Christmas! What Christmas? Mistress and Master’s friends came to stay at our peak district cottages. 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 peak district cottages. 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 peak district cottages! 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 peak district cottages, 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.