Although the weather hasn’t been particularly nice we have managed to get out for the odd ‘excursion’. Of course we have had to ‘do’ the odd well dressing here and there but we have also managed to get out to visit a few other places as well.
A few weeks ago I got taken to Lea Gardens. Well it was really mistress that got taken and I just tagged along. Mistress likes the gardens at that time of year because of the colour and I must admit even I was a bit impressed. Well I was for a few minutes then it started to get a bit boring. One flower looks very similar to another to me (I think master feels the same). I suppose I can’t complain too much as we did have quite a nice walk around the gardens (even if I did have to be on my lead).
I was taken to Hopton Hall last week as mistress wanted to see the rose gardens (we usually go in spring to see the snowdrops) . Unfortunately they don’t allow dogs into the gardens so I had to sit in the car. Its OK I suppose, but I would have preferred to go round with them. Luckily they weren’t too long but then we had to go ‘shopping ‘ in Ashborne. What this really means is mistress goes shopping and me and master stand outside each shop being bored. We didn’t even go to the pet shop.
As usual we went along to see the Bakewell well dressings. Unfortunately we all got soaked as it started heavily raining before we finished looking at the last well. Even though we dashed back to the car we still got soaked which then meant I had to get towelled down when we got back. At least it was mistress rather than master (he is too rough). The weather at Youlgrave Well-dressing was a a lot better and we (they) managed to have dinner in the pub garden (nothing for me).
This week we had a walk in the Tissington area. Mistress managed to arrange it so we arrived at Tissington at about lunch time for a ‘lunch stop’ at the tea room. Unfortunately it was too busy so we had to sit and eat our own packed lunch by the pond. They had their sandwiches and I had a BIG chew (I think they gave it to me to distract me from the sandwiches). Although it was only a 6 mile walk I have to admit I did feel a bit creaky and tired the next day. Maybe I am getting old.
Old or not I still have my collie cow herding instincts. I may have retired from cow herding but we had a rogue cow that had jumped into our front field so master took me along to get it back into its correct field. It was a bit uncooperative to start with but in the end it understood who was boss and sort of did as it was told.
Although the weather hasn’t been too good of recent weeks we have managed to get out every now and then to see the sights or go for a walk. We have even had a picnic .
So far we have had to ‘do’ the Tissington, Ashford-in-the-water and Monyash Well Dressings. Basically ‘doing’ a well dressing means walking around very slowly and mistress saying, every so often, how ‘pretty the dressings are this year’. For me it is boring. No food, no attention just “Smudge keep up” or “don’t wee on that”. As usual I have to pose every now and then in front of one of the dressings so master can do his ‘photo thing’. Anyhow Mistress seems to enjoy it and we do sometimes go to a pub afterwards which can result in the odd scrap.
A well Dressing
For walks we have done the usual Early Purple Orchid walk. This walk basically consists of us parking in Sheldon and walking down into Shacklow woods and then back up Deep Dale with a stop for a picnic. We used to walk from our cottages but mistress thinks that would be a bit too far for me these days. I think what she really means is she doesn’t fancy walking that distance as I am sure I would be fine . The other walk we did was again one of our favourites. Park at the bottom at Monsal Head and then walk up river past Cressbrook Mill and Litton Mill and then up onto the Monsal trail and then instead of going through the tunnels we go up and over the top (where the old footpath goes). You get spectacular views from up there looking down into the dale. On the way back we had a quick stop for lunch at the Cafe at Monsal Head before dropping back down to the car.
A couple of weekends back, as the evening weather was so nice, we managed to get in a picnic. Mistress always likes picnics as there is always lots to eat. I like them as I often get the odd scrap but this one was special. For once they actually remembered to take along my dinner. So I also had a picnic. I have a feeling theirs was more interesting than mine but ‘dogs can’t be choosers’.
I have been having a bit of a problem with cows this year . All the cows are now out in our fields (so mistress is happy). The problem I am having is that some of them just don’t realise who is boss (me). I tell them where to go but they just ignore me. This is most disconcerting as usually they are very obedient. Maybe I am losing my touch or I just haven’t managed to train them properly yet.
What am I supposed to do?
A very high style
We have had a few really nice walks recently in the spring sunshine. The first walk we had was one of our standard walks from Over Haddon to Youlgrave , Alport and back to Over Haddon. Mistress always likes this walk as we can look back over the valley to see Bolehill Cottages in the distance. Of course we have to stop in the Pub in Over Haddon for a quick refreshing drink and then wander down the village to the Garden Tea room for mistress to have her afternoon piece of cake and for me to see my friends the Scotties and hopefully to get a treat or two. We had a nice picnic lunch in Bradford Dale and lucky for me master had remembered my lunch.
A vicious goose
It was our second walk where I got attacked by a massive vicious goose. We had set of quite early for a walk along the River Derwent up at Curbar . We hadn’t gone very far along the path when all of a sudden I heard this hissing sound from behind me. I turned round to find the biggest bird I have ever seen hissing at me. Master says it was a Canada Goose, to me it was just a vicious set of feathers with a beak. Well I wasn’t going to argue with the thing so I ran back to master. Well of course he was of no use whatsoever as he was just laughing his head off. So I ran behind mistress. She was a bit more sympathetic but hardly a major help. The goose by this time had moved off a bit (but still too close for comfort). Master and Mistress didn’t seem too worried about the thing and started walking along the path to get round it, leaving me on my own. Master called me towards him at which time the damn thing started hissing at me again. Well that was it, I had had enough so I ran past master and on up the path. A near escape I think. The rest of the walk was fine I even got lunch.
Posing for a Photo
The next walk was up on some moors somewhere. This was fine except I did get a bit muddy which didn’t seem to be a problem until we had nearly got back to the car. At which point mistress pointed out to master how muddy I was. This can be a bad thing. Anyway I forgot about it for a while. The next thing master was standing in the middle of a stream calling me. Well that was stupid because I wasn’t going to join him in the middle of a stream – its wet! Unfortunately before I could do anything, mistress had got hold of my collar and was passing me to master. This can be very bad. Seconds later master had me by the collar and my back fur and I was paw deep in water. This was bad enough but the very next moment I was being splashed by freezing cold water (to get the mud off). After a few minutes of this I was let go and scrambled up the bank to be greeted with “and don’t even think about getting dirty before you get back to the car”. Would I? It wasn’t my fault in the first place. I am not the sort of dog that goes looking for muddy puddles. On the contrary I avoid them. Mud just seems to stick to me. So I get the blame.
Me and Jack
Oh the other thing that happened recently was my friend Jack came to stay. Now Jack is my kind of dog. He is a Collie just like me (although black and white). We are great friends as unlike most of the other dogs we get visiting us, Jack is nice and ‘laid back’ which suits me fine. So we tend to ‘chill out together’. I did notice he seemed to have lost a lot of weight which is, I assume, down to the fact his mistress is a lot stingier with the treats these days. I hardly got any this visit. When they are here I often hang out around their door to see if she will let Jack out to play so we can go off and just ‘chill’. He is a great friend.
Me on Curbar Edge
One day last week, as it had been forecast to be a windy but nice day, it was decided that we would go for a walk along ‘the edges’ above Curbar. Curbar is about 7 miles (as the dog runs) from our Holiday Cottages. On a clear day the edges can be seen from our fields and mistress’s office, especially in the late afternoon when the sun picks out the gritstone. We arrived fairly early (for mistress) and easily found a parking spot on the road. The forecast had been correct. It was a glorious day with very few people about (which suits master). I was allowed off my lead almost immediately so I could go off and explore. I did have to come back every now and then for the usual ‘Photo opportunity’ but I am used to that and, if master has remembered, I get a treat for just sitting and looking ‘handsome’. The walk along the top of the edge was a bit windy but my coat keeps most of the wind out and at least there weren’t many muddy bits up there.
Me on Curbar Edge
On the way back it was a different story. We came back along the bottom of the edges and it was a bit muddy. Well actually it was a lot muddy. I hate mud as I just know what is going to happen when I get back home (the hose pipe). Anyhow there was no avoiding it. I did try my best to go round the worse bits but in the end you just have grit your teeth and go for it. At least there is always the fun of watching mistress navigate the muddy puddles. Master just splashes through them getting everything and everyone else soaked. Mistress gingerly tries to go round the edges. Its great fun to watch. Needless to say we took a lot longer getting back then on the outward leg.
Me on Curbar Edge
As master hadn’t packed a picnic they HAD to stop off at Calver Craft centre tea room. Of course poor old Smudge had to wait in the car without even a treat.
The snow, a few weeks ago was a bit of a surprise. We haven’t had much snow over the last few years, so I am not really used to it. Its quite fun once you get used to having cold paws. I got my usual morning walk with master but the snow was already starting to melt by the time we got back. The great thing about walks in the snow is that I don’t get the hose pipe treatment after a walk.
There is still loads of things going on here. I do wish master would close the door more quietly when he is rushing in and out. How is a dog suppose to sleep with that kind of disturbance going on.
Me in the snow
Well it is all over for another year. Did I have a good time? Well yes and no. Of course I had to do the usual stupid pose with antlers on. Why do I have to do that every Christmas? The good news is that I got lots of presents from guests and friends. The bad news is that I was not given them straight away. As most of them were treats, rather than give me them all in one go , mistress is just letting me have one now and then. Seems very unfair to me. After all people have been good enough to give me a present, the least I could do would be to show appreciation by eating them all.
Yippee – I like Xmas
I am trying to work on mistress (waste of time with master) but don’t seem to be getting anywhere. Apart from the food shortage problem over the Christmas break it wasn’t too bad.
Me at Derwent dam
I did get taken out for a nice long walk just before Christmas. We went up to Derwent Dams and up onto the moors which is always fun. However, I think I must be getting old as I could hardly walk the next day. Mistress was very kind and concerned but master was just the usual – ‘pull yourself together Smudge’. Anyway after a bit of R&R in front of the fire, I was fine.
On New Year’s day we had a short walk again up at the Dams and then popped into Grindleford Station Cafe where I was ‘made’ to watch everyone eating a massive bacon bap and a bowl of chips. None for poor Smudge though.
Of course we had to do the usual new Years Shopping trip which basically means they go off shopping and I get stuck in the car. To be fair master seems about as bored as me and does keep popping back to make sure I am OK. When he is really bored he sits with me in the car and reads. Mistress usually appears in the end laden down with shopping bags. When we get home I go through a standard routine of checking all the bags for what she has got for me. The result is always the same – Nothing. No one buys anything for Smudge . Actually poor master seems to get the same treatment, so I suppose I can’t complain.
The wet weather has been a major pain. Every time I go out and run around in the fields I end up having to have my paws washed. Now this isn’t too bad if mistress does it but if master does it I get dragged out to the freezing cold outside tap and washed down with the hosepipe. How cruel is that? The only sympathy I get is “take it like a dog”. Mistress on the other hand uses a bucket of warm water and is far more gentle.
I assume some of you have seen me in my debut modelling role. I am the main attraction on the September/October page of a local calendar. I am currently trying to recruit a manager to manage my new career. I am not trusting master as he might not let me have any rewards.