Its very quiet without him – Smudge

What can I say. My idiot brother is no longer with us. It all came as a bit of shock. One day he was running around the fields with me, the next day he wasn’t very well and he had completely lost the use of his back legs. Master took him down to the vets but there was nothing they could do for him and he had to be put to sleep. I do miss him.

His first Photo opportunity

His first Photo opportunity

We were born in March 2004 in the village of Monyash (2 miles away from our cottages). I still remember the day mistress came to choose us. I was the first choice and then she spotted idiot brother and decided she would have him as company for me. I tried to object at the time, as I already knew what a pain he was. Anyhow nothing could deter her and a month later we were picked up and taken to our new home. Both master and mistress were very kind from the start, even if a bit mean with my rations. We were introduced to our cage and ‘our’ room. The first night was a bit tough as we were no longer with our mother and our other brothers and sisters but we soon got over that and once we were allowed to explore our new surroundings it became clear we were going to enjoy it. At the time there was lots of building work going on and all the workmen and guests made a big fuss of us.



In our first few months we were banished to the kitchen and ‘our’ area. Master tried to build a barricade to keep us in but that didn’t last long. He hadn’t realised how good we collies are at ‘escaping’. In the end he gave in and we were allowed into the rest of the house (not upstairs though). After a few months mistress started our training regime. I enjoyed this as I kept getting treats. Do something right and I am fed – heaven. Idiot brother of course hated it and as usual was a real pain. Even his toilet training was difficult. Straight away I understood what mistress wanted me to do but with him master had to get really cross before he understood. It was the same with chicken chasing (which we both thought was great fun) and a dozen other things. It took ages for him to learn all the ‘rules’. Some he never did take any notice of and did his own thing.

The worse problem we had with him was when he was still relatively young. He would wander off to meet people on our local footpath and then accompany them to Sheldon, Magpie Mine, Deep Dale etc. Time and time again we would get a phone call from someone out for a walk saying they had found him. It started getting to be a regular occurrence. We tried all sorts to stop him but nothing seemed to work. Luckily as he got older he grew out of the habit and we didn’t have to go chasing after him.



Of course he slowly grew up and we both became part of the Bolehill ‘team’. Me in charge of food supplies and the guest welcome committee and him in charge of security (he barked at anything). I use to let him play with any children we had on site as I always found them a bit noisy but he loved the attention. Playing with him in our garden or our fields was always great fun and our speciality was annoying the cows. That was always our favourite game. He of course was scared stiff of them and had to be behind a fence or wall to play which limited the fun but was still enjoyable. Of course swallow, squirrel, hare and rabbit chasing were also great fun. Digging for moles was also one of his major pastimes. He never caught one but he did try very hard.

He was always master’s favourite which I didn’t mind as I had mistress. He and master went everywhere together and at times seemed inseparable. At the least clink of a key he would be at master’s side ready to go in the car, on the tractor or whatever. Whatever master was up to he would be there ‘helping’. There was the constant refrain of “BLUE GO AWAY” or “BLUE LEAVE”. But of course he took absolutely no notice.

20130726_IMG_1899Especially enjoyable was our long walks with master and mistress in the Peak district countryside. He particularly enjoyed been able to roam free and explore. Of course the part he didn’t enjoy was having to go through fields of cows or sheep. He let the Collie breed down on numerous occasions. Being chased by lambs is not what collies are suppose to do.

Admiring the view

Admiring the view

Although he had had arthritis for a few years and it was getting worse (he was eleven and a half), he was never in that much pain and use to keep up with me quite easily and could still clear our stone walls without that much trouble. There had been a very worrying development in the last two months. He had had a couple of very bad fits but the vets couldn’t find anything wrong with him so we just hoped and it look as though he had completely recovered. Unfortunately the arthritis caught up with him in the end.

Everyone is being very kind to me and giving me lots of treats and attention. I am trying my best to be brave and look after mistress and especially master.

We will all miss him.

Although he was a total idiot, he was still my brother and my best friend.