We had our annual inspection for our license today.
All kennels and registered breeders have to have a license which is renewed (and paid for) every year.
This involves me making an application to South Derbyshire District council. They then send a licensing officer to go through everything and make sure all is being run properly and in line with the strict guidelines. if all is ok the license is granted for another 12 months.
Although quietly confident it is always a little nerve racking being inspected and I do feel it is because we care too but all was good and we are fit to go for at least another year.
Our place looks great at the moment too with all the walls re painted, new heat pads for the cats and new/additional cat units looking all pristine.
We are very busy over the Christmas period with both cats and dogs which is good news. I have taken a lady on too to help out so fingers crossed she does a good job and helps to maintains our high standards and she will be here for a long time to come.
My boys are happy to help out over the festive season which is great as that way we can all spend some family time over the holiday period too.
Hope you all have a lovely and very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year
This is my quietest time of the year so I'm going to get painting the dog units to freshen everywhere up.
Dogs really are so messy compared to cats.
I use a specialist masonary paint inside the dog units. This seals the block so any dogs urinating on the wall, it will sit on the surface and be easily cleaned and sprayed with Virkon, my powerful detergent.
Painting also freshens everywhere up too as I do like my place to always look clean and tidy and welcoming to my guests :) and their owners :)
The cattery had a big facelift earlier so other than cleaning we are ready for our next busy period will will be Christmas now.
It was with sadness that I saw on the TV the reports of poor puppies being smuggled into the UK bringing in, who knows what diseases. The puppies travel in dreadful conditions and many loose their life making the journey. I hate to think what conditions their parents are being kept in.
Rabies is a real risk around Europe and this type of activity could well bring it to the UK but if people here didn't buy these puppies then this smuggling would be futile and stop!!
At last we are coming to the end of what has been an incredibly busy summer which started early July.
I am really enjoying caring for the boarding dogs as well as the cats as it is so very rewarding. The dogs fall into several categories.
OOOzing confidence _ They drag you in through the door. Cannot wait to get out to play and almost knock you over to get to the run and they do just love everyone
Little timed _ Not in a hurry to come out for the first day but once they have ventured into the big run (either by themselves or with others) their confidence is established and they don't look back
Nervous _ These guys just need a little encouragement to come out of their unit (but never forced). Sometimes they need a lead on and I do suspect they only ever go out on a lead. I get great satisfaction when these guys grow in confidence and come out on their own and you would be amazed at how quickly this happens :)
Scared _ These guys are a little more trick as you do have to tread with care as they will snap at you. The key is never to force, go and do what you have to to care for them and wait patiently for their curiosity to get the better of them and they will come to you. A very tasty treat I find helps the process but how incredibly rewarding when they begin to build their trust and venture out with you. It really doesn't take long!!
With the many, many dogs we have boarded over the 2 years I have only had a couple who really would not leave their units but as they all have their very own run and access to fresh air every day it isn't the end of the world.
We have many happy customers returning and recommending us and vets boarding their own pets with us now too which is a great vote of confidence in what we are achieving.
Almost full for Christmas 2014 and have many bookings for summer 2015 so please don't leave it too long if you would like to bring you pets to us :)
I couldn't resist and I have kept one of our gorgeous cockapoo puppies.
I've called her Maggie after my lovely Mum who was brave enough to come down from Yorkshire and keep an eye on all whilst I went on my adventure into the Sumatran jungle.
She is spending oodles of time with the other puppies at the moment but I will bring her into the house and crate train her. She has had her first immunisation so after her second we shall go to puppy school and she can learn how to be a good girl :)
I am looking forward to taking her out walking with my lovely, well behaved Phoebe as Maggie will just follow Phoebe and it should prove to be very easy. I hope :)
The wild life stunning
The whole challenge in Sumatra was just fantastic. I haven't laughed so much for years. Sleeping in the jungle was a little challenging and I loved the treking up and down the mountains.
The elephant is Uni I had the honour of bathing and riding on her. We even called into the village shop on the way back to camp
This is all to raise much needed funds for breast cancer research
We are holding a fund raising event 1st November at Lower Damgate farm Ilam if anyone is interesting in attending please drop me a line
We have a page on just giving Peak Girls charity challenge
Can you see Danni? She is our new pest control officer and Phoebe obviously feels the need to keep an eye on her every move :)
This is our extension. It greets you as you pull through our electric gates. I like to think it makes us look very smart but it also gives me room to breath. I shall install a couple of holding pens for when people are delayed coming to pick up their pets. It gives me lots of storage too. If you remember the rolls of carpet I had donated, I now have space to roll them out, cut them up and store them.
I have no doubt the rest of the space will find a use too.
I also bit the bullet and built the remainder of my cat units. I had to turn so much business away this summer as I couldn't accommodate them so I'm hoping they will come back now I have expended.
I would like to sit back and enjoy a little now and not take on any further projects but we'll see :)
Well, I'm going off to the Indonesian jungle to work in an orang-utan rescue centre, trek 190km through the jungle sleeping under a tarp and digging our own loos, planting trees for a day and the last couple of days we will be helping in an elephant recue centre.
I'm going with a group of girl friends, the purpose is to raise funds for research into cancer.
Personally I lost both my brother and brother-in-law recently to the disease and one of the girls in the group has had the last 15years of her life blighted with it so we though we would join her in a challenge to attempt to raise funds to help to make a difference to others.
Seemed a good idea at the time but I have no doubt it is going to be a tough challenge with temperatures 37-40 degrees and humidity at 94% the conditions are not what we are used to in Derby.
Apparently you are always either ascending or descending whilst treking through the jungle and at times you walk through the rivers. We carry all of our own kit so travelling light.
With just a few days to go before we head off via Singapore airline (we were going Malasian) I am feeling a little pensive :(
Given my day to day living and high level of activity in running my dog and cat boarding which has been very busy this summer I think I am physically ready. (other than a broken bone in my foot)
I don't really know just what to expect as there is no accommodation, we dig our own loo and the bed is the ground by the river. We cleanse in the natural springs and no detergents to be used. The noise, I'm sure in the jungle will be tremendous ( I have ear plugs) I don't want to think about the bugs and slithery things.
Having never left my boys I am having pangs of guilt too which is daft as they are not babies and I have put all sorts in place to ensure they are well cared for in all ways whilst I am away. I'm sure they won't care a great deal and it may even do them some good as since my marriage broke down some 11 years ago I have jumped through many hoop, ensuring I have always been available to care, help and guide my boys the best I can. They may even be a little more helpful when I return as I know they are helping out whilst I am away.
Peak girls challenge is the name of the group I am going with and we do have a just giving page setup if anyone would like to sponsor/make a donation to the cause it will be very much appreciated.
On 1st November we are organising a halloween party at Lower Damgate Farm Illam were we will share a little of our experiences
The evening promises to be fun with live music, food, bar and a little of what we got up to in Sumatra if you would like to join us please let me know either via my enquiry page or mobile 07725 941 421 Tickets are £35
My middle son had a fantastic time in Tanzania working in a school for orphaned children
My youngest has just gone off to Belfast on rugby tour
My eldest is about to commence his second year of his apprenticeship with Futarba
Summer was fantastically busy with cats, dogs and small pets
I have bitten the bullet and built my last 10 cat units. I have also extended my entrance building which looks great. The new build gives me a nice, organised and spacious reception area, an area to build an isolation unit (just in case), I shall also build a holding pen for those who cannot pick up as planned due to travel delays and generous storage area.
Our manic summer is slowing down now so time to paint, clean and freshen all up ready for the next busy time.
We have taken quite a number of bookings for August 2015 as people are not wanting to risk not getting a space with us. Very reassuring for our future :)
I decided to paint all of the cat units which took hours but they do look lovely.
They all had a thorough clean too which is just as well as we are fully booked for the start of summer.
I really do appreciate the high level of support we have. Clearly very happy customers as they return time again. We do receive many compliments which is very rewarding.
Thank you my lovely customers.
Dog boarding continues to be very busy too and I am now having to turn business away which is such a shame but people do need to book early as this is my busiest time of the year.
I have permission to extend the dog boarding which I am hoping to do ready for next summer. I plan to set up two additional, large exercise areas too so all the dogs in my care will continue to be well exercised and cared for.
Todays weather gave us a couple of challenges and the dogs were not impressed with it but all are settled and ok
Off we headed for Stanford Hall near Lutterworth to do something called the Wolf Run
10K run with obstacles. Sounds interesting, intriguing and definitely challenging.
What fun!! the obstacles were ploughing through thick mud, climbing walls built of round poles so you cannot get a grip, swimming through smelly water, climbing a very high cargo net and lots more.
There were 4,000 crazy people who did this "run" over the week end. We were set off in large groups so lots of people to have a giggle with which is what we did, giggle!!. sometimes having to pull each other out of the deep mud or helping each other up a slippery, muddy bank. It isn't a race so everyone finished and what a sense of achievement you feel at the end of it.
I'm not really a runner and am no spring chicken but I was shocked at my ability to run 6.2 miles but the atmosphere carries you along and you slip into the disguising water or slimy mud with no hesitation.
All units are given a thorough clean, bedding washed, bowls sterilised and walls scrubbed.
Bookings are flooding in and there is very little room at the inn certainly for August.
I have just had a couple of days off and went to Shropshire. What a beautiful area it is with some great hills to climb. I got drenched one day and caught the sun the next. English weather :)
All part of my training for my BIG challenge later this year when I walk 120 miles through the Indonesian jungle, all for charity. It is certainly going to be an experience and if nothing else I shall be very fit in preparation.
Down on the farm
I have today collected Bruno from Yorkshire. He is Oscar's son. He is going to "marry" Lola so all being well we shall have KC registered Labrador puppies.
Toffee's Cockapoo puppies are doing very well. Phoebe would love to help but Toffee won't let her into the pen yet.
Jess is in season so, hopefully will "marry" Chino to create Cockapoos later in the summer.
I am still putting off extending the dog boarding until I have good quality, reliable help and the energy to coordinate the building. I do have the builders coming to build a new reception/ office area. We will look smart.
I am so very pleased with the electric gates and my customers are getting used to them too. Upgrade the CCTV system is the next phase of security improvements.
We dressed as jungle worriers with pink. Well, we are off to Sumatra in September :) into the jungle.
We arrived, as instructed, at Clapham Common for 8.45pm (went shopping for the afternoon before hand)
The atmosphere, fantastic, the costumes elaborate. What fun!!
We were then kept waiting for 3 hours and with 17,000 people in one tent there was no room to sit so stand we did. Then at 11.55pm our group 4 was released onto the streets of London. What a fantastic team of volunteers they had, encouraging us and guiding us along our route.
The first 2 hours we had covered a very disappointing 3 miles as there were just so many people in very confined spaces.
I was slightly worried that we would be clashing with shoppers if we couldn't increase our pace.
We had expected to be cold so wrapped up well and wore the rain poncho supplied too so despite windy, rainy and cold weather we were very warm and dry.
As the crowd thinned a little we increased our pace and started to put the miles behind us 26.2 is a very,very long way and never have I been so looking forward to a sit on the loo. Not because I needed it but just to take the weight off my feet for a moment.
We ended up being on our feet for over 12 hours (+shopping trip) as it took us 9 hours 11 minutes to complete the walk.
A great experience and I feel very proud of my medal but the problem of the delayed start took the edge off the excitement and lead to a disappointing time for me.
30 millions has been raised for breast cancer research through the walk the walk so please feel proud of any donations you have made and if you would like to add to this you can via my page on the walk the walk site.
Family Fun and Doggy Day was a roaring success once again.
The weather held out for us and 100's arrived. They enjoyed Marie's fantastic voice, was entertained by the variety of doggy demonstration. They then had chance to perform themselves with lots of entries into the dog show.
Everyone , who wished to be was fed and watered, there was plenty of retail therapy to enjoy too.
All in all, a great but exhausting day and we raised approx £3,000 to be shared between the two children's charities we support.