30 May 2008

Billy's Miss Olga has grown up into a beautiful dog and celebrated her second birthday yesterday

Relaxing at Billy's home

Ok, I guess it is time to put my thoughts on paper about my trip to the UK and all the wonderful people I met there, not to mention all the beautiful Bedlingtons.

For the past year of planning this trip, it has been an adventure. Some good, some bad and some, just downright confusing. All of the rules and requirements of the British government, to get a dog into the country were a bit daunting, but, we got it all done. The day arrived and Miss Pie and I were off to the airport. 12 hours later, we arrived in Paris, got to the train station, went to Calais, got the ferry and landed in Dover. We were only 2 hours later than expected. So, I am sure Billy had already had 3 heart attacks. Especially since the trip had already been delayed for 3 days due to a glitch with my vet not getting the proper health cert. from our state agricultural office on time. But, all is well that ends well. I arrived and when I walked thru the door at customs, Billy was waiting, looked at me with no luggage and asked, “WHERE IS MY DOG?” WOW! What a welcome!!!!!!!! Once he was sure I had his dog for him, I finally got a welcome hug and off we were toward Sunderland, with a side trip to Roy & Victoria’s for tea and biscuits. What a welcome we got there. And, there was where I got to finally meet Billy Bob. He had stayed with them to play with Jack Bojangles while Billy came for me. Of course, Jack fell hard for the cute little American girl. And we all had a great time watching him try to woo her.
We got to Sunderland rather late on Friday evening and the next day was a whirl of grooming for the Birmingham National on Sunday. That was when the REAL fun began. I got to my first English dog show and started meeting all the Bedlington folks there. First, Lesley and Sandra and then Dawn, who helped me with the groom on Miss Pie. Everyone was sooo wonderful to me, I felt like royalty. (Whoops, bad expression in a country that has Royalty. Sorry!) I took many pics that day of all the dogs and have enjoyed looking through them since I got home. I was impressed with the dogs, and enjoyed Mrs. Davies judging. I was able to follow her thinking and her choices easily. I didn’t want that day to end. We did take time to go and visit Derek & Eileen Lewis on our way back to Sunderland. Again, I was so welcomed and enjoyed our visit so much. Especially getting to see the new members of the family that were only 3 days old. Cute babies and wonderful momma dog. And, I must add that The Lewis’s back garden is even more wonderful and beautiful than their front one. The only mishap of that day, was Miss Pie getting her toe pinched in the jeep door when we got home. You know she played that up to the hilt all week.
The next week was spent sightseeing and getting to meet many super people. Of course, I did have to remind Billy that I am not 46, but 64. That man about walked this Yankee’s legs off. But, there was so much that I wanted to see, I could not quit. Coming to England has been a dream for me for many years, as my Dad was born in England though he was raised in the states. So, your country is a big part of my heritage. And, now I can say that I am VERY proud of my heritage. I hope you all realize how proud you should be of your country and of yourselves as people. I have never visited any country that made me feel more welcome and where the people were s gracious. “A BIG AMERICAN THANK YOU”, for the time and trip of my life. I hope that I can return the hospitality to anyone of you who comes to my country.
My last weekend was spent going to Scotland to the Scottish KC Show. Another wonderful experience and again, really beautiful dogs. Mr. Bell’s BOB bitch was breathtaking and his BOS boy was a real charmer, too. Once again, I was able to follow his judging and his decisions. I wish we had more judges here that were as consistant as both of the judges I watched in England and Scotland. I was disappointed that I did not get to say “HI” to Janet Gilleys in Scotland. I had the pleasure of meeting Janet in the states when she came over for our Montgomery County Terrier Specialty a few years ago.
After a couple more days of sightseeing and shopping, it was time to bid a very sad farewell to everyone. Billy Bob and I headed for the states. I felt like I was leaving my own family. Billy and Diane made me feel like part of their family and I did not want to leave. At that point, I had to reflect back over the past year of plans and deciding to bring Miss Pie to Billy. I had a lot of different reactions to it. People here said I was crazy to let her leave the country and that I should keep her here, the same as you all felt about Billy Bob leaving the UK. I had one gal from England post to me and tell me that if I cared about my dogs, I would not let one of them go to Billy, as he didn’t care about his dogs enough. Well, I am including a couple of pics of what I found at Billy and Diane’s home while I was there. This young woman did not realize that I already knew how Billy’s dogs lived long before I got there. I know that Miss Pie has the best home she could possibly have with Billy & Diane, just as they know that Billy Bob has a wonderful home here with me. Miss Pie was raised in my home with the whole dog family and people around her from the day she was born. She could not have lived any different life from that now. And, Billy Bob is being raised the same way. In fact, he is wrestling with Miss Molly as I write this in my family room. And,, his next stop will be onto Ray’s lap for some TV and quiet time before he heads for his bed for the night. I know that many people have their own thoughts about importing/exporting dogs. But, I feel that Billy and I are going to contribute to the gene pool in both of our countries. And, that can only be a good thing!!!!!!!
On that note, I think I have written quite enough for one evening. Billy Bob will be showing on June 20, 21 & 22. We will have a report for you all then. We will try to fly the British Flag with pride. (Too bad I forgot to purchase one for him while I was there.) I was going to get a small one to go on his crate. Oh well, thanks to the Beatles,, I’ll bet I can find one here in Florida.
So long from across the pond. Will post news as we have it. Again, THANK YOU to each and everyone who welcomed me so warmly.
It was lovely to meet you but I was sorry you were not able to find time to stay with us, but pleased you did manage to meet new Bedlngtond folk and make lots of new friends. We will all look forward to following Billybob's show career on the blog and you will see lots of Miss American Pie ( if Billy remembers to take his camera!). Miss Pie is showing under Mr. Ron Menaker tomorrow, I know Billy is very excited even though he has a four hour journey to the show ground. Many thanks for writing and keeping us updated by contributing regularly to our bedlingtonpictues blog.


Marie said...

What I want to know is did you understand Billy's accent? lol

Billy and Diane looked after Briagha for me for a week and I wouldnt hesitate in letting them do it again ;-)

David Bruce said...

So who was the mystery gal who tried to sabotage Billys puppy?
I wonder if they were tall and thin?or short and fat? LOL

roy said...

It was nice to meet you mary lou ,glad you enjoyed your trip.we are going to catch up with billy and miss pie at southern counties tomorrow.Hope you are having as much fun as we did with billy bob!

Sue & Liza said...

Really pleased to hear that you had such a good time in the UK Mary Lou. Have fun with BillyBob, he's a real charmer! Look forward to hearing more from you.

ed and rebecca said...

Glad you had such a nice time.Ralphie thought Billybob was great fun so I'm sure he'll be having a wonderful time with all his new American pals.