Aura was our very first guest of 2017 – she checked in on New Year’s Day with her human Simen, who had kindly driven her to Gillingham, Dorset all the way from their home in Holland. Aura is an extremely rare breed of dog called a Barbet (a French Water Dog) and she travelled here in order to mate with a local Barbet gentleman called Hector. There are fewer than one hundred Barbets in the UK and so breeders such as Hector’s owner need to find dogs from further afield in order to protect and enhance the gene pool. Luckily, the long distance stud visit worked and last week Simen kindly emailed me video footage and photos of Aura and her TEN puppies!
Aura might be the rarest breed of dog who we’ve had to stay here at ‘Sunflowers’ but she’s not the furthest travelled – I think that honour may belong to Merrona the Chihuahua, who also visited us in January, along with her owners from Portugal. Since we decided to become a dog friendly bed and breakfast, we’ve hosted over thirty dogs, of breeds ranging from an American Bulldog to a Weimaraner plus lots of cross breeds (like our own lovely Peggy, who’s a spaniel cross collie).
As of April 2017, we’ll be offering all of our canine guests a little gift in the form of a free packet of treats made especially for us by Julie at Dorset Dog Delights. Julie sells her delicious goodies at shows and markets all over the south west, as well as online and we now have a joint venture going – here’s a sneak peek at the label – where we’re collaborating on these packets of dog treats in assorted flavours (like her owner, Peggy is partial to the cheese flavoured ones). They will also be available to buy here and all profits from the sale of the treats bought here will go to our local dog rescue charity, Pound Puppy Animal Rescue, through whom we re-homed Peggy in 2014.
We love to meet new dogs and look forward to welcoming, amongst others, Custard, Eddie, Jessie and Trigger who have already booked in with us. Please contact us to enquire about dates and rates if you’re planning a trip to North Dorset with your dog.