He has done it again – Smudge

Smudge and blue at lathkill dale near our pet friendly cottages

Me and HIM -

Why, Why, Why, do we have to put up with him?

Yesterday started off bright and sunny at our cottages (click here), so mistress announced  that we were going over to Youlgrave to see the well dressings. Uh Oh that means the CAR! But no.  She meant  we were going to walk. Yippee.  Its a great walk over to Youlgrave from here.  Across the fields to Over Haddon, down into Lathkill Dale and up the other side and then across the fields again.  Very exciting.  So off we went.  Then the first problem.  Idiot brother wouldn’t go down our drive because the cows are currently in that field.  He had to be put on a lead and escorted to the road.  What an idiot.  The walk over the fields to Over Haddon was as much fun as normal.  Lots of smells and swallows to chase. Then down into the dale where we stopped for a well earned drink from the river and then up the other side.  All went well until mistress spotted that idiot brother was limping.

One of the Well dressings at Youlgrave near our pet friendly holiday cottages

One of Youlgrave Well Dressings

He didn’t seem to be limping much to me but we had to stop. I assumed he was doing one of his ‘get attention’ stunts. Both master and mistress tried to find out what the problem was but couldn’t find anything (well they wouldn’t if he was putting it on).  We walked on a little further and then it was decided his leg was not getting better and we would have to turn back. WHAT?  We have only just got started, we can’t go back now! Leave him! But no one listens to me.  So we had to go back down the hill to the river (with idiot brother pretending to limp) where there is a road up to Over Haddon. We (master and me) left idiot brother and mistress sitting by the river as we went back to our Peak district cottages for the car.  Well to be more precise master went back for the car and I just followed – I’m not going in that thing if I can avoid it. After about 3/4 hour we got back home and master went back in the car (leaving me behind thank goodness) to pick them up.

On their return there was a lot of attention lavished on him to try to find out what was wrong.  After a while it was decided that all he needed was some rest.  I can do rest.  I am very good at rest.  Maybe I should hurt my leg.  Anyhow I had the last laugh as he was tied up on his lead so he couldn’t run about. It was great fun watching him get angrier and angrier as I kept running past him chasing swallows etc.  Miraculously he wasn’t limping by tea time.  I wonder why?

Mind you in the evening he got his revenge as mistress still wanted to see the well dressings, so we had to go over to Youlgrave in the CAR.

Not another Garden – Smudge

Smudge at Consall Gardens near our pet friendly holiday cottages

Me at another GARDEN

I think I will howl if we get dragged round another garden.  Whats wrong with taking us for a walk in open fields? Lets face it there are plenty of beautiful spots to go for a walk that are only a few minutes away from our cottages (click here).  At least there we are allowed to run around off our leads. In a GARDEN we have to be on our leads and on our best behavior (which is very difficult for idiot brother). So why do we keep getting dragged to gardens? Because mistress likes them.  Not sure about master! I think he just goes along for an easy life. Anyway on Wednesday we got dragged off in the CAR to Consall Hall Gardens.   I suppose it wasn’t too bad as at  least we had a long walk around the miles of footpaths and tracks.  Lunch as usual was a total wash out – not even a crumb.

Consall Gardens near our peak district pet friendly holiday cottages

Consall Gardens

I think idiot brother has given up on ever getting fed at lunch time.  He just curls up and goes to sleep.  Me –  I stay alert and ready. Just in case!

In the evening I was allowed to show of my cow herding skills again as master and mistress helped to get the milk cows in for the farm opposite.  This is great fun and no idiot brother. He has to be left at home as he is scared of cows.  I have no problem with the cows.  They know who is boss.  Master does seem to get a bit irate with me when I try and nip them to get them moving, but I am sure I have heard somewhere that is what you are supposed to do.  I do admit I might be just a little bit over enthusiastic at times but it is only because I am trying to help.

Family reunion – Blue

Smudge and Blue with their Dad

Us with our Dad

Sunday looked as though it might have been another bad weather day at our peak district  cottages so we were expecting a boring day in.  Then we heard the magical word ‘walk’.  It turns out mistress wanted to go and look round the ‘Open Gardens’ in the next village (Monyash) so as it was not raining, off we went.  Of course we had to be on our leads and on our best behaviour so it wasn’t much fun.

Smudge and blues dad and sister

Our Dad and sister

Whenever we are out, we seem to attract attention and people come up and make a fuss of  us which we enjoy.  I always put on my best cute look just to make sure I get more attention than Smudge.  We were about half way round when one family took a major interest in us and started to say how much I looked like one of their dogs (they obviously had a cute dog too).  Mistress told them where we had been born (Monyash) and the family announced that they were the owners of our farther.  So, as they lived in Monyash, we dropped in to see our DAD.  It turns out that not only does our dad live with this family but so does one of  our sisters.  They have a field behind their house so we were all allowed to play in it for half an hour or so.

One of the 'Open gardens' in Monyash

Monyash Open Garden

There were a lot of snide comments from master about how well trained our dad and sister were compared with us.  We are well trained, we just have a more  independent spirit than they do.  Of course we all  had to sit for the family photo before we left.   So it wasn’t such a bad day after all.

Millennium Bridge – Smudge

Smudge on a day out from our pet friendly holiday cottages

Me on The Bridge -

Yep its a bridge.  Even I knew that.  So why did we have to go all the way from our cottages (click here) to New Mills in the CAR to see it?  Apparently because it is one of those things you are supposed to see. Big deal.  It was a terrible day so I was expecting a nice restful all day encounter with my duvet.  But oh no we got dragged over to see The Bridge.  I suppose if nothing else we did get a 30 minute walk which was better than nothing. Even if we did have to be on our leads.  I suppose the bridge is sort of impressive or at least master and mistress thought so. We thought it was all a bit boring.  Just a bit of metal suspended over a river – nothing very interesting at all.

The Millenium bridge near our pet friendly holiday cottages

The millenium bridge - New Mills

New Village Hall – Blue

Blue at our pet friendly holiday cottages

Me talking to THOSE cows -

Sunday started off as though it was going to be a disaster at our cottages (click here).  It was raining so no walk! Luckily it brightened up by lunch time and we had a lazy lunch time sitting watching the cows from our front field and chasing the odd swallow while master and mistress had their lunch.  After lunch it was decided that it was nice enough to walk over to our village hall (in Over Haddon) where they were putting on an open day showing what the ‘new’ Village Hall will look like.  So off we went across our fields and then across Andrew’s (our neighbours ) fields.  We always like this walk as we don’t have to be on our leads and we know all the best places to sniff etc.  There is always a good selection of swallows to chase as well.  The only problem is that there could be COWS.  Andrew’s fields were fine but once we got into the next set of fields – there they were.  Luckily they didn’t spot me so I crept around the edge of the field and over the wall sharpish.  The rest of the walk into Over Haddon was uneventful.

Shirley at the Lathkill Hotel near our pet friendly holiday accommodation

Mistress having a drink at the Lathkill

Once we got to the village Hall we were unceremoniously tied up outside. Something about dogs not being allowed in. So what they are doing to the village hall I have no idea.  After a brief stop (enough time for Smudge to get a doze in) we were taken on to the pub for master and mistress to get a drink (nothing for us).  Its rather nice at the Lathkill as you can sit in the beer garden which has a spectacular view over the valley.  Then it started raining.  We waited a bit but then it was decided that we would ‘risk it’.  Luckily it wasn’t raining too bad.  I managed to avoid the cows in the first field but when we got back to our own fields the cows were waiting for me.  Now I know I am not allowed on the road on my own but these were extreme circumstances.  Master was very annoyed with me but what could I do? I am not running through that lot.  In the end master came and rescued me and  put me on a lead.  He then ‘FORCED’ me to walk through the cows with him.  I think the cows are a bit intimidated by  him,  so they kept well away from us.  I was very relieved when we got back to the house and I could make sure there was a fence between me and those cows.

Silage Time – Smudge

Smudge in one of our peak district cottages fields

Me checking out the Silage -

Its silage time again so all the big tractors etc are out cutting, rowing, chopping and collecting – very exciting.  Although there is no silage collection on OUR cottages (click here) fields it does mean we have a lot of cows in our fields at the moment.  Idiot brother is not happy at all.  This morning master took us out for our walk and we went over to watch them cutting the first field on our side of the road.  It meant we had to go through 3 fields of cows.  Not a problem for me but idiot brother had to run all the way round the back fields to get round them.

The new cutter at our peak district cottages

The new cutter -

The young hooligans in the 3rd field were a bit uppity.  I haven’t had a chance to train them yet.  They will  learn who is in charge just as soon as  master isn’t watching, then I will sort them out. We spent a pleasant 10-15 mins watching the new cutter zipping up and down the field then wandered back to our own fields.  Poor idiot brother then had to run all the way back round the back fields to avoid the cows again.

The rest of the day we were left on our own while master and mistress went of to do the monthly business shopping.  They claim there would have been no room for us in the car along with all the shopping.  I didn’t mind much as I could get in some extra duvet time.  Usually during silage time my skills as a cow dog are called on to help bring in the milk cows but I wasn’t needed today.

Bad Paw – Blue

Blue in Shaklow Wood one mile from our peak district cottages

Me waiting for the rest to catch up -

I managed to hurt my front leg the other day (probably when I was running from one of those cows at our cottages (click here)).  It was sore for a few hours and I was limping. However, when I found out how much attention I got, I decided to prolong the limping.  It worked for a few days until I kept forgetting to limp.  I think I fooled mistress as I kept getting little treats and extra dinner.  I don’t think master was impressed.  On Saturday I decided I had better make a quick recovery as the word ‘walk’ was used and I am sure I heard master say that they would leave me behind if my leg wasn’t better. Well suddenly it got better. No more limping.

Well dressing in Ashford in the water

Well Dressing Ashford-in-water

Sunday – off we went on a walk directly from our peak district cottages – over to Sheldon then down to  Ashford-in-the -Water and back to Sheldon and home.  As usual mistress had to keep stopping to ‘admire the view’ and in Ashford we got dragged round the Well Dressings (see picture – they are made out of flower petals etc.)  We even had to stop off at one of mistresses friends for a ‘cup of tea’ (we got water).  Then on again up the Wye Valley towards Shacklow Woods, stopping for a quick picnic.  Again all we got was water.  After lunch we went into the woods for a while before  we had to go up 100s of steps to get the the top of the dale (see picture of me).  This nearly killed mistress.  She is still complaining  about her legs.  We didn’t think it was that bad but then we are in permanent four wheel drive.  From the top of the dale we walked back across to Sheldon where mistress was hoping for a cream tea (they usually put them on in the village hall at bank holidays).  Here we go we thought.  A bowl of water while they have an afternoon tea.  However, when we go there it was all closed – Ah! Maybe they didn’t do them this year.  On the way back across our local fields Smudge found a hare we could chase.  We nearly got it – well we would have done if it had run slower.  All in all a good day out and my leg feels fine!