Thanks for all your advice and encouragement. I have spoken to Grandma and she is fine, Grandads a bit apprehensive as he hasn't figured out how he is going to take 3 dogs for a walk (as they have 13 yr old lab of their own)- I've promised to buy him a coupler so he only has the one lead. The members of training class where I went last night have agreed with all your advice that Merlin is a good age to have a new bruv!
I have found out who the Dad is and he is a very handsome Ruby boy and his mum is gorgeous anyway - we knew that already.
Unfortunatley, the better half is away until next sunday so we can't visit until the week after - by then he should be a bit bigger and should have a bit of a personality so will be able to confirm our hopes.
Here he is