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.

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