Summer is getting here – Blue

Looks a bit viscous to me

Looks a bit viscous to me

Its been quite warm here at our cottages (see website) for the last few weeks so we have tended to find a shady spot and snooze through the day. Unless of course I am called upon to help master. He has been hacking down all sorts of trees and bushes which is great fun although I don’t think mistress is too happy. Master gets a bit ‘saw happy’ once he gets going and anything standing in his way just gets hacked down. Never mind I am sure things will grow back.

We have been having quite a lot of problems with cows (when don’t we have problems with cows). Last week a couple managed to get into the front field where we were working so we tried to get them back into their proper field. Of course being cows they wouldn’t do as they were told, so we left them were they were. Unfortunately the handyman didn’t shut the gate properly. The next thing I noticed was that the entire set of hooligans were coming through the gate. Well that was it I was off to a safer location behind a fence. It was quite funny watching master and the handyman try and get them back into the field.

More Well Dressings

More Well Dressings

They gave up in the end and called the farmer who came up later that evening and helped us to get them back. Only 1/2 hour later and 3 of the idiots had jumped out of the field again. We left them there for the night. The next morning the farmer and master put them back where they should have been and put out an electric fence to keep them away from the wall they kept jumping over. That sorted them out.

Of course the well dressings are now on so we are getting dragged round each of those as they are opened. It really is quite boring but mistress enjoys them.

We went on a walk over at Matlock the other week which was quite exciting. The only problem was a footbridge we had to go over had a very very steep set of steps to get down from it. Now in general I don’t mind steps but these were just a bit too steep and high. I sat there hoping master would help but of course there was no chance there. Then I looked at mistress hoping she would take pity on me but no. All I got was “Come on Blue you are a Collie you can easily manage these. Look Smudge didn’t have a problem.”

Scary Steps

Scary Steps

Well of course Smudge didn’t find them a problem he is too stupid to realise how scary they were. It just shows the concern everyone has for my well being when everyone just started walking off, leaving me terrified, perched on top of a flight of steps I couldn’t get down. Well of course in the end I had to just grit my teeth and go for it or I would have been left behind. Thanks a bunch for all the help.

Smudge got shut inside a cottage again the other day. He had been doing his usual rounds of inspection (to check for food) when the door must have closed behind him. When the lady came back from taking her dogs for a walk there was Smudge sitting inside the cottage looking out the door. Serves him right.

Smudge is worried – Blue:

Ready for off

Ready for off

Smudge is starting to get very nervous. Mistress is leaving us with Master for the week. We will be ‘home alone’ at Bolehill Cottages with just master for the first time for a few years. Now although I don’t mind this so much Smudge is terrified. He still remembers the last time mistress was away. Master completely forgot to feed us one day. I keep trying to console him by telling him that mistress is bound to ring up every evening to check we have been fed but he is inconsolable. Mind you he could do with losing a few pounds. I am sure master won’t forget us this time.

I have had a busy week this week. At the beginning of the week I went over to our Buxton house to help give it its final clean before our new tenants move in. I do hope they appreciate all the hard work I have put in to make it dog friendly. As it happens we didn’t manage to finish all the cleaning so I will have to go back with master next week. Another few hours should do it.

Helping with the cleaning

Helping with the cleaning

On Thursday and Friday our friend the handyman came up to give master a hand with moving the logs and wood rings into the log shed to be split. Last year we had to have a couple of trees partly taken down and the logs were was still where the tree people at left it. I think master thought this was going to be an easy job but on inspection a lot of the logs were bigger than expected. Certainly too big for me to carry, even with Smudge’s help (as if). So we had to chain saw them up before moving them to the log store using masters trailer.

This wasn’t as easy as master thought as the land was all very wet. I could have told him that as I am fed up with getting my paws washed by mistress. Every time I go out I come back to a bucket of water and a cloth. Anyhow it took a lot of slipping and sliding to get the 4×4 and trailer up to the log shed. I kept offering to have a go but oh no master knew best. Anyhow we now have most of the logs in the shed ready for splitting. I assume this will be next weeks work for me.

Just checking the logs

Just checking the logs

Vets! – Smudge:

waiting for dinner

waiting for dinner

A bad bad day! It started off badly at Bolehill Cottages with the mist and drizzle. We just knew that we were in for a wash, when we got back from our morning constitutional with Mistress. Yep – but at least we got washed inside (which is a change) but even so it was very unpleasant. The next bad thing was that we were bundled into the car and I am sure someone said something about VETS.

Now I am not too worried about the vets as we usually get a biscuit or two and the lady on reception always gives us a fuss. So I wasn’t too worried. When the vet opened the fridge, I assumed she was going to give me something to eat but then before I knew about ,it I had had an injection. How did she do that? I didn’t see a needle  or anything. Luckily it didn’t hurt.  Then came the first bad news. My teeth need cleaning.  Why I have no idea. Oh well that can’t be that bad. Master has tried to clean our teeth before and it wasn’t too bad. Then the vet announced I would have to be put to sleep for a while  for them to clean my teeth which sounded great. I like sleeping. Then the bombshell came – I couldn’t be fed for 24 hours before I had a sleep. What! I can’t I survive without food for that length of time. I tried to complain but by this time Master had been told the likely cost and he was in shock (he is a Yorkshireman so things that cost affect him badly).

Just one lick - please!

Just one lick – please!

I was on his side. Far too expensive! Lets forget about it. But the vet pointed out that my teeth would only get worse and then I might have to have a tooth out. How am I going to eat if they take my teeth out? So I suppose better a clean now (and no food for 24 hours) than losing my teeth and not being able to eat at all.  Next we had to be weighed. Another bombshell. I have put on nearly 3 kilo since last year (I did try breathing in but it didn’t help). I am not sure how I have put on 3 kilo on the meagre rations I get.  It could have something to do with the extra cottage food patrols I have been putting in recently. It was only to stave of hunger.  I just new what was coming next. “Smudge you are on a diet!” – HELP!!!

All the way home master was mumbling about cost. I think he is still in shock. Its not him missing out on food for 24 hours. Its me. What has he to worry about.

Idiot brother of course is fine and doesn’t need anything doing.

Not a good week – Blue

Blue near our pet friendly holiday cottages

Very Interesting – is it edible?

Its not been a good week. Master has been away most of the week (without ME), I have had to put up with Smudge all day, we have had to ‘do’ both ‘gardens’ and ‘Well dressings’ and worst of all the weather has been bad (Smudge won’t play at all if it is a bit wet)’. What a week! What about a walk? Smudge is still recovering from his telling off last week. Well it was his own fault for getting caught. I nearly died of laughter when master put Smudge in the stocks (it almost made up for having to look round the those Gardens). It looked like fun to me but Smudge was not very happy. I can’t see him stealing any biscuits for a while.

Gardens near our pet friendly cottages

If I look cute can I go home?

Going round the Gardens at Litton was as boring as it always is. Mistress happily wanders from garden to garden with us and master tagging along behind. Not even time for an afternoon tea. We had only been back home for a few minutes when we were then dragged off to ‘admire’ the Well Dressings in Bakewell. More boredom. The problem with all these outings is that we have to be on our leads and on our best behaviour – No fun at all!

blue near our pet friendly cottages

Me on my inspection tour

Master did take me over to the house he is doing up today, for me to help with the kitchen delivery. I was a bit worried as he has been over there without my help now for a few weeks, so I was dreading what a mess he had made. Had he taken all my suggestions on board? Where was any dog going to sleep? Where is the dog bowl going to be located? Is there good access to the garden? Is there ample room in front of the fire? Suitable dog food storage areas? These things are important. Well I can report that he hasn’t done too badly (so far).  At least the house is now  nearly painted and you can just about get at the garden. I will need to keep a careful eye on what he is up to in the garden as that can be critical to a dogs well being.

blue in our fields at Bolehill Cottages

A bit muddy!

We had a bit of a downpour on Thursday evening which was a bit frightening.  Although it didn’t go on for long it was very loud and the thunder didn’t do my nerves any good. Then to cap it all Master took us out into the fields. Well I suppose better outside where I can see what is going on than cooped up inside. Luckily it had almost stopped raining by then but the fields were awash and all the gateways were under inches of mud and water. At least the rain cleaned our drive after those cows had made such a mess of it.  We did come back a bit wet and dirty which is always bad news as we then had to be washed down. I am sure I could have dried off quite nicely in the lounge without having a hosepipe  wash me down.

blue jumping a gate at our pet friendly holiday cottages

Action Dog

A walk in upper Dove Dale – Smudge

smudge in dove dale near our peak district cottages

Dirty but Happy

Sorry I haven’t written for a while. It is all master’s fault. He wouldn’t let me on his computer (we don’t have our own) as he was busy building mistress’s new computer and doing things over in Buxton. Anyhow I am here now to tell you about our walk in upper Dove Dale .

As Sunday was such a nice day, mistress and master, decided to take a day off (about time too). So off we went from our cottages (click here)over to Longnor were we parked and set off down to the upper part of the River Manifold. As we know this walk well we were allowed off our leads early on to go off and explore. After walking down the River for a while we turned up by a farm (back on our leads) and then up a farm track to the top of a ridge and down into the upper part of the River Dove (off our leads).

smudge near our peak district cottages

Wind in my hair .....

We had the normal ‘stopping to admire’ the view from mistress but on the whole we kept going. For lunch we stopped at a spot overlooking upper Dove Dale. For once we got quite a lot of tit bits, as master seemed to have made too many sandwiches.Lucky for us as they never bring anything for our lunch.

After lunch we walked down to Cowdecote and through the village. A few fields had cows in them that were a bit too friendly for idiot brother. He had to be put on his lead to stop him running off. They don’t scare me. I just either ignore them or face them down. They always back off in the end. Most of them are very friendly. Unfortunately idiot brother doesn’t see it this way and is terrified of them. So master had to drag him through a few fields on his lead to stop him running off. Not that he would disappear. He would just run off into another field and try and follow us from that field. Well of course he is then off the path and gets stuck so master has to go and rescue him. All in all it is easier to put him on a lead and drag him through any cows. Unfortunately the last field we walked through master didn’t spot the cows until it was too late – he was off.

smudge at our pet friendly holiday cottages in derbyshire

My kind of size for a food bowl

They were very friendly youngsters that were just curious so milled around us all the way through the field. I did have a few problems with one or two of them as they didn’t realise just what a professional cow dog I am and tried to intimidate me. But after a few stares and snapping of teeth they got the message and by the time we got to the end of the field they were behaving themselves. Idiot brother was there waiting for us well away from the cows.

At the end of the walk mistress had to have her afternoon tea. So we all sat outside at the Longnor Cafe and enjoyed the late afternoon sun.

I have been honing my skills as a cow dog yet again but this time with mistress (as master was busy). We had to take  idiot brother along, although all he did was sit in the car. Fat lot of use he would have been anyhow. As mistress is a bit of a novice with herding cows I had to show her what to do but she got the hang of it pretty quickly and we managed to get the cows in for milking without too much of a fuss.

smudge at the farm opposite our pet friendly hiliday cottages


PS. The bad news was that after our walk we both got washed down.  Why does master always use very cold water?

Over worked and under fed – Smudge

Smudge at our peak district cottages

Showing 'them' who is boss

Last week was great. There were loads of dogs at our cottages (click here) but this week all the dogs have gone. What happened? Did I say something? Did idiot brother do something? I was just starting to put on some weight (at last) when all of a sudden my food sources dried up. How come people who don’t have dogs aren’t as generous with food as those that have dogs.

Smudge at our peak district dog cottages

Keeping an eye on the stragglers

Last week I could wander from cottage to cottage and be virtually guaranteed to get a snack at each cottage (don’t tell mistress or she will cut my meagre rations down even further). This week I wander from cottage to cottage and do my sad dog bit but nothing. Not even a good morning Smudge.

Smudge at the farm near our pet friendly cottages

Making sure they all go in.

I even got dragged out to do my cow dog bit (see pictures). No – Smudge could you come and help! Just Smudge get in the CAR. To be honest I do rather enjoy bringing in the cows. Its quite easy really. We (Master and me as idiot brother is scared of cows) walk down the field, master gives the command, and I start rounding them up and sending them towards the milking parlour. Most of them know what they are supposed to do  but a few of them, that don’t know me well, ‘try it on’ but I soon get the measure of them and off they go.  But NO extra rations for all my hard work!!!

At least it has been warm and we could laze out in the courtyard or front garden. One problem. I have had to put up with idiot brother all week. Master seems to have stopped taking him over to Buxton. So I have to put up with him all week. At least with the heat he seems to be a bit less bouncy and a bit more inclined to soak up the sun.

pet friendly cottages near bakewell

A well earned nap


Bye Bye Mozart – Smudge

smudge at our pet friendly holiday cottages

OK where is my bit?

Its back to starvation again. Mozart’s owners left our cottages (click here) yesterday evening. I hadn’t realized so I went and sat outside their cottage this morning, for my usual morning treat, but nothing. They had gone. Now what am I going to do? It may be just as well.  A couple of days a ago we went to the vets for our yearly physical and the scales seemed to be a bit inaccurate. They suggested I was 2kg over weight. How can I be over weight? I get starvation rations most of the time.

Anyhow bye bye Mozart. See you again soon  and please thank your mistress for saving me from starvation once again. Can I last until the next visit this is the question??? Maybe someone else will take pity on me in the meantime.


Valentines Day – Smudge

Smudge at our pet friendly holiday cottages

A Duvet Day!!!!

No one sent us a valentines card. Well no one sent me one anyhow and I can’t imagine anyone being stupid enough to send idiot brother one. There are lots of dogs here at our cottages (click here)  but not one card. No extra food, nothing. Master has been his normal romantic self and took mistress out for the day (without us). Well when I say out, he took her to the cash and carry over in Sheffield. But at least she got her Dunelm fix on the way home. I had a nice relaxing  duvet day (long overdue) but of course idiot brother did his normal ‘security’ dog thing and kept waking me up with his barking. Why can’t he just chill out? Mind you he was a bit annoyed that master hadn’t taken him with him. He has this notion that whenever master goes out he should go with him. He is a dog.  He is supposed to do as he is told.  We did get a nice big chew when they got back so even idiot brother agreed it wasn’t that bad.

smudge at out pet friendly holiday cottages bakewell

Something to chew on.

It has been a week of good news though. On Saturday master’s friend that spoils us a lot suddenly turned up again. We were so glad to see her, we sort of forgot our manners and nearly knocked her over. As usual she came ‘bearing gifts’. Well treats for us. We had a couple of pleasant hours with her before she had to go again. Why can’t everyone feed us as much as she does. It isn’t asking a lot, is it?

The other good news is that one of  our (or my) favourite guest is here. Now master is saying I am getting spoiled but I disagree. I am just getting the attention and treats that any well behaved dog should get. Not the draconian regime we normally live under. Smudge  do this, Smudge do that, no you can’t have any more etc etc. Just a bit of loving kindness and a lot MORE FOOD. That’s all I ask. Idiot brother of course is quite happy as he is. Put him in the car and he thinks he has gone to heaven. Idiot.

Smudge in Bakewell near our pet friendly hoiday cottages

I wonder if he has any food?

Anyhow all that snow has gone at long last. It was a bit cold which I don’t much like. At least we didn’t have to get our paws washed every time we came in. Unfortunately now the snow has melted we are back to the washed paws game again.  I am trying to learn how to stand on one leg (to avoid the water) but it isn’t easy.


Happy New Year – Smudge

Well what a washout. I am sure I heard somewhere that Christmas was supposed to be a GIVING time. Well! no one gave me anything. All that food and not even a small taste. I suppose we did get a few scrag ends but that was about it. As I am sure idiot brother has explained, we even had to spend most of Christmas in the kitchen which wasn’t too bad except I had to share it with HIM. The least little noise outside and he started woofing. How is a dog suppose to sleep with that racket going on.

Smudge at our pet friendly holiday cottages

Just let me have a Sniff

On the positive side we did get a few walks and everyone who stayed at our cottages (click here) made a fuss of us (even if they didn’t leave out many scraps).

Anyhow less about last year and more about this year. Well actually this year has been a disaster so far as well. I dare not go out any more. Every time I do, I come back to have my paws washed or a full shower. Now I don’t like water at the best of times, but when all I want to do is lie down in front of the fire for a nap and all I get is mistress coming along with a bucket of cold water, I am not impressed.  So I have decided it is safer to stay inside. Of course every now and then I get physically evicted (to do what a dog has got to do) by mistress or master but at least it has cut down on the number of washes a day.

smudge at our peak district cottages

Me with master

I have been helping mistress to take down the Christmas decorations. Well actually I have just been lying in fron of the fire which I reckon is sort of helping as Mistress could see where I was and could walk around me. Idiot brother of course has just been getting in the way. Master at last has taken down the outside lights (after a lot of grumbling). Mistress has been off  Sales shopping on her own much to the relief of master. So I suppose all in all the new year has started pretty much like any other (except warmer than last year).

christmas lights at Bolehill farm

Christmas Lights in the Courtyard.



Christmas – Blue

Blue at our peak district cottages


Christmas! What Christmas? Mistress and Master’s friends came to stay at our cottages (click here). 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!

Blue at middleton Top near our pet friendly cottages

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.

Blue near our pet friendly holiday cottages

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.

Ble near our pet friendly holiday cottages

My best side (Middleton Top)