After only a few days of work I have been made redundant. There I was at 16:30 on the dot, ready to set off from our cottages (click to see) to fetch the cows in and nothing happened. Master didn’t appear with the car. No putting on of boots. Nothing. Apparently the farmer is back from his holiday and I am no longer required. Just when I was getting into the role, I have been stood down. I did get rather a nice redundancy package though :-D. Oh well back to the duvet I suppose.
I am back at work again. The farmer is on holiday so I am helping to get the cows in for milking. The farm opposite our cottages (click here) has over a hundred and thirty milk cows so it can take a professional like me to get them all in for milking. Master comes along to help but quite honestly he isn’t much good. He just walks around waving his hands in the air and doing a lot of shouting. Well of course the cows just ignore him. With me it is different. The cows all know who is boss and that I won’t stand any nonsense from them. Today we walked down our drive and hopped over the wall into the field to get them in. I think it was a bit easier than normal because it was a bit cold. On sunny days even I have to give them a bit of encouragement as they seem to want to stay out. Well tough. My job is to get them in and in they are going.
One problem I have found with being ‘cow dog’ is that inevitably I get filthy. Its sort of part of the job as you can’t concentrate on rounding up cows and watch where you are stepping all at the same time. Can you? Of course as soon as mistress sees me it is THAT look which I just know means the hose pipe. I did have a bit of a problem yesterday when I was standing in the wrong place at the wrong time. It can be very messy if you are at the rear of a cow at the wrong moment. I got covered. Idiot brother (who is too scared of cows to be of any use) just sat there laughing when I was being washed down (head to toe). Well I enjoy my job so there. Even if it does mean getting hosed down each day.
(Click the first picture to see all the pictures in a gallery)
Its not been a good week this week at Bolehill Cottages (click here). Master and Mistress’s friends came to stay. That is always bad news as he is allergic to dogs. How can anyone be allergic to dogs. Doesn’t make sense. What if dogs were allergic to humans? No one would care! Anyhow this inevitably means that we are banned to the kitchen in the evening and if they go out in the car we have to stay at home.
The week started OK as we had a picnic on the Sunday evening at one of mistress’s favourite spots. Someone even remembered to bring along a chew for us. Amazing! It has only taken 9 years for Master to figure out that we would rather like to join in the picnic. The spot overlooks the Magpie Mine and Sheldon village so mistress always likes it there. After that the week went down hill rapidly.
Tuesday was supposed to be a walk but because of a few spots of rain they all decided to go to Lyme Park instead. Great. It is a National Trust property so they don’t like dogs. So another day ‘Home Alone’ with just Smudge as company. At least they were not too late back but then disappeared off for dinner in the evening leaving us yet again ‘Home Alone’. The next day was better as it was decided that we would all be going for a walk. Its a lot better when we go off for a walk with their friends as we go of with the men leaving Mistress and her friend behind.
Its amazing how much fun it is not having to stop every few minutes to ‘admire the view’. Of course every few miles we had to stop for a while to let them catch up but at least we could find an interesting spot to stop. We (they) all had lunch at a nice little pub in Mapleton and then we walked back along the River Dove to the car. As it was such a nice afternoon and mistress is always partial to an ice cream when the sun is out it was agreed that we would all meet up at the cafe in Monyash for an ice cream. Unfortunately by the time we got there it was tipping it down with rain and we had to abandon the ice cream, much to mistress’s disappointment, and head back home.
Oh I nearly forgot. When we were walking between Ilam and Mappleton we came across a field of cows. OK nothing unusual about that, but this lot were not dairy cows and had a bull and calves with them. Now I am very wary of cows on their own but this combination just sounded like trouble to me. Anyhow before I could disappear Master had grabbed me and put me on my lead and handed the lead to his friend. As we knew mistress’s friend was a bit wary of cows (can you blame her) it was decided that master would go first with Smudge to draw the cows attention. Smudge being a bit stupid agreed to this plan. Rather him than me. Anyway as soon as they spotted Smudge they went loopy. Now Smudge is used to our cows that are a well trained, docile bunch (in general). This lot were not. They didn’t react the same way as our cows and instead of backing off when he barked at them they charged forward. Smudge had to run for his life with 30-40 cows chasing him all over the field. In the end of course he gave them the slip (even Smudge, with his weight problem can outrun a cow). But instead of getting out of the field as quick as he could (as I would have done) he came back to master. This seemed to infuriate them all again so they started chasing him again. By now most of us were across the field and at last master instructed his friend to let me off my lead. I was gone. You couldn’t see me for dust. Up and over the style before the cows could even notice me. The others quickly joined me and the cows went off to annoy someone else.
On Wednesday I was back to helping get in the cows for milking, for the farm opposite to Bolehill Cottages. I had forgotten how easy it is. We all went down to the farm but of course we had to leave idiot brother in the car as he is scared of cows. Before we started I had a long chat with some of the cows, just to let them know I was back on the job. I think most of them remembered me from last year, so they knew I wouldn’t stand for any messing about. It only took a few minutes to get them all in so I obviously haven’t lost my touch. OK Mistress and Master helped a little bit and I did loose concentration a few times but after a yell from Master I was back onto the job at hand.
Last Sunday we went for a walk over to Sheldon, down through Shacklow woods and back up Deep Dale before returning to Sheldon and back home. It was interesting watching Mistress descending the steep slope in the woods (well she seemed to think it was steep – we couldn’t see what the problem was). As we know this walk well we were off our leads most of the time. We (they) stopped for lunch just before the descent through the woods at a nice spot where Mistress could ‘admire the view’. A very skimpy lunch for us – no surprise there then! On returning to Sheldon of course we had to stop for Mistress’s afternoon tea at the village hall.
Last Saturday evening we got dragged round Ashford in the Water and Monyash Village well dressings. I seem to remember that we had to do the same thing last year. They looked exactly the same to me and they were still not editable. So why we had to go again this year is anyone’s guess.