Happy Birthday Bella

I was debating on two stories to share with you and then realised today is the day we took in our gorgeous Bella one year ago. So, as we’ve decided today is her birthday I’ll tell you a little bit about Bella.

A little bit of background first as to why we decided to adopt a dog from a  Rescue in France.  We lost our Lulu in 2016 to Rainbow Bridge, very suddenly due to aggressive cancer…Lulu was Mitzy’s Mum. She was such a character (as all our pets have been!)  one ear up and one ear down, but Lulu would smile at you everytime you talked to her …..21687717_10155169243044472_6343119018308293177_n

This left us heartbroken as it does to all of us when we lose a special member of the family. It also left Mitzy very very quiet and subdued.  We helped to foster a couple of dogs over the next year and each time Mitzy seemed to brighten up. So we decided on 21 October 2017 to go to Passerelles Animal Rescue for a visit.

After a couple of walks up and down the cages looking at the sad faces and waggy tails we were drawn towards a beautiful brown dog who just kept staring at Brian and when he walked away she would almost bend her head around the cage to find him!

We asked her story; apparently, she had been found wandering on the streets of Caen, no chip, no collar. She was young, they thought maybe 10 months old no more, and they believed she was an English Bull Terrier Cross with a Rhodesian Ridgeback!  as we have had Bull breeds in the past, we thought why not? Plus she had that Lulu look about her with one ear up and one down and just an adorable face 🙂


As you can see by the picture, she came home with us. We decided to call her Bella. Mitzy wasn’t too sure when she came in the house and just kept grumbling at her and hiding behind me! Bella just sat next to Brian watching this strange little white dog and looking to him for assurance.


She wasn’t quite house trained…..that was a little tough but she got it quite quickly. She is a very intelligent young lady. She has watched Mitzy when we make her sit and give her paw and Bella was very quick to learn that she got treats doing that! She wasn’t so good at coming to her name, so Brian used a clicker – guess what? She soon caught on and again, that clicker meant treats 🙂 She could however jump! She cleared the gate once or twice and ran off down the road – we managed to tempt her back each time and that was why the garden fence got higher! We guess that’s probably how she ended up roaming the streets, but why did no-one ever claim her?

She didn’t know how to play, Mitzy soon taught her the hang of that one – so much so that Bella now drags her along the hallway when they share the ragga, or down the garden when they play with the football.  Mitzy is very very verbal. She sounds like she’s gonna rip your head off if you play with a ragga or if she chases Bella and they roll around but she’s just being lairy ( British slang for behaving in a loud excitable manner!)  Mitzys nickname is Lairy Mary!! They are now inseparable and it feels like Bella has been here forever.



We bought Bella her own bed to match Mitzys…she loved it…..until she decided she had to kill it 🙂 This is the Bull Terrier side 🙂Screenshot_20181021-150542.png

yeah, yeah I know…there was a spider right? It had to die before I came home…she was doing me a favour! lol. So anyway we got them different beds which they loved…..


But, now they are inseparable ….Mitzy and her Sister from another Mista! They go everywhere together. If I move Mitzy follows me, Bella follows Mitzy. If we go to take the washing out to the garden to hang it out, they are there like little robots without fail. They like to charge around the garden but only when we’re with them. If we sit in the garden they just wanna sit too….

Bella loves the cat – obviously, we didn’t know if she’d even seen one let alone like one. Her and Skittles are best buddies, Mitzy still gives Skittles the Elvis curled lip when he passes but Bella likes to lick him to death.


And now they all share a bed..even though they all have separate beds. And I love that. I love the fact they all feel comfortable enough around each other. I love watching Bella roll on her back in her sleep with all four feet in the air – she feels secure. She loves everybody, children and animals alike (and she loves the sun on her face). And I know she feels loved because she absolutely adores cuddles….. everybody loves Bella too.


I have hundreds of pictures – so I won’t bore you but I wanted to share this happy dog story…Happy Birthday Bella, may you have many many more. IMG_20180506_231715_576.jpg

Say Hello to Haroun

I’m dedicating this one to Amy :

Amy attended a Lycee Agricole (Agricultural University) for several years. She chose this particular Lycee as it had Stables and had Horse Husbandry and Riding etc as part of the curriculum and ever since she was little she has had a passion for the four-legged House …sorry – Horse 🙂

The Lycee would put “old”  horses out to retirement to their students if they felt they would give them a great retirement home. You know what’s coming next, don’t you?… You guessed it….”Mum, Dad, the horse I ride at Lycee needs a retirement home and they’ve said, as he adores me I’d be a good choice!”

Now, the brief history on H (his nickname) was that he was a champion French Trotter in his field (no pun intended) and after an unfortunate accident with his back legs couldn’t carry on. So he was nursed back to health and put into the Lycee Riding school for an easier life.


Amy’s first time on him was, in fact, a mistake! She was told to go and saddle up a particular horse and the description was the same as H as in colour and size but wasn’t H.

He wasn’t a good idea for anyone without serious horse experience. Amy saddled up the horse she thought she’d been told to get and was happily riding along with the group when the tutor suddenly looked at Amy and asked was she ok. Amy said she was fine. The tutor said is the horse behaving? Amy said yes why? She was then told that Haroun was a stubborn old boy who was unpredictable. The short version is, he adored Amy – their love was sealed from that day.



So, back to the question – “Can he come home?”. I said no, Dad said yes! I said I’d have nothing to do with him as I know nothing of horses except they are all shapes and sizes (Amy had had a couple of horses at Bel Air over the years but nothing as big as H) and I don’t ride them. My thing is cats and dogs. Haroun was the size of a house in my eyes.


Even if you’re not a horse person, you can see he was a stunning horse. And yes they were best buddies. He had such a character. He loved Amy taking selfies with him – it was hilarious, I swear that horse would actually pose with her 🙂 He was her confidant, when life got at her she’d go and talk to him. She always said she was better when she was with him.

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He was obstinate in my eyes! Amy would board at Lycee Monday to Friday and Brian and I would feed him. Would he come to see me? No. Would he move when told to so we could clean his stable? No. Would he come to the fence when called? No. So I nicknamed The Donkey. Amy said that wasn’t fair he was an ex-French Trotter, not a donkey – I said he behaves like a donkey, therefore, he must be one! It was all in jest of course. I actually fell in love with him – it was hard not to, and I too miss him.

Haroun led a charmed life with us and he moved to a friends field for a while when we moved house and no longer had a field for him. He lived with another horse called Jo for a while, and when it came time for him to move when Amy’s work and commitments didn’t allow her the time with him, he moved in with Cherie. Cherie looked like him and they bonded well and I was told he brought out the best in her and she finally came to her owner when called! Haroun must’ve learned in his old age 🙂



Haroun crossed to Rainbow Bridge November 2017, he was 22 years old. He had a fantastic life with us and with Jo and Cherie.

“Do not mourn my passing,

For if you could only see,

By slipping all my earthly bonds, I’m young again and free.

By Day I run the heavenly fields,

My body well and strong

At night I sleep at angels feet, lulled by celestial song.

So do not mourn my passing,

Just close your eyes, you’ll see,

I’m once again that gallant horse,

As you remember me.”

Author unknown.