Friday, 13 September 2019

JULY


1. Me outside my stately home!  Ha ha….fooled you!   (West Green House)
I will explain:  recently the Mrs allowed me to join her band of walking buddies so I thought you would like to see some of the sites I was allowed to see on this five mile hike…. all the training I gave her in April obviously paid off as the Mrs managed the whole route.  The Boss said there was a carrot at the end of the stick and that was why the Mrs had completed it but she carried no stick and I am not sure she is that fond of carrots …










2. We passed this delightfully refreshing looking pond but it was part of someone’s private home and garden so I had to wear my lead and the Mrs had to be attached to the other end.  No swimming today! (Dipley Mill)  I also busied myself trying to keeping my human herd together in tight formation.  They get side tracked by talking and studying a paper with lots of lines and symbols on – none of them follow their noses like I do but they managed to find their way across the land so maybe they do have some superior qualities…..

3.  I hadn’t realised how famous my tribe was!   Along the side of the path were growing bushes of beautiful flowers and the Mrs informed me they were called Dog Roses.  Aha I thought, planted specially for me!  I did try to leave my calling scent beneath but was quickly discouraged and told to just admire the view and stop lifting my leg – this was confusingly difficult as I need to lift my legs to walk so I just kept plodding on and the Mrs seemed pleased enough.









4. After walking through fields of grass, potatoes and horses we came upon another site which the Mrs went into raptures about – Wild Flowers!  I was asked to walk to heel which can be a bit tricky without tripping the Mrs.  I have been warned on many occasions that if that happens she will be really really cross!  So I walked sedately behind her and tried not to mind that tall Wild Flowers make one really really wild as I could not see over the top of the flowers without doing one of my upwardly mobile bounds which were definitely not the order of the day.


5.  Here I am emerging from woodland to find the unusual and quaint Mattingley Church which was built in the later 1400’s – how do I know that?  I listened to their leader reading from the info – dogs aren’t daft you know.














6. The Mrs seemed to suddenly find extra energy and we finally left nature behind to return to our starting point – The Leather Bottle.  I felt satisfaction and relief emanating from her when we stopped our trekking to sit down for refreshments.  I had another drink and the Mrs ordered lunch but I don’t think it was carrots!

JUNE


Well we made it across the Chanel without having to wear the muggle, I mean the muzzle!  
I have been practicing my swimming since but definitely not when the Boss is fishing.  Here you can see I have been in for a wee dip but the Boss has now brought out his sticks and boxes of worms and maggots which he reliably informs me are not for eating – except for the fish.  I keep a close eye on him in case some bread appears from his box of tricks or better still some dog biscuits although we have a running argument regarding whether this is fish food or dog food.  He insists that if it is at the lake it is fish food.  He also has an elastic launcher which he fills with ‘fish’ food and propels it across the water.  I saw him do this and thought it was a new game to test my retrieving abilities and launched myself into the water to catch the arc of food floating on top.  After doggy paddling around for ten minutes with my mouth open like a hoover I was persuaded to come out and sit on the bank whereby he explained that I should not chase the biscuits when they were in the water as they had now become ‘fish food’.  I have heard of magic but that was ridiculous and along the lines of when the Mrs arrives from upstairs to go out with the Boss dressed in yet another new outfit only to tell the Boss she has had it for ages and found it in the back of the wardrobe.  He didn’t believe her and I don’t believe him.  Dog biscuits are dog biscuits, my nose does not deceive me and fish should stick to worms and maggots!  It’s a dog’s life but someone has to live it.

Sunday, 9 June 2019

MAY 2019


Can you believe it!?  I am supposed to wear this snout hugger when I go sailing.  Most people on board get issued with a life jacket but I get this!  I am seriously dogged off!
This is a demonstration photo only.  I have already completed around 16 channel crossings without one but being a stickler for following the rules the Mrs heard that animals should have a muzzle and decided to add one to my very limited wardrobe.  To date it consists of 4 things, this, a lead, a neckerchief I never wear and my blanket.  Thats two things more than I need ditch the neckerchief and this muzzle.
Upon the very unlikely happening of the boat sinking apparently, I need to be wearing one of these when I am rescued to ensure I do not bite the hand that saves me as if I would!  I only have to wear the snout hugger on board when I am outside of the vehicle and as I am always inside the vehicle I am a little confused.    When on the boat I stay in my bedroom on wheels and go to sleep while my two chauffeurs depart to their own cabin to sleep.  I am not allowed to vacate my vehicular bedroom and must stay there until they return in the morning to transport me and themselves off the boat.   There are a lot of other dogs around me occupying their own vehicular bedrooms.  Presumably if the boat starts sinking someone will rush round applying this contraption to all concerned while letting them out of the vehicles so that they can all swim to safety - ridiculous - I am going to practice removing it and may well have to eat the evidence.
Muzzled!!  I prefer the term mugged and I am not at all sure I can swim with this thing on best keep that to yourselves in case the Mrs hears and decides we need to trial it in the lake this could be the last time you hear from me!!

APRIL 2019


This is me rolling in laughter at the Mrs and her fitness regime, which in my doggist opinion is not working.  I intend to get her walking more and more steps.  Every morning racing down the hill for my walk I do not have to do much encouragement as she is fairly brisk.  We walk around looking for sticks, balls, smells, evidence of night visitors and then we walk back up the hill but believe me that is when the ‘fitness’ comes into question…
All the stick throwing, collecting spoor (mine), and path meandering means her energy levels for climbing back up the hill are already spent and towing her behind me is fairly hard work.  We arrive on flat ground again only to have the delicious silence broken with heavy breathing, a heated red face, bending double with hands on knees and instructions to “wait a minute”.  I have to turn away and feign investigating a nearby scent so she cannot see the amusement on my face.   After “several minutes”, we can resume upright again and stagger home where I am reduced to unmitigated mirth again tinged with relief that we made it.  If she thinks this one walk a week is working I am a poodle’s topknot!
My mission is to reduce the unfitness and spruce her up a bit so that she can keep up with me on the hill climbs and reduce the drag on the lead as it is giving me a pain in the neck.   Progress is slow and steady but if I get too barkingly encouraging and start pulling her she gets a bit sharp with the reprimands.  Gently does it with nudges against her legs, the lead in my mouth and a wistful look on my face she eventually succumbs and we set off on another exercise, oops, I mean walk!  I try to remain straight faced but heard her tell the Boss the other day that she was sure she caught me laughing when we returned from a walk – the Boss and I exchanged a cautious smile as he commented on how fit he thought I looked!  Ha! What a tactician.

MARCH 2019


I am alert and ready for anything.  Throw me a stick, a ball or even a shoe and I will retrieve it forthwith.  My ears perk up and my forehead creases and I am at our service.  The Boss loves it when I look like this and he knows I will retrieve anything he wishes including pheasants, duck, geese, and any other edible fowl.  However, at the moment they are all out of season so I am reduced to fetching balls and sticks whether they be on land, sea or lake.
If the Mrs looks out of the window first thing in the morning and sees the mist and rain she will reject her normal walk to the lake and find my favourite squeezy squeaky orange ball from the cupboard along with her trusty ancient wooden tennis racquet and practice her forearm smashes with me.  She informs me I make the best ball boy ever and I get a pat and kind word every time I return my squeaky ball to her.  I am sometimes reluctant to give it up and feel the need to squeeze it several times to experience the squeaky squeaks before allowing her to set up another volley.   I admit the tennis ball which is furry and soft in my mouth goes much further when she gives it her best serve but it does not have the squeezable squeak that my orange ball does when I retrieve it.  I really prefer my orange ball but the Mrs sometimes gets quite cross if I do not relinquish my prize to her immediately and she has to test it to make sure I have not ruined the squeaker. Just when I am getting into this match the Mrs loses her competitive streak, if it ever existed, and is easily distracted.  As soon as the Boss calls that breakfast is ready she immediately says tennis is over, washes and returns my orange squeaker ball to the cupboard and heads indoors and I think “you cannot be serious!”

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019


Hello my friends,  I have a very warm bottom….thought you would like to know that!   The Boss and Mrs disappeared to the sun and I was farmed out to the miniatures for a week – not that I am complaining, I enjoy their company and want to be by their sides constantly, a fact that made their mum and dad a bit peeved.  I was told the newly decorated sitting room with the deliciously fluffy new rug is out of bounds.  I thought bounds were especially for dogs as I can bound about all over the place.  However I had compensation in bucket loads, or as they say in dog speak, bone loads.   You see the floor on which you see me sitting which was where my bed was placed and which became my domain was magically heated from underneath – don’t ask me how, I don’t really care as long as I can sit, lay, curl, sleep  and wriggle on here for ever.  Bliss!!  I have no need of my padded bed or my furry bed blanket – just lay me out on this floor and I am in heaven. 
During my stay I nearly managed to wangle a ride in a taxi too, the miniatures go to school in one and as they were being collected the tailgate was open to load their necessities so I took the opportunity to jump in.  After the shocked driver left his seat to see what had weighed the boot down he appeared a little stunned when faced with my eager look.  Unfortunately he is not licenced to take dogs in the boot and despite my best inveigling look and jumping in and out several times I was eventually persuaded that I should remain at home.  I had to wait for the miniatures to come home from school before we could have more fun and treats on my nice warm floor.  A week on this floor is not long enough…….

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

DECEMBER


Hi there.  Hope you had a good Christmas and welcome to 2019.  My treat for the festive season was an impromptu visit to the sea side.  Here I am on the beach sizing up all the pebbles.  There are so many of them I am not sure which ones to choose to play with.  Neither is the Mrs by the looks of it as she keeps picking up different ones while I patiently dance around waiting for one to be thrown which I can collect.  My patience is wearing a little thin as the choice seems to be taking rather a long time. . . . .
While the Mrs is choosing her stone I ran after the boss who was also tired of waiting for her to examine every pebble on the beach.  I found a nice lump of sea weed which had some delicious smells attached to it but when I tried to carry it with me, intending to take it home for closer examination, the Boss said no with his usual ‘leave it’ which translates into spoilsport as far as I am concerned. 
Failing to be entertained by the Boss or the Mrs I turned my attention to the large amount of water nearby. A paddle was all I was intending when a sequence of splashes occurred further out and that was my prompt for further immersion.  This initially proved to be a bit of a disaster as when I eventually emerged from the water after failing to distinguish the cause of the splash plus many shouts to return, it transpired that the Mrs, having finally finished her pebble search, was showing the Boss her finds when he suddenly selected a satisfyingly flat one from her hand and skimmed it out over the water and I, being bored stiff by now, instantly and unthinkingly went to investigate the splash without waiting for any command – whoops…
After the jettisoning of all pebbles, the Mrs’s short heated exchange with the Boss and the inevitable lecture on obedience, (me, not the Boss) impatience and being a silly dog, my unscheduled swim eventually worked in my favour.  Neither of them had remembered to bring a towel to rid my fur coat of water so we had to go on a much extended fast walk to give me chance to run around and get air dried – now who’s the silly dog?????