Hello. I’m Bosworth. I’m a Norfolk terrier and I shall be sharing some of the things I do and the places I visit in my campervan with my two humans. I like walks, play time, meeting other dogs, keeping a look out for cats and squirrels, and watching wildlife programmes on TV.
In my last post I talked about watching birds in the garden, quite an absorbing activity in itself. I have to sit very still, then if one of them flies over me, or lands on the ground, I rush after it. They always get away.
But we went proper birdwatching yesterday, me and my humans. We went to a place called Parkgate, on the Dee estuary and close to somewhere called Wales. You could see big hills in the distance. It was called a raptor watch, which I suppose means you watch out for raptors. I didn’t have a clue what raptors were, but I heard people talking about an owl, which was flying about. Everyone got those funny binocular things up to their faces to watch it, and lots of people were smiling.
They all got excited again when somneone said there was a hen harrier flying along in the distance, I couldn’t see a thing, but it seems they saw a male and a female hen harrier. The human who feeds me was quite excited when she had a good view of the female, and she spotted the male before some of the other people did, and told them where to look.
It was all a bit over my head (like the birds…) so I hung about watching the bird watchers and eyeing another terrier there who was also on a lead. We had a bit of a brief bark off then pretended not to notice each other. It was cold as the sun went down so we had a brisk walk back to my motorvan, which we’d travelled there in. I had a drink and some treats then we all came home.
RSPB Burton Mere organise a monthly raptor watch at the Old Baths area at Parkgate, near Neston on the Wirral.
I have a new hobby. I watch birds.
I sit on the patio, in pretty much the same place as I was in this photo, taken last year when I was a bit younger. Right now it’s winter but at last it’s not raining, so I like to go out, sniff around and check that there are still no places I can dig. The humans seem to have successfully blocked off all the interesting digging routes, but I’ve found something else very interesting to sit and watch. Those birds. I’d never noticed them before, when I was younger, but now I’m two and supposedly grown up, I’ve suddenly become very interested in them. I can even ID some of them.
I like to watch the pigeons (big fat grey things) sit on the fence or wooden archway before flying down into the garden to take some of the food that’s been left out. Then I take off and chase them, but they always get away up into the air, where I can’t follow.
It’s not just pigeons. There are black things that go “chack-chack”. I think they’re jackdaws. They come to get some food from the feeders, like the black and white things with long tails called magpies. I don’t try to chase these, I just sit and watch. But if they go to the feeders, I always root around underneath in case they’ve dropped anything I can eat. The humans do feed me, but you know how it is if you’re a dog, you just have to eat food when it’s there.
This morning, sitting outside watching, I saw a very small bird on one of the trees in the garden. It was easy to see as the branches are bare. I was looking at it very carefully and I heard one of my humans say “He’s looking at a Great Tit”.
Watching birds is an interesting thing to do in my garden, especially as I’d not noticed them before. In fact, it’s only this week that I’ve really got into it. I even like going out in the dark, sitting still, and looking at one of the bird feeders. I spend quite a lot of time doing this in the dark, but I don’t see anything. Still, it’s good to be out in the fresh air, although you wouldn’t catch me doing this if it was raining.
The RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch 2020 is on 25-27 January. Anyone can take part. More details here.
When I was a young whipper-snapper like this, learning to walk on a lead, and starting to visit lots of interesting places, one of my humans started to play a game with me called “School”. It was pretty good because I got treats when we played.
In my School sessions, I learned to sit, stay, come, walk to heel, shake paws, go down, roll over and jump over a low hurdle, which seems to be some kind of walking stick. If I feel a bit lazy I limbo underneath it rather than jump over. I don’t get a treat if I do a crawly limbo move, but my humans laugh.
But wow! When I think about it, I learned a lot! And I can do a lot and it’s fun. But there are some things I need to improve on ( well, that’s what the humans say), like remembering to walk to heel. Oh yes, my School human added a new game. It’s like hide and seek. He tells me to stay, then goes upstairs and calls me. I have to run upstairs and find where he’s hiding, then I get a treat. He also hides behind trees when we’re out walking and waits for me to find him. I always do.
When the grandchildren come to stay, they do some of my school things with me – and of course I get lots of fuss and treats for this too. In the picture I’m shaking paw. I know which is my left paw and which is my right…well, maybe I do, but sometimes it might just be a lucky guess, but for now I’m keeping quiet about that.
I just love screens! The TV is a constant source of fascination for me when it’s on, especially if there are cats or dogs or insects or birds or fish or cows or horses moving about. I’m learning not to jump up at the screen when anything interesting shows up, and if I’m told “Down” then I do sit down and watch from a short distance.
About once a week, the small screen comes out and my humans talk to my family who live somewhere else. It’s quite exciting because I know they’re not really in the small screen. It’s obvious that there’s not enough room for them all to squeeze inside there, along with their two cats.
Oh my goodness, their cats are beautiful and they look straight at me with with wide eyes. They’re cool, they just sit and look and I look back. I don’t try to chase them because I know they’re not really there. They’re at the other house, along with the rest of the family. So while they and my humans talk to each other, I sit very, very still on a lap because if I try to get into the screen, or jump and fidget, I get put back on the floor and told off.
Sometimes when one of my humans looks at a very small different screen, called a tablet, I’m invited to watch lots of other dogs at a place called Crufts. Some of the dogs run and jump over poles and things, and sometimes they dance around (1). It’s very interesting and I love watching it. I’ve even had a go at swiping my paw across the screen, like the humans do, but they get a bit cross if I do that.
In the picture here I’m waiting for the screen to light up. This happens when the special tune is played – bong bing bong, bing bong bing – and then we do the Skype thing with the cats. If I hear the tune which means they are there, and I’m in another room, I come running. I don’t want to miss a single second of screen time.
(1) Agility and Heelwork to Music
I shall soon be 2 years old, growing up a bit and certainly more of a handsome young hunk nowadays than I was when I was 4 months old, when this photo was taken. Of course, I was very cute then ( still am if truth be told) but my coat was shorter then, when I was a puppy. Now it’s thicker and longer, and the human who feeds me calls me a hairy monster. Not sure if I like that, although she sounds very affectionate when she says it.
So, as I shall be celebrating 2 years of canine life pretty soon, I thought I’d share what my female human wrote about me a while ago. She told some stories of all the things I chewed, or wrecked or ruined when I was a young puppy, and wrote about them on her own blog.
Of course, I can’t remember doing anything naughty at all, but you can read what she said about me here, where she goes on about lots of unexpected little extras.
Don’t know what she means really. Have a read and see what you think. Was I that bad?
When I was taken on my first big holiday in my campervan by my two humans, we went to a place called Wales. There were hills and mountains, rivers, streams, and big lake things called reservoirs. Best of all, there were lots of walks. Some of them were quite difficult, steep and stony, but I managed alright. When I couldn’t, I was carried for a while, as I was still quite young.
We went to small towns, with lots of friendly people who made a fuss of me because I looked cute (well, that’s what they said – I wasn’t sure whether or not it was good to look cute, but it seemed to work).
One of the towns we visited was called Hay-on-Wye (funny name) and it had masses of book shops, which my humans seemed to like going into, then standing around just looking at the shelves where the books were. Sometimes they’d get hold of a book and look inside it, then put it back on the shelf. Seemed a bit boring to me, but I sat still and watched what the other people in the shop were doing. It was the same kind of thing.
As we walked around the town, going into book shop after book shop, the human who feeds me pointed to a sign outside one of the shops, got her camera and took a photo of it. She seemed really excited because the sign had MY NAME on it! Boz!
Well, when I thought about it, it was rather impressive to find a book shop named after me, especially as I’d never been to Hay-on-Wye before. Then she started babbling on about my name. You see, Boz is the shortened version of Bosworth, but it apparently it happens to be the pen name used by Charles Dickens who was some famous author I think. Or at least someone who wrote books. So I suppose it was a good idea to use my name for a book shop. I liked it anyway.
Dickens was first a freelance journalist, becoming a parliamentary commentator in 1833. He wrote serialised sketches in periodicals which were published under the title “Sketches by Boz” in 1836. The year 1836 was a significant one for Dickens. He married Caroline, daughter of George Hogarth, editor of the Evening Chronicle, and publisher of “Sketches by Boz”, and his first novel, “The Pickwick Papers”, was published.
I did mention a while back that I’d say something about cats. Cats! Funny word that, but one I somehow knew even before I’d seen one, because it’s kind of embedded in my genes. Well, in the genes of all dogs really I suppose.
The human who feeds me started telling me things I didn’t really understand, like “Kitty is coming to stay. Kitty’s a beautiful cat. She’s your cat and you have to be nice to her.”
What I heard was: “BurblebabbleCATburblebabbleburbleKITTYburblybabblyCAT” all said in a very noice tone of voice mind, but the important words really stood out and got me all excited. When the cat arrived with their daughter (who they try to kid me is my Big Sister, but she’s not) they made a big fuss of them both. They wouldn’t let me near Kitty, even though I kept yelping with excitement. They shut me in while they unloaded all the cat stuff and put this interesting creature in an upstairs room where it was quiet, so she could settle down. Never mind me, I was so excited I thought I’d go pop.
The smell of Kitty was new and intriguing. Even though I’d had this cat smell offered to me on a hanky or something before she arrived, to get used to the smell, it was NOTHING like the real thing! And the energy and vibe of having a real live cat in the house drove me crazy with excitement. I like to think I’ve calmed down a bit now I’m nearly 2 years old, but I was very young, it was all new stuff and boy did I go for it.
I just had to find that cat. Where was the dratted Kitty? I set off in search of her, galloping up the stairs, nose to the ground, and found her scent was strongest in the spare room. I sniffed and looked. I couldn’t see her anywhere, but I knew she was there.
One of my humans came to find me and took me back downstairs, but they sounded concerned because there was no sign of Kitty. I found out later that she’d been on the windowsill, hiding behind the curtain. When things had calmed down, I slipped upstairs again to look for her. I just KNEW she was in that room, but I couldn’t see her anywhere. One of the humans came in and sort of tried not to laugh. Apparently Kitty was sitting on a chair watching me inspecting the floor area with my nose to find her. I was looking down, not up. I swear that cat was laughing too.
We did meet face to face and although I was friendly, barking and wagging, Kitty spat at me, which wasn’t very nice at all. After Kitty had gone back to her home with their daughter, I sneaked upstairs whenever I could to check that she really had gone; the smell was still there, I wasn’t sure that she’d really left, and the thought of seeing more of her was enticing. I searched all the bedrooms, pulling the duvets off the beds and I dragged the spare mattress out from under a bed to make sure she wasn’t there.
I don’t know why they weren’t very pleased with me for doing this, and they kept all the doors closed where Kitty might have been hiding. Maybe they were cross because I chewed some of the duvet covers and sheets.
Here is the owner’s view of the chewed sheets and other misdemeanors!
Earlier this year, my humans took me on holiday in my campervan and we went to somewhere called North Devon. I loved all the walks they took me on. We went along lots of paths by the side of the sea. That wet blue stuff looked very inviting but it was a long way down below, and we were very high up walking on things called cliffs and headlands.
The smells there were very interesting. The water smelled nice, so did the grass and the heather, but the little brown lumps of stuff lying around on the ground smelled quite delicious. I wanted to taste them, but my humans kept saying “Drop!” if I got any in my mouth, just when it was starting to get interesting. They called it sheep poo and clearly didn’t like me trying to taste it. Didn’t they realise that was because I wanted to understand what it was and where it came from? And what are “sheep” anyway? I had no idea. And still being quite young, I had to taste and test everything new so I’d know about it.
We climbed up a very big hill which they called Mortehoe Point. It was covered in pointy rocks and when we got to the top, the sea was all around us. It was windy too, but I was rather pleased as I’d never climbed such a big hill before. I scrambled up to the top with my humans, then had a rest while they did something called “drinking in the view”. I couldn’t see any drink, but they’d brought my water with them and gave me some, so perhaps that’s what they meant.
Then we climbed all the way down again and started to return to my campervan by walking back along the path by the sea. It was then that I noticed some other animals.
I thought they must be white dogs, but they weren’t really quite like dogs. And there was that delicious smell again – the same smell as the lumps of brown stuff they’d told me to drop. I was very curious and had a good look at these creatures. I came to the conclusion they must be called sheep as the humans were saying things like, “Bosworth, they’re sheep….leave them….” .
So sheep they had to be. I didn’t want to chase them, nor did I try to; I just wanted to watch them. They were young and curious too, and they had a good look at me as well.
Look what I found! I saw this was lying about on the floor, took a peep at it and got a big surprise.
It’s a picture of me in my motorvan, along with some writing. I can’t understand it all but I think it tells the story of my very first trip in my home of wheels and my first experience of camping – you know, the story I wrote about with the picture of me in my playpen thing on the very first campsite I ever went to. The one near the beach. It says something about my visit to the beach too.
Life’s full of surprises, and this was a good one!
“Meet the new Motorhomer” appeared in MMM magazine in August 2018.
We went on holiday in my campervan earlier this year to somewhere called North Devon. My humans did all the arranging and driving and packed my food, treats, toys and bed, so all I had to do was behave myself and settle down between the two front seats of the ‘van for the journey (hitched up to my restraint of course).
We stopped off at a couple of places on the way before we actually reached North Devon, and I’d heard them say something like, “We could go there on the way and have him measured for it, it’s somewhere near the campsite” (that’s a magical word for me – I know it means we’re going somewhere new and interesting).
Their satnav thingy didn’t work properly and they kept saying things like, “It’s right out in the sticks here.” I like sticks. You can chase them and chew them and sometimes, if I find one I like, I carry it back home. So I thought we were going to a place that had lots of sticks for me to play with. But no. We ended up in a sort of farmyard with a big shed building where there were people making things with funny-looking machines.
They all made a fuss of me then I was taken into a big room with lots of shelves and one of the nice people got something from a shelf, took it out of the bag it was in and put it on my body! I was a bit startled. It was like having human clothes on and I wasn’t sure what to make of it, although it felt kind of cosy and safe once it was on. I even saw that dog I sometimes see who looks a bit like me. He was wearing it too when I looked at the thing they call mirror. I must say, the colour looked quite fetching against his coat.
After that, we got in the ‘van and went to the campsite, where it was wonderful. Woods! Mown pathways through them! Lots of long grass! Smells! Places to explore and a big lake, where they had to keep me on my lead as there are things called beavers who live there. Seemed to me that the beavers chopped down bits of trees as there were plenty of sticks lying around on the ground. Maybe this was the place they meant that was in the sticks?
Great as it was there, it did rain a lot one day. That was the day they got my my new outfit out of the bag and put it on me. It was to stop me getting soaked, muddy and dirty in the rain, and it worked. When we came inside the van, it was the outfit that was wet and muddy, not me. So it’s not too bad at all really.
I do wonder what I really look like in it though, and if my bum perhaps looks a bit big in it?
Editorial note for dog owners: Bosworth’s suit came from the home of Equafleece in Devon. He’s wearing the lightweight summer one; the heavier fleece winter one we also bought awaits the first cold snap in our part of the UK.