Friday, 16 December 2016

Once upon a time there was a Duke and his Duchess....

Hi there,
Thanks for popping in.

Friday’s blog a private peek, right?

Well, let me tell you a story.
Once upon a time we had two beautiful black labs,
called Dutchie and Duke.


They were the most beautiful dogs,
and they loved each other very much.

In fact, when they were young lovers,
 they had a litter of 8 beautiful puppies too.
5 black labs and 3 yellow!
You can imagine our surprise when the little blondies slipped out!
Dutchie was an amazing Mum, 
and all 8 were fine pedigree labrador specimens!

As you will appreciate, we couldn’t keep all the babies, 
but they went to good homes, each and every one.

In those days, I used to make slate vases to make ends meet,
 and used to exhibit the slates at Art & Craft shows 
around the country. I made some very good friends in that arty world. Real artisans, wood turners, sculptors, painters, jewellers - 
a very different blend to this craft world.

One of those friends was a jeweller called Gill. 
We met at the Penshurst Show that May, and she sadly
told me that she had just said goodbye to one of her three cherished yellow labs. You have to know that her dogs were her world, her best friends. Where you saw Gill, you saw her 3 pals. 
“Well, Gill, would you consider a puppy?” I asked.
“Dutchy and Duke have recently had a litter.”
Immediately her face lit up, 
but then she remembered mine were black. 
“But Barbara, I prefer yellow labs. Girls”
So I explained about the surprise arrivals, 
that there was still one yellow girl left at home,
and she could hardly wait to come and meet her.

You may or may not know that pedigree dogs fetch a tidy sum. 
You may or may not know that most of us artists who slept in the van and ate round the camp fire at those shows lived from hand to mouth and certainly had no spare cash for pedigree dogs!
It went without saying that I was more interested in 
finding a perfect home for the little yellow lab, 
and although the money would have come in handy for us, 
Gill was happy to pay for all the jabs etc and I was delighted 
to introduce them to each other. Job done. 

In the September we met at Penshurst again.
Junior was doing well, and so was Gill.

But she gave me something very, very precious as a thank you.
Six silver napkin rings.


With all the hallmarks too.


They are my pride and joy.
They only come out on special occasions, like Christmas.
So I nearly went spare the other evening looking for them. 
I had put them in such a safe place!

And when I was frantically hunting for them,
it wasn’t the napkin rings I was really desperate for -
it was the memory. The puppies.
Dutchie and Duke. 
Gill. Her joy.



And when I finally found them,
 tucked away at the back of the dresser,
I was so relieved I cried. 

Not about the silver though. 
No no!  What they represent. 


Look! They have even had some little puppies.


Time to go decorate the tree.
My two pups are arriving Sunday.


Love & Hugs,
Barb
xxxx

96 comments:

  1. Memories are so important
    kim xx

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  2. Lovely story and all your memories. When I sell my cards - not often enough - I give the money to Guide Dogs for the Blind. I am sponsoring a puppy Fargo who is now in training. We cannot have a dog because of work but its uplifting to watch him gradually turning into a proper guide dog. (you can see him on their web site)
    Have a great weekend with your "pups" - its certainly true - a dog is not just for Christmas. Yours will be forever. Mine when he grows up - I will sponsoring another one.
    Moral is - Crafting got me into this, Gray progressed me and everyone is happy and benefiting.
    Lots of love to everyone out there
    Anne (Reading)

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    1. Hi Anne, reading Barbaras blog today and your comments with regard to Guide Dogs I to sponsor a puppy and have be doing for quite some time now .
      It is lovley to get pup updates and see how they are doing.
      yes memories are the best they last a lifetime.
      Have a good weekend all.
      Lynn xx

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    2. Anne how lovely, our daughter was desperate for a dog when little and with us working it wasn't possible so my sister sponsored a guide dog for her and still does. It's still exciting opening the pupdates to see how they have grown. Xx

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    3. How wonderful Anne. There is also a website called Borrow my doggy, which is set up for dog lovers to have regular contact with dogs even if they can't have one themselves for whatever reason. I'm trying to find out more about it for someone that I befriend locally. x

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  3. So precious to have loved ones together especially at such a special time. Health, happiness and sweet content!

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  4. Thanks for sharing this beautiful story with us Barbara! I can totally understand that you would be frantic, thinking that you had lost them! So pleased to read that I am not the only one who puts things 'somewhere safe' and then unable to locate them! Only 2 more sleeps! Hugs Gilly x

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    1. I do it all the time. Sometimes I tell hubby where I've put it and neither of us can remember xx

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    2. Hi lovely blog friends! Hope that things are going as well as can be, for all of you! We have got our Christmas decorations up now, brought most of them with us, but I have bought a few little things here too! We have booked Christmas lunch at our favourite bar/restaurant, and it is SO reasonable. They don't believe in charging more for Christmas Day - they just want their customers to be happy and have a good time. It is only 25 euros each and that includes a drink too, amazing! Some more friends are coming out here next Monday and they will be joining us for Christmas Day lunch!
      Now that we have got internet, I was able to watch Maria's shows and when I saw that Barbara said that the new number plates were still on offer I ordered them this morning! Not told hubby yet! Love and hugs to you all, Gilly xxx

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    3. Evening gilly hugs for you and Neil xxx

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    4. Hi Gilly,
      Sounds great, I'm sure you'll have a fabulous time. Love and hugs Alison xx

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    5. Hi Gilly sounds like you are having a wonderful time. Just what you both need after the year you've both had. Xx

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  5. For me it's never the cost of an item that is important it's the thought behind it or the memory that it evokes that matters. A friend popped to see me yesterday. We aren't in regular contact for various reasons but always get on well. She brought 6 home made frangipani mince pies in a little cardboard tray covered with cling film and prettily tied with ribbons. I was so pleased she had thought about me and the fact that I am convalescing and had made such a lovely edible gift!
    Happy decorating xx

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    1. Hi Chris - I hope that everything is going well with you and that you are managing to be patient! Take care, Gilly xxx

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    2. Hi Chris,
      That was really nice of your friend. Glad you're doing so well. Love and hugs Alison xx

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    3. What a lovely gesture Chris xxx

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  6. What wonderful memories to have. So pleased for you that your 'pups' are coming home for Christmas so you can make more memories. xx

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    1. Hi Susan - I hope that you are enjoying lots of 'baby cuddles'! Take care, Gilly xxx

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  7. Our memories are more important than possessions. I do the same thing with music. Some music from the 80's was playing at work the other day and it took me right back to specific moments.

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    1. I know just what you mean Julia! I hope that those memories were happy ones! Hugs Gilly xxx

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    2. Hi Julia,
      Same here I was listening to an Enya track on the radio the other day and straight away I was on the road from Arrochar to Inveraray in my mind! Love and hugs Alison xxx

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    3. Hi Julia, i can't listen to mr blue sky without grinning at memories of fun student days. Love and hugs xx

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  8. Replies
    1. Evening dear blog friends love and hugs to you all .ive had my granddaughter for her tea this evening after she left work she made my day special that's what important. I also received a lovely gift through the post and a hand made card so thoughtful xxx

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    2. Evening Sheila, my lovely! So pleased to hear that your granddaughter has been for tea this evening. I'm sure that you all had a lovely time together. Keep taking care of yourself - love and hugs, Gilly xxx

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    3. Hi Sheila,
      Bet you've had a lovely day. Sounds as though all your resting yesterday did the trick. Love and hugs Alison xxx

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    4. What a lovely treat for you Sheila, I know how close you ate to your granddaughter. Hope you are feeling brighter today. Xxx

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    5. Hi Sheila, Glad to hear you've had a good time with your granddaughter.

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  9. At this time of year, our memories are extra special. The value of a present is not in how much it costs, but in the love and thought that comes with it, more memories to add to our precious store. With all your family around you, there will be more memories to add to all yours. I saw a saying recently, something like as a parent, you give your children roots and wings. You have obviously done that so well, with Mark and Grace coming back whenever they can but having the courage to fly the nest to make their own life to make their own memories. Have a wonderful time with them all. xxx Maggie

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  10. Privileged to read about your memories, thsnks for sharing x

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  11. Hi Barbara aye another wee love off my life my wee golden lab Spatz its been 5 years now since we lost her aye funny name for a wee girl dog but not our choice was our daughters dog when she moved in to her first flat with her then partner she thought life was great and she could manage it all and a wee dog to boot when my first grandchild came on board Mum and Dad said ok we will look after the dog for a wee bit till you get organised.
    Well the said wee Spatz never did go home stayed with us for 12 years still miss her to this day used to wave to her through the window when I went to work funny how your posts bring back so many good memories.
    Take care your wee ones nearly home my friend enjoy..xx
    Love Dot..xx

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    1. Hugs and best wishes to all bloggy friends and a wee cuddle fir oor Brenda...xxx

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    2. A wee hug my dear blog friend xxx

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    3. Hi Dot,
      Sending love and hugs your way, Alison xxx

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    4. Hi there Dot! Long time, no speak! Sending you love and hugs, Gilly xxx

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    5. Lovely to see you Dot, sending you a big hug xxx

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  12. What a lovely story. Enjoy dressing your tree Barbara and have a fab weekend, try to make some me time for you and your Dave. xxx

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  13. Beautiful memories there Barbara! They are more important than anything. No doubt you'll make some more with Grace and Mark and your dear parents this Christmas!
    Love and hugs xxx

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  14. Hi to all my lovely blog friends, hope you've all had a good day, doing things you enjoy. Had a busy day myself, finished making 8 parchment boxes and iced two christmas cakes. Started to wrap a few presents but gave up on it for now as too tired, rewarding day though. Love and hugs,Pam xxx

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    1. Hi Pam,
      Gosh you have been busy! Love and hugs Alison xxx

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    2. Hi Pam! Sounds like a really productive and enjoyable day. Love and hugs, Gilly xxx

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    3. Goodness me Pam you have been busy! We were auntie visiting today so cups of tea and lots of chatting. I will beplaying catch up tomorrow xxx

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  15. Hello Barbara

    I know just where you are coming from. Enjoy your time with Mark and Grace and the rest of your family.

    Love
    Roz.x

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  16. I get you Barbara, totally. Your story has made my cry. Don't know why, it's cherished memories you are telling us, maybe for times gone and never to have again. I hope decorating your tree brings back lots more cherished and happy memories for you. Love Brenda xx

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    1. Hugs Brenda cuddles for daisy xxx

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    2. Sending hugs to you and Daisy xxx

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  17. Beautiful story Barbara. How exciting to have Grace and Mark home for Christmas. Have fun. Xx

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  18. What a lovely story,. My friend still has, and uses, one of your slate vases -very elegant they are too.
    I lost my dear old whippet, Polly, nearly 3 weeks ago, and put my name down with a whippet rescue I've used before, that always has a waiting list as I couldn't bear to be without a loving little whippie. BUT my email to them, asking for a 7+ yr old boy, arrived within the same hour as a 7yr old boy with a tragic story arrived needing an urgent home. As an experienced owner with home checks done the first time we had a dog from them many years ago, they contacted me straight away. Although sooner than I planned, I now have the most delightful wee lad, Jenty, who doesn't in any way replace Polly, but is his own dog and such a sweet little boy who now has the loving home he needed and I have the empty space on my bed filled with a warm little body each night. A real result.

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    1. How lovely Janet, enjoy making memories with Jenty xx

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    2. Oh Diana that's wonderful of you so thoughtful hugs xxx

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  19. What a wonderful story Barbara and there are things that I have belonging to my Mum and Nanna and they are not worth anything money wise but they bring back happy memories of times gone by and although I always think it is good to look forward not back there are times when it is good to do so. Have a great time with Mark and Grace. x

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  20. Memories are important to cherish. I hope that you will make lots of new memories next week when your kids are home for you all to cherish in the future.

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  21. precious times ahaead. time to make some more memories, hugs xx

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  22. Memories are so precious. We have decorated our tree today and I love how so many of the ornaments hold memories of where they came from, who made them and who gave them. Our son is already at home - he's living with us again at the moment - and our daughter arrives next Friday. Like you, it'll be wonderful to be together again even if it's only for a short while. Have a fantastic time with your family, Barbara. Mxx

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  23. Hi Barb,
    I would have been frantic too, if I'd thought I'd lost something as precious. Pleased you managed to find them. Memories are very important. Bet you are so looking forward to having Grace and Mark with you. Love and hugs Alison xxx

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    1. Hi bloggy friends,
      Hope today has been as good as possible for you all. Spent 4 hours today between two car showrooms, trying to decide which car to buy. Ended up getting such a good deal on a new Picanto that it would have been rude not to buy it! It's not the most flashy car in the world, but boy is it good to park in busy towns/cities!! Love and hugs to you all, Alison xxx

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    2. Hi Alison - enjoy your new car, when you get it! Love and hugs, Gilly xxx

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    3. Hi Alison enjoy your new car, don't you love the new car smell! Xxx

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    5. Had to delete due to really rubbish typing! Trust new craft wagon has a big boot for clarity stash! Enjoy xx

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    6. Hello Alison,
      Have many safe journeys in your new run around xxx

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    7. Enjoy your new car hugs xxx

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  24. Time to decorate the tree!!! What on earth has gone wrong if you have time to dress the tree Barb. Much love Jayne

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  25. We have so many items that we collect over the years that give us many lovely memories. I was only saying to my daughter last night that I would like another dog but Fred against it. We had a beautiful Sheltie and she adored the children would keep rounding them up. Glad your two home soon the bestest Christmas present. X x

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  26. Lovely story Barbara. You always manage to touch our hearts. Big hugs Marian xxx

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  27. Why was I nearly crying when you couldn't find the napkin rings??
    Memories are so precious, nearly as precious as family. xxxx

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  28. Hi Barbara
    I remember the slate vases, they were beautiful. What lovely memories today, can quite understand how feantic you were searching for the napkin rings, I'm glad you found them. Was that missing week in the dresser with them by any chance? I can feel your excitement building as Sunday gets closer. Enjoy dressing your Christmas tree, we must do ours tomorrow. Had a great photo from Emma today, poor students couldnt afford a tree last year so hung small baubles on a pineapple, they have done the same this year, it's become a tradition!
    Love Diane xxx

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    1. Hello dear blog friends, sending hugs xxx

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    2. Hello Diane, what a great idea of your daughter's. And a pineapple is so small it won't take many decorations. Steady as you go while decorating yours!!!!
      Maurreen xx

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  29. Lovely story, and great memories. Thanks for evoking some of mine. Enjoy doing the tree and getting ready for the pups. No doubt all Gray tails will be wagging furiously on Sunday, with lots of licks and cuddles! Xx

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  30. I loved reading that story Thank you for sharing it with us all Barbara.
    Merry Christmas to you and yours xxx

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  31. Thank you for this lovely memory . Enjoy your time with your cherubs . Janice

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  32. What lovely memories to share xx

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  34. What a lovely story, what loving memories!They are so special! Enjoy putting up/decorating the tree.I always do though this year I haven't put one up as I'm over here for Christmas. Arrived here from Germany last night and guess what, my boyfriend has put up and decorated a tree - for ME! Have a lovely time with Grace and Mark when they're over, and in case I don't get the opportunity to write before Christmas, have a Wonderful Christmas and all the best for a Healthy & Happy New Year!Froehliche Weihnachten! My best Christmas wishes also to your lovely Mum and Dave, and Merry Christmas to everyone in this group xxx

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  35. What a lovely story, what loving memories!They are so special! Enjoy putting up/decorating the tree.I always do though this year I haven't put one up as I'm over here for Christmas. Arrived here from Germany last night and guess what, my boyfriend has put up and decorated a tree - for ME! Have a lovely time with Grace and Mark when they're over, and in case I don't get the opportunity to write before Christmas, have a Wonderful Christmas and all the best for a Healthy & Happy New Year!Froehliche Weihnachten! My best Christmas wishes also to your lovely Mum and Dave, and Merry Christmas to everyone in this group xxx

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  36. Thanks for sharing your beautiful memories. Your blog has made a lovely start to the day. Wishing you a wonderful family times together.

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  37. What a lovely story - brought a tear to my eye. I gave my best friend one of your slate vases for Christmas years ago, and she still uses it for her floral arrangements. Funny the things that trigger those precious memories - every time I eat something coconut it reminds me of Pop (my grandad)who loved coconut in any form! x

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  38. Hello Barb,
    Oh what a heart tugging story and how lovely of your friend Gill to remember with such a beautiful gift. Tomorrow your joy will be complete and I hope Grace and Mark have safe and enjoyable flights back home.
    Maureen xx

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  39. Hello Barb, what a moving and heart warming story. I bet you cannot wait until tomorrow. Take care. Bx

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    1. My heart goes out to you and I hope your sister can find some peace. She is in the right place for some help. So hard for you and your mum, don't know what else to say. Take care xx

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    2. Dear pen heartfelt hugs you've not had an easy time I do hope your sister gets the help she needs and your mum too xxx

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    3. Hey Pen, contact me privately xxx

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  41. What a beautiful memory Barbara. Sometimes the simplest things give us the loveliest memoties. That's why I always buy a tea towel when I go somewhere new on holiday!! Have a great day with all your family xx

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  42. Well your beautiful story made me teary too Barbara. Such wonderful memories and what a way to repay your kindness.

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  43. Hi Barb

    What a lovely story to remember and a cherished memory. Enjoy your own pups' arrival :)

    June x

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  44. Such a wonderful poignant story today Barbara, I could almost feel your despair at not being able to find the napkin rings. I hope that you have a most glorious day when your own pups arrive home for the festive season.
    Love and Hugs
    Linda xxx

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  45. Isn't it lovely how we cherish these wonderful gifts so freely given?! We had a lovely black lab when I was youger... so intelligent he even knew my dad's shifts at work and would run thro' to the lounge with pays on the window ledge until he saw dad's car pull up at the garage and then he'd bark like mad until we let him out to go meet dad who used to take him for a little walk before coming in the house - great dogs and wonderful companions!xxx

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  46. Aw I remember you telling me all about your two Labradores and you made us both cry. For a minute there I thought you were going to say you were getting a puppy ancestor from your Labradores??? Xx

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Thank you for your kind messages and I hope you get inspiration from my ramblings.

Barb x