30th September

Sunday morning was Jane and I, we had a really busy morning even though the weather was the worse we had experienced for weeks.
After everyone had briefly been out the rain and wind was just getting worse by the hour.
We wormed puppies and got most of my van loaded so I was not running around doing everything last minute well that was the plan.
I got all the printing done ready for Kate to get the folders done for the pups leaving at the end of the week.
After Jane had left the weather improved, so I was doing the dogs and getting the feeds ready for the evening and for Kate for the next day.
I got all of my clothes checked and packed, and then I loaded the dogs just before Kate arrived.
She was here about 15 minutes then I was off to pick up Kirsty and Lupus.
It wasn’t until about 3.50 until we got off, we hit traffic and very bad weather within the first half an hour of our journey.
Eventually after an appalling drive we arrived at our destination near Heathrow after a gruelling 6 hours.
What should have been a relief was just about to turn into a nightmare.
Kirsty went into the Travel lodge to find out where the car park was and check in so we could go straight off and walk the dogs.
She was ages at the reception while I checked the dogs and stayed with the van.
Kirsty then comes out and says there is no car park here and proceeded to tell me where the multi storey car was, before she could finish I said no way we will have to look at an alternative plan.
I was not leaving Coosa in a car park away from where I could see the van, the thought of losing my boy and my van was not appealing.

We decided that we would go and look for another place; we drew a blank as it was not suitable.
Kirsty rang Simon who came up trumps with a guest house that took dogs.
After a very heated exchange of words with an unpleasant man that came along and whacked the side of my van for parking outside the guest house.
We met the owners of the guest house and then checked out the secure car park and then had a look at the room.
We unloaded the dogs and all of our stuff.
The dogs were all happy after their walk and dinner so we took all three into the room.
It took a little while for them to investigate the room then they settled down nicely for the night.

We had a glass of wine then were going out for dinner but the dogs seemed so settled that we decided to have chocolate instead.
Monday morning we took the dogs out then had breakfast before going off to meet everyone for a recce of the areas they were looking at for the shoot.
The rain was so bad that after the site had been decided we came home as filming in those conditions would have been impossible.
The first 2 hours or so of the drive was terrible, you could not see anything due to heavy rain and spray, the wind was so strong it was hard to hold the van in a straight line at times.
We got to Bristol knowing that we were going to have to sit in road works so we stopped off and had lunch and gave the dogs a walk.
The second part of the drive was much better it was still windy but less rain.
We got back and I dropped Kirsty off then rushed into the bank before going home to unload the dogs and get everything out of the van and get the bedding washed.

Kate left and I went round and checked all of the dogs and spent some time with everyone.
Tuesday morning I was up early to get as much done before going off to the vets to scan my Cocker bitch who I expected was just fat and not in pup, but I wanted to make sure as I would need to bring her back into season if she I not in pup.
As suspected she was just fat.
Then I went straight off to the cash and carry to stock up on mince and chicken breast for the little pups.
I got back at lunch time unloaded and then started to cut the chicken up and cook everything so I had a good supply in the freezer.
I spent the rest of the afternoon letting dogs out sorting out phone calls and emails.
I got the last group of dogs in at 7 pm.
I was just sat in the kennel with Soul when the phone rang; it was Helen who has Bisto and Bracken two of my Labradors.
Helen was in a bit of a flap so I locked the house dogs up and then went off to see her.
On my way over the rain was so bad that I missed the turning and got lost, I was not happy I called myself a few choice words.
I helped Helen out and then came home; it was just after 11 pm.
I got my pups fed and house dogs out then made a couple of phone calls.
I wrote up the last few days blog did the feeds for the morning and then went to bed a 1 am.
Wednesday morning was Andre and Jane also another lady called Hannah. I believe Hannah has travelled down from Leicestershire to work here for a day to see how she gets on as she is looking to move down to Devon. From what Andre said when I arrived at 12:30pm everything went well this morning apart from the weather. Andre was a little late leaving as she needed to make herself some food for the long journey she had ahead of her.
The weather has been awful all day. I just spent the day trigene pens, sorting out washing etc. It only came dry around 5pm so everyone went out for one last run before bedtime. I washed down Idaho’s pen and then pressure washed down Coosas outside pen. I finally finished around 8pm, changed all clothing I was wearing as I was soaking wet through. Had some tea then relaxed with house dogs for the evening. I am really hoping for a better day tomorrow.
Thursday morning started off dark, wet and windy but soon cleared up. It turned out to be a lovely day. Went through everything that needed doing, the washing machine was going all with all the bedding that needed changing, filled up the feed bins for the house also swept the house.
Had a few enquiries about wolf dogs via phone & email, later on in the day we had a nice lady call about a yorkie pup, she came to see them later on.
Matzi is really enjoying being out with Taska and Lycan, he can run in and out feely all day. Kiro is getting bigger by the day, we should get lovely colours with this litter. Everything is going well with A’lupa and filming. Coosa is enjoying the hotel life and being with his mum. Andre will give a more updated version tomorrow.
The puppy insurances are all ready for tomorrow.
Our A’lupa puppy owner rang last night, she has settled in very well. He described her as ‘a little gremlin and takes everything on.’
Wednesday was Jane and I doing the morning cleaning and loading up the rest of the stuff to go with me filming.
Kate came in at 12.30 just so we could go through the last minute things that needed doing while I was away.
I was rushing around checking what food needed to be ordered before I went.
I had all of the paper work ready for the pups that were leaving while I was away.
I got Coosa and A’Lupa in the van then off to pick up Kirsty and Lupus.
We had decided that the 303 and m3 was going to be our route as the road works on the m5 and m4 would make our journey 6 hours and we could not face that again this week.
Even though we could not drive that fast as the road is not as good as the motorway we still got there in very good time and thankfully Coosa had not been sick, which was a surprise as he does not like bendy roads.
We booked into the B@B, and then took the dogs for a long walk.
We went or an India meal, London prices but not that special.
We got back and took the dogs out; it was really god we found a really nice double tennis court with 10 foot fencing, so we let the dogs run in there for an hour.
We went back to our room with all of the dogs and had a couple of drinks before we went to sleep.
A’Lupa woke us up at 4 am so we went out in the car park for a while and let them go to the loo before going back to sleep.
In the morning we went for a walk then off to a café for breakfast as the food where we were staying was not too good.
We went off to meet everyone to sort out about the site and where we were filming.
We had a really good filming session, I was a little worried as it was filmed by torch light, the camera crew were very impressed with A’Lupa, they all came up and made a point of saying this was by the smoothest shoot they have ever had to do with a dog.
We finished an hour ahead of schedule which was great for us.
We went off for a long walk with the dogs then took them to the tennis courts and let them have a run around and eat their dinner.
We went and had a take away and spent the rest of the evening with the dogs watching tv in our room.
Friday morning we had breakfast then off for a walk with the dogs.
We loaded up the van and set off back home.
We got in at around 2 pm.
I spent the rest of the day outside cleaning and getting dogs moved around as bitches have come into season.
Kate left and I finished off outside at about 6.30 then fed the house dogs and pups.
I spent an hour with the house dogs catching up on phone calls.
Saturday morning was really busy we had to power wash all of the top kennels as dogs were changing pens.
We had puppies go out so the whelping area had to be completely stripped out and scrubbed.
After our five lots of visitors had left we were then on lunchtime feeding.
Kate left and I spent the afternoon cleaning and grooming dogs before feeding.
The weather was ok so everyone had a long time out in the field.
Matzi has joined Coosa’s group as Lycan is in season and coosa would not go with another group without howling and I have already had my neighbour on the phone within an hour of arriving home on Friday about noise from the little dogs.
I spent half an hour with Kiro writing a list of what dogs can go with who and which we may be able to try together as we are now looking at 4 litters in early October.
I finished off feeding and getting the last group of kennel dogs in at 6.30 then put the house dogs out and scrubbed down all of the outside run that the labradoodles are in during the day time, I locked up the bitches and pups and came in for dinner at 8 pm.
I spent the rest of the evening doing paperwork, writing the blog and getting work lists completed for next week.
I have copied part of the email I was sent from the BBC.
Hi Andre and Kirsty.

Just a quick email to say thank you very much for Thursday. The feedback was excellent. Everybody was impressed with A’lupa. They got all the shots they wanted and even completed early, which is a miracle when you are working with animals. So you did a brilliant job. Well done!

I would have no hesitation in either using you again or recommending you to my colleagues, but if you are sensible, you should run a mile. Filming is just one big hassle isn’t it?
We were delighted that even playing a small part as A’Lupa did, we had the pleasure to work with some really wonderful people; it was a brilliant experience for us both.
Kirsty was real star with all the training we did at different times of the day and night, all of this helped so much to make the filming session go so smoothly.
I am very grateful to Kirsty for everything she has done and worked so hard to make the last few weeks easier, with everything we have had to do since I came back from my holiday in Turkey which now feels like it was a life time ago.
Not forgetting Kate has done a good job looking after the kennels while we were away.

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