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Where my love of animal’s first started


My early memories of life itself, involved animals! The canine sort.

I would sit in my window at home watching for the local neighbours to go out walking with their dogs!

 We lived in a much safer world way back then and I would shout to my mum,

“Just off to walk” Sam the Labrador, Judy the Bull Terrier or Shane the Red Setter.

“I won’t be long” Any of the above would do just so long as I could go out with their owner’s to walk the dog.  At the ripe old age of 6!

My brother and I had a rabbit, however, I so longed for a dog of my own.

A year later, when I was 7, Santa brought me the most precious gift of all. A beautiful red Boxer dog.

We had 13 years together, which when you look at a dog or cat’s life, their time with us seems to fly by, but when I look at my own life between 7 and 20 phew, that took a long time!

Anyway, he was fantastic, however not a well dog throughout his life. Little did I know that it would gain me so much experience with the ailments of a dog for later in my chosen career.

My first cat encounter came when we lived in our previous house. He became the neighbourhood cat; we all knew where he lived. However unfortunately for him, he was quite elderly, and his owners had a new baby. He was put ‘out’ quite a lot and he decided to move further down the road and bed hopped between four houses, knowing we were all cat lovers. At this time, I had 3 dogs, they would all snuggle up together by the fire. It was lovely to see. We called him Pud pud, we did'nt know his real name.

Andy and I would often wake up with another neighbour’s cat on our bed!  would climb in through the window and snuggle down for the night while we were asleep. We called him Boots as he had a boot shape marking on his side.

Over the years we have been like most families, having an array of animals. Ellie, my daughter who is now in her 30’s, her middle name is Doolittle!

Hamster’s, rabbits, we bred Guinea pigs for a while, dogs of course. I became a breeder of the Jack Russel Terrier.  My other childhood dream of having a pony became a reality, with my children having ponies for many years. From pony club to riding club that led to area competitions and racetracks.  Our menagerie now includes chickens, ducks and clucks adding pigs and turkeys into the equation over the years. As you can see, we have a great love for the ‘good life’ and our animals.

As the children were growing up and becoming more independent, I thought I would have a little more time to pursue a career. Enjoying the dog breeding, I decided to train at becoming a dog groomer. Which also led me into behaviour, diet and nutrition.

Running a cattery was always at the forefront of my mind and finding a suitable home to run both businesses became a priority.

The first time we saw our home ‘Arcadia’ I knew this was the ‘purrrfect’ place.

It took two years for us to complete on the deal due to markets and other circumstances, I was not going to give up on my dream.

I continued to dog groom from here ‘Poocilicious’ while Ellie was off at college studying, small animals, and equine studies.  After her training, Ellie started working for us in 2010 and has managed the dog grooming business since 2015. Ellie also gives me a welcoming hand in the cattery when I need her.

In the summer of 2014, after careful research up and down the country looking at other catteries. We came across a Pedigree Pen cattery. We both looked at each other and thought "Wow, this is the one for us"

We applied for the planning permission to build the cattery.  It was all extremely exciting, then things suddenly took a different course.  In the October 2014 I stood in my garden with two bottles of champagne in my hands. One to celebrate the go ahead to build the cattery and the other one to receive the ‘all clear’ results from the breast cancer team.   Only one bottle of bubbly was opened that day, and here we are with the cattery.  It was a setback but one I was not going to let it beat me. I was extremely lucky and thanks to my daughter, it was caught early. I had a magnificent surgery team, a loving family, a chocolate Labrador to help me through it. My dream pushed me on and kept me going, nothing was going to stop me. We did all the groundwork ourselves, it took all the spring, summer of 2015, starting with me pointing and finishing with me moving gravel!  

The cattery was final ready to open in March 2016 just before Easter.

I feel immensely proud of what we have achieved as a family over the past few years.

Thank you for reading and taking your time to look around our website to view our cattery. 

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