Marianne and John Brett live in South Yorkshire, England.
(Or rather right at the borders of Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire, in lovely rural surroundings. We moved here in April 2007.)
Marianne was born in Sweden but moved to England in 1988,
John has always lived in Yorkshire.
We have both kept and bred animals for most of our lives,
of a large variety ranging
from worms to dogs and sheep. Marianne is a past show
judge of hamsters, fancy rats and mice.
We used to breed and show the Blondbella Persian and Exotic cats for 25 years but retired from breeding cats in 2014,
now we concentrate fully on
the Goldmali Malinois and Papillons.
We breed for TEMPERAMENT,
HEALTH and BREED TYPE in equal measures.
A dog has to be healthy, have the correct temperament AND still be able to look like its breed.
In Malinois we have for the past few years been mixing showlines and working lines to get the best of both worlds -we believe
there should not need to be a split between show type and working type, a good dog should have it all. It's a work in progress, but we do our best.
Marianne is a Kennel Club
Assured Breeder and we passed our inspection by the KC
in May 2015 and so will be due another soon.
We both have (adult)
children that all are animal mad, and Marianne has a
grandson born to Melanie and her husband Kallum in
February 2015, and a granddaughter born in August 2017.
Most of our family have helped out at shows, with Melanie handling regularly in the showring until she became a mother (handling both our breeds), Benjamin is still handling (both breeds), and
both Melanie and Benjamin have taken part in training classes and passed the different levels of the Kennel Club's Good Citizen Dog Scheme
awards, with an assortment of Papillons.
(Handling at Crufts as
Marianne writes the breed
notes for Malinois in OUR DOGS.
Marianne has in the past worked as a veterinary nurse, dog groomer and kennel maid, and is the author of
several books on pet care:
*GULDHAMSTERN (Swedish), ICA 1986. (As Marianne Bornhult)
(As Marianne Mays:)
*THE PROPER CARE OF HAMSTERS, TFH 1993
*PET OWNER'S GUIDE TO RABBITS, Ringpress 1995
*YOUR FIRST GUINEA PIG, TFH/Kingdom 1995
*YOUR FIRST PUPPY, TFH/Kingdom 1995
*YOUR FIRST KITTEN , TFH/Kingdom 1995
(The "Your First" books now known as "HOW TO CARE FOR..")
*PERSIAN CATS, Kingdom 1996
*MOGGIES, A BOOK ON NON-PEDIGREE CATS, Kingdom 1997
*EXOTIC SHORTHAIR CATS, Kingdom 1998
*WORLD OF CATS, Gramercy 1999
*FACTFINDER GUIDE TO CATS, Grange 1999
*THE DOG IN YOUR FAMILY, Kingdom 1999
*YOUR FIRST DWARF HAMSTER,
Marianne does have
several mental health problems that make life
complicated, being unable to make or receive phonecalls,
go outside on her own, be alone at home for more than
short periods at time etc,
so she is now classified as disabled, with John being her carer. Thankfully, Marianne finds dog people the easiest to feel relaxed with -and of course animals!
Our animals are first and foremost family members.
The dogs mainly live
indoors although most of the stud dogs (Malinois only)
have to live in kennels for practical reasons.
Puppies are ALWAYS reared indoors as part of the family and are never kenneled. They get used to all household noises, cats, adult dogs, children and adults.
The indoor cats have a safely enclosed run to go out in.
They are not allowed
outside otherwise -it is too dangerous.
The majority of the dogs do
or have at
some point attended training classes.
In total Marianne has
passed, with a lot of different dogs, 55 different
Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog tests, ranging from Bronze
to Gold, since the first Bronze with Rufus in 1995.
Melanie and Benjamin have passed 11 GC tests, making the family total 66 as of March 2018.
Dandy, Ripley and Arnie (all now gone) competed and were placed in obedience although at low levels.
Marianne doesn't particularly
enjoy handling the dogs at shows so John does most of the
handling (realising his dream of running through the arch
into the big ring at Crufts in 2010