Meet Nicola Our Founder and Creative Artist
My Younger Years
The things that I enjoyed when I was young are still the things that define enjoyment for me as an adult.
I love the great outdoors and as a child relished all day walks or bike rides with my sister and parents, or roaming the countryside with friends. Some of them even had their own ponies to ride which also started me on my love for horses.
On days where the weather forced me to stay indoors I used to spend hours colouring or making up stories about farm animals and doing little cartoons for them.
Of course I had to go to school but the only subjects I really enjoyed were either art based or sporty. At home I was always cooking and baking and to this day my mantra is 'If I'm fed, I'm happy!'
From my early teenage years my creativity led me to an interest in hairdressing and I used to practice by cutting my little sister's hair while my Mum was busy. Luckily for my sister I seemed to have a natural affinity with it - thank goodness!
My first ambition when I left home was to have my own dog. My first dog was a Springer Spaniel called Pickle, and he was soon joined by Monty his younger brother. Then number three came along in the form of Scrap - a very naughty Border Terrier crossed with a Jack Russell Terrier. Scrap had been living at a nursing home, but turned out to be a bit of a handful and needed a new home.
We all lived happily together for many years and then after Pickle and Monty crossed the Rainbow Bridge, we stumbled across Kiri, a beautiful one year old German Wirehaired Pointer who needed a new home.
After much begging to the hubby and promising never to ask for a horse again(!) Kiri came home to live with us a few days later. And despite my promises, a couple of years later an ex-racehorse called Mr Moo came along too!
Our lovely Kiri was just the sort of dog that fitted in with our outdoor lifestyle perfectly and was able to walk 10-20 miles easily with us on our days out. Sadly about 18 months after Kiri came to live with us, Scrap passed away and she was bereft. So along came a Parson Russell Terrier called Twig and Kiri was happy again.
One day Kiri stopped eating and we took her to the vets every day for 9 days with an unknown cause for her symptoms. Tragically she passed away in our arms at home aged just 7.
Kiri had such an impact on our lives in the 6 years she lived with us that it was inevitable we would soon be joined by another GWP - this time Lottie. Everything was right again now there was a brown bear back in our lives.
The Start of Lottie Long Legs Cards
It was my husband's birthday just after Lottie came to live with us and as we aren't really bothered by material gifts I decided to draw him a pastel picture of our beloved Kiri Kibble as a gift.
When I’d finished it I posted it in the GWP Facebook group and very soon someone messaged me asking for a painting of their dog. I agreed to do it but knew I also wanted to donate some of the money received to a dog rescue. Word of mouth kicked into action and before I knew it I was receiving more and more requests.
About this time my WI (Women's Institute) friend asked if I could rustle up something for a WI Christmas fair stall, so I did a cartoon of Lottie in a Christmas hat. Once again I posted it in the GWP Facebook group and then had lots of enquires about Christmas cards.
I set to work and sourced a printer and with the sales of the cards was able to pay the printing bills plus hand over a nice amount to a group helping several GWP Rescues abroad and I also had some left to give the GWP UK Rescue Group too.
After the success of the Christmas cards I decided I would love to continue with my fun art and carry on supporting dog rescue (we also now support other animal rescues too!) and hopefully grow it into something to keep me out of mischief in my retirement years.
Donations and Rescue
Since then Lottie Long Legs Cards has continued to grow steadily and at the start of 2018 I selected my official charities to support:
- GWP Club Rescue UK
- GWP Club Rescue USA (USA make up about 1/4 of all Lottie’s sales)
- Rehoming Cyprus Pointers (I have seen first hand how dogs are treated in countries like this)
During the last year I’ve also donated to other animal rescues and would like to continue to add more as time goes on.
Meet The Rest of the Crew
I came to live with my Mum and Dad just after a sad time when they had another brown pest like me go to rainbow bridge - so I knew I had an important job to do.
There was a little white dog here already called Twig, she's a funny little thing but what a fabulous friend she was as she helped me settle in. I soon discovered through Mum's friends that there are lots of brown pests like me out there, although reading about some of their antics I realised I'm a really good girl!
Lots of people kept telling me I had long legs as a puppy and so my nickname - Lottie Long Legs - was born. When I'm not going out on lovely walks and days out with Mum, Dad and Twig, I help Mum raise pennies for dogs in rescue with her paintings and cards.
I can't believe how many photographs my Mum takes of me, even on our holiday she makes me write postcards to send out to some of my lovely doggy friends!
I love everyone I meet but I have to say I have a soft spot for my Dad who lets me lay on him and scoops me up for extra cuddles.
Hi I'm Twig and apparently I'm the most patient dog in the world!
I'm a Parson Russell, and my Mum calls me her little white mouse. I remember when Lottie came to live with us - crikey what a pest!
She used to pick me up by my collar and drag me out of my cosy bed. Its fair to say I told her off a few times and eventually she calmed down. Now I quite like having someone to keep me warm in my bed, although she seems to spread herself out a bit too much.
Apparently she is a member of the 'Upside Down Club' which means she lays upside down with her legs spread everywhere - so unlady like!
I'm not sure what all the fuss is about with Lottie to be honest! She's such a diva, she won't even do her own raffle draws anymore... What she doesn't know is that Mum hides sprats in the bowl of tickets (but I do!) so I'm happy to step in and help.
Personally I think I'm the star of this outfit anyway!
My name is Mr Moo and I'm an ex-racehorse who lives at Lottie Long Legs HQ in my own field despite Mum's promise of 'no more horses'!
I raced for over 5 years and been re-schooled for general riding but I suffered a knee injury so when I arrived at my lovely new home all I had to do was spend my days doing gentle walks a couple of days a week and relaxing in a nice field.
When I first got here everything scared me, so every day for a month or so I used to be taken on a little walk round the farm yard going to look at all the machinery, and finding treats Mum had hidden on the tractor.
Things got better and I started to relax a lot more. I still got spooked easily though and one day Mum and I were having a nice trot in my grass field when something frightened me and, after doing a length of the field at full race speed gallop to get away from it, I stopped at fence to get my breath.
But next thing I knew Mum was flying over my head and landed on the ground snapping her left arm in half! Of course I never meant that to happen and I felt really bad but I think Mum has forgiven me now and we are riding together again which makes me very happy.