Christmas and all that – Smudge

smudge at our  pet friendly holiday cottages

Do I have to play!

Its still a bit cold here at ourcottages (click here) so I am still keeping a careful eye on the fire (and the duvet). Unfortunately we do get thrown outside every now and then. Master and Mistress have had a few days off and their friends came over for Christmas. Their friend is allergic to us so we usually get banished to the kitchen which is hardly fair when it is so cold and there is an ample supply of tit-bits around. Luckily he did not seem to be quite as bad as he used to be, so we were allowed in the lounge for some of the evenings. I personally think he is allergic to idiot brother rather than me. After all its not me doing all the running around and jumping all over people. I just lie by the fire keeping my head down.

Smude at Chatsworth House near our peak district cottages

Me at Chatsworth near the frozen waterfall

We got taken for a very cold walk round Chatsworth just before Christmas. Mistress wanted to see the Christmas decorations in the house.  In the  garden all the waterfalls and cascade etc were frozen which shows how cold it has been. We didn’t get to see round the house as they don’t allow dogs. Well I can’t blame them for not allowing idiot brother in but I don’t see why I couldn’t have gone in to keep warm. Anyhow mistress enjoyed it (have a look at master’s YouTube video) . Of course on the way home  Mistress  made us  stop off at the Chatsworth farm Shop – just so see what there was on special offer! I don’t know why, as we never seem to get anything from there. I don’t think they do dog food and the chance of us getting some proper meat is a bit thin on the ground.

On Christmas Day we all walked down to the Lathkil pub for a pre Christmas lunch drink. We had to sit outside while they went into the nice warm bar.

Smudge at our pet friendly holiday cottages

Us making helpful suggests about where the scraps could go.

Why do people think dogs are happy sitting outside in the cold. I wasn’t!

On Boxing Day we went for a nice long walk over to Youlgrave via Over Haddon. This is the walk where idiot brother hurt his paw during the summer. No such luck this time. We did quite well at lunch time although with all the spare food around I am sure there could have been a lot more for us.

A few of our dog friends have gone today but a few more have arrived so that is OK.

Getting ready for Christmas – Blue

Blue at our pet friendly holiday cottages

Ok so I will do the Christmas thing!

Well it has been all go here at our peak district cottages. Mistress has been rushing around putting up Christmas trees and decorations in all our cottages and master has been desperately trying to finish off all the pre Christmas maintenance work and get the outside Christmas lights up. Master has been fitting new carpets in the cottages which I don’t think he likes doing as he is always grumpy when doing that job. So we keep well away from him. Every now and then I try to see if I can help but usually just get yelled at. He wasn’t very happy with putting the lights up either. He kept complaining about it been too cold. Well it was a bit cold but not that bad.

Carpet cutting at our pet friendly holiday cottages

Master cutting carpet

Unfortunately no snow at the moment which is a bit of a shame but I live in hope. You rarely see Smudge outside at this time of year.  He claims to be ‘looking after the fire’. Yeh! I bet. He is just lazy. Me I am here, there and everywhere trying to help with whatever is going on.

We have lots of friends coming over Christmas so that should be fun (especially if we have snow like last year).  Smudge just sees other dogs arriving as a possible opportunity for some more food. Unfortunately for him mistress always warns everyone about him but he still does a daily round of all the cottages just in case.

The Snow has gone – Smudge

Smudge at our pet friendly holiday cottages

Me 'outside' in the snow

Thank goodness. The snow has gone from our (click here).  I was not impressed. But at least I managed to keep out of its way for most of the time. As chief  ‘log fire observer’ I had a very responsible job of lying in front of the fire making sure it didn’t go out. Idiot brother of course was forever wanting to go out and ‘play’. Me – I was happy with my job. I did get thrown outside every now and then which was a bit unfortunate.  How I am supposed to keep an eye on the fire if I am not there I don’t know.

Sheep arriving at our pet friendly holiday cottages

The Sheep arrive.

Now the snow has gone the vicious sheep are back. I hope they are more friendly than last year. Anyhow just in case I am staying well clear of them. There looks to be a lot more than last year – that could be really bad news! They gang up on us and idiot brother is no help as he is as scared of them as he is of the cows.

I had a bit of an accident today. There I was taking the short cut from the top garden to the bottom garden via the pond. Something I have been doing for the last two weeks. Problem is no one told me that the ice on the pond was a lot thinner than it was a few days ago. Half way across and I found myself in freezing cold water. Now I don’t like water at the best of times but when it is freezing cold its even worse. Luckily idiot brother wasn’t around to see me. Unfortunately mistress was. Instead of giving me a reassuring cuddle when I got out I  was whisked away and hosed down which was as bad as falling in the pond in the first place. Mistress said I smelled. I thought it was quite a fetching smell. Oh well no accounting for taste.  She did redeem herself by suggesting I warm myself in front of the Log f ire which I did for the rest of the day.

Fun fun fun in the snow – blue

Blue at our pet friendly holiday cottages

Me having fun in the Snow

The snow is back again at our (click here).  Great fun. All the guests have been playing with me in the snow. The best game is – ‘catch the snow before it hits the ground’. This can be snow flakes or snow off shovels or people kicking the snow. I can spend hours playing this game. I managed to get one of our guests to play for at least 30 mins (he was outside on his  phone so I suppose I kept him warm). Master isn’t as much fun. If he is shovelling snow (and he seems to do a lot of that at the moment) he usually just yells at me or sends me inside. What fun is that.  He needs to chill out a bit. Trying to play with Smudge of course is pointless. He just wants to go inside and lie by the fire – what kind of dog is that! All this snow and he wants to be inside. Me – I love it .

blue in snow drift at our pet friendly holiday cottages

Me sitting in a snow drift

Wednesday was the best day. We were blocked in for a few hours until Andrew (the farmer) came up and dug out the snow from our bottom gate.  The snow was so deep that even master nearly disappeared. I had a go at walking over it but decided it was a bit cold covered in snow. Smudge just watched. We were outside most of the day helping people leave or just generally clearing snow away from cottages so people could get in.

We have been having great fun with master’s new toy (his new 4*4).

blue in the new car at our pet friendly holiday cottages

Me about to take a spin in the new car

We took mistress and some guests down town for emergency rations and some guests over to Monyash to let them walk back. I like the new car. Its much more comfortable than the old one and master doesn’t complain all the time.  We even managed to get Smudge in for a ride although he did sit there very grumpy looking.

Mistress hasn’t been very happy with the snow.  Like Smudge she doesn’t like it at all. It has disrupted a number of our guests. Some have cancelled and others stayed on for another few nights.  I must admit that with the sun out the countryside surrounding our cottages and the hills in the distance did look spectacular (and I am just a dog). Mistress has been taking 100s of photos (as she does). You can see master’s slideshow/video of all the snow at

Blue playing in the snow at out pet friendly holiday cottages

Me playing my favourite game

Not Snow again – Smudge

Smudge in front of the fire at our peak district cottages

Snow what Snow

I thought we had finished with the snow stuff at our (click here) months ago but it seems to be back.  Idiot brother is all excited but then he would be.  Me I think it is cold and wet – bring back the summer. I was happy lounging in the sun.  This cold stuff gets in your paws and is a real pain. Master wasn’t too impressed either. We all had to go out BEFORE breakfast to clear the drive.  There wasn’t too much snow so it didn’t take too long.  The cows didn’t look very happy. I don’t think I would either if I had to stay out in this weather – I would be straight down the RSPCA citing cruelty to dogs.

a visitor at our pet friendly holiday cottages

An intruder

We got abandoned on Tuesday while mistress and master went off to Sheffield for the day. Something about shopping at Makro. Idiot brother was annoyed that they had left us behind but I just settled down for a long encounter with my duvet.  It wasn’t too bad anyway as the handyman was still here and he took us for a walk at lunch time.  Everything was fine until idiot brother decided he would chase the migrating geese (idiot – he’s not going to catch them is he).  He was about six fields away before he stopped. He came back in the end but the handyman was not impressed and kept us in for the rest of the day.  Fine by me but again idiot brother seemed a bit annoyed. Serves him right. Anyhow when master and mistress returned we found that they had been shopping for us.  Big bags of dinner and lots of chews etc. Not a bad day after all.

Master’s New Car – Blue

Blue at our Peak District Cottages

Me in the good old 'Disco'

We have a new car at our (click here)! Well when I say new its a sort of old new car (master is too mean to buy a ‘new’ car – he is from Yorkshire you know). He has  been messing about trying to choose a new car since last January when the good old Discovery (Disco) died during the snow. I use to like the  Disco as I was allowed in it with muddy paws etc. Master just didn’t care as it was so old and dirty it just didn’t matter. The new car is a bit different. As it is newer (the Disco was dropping to bits) he has made me sit on cloths on the seat. Anyway I have got my driving position back. Its a lot better in a big 4*4 car than a normal car.  You can see so much better.  One problem we had was that the brakes needed looking at so we had to take it into the garage in the next village.  I went with him to make sure that they understood the problem. We normally walk back but this time we got a lift back which meant I had to sit on master’s lap all the way home as I wasn’t allowed on the seats.

View from near our peak district cottages

A view from the hill over looking Sheldon

The good news is that when the car was ready to pick up Smudge and I were taken for a walk over the fields to fetch it.  It was a bit misty but at times we were in bright sunshine.  I had a few problems getting across our land, due to the cows still been around, but by going the long way round I managed to avoid them.  The sheep in the ‘Mine Rake’ (a field near our picnic spot) were a bit uppity but Smudge sorted them out.  The biggest problem came when we approached the village. A young Bullock decided it didn’t like us (well the feeling was mutual).  He started chasing Smudge all over the field.  I was having none of that and very quickly jumped over the wall and was gone.  I think Smudge must have got away from him in the end as he seemed OK when he caught up with me in the village.  The car was ready and we had a pleasant drive back home. Even Smudge didn’t grumble too much about being in a car.

Passed the Test- Blue

Blue at our Dog friendly holiday cottages

Me having fun with the leaves

Master did a very sneaky thing the other night at our (click here). He left one of our favourite treats on the kitchen table all night. I spotted it straight away but luckily remembered that we are not allowed to take things from the table, so left it.  A few moments later Smudge came past and also spotted the treat. Now Smudge was in a real turmoil. He knew he would get into serious trouble if he took it, but it did look very inviting and you know what Smudge and food are like. Anyhow just in case I got the blame for Smudge eating it, I decided to sit guard over it until he had forgotten about it (which with Smudge doesn’t take long – goldfish brain comes to mind). Anyway thanks to me we passed the test and got a real fuss from master and a double helping of treats (so it was worth being good). Mistress had no faith in us.  She thought we would take it.

Blue at our Peak District Cottages

Me helping with car cleaning

Our en-suite seems to have come to a stand still. Something about master being busy with the cottages.  So how come he seems to be able to find time to finish off mistress’s laundry room. Although he hasn’t completely finished it, mistress has started using it. We were a bit dismayed to find we are not allowed in it – something about us shaking all over the laundry (as if we would). Smudge is devastated as he was looking forward to curling up on the floor which has underfloor heating – far better than the cold floor in our room.

A day out at Derwent Dams – Smudge

Smudge at Derwent Dam near our peak district cottages

Me with Derwent Dam in the background

At long last a  walk! We set of early from our cottages (click here) to make sure we got a parking space at the Derwent Dam car park. This of course meant going in the CAR. But as I knew we were going for a walk it wasn’t too bad. Master tells me that Derwent Dam  is where  the famous  ‘Dam Busters’ practiced and where the old film was made. But more importantly it is where we are let off our leads almost  immediately which means we can explore a lot more than normal.  It was a beautiful day so there were lots of squirrels and even better loads of grouse around on the moor. Grouse are funny as they make such a strange noise when they get excited.  We were taken all the way down Derwent reservoir then up on to the moor where you get spectacular views of Howden Dam and the Derwent reservoir. Lunch was a major disappointment – again. Nothing for us but we did manage to try and round up a few grouse.

Derwent dam near our peak district cottages

Derwent Dam from the car park

The walk took a lot longer than it should have because of course mistress did a lot of the ‘stopping to admire the view’ thing she does.  The climb up onto the moor seemed a bit slow as well. I think Master and Mistress are getting a bit out of shape. We sat at the top for ages waiting for them. Idiot brother got himself into a bit of a tizz on the way down. For some reason he just wouldn’t go through one of the gates. Master had to drag him through but as soon as he was released he went back under the gate. In the end master had to put him on his lead  and drag him through the gate and down the field. I don’t know what was the matter with him. There were no cows or anything else around that usually upsets him.  Anyhow in spite of idiot brother it was a very nice walk.

Howden Dam near our peak district pet friendly holiday cottages

Howden Dam

Yesterday was a bit traumatic. The electricians were back. I don’t like the electricians. Every time they come, lights go on and off and things beep. Idiot brother disappeared upstairs (we are not allowed upstairs) to hide so I followed him. This didn’t go down well and in the end we were banned to one of the cottages where our handyman was working. At least it was relatively peaceful and quiet there.

A traumatic day – Blue

Blue at our peak district cottages

Me amongst some of the floor coverings

What a day!  In fact what a week!  Mistress’s laundry area is nearing completion so it is the last push to get everything finished before Master starts work on our (click here) (again). Although we have had numerous people in and our doing things today was the worst. Last week we seemed to be dashing off over to the kitchen suppliers or electrical wholesalers every few hours. First we would need another cabinet door, then the electrician would need another thingy. So off me and Master would zip to get the required bit only to find when we go back that someone else needed something else.  I wasn’t complaining as it meant I could go out in the car. Great Fun.

Blue at our peak district cottages

Me just wandering through to see how things were going

Today was however a bad day. Loads of people all over the place (getting in our way) and worse still they turned all the electricity off for most of the day. Now in general I am not a timid dog but I do hate it when the electricity goes off and master’s computer things start beeping and generally getting angry. Smudge of course is just a basket case. He just can’t cope at all. Me  – I decided the best place to be was outside away from the general mayhem.

The Laundry area at our peak district cottages

The new Laundry area

That was OK till just after lunch time when it started to rain. So I decided I would spent the afternoon in the garage – far warmer and a safer spot than the house. Smudge just trailed around after mistress looking very sorry for himself.  Luckily the lights and everything came back on at about 3 pm so I decided I would see if it was safe to go back in doors.  It was and I settled into my favourite spot to watch master clearing up all the rubbish left over from the electricians etc. By 5 pm it was all back to normal and we now have light and heating in our en suite and Mistress has lights and power in her laundry. in fact she is now starting to use it although it still isn’t fully finished.

A walk along Baslow Edge – Smudge

Smudge on baslow edge near our peak district cottages

Me soaking up the the rays.

Sunday and a glorious day at our peak district pet friendly holiday cottages. It was announced that we would be going for a walk along Baslow Edge (you can see the Edge from our front garden). Of course it meant a trip in the CAR but all for a good cause.  Once out of the car and walking towards the Edge from Baslow we were allowed off our leads and we could check out the fauna and flora and any unsuspecting wild life.  Idiot brother was relieved to find there were no cows or sheep around so he was happy.  It made for a very pleasant walk/run up to the edges.  When we go to the top there was a strange thing circling just over the cliff face.  Idiot brother started barking and trying to chase it which resulted in us being put back on our leads.

Smudge on Baslow edge

Me with the Edge in the background

It turns out the circling thing was a model glider. Master use to fly model gliders so he went over to talk to the person. Unfortunately this resulted in idiot brother barking all the more and he had to be frog marched away.

A little later we settled down to lunch just as one of master’s photographic friends came past with his family and dog. So we said hello to them before continuing  concentrating on lunch.  We did get a few bits but not as much as we would have liked.  From were we were sitting on the top of the Edge we could easily make out Bolehill Farm in the distance. Whenever we are out locally, mistress always wants to try and find where the Holiday Cottages are. Sometimes it is dead easy to see them other times it seems to take her ages. She is, however, getting better at spotting the trees behind the cottages etc.

Baslow edge near our pet friendly holiday cottages

Baslow edge

After  lunch idiot brother found something else to bark at.  Some hang gliders were in the air. We hadn’t spotted them while we concentrating on lunch but once we came round the rock we were sitting behind – there they were. This set idiot brother off again.  So we were but back on our leads for the rest of the walk along the edge (I gave idiot brother  a nip on his ankle just to show how annoyed I was with him).  Once we came down from the Edge heading back to the car we were allowed off the lead again. We finished the walk reasonably early so we took mistress to the Chatsworth Farm Shop for some retail therapy.