Sunday 5th July – Garratt and Mouse Arrive

Sunday 5th July – Garratt and Mouse Arrive

We are officially exhausted, entertained and delighted in equal measure. Our life has, as anticipated, been transformed with the arrival or our new puppy – Garratt – who we picked up late on Thursday evening, not to mention the addition of a new kitten which we were ‘gifted’ on Friday – more of both later.

The week started progressing Granary and Stable as time is ticking way (more quickly than we’d like) before our guests arrive. We have now finished tiling (me) and grouting (Dave) both the en-suite shower room and family bathroom and continue to make progress in other rooms which need multiple coats of paint.

We had a very nice couple with us for most of last week. Janet and Pam had been holidaying in the Dordogne with their very old (18 years) terrier and all were suffering from the 40 degree plus heat. A quick search for the best accommodation in Brittany found us and they joined us for 5 nights – where the temperature was a much more reasonable 30 degrees but with a gentle breeze from the hills.

We had one of our most social weeks as well as we were invited to dinner 3 times .   On Tuesday we were invited to friends in Commana for supper; on Wednesday some friends in Saint Cadou invited us up for a BBQ to enjoy the fantastic weather that we have been having, and on Thursday our puppy’s breeder gave us dinner at his home before we brought Garratt home. We are indented to all of them and will need to look for a date in the future to reciprocate their generosity.

Thursday was the busiest day of the week. While school lessons had finished the week before in common with many French, and I suspect British, schools, the end of term meant a field trip (well optional day out anyway!) Our trip was to a temporary attraction throughout Brittany – the site of Lake Guerlédan. I say the site rather than the lake, as Guerlédan is an artificial lake created when the river Blavet, which made up part of the Nantes – Brest canal, was dammed in the 1920s to provide hydro-electric power. This year the lake has been drained to allow maintenance to be carried out on the damn but is special as it is expected that the upgrades to the damn mean that it will never need be drained again.

Lac du Guerledan - Gîtes in FranceLac du Guerledan 2 - Gîtes in France







The lake (or lack of) is an interesting, near lunar, site with the bare trunks of long submerged trees still standing in the bottom of the valley. There is also the remains of a number of buildings within a small hamlet that was also flooded although this was in another part of the lake and we didn’t get to see it on our trip

Rather than take the bus we drove ourselves so we could leave and head to Rennes for a rather important collection – Garratt.

The first time we had seen the litter they were exactly 2 weeks old so not many of them had their eyes open. We selected Garratt principally on the basis of, even at 2 weeks, he was noticeably larger than his siblings but that he also had much more colour and pattern on him. When we picked him up he was still larger than his brothers and sisters and had kept his colour. Having been offered dinner we didn’t leave for home until 10.30. Garratt was understandably anxious leaving home for the first and last time but travelled well – at least on the motorway! Within 5 minutes of turning onto the country roads we saw all of the contents of Garratt’s stomach as he was very car sick.

The advantage of arriving home at 1 am was that Garratt was exhausted and didn’t complain when we put him in his new bed as he went straight to sleep.

Garratt in bed 3 - Gîtes in France

That night, and last night, he has been such a well behaved pup without crying overnight and without wetting his cage during the night. In fact he has been so well behaved we are a little nervous for when he starts misbehaving! We are at the end of day 3 and have set up a routine for his day which seems to be working and based around his 4 meals, lots of play time and even more sleep. It has also extended our own day by a few hours which may come in handy over the next 3 weeks when we catch up in Granary as we haven’t achieved much in the last 48 hours!

Garratt and Monkey - Gîtes in France

When we thought that we couldn’t get any busier we were ‘gifted’ a kitten. Perfect! We had seen the cat before when we discovered 2 tiny kittens in a box of shredded paper in our woodshed. Both were pure black exactly as our neighbour’s cat which Dave had seen trying to sneak into the wood shed frequently so we made the assumption they were her litter. Having spoken with him, they were. The mother had had 4 kittens in the house and, for whatever reason, left 2 others in our wood shed.

Our neighbour took the 2 kittens back to their siblings for the mother to raise although at the time Dave and I thought that he was planning a more final solution for them. Thankfully, that wasn’t his intention, less thankfully he couldn’t find a home for all of them and so asked us to take one.   While both Dave and I would both consider ourselves ‘dog’ people in life’s dog / cat divide, we had always hoped that a feral cat may adopt us and become our mouse control but this seemed like the perfect solution as we will settle her into one of the outbuildings and let her act as our pest control.


The advantage of the timing was that we were able to take Mouse (as we have named the kitten to remind it why it is here) to the vet at the same time as we had for Garratt’s first visit. Both were given a clean bill of health and Mouse had her first set of vaccinations and a chip inserted – Garratt having been done by the breeder – which allowed us to introduce them to each other today. Garratt was completely un-phased by the small fluffy creature making the occasional hesitant approach, although he was very hesitant himself when he met with one of our neighbour’s 3, very different, dogs. Its only day 3 – these things will take time.

Garratt meeting Mouse

While we are likely to have very different relationships with Garratt and Mouse, so far they have both been amazing and we’re so happy to have them in our home. They are going to make life a lot of fun.

We will be progressing Granary again next week – but one of us will be watching the animals!

À bientôt.