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Hi Ma.  Doing well thanks and fully recovered from the op.   There are lots of hidden costs.  Bonzo Dog was free to acquire, despite being a pure Labrador.  However he cost me €170 for all his jabs including rabies and the microchip which we need for his passport,  €100 for his cage, €100 for his basket and bedding, €100 to be castrated and then collar, harness, lead, name tag, toys, bowls and he eats like a horse given half a chance.   At least his training is free cos we adopted him through our trainer.

Rasta costs €50 every two months for her haircut plus annual jabs, food, kennels when needed.   All cheaper than in the UK from what I can tell.

They get at least an hour's walk every day, longer at weekends and then play in the garden.  Both like to "help" when I'm gardening.

Do your two get on well?  I'm sure you'll learn to read the new one soon enough.

Hi again Obs - New dog (Pie) was just over 12 months old when I got him & had been an "only" dog so it took a while for him to adjust not only to a new home but also  having a "senior" dog too.  T.A. had become a bit clingy during the weeks after HCF died, so having a companion to run round with has been a good thing.  The pecking order has been established!  They get on really well but don't seem especially fond of each other - both vying for my attention I guess - so I'm wondering how long it will be until I see them curled up together on the sofa or squashed up on one dog bed.  So far they haven't done that, except when travelling in the back of the car.  No arguments whatsoever though, which I'm really pleased about.


That's good.  My two have a pecking order too and get on well but have occasional spats over bones, toys and so on.  Rasta has become a lot more vocal and is definitely boss despite being almost half his weight.   Possum said Bonzo panicked when I disappeared with Rasta this morning.  They do nearly everything together except water.  Rasta does not do water.  Bonzo likes nothing better than bouncing through our pond, probably terrorising the frogs.  Good job it's not full of precious water lillies and fancy Koi carp.

Hello again - so nice to hear about Rasta & Bonzo!  HCF was the only whippet I've ever had who liked water - most will tippy-toe round even the shallowest puddle, whereas HCF would run to & fro splashing like mad & loving it!  I still miss him dreadfully................


I have been so busy with my allotment I have had no time to check the forum, I was a bit annoyed to hear some comments about breeders, our April is a lovely family dog everyone's friend, she is loyal and so good natured, and yes our garden has taken a battering, our back garden is  large, and after making a few changes digging up all the strawberry beds with her help, replacing beds with some slabs, and a lot of hard grafting we are on the winning front, the grass is as rubbish as ever but thanks to the rain it has helped I must be the only person in the country who is delighted with the British weather.

The breeder wanted good homes who would love her pups, she is a good friend of mine, and all seven pups went to good caring homes, we all work together in a secondary school so compair notes from time to time and April is the best one by far, chicken dinner have disappeared from many a home in wales except ours.

We have two children my son who is going to university just loves her, and is what I know he will miss when he goes to London, my daughter cuddles up to her and tells her all her all her stories. Tommy my husband has ME and April is such a good companion to him.

So the price we pay is not much of a garden but like someone else said we get so much more, I would hate for someone to say oh you haven't got a field for her to play sorry no dog, children and dogs are so alike once they have love and care they come good.




You've been lucky to get a good dog from a caring breeder but there are, sadly, puppy farms out there who just care about the money.

I used to be a gardener who needed the garden to unwind, calm the soul, delight the senses and give a sense of satisfaction after a good day's work or even a short potter.   I've discovered I get similar happiness from walking, playing with and cuddling my dogs so it's worth a bit of garden disruption and you seem to have taken sensible steps towards a dog/garden compromise.  As you say, they don't need fields if they get regular exercise and good care and affection from their owners.

I'm sure also that April is a boon to your husband and it is well recognised that dogs are very therapuetic for people with physical or mental difficulties.   I'm sorry about your husband.  It's such a frustrating illness.  I hope they find a cure sooner rather than later.






Well said obelixx. I volunteer with a small local dog rescue and frequently see the consequences of people not giving enough thought to obtaining a dog then just getting rid of it - like taking a faulty appliance back. It makes me despair of fellow humans sometimes.

Suzi, it's heartening to see someone who's having a little problem asking for advice and sharing ideas of what has worked - others will read it and be helped too. 

Hi, I am hoping someone can recommend a lawn alternative that can withstand dog wee and footfall! 



Juls what size are we looking at covering? (After all if it's a tennis court you won't want us offering very expensive options!)

Steve the Gardening Vet

I have the need to interject here. There is a big difference between what I would call someone who cares for the pets they are creating and selling on (a good breeder) and someone who is merely interested in a quick buck.

Sadly more than half of the pups I see these days are sickly, undernourished scrappy little things which have come from people who either don't know how to care for a bitch and her litter or don't actually care about the pups at all except for the money that they will generate.

People MUST see a mother WITH her pups, not just a dog they are shown in the garden. Use common sense, try to see a litter more than once if you are keen to buy a puppy (even better, get a dog from rescue!) and if you lift a puppy, does it feel chunky and solid?

Talk to your vet before you get a dog. Question everything a puppy salesperson says to you. If the puppy has been vaccinated, check the card and the postcode of the vet who vaccinated it, you would be astonished how many puppies I see that are bought locally but were vaccinated in Wales.

I'm going to say this out loud, there are vets who vaccinate puppies for these people and seemingly don't care about the trade. I do care and urge people to have a look at this page for pupaid -

Sorry if I am ranting a little, this is something very close to my heart. Far too many dogs live in misery so that people can have a designer puppy that, a reasonable proportion of the time, they won't even bother to keep when it grows up.

*and breathe*


Well said Steve   a subject very close to my heart too - there are far too many greedy, ignorant and uncaring people producing puppies, poor scrappy little things with heart problems and other defects caused by in-breeding or breeding from bitches carrying genes for hereditary problems.  You can't always tell by looking at them!  However the problems lead to huge expense and often misery for the dog and heartbreak for the owners.

However, a good breeder who understands what they're doing, takes advice from a good vet and cares about their reputation and the puppies they produce is a treasure.  It's well worth paying a premium for a properly produced puppy.  Even a cross-breed costs money to produce properly.

Rant over



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