Christmas! What Christmas? Mistress and Master’s friends came to stay at our cottages (click here). You know, the friend that is allergic to us. How can anyone be allergic to dogs – what did we ever do wrong. Anyway we were banished to the kitchen and our own room which is just not fair. OK I quite like the kitchen but it is not as cosy as the lounge. Besides we don’t dry off quite as quick on the tiled floor as we do on the nice warm carpet. Smudge of course was totally traumatized. He could see all the food leaving the kitchen and disappearing into the dining room without him. He just sat at the kitchen door whining. To be fair we did get a few scraps but nothing like Smudge was hoping for. [NOTE - the picture shows me in the lounge 'enjoying Christmas' - it is a fabrication. I was taken into the lounge, antlers put on my head, photographed then marched back into the kitchen - a definite case of abuse!]
Even worse than not being allowed in the lounge. We didn’t get taken out for the Christmas Day walk. Now that is definitely abuse and I will be taking the issue up with the local RSPCA. Ok it may have partly been my fault. I had overdone it a bit the day before and had been limping (only a very little bit) in the evening. So master felt I (and therefore Smudge as well) should be left at home to rest. Why? I was better. I was up for a walk. I tried to nip into the car before anyone noticed. But no! I got thrown out and told to behave. Behave? I want to go for a walk!
Me at Middleton Top on the High Peak Trail
We did get two long walks though. Christmas Eve we went on a long walk along the High Peak Trail. Starting at Brassington and walking to Cromford. Master left a car at one end then picked the other up later. Of course the car transfer was all a bit complicated as we (Smudge and me) aren’t allowed into master’s friend’s car (we might leave dog hair – as if!). So master had to be driven to the other car then drive back to pick us all up.
On Boxing Day we all went for a long walk from home. Out the back fields to the Magpie mine, across to Monyash where we (well they) stopped for a bacon butty sandwich and a mug of tea. Then off down Lathkill Dale towards Over Haddon. Master had cheated a bit by leaving his car near the bottom of the dale at Over Haddon. So we (or more likely mistress) didn’t have to walk all the way up the hill back to home. We were off our leads most of the day except of course in Monyash and when we went through that field with COWS. I was just about to disappear into the next field to avoid the damn things when master grabbed me and put me back on a lead. I had no alternative but to go straight through the middle of the big vicious things. I kept close to master – just in case.
Me at the source of the River Lathkill
Master was very excited when we got to the cave that is the source of the River Lathkill. He had never seen water coming out from it as usually it starts 100-200 yards further down the valley. Water was gushing out in torrents (see picture). As there was so much water, in places the footpath was flooded. This slowed mistress down as she had to keep stepping round the big puddles. And she calls us wimpy because we try to avoid puddles. Down the bottom end of the dale things got easier and we could progress a bit faster as mistress could keep up better. All in all it was a nice walk.
As you can see from the picture master had a bit of an oops at our cottages (click here). I personally think it was idiot brothers fault. He probably got in the way. It all happened last week. Our drive didn’t seem particularly icy so master had not salted it (which he usually does, with our help, when there is snow or ice around). He and idiot brother went off down town on some errand or other, leaving me at home, thank goodness. Next thing I notice is master’s 4×4 stuck in the wall at the bottom of the drive and the farmer is pulling it out. Now I can’t believe that master was stupid enough to have skidded into one of our own walls without the help of idiot brother. Idiot brother swears he had nothing to do with it but I am not sure. Anyhow after getting the car pulled out from the wall, master inspected the damage and was very relieved to find that the only damage was a bit of scratched paint on the bumper. Thank goodness for that. Master would have been in a really bad mood for the rest of the day if any serious damage had been done. The wall isn’t in such a good state though and will need rebuilding before the cows come back next year. At least one good thing – I won’t have to jump over that bit of wall for a few months.
Mistress is getting a bit fed up with all the snow. It isn’t as bad as last year but she still doesn’t like it, especially when she is trying to get the cottages ready for Christmas. We all try to help but she seems to want to do it herself. Well I can’t blame her for not wanting any help from idiot brother but I am sure I could help her to do something. For instance I could check the mince pies or make sure any food was up to scratch. Anyway the snow seems to have gone, so I suppose it will be back to having our paws washed every time we go out!
It must be Christmas time at our cottages (click here)! Master is all grumpy, boxes are coming out from all sorts of places, mistress is rushing around, strange trees are appearing in the house and the cottages, mistress is nagging master about putting lights up and we are getting neglected. Not a walk for weeks. I can see master’s point about not putting up the lights. It has been a bit cold, snowy and wet. Not the ideal time to be working outside. Although I would of course have helped. Anyhow yesterday Master at last gave in and he and the handyman spent the day putting up Christmas Lights. We seem to have more this year than on pervious years. I am not sure why. I don’t think master has bought any more this year. Maybe they have been breeding while they have been away. I tried my best to be helpful but kept getting yelled at for ‘being in the way’. Now that is gratitude for you. Smudge, very sensibly, just went inside out-of-the-way. Anyway they are all up now and master is a little less grumpy and mistress has stopped nagging him (for the moment).
The snow, we had last week, was great fun. Master has put a youtube thing together showing us enjoy ourselves in the snow. Have a look at
Even Smudge enjoyed himself (which is a bit unusual). Although it was great during the snow, now it has melted, every time we come inside we have to have our paws washed. I just don’t understand. I thought master had laid new carpet especially for us to clean our feet on! If not I wonder why he changed it.
There I was minding my own business, wandering around our sheds, at our cottages (click here), while master got on with something or other. Next thing I know, I turned round and the shed door was closed. “Ah! That doesn’t look good”. I thought. Never mind Master was bound to miss me in a few minutes. After a while I realised there was no sound from outside. Master had completely forgotten about me and gone off to do something else (along with idiot brother). I tried the odd howl and bark but nothing. I started to get a bit worried as I could see that there wasn’t any food in the shed. What would I have for my supper? Would they miss me in the end? Am I locked in here because I had done something wrong? NO it can’t be that or idiot brother would be permanently locked up. Maybe idiot brother will miss me? Well actually no he probably wouldn’t. He is usually too busy running around and being an idiot. After some hours (I was starting to get hungry) I heard mistress’s voice. At least someone has been missing me. I started to bark to let her know where I was and at last she found me and let me out. Thank goodness for that. Have I missed supper? Would I get extra? These were all the big questions I needed answering. Mistress gave me a big fuss and then took me for a treat. What about my supper? It turns out I had only been locked away for 10 minutes so I got very little sympathy. I don’t think master and idiot brother even noticed I was missing! Although master did get a telling off for not checking before he closed the door. I will be more careful as well in the future. I might have missed a meal.
Sunday was a bright and sunny day at our cottages (click here) so it was decided that we would go for a walk over at Hartington (about 10 mins away). Strangely for Hartington we managed to park in the centre of the village (it is usually a busy little place) and set of towards Beresford Dale and Wolfscote Dale. We were let of our leads almost immediately so could go off and explore. Master and mistress tagged along behind. Amazingly Mistress managed to keep up rather than her usually being miles behind and us all having to stop for 10 mins for her to catch up. Master was a bit grumpy to start with as he thought it was too busy. Well it was a bit I suppose, but we soon left the casual walkers behind and headed further into the Dale where it was quieter.
Although it was a bit blowy, at least the sun was out most of the time and we all kept warm. We didn’t even come across any COWS or those horrible SHEEP things. It was all nice and peaceful. Even lunch had a result. Master had packed too many sandwiches so we got quite a few leftovers (from Mistress). Which is more than we usually get.
Now what is he up to
The walk back via Biggin was a bit of an up hill slog but mistress managed it better than usual. I wonder if she has been working out without telling us! When we got back to the car we all expected to have to go through the ‘Afternoon tea’ ritual but to our amazement Mistress decided not to bother (very strange). It was a bit traumatic when we got back home. we had to be washed down. Now I don’t mind too much (as long as the water isn’t too cold) but Smudge makes a real song and dance about it. That just makes it worse .
Master has a new project over in Buxton, a house he is doing up, so I have been over there most days advising him on what a dog needs in a house. No one usually worries about such niceties but at least with me being in at the start I can make sure the little dog luxuries get included from scratch. We are discussing the the garden layout at the moment. Space for playing ball, space for digging, space for sun bathing, space for just chilling out, space for evening walks. Can anyone think of anything else I should get him to include?
Its been a bit of a boring week at our cottages (click here). Great! I love boring weeks! None of this rushing about thing. Just time to snuggle up in a corner and get a bit of shut eye. I did get dragged down town by Mistress but it wasn’t too bad although she reckons I disgraced her. How was I to know we were in a different card shop to normal? How many card shops can there be? I just thought the kind lady was offering me some food (as I used to get in a card shop). Well what else am I suppose to do other then jump up to the counter to take it. I thought I was showing gratitude. As it turns out she was just giving some change to Mistress and it was the wrong shop. A mistake any of us could make.
In the middle of the week Master had a bit of trouble helping move some cows. Instead of asking me to help, he and the farmer decided to do it themselves. There were cows all over the place. I could have sorted them out in seconds but oh no they knew better. Well at least I didn’t have to do a load of running about.
Master seems to keep disappearing off somewhere with a car load of tools. Luckily he tends to take idiot brother with him so I get a nice day of peace. The other advantage is I can do the ‘bonding’ bit with mistress which basically means I get more treats. I presume one day someone will let me know what is going on. Idiot brother got left behind today and he wasn’t happy at all. I assume master has at long last noticed just what a pain he is and left him at home. The bad news was I had to put up with him.
Sunday was a bit miserable at our peak district cottages. Saturday had been a beautiful day, but master and mistress were working in the garden. Anyhow they had promised us a walk on Sunday. But when they at last got up, it was a horribly murky day. Now although I was keen to get out, everyone else (including Smudge) thought it was best to stay at home. So it was decided we wouldn’t go out. Ha! Anyway I settled down for a peaceful day in. Smudge curled up in his favourite spot, master got on with some work and we thought that was it for the day. Then suddenly after lunch it was announced that we were going out. I don’t remember being any part of this discussion and Smudge certainly wasn’t (he was asleep as normal). I should have known as soon as the short leads came out that something terrible was about to happen. Smudge wanted to stay at home but I thought we were going somewhere interesting (will I never learn). It was announced we were going to Chatsworth. That sounded good as there are lots of walks at Chatsworth. Then the most terrifying words to a dog’s ears were heard – ‘Christmas Shopping’. We were going to Chatsworth to go ‘CHRISTMAS SHOPPING’. Apparently there was a Christmas Fair on. Wow! Who cares! Go if you must but please please leave me at home. But – oh no we were dragged along.
Mistress seemed to enjoy it. Master looked as bored as I was. Smudge on the other hand seemed to think Christmas had arrived early. There were lots of food stalls so he was pulling here, there and everywhere to get to the food (someday I must try the old carrot in front of his nose trick and see what happens). Of course with that many food stalls there were lots of scraps left on the floor so Smudge was in heaven. Master got very annoyed with him.
Luckily we went late in the afternoon so it was a lot quieter than it would have been during the day. Even so it was very busy. What is it with people and shopping. I just don’t get the attraction. What is wrong with a nice walk up on the moors. Far more interesting. Of course mistress had to stop for a hot chocolate so we had to hang around while she drank it. Nothing for us (or master) of course. Then there was more SHOPPING. Luckily the entire experience only lasted a couple of hours before we could go home. I have learned my lesson. I am keeping well out of the way till after Christmas!
At long last a nice day and mistress and master not working at our cottages (click here). So we could go out for a walk. About time too. First it was decided we would go to Lathkill Dale. That’s my favourite walk as we don’t have to go in the car. We just walk from home. Then it was decided we would go to Padley Gorge so master could take some pictures (he still fancies himself as a photographer). We both carefully checked to make sure the sandwiches were being prepared (we weren’t going to be fooled again like last week) and made sure they picked up our leads. Then off in the CAR we went. Luckily it wasn’t far – about 10-15 mins. Once there we managed to park at the station at the bottom of the Gorge. We were let off our leads almost from the start which we much prefer. It was a beautiful day and the trees were a wonderful colour which unfortunately meant both master and mistress were forever stopping to take photographs. Master decided we would go up the trickier part of the gorge, nearer to the water, which we thought was great fun(scrambling up boulders etc) but mistress found it hard going. She had to do her usual trick of sliding down steep bits on her bum which is always entertaining.
However, the most entertaining part of the walk was when master tried to get into the middle of the gorge to take a photograph. He slipped and very nearly fell in the water. Luckily he managed to grab a rock before he went in. I went over to see if I could help but he had managed to scramble back. Of course idiot brother just sat and watched.
Lunch time was good. Lucky for us master had packed too many sandwiches so there was some scraps left over for us. After lunch we walked back along a route we hadn’t taken before. Of course mistress got lost and master, with his sat nav, wasn’t much better. Why they don’t tell us where they want to go and leave it up to us I don’t know. Anyhow luckily we got lost almost back at the beginning of the walk. So after a short while we stumbled back on to a track along the gorge we had used on a previous walk.
Waiting for Lunch
Mistress was so full, after her lunch time snack, that she didn’t even want afternoon tea. Which was a bit strange. So we went straight home. It turns out that the walk was only 4 miles. Its just that they made such a meal of going up the gorge it took us (I mean them) ages. Anyhow it was a very enjoyable day out and even idiot brother behaved himself – for once.
Sunday started off as a beautiful warm day at our cottages (click here). Mistress took us out for our morning constitution and then we sat around wondering if we would be taken out for a long walk. One of mistresses friends is staying with us so we assumed we would go on a nice easy walk. The leads came out – that was good. So we got all excited and headed for the car. What we had failed to spot was that a) we hadn’t packed a picnic (bad news) and b)master had picked up our short leads ( not our long walking leads) – bad. The journey started well we headed in a direction we are used to. Then suddenly we turned into a GARDEN CENTRE. Well we thought maybe it is just a bit of retail therapy for mistress. She does need her garden centre fix every now and then. Maybe a little wait and we would be off for our walk. After about an hours and a half later they all returned and we set of again. This time we stopped at Cromford where we often go for a walk. Out we jumped eager to get going only to be dragged to the SHOPS. We hung around outside for hours, with master, who looked as bored as we did. Ok we did get the odd person coming along to give us a fuss but even still it was boring. At last we moved on and after only about 10 mins we came to some more shops. This time it really was bad. Mistress and her friend were in one shop for ever. Even master was getting fed up. Then when all the shopping was over we just walked back to the car. Walk! What Walk.
My Best Side
Smudge has been at it again. Whenever he sees a cottage door open he sneaks in to see if there is anything to eat. He usually gets chased out but every now and then he manages to find something interesting. He has even taken to nicking bread off the outside tables that has been left out for the birds by guests. Master keeps having strong words with him but he seems oblivious. One of these days he is going to get into major trouble. Then we will probably both be in for it.
Following our morning constitution around our cottages (click here) grounds with mistress, I always pop around the cottages just to make sure everything is Ok and to see if anyone has left anything out to eat. This morning I noticed that Bluebell Cottage door was open so I wandered in. Imagine my amazement when I spotted that their dogs breakfast was sitting there all alone and beckoning me to help eat it. Well what could I do. Its only courteous to empty a food bowl isn’t it. I had assumed I hadn’t been spotted, so it was a bit shocked when 1/2 an hour later I got a good telling off from mistress. I am not too sure how I got caught. May be it was idiot brother who sneaked on me. What was even worse, I got a reduced ration at dinner time. I get little enough as it is. To reduce it is just not fair.
Waiting for Dinner
What is more we had to go down town shopping (I think it was a punishment). I am not keen on town. For one thing I have to go in the CAR and another we have to be on our leads. Worse still I got master (usually he takes idiot brother). When I am with master there is no stopping and I have to walk at heal or he gets very cross. I am a roughy toughy field dog not some kind of trained pet. I need the open fields, the air in my fur, the earth under my feet (and a warm duvet by the fire). Shopping is always the same. Mistress disappears inside and we are left outside with master. Then on to the next shop. Same again. And so on for 1/2 an hour or so. What is the point. What does she do in these shops. I know sometimes she brings out sausage rolls for me to look after. But I had better not go down that road. I am already in big trouble today.