Blue gets lost – Smudge

A 'selfie'

A ‘selfie’

Well he didn’t actually get lost. I knew where he was but no one else did and I wasn’t going to tell. Mistress went off to Bakewell shopping and left master in charge of taking us out for our morning constitution. Well as usual master just doesn’t pay attention and although we had a walk around our grounds (to see our grounds) he also decided to check on things like the boiler, the sheds etc. When we got back of course I was still with him but he didn’t notice that idiot brother wasn’t around. To be honest its not unusual but at least mistress notices.

Wherever I lay may paws (that's my home)

Wherever I lay my paws (that’s my home)

Master went off to do something else then about an hour later he realised that idiot brother wasn’t around. I kept quiet. He whistled for him (which usually brings him if he can hear it) but no response. The handyman came up to do some quick work but even that didn’t bring him back. By this time master was getting worried that the idiot had wandered off again. ‘Oh good he is going to get into real trouble’. After ringing mistress to inform her that he had lost idiot brother he was just about to get in the car to go looking for him when he decided he would retrace his steps from earlier in the morning. Up the back field, round to the boiler house, up to the sheds. Well blow me there he was sitting quietly in the top shed. Well of course I had known all along, as I saw the idiot going in when master went in. Well I thought, now he will be for it. Deserves him right. But no. I think master was just so relieved he had found him before mistress got back that he didn’t yell at him or anything. Idiot brother did seem a bit quiet for a while. I don’t think he liked being shut in the shed not knowing what was going on.

'me'

‘me’

Smudge sat on a Frog – Blue

Me looking towards Chressbrook Hall

Me looking towards Cressbrook Hall

Well that is absolutely typical of Smudge. He is not the brightest dog around our cottages. But more of that in a moment. First I must correct Smudge’s last posting about me going missing. I wasn’t missing. I knew where I was and was just about to return home, after doing my good deed for the day. What actually happened was that I noticed a couple of walkers crossing our fields and as they looked lost I wandered over to see if I could help. As they appeared to be trying to get to Magpie Mine I showed them the way. OK maybe I should have turned back when I heard masters whistle but then I wouldn’t have been able to show them the way so I sort of ‘ignored it’. I assumed master would understand -he didn’t. I suppose him coming to find me saved me the long walk home but I wasn’t too happy with the angry looks he gave me and the ‘pointed silence’. I assumed he would be glad I had helped someone. So that’s what actually happened. Then as punishment I had to spend the day with boring Smudge rather than go off with master.

Wonder what he has found

Wonder what he has found

Anyway back to Smudge and the unfortunate frog. We were taken for a walk up round the Monsal Head area. Its a walk we have a done few times before. We parked near Monsel Head and walked up to the trail then on up the hill to Brushfield,? then round to Litton Mill, onto the trail for a bit, then up onto the old path with its spectacular views of Cressbrook Hall and back to the car. It was when we were on the old path that mistress called Smudge back from whatever he was doing. Being an obedient dog he trotted back to mistress then sat down (as we are suppose to do). Unfortunately he sat on the poor frog that was sunning itself. We are not sure if the frog survived. Smudge is a bit of a fat dog, so having his weight sitting on you isn’t going to improve your outlook.

Mistress struggling up the hill

Mistress struggling up the hill

I had to look after Smudge on Friday night. The farmer had been muck spreading over the last few days so of course Smudge being Smudge always enjoys bits of it (its a dog thing – but Smudge is particularly partial to it). Of course predictably (and as usual) he had an upset stomach. About 2 AM in the morning he needed to go to the toilet. Being a good brother I thought I had better help him and get master or mistress to let him out. I know banging on the door usually gets them up and luckily it did. Mistress came down and we rushed to the outside door to let her know Smudge needed to go out. She let us out just in time. Unfortunately the next time I wasn’t as quick and he made a mess on the kitchen floor. I assumed we would be in big trouble? But when master came down luckily he was very understanding and just let us out. Smudge seemed to get worse during the morning, so we decided we needed to take him to the Vet. The Vet immediately understood the problem and gave him something to settle his stomach. He was a bit down all day, so as a good brother I kept an eye on him. By dinner time he was a lot better but then almost went into trauma when he realise he wasn’t going to be properly fed. A bowl of rice just isn’t good for a dog. He seems fine again now. Maybe he has learnt his lesson – probably not.

 

He is at it again – Smudge

Me

Me

Well HE (idiot brother) is in the ‘dog’ house again. We were let out for our early morning constitution by master, who sometimes comes with us. If not it is usually mistress but on this occasion she didn’t either (I think the phone rang or something). So off we went into the field to see if there was anything interesting. After a few minutes of mooching around I decided it might be worth checking on our Cottages (click here) to see if anyone had any breakfast for me. Its always worth a try. I find if I sit outside with my ‘starved dog look’ I sometimes get the odd tit bit. The skill is remembering which cottages have dogs in. The owners are always a bit of a soft touch and of course there is always the possibility I can slip in and help the guest dog to finish their breakfast. It sometimes works. There I was lost in my mission when I suddenly heard the whistle go.

My stick

My stick

That means we have to come home. So off I trotted back to the house. On the way back it suddenly struck me that I hadn’t seen idiot brother for a while. Then I realised it wasn’t normal to be called back with the whistle in a morning. OH NO what has he (idiot brother) done.

Once I got back in doors I got the usual fuss and a chew for coming back then we sat waiting for ‘idiot’. Well of course he didn’t turn up. Every time master blew the whistle I imagined idiot brother getting into more and more trouble (maybe this time they will just get rid of him and I can have his dinner). In the end master realised he wasn’t going to come back so he went off in the car to find him. There are a number of spots he has been found before so that’s where master checks first – Sheldon Village (he pops into the pub because they know him there), Magpie Mine (don’t ask me why) and all the fields in that general direction.

In the end master found him over at Magpie mine wandering about totally unconcerned. I bet he got it in the neck when master found him as he was pretty furious when he left here. As part of his punishment we were left all day on our own while they went out. Well I was quite happy being left as I could get some serious duvet time in (if only he would stop barking every few minutes) but he was furious as he always wants to go everywhere with master. Well serves him right.

Idiot brother in the 'Dog' house

Idiot brother in the ‘Dog’ house

Derwent Dams, Vets and Snowdrops – Blue

Its Mine!

Its Mine!

We have had quite an exciting week this week. Our cottages (see cottages) are full for half term and we have plenty of friends to play with and show around our grounds. On Sunday afternoon we actually got taken out for a few hours. We were taken up to Derwent Dams to see the water coming over the dams. It was quite impressive even if a bit noisy. We were hoping to go to the Dam buster exhibition in the West Tower but unfortunately we got there too late so we just walked around the dam. We also dropped by to see the Ladybower ‘plug hole’ which of course we couldn’t see as there is a wall in the way.  I wasn’t allowed to jump up on it to see what was going on but Mistress was impressed.

Not to sure about this

Not to sure about this

On Tuesday we got taken to the vets for our annual check-up and booster jab. Now I now most dogs don’t like the Vets but I don’t mind. They are always very kind and we sometimes get given a treat. The other thing is I love to see masters face when he finds out how much the visit has cost. We are worth it though. Well I am. I am not so sure about Smudge. Smudge is not too keen on the vets as we always get weighed and he always gets told he is over weight which means he gets put on ‘another’ diet. I don’t know why mistress bothers as all he does is go begging food from our guests.

Me in the Ashbourne tunnel

Me in the Ashbourne tunnel

Today we were taken to see the snowdrops at Hopton Hall (near Carsington). Well we thought we were going to see the snowdrops  but it turns out they don’t allow dogs in the gardens, so we had to stay in the car. Mistress enjoyed the snowdrops. After Hopton Hall we went off to Ashbourne for the rest of the day. AGAIN we got left in the car while they went off for lunch. At least when they got back we were taken for a walk through the Ashbourne tunnel and along the Tissington trail for a few miles. I suppose it wasn’t too bad a day in the end.

Even I have to sleep some times

Even I have to sleep some times

 

A walk on Curbar Edge – Smudge

Me on Curbar Edge

Me on Curbar Edge

For once Master wasn’t working all day in one of our cottages (Bolehill Cottages) and actually had time to take us out for a walk. It seems like months since we were last taken out. Anyhow on Sunday it was announced we would go for a short walk. Mistress decided that as it was such a nice day we would go for a walk along Curbar Edge. When we arrived it was a bit busy but as we walked along the edge it got busier. We, therefore, had lots of friends to chat to and get acquainted  with.  However, Master got grumpier and grumpier and in the end declared that he was going home. “Hold on a minute we have only been out for 30 mins or so. I thought we were going for a walk.” As usual he got his own way and we had to turn back to the car. On the way home, however, he suggested that we go for a walk down in Lathkill Dale. A few people had reported that it was flooded and it would be interesting to see how bad it was.

Me in Lathkill Dale

Me in Lathkill Dale

So we parked at the car park and walked down the hill.  Before we got to the dale we met up with a couple of friends who live on the way down. Teddy (a Scotty) and been very ill so we enquired how he was doing. Apparently he had had dog meningitis (whatever that is) but was slowly recovering.

Once we go to the bottom of the hill we turned right to head up the dale but after about a mile we came across the flooding. It had flooded up over the path and we would have to go up the bank to get past it. It all looked a bit muddy and wet to me. Although master declared it wasn’t difficult to get round, luckily it was decided that we would walk back down the dale and on to Conksbury  Bridge and then up the hill back to the Lathkil Hotel (a pub).  The river was very high all the way back. At the cascades you could hardly tell where some of them where. Usually you can walk out onto them but not at the moment (or at least I wasn’t going to try). When we got to Conksbury bridge we turned up the lane and then across the fields to the pub where master and mistress had a sandwich and a cake. Nothing for us though. At least they ate outside with us rather than the usual of just leaving us outside in the cold. As it turned out it wasn’t such a bad day and mistress did enjoy her cake.

Me trying to get mistress to catch up

Me trying to get mistress to catch up

A boring trip to Buxton – Blue

Me in Lathkill Dale

Me in Lathkill Dale

As master is rushing around finishing off the upgrade to one of our cottages (see link) I had expected quite some trips down town and over to Buxton and places. We have had a few trips out but not as many as I expected. As usual he hasn’t taken much notice of my advice which is why he gets into problems every now and then. A few days ago it looked like we were off somewhere, so I followed him around and as soon as he got into the car I jumped in too (just in case he left me behind). He brought the car up into the courtyard then disappeared. The next thing I knew mistress had jumped into the car and was setting off. Hold on! I need to be where the action is not stuck in a car with mistress. That is Smudge’s job.

Why put a trough inside?

Why put a trough inside?

Anyway we set off to Buxton. Now the Buxton run is great fun with master. It is like a white knuckle (paw) ride as we zip round corners via the back roads. I sit in the front seat watching where we are going.  I have learned how to lean into the corners and how to anticipate him breaking (if I don’t I sometimes find myself nosing the front window). With mistress it was just plain boring. A steady 30 miles an hour, slowly going round the bends – how boring is that? After a few minutes I decided I might as well climb into the back and to try and get some sleep but all the way there and all the way back she kept on explaining where we were going and why she was getting out of the car each time. I am not used to this. Master usually just jumps out with a “Blue stay” and I sit around  wondering were he has gone and how long he will be.  At least when we got to Buxton Mistress explained where she was going and how long she was going to be. As it turns out she had popped over to Buxton for master as he was ‘busy’.

Seems OK

Seems OK

 

I keep getting disturbed – Smudge

A light snack

A light snack

Its OK all this upgrading Dove bit (see our peak district cottages at www.bolehillfarm.co.uk) but it does disturb my morning, my mid morning and my afternoon siesta. It’s not that they are noisy or anything, its just master keeps rushing in past my bed to ‘get things’ and ‘discuss things’. Why can’t he be a little bit less noisy. Can’t he see a dogs is trying to nap. Idiot brother is, of course, in his element. Rushing here, rushing there, going off with master to get bits and then rushing again. He loves it. It exhausts me just watching them. It’s not as though he is of any use. He just seems to be constantly in the way. I bet if I did that I would get yelled at and probably end up with plaster or paint all over me. Far better to just stick to my bed.

I am not really here.

I am not really here.

One thing with having builders around, there is always a chance of a free lunch but this lot are not very generous with their lunch and it is hardly worth the effort. All in all January is a bit of a lean month for food. After all the treats I got over Christmas the last few weeks have come as a bit of a shock. Very few dog friends in our cottage so not much chance of a free meal.

I had a major scare the other day. Mistress disappeared out after their tea without feeding me. Master didn’t seem to have remembered. So it was up to me to get him to remember (idiot brother doesn’t worry about such things). I kept nudging him and generally trying to point him towards the food but to no avail. All I got was “Smudge – What do you want”. “I want my dinner obviously” but as he is a human he can’t understand me. And I thought humans were supposed to be smart. What does it take to realise you haven’t fed your best friend – ME :-) . Anyhow in the end the penny dropped and he realised he had forgotten to feed me (us). The next worry was that he might have forgotten how much we get (that could be good or bad). OK I accept that we never get any ‘extras’ when master feeds us but as a minimum I expect the same amount as I get from mistress. Who knows what we got. It looked a measly small amount to me but idiot brother seemed happy enough (well he would wouldn’t he).

 

Thank goodness that is over – Blue

My new hat.

My new hat.

At last Christmas is over and things are getting back to normal at our Holiday cottages (click here). Mistress is less stressed, master isn’t as grumpy and we are allowed back into the lounge (Smudge had missed his snoozes in front of the fire). Master and Mistress’s friends came for the Christmas period, you know the ones that are allergic to dogs (how can anyone be allergic to dogs), so we were banished to the kitchen. I much prefer to be where the action is and Smudge was terrified there may be some food going spare that he might miss. So all in all I don’t like Christmas. OK we did get some nice treats, and we did get taken out for some walks, and we did meet some nice dog friends in our cottages and we did get some leftovers (made Smudge happy) but that is not the same as being looked after properly and treated like proper family dogs. Kitchen indeed – that’s where cats are supposed to be kept not man’s best friend.

What happened to the roof?

What happened to the roof?

I suppose we did get taken for a few nice walks. On Christmas Eve we got take to Derwent/Howden reservoir for a walk round the top end of the dam and back to Derwent Dam car park. We had to do a lot of waiting around while master went to fetch his car from the top of Howden. We are not allowed in their friend’s car as we might leave dog hair in it (as if). It was a bit blowy but not too bad. I must admit I must be getting a bit old as I did feel a bit stiff in the evening and it was only a 5 mile walk. Problem is we are use to all the ‘stopping to admire the view’ we get with mistress. When we all go for a walk with their friends it is more a walk, no stopping, and we are not use to it.

On Christmas Day we all walked down to the Lathil Hotel (pub) for a lunch time drink. We were left outside in the cold. How is that for Christmas cheer? Lots of other dogs were inside in the warmth. Why weren’t  we? I have considered a formal complaint to the RSPCA.

Looks to be working

Looks to be working

On Boxing Day we were taken for a walk we do quite often. Across our fields, down into Lathkill Dale, along the dale, then up past our picnic spot, along to the Lathkil Hotel for a drink (they sat outside with us this time – I think they felt guilty about leaving us out on our own the day before) and back across the fields to home.

I suppose over all it wasn’t too bad a Christmas. Happy New Year.

 

Christmas Time – Smudge

Why me?

Why me?

It must be Christmas. Master is even more grumpy than normal, mistress is highly stressed (that can be bad as she might forget my dinner), there always seems to be something going on which keeps me awake and to cap it all I have to pose for the ‘Christmas Photo’. OK I get a treat for it but even still it is a bit demeaning. Idiot brother of course just thinks its fun. Well he would. Mistress has slowly got all the cottages (click here) ready for Christmas with not much of a help from master. He has managed to keep a low profile and pretend to be busy doing something else. I suppose he did put up the outside lights but that was mainly supervising our handyman. So all in all he hasn’t done much.  It is usually best to keep out of the way when all the Christmas preparation is going on or I tend to get yelled at.  “Smudge you’re in the way”  seems to be a common refrain. Never “Blue you are in the way”. No, people just pick on me. So I try to find a cosy corner and keep my head down.

Its been a tiring day.

Its been a tiring day.

Mistress seems to be calming down  a bit now, so I assume most of the preparation is over. Maybe we can get back to normal. At least she has been putting the log fire on for me in the afternoon, which is nice. A dog can get very cosy in front of a nice fire, even if I do get disturbed every now and then by master turning me over ‘to do the other side’. We have had a few bad days recently where mistress has been away at our dinner time. Something to do with WI or carol concerts etc. It is always worrying when master feeds us. Mistress tends to be a lot more generous with dinner than master is. We never get any ‘little extras’ with master. Just our standard dinner. But we seem to be back to our normal routine now. I suppose we can look forward to some nice scraps over the Christmas break. At least that is something to look forward to.

Thats bad. Someone has moved the bowls.

That’s bad. Someone has moved the bowls.

Its been boring – Blue

Helping.

Helping.

Nothing much seems to be happening around our cottages (click here)  at the moment. Well don’t say that to master as he has been doing lots. But nothing exciting I can help with. OK I did help with the digging out of the log store (although I do admit the tractor thing was a lot quicker than me) but apart from that not much has been going on. I am not allowed on the top of scaffolding, so could not help with the gutters. With the cleaning up of the leaves all that happens is I get yelled at so I decided that wasn’t much fun so myself and Smudge made sure the cows didn’t interrupt master’s work. But I guess the gate did an equally good job.

Bakewell Christmas Market - BORING.

Bakewell Christmas Market – BORING.

We did get dragged of to the Bakewell Farmers Market, no dogs allowed so didn’t see much of that, and the Bakewell Christmas Market. Well that was just boring. I wonder why anyone would want to willingly wander around a town with stalls (well I suppose mistress did and master just tagged along as did we). The visit to Tissington Christmas Market was a bit more interesting although not having any of the crepe at lunch time was a bit of a disappointment  and being abandoned outside the church while they went in for a mince pie and tea wasn’t my idea of fun. It was cold sitting outside waiting. We did our ‘cute we are hungry’ routine at a number of passers by but unfortunately they  ignored us.

Any for us?

Any for us?

Anyhow master is happy as he has now finished all the outside work ready for the winter. Mistress isn’t too happy as he has ‘pruned’ the car park bushes a bit too enthusiastically. We are currently quite busy trying to decide what paint colour to use when we start work on the cottages. A nice ‘Blue’ would do if you ask me.