Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Life Gets Better, Or So They Say!

Life gets better, or so they say!
I can’t remember being dumped. Everything happened so damn fast. Up to that point, to be honest, my life hadn’t exactly gone to plan. I was born one of triplets. I don’t remember my mum or dad, or even my brother and sister for that matter. The fact I recall that one was a boy and one a girl is remarkable in itself - although I have no idea how I know, I just do!
Neither do I remember much of my early life. Unless someone tells you, how can you? One of my earliest memories is of being kept in a cold place, being given food you wouldn’t feed to a pig. Water so bitter it was all I could do to keep some down. How can people be so cruel? At the beginning, I used to ask myself “why me?” I suppose that all who have to cope with neglect ask the same questions. You find yourself going through all sorts of crazy emotions and lashing out at all who are near you. This results in further abuse and neglect.
So, no warm food, no nice warm cup of tea or warm milk! However, life wasn’t all bad. I was very small when I was born - no, I mean really tiny. Not so that I had to be in intensive care, but, believe me I was and still am, the smallest guy I know. The result is that my peers were all much bigger than me. I guess I learnt everything I knew at my early age from these guys. I remember the time Mitchell found a puppy that was lost in a hay barn. Some people working on the farm next door had placed 500 bales of hay in the barn and hadn’t known that a puppy had lost it’s way and headed into the barn, hiding at the sound of people and ending up unable to get out. Mitchell had known. How he knew, how his instincts had told him I can but guess - the guy had a talent for finding things that no one else ever could. He should have been in drug protection, rescue service, or such like - not kept in dreary conditions, looking after the sheep, rain or shine. Not that he wasn’t good at it - but, there were many others above him and he never reached the heights he should have. Then, there was Minky. Minky was the most beautiful babe I ever saw. She was always kind to me, which led to me being beaten up and pushed around and teased on more than one occasion. She had a fantastic body! When she was around everyone looked. She was also very athletic and could outrun all who raced her, even the lads! But, when like me you are in care, life doesn’t always help out. Poor Minky! She should have been a film star, a TV personality, a real celebrity. Not a teenage mother, forced into a unloving marriage, ending up as a breeding machine for a crazed brute who wanted lots of children but no love, no tenderness, no kindness in return. Last I heard, Minky had died, young and emancipated, better off I hope, in the next world, if there is any justice at all.
So, my friends and enemies I suppose, had a great influence on me. I decided at an early age that I would try to emulate Mitchell and Minky - to use my skills to the benefit of others, of those around me. My size has helped me in this. When as small as I am, people treat you as fragile, as soft and I even got the odd cuddle from a pretty girl! It is not easy trying to be useful in this world, trying to make your mark in a world that is very harsh, full of control freaks, of bullies and of generally nasty folk. A lot depends on those around you as you grow up. Just as important is the influence of life changing events. They may be small ones, like my memory of Mitch and Minky. But, sometimes these events, however insignificant, have a profound effect on us for no apparent reason. This has always been my way - to try to grow and learn from those around me.
So, my early days weren’t loving but I did start to look for a way to be the best I could and to seek to inspire others. However, I didn’t really get the chance till that fateful day I was dumped. Now, I don’t suppose for a moment that you, if you’re reading this, have been physically left in the middle of nowhere. I had absolutely no idea where I was in relation to my home. I often wonder whether Mitch would have known - somehow I think he would have. Indeed, I thought for the first few days, that Mitch would turn up - perhaps with Minky - and take me back. Of course, I didn’t like my home much, but it was all I knew at the time. To be left with not a soul around for many weeks left me with several demons to cope with, I can tell you. I lost weight to the point of nearing death, my skin was ragged and cold. I lost my coat through brambles and such, and water was difficult to find. When I did find some, it wasn’t much better than the stuff given to me when I was younger. I had nothing to carry water in and my constant journeying around, looking for help, seemed to lead me in to circles. Anyway, the days were not much fun! The night were terrible. I have never been afraid of the dark up to that point. I’m ok if there are other’s around me, but I don’t much like being in the dark on my own any more. Being so small, I guess everything looked much bigger to me than most, so my perception wasn’t much fun. I did panic, I admit, which meant that any instincts I had proved to be pretty useless, save the need for survival.
Anyway, enough moaning! I survived, just! I was eventually picked up by a police person, having been found, to my shame, by a pointer dog. At last I was saved from slowly going bonkers on the moor. I was taken to the police station and received my first proper food in a few weeks, and a lovely fresh drink - the memory of which has never gone. There is nothing like cold, fresh, clean water to refresh the system. Then, dramatically, my life changed for ever. I knew as soon as I saw her that she was kind. But, more than that, there was something about her that made me realise that our lives would be entwined from that moment on. And, so it was to be.
She and the police evidently tried to find my previous carers - but, fortunately for me, to no avail. She, took me home with the full support of the authorities. Her husband (they have never married but live as man and wife) was equally as kind and somewhat funny and loved playing games with me. They encouraged me greatly, allowed me to reach my potential, to be the someone I had craved to be when young. To them, my size didn’t matter. Indeed, they treated me as if I was ’normal’. To my astonishment I went on to win a gold medal in the highest and hardest level of difficulty I could imagine. I learnt quickly and really enjoyed the disciplines involved. I have since taken these talents to those less fortunate than me - at a place Social Services keep some very unfortunate souls who enjoy my talents - at last I can give something back. My ’new’ parents have several children of their own - but I remain by far the smallest! They also have horses, goats, a pig and two cats, whom I don’t personally care for in the least. We have all recently moved to the countryside and I love it. Can’t wait until summer - to be able to run around the fields, playing ball and teasing the Doberman.
I continue to grow. Not in size, but in personality, to aspire to greater things, to ensure my parents are safe, to inspire those around me, to love all I can, to bring joy to those who are less fortunate than me or need my help. I hope I shall be able to do these things for the rest of my life. I know I only have a relatively short life compared to my parents - but then, I am only a tea-cup Chihuahua called Gizmo!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Update - June 2008

Hi those that read our blog. 2 bits of good news! First, the caravan has gone!! The house is far from complete following the flood, but is getting there. Secondly, TP (the Great Dane) qualified for Crufts 2009 last week in Minor Puppy. We are now trying to qualify the Poodle puppies! With great help from me, Chris and Debbie (our dear friends) have put up 2 sheds for us. One is for storage and the other is a large conversion with aviary extension to allow for flying - for our newest additions, Worzel and Jenny - our 2 Amazon Parrots! They are 4 and 5 years old and have started talking - and immatating all and sundry! They are great fun. Two more additions due later this month are 2 Jacobs lambs - they are the small black ones - if you can think of names for them, please let us know by e.mail. We shall put pictures of Parrots and lambs on web-site at end of month. Take care all.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Xmas 2007

We were one of the many hundreds of flood victims on 20th July. We are still living in a caravan - aren't they cold? - with our animals. On the day of the flood we rescued goats, cats, dogs, puppies - but didn't have time to save much of our own stuff! The result is we have very little left - including no Xmas decorations - they were all under the stairs and ruined. Those who have been flooded will understand that it only took 15 minutes to go from nothing to 3ft - there is no time to rescue stuff - and it is a total shock to the system! At least all our animals were and still are fine. We, like many others, struggled to get a builder at first. However, a builder who had attended our Dog Agility classes, Mark Cole, has been brilliant. He and his team have stripped the plaster, kitchen, bathroom, lounge etc and have put the heating on today - 12th December - we have heating again!! Those who have been and still are without heating will understand how miserable it is without it. We still don't have a shower on in the house and the caravan shower works for 23 seconds before deciding it has had enough and goes from luke warm to freezing - without warning. We have taken to lathering shampoo etc before turning the shower on in the hope of getting it washed off before the water turns - not always very successfully! The animals were confused at first - our fox-terrier, Foxy, decided to swim into the house and sit where she normally does - except her seat on the settee was under water. The poor dog sat with her nose barelly above water awaiting rescue - she wouldn't move from her place without insistance from us! They and us, lived for the first 10 days in our old horse lorry - us, 4 little dogs, 2 large poodles and 2 goats - an interesting nights sleep - not!! We have had 3 caravans - not all at once, of course! All have been brand new! The first had no water - a manufacturing fault. The second, no heating - it did come on sometimes when we turned it to off! The third is a house on wheels - the first two were tourers - which seems great until it is cold - then it is like living in a paper bag! There is no TV ariel - we live in a place where there is little reception - except it seems for Emmerdale, Coronation street and Eastenders!! These have to be viewed with another person holding the ariel at a strange angle with sudden movements to be avoided! It doesn't, I have discovered, work when it is something important - like the end of a football match or the last 10 minutes of the last episode of Heroes! (did anyone really understand Heroes - and why did I watch all but the last 15 minutes?) Anyway, lots of stories from the flood but little time to tell. Did you know it took Noah 72 years to build the Ark? It will take about the same time for the government to realise that we might just have a problem with climate change! No doubt the powers that be will eventually relocate us all to live on stilts on top of a wind farm! Still, mustn't grumble - well actually can't help it!!


Doris - our minature pig, has decided and told us that she wants her own blog. I think she hopes that people might send her food parcels - she will do anything for a piece of bread, which for reasons known only to herself, is her favourite food. She follows us everywhere and although only 6 months old (as at Xmas '07), she is already doing tricks. She also loves our goats, plays with the puppies and winds up the doberman! She is able to calm all the dogs who board with us and could easily have a job as a dog whisperer on TV with her talents with dogs! She enjoys running amock whilst agility classes are taking place - and runs in circles at high speed - like a whippet. She is very, very clean and enjoys wandering into the house - usually in search of more food. She has to have fresh water after any food and will create like mad if she doesn't get her own way. She has pointed out that she is extremely clever and wants to learn tricks - presumably to show off and get more food! She is loving, cuddly and very friendly.

Standard Poodle Puppies

Our gorgeous Poodle, Duk, has had 8 puppies on the 30th October. They will be 8 weeks old exactly on Christmas Day! She had 4 black, 2 brown and 2 apricot - with one bitch of each colour. We are keeping the apricot bitch, Bibie we are calling her - the brown boy is spoken for - the rest are for sale to loving and good homes only. A picture of Bibie is attached - all the puppies are KC registered and on the Kennel Club web-site. They have excellent pedigrees and temperaments and have individual characteristics only a Poodle can have. Check out the attached video of the remaining seven! There are two short videos - one showing a close up and one of them running about! The brown bitch has gone to a new and very loving home. Her new name is Pepsi and we shall put pictures of her on our web-site in due course and as she grows. We hope that all the Poodles' new owners will come to a party in the summer to catch up with all the brothers and sisters!!

Sunday, October 28, 2007


It has been our dream, since we met, to have all our animals in one place. Therefore, we sold our home in Alvechurch and bought Bolstrode Cottage - which has enough land to enable us to sustain our 4 horses and to establish a small boarding kennels. It has taken many months of hard graft to set up a premises which holds all our animals - and those we have gained since!

We now have ten brand new licensed kennels and a license for 20 dogs. We wanted a small number to enable us to offer our clients only the best service. So far, our clients, the dogs, have shown they are more than happy to holiday with us.

We try and treat all dogs that board with us as though they are our own. Each has warm, cosy and spacious housing and large runs. In addition we have further large grass areas and a field split into three - to enable us to run the dogs in a secure environment. Exercise is very important to all dogs. Some need to have a good run off the lead, playing with a ball; whilst others want to mooch around, sniffing and taking their time. All these differing types we cater for with loving care. The same for food - we feed our dogs the best! We give boarding dogs the best! Some prefer to bring their own food - which is fine.

Each dog has a large bed and blankets / duvets and we encourage owners to provide extra bedding with their scent on. Toys are a must - although squeaky ones have been banned!We have four magnificent horses - Loyal (who is 32yrs young), Libbie (who is an eighteen hand Dutch warm blood), Sabio (our young Lusitana from Portugal) and Zala (our youngster - a Palomino / 69% Arab from the Round Hill Stud at Banbury - thanks to Jan Browne for breeding such special animals!)

We have 13 dogs!! Teeko and Tress are our old collies. Teeko has gone deaf, but they remain inseparable and love to wander around the garden. Kemo is our 8yr old Shepherd. He was given to us when Yvonne had Chemotherapy by Margaret Lee (who bred Kirtridge Shepherds with wonderful temperaments for many years) and is a very gentle long coated giant. Unfortunately, Margaret died only two weeks after we had Kemo - but she will be remembered by all those who have had and continue to have her lineage. Anzac (so named because we acquired him on ANZAC day) is another collie, a blue merle from the Welsh hills and a Canen. He was bred by Shirley Bell was idolises her babies along with husband Brian. He is a big boy and excellent at agility.

Sky is a rescue - a beautiful Doberman who is in love with Anzac! Unfortunately, he doesn’t much care for her! DB is a Chihuahua cross Yorkie and is named DB as he is Daddy’s Boy - a Xmas present from Yvonne to Chris - aah! With DB lives El Cid, Foxy and Gizmo. Cid was a bin dog in Bromsgrove and rescued from his poor existence by Yvonne and is a Daschund cross poodle (we think) who is adorable. Foxy was found at a pub and never claimed - she was so stressed we kept her and she now mothers the others. Gizmo was found by another dog on the Clent Hills and, like all our rescues, we, the police and dog wardens, all tried very hard to find his owners - to no avail - so he is now the smallest of our family - a T-cup long coat. Each of our 4 small dog has done its Gold Good Citizen and each do Pat work for Social Services and the like.

Then we have two beautiful Shepherd bitches. Astra is a blue long coat and Jen is a large short coat. Both are stunning examples of the Shepherd breed and we are hoping to have a litter from each in the future. Lastly are our two Poodles. Duk is having puppies soon and is a beautiful jet black poodle who is brilliant at tricks - Yvonne hopes to do heelwork to music with her next year. Jorjei is our other Standard Poodle. She is our baby - a large brown clown (those who have a poodle will know what we mean). Duk is pregnant by Jorjei’s Dad (obviously not related!) and we are expecting some truly wonderful pups with outstanding personalities and temperaments.

We are adding to our collection (since we don’t have enough dogs!) and are delighted to have purchased a Tuxedo Black / White Standard Poodle from the USA - called Bumble. Unfortunately, due to quarantine rules, we cannot have him until June 2008 - but Linda and Julie shall keep him until then. Linda and Julie breed the most stunning and unusual Poodles you could ever see. What is more, they absolutely adore Poodles and we are honoured that they have let us have our boy. They are doing all the hard work with vets, jabs, flight arranging etc and we are indebted to them and their team. Please take time out to look at their web-site htpoodles in Mount Vernon, Missouri, USA.

Our two cats are getting old now - but Chequers and Lynx still get to leave presents for us (in the form of rats etc) on a regular basis. Two recent additions are our two Pygmy Goats - Dodger and Revel. These two are little darlings - they were meant to eat off all the ‘bits around the edges’ but, spend more time playing us up and tearing up the washing! Our newest current addition is Chris’ pig - Doris. She is a beautiful miniature pig and loves her cuddles (and food!!). She is jet black and Chris is going to train her to do tricks etc.

All our animals receive great attention from us in different ways - training, TLC and cuddles and we live to stimulate them and to help them have the best life they can whilst on this planet. There is much work still to do at Bolstrode. Not just the maintenance, which is constant, but our ideas and vision for training centre development - with Kennel Club Good Citizen’s Scheme, Agility training, and obedience / one to ones - and we seek to develop heel work to music as our next project to offer our facilities to those who would like to have a go. Our emphasis is on fun - both for the dogs and their owners. We have much knowledge to give (especially Yvonne) and look to spend our years left imparting our knowledge to others, so they can gain as much fun from their dog as they can.

At this moment in time we, like hundreds of others, have suffered from the July 20th flood - the house was very much under water shall we say! We are, as we write, living in a caravan! Fortunately, the animals were either on higher ground (like the stables and kennels) or rescued - like the 11 army puppy labs we had at the time - only 3 days old! The Lab pups (so wonderfully looked after by mum ‘Meg’ are gone now but we shall never forget our Meg and always wonder how she is doing in the Army - as their top drugs dog. We were very privileged for her to have allowed us to help look after her pups and to find them all great and deserving homes.

Special mention must go to our only near neighbour - Peggy (Margaret Cole). Without her kindness, thoughtfulness and grace, we would be under great stress at times e.g. the flood - when she cooked all our meals - Meg’s pups - which she helped deliver (sat up all night) and then kept at her house until the water went down, several days later. She mothers us both and is deserving of more than the odd medal! She is a true friend and the world is a happier place for people like Peggy in it. There are many we should like to thank for helping to dream our dream and to encourage us when things have not exactly gone to plan - they know who they are and we shall not forget.

Bolstrode Kennels

Welcome to the Bolstrode Kennels blog. We are set in rural Worcestershire with glorious views over the surrounding countryside for all our canine guests.

This is where we keep you up to date with the latest news. Keep checking back for information about litters and what we have been up to!

Yvonne & Chris