Out and about – Smudge

Me

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).

Lea Gardens

Lea Gardens

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.

20160627_IMG_1553As 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.

Tissington Pond

Tissington Pond

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.

 

Well Dressings and Walks – Smudge

Me

Me

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

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.

My Picnic

My Picnic

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 :sad: . 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?

What am I supposed to do?

A very high style

A very high style

It was a very very big goose – Smudge

Me

Me

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

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

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

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.

A walk along Curbar Edge – Smudge

Me on Curbar Edge

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

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

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

Me in the snow

 

 

 

Christmas and all that – Smudge

Why me?

Why me?

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

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

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.

For me?

For me?

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.

Glamour Shot

Glamour Shot

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.

 

 

Vets and things – Smudge

Me in the snow

Me in the snow

Vets twice in one week – Help!

Well actually the first time wasn’t that bad. I was dragged down there to get weighed. I have said for ages that I was under nourished so I assumed getting weighed would prove my point and I might get some decent sized meals. Oh no it doesn’t seem to work like that. I have put on a kilo since my last weigh-in (not sure how) so there was a lot of tutting and ‘how does he manage it’ and then a discussion on how to REDUCE my current measly rations. I am now just hoping mistress will forget all about it and carry on at least feeding me my current level of rations .

My special treats from the vet

My special treats from the vet

The second visit was a bit more serious. I have developed a small abscess on my back gums. It is only small and I haven’t really noticed it but mistress is a bit of a worrier so I was dragged back down to the Vets. Now it is usually quite nice and friendly at the vets. They are usually very kind and sometimes I get a treat. This time when I wasn’t looking I got a painful jab in my neck which made we yelp a bit. They were kind in the end though as they sent me home with a special box of treats. Trouble is I am only allowed 1 and a 1/2 a time, twice a day so it is a bit mean but I suppose better than nothing. Of course, on our return, master complained about the cost and said it would be taken out of my food rations. Luckily mistress ignores him and feeds me what she things I should get (which still isn’t enough).

Me and mistress

Me and mistress

Last week we (master and me) were dragged round Chatsworth Christmas fair (about 10 mins from our cottages). Its the usual pilgrimage we have to endure to keep mistress happy. At least it wasn’t cold and we weren’t there too long. I wouldn’t mind but I am never allowed near the food stands and have to just sit outside each tent with master waiting for mistress. So it is a bit boring and no one bothered to buy anything for me although a lot of people did make a fuss of me. I suppose we did have a bit of a walk from Endsor over to Chatsworth and back but not the same as a proper walk.

On Thursday Master and Mistress had a pre Christmas opening tour of Eyam Hall which of course I wasn’t allowed around. I was left in charge of the car. Afterwards we all went to the cafe in Ashford for some lunch. Well lunch for them, nothing of course for me but at least cafe welcomes dogs so I was allowed to sit under the table and ‘watch’.

 

Some Autumn walks – Smudge

Me in Padley Gorge

Me in Padley Gorge

Although we have been busy in our Holiday cottages (see details) Master and Mistress have managed to get out into the Autumn sunshine and do a few of my favourite walks. Mistress loves this time of year when the trees are changing colour and it isn’t as busy as it was during the summer. We managed to get up to the Goyt Valley to see the heather before it finished flowering and over to Chatsworth House to look round the gardens to see their yearly outdoor sculpture exhibition. As usual I had to do the posing for photos at a number of the statues.

One of the Sculptures

One of the Sculptures

I don’t mind that much as I usually get a treat for sitting doing nothing for a few minutes. How bad can that be? After we had been around the gardens master took me back to the car for my afternoon siesta while they went round the house. The big problem with Chatsworth is that I have to be on my lead all the time. Its better than nothing but not as good as being allowed to go off and explore.

A few days after Chatsworth we managed to get out for a proper walk to Padley Gorge. Now that is more like it. I was off my lead for most of the time and allowed to explore as much as I wanted. Wandering down near the river is always fun. Watching mistress clambering up and over tree roots and stones is even better fun. She is a bit slow in keeping up but me and master keep an eye out to make sure she is OK. I was a bit disappointed not to spot any Squirrels or other little creatures I could chase. But you you can’t have everything on a walk. Of course at lunch time we had to stop at the the little Cafe at Grindleford station where master and mistress had a bacon bap.

Is this one mine?

Is this one mine?

It was at this point master realised he had forgotten my lunch. Great I thought. They will get me a bacon bap as well. Oh no poor old Smudge had to go without anything. Typical.

One of my friends has been around to see me a few times in the last few weeks. His name is Jack and like me he is a border collie. Like me he has no inclination to go charging around wasting energy. He is quite happy to sit in the sun soaking up the sun. We therefore often ‘chill out’ together when he visits. Master says he is even more ‘laid back’ than me (whatever that means).

Me and my friend Jack

Me and my friend Jack

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.

Easy.

Easy.

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.

IMG_1196

Friends

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.

20100725_IMG_1915

He is in the Dog house again – Smudge

Me

He is in the Dog House! We were all enjoying a nice pleasant day at our Cottages. I was sunning myself in the courtyard, master was playing with his toys from the farm, idiot brother was nowhere to be seen – bliss. Then the phone rang and mistress went into panic mode. Idiot brother had been spotted wandering down the road to Bakewell. Master was away somewhere, so mistress had to get in the car and go and fetch him. A very nice lady had spotted him and got out of her car to look after him then rung us. At this point I thought it would be prudent to make myself scarce as once master found out what had happened there would be a lot of yelling. Why he had decided to walk off down the road I have no idea. We are not allowed over the cattle grid. I know that as well as he does. So we NEVER do. I can only assume that he was trying to find master who had taken the tractor back to the farm and as idiot brother usually goes with him, he had gone to find him. Idiot. Anyhow mistress thanked the lady and brought him back. He was a bit sheepish (that is a pun as he is scared stiff of sheep) when he got back. Luckily when master returned there wasn’t a great deal of yelling and I could get back to my sun bathing. What is the idiot going to get up to next?

Posing at Ashover show

Posing at Ashover show

We have had one or two quite nice days out recently. We were taken to Ashover Show although it was a close run thing. There was a lot of talk of leaving us behind. I was quite happy with a duvet day but idiot brother was adamant that we went. I did point out to him that there were sheep and cows there but that didn’t seem to perturb him that much (I just thought “wait till we get there”). Anyhow it was decided that we would go. Well I suppose if nothing else we kept master company while mistress went round the food tent and the craft tent and the … tent. Actually I quite enjoyed it. Lots of people came up to us to make a fuss of us and we met loads of old friends. Of course we had to do the usual posing in front of the big boys toys, but I don’t mind it that much.

Me among the heather

Me among the heather

We got taken for a walk on Millstone Edge this week as mistress wanted to see the heather (not sure why – it just looked like heather to me) . We had a nice lunch sitting on a rock face which gave mistress nice views over the Hope valley but more important master remembered to pack our lunch (he is getting better at remembering). It was only a measly chew so it didn’t last long but better than nothing.

Another walk which was just a bit too long for me (I am starting to feel my age a bit) was a walk from Hayfield towards Kinder Scout that mistress had been wanting to do for ages. It is the route of the original ‘Kinder Trespass’ which apparently is important. It was a nice day out and even master seemed in a good mood .

Chilling out at Chatsworth

Chilling out at Chatsworth

Another nice outing was an evening at Chatsworth. We always like going to Chatsworth (even if we do have to be on our leads) as it is such a nice place. So to go for a picnic was something special (as long as master remembered our treats – which he did). First we had a slow leisurely stroll around the grounds with master saying “what is that!” at most of the new sculptures (there for the sculpture show in September) we came across and then sat down in the evening sun for a picnic. We got our usual measly chew and they had a full picnic with bubbly wine etc which mistress always enjoys. It was quite late by the time we set off home which was a bit of a problem as we hadn’t been fed properly but luckily mistress remembered to feed us when we got home.

I let the side down a bit – Blue

The LAMB

The LAMB

Yesterday was such a nice day it was decided that we would all go for a picnic. This always gets Smudge excited as we have now managed to train master to pack something for us. It was decided that we would take the car from our cottages (see Bolehill cottages) and park down in Over Haddon (our nearest Village). We would then walk down Lathkill Dale and back up to mistresses favourite picnic spot. The short walk started fine but then as we got near to the cascades I spotted that there were some sheep (about 6) and lambs near the waters edge. Now I am quite a brave collie apart from cows, sheep, horses, balloons, hang gliders, drums, bangs ……… So I kept an eye on them hoping that they wouldn’t notice me. Unfortunately one of the lambs spotted me.

It sneaks up on me

It sneaks up on me

I manage to escape

I manage to escape

I am out of there ...

I am out of there …

I tried to creep past the vicious looking thing but it kept on coming towards me. I looked back at master for support but he was just laughing. Smudge was, as usual in his own world and mistress was too far off to save me. So what other option did I have but to run. The vicious thing then decided to run after me, so that was it – I was off. No way was I hanging around with a marauding lamb on the loose. This just made master laugh even more. So much for moral support. In the end mistress came back up the dale to make sure I was OK. Unfortunately she then proceeded to put me on my lead and drag me back down the dale. Although I struggled it was no use, I had to go back to where the sheep were. Well at least this time mistress was looking after me and the sheep didn’t seem too keen to take her on, so I put myself between her and the sheep and hoped they wouldn’t come any nearer. Meanwhile Smudge had just casually walked through the sheep and master was virtually in tears (well thanks a bunch). Anyhow in the end we got through the things and I could relax.

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waiting for our picnic

We walked on through the rest of the dale with master mumbling under his breath ‘how I had let the side down again’ and ‘what an embarrassment’ I was. Well he didn’t have to face up to the thing did he. Luckily the rest of the picnic went without incident. We even stopped off at the Lathkill Hotel (pub) for a ‘quick’ drink before Smudge’s stomach started to rumble and he wanted to get home for his dinner.

Admiring the view

Admiring the view