A walk to Three Shires Head – Blue

Blue at Three Shire Head near out pet friendly holiday cottages

Me at Three Shires Head

Well thank goodness that is all over again. We can now get back to our rightful place in front of the fire rather than the kitchen. Actually it wasn’t all bad we were allowed into the lounge occasionally (master’s friend doesn’t seem to be as allergic to us as he used to be) and he does make a bit of a fuss of us. We were not allowed into the dining room though. We had to sit by the door and watch! Poor Smudge nearly died. All that food and none for him!

One bad part was that we didn’t get taken for our usual Christmas Day pub walk. They bottled out of walking (it was a bit wet) and took the car so there was no room for us. Well I could have sat on master’s lap and Smudge could have sat on mistress’s. But no, they were worried about dog hairs in the car. So we had to stay at home and look after security and the slowly cooking Goose. I took charge of security and Smudge of course took charge of the cooking. Not that there was much for him to do other than look through the cooker window and drool. We did get a big chew when they got back which kept Smudge happy but personally I would have preferred to go to the pub.

Blue on a bridge on a walk near our peak district cottages

Looks a bit dodgy to me!

On Boxing day we at least had a nice long walk to Three Shires Head. Somewhere where mistress has wanted to go for ages. It was a bit muddy but nothing we couldn’t handle. On the way back Smudge got into a bit of difficulty. We came across a stile that had a massive big puddle in front of it. The only way to get to it was via a small strip of grass by a fence. Master went first. When he used the fence to hold on to he found it was electrified. Now I have come across these things before, we sometimes have them in our fields, and I can tell you they hurt if you touch them. Master warned everyone but I don’t think Smudge heard as he followed master. The next thing there is a massive yelping splashing and more yelping from Smudge. He had touched the fence and had leapt back into the  puddle. He hates water so had rushed back to the grass where he came in contact with the fence again. More yelping as he tried to turn round (without getting wet) and yet more as he ran back along the verge. He was totally traumatised. I have never seen anything so funny in my life. In fact I would have nearly died laughing if I wasn’t in pain myself. I had missed the stile by jumping over another wall with barbed wire on it.  This is strictly against orders. We are not allowed to miss out stiles. We are supposed to wait by them for mistress to catch up and then follow when we have been given permission. Problem is that when we are out I forget sometimes. On the one hand this was fortunate as I didn’t get zapped like poor Smudge. On the other hand I didn’t see the barbed wire and hurt my paw. But it was all worth it to see poor Smudge getting zapped. It took Master and Mistress a good 10 minutes to calm him down. No one even noticeds me limping. Anyway Smudge recovered and my paw injury wasn’t that serious (it just hurt a bit at the time). Smudge still hasn’t forgiven me for laughing at him. No sense of humour!

Blue near our dog friendly holiday cottages

Were did that lot come from?

Christmas time -Smudge


smudge at our peak district cottages

Anything for a treat!

I love Christmas. Well I love all the food being around, even if it doesn’t usually come my way. Mistress has been busy buying things and even remembered some ‘special’ treats for us when she went to the farmers market yesterday. Our treats seemed a bit inconsequential compared with all the treats she seems to have bought herself (master just gets what he is given the same as us). Loads of mince pies and other little treats have been heading into our peak district cottages for our guests. Even treats for dog guests (I wish I could find out where she hides these treats). A few guests arrived yesterday with some more coming today and tomorrow. Hopefully there are loads of dogs as I always manage to scrounge the odd scrap from guests with dogs or even a full dinner if the dog is looking the other way. As long as our guest remember that Christmas is supposed to be a time of giving, I should be ok!

christmas at our peak district pet friendly holiday cottages

Matches my eyes?

Master has had another bought of ‘man flu’. Its a bit suspicious that he always seems to get ‘man flu’ when there are lots of things to do. Well I suppose it gets him out of the way and lets mistress get on with things. We try and help where we can. Well I try and help and idiot brother just gets in the way. Not that anyone ever seems to be  grateful for my help. It is usually “Smudge you are in the way”. Well of course I am, I am here to help.  I could be chief taster or sampler. I would be good at that.

Master and idiot brother seem to have finished over at Buxton or at least I am having to put up with idiot brother being around a lot more. I had forgotten just how annoying he can be.  Most of the last few months I have been able to get a good few hours duvet time in an afternoon but now with him back I get disturbed every 10 minutes or so with him barking at something or nothing.

Mistress and Masters friends are arriving today so hopefully we will get some walks in over the Christmas period.

smudge looking for food at our pet friendly holiday cottages

I am sure there is food here somewhere



Its Christmas – Blue

blue at our pet friendly holiday cottages

OK – don’t laugh!

It must be almost Christmas as there is all sorts of frantic activity going on around our cottages (click here). We put up the lights the other day.  Master always hates that, so I help where I can but I am not good on ladders. Smudge just hides as he knows there is going to be trouble. Mistress is dashing from cottage to cottage putting up Christmas trees and decorations. Cakes are being baked (Smudge likes that bit) and iced (master does the marzipan so I can’t imagine what that will taste like). We have to sit to have our daft Christmas picture taken. Same every year! Blue Sit. Blue put these daft antlers on. Blue don’t move – Snap! Well as long as it keeps them happy and we did get quite a few treats although Smudge cheated and nicked some from behind masters back (Master was not happy with him). Do other dogs have to go through this indignation at Christmas?

blue at our pet friendly cottages

Are you sure this is in the right place?

There is talk about buying us some dog boots for Christmas (so we don’t have to have our feet wiped so often). Come on – we are collies! Doesn’t that count for anything? How could we show our faces around town? Definitely a case of maltreatment.

Smudge as usual is looking forward to Christmas. It’s all the food he is looking forward to really. I assume we will be confined to the kitchen AGAIN as master and mistress’s friend is allergic to dogs. So please think of us at Christmas all alone in a cold, dark, kitchen without anyone caring for us and everyone else sitting round a nice warm log fire. Its damn right cruel, especially to Smudge with all that food only a few feet away.

blue at christmas at our peak district cottages

Did someone say ‘walk’

Lunch in Sheldon – Smudge

smudge at over haddon near our pet friendly cottages

Me in the pub last week

Its getting to become a bit of a ritual. A walk to a village near us for lunch. This time it was Sheldon. We hadn’t been over to Sheldon for a while so it was a nice surprise. The intention had been to go on a ‘proper’ walk but after we had been taken out for our morning constitutional, around our peak district cottages, with mistress, it was decided that the ground was too uneven and hard to risk going too far afield. Basically mistress wimped out. Ok the ground in places was a bit uneven and frozen but nothing we couldn’t cope with. Master was up for it but not mistress. So as a compromise it was decided to walk over to Sheldon. If the going got too tough for mistress we could turn back. Sheldon is one of those walks where we are allowed off our leads from the start. No roads or anything until  Only one minor road to cross until you got to the village. I say no leads but of course idiot brother had to let the collie breed down AGAIN.  Master had to put him on his lead as we passed through some sheep. Not to stop him chasing them (he is too scared of them to chase them) but to stop him being an idiot and jumping over a wall with barbed wire on it. Ok sheep can be a bit scary but as long as you keep going and don’t look them in the eye you can to get through them without too much trouble. Bit scarier than cows but not too bad.

smudge on the way to Sheldon a few mins from our peak district cottages

looking towards Sheldon

The walk was a bit slow as mistress was even slower than normal (talk about dead slow and stop). I must admit even for us the fields were a bit rough on our paws. In other parts the fields were muddy so we turned up to Sheldon looking a bit of a mess. For a horrible moment it looked like we were going to be left outside in the cold while they went into the pub for lunch. Hold on that is hardly fair! We like our creature comforts too (well I do – not sure about idiot brother). Luckily master had just gone in to check that we could go in even if muddy (they usually allow dogs). The bar and games area is all flagstone so no problem. That was lucky. At least we were warm while they had their lunch.

The walk back has what has been named Coronary Hill  by one of our guests. Its only a small hill but it seems to slow down mistress and even master. We tend to run to the top then sit there waiting for them. Mistress turns up about 10 mins later puffing and panting. Unfit! After the hill it is only a few fields and we are back home. Unfortunately for idiot brother ‘our’ sheep must have seen us going out so were waiting for us to return.  Poor idiot brother had to run all the way round the outside of the field to get back home – idiot.

Have you seen this http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20614593 ‘teaching dogs to drive’ . Master is thinking of putting idiot brother in for driving lessons. Can you imagine it? I wouldn’t put idiot brother in charge of a dog bowl let alone a car.

smudge with the magpie mine in the distance

Posing near the Magpie mine


Lunch at the Lathkil – Blue

Blue at the Lathkil Hotel

Admiring the view

Yesterday was nice and sunny so it was a bit of a shame we couldn’t go out for a long walk. Unfortunately we had guests coming in to our cottages (click here) in the afternoon. Never mind, that is the way of these things. Mistress, however, decided that we could walk over to Over Haddon and have lunch in the Lathkil Hotel (its a pub really). That was great news as we enjoy that walk. We are allowed off our leads and as long as we stop and wait at each of the styles (for mistress to catch up) we can wander off wherever we want. The ground was still very hard from all the frost so at least we didn’t get too muddy. They allow dogs into bar area of the Lathkil so we could sit inside by the fire watching master and mistress have their lunch (nothing for us). As the Lathkil is such a dog friendly pub (most are in our area) we had lots of friends to get acquainted with. Once lunch was over we had to rush back to meet our afternoon guests.

Blue in Buxton

At least someone listens to me

We are getting on well with the house in Buxton. A few more weeks and we should be finished. I even showed someone around. I pointed out all the ‘dog features’ that have been added but they didn’t seem that impressed. They obviously didn’t have a dog.

We had to take mistress for a retail fix on Saturday. All the way to Ashbourne to be stuck in the car all afternoon. No fun. Mistress seemed happy though especially after visiting her favourite deli. We did get taken for a short walk from the car park through the long tunnel to the bike hire shop on the Tissington trail. It was a bit strange as there were train noises in the tunnel but no trains. Either there were ghosts or something very strange was going on. We ignored it anyway.

Blue at our peak district cottages

Like the Hat.

Not the Christmas Fair – Smudge

Smudge at chatsworth house

A scrap at last!

After all the rain we have had over the last few days at our cottages (click here) it sounded like a great idea to go for a walk from Carlton Lees car park to Chatsworth House. Ok it was likely to be a bit muddy but nothing we couldn’t handle. It wasn’t till we go to the car park that we realise why we were walking from Carlton Lees. There was a Christmas fair on at Chatsworth that mistress wanted to go to. So why not park at Chatsworth? Well apparently they were charging £10 to park there and master being a Yorkshireman wouldn’t pay it. So we parked at Carlton Lees and walked over to Chatsworth from there. Bit of a result I thought until I found out how muddy it was. There were streams where I am sure there weren’t streams before and massive puddles you couldn’t possibly jump over. One stream in particular was a bit wide and cold. Master just walked across, mistress walked across it a bit gingerly, idiot brother got soaked because he misjudged the distance and I went further up stream to find a narrower spot.


smudeg at chatsworth house near our pet friendly holiday cottages

Did I say something?

Apart from getting filthy (which we knew would result in a hosing down when we got home) we got to Chatsworth in  reasonable time (even with mistress stopping every few minutes to admire the view). Initially the crowds were a bit much. No one seems to notice dogs in crowds and we were forever getting jostled and nearly stood on. Mistress seemed to be in her element as there were food stalls all over. Only one stall selling dog things and we were frog marched past that pretty quickly.  As usual at this sort of thing we have to keep stopping to let mistress sample things and buy all sorts of stuff that we will never see. Master just stands and suffers with us. At lunch time we (they) managed to find a seat in the stable yard and had a ‘Hog roast’. It looked big enough to share around but as normal we just got a few scraps. By now the crowds had thinned out and the late afternoon sun was shinning so it was quite pleasant ambling around sniffing all the cooking smells and being fussed over while sitting waiting for mistress at every other stall. We even got a bit of pie (called Shirley’s Pie – very appropriate) from one stall holder.

Smudge at chatsworth

I see no ships!

On the way back to the car master decided to go via higher ground to try and avoid all the puddles which we were grateful for. Once back at the car mastered muttered the ‘G’ word (Garden Centre) so off we had to go to the Chatsworth Garden Centre (at Carlton Lees). We of course had to stay in the car but poor old master had to go. We just sat and brooded about the forthcoming hosepipe wash we were going to get when we got home. Not a nice thought at all.

As expected on arrival home the first thing that happened was ‘Smudge come here’. Then the freezing cold hosepipe. Idiot brother ran off but was soon caught by master and dragged back to the hose pipe. All in all a nice day spoilt by a cold hosepipe.

smudge near our peak district cottages

Do you have any food?

A walk from Hartington – Blue

blue at our Buxton house

Doesn’t look too bad to me

Its been a busy week here at our cottages (click here). Most days during the week I have been over to Buxton helping master out with the new house. At long last we seem to be getting somewhere. We have a back lawn that I can say is just about OK. I haven’t tried digging in it yet just in case master sees me (I don’t think he would be impressed). He didn’t take any notice from me about the gate but then it is only 3 foot so if I need to I can soon get over that. He did get a bit annoyed with me when I ran after a CAT on Friday. I had forgotten all about the road (well you do don’t you) and just darted after the damn thing. Unfortunately it ran up a  sheer cliff face so I couldn’t get at it but if I had been just that bit quicker I would have had it. Master was livid. Unfortunately for me he had told me to ‘sit’ and ‘stay’ which basically means don’t move. Ok I know that but this was an emergency and OK I shouldn’t have run across the road but there was no need to go on like he did.

blue at our pet friendly cottages

Still young at heart

On Thursday I helped him clear up the leaves from the back lawn. Not sure we have ever had that many leaves before. We blew them all into a heap (with my help) and then master went to get the 4×4 and trailer to take them away. It took master and mistress and myself at least five trailer loads to get rid of them. Smudge just sat and watched. Not much use at all.

blue in upper dove dale near our pet friendly holiday cottages

Waiting for Lunch

Today we went for a walk from Hartington along the upper Dove river to what mistress claimed was a castle. Looked like a few mounds of grass to me (master was equally impressed). Mistress did enjoy the view of her favourite hill off in the distance and we sat and had lunch looking over the valley (well they had lunch and we had a bowl of water and a few bits of crust). Smudge disgraced himself during lunch by charging off after a para-glider away in the distance. OK. I chased it as well but it was Smudge that started it.  We are not too keen on para-gliders so we make sure they keep their distance. These did but master and mistress were not very happy with us.

On the way back we had to cross a field of sheep which was a bit scary. Luckily master shooed  them out of the way so I could get through the gate. I wasn’t going through it with those vicious things standing there. Even worse we came across a field full of cows. I was just about to run off to find a way round them when master grabbed me and put me back on my lead. He then forced me to walk through the things. They looked very menacing to me. But luckily we got through without incident.

A walk in Padley Gorge -Smudge

Smudge at our pet friendly holiday cottages

Let sleeping dogs lie.

At long last a walk. It seems to have been ages since we were taken out for a walk. As it was such a nice day on Saturday at our peak district cottages and Mistress didn’t have anyone coming in (everyone had arrived on Friday) it was decided to go for a a short walk up at Grindleford Station (I suspect master fancied one of the bacon butties they do in the cafe). When we got there it was so nice we decided we would walk up the right hand side of Padley Gorge and back down the other side. The right hand side is the more interesting side but usually a bit of a climb in places (OK for master and us but not for mistress). To keep mistress happy we decided not to hug the stream as we normally do but keep to a path which is a bit further away from the stream. Mistress found this a lot easier and we therefore progressed at least at a snails pace as they stopped to take photos or look at trees. As we know the area well we were let of our leads as soon as we go to the gorge and it was great fun playing amongst all the leaves in the Autumn sunshine. When we got to the top of the gorge it was decided that we would walk on up to the National Trust tea shop at the Longshaw Estate about half a mile away. Master was a bit grumpy during lunch as he didn’t like his bacon buttie much and kept muttering about how nice the ones at the Cafe at Grindleford were.

Smudge in padley gorge

Me in Padley Gorge

He felt it was over cooked and too salty. Well I would have eaten it for him. I am very obliging that way. But oh no he ‘struggled’ on with it.  Not even a bowl of water for us. “Drink from the stream if you are thirsty” was all I got from master. I am a dog not a fish and the water tastes disgusting. What is wrong with a bowl of fresh water. Idiot brother of course will drink from anywhere.

The return journey was uneventful other than master getting us lost and us ending up back on the  right hand side of the river but we were nearly back by then so it didn’t matter. Master never did get his bacon buttie from the Cafe.

Idiot brother has been at home a lot more recently. In fact I had to spend the entire day with him, on my own, when master took mistress shopping to get her supply of chocolates etc. What a pain. Instead of just relaxing and waiting for them to come back he is constantly on the move, barking at everything he hears and generally being a pain. ‘Doing his security bit’ is what he says. Being a pain is what I  say. Why can’t they leave him in another part of the house. Then I could get in some serious duvet time.

Smudge at out pet friendly holiday cottages

How kind. All for me?

Work in Buxton – Blue

Blue caught napping near or pet friendly cottages

‘Caught Napping’!

I have been helping out at our house in Buxton most of the week, so haven’t seen much of Mistress or Smudge at our (click here). We are getting on quite well although of course things do keep going wrong that I have to sort out. They are still talking about putting a gate between the drive and road. Why? How am I (or any other dog) supposed to wander off  if there is a gate in the way. OK, in my youth I could have jumped it without problem but these days its getting a bit harder. Master just won’t listen and is currently taking no notice of my suggestions regarding the gate. I even tried the cheaper  without a gate ploy (play to his Yorkshire meanness) but nothing.

blue in Buxton

A bit further to the right please.

The inside is now all but finished. Master is just putting a few final things on the walls (towel rails etc). I have found a few cosy spots to settle down in although I keep getting chased out of the bedrooms. Well if  they don’t have a bed, how am I supposed to know and how can they be bedrooms if there is no bed in them? I can’t remember any rule that says I can’t go in rooms that don’t have beds. But then the rules around here are constantly changing. I have a job keeping up, so tend to ignore most of them until there is the dreaded “BLUE” cry from master.

Smudge and Mistress came over on Tuesday to see how we were doing. I think they were impressed. I hope so. I have done a lot of work (unlike Smudge). What with supervising, checking all the garden for dog suitability, checking the house for cosiness etc. Its a never ending job. I even have to clear up all the leftovers at lunch time. Without Smudge around that can be quite a big  job.

Even when we get back to our cottages there is always something to do. Today it was helping master with getting in the logs and clearing the creeper off the front of the house. No rest for a helpful dog.

Blue being helpful at our peak district cottages

Helpful as always.

Another Quiet Week – Smudge

Smudge at our pet friendly holiday cottages

All I get is an empty Box!

Luckily idiot brother has, once again, been away most of the week with master over at the Buxton house. He still thinks he is helping but I am sure he is just getting in the way and being a general pain. He seems to enjoy it as he is always eager to get in the car to go with master. Me? I prefer to stay at home with Mistress. We go out for the odd walk around our cottages (click here) fields and pop down town to get the shopping. But generally I get to spend most of the time on my duvet which is where I like to be. I did get dragged over to Chesterfield, to do some shopping, but without idiot brother in the car at least I could stretch out on the back seat. I also didn’t get all the annoying barking every time someone passed by the car when we were parked up. I did notice that there was a sad lack of anything to eat  amongst mistress’s shopping which was a bit of a disappointment.

inside at our peak district pet friendly cottages

Just checking the fire.

Its getting a bit colder around here so mistress has started lighting the fire in an evening. I love the fire. I can get all toasty on one side and if I am lucky mistress will come in and turn me over to do my other side (its all a bit of an effort to turn over myself). Unfortunately idiot brother is around in the evenings so it isn’t quite as peaceful as during the day but with luck he is in masters study so I get the fire to myself. With all the rain it has been a bit muddy in our fields which inevitably means we have to be washed down when we come in. Why do humans always wash us in cold water? They don’t get hosed down with freezing cold water and told to take it ‘Like a Dog’. No! They get a nice hot shower in the warmth.   Mistress does keep taking about buying us some boots but master thinks that we are roughy toughy outdoor dogs. I am not. I am an inside in the warmth sort of dog. If it means I don’t get hosed down every time I go out, give me the boots.

Smudge at our peak district cottages

Oh no! Not the hose pipe.