Our apologies to all. We have been quiet for some time. Health has been an issue for some time now and Jean lost his brother Niek at the beginning of the year. Many of you will know Niek because your dog received additional training from him but many of you will have meet him at the picnic in Greenwich. So to say that last year and this year, so far, have been tough is an understatement. Everything dogwise has been scaled down but we are carrying on regardless.
The puppies we have with us at the moment are as ever adorable and as usual we have The Great Explorer, The Chunk (a girl!) The Vocalist and The Small but Determined and Cute. We are enjoying their company and they make us laugh.
Reilly O'Malley is as ever a Rock and Aileen will always be a madam.
'Back in the saddle again'. Think that's a song! Having so far had a very mixed year, health wise, we hope things are looking up. Meaning the potential patter of tiny paws! So it makes sense to do a couple of open kennel days. Already the first is pretty solidly booked, a couple of spaces left but we thought we would hold one early December as well. So anyone interested, please get in contact.
Reilly has been on his travels. First a brief visit to family in Holland which he thoroughly enjoyed. Mainly because he was away from the whirlwind otherwise known as Aileen. Then he had a very happy exchange and was looked after by Danny and Carla for a few days. They fed him raw steak, offal and marrow bones and let him chase squirrels. So all in all one very happy boy
Thank you to everyone who has sent Jean get well messages. After several weeks in hospital he is now home and recuperating. Unfortunately that has meant we were not able to organise a picnic in Greenwich Park this year.
Sadly we have also said goodbye to two dogs recently :-
Bosun a.k.a. vanLeeuwen Renesse Ronald. Our condolences to Kevin and Teri.
Frodo a.k.a. vanLeeuwen Engelsman. Our condolences to Gary and Linda.
Both boys succumbed to swift and sudden illnesses and left both their families devastated. We know everyone will send their love and support at this incredibly difficult time.
Finally! At long last! About time! Really! How long! It's there folks the Greenwich Picnic 2016 film is on the website!!!
So very sorry that it has taken so long but we have some ongoing family health issues and our focus has been diverted. Anyway we hope you enjoy watching it and apologies in advance for any spelling errors. Dan has done another great job, the Irish gig music is perfect and you can't help but smile and laugh out loud as you watch.
Did any of you go to Crufts? Let us know what you thought. We had intended to but again because of the afore mentioned problems we had to cancel. But then we had the Q litter join from Gary and Linda in Orpington, so we couldn't have gone anyway. Trixie has done another amazing job, her pups are bouncing around outside as we write, exploring their new world and getting stuck behind the wood store! Uncle Reilly is no longer interested in puppies and is turning into a grumpy old man, Just like his Dad, Mr. Mac. Aileen is a cuddle bunny and is enjoying the visit of Pippi, aka Grainne3.
We are gearing up for our first Open Kennel Day/Puppy Day of 2017. We expect about 8 families and are already taking bookings for the next.
Apologies to all waiting for their handstripping course. As soon as we are physically able to get started, we will be in contact.
Enjoy this glorious weather - while it lasts!
We are gearing up for the picnic tomorrow, just got to decide what to have in our sarnies! Jean's parents and brother Niek are enroute from Holland. Niek is bringing Lizzie with him, so she will get to meet her sister Trixie.
We will post any changes to plan here first thing tomorrow morning, should the need arise but hopefully Not!
Looking forward to seeing you all, the weather is looking kind at the moment and Dan the Man will be joining us to video the occasion as well as bringing Gilbert as his family are attending a wedding in Italy. So we will be looking for volunteers to help with 'lead' control.
See you tomorrow!
The puppies continue to grow rapidly and Mum is starting to put a bit of distance between her and their accommodation. Her family visit her weekly and take her out for a well earned break for a few hours. We had a lovely visit from Fizzy (C. Litter) and her family. They live on the Isle of White but were en route to Folkestone and then on to friends in Holland and phoned on the off chance that it would be convenient to call in. It's always fine, we love to see one of the babies back. Keva has been staying a few days as Julie was taking in some Malta sunshine and Supermum Grainne also spent the weekend. Both girlies are very easy going and no problem to have around. We are gearing up for a busy Open Kennel Day and Pete and Sara have offered to help with the tea and coffee making. Also to talk to anyone who may be interested in 'fostering'. Reilly is looking forward to the next handstripping course as he is looking a bit lopsided at the moment and gets a few strange looks when out for a walk! Not long now Reilly!
We were very sad to learn of the passing of Maddy. She had been ill for a while and her family had to make the heartbreaking decision that the time had come. Maddy came to us, along with her brother and sister from 'up north' and all three were delightful, playful and inquisitive, as all youngsters are. She left us to go and live with Brian and Cindy and their family and was loved and adored. To them we offer our sympathy and love at this sad time.
As many will know the arrival of a new litter ,heralds a new pair of slippers in this household and so we say watch this space! Our current litter are little mad maniacs. This morning they had great fun playing outside in the rain, not forgetting Sunday (Open KennelDay), when they met a lovely crowd of people and interacted with many who had never met an Irish before.
Just had a very relaxed and enjoyable 'Catchup' handstripping course. We're trying to makesure that everyone gets 'a go!' So if you think we've missed you send an email and we will arrange a date. Light lunch included! We are gearing up to a very busy Open kennel Day on Sunday. All hands on deck! Auntie Guinee will be in charge of the tea and coffee zone, along with Millie. As we don't know what sort of hand the weather will deal us, it could mean a totally jam packed house.
We are very sad at this time to announce the passing of Bodhi, aka vanLeeuwen Dutchy. He had at some point been exposed to a toxin that compromised his liver and other essential organs and so with very, very heavy hearts Claire and Eamon had to say goodbye to their beloved boy. Even when it's the right thing to do, it's never easy. We know that all in the community will understand and feel their heartache and send warm thoughts and love at this devastating time.
We hope you have all enjoyed a Very Happy and Merry Christmas? Is your tree still standing ? We had one very hairy moment when three manic dogs, (Reilly, Mojo and Miss Madam), managed to slid the rug into the christmas tree! We saw it rock, back and forth and then thankfully right itself. We've lost a couple of baubles to wagging tails but we always make sure to put the precious ones near the top. And we're talking Waterford Crystal, bought when we had just heard that Reilly aka vanLeeuwens Dazzler was to enter our lives. Millie and I were holidaying in Ireland at the time and it was a very special moment. We have Watson staying with us until the new year and he certainly lives up to his kennel name vanLeeuwen Jumping Jack. He is incredibly athletic and moves beautifully. Many of you admired him at the picnic in September. Watson has taken a shine to Henna who has come in to have her first litter, slightly earlier than normal due to her family going on holiday. But she has settled well and is enjoying all the additional food treats that any expectant mother deserves. She and the pups appear to be putting on healthy weight now. The three dogateers and their mum Trixie are all doing amazingly well with Gary and Linda. The girls are all having a fantastic time, socializing with their family and friends. Gary and Linda couldn't do it any better and we would like to take this opportunity to let them know that we appreciate and thank them for their ongoing support and encouragement. The fact that Trixie gave birth in her own home meant that she was relaxed about the whole thing and we were there and able to assist. We thought at first that she might not take to her pups but she proved us wrong and let them latch on and feed. And they have gone from strength to strength.
We would like to wish each and every one of you a very Happy New Year and we hope to see you all for the picnic in 2016 on 11th September, if not before. We may have a new venue. Will keep you posted!
See you there!
Well folks, the weather forecasters seem to be hedging their bets. So we will be there in Greenwich Park with our picnic and Mummy Grainne, regardless of weather conditions.
Saying that, please check in tomorrow morning just in case life throws us a curve ball.
As we say 'life is always about how you handle plan B!.
See you tomorrow, if you all turn up it will be amazing. Even Duke from Solihull is making the trip. Good on you!
GREENWICH PARK 'VANLEEUWEN PAWS IN THE PARK 2015 PICNIC.' 13 SEPTEMBER 2015
We're still waiting to hear from a few of you, as to whether you can make it!
Looks like there may be a few showers that clear away during the morning - fingers crossed!
As you know we will be near the Bandstand between 12 and 3pm, with our own picnic and Grainne, mum of the M Litter.
Dan Mudford, www.dogstars.tv will be filming the event.
So just bring along your own picnic and your very own beautiful Irish.
If you are not yet part of the vanLeeuwen Community but are thinking about it, you are still very welcome to join us. With or without an Irish.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY D LITTER . Especially Reilly O'Malley Morris aka Uncle Reilly. This boy is amazing (we know we are biased), but he has made the transition from being a lone family pet to being part of the pack and taken it in his stride. He has filled Mac's shoes (paws) as being the meeter and greeter on Open Kennel Days, he keeps the youngsters in order (currently Mojo) and interacts with all the new puppies. He has recently been able to help a family establish whether anyone or not in their family has an allergic reaction to the breed. Reilly spent a lot of time individually with Lizzie and her pups and was very respectful of Grainne's decision to distance him but gradually that has changed and she has allowed him more access. He is a mediator and anyone that has watched any 'wolf pack' programmes on TV will know just how crucial that pack member is. We always say that the Irish are interactive and intuitive but there are those that are more so than others. Reilly O'Malley is one and is a true son of Mister. Mac.
We have had the most amazing puppy weekend! Eleven families on Saturday (well we stopped counting at eleven) and four on Sunday. As it turned out we ended up combining the PW with an OKD, so a few new faces. The mums and the pups were amazing. With half a dozen children here the puppies soon became accustomed to being handled and mums learnt to chill. Rudy arrived to spend the day with us. He brought some of his family with him. 'Man of the Moment' was not at all embarrassed about having his two women in the same room at the same time!!! Plus a son from a previous liaison (Mojo). We have to say a big 'thank you' to Angelith for taking the time and the trip from Hampshire with Rudy and his young family members to spend the day with us. Thereby providing all the families with the opportunity to see mum and dad and pups together. Dad is doing a grand job of living up to his name sake Rudy Valentino 'the latin lover', he certainly knows how to woo! The puppies were all conceived naturally, with mum and dad being given to time to get to know each other and decide whether they liked each other enough!!!!
Another great BIG 'thank you' to Mike and Patti, Grainne's family, for spending the day, talking to all the visitors and manning the kettle and coffee machine. We couldn't have done it without you two. We are also absolutely certain that had they not kept/and keep Grainne in the peak of fitness that there is no way she would have been able to carry, deliver and sustain 12 puppies! So again, thank you. The most wonderful news is that Mike and Patti have decided that they would like to foster another vanLeeuwen and so the best bitch from Grainne's litter will be making her home with them and Mum!
Dan the Man also joined us on Saturday and so in the not too distant future we will have a video of the happenings of the day. Dan as most of you know has produced all of our videos. We still love to view Mr. Mac at Crufts, in the final year of his life. Hard to believe that he would no longer be with us by the end of that year. We met Dan through the family of one of our dogs, Gilbert. It's amazing just how many people tell us that they have met Gilbert. That boy gets about!! Dan and hopefully Gilbert and his family will be joining us on 13th September in Greenwich Park for the Picnic!!!
Writing this in the early hours of the morning whilst on night watch. Lizzie and Grainne are feeding their pups and each must feel like they are feeding the five thousand! They are both doing amazing jobs and are totally devoted to their puppies. Just as their families are to them. Mike and Patti called in this evening to see their girl and take her for a walk and Neik is over from Holland on Monday for a week to check up on his girl. Lizzie's pups will soon start on solids and then the fun starts for us! They are already exploring their surroundings a little bit, the 'barking' and 'growling' has started and the play fighting is about to commence. Her babies are now colour coded with their collars and so we can monitor and assess their individual characteristics. We know the families selected are very excited and are keeping up to date on the website, to see the latest 'snaps' and are looking forward to the puppy weekend to visit and possibly to meet dad. All being well, the man of the moment, will be with us on the Saturday with his very proud family. Rudy is proving to be a highly successful addition to the vanLeeuwen kennel. Uncle Reilly is already lending a supporting paw to the girls. Lizzie is happy to have him in the room with her and to check out the pups. Grainne will not allow him access to her pups at the moment but enjoys spending her R & R time with him outside. The girls are eating us out of house and home! This puts Reilly's nose out of joint as he is always on a strict diet, in order to maintain his fine form. In fact our friend Ronald was over from Holland recently and stripped him out. He is amazingly handsome! Reilly or Ronald??? As Reilly is normally the practise specimen during hand stripping courses (sorry we know we are behind!), we rarely see him looking so good and gorgeous. Once we get all the pups into a routine and can use the outside puppy pen, we will start the courses again. The rest of the gang are being amazingly tolerant. Mojo is slightly miffed that his time with Jean is restricted but he has great fun with Stan. Stan is still waiting for us to find him his special family, the one that will understand his character and his funny little ways. Daisy is Daisy, full of character and full of love. Brum is soon to leave us and go on a new adventure with a new family. And this week we said goodbye to Carice. Her family visited us on one of our OKD and whilst loving the puppies formed an immediate bond with Carice. That's the effect Irish Terriers have on you Folks! The Open Kennel Days are becoming more and more popular, just can't seem to fit enough in. Also the workshop is proving very useful to those who prefer a more personal and individual session with the gang. We had a surprise and very welcome visit from Gill, her mum and Loonie Luna this week. They were in the area and phoned on the off chance. Great! It's what we love. Keep in contact. Visit. You will always receive a warm welcome.
A lazy day today after a very busy Open Kennel Day yesterday. We met some great people and the dogs as ever were amazing. Reilly O'Malley, Mister Mojo and Tuppy Townsend helped to meet and greet with the others waiting in the enclosed paddock to receive the visitors during the day. Missy Lizzie will be returning to us from Holland at the end of the month in readiness to deliver her litter mid May. Rudy does it again! Had a lovely telephone conversation with Lucy Jackson this last week, she was in the process of writing an article about Jean on her website www.weloveirishterriers.com in the features section. She had already recounted Jean's visit to her home a few months back in a news letter and she has very kindly included a mention on her website. We sent her a selection of photos and we are so pleased to see Reilly included - he of the head hanging over the plastic crate. We like to entitle this 'Reilly, thinking outside the box!' Also a picture of little Gus aka 'mischief maker'. He has been very poorly recently and is still on the road to recovery. We are in touch with Clare and her Dad and will keep you posted. Of course the photo of 'the flying Dutchman' is Flash. He is getting ready to welcome a baby into his family in May. So a totally new experience for him. A strange thing happened the other day We had an irate phone call from "a show breeder", demanding we remove his photo from our website. This totally flummoxed us. We had to assume he was referring to a photo that had been on the website for four years?! And it is a photo of Mister Mac! He just happens to be in the shot!
Heads Up Folks!!!! Picnic in Greenwich Park this year is on September 13th. We want to see you all there.
The sun has been shining in our part of Kent for several days now and the dogs are loving it! Wonderful runs in the paddock and lazy days on the patio. Does life get any better? Reilly O'Malley Morris is home and is strutting his stuff as the Alfa male but he now has a little shadow, Mister Mojo, who is getting bigger by the day. Mojo recently lost his sister and sparing partner, Missy Killygally, as she has left us to join her new family.. We know Cassie is going to have a wonderful life.. Mojo and Cassie's dad has been visiting us recently, as has Missy Grainne. An amazing combination, time will tell!!!! But truth be told Mr Rudy has been much in demand and we are very proud to say he will become a dad again for the second time in May. He is such a beautiful boy, a real gentle giant. His kennel name incorporated the name Valentino, hence Rudy as a pet name. Only those of a certain age or with an interest in silent movies will appreciate the connection. But Mr Rudy is living up to his namesake and is The Latin Lover??? We are happy to say that Missy Tuppy is also visiting us at the moment and as usual the cry has gone up 'hide your glasses!' So at the moment we are just looking to match a pair of shoes! Those who have read past news feeds will know that Tupps loves to carry something in her mouth all the time, just like her Dad Mister Percy. This weekend was lovely and lazy and yesterday we visited our friends in Deal, Nick and Marietta, not just to see them as lovely as that is, right on Deal beach AND not just because Nick has been watching The Great British Bake Off and had baked a delicious lemon drizzle cake but because we got to say hello to two very important girls. Missy Mina (founding Bitch) and her daughter Missy Poppy. No one ever believes that Mina has had 31 puppies! She is so active, in shape and well able to keep up with her daughter Poppy. Pops, however is leading her mum astray! Poppy has always had an 'Houdini' attitude. Again possibly a history lesson for some! Google 'Harry Houdini'! Poppy is an escape artiste. But we love her and where she is so like her dad, Mister Mac, Reilly is like his mum, Mina, physically. But Poppy looks like him and it is spooky. Yesterday would have been his birthday and we still miss him dreadfully. We see him in Reilly, in Poppy, in Mojo, in all his offspring. This gives us comfort and commitment to continue his line. But sometimes it just makes us miss him.
We are almost at the end of a very busy March. Very importantly we have resumed Open Kennel Days and the weather has been kind to us. Enabling the use of the outside paddock and kennels and allowing people to wander and meet and greet the pack where ever they may be. It has to be said that Reilly is somewhat miffed if he is not one of the 'in house' meet and greet team. He is becoming quite a favourite with our visitors and of course he loves it! At the moment he is visiting with Auntie Guinee and Missy Alfie, as we have hormonal dogs and bitches around. Which means folks 'Watch this Space' for news of up and coming litters.
If it's March it's Crufts and we were there! Regardless of whether we are showing or not, we always treat ourselves to a room at The Hilton. Arriving the afternoon before, having a relaxing meal that evening and a reasonably leisurely breakfast the following morning before strolling across to the NEC and the appropriate hall and ring. So civilised and stress free!!! This year we arranged to meet Steve and Gill (they live in Solihull) for a drink the evening of our arrival. Not only are they a vanLeeuwen G Litter (Bella) owner but now they have committed twice and have another from the Kennel. In the not too distant future they plan to breed with Bella. The following morning as said we strolled across to the NEC to watch the Irish Terrier judging. This year Ann Bradley was the judge and we felt we had to be there to support her as several of our litters are from Ann's stud. It was also good to see and say hello to Lucy Jackson but more importantly to us - to bump into Andrew and Alison who belong to Abi (Dolly, D Litter). Can anyone ever forget the great photo of Abi as a pup having control of the lead of Mister Mac!! Anyway just simply because they had the very best Irish Terriers present, the Von Emsmuhle dog and bitch won their class and subsequently Best in Breed. Sadly it was very evident to us the pettiness of some show breeders. There but not with the guts to enter their dog to show scrutiny
but quite happy to sit ring side in 'silent' condemnation / judgement of Ann's decisions as judge. Pretty sad really. Anyway as the G Litter have had a mention - a belated Happy Birthday to each and every one and thanks to those who sent us a birthday photo.
So January has come and gone and here we are still waiting for snow. However it is cold and so the log burner is keeping us cosy and warm. Apologies for any late replies to emails and photos. We thank you for them and say 'keep them coming'. We were all under the weather at the beginning of the year but are now up to speed. A belated Happy Birthday to the B Litter. Thank you to those who sent birthday shots. The puppies still here with us continue to delight and astound us. Tomorrow Missy Keva will have her microchip and rabies injection in readiness for her trip to Holland and her specialised training with Niek. Poppy has now left her babies and returned home to Nick and Marietta. As much as she loves her puppies, loves being here and 'killing' her brother (Reilly), she adores Nick and there was no way he was leaving without her this time! Having finished with all the feeding stuff, she decided to have some fun and play with her puppies. Running through the living room, hall and kitchen and back again as fast as she could with the puppy critters chasing her. Amazingly as fast as she was (and she was!), she never once trod on one, always managing to leap over a puppy when necessary. Interestingly as the puppies play fights became more intense she would step in and reprimand one for being over zealous. We met a lovely couple this weekend who chose to come to one of our workshops. They had already done a lot of research, visiting Discover Dogs etc but felt they wanted to see and meet Irish terriers in a home environment. Well here there are always various ages of Irishes, not all bred by us and some rescue as well and now with the puppies, we have quite a mixed bag. They enjoyed their day, had our undivided attention and could ask as many questions as they wanted. After lunch they had a 'go' at handstripping and did very well. Sometimes we find an Open Kennel Day is not enough for some, some obviously want more of our time and attention but on an OKD we spread ourselves thin. Understandably, some prefer a 'crowd' situation, some have never met an Irish before and after having done so decide it's not the breed for them. It's just a taster but we think it goes a long way to helping people decide what their next move will be. Small emergency here today! We found Reilly leaving a trail of blood from a gashed paw. So after cleaning him up and bandaging said paw we waited to see how long it would stay in place - about an hour! We were reminded of the time he had to have a 'bucket' on his head and we were instructed he was to take it easy - no running or jumping. Well he managed to crack it during the first day and completely remove it on the second. And he never once stopped jumping or running. So today after removing the bandage he spent a quite half hour or so licking his wound and now he's carrying on regardless! A true son of Mister Mac. This month sees the birthday of the A Litter, the E Litter and the J Litter, so we are expecting a goodly number of photos people!
The Sunday before Christmas and the tree remains standing! The little puppy critters now independent of mum (but always on the look out for a guzzle) are everywhere. They revel in the freedom of being allowed to run loose (on the ground floor!) and we in turn have become much more relaxed about monitoring this. Unless we hear a small cry for assistant, in which case Poppy or Reilly usually beat us to assessing the situation, we are so laid back, we are almost horizontal! Of course that means a lot of floor washing but hey ho, we get so much enjoyment out of watching their antics, that it's all worthwhile. They are now used to being around the vacuum cleaner, the mop, they hear the dishwasher, the washing machine, have met the postman, the other dogs. We have introduced them (deliberately) to sudden crashes and bangs. And we have had some fireworks recently. So all in all they are becoming very well socialised. Our Puppy Weekend was a great success, we met some amazingly enthusiastic people, almost all of whom has expressed a commitment to becoming a member of the vanLeeuwen Community. Brilliant news! Our disappointment is when we meet someone we like but they just don't buy into our ethos. But all we can do is wish them well in their search. Soon the vaccination process will begin and then the puppies will get a better understanding of the outside world. All part of what we do until they are 12 weeks and beyond, depending on when they will join and bond with their family. How we go about this all depends on the pup and who knows them better than we do? One of the reasons for keeping them with us until 12 weeks is that adjustments have to be made for each pup and whilst some take the Big Wide World in their stride, others may be more conservative. And the pup that was initially the most outgoing amazingly becomes the most cautious. They last thing anyone wants is an overstressed pup. We know our babies and we know just how to introduce them to the BWW (Big Wide World).
We would like to wish everyone taking the time to read this - A Very Happy Christmas.
Our love to all our wonderful families, for some their first Christmas with their vanLeeuwen - the rest know what to expect!!!!!!!!!!!! Have fun, relax, enjoy and chillXXXXXXXX. We love some Christmas photos please.
How are your Christmas preparations going? We are fully illuminated inside and out! Traditionally we and the neighbours throw the switch on the 1st of December - and this year (first time ever) we'll have a little band of scaliwags involving themselves in the festivities. So far at 4 weeks old they are relatively 'contained'! Although they give us immense joy and entertainment already. Mum, Poppy is so relaxed. She allows Uncle Reilly into the puppy domain, checking him if she feels the need and he respects her wishes. We have PUPPY WEEKEND this coming one and already the time slots are almost filled. So if you would like to join us, please get in contact as soon as you can. No charge for the mulled wine and mince pie!
We had a visit recently from Liz and Sadie (G Litter). Sadie has just been awarded her Kennel Club Gold Accolade and we applaud her success. Keith, Kim and Sam know all about the level of commitment involved to achieve the required KC training standards. Sadie, we will have to call her the blonde bombshell, because of her delightful head of light coloured hair was so happy to see and greet everyone. She is a true testament to Jan and Liz's firm but relaxed style of pack leadership.
As we head towards the end of the year, we have to say we have found this last year really difficult without Mister Mac at the helm (of the dogs). It has taken an amazing amount of time to adjust. (Regulars will have noticed the distinct lack of 'regular' news updates). The momentum has just not been there. But we thank all of you who have been and are very gently 'chivying' us back into action. We known that all of you who have lost a beloved Irish, will know exactly where we are at the moment. Everyone copes with bereavement in their own way and time. And ultimately we all move forward. For us we were so delighted with the picnic gathering. Had we been more organised and given you all more notice, the number of attendees would have been amazing! So why not make this a regular gathering? The camaraderie that we experienced on that day was truly amazing and we thank you all for your support and encouragement. You all know that we say that we are there for you 24/7 and we will be but that day highlighted just how much of a community we are. We were all so amazingly connected.
Unfortunately there are other strange people out there who sadly can't 'get a life' and feel they can dictate to us and the way we do things. THEY CAN'T!
A day of sadness and happiness. It is a year since Mister Mac died and we have been remembering and talking about him a lot.
His daughter, Poppy and so like Mac in many ways, including doing things in her own sweet time, chose today to deliver her first litter. Mother and pups are doing well. Just like her mum Mina, she's a natural!
The film from our PAWS IN THE PARK day is now in the video section on the website, enjoy !
We just wanted to say A BIG THANK YOU to everyone at the picnic today. What an amazing time - we're still buzzing. Just to see everyone together, interacting, exchanging stories, getting to know each other, means the world to us. You are all amazing. The dogs were perfect, the location perfect, the weather perfect. We feel shattered but we haven't stopped smiling. Thank you so much to Helen and Rick for providing the special dog cake and we say again Daimen, 'DOG CAKE'!
We really are a community. XXXX
Picnic information. For all those who would like to join us on 14th September in Greenwich Park. We will be there between 12 - 3pm in the area containing the Bandstand. Have a look on the Greenwich park website as it has a good map. Make a day of it and explore and remember to bring your picnic and rug. Make sure you have Jean's mobile number with you (on the homepage), just in case. If we have any problems we will post a message on the homepage in the morning so check before you set out. Looking forward to it!
With very heavy hearts, we have to tell everyone that Mr. Oates, aka van Leeuwen Jammah Jammah died in a road accident yesterday morning. One of those horrible, devastating moments when life changes in a split second.
We send our love and support to Oates' family.
O.K. Folks. We have decided our little get together will be 14th September, Greenwich Park. We are still deciding on a meeting time and point but would appreciate an email from those of you that can make it! For us it is our only window of opportunity before we lose all hope of the possibility of decent weather. Dan says he is up for doing a film of the event, so we need as many of you there as possible. We know from past experience that everyone enjoys interacting and exchanging stories with other Irish Terrier Families and for us it is an absolute joy to see so many of our babies together (and their families, of course), as possible.
Apologies - it's been an absolute age since we have updated you with our news! Needless to say we have been and are very busy and completely lost track of time. So to update all who have been asking after Mr. Dino. He is on the road to recovery. We still do not know for sure the cause of his illness and indeed he is still being monitored. But we are overjoyed to receive photos and films of him looking the picture of health. He has infact become part of the training team, along with Ric and Helen of course. Ric has a Forces background training and working with dogs and now he helps us with some of our special projects.
The 'little' gathering has not been forgotten about and we still hope to set a date before summer turns to autumn.
We have Missy Esther here with her new born and to say she is a natural mother is an understatement. She takes after her mum, Missy Alfie.
We hope the I Litter had a fantastic 1st birthday and a big thank you to all who have sent us photos already.
Today the Americans Landed! Well a couple of days ago actually, slight hiccup and hassle with the paperwork meant we couldn't collect them until today. Fairly hairy ride on the back of Hurricane Bertha but they slept through it. Daisy, Duke and Jolene have already met with the crowd here and are integrating well and holding their own!
We now have use of an additional area of land at the bottom of our garden. It backs onto farmland and gives us amazing views and an opportunity to relax and watch the dogs having untold fun, racing around with each other and interacting with little Leo, the neighbours pony.
We are a little preoccupied and worried at the moment. Our lovely Mr. Dino is not at all well and has had to spend some time at the vets on a drip and having various tests. Although a definite diagnosis has not been made the focus is on his digestive system. Helen and Rick are devastated, seeing the usual bouncy and vibrant Dino lose weight and become so lethargic. We just hope that we can get to the root of the problem and see Dino back to full strength very soon.
Our first J Litter puppy has left us and we had no qualms about letting this little one go. Miss Just In Time, now Eithne (pronounced Enya) has become part of the MacAfee family. Andrew and Denise are no strangers to Irish terriers past and present. In fact they have Brogan, who is an I Litter puppy. We're looking forward to hearing about how they get along and what they get up to together!
Our number has swelled a little this last week with the arrival of three small and very cute puppies from a fellow breeder in Lancashire. They look so different from our little daredevils but make no mistake they are feisty enough! We will over the coming weeks be selecting a family for each of them. We have also had Missy Esther back for a visit. Poppy has rejoined us after a small holiday with mummy Mina and N & M. and Missy Henna is here. She's going to try her paw at a few ringcraft classes.
Last Friday Mike, Patti, Mike's parents and Missy Grainne paid us a visit. They wanted to see the puppies and we were very glad to see Grainne or Lady G and she has be renamed! Wonder why? Are we talking attitude here with a capital A? She is looking amazing and is utterly devoted to Mike, Patti and the extended family, as they are to her.
Jean visited Lucy Jackson, president of the Irish Terrier Association and introduced her to her namesake, see the picture on the homepage. Various I T matters were discussed over a very splendid lunch. Lucy's son James was also there, he wrote the article in Country Life magazine, 'The Gentleman's Terrier' and was responsible for the huge wave of phone calls that every irish terrier breeder received after publication.
We have set a provisional date for the Paws picnic in the Park. Saturday 12th July. But to be honest we were like to holdfire on confirming that date until we know more about Mr. Dino. Get well soon lovely boy. X
It's birthday time again! Happy 1st Birthday to the H Litter. We've already heard about some of the antics and activities of some of the one year olds and their families. See the Guest Book for the details. They are definitely having fun and being spoilt. And why not?
Sam did it! Congratulations! There is a photo of him on the Guest Book with his rosette. The first of many, we're sure.
Niek has returned to Holland with Lizzie and Missy Bonny has been delivered to her new home and she and Pauline are busy bonding. So we are now down to four dogs and seven puppies - a breeze! The pups are growing fast and eating huge amounts of food and enjoying playtime running around the garden and generally trying to eat everything from the banana plant to the whirligig cover. Of course they don't realise how much bigger they are getting and one had to be retrieved from under the woodstore this week. The playfights can be quite fierce at times and a couple have mastered the art of growling and eating at the same time. The Chunk likes to play on his own occasionally and enjoys a tug of war with some rope attached to a gate. He eventually admits defeat and wanders off to pick on a brother or sister. They have a tough green ball that rattles and when one picks it up and runs, the others all give chase. They end up in something like a rugby scrum until another pup gets the ball and runs off and the others give chase and so it goes on.....
We've just had an incredibly busy and very enjoyable Open Kennel Day. The puppies were all part of the meet and greet team with Reilly, Missy Alfie , Poppy and Rudy. Poppy and Rudy are looking very smart at the moment whilst Reilly and Alfie are particularly shaggy. A definite before and after example of handstripping. Love them, they are in dire need of a strip but we say we use them as 'models' during our handstripping courses and so they tend to be permanently a 'work in progress'. That's our story and we're sticking to it! They did have a good brush before kick-off! It's very useful to have a variety of age groups and temperaments here when people visit. Rudy being six months, Reilly and Poppy coming upto three and Alfie, five. Rudy, demonstrating gangly boisterousness. Poppy the wonderful agility and grace of an Irish Terrier. Reilly, just how cheeky, friendly and playful they can be and Alfie, well Alfie is always charming and everyone wants one just like her. The pups were of course the stars and enjoyed interacting with everyone, particularly the young people and eventually fell asleep in the arms of or on some of our guests. We did a head count before everyone left!
A lovely relaxed week, due mainly to the fact that Niek is over from Holland for a week to help us and to bring over Missy Bonnie, who is ready to move into her new home. Lizzie was absolutely delighted to see him and now becomes anxious if he is out of her sight for any length of time, no doubt imagining that he is leaving her again and that she will have to remain in 'the mad house'. She will in fact be going home with him next week, her job with the puppies, done. She is looking amazing, her figure is back and she is full of bounce and enthusiasm. Amazingly we have seven dogs here at the moment as well as seven puppies but sometimes no one would ever know we have even one! When it's a lovely sunny day they play and relax outside and even on a grotty, raining day they seem to accept they are more confined and just curl up together and snooze. One of the best moments ever is sitting on the sofa, with a dog snuggled either side of you, reading a book and with the log burner radiating comforting warmth. Bliss.
Have now just watched from an upstairs window as Reilly managed to push open the gate to the 'No Dog Garden' and seven irish terriers ran up and down and around and around the apple tree like maniacs. Rudy and Bonnie managed to get under the cover of the patio table and run around underneath causing Tuppy no end of frustration and confusion as she tried to work out how to join them. The fun and games all came to an abrupt end when a shout from the house made them all scurry out of the area and pretend they'd never been there!
Rudy has caught the selfservice bug and has taken to lifting the flap on the food store container and helping himself, usually just one biscuit at a time?? Unlike Reilly who just shoves his head in and eats, not bothering to come up for air!
As mentioned Miss Tuppy is here with us for a week, during which time she will receive a tidy up handstrip. Her lovely stickyup ears make her look permanently surprised and she has the most beautiful eyes ever. She still loves to walk around carrying something, usually a slipper. Mental note - keep any spectacles out of reach, (she likes to chew those)!
Thanks to everyone for the name suggestions for The American Two (who may now become three). Nothing definite yet. At the moment Daisy and Duke are our favourites. Some may need an explanation about that combination.
The 'Paws in the Park' picnic is gathering momentum, more than we ever expected. Thanks everyone!
Also a big thankyou to everyone joining the 'guest book chats'. It's great fun to hear about the antics and exploits of the dogs. They provide a great insight to just how much joy, delight, fun and exasperation an IT can bring to your life. As Jean says 'you need a sense of humour to have an irish terrier in your life'!
Sam has acquitted himself well in his mock exam, so we wait to hear from Kim how he fairs in the actual exam. Fingers crossed ' go for it Sam'! However Millie remembers well the time that Reilly refused to 'sit' for her or the instructor during a training session. The instructor eventually conceded defeat. We just smiled - he is after all an Irish Terrier.
Life can be a grind and a chore sometimes and just how much time can you spend a day playing with and watching puppies? Who knows it's never enough!! How lucky are we? Ok we have to clean up the poop etc but they are such playful little bundles of fun. They know the call 'little puppies!, little puppies!' and come running when we do tongue clicking to get their attention. Each day they are put on the grooming table to get them used to being handled and examined and they submit beautifully and are quite happy to be put into a showring stand pose. Some more than others but that's all about character and gives us a wonderful insight to the individual pup and their potential family option. Each of us here has a particular favourite but we are all partial to 'the chunk'. So different in build and character to the others and so funny! They all love running 'free' in the garden with the others and exploring all the nooks and crannies, which can be a bit of a headache as it means being continually on watch and continually doing a head count. And it's always six never the seven that your looking for!! Then you spy one rogue explorer/adventurer on the rockery. And when we say rockery, we mean big boulders! The same rockery that was called Ayers Rock when Mr. Flash, a.k.a Skippy was here and used it as a lookout. So it can be quite a heart stopping moment when you see a small littler critter at the summit!
We do occasionally manage a few hours away from the homestead and when our friend Robin visited us, from Holland, we attended a Tango Tea Dance locally. Robin loves dancing and we didn't know we had it in us, well at least some of us didn't and even then with a dodgy hip and knee! Auntie Guinee came over to puppy sit as Millie had gone on a school trip to Nepal! Lucky thing. Reilly always misses her dreadfully and when he gets the opportunity to go up stairs, just stands and looks at her bedroom door.
Mr Rocket will be going home soon. A.k.a Rocketman or Rockey Balboa. He has fallen hopelessly in love with Lizzie and has been quite an ardent suiter. He has shown no interest in Alfie or Poppy. But he has also had great fun spending a lot of time tussling and play fighting with Mr Rudy, who is such a charmer. You look into his eyes and you melt! On a recent walk out at Reculver he decided to jump into a car with another family having made a break for freedom. Slight worry that!
We hope (fingers crossed) that mid July we will be welcoming two irish from the States. Male and female and we are currently considering names for the two , with preferably an American connection. So far we have Bonnie and Clyde, Fred and Wilma, Mickey and Minnie. We thought it would be fun to throw it out there and see if anyone can come up with an alternative and original suggestion We in turn will come up with a prize!
It gave us great delight to see two of the H Litter conversing on the guest book. Such fun and so funny. So come on everyone, let us know what you are up to.... Kim, whats Sam been doing lately/ Jarred and Amanda.... is your Riley handstripped now? And if so where are the photos. Pete and Anwen, whats the delicate Minnie the Minx up to? Jan, Liz, is Sadie still perfecting her hunting skills? We know for sure that Missy Esther has inherited the hunting instinct from her mum (Missy Alfie) and granddad (Mr.Mac). And that she hates smelling 'nice'! We know that Tessa and Henna are in good form and living the life 'of Reilly' ?!!!!! We know that Miss Tuppence is on fine form and will be visiting us soon. We had Steve and Sarah visit us recently with Mabel - more promising news on that later, hopefully. We know that Missy Grainne has landed on her feet - there could be no better home than with Mike and Patti. They have to keep physically fit because of their work and that means Grainne's physical and mental stimulation is taken care of.
We want to say a very emotional 'thank you' to Helen. She and Rick take fantastic care of Dino for us. And Helen is blessed with an exceptional artistic gift. Originally she gave us the gift of an amazingly lifelike drawing of Dino and just recently one of Mister Mac (see homepage), to coincide with his birthday. These artworks were all taken from photograph- so if anyone would like to commission Helen or talk to her, we will put you in contact. Most likely you will meet her at 'Paws in the Park Picnic'. We know she will be there - will you?
Today we remember Mac, who would have been celebrating his 12th birthday but he left us, too soon. Probably he would have spent the day being utterly spoilt and continuing Total Domination!...... of his household. Everyone respected Mr. Mac, dogs and humans alike, including his owner who allowed Mac to develop his strong character and strong will from pup to dog by giving him respect, admiration and strong guidance. The two enjoyed each others' company so much and were so in tune that both new when the time had come. And Mac spared Jean the pain of making that decision by leaving us quietly and with dignity, on his own terms.
Now we rejoice in seeing his offspring and seeing him in his offspring.
Reilly O'Malley is back! He has been holidaying with Auntie Guinee and we think he has put on a bit of weight, despite the 'no treats command'!! He exploded into the house and immediately took control. He being the pack leader now that Mac has gone. Poppy has also returned to the fold and it was great to see brother and sister together again. Everyone has had a chance to meet the pups in the garden and they have all been extremely careful and tolerant. Missy Alfie, who loves being a mummy, would happily feed them - if she had any milk! Mr. Jarrah, here on holiday was especially interactive with them. He has been a marvellous guest, no trouble at all and most definitely a credit to Diana and Andrews' hard work. It was a case of one out, one in! Just as Mr. Jarrah was leaving us, Mr Rocket was arriving. Tis the holiday season - should we be jolly? No, No, No, No, that's December, Ho, Ho, Ho.........
Just realised we haven't even mentioned Crufts 2014. We had hoped to attend to spectate but the arrival of the J litter put paid to the best laid plans. However we were delighted to see that Dino's dad, Dodger aka AM GCH Kell's Touch of Fleet Street, won Best of Breed, in the Irish Terrier competion. And he achieved a 4th place in the overall Terrier Breed class. Well done Dodger!
Dino goes from strength to strength with Rick and Helen and they are in fact the people responsible for the idea of the 'picnic in Greenwich Park'. Since mentioning it in the last news update, we have had an amazing response to the idea and at the moment we think perhaps a date in June/ early July would be a good idea.
Interested? - Please let us know as soon as possible if a) you want to attend and b) dates that are/or are not possible. This idea appears to be really gathering momentum - so now lets make it special - come on the vanLeeuwen community......!!!!!!
We have many visitors wanting an Irish Terrier pup but they are just unable to comprehend or buy into just what we are about. As we repeatedly say ' don't care who you are or how much money you have, unless we think you suitable, you don't get a vanLeeuwen pup'. We know they will eventually find a puppy elsewhere but we just do things totally differently and we thank all our puppies' families for keeping in touch and giving us updates and sending us photos. And supporting us, as we do you 24/7. X
Fantastic day yesterday. The puppies are four weeks old and traditionally that means Puppy Day! Our puppy families are all invited to visit although as yet they have no idea which puppy is destined for them. We also decided to hold a small open kennel day and a few prospective irish terriers owners called in. We obviously get used to handling small pups but to see the delight on our visitors faces as they held and played with these wonderful little creatures gave us great joy and made our day. Normally we just have mum of the litter with us but this time because dad was one of our own, he was invited to attend and he brought his family with him. Kevin, Hayley we are very grateful that you took the trouble to spend so much time with us and of course to Thomas (not yet two? but Hector's real owner). Hector is a big powerful boy but he and Thomas have a very special relationship. Given that Hector was part of the family before Thomas arrived, just goes to show that an adored family pet and a new baby can be integrated. To anyone who wants guidance we will put you in contact with Kevin and Hayley. To see the special bond between Thomas and Hector is quite something and hugely impressed our other guests. Especially those visiting us with children older than Thomas but with concerns . It was also joyous to witness the pleasure that Hector and Lizzie (Mum and Dad), expressed at seeing each other again. Very happy and playful. Our other special visitors where the 'parents' of young Hector, ( he of the scatter cushions)! Please read the guest posts. Hector had been spending a few days with us and boy were we spooked! He is Mac incarnate. Jean picked him up from his home in Norfolk and on the journey to us kept looking sideways at Hector (in his car harness) and said it was just like having Mr. Mac next to him again. Very emotional. Rob and Carol came to collect him and join in the Puppy Day. They are a very special couple and continually give us their support and encouragement. Especially when we lost Mister Mac. From our viewpoint they are a perfect testimony to 'our aim' - to match the puppy with their family and where required give the pup the specialist training in order for that pup to fit into their lives effortlessly. Andrew and Brogan (I Litter) were here as well. The family are already ready for a second Irish in their lives and so a very special little lady will be setting up home with them very soon. Andrew has in the past enjoyed the experience of having an Irish as part of his life and like most of us, after one there is no other option, we are smitten. Marnie called in later in the day for a special one to one play time with the little critters She bought them a little gift which they had great enjoyment from but sorry Marnie, Auntie Alfie loves it! Marnie and Doug will very soon be saying 'welcome' to their wonderful little puppy critter.
As all this is being typed, the afore mentioned bundle(s) of joy, have been experiencing the great wide world. The Back Garden! Today was the first time outside. Mummy Lizzie was slightly anxious but soon calmed. The pups enjoyed their time in the big wide world and after a meal decided to sleep on the purple shingle before being gentle lifted into their puppy enclosure. From our viewpoint this is all part of their socialisation, that and being handled during Puppy Day.
Just want people to know that sleep deprivation is still befuddling our brains somewhat. Hope to be more' with it' soon.
There are two new videos for you to watch and see the J Litter in action in the photo album/ video page on the website.
We have decided that, in the not to distant future, we will organise' a Picnic in the Park at Greenwich'. So many of our families live in the vicinity, that we thought it would be a great idea for a 'bit of a do'. Dan 'The Man', will be videoing proceedings for us. He did the magnificent film of 'Mr.Mac goes to Crufts' for us. Plus a puppy video, his choice of music makes each film so much more memorable and perfect. Please get in contact if you would like to come along. We will confirm a date as soon as possible.
Sleep deprivation, we thought given our ages and the ages of our children, it was a thing of the past! Not So! Lizzie, first time mum, has needed a bit of guidance and assurance and so our night time vigils have continued a little longer than expected. The plus side being that any formative characteristics are being spotted. We have already noted The moaner! The interactive ! The laid back sleepy character! The snuggle bunny! The Independent! Such a fantastic experience, we wouldn't miss it for the world.
Mr Flash has landed safely in Oz and is now in quarantine until Sunday. James and Emma are still not able to see or visit him until then, but they have told us they have been informed he is settled and coping well. We feel very proud of our van Leeuwen boy.
Given all that has been going on, we have still managed to give and enjoy a handstripping course. With Jarred and Amanda and Hairy Monster aka Riley and David and Iollan aka Rocket. We really see the benefit of bringing two families together ( not always from the same litter), to share their 'trials and tribulations', of being a new puppy family. It also gives us an insight to any recurring concerns, that can usually be easily addressed. Please never forget that we are always there for our puppies and their familes, 24/7. Whatever age, if there are any concerns about your dog, please get in contact and we will help you.
It has to be said, we can barely string a coherent sentence together, we are so tired!! But Very Happy! Lizzie delivered 7 beautiful puppies 10 days ago. Since then we have operated a shift routine, especially at night, to make sure all goes well with mum and pups. Something like six hours on, six off. When all 'kicked off' at 1.30 in the wee small hours, she became very agitated and did not want to stay in her whelping box. Instead she wanted the sofa! Don't worry folks - we were prepared - it was completely covered and protected, just in case, as this was in fact where Lizzie had been born. Her mother, the prima donna, aka Madame Sophie considered a whelping box not good enough! It has to be said it was a very special moment. As agitated as Lizzie was, the moment she jumped onto the sofa she relaxed and she stood for a while just resting her head on the back, as if telling herself 'she could do this'. From that moment on she was amazing, in total control. She delivered her pups, calmly, feeding each one before the next arrived, even knowing that although she had delivered six lying down, she needed to stand for the seventh! Instinct had kicked in, she knew to bite through the cord, to lick away the sack, to lick her babies faces to clear the airways, even to eat the afterbirth and when necessary she allowed us to help her. We feel very privileged to have been part of this natural phenomenon called birth - so emotional, we can't begin to tell you.
Just back from a few dogless and internet free days in a fairly remote part of Scotland. So lovely to relax, do nothing, look at the view, watch the weather and even the television!! We were reminded that the last time we were in Scotland we had Mr. Mac with us and we both really missed his presence. We called into The Inn on Loch Lomond where we had stayed and remembered him sitting on the bank, watching the world go by and accepting any attention that came his way. The picture is in the photo album along with the one of him looking slightly more windswept! We managed to go around Glasgow this time and not through the centre, where amazingly we had 'bumped into' the only dog (at that time) we had living in Scotland. Teddy literally walking along with his owner Alun. What are the chances of that?! Niek was here to house and dogsit. Great because the house is always far tidier when we come back. He brought Lizzie with him as her puppies are due very soon. So we are busy rearranging the house and getting the whelping box 'out of mothballs'. We have a rather full house at the moment as Mina and Poppy are with us for the week, Missy Grainne is back briefly on Friday night and a very handsome Mr. Jarrah , ( Howie,H Litter) has arrived for a few weeks. So that all their respective families can go off on their hols.
Just before our holiday we gave Pete and Anwen their handstripping course with Minnie the Minx. It turned into a double session as Kim came to visit with Sam and decided to stay and join in. It was fun having Minnie and Sam (I Litter siblings) together although mummy Alfie was not fussed about seeing them again! We found it worked really well and it gave Pete, Anwen and Kim the opportunity to compare and talk about their experiences during their first weeks as puppy parents.
Congratulations to Sadie (G. Litter). She (and Liz) have been awarded the KC training certificate at Bronze Level. Well done! Sadie continues to develop her hunting skills and has just caught another rabbit!
A Very Happy Birthday to the E Litter, 2 years old tomorrow. Where does the time go? Hopefully we will be receiving some birthday photos over the next few days. Have fun!
Before we forget a Very Happy Birthday to the A Litter. 5 years old on the 12th. That includes our very own Missy Alfie, who has been rather flirty of late, to put it delicately! Alf will have her final litter towards the end of the year and then normally would retire and live happily with another family. But Alf and Reilly are responsible for bringing us together and so she will remain with us. Anyway she is crucial at OKD. Just like her 'old man', Mr Mac, we monitor how she reacts to people. It is not unknown for her to be on her back, cradled in someones lap. Everyone wants 'an Irish just like Alfie'. Little do they know that take her for a walk and it will be a nightmare, she hates every dog she meets. But take her hunting and she comes into her own. A joy to behold.
We are very pleased to say that Missy Lizzie is with pup. Her first litter is expected the first week of March. So for us this is the 'lull before the storm'. Mr Dino has settled with an amazing foster family, Rick and Helen, so much so that he's not missing us at all...! Missy Graine (little Miss Dynamite), is having a trial run with Mike and Patti and if anyone can bring out her full athletic potential, it's these two.
We have been getting about a bit lately. Hampshire, Holland, Essex and Wales. Missy Henna came for a brief stay from her home in Hampshire. She is very beautiful and we hope that she may take after her granddad and enjoy a spin in the showring now and again! Off to Holland to return Lizzie to Niek and collect Mr. Reggie for a brief visit to his new family. Circumstances dictate that he can't be with them full time yet. But as we know van Leeuwen In Your Face is a very strong character and takes everything in his stride. Then off to Wales to collect Gilligan's Valentino, a lovely little boy with soulful eyes and massive paws! We have named him Rudy (Rudolph Valentino)?! He has his own webpage already.
It's the final countdown for Mr Flash aka Skippy. We've got the date for his flight to Australia and there will be trips to the vet for bloodtests etc all part of the immigration requirements. His final handstrip has begun so he will look amazing when his family see him. He already looks quite majestic especially when outside standing on top of our rather large rockery, now named Ayres Rock. He really will live up to his kennel name van Leeuwen Flying Dutchman!
As this is being produced Reilly is trying to help by climbing up onto the lap of the typist. He has been away to Auntie Guinee for a couple of weeks as we had so many flirty ladies here with us plus Mr. Hector visiting. He loves all the attention he gets at Guin's. He usually sleeps on the landing and she got up one morning to discover he had removed the towels from the bathroom to create a bed for himself. There he was in his usual position, on his back with one front leg extended over his head in a sort of superman pose. Here he's now decided he can't fit on the office chair and wandered off to 'chill' on the heated floor of the bathroom!!
We hope the B litter enjoyed their 4th birthday. We sent our best wishes to them individually and we are beginning to receive some birthday photos. Great! We are starting to return to normal routine??? What's normal? and what's routine? Anyway we have recovered from our adventure on the high sea, literally. For those of you who caught the news of the Port of Dover being closed on the 22nd/ 23rd of December and saw the images of the ferries having to spend the night at sea. That was us! Along with Missy Lizzie and Missy Minnie. We had made an extra special effort to get an earlier ferry, which involved running across the tarmac of the parking area at Dunkirk to get the dogs microchips' checked. Thinking we were so clever, only to get to Dover to be told we were in a queue situation and later to be informed we were 'in it for the long haul'. Needless to say we were extremely anxious about the two girls but amazingly (or not!), everytime we went down to the car deck to see to them and let them out for a walk and a comfort stop , they greeted with wagging tails and calmness, even after 17 hours. As we said amazing, we felt very proud of them, especially Miss Minnie, who we delivered to her new family shortly after Christmas. She settled immediately, as we knew she would. (All part of the training), and from the updates from Peter and Anwen continues to bring delight and joy. It's what we are all about. The maturing programme has been a long time in the planning and is paying untold dividends in 'customer satisfaction', for our families and 'job satisfaction' for us. But for all those who really know us, know that it's all about our babies and no one holds a van Leeuwen puppy unless we consider them worthy. That may sound dramatic but it's true.
We are still finding it incredibly hard without Mister Mac here with us and those of you who have lost a beloved Irish know what we are talking about but amazingly we have begun to see him more and more in his offspring. Obviously we are looking for that but bizarrely little things surprise us , like Reilly has taken to jumping up to us and instead of two paws landing together he places one after the other, slowly and deliberately. Something Mac always did! We miss Mac terribly, he was the founder of the van Leeuwen kennel, along with Mina, and it is so difficult to function without him. But we will continue to update his memories page with little snippets as and when. And if anyone, who had the privilege of meeting him, has a memory they would like included please let us know.
It has been a while since the news has been updated and so some news updates may be out of timeline but still news worthy. Like discovering Dino in the kitchen with grey decking stain all over him. He had decided to 'eat' a tester pot and so Millie took him off to be showered!! No two days are the same but they are just another day in the life of the van Leeuwen household!
Greetings to all xxx
Happy New Year! We hope everyone has had a fantastic and peaceful Christmas.
Watch this space - the news updates will be back soon!
IT IS WITH IMMENSE SADNESS AND PAIN THAT WE HAVE TO TELL EVERYONE THAT MISTER MAC LEFT US TODAY.
HE BECAME ILL SUDDENLY ON SATURDAY AFTERNOON AND PASSED AWAY IN THE EARLY HOURS OF THIS MORNING.
Just a quickie. Please read the guestbook. We are receiving some lovely updates about recent 'graduates'. Thanks Isabelle, Carol and Lis and Jon.
Everyone gets to read them and 😀 So keep them coming! It would be great to receive 'Tail Tales' from our other families. So if any of you feel inclined to put fingers to the keyboard, please do and tell us what your van Leeuwen Irish has got up to recently.
Here, there and everywhere. Thats us and the pups. We've just spent a very pleasant hour with all the puppies in the garden. They were 'let loose' whilst we cleaned the paddock for them (not the pleasant part of the hour) but once done we could sit down and watch them play in the No Dogs garden area!!! Playing tug with a tomato plant, running about with plastic plant pots in their mouths, eating the banana plant and play fighting with each other. It's marvellous to watch them run as fast as they can from one end of the garden to the other and hilarious when their front legs stop before their back ones and they end up doing a forward roll. They absolutely love the interaction with us and the other dogs. Although Missy Alfie plays for a while and then gets fed up when they want to see if the bar is open and so she takes herself inside to watch proceedings from the other side of the patio door. Riley, Grainne and Mister Dino continue to play with them and Dino is also small enough to get into the No Dogs garden. Why do we call it that? Are we delusional or very optimistic people? The puppies have all had their first jab and were very well behaved at the vets although the return journey home was very reminiscent of our trip with Tuppy to meet Pete Townsend and Rachel Fuller, in that it was horrendously smelly and very, very messy. Joy! Anyway one little critter had her microchip fitted as well, ready for her trip to Niek in Holland for some one to one training and socialising. Minnie as her family intend to call her has such a lovely temperament and the most gorgeous face. Talking of Tupps, she will be back with us next week for a brief holiday during which time she will be handstripped and made to look even more beautiful than she already is. We are also very excited to say that the Flying Dutchman is also returning to the fold in a couple of weeks but for a few months. His family are going to live and work in Australia but it has all come about so quickly that time didn't allow for Flash's inoculations etc so that he could travel with them. So he will have fun with us whilst it is all organised and then we will wave him goodbye and he will be the first van Leeuwen Irish Terrier to say 'G'day 'stralia'. There are those amongst us who have reli's in Oz and know the lingo!!
For those of you wondering just where Mister Dino has sprung from - the answer is Up North. We have been considering and looking for sometime to add a new stud dog to the kennel and Mister Dino ticked all our boxes. His dad is CH & AM CH KELLS TOUCH OF FLEET ST aka Dodger. We were fortunate enough to see Dodger in action at the Southern Irish Terrier Society Championship Show in Minstead, Hampshire at the weekend. Dodger won the Kennel Club Dog Challenge Certificate and is very obviously going places. Anyway for us little Dino has the cutest and cheekiest of faces, is wonderfully feisty and thinks that at fifteen weeks he is one of the big dogs! It is really funny to watch him go haring down the garden behind the other dogs and still only be halfway there when they are already on the return journey! He thinks he's got what it takes to 'kill' Uncle Reilly and attempts to go for Reilly's throat. He usually misses and gets a leg instead. Needless to say Dino is put firmly in his place and if Reilly knows one thing - its - keep your face out of the way of youngsters with sharp teeth and a lot of determination and enthusiasm. Gary and Linda also came to the show and met Anne Bradley with her dog MONTELLE VISION IN RED JW ShCM aka Timmie. Timmie is dad to Gary and Linda's dogs Frodo (E Litter) and Trixie (F Litter). Tim was award the Reserve Dog Challenge Certificate. Also we bumped into the Pitts family, who live locally but took the trouble to visit us on a OKW a few weeks back. The next Open Kennel Weekend will actually be a day and that is October 20th. We are having to do it this way because of other commitments plus two of the pups will be leaving us to live with their new families.
Mister Hector has been delivered to his new family in Norfolk. We collected him a couple of weekends ago from Niek in Holland where he had his specialist training, which this time included getting used to walking next to a wheelchair amongst other things. He was, Niek says a joy and is now bringing a lot of joy, laughter and happiness to Carol and Robert.
Wow, the I litter are growing fast and their individual characteristics are presenting themselves. We have one, who we call 'the great explorer'. He is always the first to venture out and investigate his new surroundings. 'Sleepyhead', very self assured, sometimes sleeps apart from all the others and usually the first to sleep after playtime. Last week, we were putting them all back into the play pen for sleeptime but he couldn't wait and we found him in the hallway curled up on the rug! Our little 'vocalist', usually one of the first to wake and make his presence know by producing something between a howl and a cry. It's actually a lovely sound and we call it trilling. The two bigger girls like to fight! Usually each other but they are not really fussy and anyone will do. They are now on solids and enjoying their 'fish4dogs' puppy kibble along with a variety of other foods. We give them goats milk but the still enjoy a guzzle from Alfie if she is willing to oblige. She is keen to 'top up' but their little teeth and claws make it very uncomfortable for her. She now plays with them and today encouraged them to run down to the paddock to enjoy a bit of rare sunshine. Although it was a bit of a mad scrabble to get them back in when it started to rain hard and they all ended up looking like little drowned rats. Of course 'smalley' had to have an extra long cuddle in the towel. He is still as determined as ever and when Alfie is feeding them, his tactic is to burrow under the frenzy and find a low lying teet. Works everytime! Alfie is much more relaxed now and is happy to allow Uncle Reilly and Missy Grainne into the lounge with them. The pups enjoy interacting with them and exploring the lounge, hall and kitchen, getting used to day to day noises etc. They find the broom and the mop a lot of fun. The mop is on permanent standby for all the little 'accidents'.
The 'Big Mac' is still on holiday with Auntie Guinee and we are a bit worried he won't want to come home, he is having such a good time.
We missed his presence on the Open Kennel/Puppy Weekend, which was very well attended and very busy. Several people asked for 'Mr. Mac' so we will have to make sure he is here for the next one. As usual everyone wanted an Irish like Alfie, who was an absolute star and immensely proud of her babies. They in turn enjoyed all the attention and hugs they received. A very crucial socialisation exercise for them. We have yet to confirm the date for the next Open Kennel Weekend (OKW) but if possible we hope to have Fufu's puppies here with us. They are all developing well and we are really excited about welcoming one little girl, Carise, into out pack. More details about the Iredale puppies can be found on their own page of the website.
We made a trip to Holland a couple of weekends ago to deliver Mr. Hector and Missy Lizzy to Niek and Anita. Lizzy has already spent some time with Niek and family and was so happy to see them. In fact she is definitely a dog that is better suited to family life rather that our busy kennel life and she will be staying with them, just returning here when she is old enough to have a litter. Mr Hector is having his month of specialist training with Niek. He is very laid back and made himself at home immediately and is responding very well to his training. Niek tells us he is constantly stopped and complimented when out walking with the pair of them. But then anyone who is lucky enough to have an Irish in their life knows all about that!
It's been very quiet here or so it seems for us! Our number is greatly reduced with just Reilly (and his watering can), Lizzy, Grainne and Hector here. Plus of course Alfie and the I Litter. We have spent a lot of time puppy watching and marveling at their antics. Their eyes have opened and the last two or three days have seen them pushing up onto their legs and walking as opposed to crawling. They are so funny to watch, as they lose their balance and topple over, crashing into a brother or sister before going on their way. It's amazing just how quickly they can move when Alf goes into the whelping box to feed. They just know when 'the bar is open' and climb all over her in their eagerness to latch on. We constantly marvel at 'our smalley', who is no ones' push-over and when he's latched on none of the others can budge him. We are all immensely proud of him as he is a completely different build and size to the others but he has amazing strength of character, fortitude and perseverance. Possibly he will take after his dad - Anne Bradley's show superstar - Montelle Vision in Red aka 'Tim' and owned by Lucy Jackson, president of the Irish Terrier Association. Time will tell! Millie is already doing some early socialisation and having one of the pups with her from time to time, snuggled on her lap as she watches the TV. We think we can already hear little growls and barks and it won't be long before the play fighting starts. Very soon it will be Puppy Weekend, when our families will visit the kennel to meet the pups. Although it is still unlikely that individual pups will have been 'married' to a family. The great thing is Puppy Weekend coincides with Open Kennel Day. (More luck than judgement!) So anyone wanting to come along and meet and greet puppies as well as adult dogs, give us a call. The dates are the 7th and 8th of September.
Hollands Hope left us this week (a particular hardship for one of us) and moved in with his new family Peter, Anne and Patrick. He is a little live wire and a very strong willed character but he sat controlled, relaxed and very comfortably with Peter as we were talking and discussing his new regime, that we had no worries about him settling in. We could see just how much he was already loved and wanted. Lucky Jasper will be spending time in both England and France. Peter and Patrick (Wilford) are artists and have a studio in France. Oh no not another house visit! Actually Italy would be rather nice and we have had a couple of enquiries recently - watch this space!
The 'Big Mac' is back! Life and the house has been very quiet without him. But immediately he made his presence felt and insisted on touring the garden and 'watering' the appropriate spots! He and 'Auntie Guinee' got along famously in Whitstable - as soon as he had 'trained' her. But life here is tough when you have to realise you don't get toast for breakfast every morning!!!
Don't forget Open Kennel Weekend........
The I Litter are here! Keeping us and Missy Alfie very busy and very tired. That's us not Alfie, she is looking very serene and beautiful and in total control.
The recent H Litter leavers are all doing very well, their families are really happy that they have settled so quickly to their new life styles and are much admired by people that they meet. Their housetraining is going very well and with visits to the vets resulting in compliments as to how well they behave particularly on the consulting table. As you can see from the home page photo Missy Henna and her mum Tessa were very successful at a local dogshow and have every right to look very pleased with themselves. We recently took Mr Hector and Missy Grainne for a stroll around our local Dogs Trust Open Day, where they received many compliments and behaved impeccably. Hector impressed us particularly as he was completely unphased by all the people and more to the point all the other dogs. Hector 'the little gentleman' will be going to live with a fabulous couple in Norfolk but first he will spend time with Niek in Holland for some very specialist one to one training. Mr. Mac is currently on a little holiday with another family member and being spoilt rotten. As usual he has made himself at home, is very talkative and has to have his blanket retrieved from the garden, several times a day! Just before he went we had a house visit and the young son of the family renamed him 'The Big Mac'. Talking of blankets - Reilly very often sleeps outside at night 'on guard duty', along with the pups, safely tucked up in their kennel and pen. Reillys' bed is in the kennel next door but he is free to move about as he pleases. We looked out of the window one morning and saw that he had decided to pull his blanket from his bed to the front of the puppy pen and he was asleep, on his back with his legs in the air. Ahhh... This morning we were woken around 5am to the sound of his new wateringcan being thrown about and landing very noisily on the gravel! Not so Ahhh....
Another Ahhh...... moment? Chasing two pups around the garden in order to retrieve an item of underwear that had been snatched off the washing line. The game it seems is that either Lizzy or Grainne or both jump up and pull the washing off. They get to 'eat' the pegs and the pups get to play tug of war with something that makes a lovely ripping sound!
Mr. Muddy has made the journey to Turkey safely, having been collected by his new owner and is now settling in with his new family and getting used to totally different surroundings.
What seems like an absolute age ago we had a visit from Liz with Sadie (G Litter). She was looking absolutely lovely and very confident. We felt really proud when we heard that she had made her first kill, she is after all from the hunting line, Mr. Percy being her dad. Shortly before that, the Bedingfields visited us with Mabel (E Litter) to do the handstripping course and we will very soon be back in contact to see how they got on with their 'homework'
We managed to catch up with Tuppy at N & M's on a beautiful summers evening down in Deal. She was sitting in a crowd of other guests when we arrived, looking totally relaxed and unphased by all the attention. In fact she was thoroughly enjoying herself. Missy Mina, normally totally anti-social decided she would not leave Jean's side and joined the party. This left Nick feeling ever so slightly miffed! But it was good to see the benefit to her (Tuppy) and her family of the work we had put in with regard to early socialisation.
Three H Litter puppies have left us. van Leeuwen Hot Stuff, now called Juno, is now calling Scotland home with Isabelle and her family. Isabelle made the effort to visit us a couple of months ago and this time around she stayed over with her mum and got to know Juno and also to learn to handstrip. van Leeuwen Hairy Monster, now Riley, is living in Essex with his family. Jarrod and Amanda were so keen to get him home that they arrived at the kennel while we were still doing the morning routine, i.e. feeding and cleaning. We love that sort of desire, commitment and dedication. van Leeuwen Howie is with Diana and Andrew, who have lived with and recently lost an Irish. Anyone who has experienced such a loss knows just how great a void that leaves in your life. We are absolutely sure that Jarrah will benefit from their experience and reciprocate their love, tenfold. van Leeuwen Hollands Hope will very shortly be leaving us and go with his new family to the south of France. We both feel a housevisit coming on just to check on Mr. Jaspers' progress! van Leeuwen Hector is still with us and no firm decision has been made about his future yet, other than someone wants to call him Otis (Reading)! van Leeuwen Henna has returned to Hampshire to live with her mum, Tessa and her new family The Rowlies. Katie and Darren delivered the H Litter and took care of them until they were 8 weeks old. They have now accepted our co-ownership offer and Henna will be part of their family, only returning to us to have a litter.
Tessa was here with us while The Rowlies took a well earned break - chance would be a fine thing! Plus Mina, because her family were also away, meant that our numbers swelled and at one point we had Mr. Mac, Reilly, Missy Alfie, Poppy, Lizzy, Grainne, the H Litter, Tessa, Mina and Mr Muddy(recently returned from Holland) here. You do the maths - we've lost count...........and probably even forgotten someone!!!!!!
The five puppies duly arrived a few days before the Open Kennel Weekend (The next one will be 27th/28th July). They are five bundles of fun and delight, with lovely expressive faces. They were a bit shell shocked for a couple of days having just left the security of their mum, Tessa but they soon decided to explore the big wide world and absolutely love the freedom of the paddock. As usual we just can't resist the temptation to let them explore the whole garden, normally early evening when we can sit and watch and laugh at their antics. Grainne, not that much older than them plays mummy when she is in the paddock with them but she is also spending more time with the older ones, showing just how feisty she is! She's even surprised Uncle Reilly, who this week managed to get hold of the last remaining watering can. When he was a very young pup he used to spend hours play fighting with a very large green plastic watering can. It was during this period that he honed his shoulder charge technique and has since instructed all his young pupils in this skill.
Work continues on the dog free zone but the recent installation of a temporary fence has proved ineffective against Poppy, who always manages to find a way in! Her only problem is, she can never remember how she managed it and so has to wait to be 'rescued'. In the meantime she has great fun running around and taunting the others!
The aforementioned Open Kennel Weekend was hot, sunny and busy and brilliant! We met some lovely and very interesting people. For those who are meeting Irish for the first time, it is not doubt useful to see a variety of ages. For one family it was very emotional as they had recently lost their Irish in a tragic accident. Another family who had made the effort to visit us from the New Forest area, stopped off en-route and found themselves parked next to Lucy Jackson, president of The Irish Terrier Association. They told her they were on their way to meet The Dutchman and his pack. Now that's what you call fate! The meet and greet duo did a wonderful job, with everyone falling in love with Missy Alfie, and wanting 'one just like her'. Mr Mac was slightly preoccupied by a very pretty visitor named Fufu, with us for stud services! Fu is half Irish and half Patterdale and an absolute treasure. We would have been happy to keep her and will if all goes well have one of her puppies.
Another visitor, over from Holland this time, here to attend The Who gig at Wembley arena, was over the moon to be able to go to the V.I.P. lounge after the show and meet Pete and Rachel. Thanks for the tickets guys! They are going on a well earned break and have left Tuppy with her mummy Mina and of course N & M for a few days. Lets hope Tuppy doesn't decide to dive into the Serpentine again, chasing a duck!
We are absolutely delighted to announce that one of our precious puppies has become part of the family of Pete Townshend and Rachel Fuller. Rachel initially contacted and visited us concerning puppy ownership and we could see immediately her empathy with dogs but it wasn't until we did 'the housevisit', that we were able to put our minds at rest. Pete and Rachel are dog lovers and have several of various age, shape and size and Pete is (and Rachel says this herself) very definitely 'leader of the pack' (cue a song?) Any reservations that we had were immediately kicked into touch when we saw his interaction with Lizzy and Graceful Dream - originally going to be called Ernestine but now most definitely Tuppence. See the photo on the homepage. Rachel, a musician herself (google her), says she will take Tuppy to the final gig of The Who's current tour at Wembly Arena. One of us will also be going!!
Just prior to Tupps' departure we made a fleeting but very enjoyable visit to family in Holland. Primarily to deliver our turkish delight, Mr Muddy, to Niek but also to discuss with a C Litter family the possibility of their pride and joy having a one-off litter. Muds it has to be said is incredibly laid back and took the travelling in his stride, in fact we didn't here a peep out of him. He went out for a walk straight away with Niek and later met up with Missy Evie and Sophie (Mother of the F Litter) and looked completely relaxed and at home. An amazing little fella! Millie was in charge of the kennel while we were away and did a stirling job. Thanks Millie!
Just before we left for Holland we had a phone call from another C Litter owner, who were trying to visit England but were turned back at the port because of a defective microchip in their dog. We could not do anything to help them but have since established that there is a problem with microchips with a registration code beginning 9000 and apparently the microchip can fail at anytime. So if this concerns you and you are planning to travel with your dog, please ask your vet for a new microchip.
We very often receive very complimentary comments about our website and just recently someone mentioned the fun of reading about the antics of the dogs!! For us it is a continually evolving joy. A lot of hard work and a lot of laughter and no two days are ever the same. AND even if they were, we would still have no idea what day, week or month we were in, we are just so busy!!
The H litter are coming! As this is being written, they are in transit from Hampshire to Herne Bay. Tessa turned out to be a very competent first time mum and her family are very proud of her. They are here just in time for this coming weekends' Open Kennel Day. So if you feel inclined to visit give us a call.
The D Litter are two and Uncle Reilly's and Poppy's birthday photos will soon be on the website. Pops is in the middle of a handstrip and currently looks like she is wearing a poorly fitted toupee along her back! Reilly has been rather good this week, which is a bit of a worry! Perhaps he has come through his terrible twos and matured overnight - not!
The great news this week is that Missy Alfie has been to visit one of Anne Bradley's stud dogs. The potential 'dad' is one of Ann's champion show dogs and we are very excited at the prospect of welcoming Alfie's third litter around the middle of August. But of course we will now have to wait and see. Poor Mac is incredibly out of sorts, having a bitch in season around him. He has had to be completely separate from the others. So there has been a lot of huffing, puffing, whining and drooling going on. On one occasion, having been sent to our bedroom to 'chill', he managed to remove the sponge inner of his bed and rip it apart!! Hopefully normal hormone levels will resume shortly.
Reilly has been particularly mischievous this week. He was first caught licking sardines still in the tin (lid taken off). He did this very carefully and managed to get some lovey fish oil and the skin of the sardines. We don't know why he didn't just knock to tin on the floor and consume the contents. Perhaps he thought we wouldn't notice this way. On another occasion, having been left on his own in the kitchen, (you'd think we'd learn), he was discovered with his head under the flap of the container full of Fish4dogs puppy kibble munching away happily. We didn't say anything and when he realised he was being watched he just stopped and casually sauntered away. Love him! His other new 'trick' when confined to the utility room, rather than settle on the dog bedding is to tip over the laundry basket and make a nest of the washing or if he feels like it, use a bra to have a tug of war with Poppy.
Mister Muddy and Missy Grainne are growing fast and are a completely different build to their daintier sister Ernestine. She has been in London this last week with Mummy Mina and Nick and Marietta. They are doing a marvellous job getting her used to the London pace in readiness for her new home. Mister Muddy will be going to Niek in Holland soon for some one to one training before he makes the journey to Turkey to live! What a delight! Think about it....
Almost forgot to wish the F Litter a Happy 1st Birthday! We received some delightful birthday photos from their families plus we had little Luna staying with us for a few days. Her family call her Luna the lunatic, she is a happy go lucky little thing and looks alot like Darci, who by the way if off to the south of France for the summer. Might just have to pay a housevisit!
Unfortunately an unguarded click of the mouse means we have lost all of our news updates/archives. So we will have to back track and review a bit.
Three of our puppies have now left us, Sadie (vanLeeuwen Guardian Angel) is with Liz and Jan, having a great time exploring her new world. Bella (vanLeeuwen Gheisha) has gone to live with Steve and Gill and family, including their wire-haired fox terrier. It is already clear who will become top dog! Little Gracie (vanLeeuwen Good as Gold) has only just left us and isn't living up to her name at the moment. So we are giving Pete and Jeff some advice and guidance so hopefully they can have a decent nights sleep. Just before they left us and Mina returned to resume her life with Nick and Marietta it was lovely to watch her choose to go into the paddock and play with all of them, chasing them around and allowing them to jump all over her. She looked gorgeous when she left having been handstripped and looking amazing figurewise, even after 31 puppies. Ernestine (vanLeeuwen Graceful Dream) is to stay with us until the beginning of July but we did make a trip with her and Lizzie to visit and introduce her to her new home with Rachel and Pete. Unfortunately for her and us, the journey was incredibly smelly as she had an upset tummy so we spent sometime in a layby just off the M25 cleaning her, the crate and the car. Not easy when for the first time in ages we had had an opportunity to wear something other than our 'working gear'! Anyway she and Lizzie had a great time looking around her new home and garden. Both were completely wornout for the return journey and we didn't hear a peep. Ernestine, Mr. Muddy and Missy Grainne have been attending socialization classes at our local vet and they were completely thrown when they discovered that not all dogs look the same! They spent a while just taking stock before deciding to venture about and explore the reception area and of course the other puppies. They have now had their second vaccination and so can now get out and about in the big wide world. Miss Lizzy has been attending ringcraft class, the plan being to take her to The Irish Terrier Association Championship show on 23rd June. It will be a great experience for her.
Our friend Ronald came over from Holland to spend a week with us and not only meet all the dogs here but also to make to a trip to Hampshire to meet the H Litter who are all doing very well and are now on solids. As well as going on a housevisit to a potential puppy family, Ronald also took the time to handstrip Uncle Reilly for us. For the first time ever Reilly is no longer a work in progress. He is amazingly handsome and we have to keep looking twice to see who it is that's managed to get hold of a plastic jug to chew or the dustpan and brush or a handstripping knife or a paintbrush! However he like most Irish know when to turn on the charm, he went on the housevisit and this last weekend was one of the meet and greet dogs for the open kennel day. The next one will be coming up soon, we'll publish the date very soon.