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