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22 July 22 – The Kennels

This week we put Norman in the kennels for the first time.

He doesn’t like it when we move his bed and he thinks running around at extreme speed will stop it from happening.

I have to admit (and this is pathetic, so by all means think that it is), it was like another first day at school experience with the kids.

It was only one night, so we told ourselves ‘stop being so ridiculous’, combed his hair, sharpened his pencils and set off.

We were told by several people that the kennels were brilliant and their dogs ‘absolutely love it there’ so I was expecting shampooing, waterslides, and endless fields of daisies and butterflies – a concrete box in a darkened room was a bit of a letdown. But then I realised, that’s what dog owners tell themselves.

And I totally agree with that. Santa, Tooth Fairy, alcohol is bad for you – the world is run by these lies.

On the whole it was a bad day for Norman. Earlier in the day I took him for a long walk to ease our guilt. He met another labrador called Chester and they played together for a while, just long enough for the owner to tell me how Chester used to be rude with other dogs until they got him chemically castrated and now he’s really…

It was at that point that Chester overcame the constraints of his chemical castration and Norman was put through a series of humiliating acts that could easily be described as ‘rude’.

And Chester wasn’t a sensitive lover, no candles or Barry White… or any regard for which way was which.

If that had been me it would’ve been years of therapy to overcome the trauma, Norman trotted off afterward with an unwritten agreement that we should never mention this again (Norman doesn’t realise I blab everything on the newsletter).

After that, Norman’s day got even worse. We got him settled into his cell, sorry cubicle.

Norman (Stanley Fletcher), you are a habitual criminal…

Coinicidently, when Norman’s in the garden talking loudly to Toffee, his friend next door, I do often shout

So we left him for the night and went to my daughter’s graduation in Lancaster on the hottest day of the year. Here’s a thousand of us in The Great Hall.

Yes, I’m Cumbrian and pale blue by nature so I’m allowed to complain about the heat. Look what happened on Tuesday

Well done Hannah, by the way, it was a proud moment. Here’s a photo I took of her and Jen outside when I’d solidified.

After a night out in Lancaster, we picked up Norman the next day, and I discovered another one of those lies that people always say.

Kennel Owner: ‘He had a lovely time, really enjoyed himself, the big daft lad. Didn’t you Rocky… I mean Norman, didn’t you big guy, boodebooodeboo’

Norman ignore us in the car and it took him a full day before he dug a sock out of the washing basket.

He’s all right now, the big daft lad, boodebooodeboo.

Have a great weekend. 

Take care and all the best,

Ian

(If you want to leave a comment below, that would be great)

22 July 22 – The Kennels

57 thoughts on “22 July 22 – The Kennels

  • July 22, 2022 at 10:44 am
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    Loving the newsletters Ian, keep them coming! They always arrive when I am at work but I can’t resist reading them. My colleagues give me funny looks when I randomly start giggling at your tales. They make my workday that little bit brighter on a Friday, thank you.

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    • July 22, 2022 at 10:58 am
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      Thanks Julie, glad you like them, hope the day whizzes for you. Have a great weekend πŸ™‚

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  • July 22, 2022 at 11:02 am
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    Poor Norman, but I did find the whole story very funny, so his pain was for the greater good. Thank you

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    • July 22, 2022 at 11:06 am
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      He’s forgiven us, I think. But I can always use the threat of the kennels next time he pinches my sarnie off the table. Have a great weekend:)

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  • July 22, 2022 at 11:08 am
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    Brilliant again, cheered me up no end!

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    • July 22, 2022 at 12:05 pm
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      Thanks Anne. Have a good weekend πŸ™‚

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  • July 22, 2022 at 11:12 am
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    Another gem! Poor Norman Stanley Fletcher but the kennel owner is only doing what they all do. It’s like when the vet nurses take my dog through to have his nails clipped…much ferocious growling and blood curdling screams echos through the surgery but when they bring him back it’s ” Ohhh..he was so well behaved” 😁 Congratulations Hannah πŸ‘Œ

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    • July 22, 2022 at 12:12 pm
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      Haha Lynn, that’s funny. There must be a phrasebook of lies for each profession. I love the giving blood one ‘you’ll just feel a little scratch’ as they jab in the 3″ needle. I will pass the congratulation on, thanks πŸ™‚

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  • July 22, 2022 at 11:13 am
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    I too look forward to seeing these little windows on your world every Friday, they cheer me up halfway through my workday. Hope your big daft lad is over his trauma now πŸ™‚

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    • July 22, 2022 at 12:13 pm
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      Thanks Lyn, the big daft lad is being big and daft again, so I think we’re okay now. Enjoy your weekend πŸ™‚

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    • July 24, 2022 at 8:28 pm
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      I so look forward to these emails of a Friday! Many congratulations to Hannah. I hope you enjoyed celebrating together and that Norman has now recovered from your treachery….πŸ˜‰

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      • July 26, 2022 at 1:09 pm
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        Thanks Cath, I will pass the congratulations on to Hannah and the commiseration to Norman πŸ™‚

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  • July 22, 2022 at 11:13 am
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    Awww poor Norman, but his antics keep me amused. Proud parents ! Congratulations to Hannah 🍾πŸ₯‚ you’re a 🌟

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    • July 22, 2022 at 12:36 pm
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      Thanks Carole, I will pass on the congrats to Hannah. Norman is just a silly boy πŸ™‚

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  • July 22, 2022 at 11:13 am
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    Love it. My dog goes to my daughter’s when I’m away. She can’t wait to go!!
    My late husband’s middle name was Norman. My son in law called him Norman followed by me saying “Stanley” and daughter finishing off with “Fletcher” Happy memories Congratulations to your daughter x

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    • July 22, 2022 at 12:15 pm
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      Thanks Beth, glad it gave you some happy memories πŸ™‚ I will pass the congratulation on to Hannah, thanks x

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  • July 22, 2022 at 11:15 am
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    Somehow, someway, and I don’t know how… but our Trix always knew when she was heading off into the kennels … her trick was bringing out the doleful eyes and placing a mahousive guilt trip on us … mind you after having been fed on raw sewage or so it seemed at the kennels and coming back looking like she’d just done a tour of a warzone, we just decided that it wasn’t worth it, so we blackmailed our younger son to stay ay home and look after the dog when we went travelling. That cost us a redecoration of the lounge after the “animal house” party he and the dog had with their friends whilst we were away … the things we do for our kids and dogs … love the newsletters chap, keep up the fab work … couple for suggestions for T-shirt designs … Steve Howe of Yes and Peter Gabriel in full “Lamb” or “Foxtrot” stage gear …

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    • July 22, 2022 at 12:22 pm
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      Thanks David, Trix sounds clever, nothing like a guilt trip to keep her out of the trenches. Kids and dogs are time-consuming and expensive things πŸ™‚ We have Peter Gabriel in his Watcher in the Skies costume, I will add the others to the suggestions. Enjoy your weekend

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  • July 22, 2022 at 11:17 am
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    You can’t beat a good Norman story to start your weekend 😁 Think your next book should be based on his adventures.

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    • July 22, 2022 at 12:03 pm
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      Thanks Lorna, maybe I could call it The Norman Conquest πŸ™‚ Enjoy your weekend

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  • July 22, 2022 at 11:24 am
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    I love your weekly newsletter. They always make me smile . As a dog owner completely understand how poor Norman feels. We went with dog sitter rather than kennel. Glad he’s forgiven you though.

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    • July 22, 2022 at 12:00 pm
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      Thanks Karen, glad you enjoyed it. He’d probably love a dog sitter, I’d have to have an introductory meeting so they know what they’re letting themselves in for πŸ™‚

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  • July 22, 2022 at 11:56 am
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    Firstly, and most importantly, congratulations Hannah! And a very close second……..love the story of Norman in the kennels. I hope he has a short memory if you ever try to move his bed again.

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    • July 22, 2022 at 12:24 pm
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      Thanks Shiela, I will pass the congratulations on. We’re never moving the bed again, too risky πŸ™‚

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      • July 24, 2022 at 8:13 pm
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        Another brilliant email and one I will show my husband who bemoans the fact we can’t go abroad as I won’t put Archie in the kennels. We are at the minute on the very rainy Isle of Harris having survived 2 days camping and a ferry trip with the dog, who behaved impeccably despite my husband saying “This will be a nightmare”

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        • July 26, 2022 at 1:12 pm
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          Thanks Lisa, Archie sounds like he’s loving it up there. Rainy Isle of Harris or the Costa Blanca, I’ll take the rain, I think πŸ™‚

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  • July 22, 2022 at 12:02 pm
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    I love your stories. Great skwiggle of Norman Stanley Fletcher. Ronnie Barker is one of my all time favourites from the telly, a genius IMHO.
    Oh, and by the way, any time my brother wears the Johnny Cash t shirt I bought him, someone comments on it. Fab pressie.
    Congratulations to Hannah 🍾. My daughter had her graduation in March. I managed to cry just 5 times πŸ₯°.

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    • July 22, 2022 at 12:39 pm
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      Thanks Teresa, glad you like the story. Ronnie Barker was an absolute genius, still funny, especially Porridge. Also glad your brother’s still loving his t-shirt. I will pass the congrats on to Hannah, thank you. Enjoy your weekend πŸ™‚

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      • July 24, 2022 at 10:12 am
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        Eeeeee my god.. never fail to amuse.. keep it up lol

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        • July 24, 2022 at 1:12 pm
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          Thanks Lesley πŸ™‚

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    • July 22, 2022 at 9:40 pm
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      Ha ha your so tied to Norman lucky lad how dare your go away for 1 night. Us so tied to Larry and Lia 10 hens and 24 ducks, holiday wots that! Although be off to Penrith with my trusted friend in charge here, our yearly venture to see the world, living the dream. Got my hairy dog tee on and hoodie as chuffin chilly now. M.

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  • July 22, 2022 at 12:10 pm
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    Thank you Ian for always making my Friday with your brilliant writing. I used to have a black Lab and a Huge hairy German Shepherd called Herman We had occasion to leave them both in kennels for a couple of nights, however preceding this traumatic experience, they both had to have kennel cough treatment which required a puff up the nose. Berry the Lab sailed through the experience, however Herman the German was a different matter. As the vet approached Herman ( very nervously, Herman was huge). Herman took fright and proceeded to cause havoc in the consulting room , firstly doing a huge wee then trying to hide under a chair which got stuck on his backThe vet slipped in the wee and ended up on the floor glasses akimbo covered in wee. The door nervously opened with β€œEverything okay in here”
    Vet on the floor, chair on Herman’s back , me also traumatised.. Anyway Herman went to the kennels minus his kennel cough treatment and on picking them up a couple of days later they both sat in the back of the car with their backs to us and literally didn’t speak to us for several day s

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    • July 22, 2022 at 12:32 pm
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      Haha Leslie, love that. Was the vet Mr Bean? Sounds like it πŸ™‚ Scaring Herman doesn’t seem like a sensible thing to do, I can imagine the racket in the waiting room. Good work, Herman. Norman’s just about forgiven us, and it was only one night, the big baby. Have a good weekend x

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  • July 22, 2022 at 1:20 pm
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    I love your wit, keep it coming. You should compile a book from all the newsletters.

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    • July 22, 2022 at 1:34 pm
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      Thanks Trudie, glad you like them and glad you think they’re worthy of a book πŸ™‚

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  • July 22, 2022 at 1:33 pm
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    Very funny Newsletter, especially loved the Norman Stanley Fletcher reference πŸ˜€ we had a lovely black lab who we lost this year, sadly missed.
    Incidently you are not pathetic, i don’t think I could leave my baby girls in a kennel 😭

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    • July 22, 2022 at 1:39 pm
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      Thanks Sue, it was tougher than I thought leaving him at the kennels, having said that when he’s chewing my new flowers in the garden I could put him back in πŸ™‚

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  • July 22, 2022 at 2:04 pm
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    Thank you for another ” laugh out loud ” newsletter … poor Norman .
    Glad he’s got over his night away 😁
    I so look forward to receiving your newsletter , keep them coming

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    • July 22, 2022 at 4:31 pm
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      Thanks Julia, glad you enjoyed it. He’s staring at me now with his bit of rope, wanting me to play some tug-of-war type of game, where he gets to ‘accidentally’ bite my hand. So maybe I’m forgiven. Have a great weekend πŸ™‚

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  • July 22, 2022 at 3:03 pm
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    A triumph of a newsletter Ian! Love all references to Norman. Well done Hannah! I worked at Lancaster U for a period of time, but that was before Hannah was even a twinkle in your eye…

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    • July 22, 2022 at 4:34 pm
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      Thanks Lisa, I will send the congratulations on to Hannah. That twinkle was a long time ago πŸ™‚ Lancaster’s a great uni, bet you enjoyed your time there. Have a great weekend.

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  • July 22, 2022 at 4:40 pm
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    Poor Norman ….. First unwanted attention and then banged up for the night with an enthusiastic kennel owner ……!

    Love the weekly newsletter and adore the T shirts you do. Will be ordering some soon if I don’t get any for my birthday.

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    • July 24, 2022 at 1:23 pm
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      Thanks Lesley, glad you enjoyed it. Norman’s back to full strength now digging holes in the garden, maybe send him back πŸ™‚

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  • July 22, 2022 at 5:08 pm
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    Oh Ian, I look forward to your newsletters every week. They’re so funny and the sketches are brilliant! Whenever I start guffawing at my iPad, my husband knows what I’m reading and insists on me forwarding your email. I oblige of course πŸ™‚

    I’ve started forwarding your newsletter to my daughter in Cambodia and she loves them too, being a dog owner and all that – keep them coming, they absolutely make our day.

    And a huge congrats to your daughter, Hannah! Well done!

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    • July 24, 2022 at 1:26 pm
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      Thanks Heather, really glad you enjoyed it and thanks for sharing to Cambodia. Norman’s forgiven me I think, he’s trying to bite my daughter’s feet at the moment, so that’ll keep him busy for a while πŸ™‚

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  • July 22, 2022 at 8:27 pm
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    Said in the past, I don’t actualy have a dog, (haven’t had one for many years), I am, however, “Stepdad” to a few semi Ferals (along with a few of the Neighbours being surrogate Step mums) and was “dad” to a few of our own. Nearest I ever came to your experience, was waaaaaaaaay, way back in the depths of about 1981 or so, a mate, who I used to go to the match with, lived at top end of the park, near our estate, he used to use that fact as an excuse to walk the dogs whenever we came home from the pub. He was taking his family for a Holiday to Floridaso asked if I’d look after his two dogs (Alsations) unlike with Norman, none of the three of us had any kind of “adventures” really, they did draw a lot of attention from Neighbours though. (bit of a non-story really that, wasn’t it?)

    Congratulations on your Daughter graduating, mention of Lancaster University always takes me back to when my wife Graduated, The weather was similar to this week’s , apart from Graduation Day itself, which was very humid & cloudy, and “lashed it down” on a couple of occasions during the day, thatnkfully we missed the showers as we’d booked lunch, so were in the giant Marquee

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    • July 24, 2022 at 1:29 pm
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      Thanks for the story Baz and thanks for the congratulations, I will pass that on to my daughter. The Great Hall was an armpit melting experience last week, that’s for sure πŸ™‚

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  • July 22, 2022 at 11:36 pm
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    Brilliant as always! Your emails make me laugh so loud it annoys my hubby lol( he does have a sweatshirt you did of a German shepherd which he loves, so he tolerates the raucous laughter in the middle of Midsomer Murders.) I hope you don’t mind me asking and it is a Humungus ask, could you do a sketch of a Wire Haired Visler for a couple of T-shirts.? My sister and brother-in-law have a new dog too called Raffer, it’s the first dog they have ever had and are under going a massive learning curve as you are! They are so obsessed and completely and utterly adore Raff I just have to get them a T-shirt. (So we can all wear our Squiggle attire when we meet up to dog walk. I could even take a pic for you if you like) I would be sooooo grateful, thank you. And please keep your emails going they really are a tonic x Lynne ( you notice it is spelt different to the other Lynns)

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    • July 24, 2022 at 1:32 pm
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      Thanks Lynne, glad you enjoyed it. I will put a Wire Haired Visler on my to-do list so hopefully get one done soon. Raffer sounds like a lot of fun, as does the learning curve:)

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  • July 23, 2022 at 10:59 am
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    This was soooo funny, think you should be together on stage!!! Apparently the trendy thing to do now is get a house/dog sitter for less trauma to your pet ie.Norman. its great they don’t need a mortgage or any other incumbents and when you get back your fridge has been raided!!! Lol

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    • July 24, 2022 at 1:20 pm
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      Thanks Debra, not sure how much a house sitter will cost to stay with Norman, I wouldn’t do it πŸ™‚

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  • July 23, 2022 at 12:54 pm
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    I really enjoy your tales of how things are panning out, hilarious, keep them coming.

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    • July 24, 2022 at 1:18 pm
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      Thanks Jacqueline, glad you enjoyed it πŸ™‚

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  • July 23, 2022 at 6:37 pm
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    Congratulations to another Lancaster alumnus, (Bowland College).The Great Hall there was the venue of some of the biggest bands of the 70s, as Lancaster was the premiere university music venue in the UK back in the day.
    Yes, AC/DC, Blondie, 10cc, Status Quo, Clapton, Gabriel, etc, etc. A book, ‘When Rock Went to College’ lists the heyday!
    Another enjoyable newsletter, commiserations to Norman for his brief incarceration, that he must have thought to be for sex crimes!

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    • July 24, 2022 at 1:18 pm
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      Wow, didn’t realise the Great Hall had such an amazing past. As for Norman, yes, maybe that will calm him down when my leg gets too sexy πŸ™‚

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  • July 25, 2022 at 3:35 pm
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    I absolutely love your tales of life’s up’s and downs… They do make me giggle…we have a great Dane grandchild called Elton who’s not long turned 1 and is our whole world…. We went to Jamaica for our honeymoon and I insisted on face timing him at least once a week 🀣 the first time was emotional and he really took in what I was saying but after that.. absolutely nothing! Wouldn’t even look at me 🀣
    Keep the tales coming they really do brighten a tough day at work 😁

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    • July 26, 2022 at 1:08 pm
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      Thanks Kerrie, glad you like them. Elton seems to have reacted the same as Norman, completely blanked for two days. A few extra treats and a couple of longer walks and I managed to win him over πŸ™‚

      Reply

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