Christmas 2006  - photos of the Christmas Eve 2005 litter at bottom of page


Dear Mum


How clever of you to remember my birthday!  You have so many puppies to keep track of.  And its a wonder you knew where I was after I flitted so abruptly back in February.


I have had a lovely day.  It started with a good chew of an old rug, then a game of ball with the human M.  I particularly like stealing the ball from Duncan, on the rare occasions when he gets to the ball before me.  Breakfast included one of those yummy liver muffins, and I had an egg with my tea.  Oh, and my birthday present was a whole chocolate almond to myself.  (I am quite partial to Whittakers Creamy Milk Chocolate and have seduced human Bill into giving me a square now and then, but I normally have to share it with Duncan.)


This evening I settled down with Dunc whilst the humans were playing chess, and I had a good chew of Dunc's ear - friendly like.  He muttered something about me needing civilising, and threatened to send me back to you for some discipline.  Grumpy old dog!  I don't know what you ever saw in him.


I was a bit worried yesterday when I saw a new book on dog training appear on the coffee table, but I don't expect much trouble from the humans until after Christmas.  They are a bit dozy at the moment after some late nights carousing.


I like it here but I seem to have blotted my copy book lately.  I used to be allowed to bark at the moon at night, but recently I have been locked up in the garage.  I know I have chewed up rather a lot of bedding, but seem to have got away with that with nothing more than a scolding.  No, it is something far more sinister.  I heard the humans talking about a neighbour having reported me to the dog control officer.  Mum, what is that!  I don't like the sound of "control" very much.  Never mind, I am sure I can handle mere humans.


Glad to hear that you are visiting and bringing the girls - more ears to chew!


Hope you like the photos.  It took me ages to get that dratted bit of tinsel off my neck.


Hey, on the subject of birthdays, was I born on Christmas Eve or Day?  What number was I in the litter?  I feel like I was number one, but don't mind if I wasn't (well, not much).  It's what you feel like that counts, isn't it?


Love and Happy Christmas.  Give Sy a lick from me.


Your not so dutiful son Briar (I forgot your birthday - sorrrry).


Oh dear Briar,


I’m surprised Santa brought you anything at all … you really must learn that obedience is one of those things us Goldens excel at – doing the right things at the right time.  Please try to learn this – you will have friends and get many more pats on the head if you accomplish this.  Make a New Year’s resolution to try to be better.  I had a report through that it was Duncan that was doing all the barking …. Humm, was it you instead and letting my dear Duncan take the blame for it?  What I saw in Duncan was a GENTLEMAN around the girls and a dog who loves life.  He was my protector when I was young and needed him.


You’re not the first to steal the ball from poor, patient Duncan.  Puppies have been doing that for 4 years now.  Hold back occasionally and let him go after the ball by himself – it will give him a thrill to actually get the ball and bring it back.  In fact, Sy used to take just Duncan out sometimes to play ball with because the puppies were so annoying – and yes ! that includes you !  however cute you think you might be.


I also regret to tell you that you were nestled very cozily inside my tummy as a puppy.  You decided to wait until Christmas Day to show up – number 8 in the litter to pop out – somewhere around 2 AM as I recall.  The early birds started arriving at 9 PM on Christmas Eve in a hurry not to miss Santa.  But as is the way with the Kennel Club – the day the first pup is born is the day the whole litter celebrates as it’s birthday.  You have a brother in Nelson, named Max – now he really was a “Johnny come lately” – he arrived 7 hours after all the rest of you at 10 AM Christmas morning - missed opening his pressie he was so late !!


As for chewing on my ears or Kerry or Dobby’s when we come to visit – I have news for you.  I for one, have little tolerance with my children who mis-behave and you will know it straight off.  In fact, I may well teach you some manners whilst I’m visiting.  Sounds like it wouldn’t go a miss.  Kerry and Dobby may have fun playing with you, but around me YOU WILL show respect – I guarantee it.  I imagine I will spend most of my time with Duncan whilst you young one go off and play together.


And if you would like to know a bit about me, son … I will tell you.  I was born at Stanroph Kennels near Darlington, England on 11 December 2000.  I was one of 8 puppies and Anne Woodcock chose me as Pick Bitch of our litter.  Our Mum lived in Switzerland and had had 2 litters before ours, but only 2 pups from those 2 litters, so Anne Woodcock brought my Mum to England to have her 3rd and final litter and then she went back to Switzerland.  We are a very international litter – as you are well aware, I live here in NZ and have had 4 litters and 41 pups, 39 living.  My sister Natasha (known as Nina) lives near the New Forrest in England and has had 2 litters.  Her first litter had 6 puppies including Fancy who still lives at home with mum and her second litter only had 1 pup – Heidi, who lives at home and is about 8 months old now.  One sister, Nelgwyn, went to Italy, but her hip scores were too high for her to be in dog shows there, so she got packed off to Switzerland to live with our 4th sister.   My brother, Nicolas (Woody) who was Pick Dog of our litter, still lives in the North of England and has sired 110 puppies and became an English Show Champion a year and a half ago, he is a very handsome lad and has been in many dog shows all over Europe and is still being shown, as is our sister Nina.  Nina’s favourite thing is “picking up” – she goes on the shoots in the fall and winter and picks up birds for hunters and brings them back.  Rabbits have always been my thing – I’ve bagged two of them.  Unfortunately I’m not sure where the other two brothers and 5th sister are.  Penny, who is Nina’s human mum is coming to visit in February and you will meet her, perhaps you can ask if she knows where the rest of the litter is.


When I was 8 months old, Duncan and Sy showed up on my doorstep one summer day in July.  After a short stay and an attempt to make Duncan look beautiful with a hair trim by an Austrian vet student who was living at the place at the time, Duncan and I were introduced and I quickly growled at Duncan to teach him his place.  This seemed to please my owner, Anne as she thought I could handle myself OK.  As it was, I was in for a 4 hour car ride to someplace called Carnbo that was about 45 minutes north of Edinburgh, Scotland to make my new home.  I rode in the back and sat up the whole trip, but fell asleep leaning against Duncan who patiently sat next to me and made sure nothing happened to me the whole trip to Scotland.  And thus, started my relationship with Duncan, my protector and defender and later my first husband.


When we arrived in Scotland, I was taken first to the vet who was about to close and he put a microchip in me right there at the counter – and before I knew it, I was back in the car for a short drive to “Askival”.  “Askival” turned out to be a VERY small kennel comprised of only Duncan and another girl called “Josie”.  This was a far cry from the LARGE kennel I had come from.  I was also surprised to find another bitch who seemed to be “head of the kennel” small as it was.  I had always known I was meant to be “head of the kennel” and that was my destiny in life.  However, Josie was a nice girl and sometimes I even played with her when I first got there and I gave her her dues and let her go on thinking she was “head of the kennel”.  Playing with toys was never my “thing”, I used to just sit on the corner of the sofa and look out the window at the sheep in the paddock next to the property.  I also found a use barking when cows were put into the paddock next door and immediately alerted Sy. Turns out the cows had been turned out of that paddock a few months earlier on the condition they were not to return because they had broken through 2 fences and messed up Sy’s garden.  So she thought I was pretty cool for raising the alarm that the cows had returned and the next day they were gone for good.  “Askival” was 1/3 acre of grass, flowers, small wooded garden setting.  There was another “Nikki” down the road – a boy – who was about my age and a Samoyed who came to visit us sometimes.  Otherwise, it was pretty quiet there until one Saturday when Josie, Duncan and I got packed off to Glasgow Airport to start our journey to New Zealand.  This was around the middle of October in 2001 and I wasn’t even a year old yet.  It was very scary.  I heard Sy tell Duncan to “take good care of the girls” and I must say, he did keep a very close eye on us until Sy turned up in New Zealand about 3 weeks later.  I never stuck soooo close to anyone as I did to Josie and Duncan during those 3 weeks – they were my best friends and I would have been very scared if they had not been with me.  Josie told me this was her 3rd trip to go ½ way around the world and Duncan said it was his 2nd trip ½ way around the world.  They seemed to understand what it was all about, but I was still scared.  I finally ended up at a boarding kennel in Canterbury where we stayed for 2 weeks waiting for Sy to show up.  Then we had to wait another 2 weeks there before she picked us up for good and took us to Kaituna Valley home. 


It was at Kaituna that I really felt at home and started having pups and chasing rabbits and really loved the 2 1/2 acre place.  I was there for 4 years.  During that time, Josie suddenly passed on and overnight I fulfilled my destiny and became “head of the kennel” – there were then 6 dogs minus Josie, so it was feeling more like a true kennel.  And there I stayed until we moved to Westport.  There are only 3 of us now, but in my maturing years, I’m finding I quit like the quiet life and although I still get out and herd sheep away from the fences daily, it’s pretty much a quiet life for me and I’m content.  I became a grandmother last January 23rd to daughter Kerry's litter of 10 and even enjoyed helping out with nursing and grooming duties in the afternoons with my first grandchildren.  This February, I will become a grandmother to Daughter Jess' litter to be born in North Canterbury and will have the great privilege of being present for that litter of grandchildren as well.


And so, dear Briar, that is the story of your ol’ Mum.  Now you go and be a good boy the rest of this Christmas Day and STAY OUT OF TROUBLE – that’s an order.


Love from your mum,   Nikita


Christmas Gallery -- 2006.  Photos of Nikita ex Hamish pups born Christmas Eve 2005.  Hamish the clown -- seems to have sired more clowns ... and who sleep and play on their backs too !!

Lorgair Bonny Briar & Duncan
with Bill & M Barker in Golden Bay

Lorgair Bonny Prince (Armani)  Auckland

Lorgair Fantasy Child (Keisha)
with her cherished teddy bear, Rahotu, Taranaki

Lorgair Bonny Brodie (Mac), Nelson

Lorgair Talisman (Nelson), Auckland

Lorgair Highland Lad (Kito), Lorgair Aberdour (Daisy, Jan 2006 litter), Lorgair Bonny Brodie (Mac), 6 months old and all of Nelson with owners Ryan Hewitt and Linda Williams

Lorgair Highland Lad (Kito) with owners Ryan & Nicola, Nelson

Lorgair Bonny Blair (Zeus), Christchurch

Lorgair Purple Thistle (Oliver), Christchurch

Dellapoint Sailor First Mate
"Hamish" 8 weeks old

Dellapoint Sailor First Mate
"Hamish" 5 months old
with Duncan's Gorilla

Dellapoint Sailor First Mate - "Hamish" 3 yrs

And from Mum Nikita -- a 2 generation photo taken 31 October with daughters Dobby, Kerry, mum Nikita and Jesse with Jesse's owner Cherry, sister Isabella and friend Jill at North Canterbury.  Dobby & Jess are also from Nikita and Hamish - litter 2004