No blog about our garden would be complete without at least a passing reference to our three wonderful Labradors, Lake, Yana and Yula. They are such a big part of our life that they deserve a category of their own which I will update from time to time with the inevitable highs and lows!
Cathy and I have had dogs longer than we have had children. It started in 1975 with Jessie, a beautiful Old English Sheepdog who transformed our lives forever. Our eldest boy, Matthew, absolutely adored her and they were inseparable. He learned to stand by grabbing Jessie’s long coat and pulling himself up. Despite weighing over 40 kilos Jessie was always careful, gentle and tolerant, putting up with all the tugging and rough play of a boisterous toddler.
Gardens and dogs generally don’t go together too well and having bitches in particular means we certainly have our fair share of scorch marks on the lawns, but apart from that I think we are very lucky. We have no digging, no racing around and no destruction. I think we are very lucky with our girls though; we know of dogs who have completely destroyed their owner’s gardens.Obviously, they have their moments but we forgive them most of the time. A laid back Labrador is probably the most suitable dog for a picky gardener like me!
In 1999 a friend asked if we would help to raise funds for the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association and later that year we acquired Lake, a beautiful blonde Labrador who had been selected for breeding, and in 2000 we had what became the first of several litters of puppies destined to become Guide Dogs.
In 2004 we were joined by Yana, a beautiful black Labrador who is very sensitive and always anxious to please. The first pup born of her first mating to Max, a handsome black Labrador stud, surprised everyone by being yellow! She was followed by six black brothers and sisters so she was always easy to spot!
She was named Yula and we ‘puppy-walked’ her for 12 months before she went for training but it turned out that she didn’t fancy being a Guide Dog and came back to us a few months later. She is adorable and loves being with her mum and her ‘aunty’.