversions - luckily I had Yvonne to navigate for me!

Still, it was all worth while as Luke won his 3rd CC and with it his Show Champion title ( subject to KC approval).He really has had the most amazing show career to date, winning every breed class but one that he has entered since his first show in April 2012 when he was 9 mths old.
Flint was 1st in the veteran dog class and Barbara and Sonny were 2nd in Post Graduate.

Luke after winning his limit class

Flint winning his veteran class

Well done to the Watkins - keeping it in the family Luke was beaten for BIS by his cousin, Val & Joe's Valsett Starlite Rosie Moon who is a daughter of Sh Wansleydale Rowanberry of Valsett.
Following on from his successes yesterday, Flint did it again and finished up Best Veteran in Show.

BIS lineup, Luke and Rosie with judges Ruth Martin & Dom Goutorbe

Best Veteran in Show - Flint, with the Best Puppy in Show.

Thanks to SESS for the photographs.

Saturday was the day of Setter & Pointer championship show. This year it was held at Newark so very little travelling as this is the closest show venue to me.
Great results today as Luke won his limit class, Flint won not only best Veteran English Setter but also the res CC and then went on to win Best Veteran in Show. In the bitch classes Nigel won Graduate with Lacie even though she is totally out of coat.

Luke winning his class

Nigel with Flint in the Challenge

Nigel and Lacie

Best of Breed, Best Dog, Best Veteran & Best Puppy with judge, Ellen Lloynd

Best of Breed was Flint's daughter, the lovely Sh Ch Quensha Little Jeannie ( Rhea).This was Rhea's 30th CC and her owners Richard & Anglea have now decided to retire her from the show ring. As Flint is rarely shown these days we took this opportunity to get some lovely photos of them together.

Rhea and dad, Flint - these youngsters just can't keep awake!

As always, many thanks to Tereza for the lovely photos.

It was my birthday today and David had arranged secretly to have some wine and cake taken to the show - many thanks to Jane and Yvonne for helping to sort out this lovely suprise and making the day even more special.

7th November - everything settling down at home after the whelpings. Reasonable weather today so took the pointers and the setter males to Budby heath to run off some steam as their exercise has been curtailed due to recent events.

Havoc & Karla with their "flying ears"

Waiting for cyclists to pass by

Luke galloping to catch up - as usual

October 2013:

30th October - Well, despite extensive planning as we had the 2 litters due at the same time things went slightly pearshaped! Both bitches decided today was the day and went into labour at the same time.
David was away in London for the day and my " whelping helpers" were not due to arrive until later in the evening as I felt sure the pups would not be born until the early hours of Thursday. Scarlet had other ideas and to make matters worse - much worse, she got the first pup stuck. She obviously needed vet attention but there was no one here to look after Amber. Luckily for me neighbour Jane was in and she came to the rescue and we decided, as she had never whelped a bitch before , it would be safer to take Amber with us to the vets with Scarlet.
We are 22 miles from our vets and the rush hour traffic leaving Nottingham certainly didn't help our progress and to top it all Scarlet finally had her first pup in the car. As it had been such a difficult birth the pup was slow to revive and certainly not helped by being in the dark at the side of a busy road!. Because of the distances involved the vet suggested we stay at the surgery until all of Scarlett's pups were delivered - a good job really as she also had trouble with the last pup but finally puppy number 6 arrived.
Although Amber was with us in the surgery, warm and safe, it was not conducive to her whelping her litter and we were all relieved when we finally arrived home. I was sure that as soon as we were all settled Amber would have her first pup but I think the stress of the evening had been too much for her and she just stopped all signs of whelping and curled up in her bed and went to sleep for the night!
It was back to the vets the next morning and it was decided that the best option for Amber was a C section. All went well and Amber and her 8 puppies were soon back home.

Scarlet with her 6 pups- 5 bitches & 1 dog

Amber and her 8 pups - 7 dogs and 1 bitch

Now we have just got to get through the next 5 or 6 days before we can feel confident that they will all survive.

27th October - Off to Stafford for Midland Counties show. No setters entered - just the GSPs so no trimming and bathing in this awful weather. A second place for Lottie in Limit but no card for Karla today. Across in the English Setter ring Barbara was 3rd in Post Graduate Dog. This class was won by Cannonsett Grin'N Bear It - Pudsey, the stud dog I chose for Amber. Nigel and Lacie won 4th in their Post Graduate bitch class which was a good result as Lacie still looks quite immature.

For those of you who don't know him - this is Pudsey!

Midland Counties photos - thank to Barbara

24th October - Whisper is now 10 wks old and just finished her course of vaccinations so will soon be able to get out and about. She is coming on well and just starting to learn to stand still, sit and come when called. She is very greedy so can usually be bribed with a treat!

Whisper at 10 wks

16th October - Gundog Society of Wales show - I missed the entry date for this show so it was Barbara and Sonny flying the flag with a lovely first place in Post Graduate. Extra special congratulations to Sylvia Cole with her tri dog Yoda ( Sorbus Jedi Master ) who won the dog CC and Best of Breed. Yoda is the 5th offspring of our Sh Ch Wansleydale Royal Flush to win these top awards this year. Come on Sylvia and Yoda - get hunting for the next one! Thanks to Tereza for the photos.

Sonny winning his class

Yoda after winning the dog CC

5th October - we would like to introduce you to Whisper.

Whisper 8 weeks old

At last - I have a tricolour!

Whisper is from the litter sired by Luke to Marie's bitch Ellie. As you can see she is a very pretty tricolour and if all goes according to plan she will be around the shows next year trying to emulate her dad's fabulous show achievements. The rest of the pack here have got over the shock of this new arrival and suprisingly it is GSP Lottie who has taken on the bulk of the baby sitting.

Scarlet is now 6weeks in whelp ( mated to Luke) and so we are expecting her puppies to be just as beautiful as Whisper.

September 2013:

30th September - great news!. Scarlet and Amber have been scanned today and we now have confirmation that both are in whelp and, thankfully, both have at least 4 or 5 puppies each.

22nd September - second visit to see Luke's pups. They are 5.5 weeks now and either into everything or just crashed out asleep. It's a lovely litter and all are coming on very nicely.

Struggling to get down

Getting sleepy

Fast asleep with the toys

8th September - on the road again, this time to the opposite end of the country for Richmond championship show. The travelling was well worth it as Luke won his limit class and then the dog CC - his second!. This is his last show for a couple of months - I think we all deserve a bit of a rest.

5th September - more travelling, this time up to Ravenscar in North Yorkshire for a couple of days for a friends wedding. As we have bitches in season at home the 2 boys have had to come with us as they are being so noisy - sure our neighbours will be pleased about that! We had some lovely walks along the cliff tops and Luke even managed to find some pheasants although he would keep going very close to the edge!

Luke precariously on "sea watch"

4th September - My first visit to see the litter sired by Luke. They will soon be 3 weeks old and now have their eyes open and are up on their feet and finding their way around the whelping box. Checked them for colouring and all are tricolour! The hard work begins now as weaning is underway and it won't be long before they are climbing out of the box and exploring. Owner Marie and mum,Ellie,are doing a great job with them - they are lovely well fed pups that are beautifully clean and content.

Three sleepy dog puppies

A lovely black eye!

The two bich puppies

1st September - came down to Somerset yesterday to mate Amber to a handsome blue dog - Cannonset Grin 'N Bear It. First time Pudsey has been used at stud but he was very enthusiastic and all went well. A lovely nights B&B at a quaint country pub and a second mating this morning before driving back up the motorway to mate Scarlet to Luke! Typical that they should both need mating at the same time.

August 2013:

23rd-26th August - this month seems to have been all about travelling around the country for shows - Paignton, Bournemouth, Bakewell and now to end the month we are off to our holiday home in the railway station in Northumberland for a few days. While there we will travel up to Edinburgh for the Scottish Kennel club show. Nigel and Jane and 4 of their Irish Setters are joining us for the weekend so that will make a total of 9 dogs and 4 adults - good job we all get along! The day after the show and it was off to the beach and dunes - what a sight as all 9 of the dogs dashed about chasing each other and any rabbits that were foolish enough to surface.

Karla on rabbit patrol

Crazy gang cross the bridge

Marcus taking a breather

Paris - now a very wet champion!

Altogether in the sea

Nigel rounding up his four

End of an entertaining walk - back to the station now for breakfast

Great day at the show - all 6 dogs entered were well placed in their classes with the highlights of the day being Luke winning the reserve CC and Nigel's bitch, Paris (Anlory Carimena) winning the bitch CC and then taking Best of Breed. This win earns her the title of Show Champion - so well done Nigel, Jane and Paris. I can feel a little celebration coming on!

Luke at SKC- photo Tereza

16th August - So pleased to hear today that the first litter sired by Luke was born yesterday. There were 8 puppies in the litter but sadly 2 died at birth. Still that leaves 6 - 2 bitches and 4 dogs. Hope owner Marie can now catch up on some sleep!.

Can't believe it - they all look to be blue or tricolours!

11th August - No showing for me today at Bournemouth show as I am judging the German Shorthaired Pointers. This is my first judging appointment for this breed at this level so quite a special day. I had a really enjoyable time - hope the exhibitors felt the same way!
Today my major awards were all made to bitches - best of breed, best puppy in breed and best veteran. I was particularly pleased that my Best Puppy in Breed went on to gain 4th place in the Gundog group later in the day.

BOB - Koolwaters On Moonlight Bay at Pelenrise

Reserve best bitch & Best Puppy - Taftazini Wilshee Wyn Too

Best Veteran- Sh Ch Indijazz Fan Mail at Abbeyaire

7th August - A lovely day out at Bakewell Show. Lots to see and do a well as the dog show section. It was a return to the showring today for Scarlet - I think this is her first show since January and it has taken her this long to regrow her coat. She had a good result, winning her class and then taking Best of Breed.

Not the best quality photo - but Scarlet looks very nice

5th August - Scarlet's dad, Sam ( Sh Ch Wansleydale Magic Star), is here staying with us for a few weeks so we thought it would be nice to get some photos. It was hard enough to get the 3 orange boys to stay still and look in the same direction but no chance when it came to Scarlet!

Sam, Flint and Luke

Sam and Scarlet

4th August - I am still recovering after yesterday's epic journey so gave National Gundog show at Malvern a miss. Quite pleased really as the weather was poor and everyone got soaked. Barbara handled Sonny to 2nd in his class - love this photo of them in the rain!

Sonny and Barbara enjoying the summer weather at National Gundog!

Star of the day today was the Stella & David Oliver's Bramstorm Line Dancer. Monica won that all important 3rd CC today and so now has the title of Show Champion, just like her mum - the lovely Sh Ch Wansleydale Cloudberry at Bramstorm. Many congratulations.

3rd August - Must be mad but today I went all the way to Paignton to show Karla and Luke. We shared the car with Nigel and his Irish Setters so at least we were not travelling alone. Luke's first time up in the limit class with the big boys and he looked quite a baby. He came 3rd in his class and so that ended his amazing run of always winning his breed class since his first show when he was only 7mths old. Still it had to happen sometime! Karla did well and won her limit class and Barbara had 4th places with Sonny & Logan. Nigel came home with a first with his junior dog and a 3rd with his open bitch so all in all a resonably successful day. Lucky for us the traffic was not too bad even though it was the start of the bank holiday weekend.

Luke in his class at Paignton show

July 2013:

28th July - Off to Leeds show at Harewood House today. Luke and Lottie all bathed and ready to go with friend Jennifer helping with the bags and providing the sausgae rolls!.
Another great day with Lottie winning a strong limit class and Luke gaining first prize in his Graduate class. Luckily for me the GSP and English Setter rings were located side by side as again they were both needed in their respective rings at about the same time. The highlight of the day today was Luke winning the reserve CC - only beaten for the top spot by his half brother, Balvenie Buccaneer(both sired by Flint).
Later in the day yet another of Flint's offspring featured in the top awards - 1st in open class and reserve best bitch was Moorbrook Uptown Flirt at Pernickety.Well done Anne & "Dexter" and Sharon & "Flirt".

Luke in his Graduate dog class photographed by Jennifer

Thanks to Tereza for this photo of Luke

22nd July - Exciting news today - we have confirmation that Luke is going to be a daddy! This will be his first litter and we hope that he will prove to be as successful a stud dog as his father, Flint ( Sh Ch Wansleydale Royal Flush). At the half way stage in the Dog World/Royal Canin Top Stud Dog competition 2013 Flint is the current breed leader. (This competition is based on the amount of winning at major shows that a stud dog's progeny achieve) - lets hope he is still in that position at the end of the year!

7th July - all dogs settled back at home and today it was a trip to Peterborough for the East of England show. Coming so soon after our trip away I decided that today it would be German Pointers only - far less work required to get them ready for the showring! Lottie and Karla both entered and another good day for us - Lottie winning a strong limit class and then taking the reserve CC and Karla gaining 3rd place in Open.

Best bitch, reserve best bitch (Lottie) and the best bitch puppy at East of England show - thanks to judge Jane Eyeington for the photos.

Wansleydale In A Pickle (Lottie) winning her class

4th July - Back home, not the best of trips as we saw no midnight sun - in fact we saw very little sun in the last 2 weeks, day or night! Things not helped when the ship broke down and we were delayed in Molde for 3 days waiting for parts - this meant we missed 2 other scheduled ports and seemed to spend most of the time at sea. Still a nice break, good food and we met lots of interesting people. David saw quite a few birds, whales, reindeer and a walrus - I saw very little as it was too cold and wet to stand about on deck so I spent most of my my time eating, reading or visiting the spa. So, contrary to popular belief not all of our trips are to exotic, sunny places!

Lovely view of our ship with snow capped mountains behind

Not my usual type of beachWrong time of year to see polar bears - but plenty of warning signs!

At least in Svalbard we had sun - but the temperature was only 6 degrees! Still - what beautiful scenery all around us; it really is an amazing place and the 24hours of daylight at this time of year takes some getting used to.

June 2013:

30th June - while we were away on the cruise it was the English Setter Association's open show. Barbara and Sonny kept the flag flying by not only winning their class but also the Best Dog in Show award.

ESA Open Show Best in Show Line Up - well done Sonny and Barbara on winning Best Dog

19th June - animals all settled, cases packed and we are on our way to Dover to board our cruise ship for a trip up the coast of Norway and onto Svalbard and the arctic circle to look for the midnight sun.

15th June - travelled over from the Northumberland coast to Kelso for the Border Union show. A return to poor weather and most of the judging had to be carried out in the marquees. Still it was a great day for us as Luke won his first CC - he is not 2 years old yet so the downside of such a super win is that for all shows entered from now on he will have to compete in the limit class with the older, more mature dogs. I think the days of continuing his "unbeaten in class run" is soon to end! It was a fabulous day for Flint's offspring - in addition to son Luke gaining the best dog award the reserve best dog, best bitch and reserve best bitch were also all sired by Flint!

Luke at Border Union - thanks Fran for the lovely photo.

4th June - the lovely weather continues and we all enjoyed a long walk through the forest in Clumber Park. This is a fabulous place to run the dogs with over 3000 acres of woods and heath land - the added bonus is that with minimum effort we can get them all back dry and relatively clean (give or take a few tangled brambles) whereas most of our walks involve lots of muddy water and boggy areas.

A tired but happy pack at the end of their walk

May 2013:

31st May - well, the last day in May and in the lovely sunshine at the Southern Counties show at Newbury, Amber wins that all important 3rd CC to give her her show champion title. Just to finish off in style she also was awarded Best of Breed.

Sh Ch Moorbrook Golden Girl of Wansleydale in her class at Southern Counties

Amber after winning Best Of Breed with the Best Dog Sh Ch Mariglen Blue Flame for Christter and judge, Mrs Gill Lewis.

It's hard to believe that we have 2 new Wansleydale champions crowned with only 2 weeks apart. Amber is our 20th UK show champion bred or owned at Wansleydale - We have also bred 2 International champions and a Dutch champion ( who is Amber's daughter). I am especially proud of these results as we have very few litters of puppies - definitely demonstrating quality not quantity!. Congratulations and thanks must also go to Amber's breeders, Ken & Lorna Howarth, and as usual to Teresa and Nick for their great photos.

25th May - Bath show today and the weather could not be more different! Amber in the open class today which was full of the breed's top winning bitches and she beat them all to first place. It was fingers crossed for the bitch CC but it was not to be and she ended up as the bridesmaid again with the reserve. Still, disappointing as it was, in today's quality entry that was definitely a great achievement.

Today Lottie's GSP class did not clash with Amber and would you believe it - the 2 breeds were in adjoining rings. If only that could have been the case at the last few shows! Lottie was placed second in limit so another good result.

Amber in the ring at Bath

Lottie standing nicely - for a change!

19th May - After the excitment of yesterday's show day, today we did what the dogs prefer best - a long walk on the beach at Bamburgh. Weather was still awful - low heavy cloud and drizzle but as you can see from the photo Barbara is still on a high and keeps on smiling!

18th May - travelled up to Northumberland yesterday with Barbara and Loganberry ready to set off early this morning for Edinburgh for the SKC show. The weather forecast was dire - torrential rain expected. It is very unusual for it not to be pouring with rain when I visit Scotland!

We managed to get the dogs into the show venue before the rain started so at least had clean dry dogs for the judge to assess.
Well, what a day we had!. Barbara handled Logan to his 3rd CC and topped it off with BOB. This makes Logan the 6th show champion offspring from our lovley Sh Ch Wansleydale Blackberry (BB) and results in her becoming the joint top brood bitch of all times in English setters. From the 14 puppies BB has reared 8 have been campaigned in the show ring - 6 of these are now champions ( one is also an International champion), one has 1 CC and 4 res CCs and the other has 2 res CCs - - what an acheivement!

Sh Ch Wansleydale Loganberry at Jolymore Sh.CM after winning that all important 3rd CC and Best of Breed.

It may not have been a big entry today but still some quality dogs were there for Logan to beat including the Crufts dog CC Winner and the breed's latest female show champion so the competition was still strong

As Barbara pointed out to me today's win truly makes Logan a British show champion as he has now won CCs in England, Wales and Scotland!. Although I have occasionally showed Logan when Barbara was unwell, it was Barbara who handled him to all 3 of his challenge certificates. A shame that Graham was not with us in Scotland today to help us celebrate!

We also had a great day with Amber who won her class and then went on to win the reserve bitch CC.

Amber winning her class

Amber standing for judges critique

Unfortunately, yet again, the judging of English Setters and GSPs clashed and so Lottie missed her class. Hopefully the timetabling will be better for us at the next show.

10th May - Birmingham National championship show at Stafford. Not such a successful day today with Amber getting 4th in her class and Lottie 5th but Sonny & Barbara kept the flag flying with a first in Post grad dog.

2nd May - the burmese kittens were 1year old a couple of days ago - they are still as mad as ever and have managed to break more ornaments etc in the 9 months we have had them than all the dogs put together in the last 30 years!
They are definitely house cats as we live on such a busy road but as the weather is so nice we decided to see if they would like to venture outdoors for the first time and so left the kitchen door open while we sat outside in the garden having a cup of tea.
Both sat just inside the kitchen door peering out for quite a while before eventually coming onto the patio. After a while Mango got a little braver and decided to explore around the pond but Lychee never made it more than 10yds from the kitchen and soon returned to her favourite armchair for a snooze.

Mango exploring the rockery

Mango & Lychee relaxing after their first trip outside

April 2013:

28th April - travelled up to Lockerbie yesterday ready for the English Setter Society of Scotland's championship show at Dumfries today. All 4 setters with us but only Amber and Luke entered - should really have entered Flint and Scarlet as well but when entries closed I wasn't sure if I could share a lift with someone and there would have been no way they could have accommodated all 4 of my dogs. David managed to do some bird watching at the local RSPB sites and I had a lovely day at the show where Luke and Amber both won their classes.This is a very friendly show and so nice to get a "wee dram and shortbread" compliments of the committee.

After the show we crossed country to Northumberland for a few days by the sea. Lovely sunny weather, although quite windy, but we had some lovely walks on the beaches and in the dunes.

21st April - 4 weeks since my surgery and this weekend is the first time I have been able to groom the dogs. Big job on here as it is ESA championship show at Stonleigh and I have 3 entered. My dogs are normally groomed and trimmed very regularly and so showday preparation doesn't take too long but a month of galloping about and gathering twigs and knots in their coats makes this hard work.

This year it is the ESA 60th anniversary and so it is a special show and is including a parade of champions - because of this I have entered Flint along with Amber and Luke. Flint really enjoyed his day out and won the veteran class and was also shortlisted for best dog! Luke also continued his unbeaten class record winning special yearling dog and Amber won limit bitch. Sonny was 4th in Post Graduate dog and the Watkin's Sh Ch W. Rowanberry at Valsett (Rooney) won open dog with litter brother Loganberry 5th. So all in all a succesful day.

Amber in her class

Amber being assessed by the judge

Luke in Special Yeraling

Flint winning veteran dog

Sonny shown by Barbara

Rooney in the dog Challenge

After a month of inactivity the show preparation, long drive and busy show day made me exhausted - thank goodness friend Jennifer was there to give me hand with the dogs and that Yvonne( Wale ) was happy to be pressganged into showing Flint in the Champion parade and the dog challange.

As always, thanks to Nick and Tereza for the photos.

March 2013:

23rd March - hospital day! Both hands being operated on today for Dupuytren' disease so a good few weeks ahead for David to have to look after dogs and house as well as me while my hands are bandaged.

16th March - Off to Reeth in North Yorkshire for a Setter & Pointer training weekend. The weather was very cold with snow up on the moors but at least it remained dry. Karla had a great time hunting grouse - so many around that she wasn't her ususal obedient self! Unfortunately she pulled a muscle galloping through the deep heather so was unable to do much work on the second day but we had a great time watching the others including a gordon setter and a GSP who qualified for their show gundog and working gundog certificates on the day.

Reeth village with snow on the moors behind

A very tired Karla!Deep heather - pretty but hard to walk through

12th March - as always after Crufts lots of nice photos of the dogs are around. Here are a a selection.

Luke - lovely photo as usual by Nick Darley

Amber in her limit class

Wansleydale Tribute to Jolymore - Sonny

Wansleydale Loganberry of Jolymore - Logan, Sonny's sire

9th March - Gundog day at Crufts, another early start as friend Jane and I head off at 6.30am with Luke, Amber and Lottie. Despite the cold, wet weather I have managed to keep both setters dry,clean and white - the joy of the GSP is that all that is required is a wipe down with a damp cloth!
A great day with Luke winning the yearling class and, although still only a youngster, he was then shortlisted for the best dog award. Amber gained second in a strong limit class (at last she is feeling better after her strange season at the beginning of the year) and Lottie won 3rd in her limit class thanks to Nigel helping out at the last moment and showing her for me. As often happens the timing of Amber's class clashed with Lottie's class and as setters were in hall 1 of the NEC and GSPs in Hall 4 I thought she would not even get chance to compete.

Not the best quality photo but Luke standing nicely while the judge writes his critique

I was also delighted to see Luke's half brothers and sisters ( sired by Sh Ch Wansleydale Royal Flush) do so well today especially Sorbus Jedi Master who won limit dog and Quensha Little Jeannie who was awarded reserve best bitch.

However the star of the day was Sharon Cook's Moorbrook Uptown Flirt at Pernickerty who not only gained the best bitch award ( which Amber won at Crufts last year) but then went on to be declared Best of Breed.

Flirt entering the "big ring" for Crufts 2013 Gundog Group competition.

Flirt was carrying on a family tradition as her father, Flint, won best dog at Crufts in 2008, her maternal grandfather, Danny - Sh Ch Wansleydale Witchdoctor, was Best of Breed at Crufts in 2009, Danny's grandmother, Sh Ch Wansleydale Blackbird also had a Best of Breed win at Crufts 2002 and not forgetting Blackbird's mother, Sh Ch Wansleydale Seabird who was best bitch at the 2000 Crufts!

Barbara also had a good day with Logan winning the Good Citizens class.

To enter Good Citizens class your dog must have passed an obedience test so proof that Logan has a brain (sometimes!) as well as good looks.

8th March - Final preparations today to get the dogs ready for Crufts tomorrow. Yolande Falise and her partner Leon are arriving from Holland to stay with us along with their young English Setter bitch, Vanquish Keep Secret, so we are a very cosmopolian household at the moment as we also have a Polish champion bitch here with us for mating.

2nd March - Early start today for the trip down to the Newmarket area, to Dick White Referrals, the specialist vet practice that are kindly hosting our breed specific health day. There is limited space available in their seminar room and so we were only able to offer 40 places - understandably distances involved put some people off attending but not Kristina Dudas from Hungary (Princesspride) or Marc Mombaers from Belgium (Ballykissangel)!

Reception building at Dick White's Referrals

It really was a brilliant day with talks from their consultant specialist vets on a range of conditions that affect our breed including atopic dermatitis, deafness, hypothyroidism and screening for orthopaedic problems. What a set up they have there - all the latest equipment and facilities. They were all so friendly and welcoming and even provided lunch for us. (Look them up at dickwhitereferrals.com). I think everyone who attended thought it a day well spent. I hope to be able to arrange another health day with them for next year - either the same format with 5 or 6 different topics covered or perhaps more in-depth sessions on just a couple of our more problematic health issues.

February 2013:

23rd Feb - A visit today from Lennox ( Wansleydale Free As A Bird ) Can't believe that he is now 11 yrs old. No trouble at all to give him a quick trim - such a lovely old boy.

Lennox waiting for his after-trim biscuit.

16th Feb - Back home after the long overnight flight from Cape Town and time to aclimatise to the cold weather after 2 weeks of lovely sunshine. Dogs and cats all seemed to pleased to see us although I do wonder if they miss us at all when we are away.
Lots of recorded TV to catch up on including the David Attenborough series - Lychee also likes to do a bit of bird watching!

Time now over the next week or so for me to finalise all the details for the English Setter health day that I am organising on behalf of the joint English Setter clubs health comittee. This is to be a full day of talks and is being hosted by Dick White Referrals down at Six Mile Bottom near Newmarket.

15th Feb - Final day of the cruise and we finished in Cape Town. It has been some years since we were last here we were sorry to see how built up the famous Waterfront area has become. We had lunch with some old friends from the University of Cape Town and then had a stroll around the harbour and I was suprised and delighted to see the Jubilee Sailing Trust's tall ship STS Lord Nelson.

See how small this sailing ship looks against even a small cruise liner in Cape Town harbour

A while ago I said to David how I would like to have a go at sailing and unbeknown to me he booked me on this ship for a weeks " holiday" sailing along the Spanish coast. This square rigger is adapted to take disabled as well as able bodied people - they have approx 8 permanent experienced staff members on board and the rest of the crew are made up of 40 "holidaymakers".Holiday in the normal sense of the word it wasn't - everyone is on a 24hour "watch" rota which means that during the day and the night you are on 4hour shifts and required to carry out all of the work necessary to keep this ship sailing. This involves raising and lowering those huge sails, turning the yards to change direction or catch the wind, helping in the galley and of course keeping the ship clean and " shipshape" . It was very hard work pulling on those ropes ( I did know the names of most of them by the end of the week!) and more difficult than it looks to steer in a straight line. It was a really enjoyable time and an eye opening experience for me to see how people, young and old, cope with serious physical disabilities.

3rd Feb - Midland English Setter Championship show. As I am sunning myself in Togo Nigel kindly offered to show Amber for me at MESS. She has not been herself recently following on from a very strange season at Christmas time and she didn't put all in on the move so we were very happy to get a 4th place in limit. Sonny did really well with Barbara - winning the post grad class and also the Don Christie memorial stakes.

1st Feb - Early morning start, 1.30am, for start of the journey to Heathrow to catch flight to Ghana to join the Cruise ship for a 2 week holiday sailing down the west coast of Africa. Dogs all settled - some at home and some at Nigel's. We visited some unusual countries including Togo and Benin where we visited local villages to see voodoo ceremonies.

Local dancers going into trance at the start of the voodoo ceremony

January 2013:

21st Jan - Still lots of snow about so we decided on another trip up to Clumber Park. The scenery was just fantastic - first time I have ever been to Clumber in the snow. The snow here was deep and very powdery - not really like "British" snow at all. The dogs had a great time and all came back clean- what a bonus!

The only road open into Clumber Park today

A view over the lake to Clumber chapel

Luke on "look out"

Amber having a frolic!

20th Jan - First championship show of the year- Manchester Dog Show Society but the show is actually held at Stafford. The snowy conditions forced quite a few exhibitors to stay at home but the competition was still strong. Scarlet finished off her Junior show career in style with another first, Amber was second, Sonny was also second and across in the GSP ring Lottie was third in her class so all in all not a bad day.

Sonny with Barbara handling at Manchester - As usual, many thanks to Nick Darley for another great photo.

6th Jan - A wonderful start to 2013 with Scarlet winning her final point for her Junior Warrant award at the Duckeries Gundog show today.

2nd Jan - Starting the New Year with a long walk in Clumber Park - although it is quite a drive for us it gives us the chace for the dogs to really have a good run and still come back relatively clean and dry!.

Pointers wrong side of fence - as usual!

Lottie isn't a "jumper - thank goodnessKarla just sails over!

Scarlet in hot pursuit of Karla

Amber just doing her own thing!

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