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.
There’s nothing quite like finding a good stick and carrying it around for a bit, or even bringing it home.
This is one I found on a beach in a place called Rhyl last year. I’d not been on many beaches then, and I sniffed about a lot, finding all manner of interesting scents and things to pick up. But this stick was the best.
To be honest, I’m not too keen on running after sticks and chasing them, I just like to carry them around. I prefer chasing after a ball to bring back, but if I find a stick I hang on to it. It’s mine!
Today there was an almighty windy storm, with buckets of rain coming down, so when the weather cleared up a bit, we all went out for a walk and there were sticks everywhere, all over the ground. I think they’d fallen off the trees. Well, I didn’t know which way to turn, there was so much choice, but I found a nice chunky one to carry home.
When we got to the house I was rather proud of myself as I showed good manners and training and dropped it in the front garden. I’ve been told off for bringing sticks into the house and chewing them, but this time I remembered what to do. And I was praised for it too.
It’s best to supervise dogs with sticks as they can be dangerous, splintering in the mouth as they’re chewed, and they’re also a choking hazard.
Ok, so this isn’t me (Bosworth, Norfolk terrier) in the picture. It’s another dog who was my predecessor: Calan, a Scottish terrier. I know my humans must have loved him as much as they love me as there’s a couple of photos knocking around and they sometimes speak of him. But that’s not the point as this is about dog friendly places and it looks as if this place – the Hartland Quay Hotel in Devon – was not especially dog friendly.
From the photo, it appears that quite a lot of dogs have expressed their feelings about the sign as it’s gone very rusty round about the place where dogs, such as myself, would cock our legs and pee. Only to mark it, mind, as that’s what we do.
Seriously though, dog-friendliness has got a lot better over the past few years (I overheard my humans talking about this), so now when we all go out, I can mostly go into the places that they do. Some shops welcome dogs and have a funny sign saying things like “Dogs welcome, well behaved humans tolerated”.
Some shops have a simple sign on the door which says it straight: “Dogs Welcome” and that’s what we like to see. Same applies with cafes and restaurants – a sign in the window, a blackboard outside welcoming us pooches is good to see. At the weekend I went, with my humans and their friends who’d come to visit, to a local brasserie-style restaurant. They’ve started to welcome dogs and let this be known on a blackboard outside the door.
It was especially nice because the waiter brought me a bowl of water, placed on a serviette, on the floor. Once I’d had the few treats my humans had brought for me, I settled down under the table while they ate and talked, and then had some of that beautifully served water when I was thirsty. I behaved perfectly too, just like I’ve been encouraged to when we’re out.
One or two very good dog friendly cafes I’ve been to either have home made dog treats for sale along with the cake things the humans eat, or they bring treats to the table, for free. Free treats! Doggy heaven – well, possibly owner heaven too if they’re free. There’s a great cafe in Conwy where this happens.
Some pubs and cafes and restaurants are still not welcoming dogs, so we don’t go to those. These can be a bit annoying. We found a place in Combe Martin in Devon which didn’t have a “No Dogs” sign anywhere in sight, but when we went to go inside, they told us no, we couldn’t.
Aren’t some people funny? My humans were shouted at for taking me into a local charity shop when they were donating goods. There was a washed out “Assistant dogs only” sign on the door which they couldn’t see because the door was wide open, supposedly inviting people in. But when we stayed in York, and they went looking around the shops, several shop owners smiled and invited us all in, saying they liked dogs.
A couple of useful websites with info on dog-friendly places, covering UK locations:
We went to Southport me and my humans, in my campervan, and stayed overnight on a campsite we’ve been to before. It was sunny and cold, with this chilly white stuff they call frost covering the grass in the morning. The puddles were all hard with ice but it didn’t stop me from enjoying walks and exploring a very nice park with a big lake.
There were ducks and pigeons, and as I’ve recently got ino bird watching I sat still and watched a crowd of these feeding on food put down for them by someone. I’d have loved to have got closer to them, especially the pigeons as I see these in my garden, but I was held quite firmly on my lead and couldn’t budge.
The park (it was the Botanic Gardens – Ed) was dog-friendly and there were notices showing where dogs had to be on leads. In some parts – the wilder rougher parts, which I liked – dogs were allowed off leads.
The humans seemed to like this place quite a lot so here are a couple of photos of it in the sunshine. But blimey, it was a bit chilly though.
It’s come to my notice that my human who writes a blog, wrote something about me chewing up things and digging holes in the garden when I was a puppy. Now I’m two and have grown up a bit, I think it’s time I put a bit of perspective on this story. I do have my reputation to consider after all, so here’s my version of things that were written about me when I was 21 months old:
I started living with my humans when I was 4 months old. I’d kind of got over the real baby stage of peeing whenever and wherever I needed to but was still in need of some guidance on getting into the garden for these tasks. I was shooed outside and told to “be busy”. No idea what that meant at all, but they always did this after I’d had a toilet trip indoors. It was a hot summer so the doors were open and the penny soon dropped. I was meant to do it outside.
I must confess that I loved my new home and my humans. We got on very well, they were always kind to me (still are) and I heard them describe me as “a delightful and interactive dog” Yeah!
I know I’m good with children. I’m always very friendly to them as they’re somehow a bit like puppies and closer to my size. I adore the human’s grandchildren and allow them to play with me, cuddle me, carry me about and at Christmas they put funny sparkly things on my head. I didn’t like it much but put up with it as it made them happy.
I often make noises and speak in “dog”, which the humans don’t understand, but they like it because it’s as though I’m saying “hello” and “chatting”. I sometimes make little howls of excitement too. But as I was still a puppy, with new teeth, I had to chew things, I just had to – all puppies do so it was perfectly normal as far as I’m concerned. Here’s what I chewed: Continue reading
She went and bought a grooming table didn’t she, the human who feeds me. That’s what this post is all about, the grooming sessions.
When I first came to live with my two humans, I’d been groomed and given the once-over by my breeder, who said she’d “tidied me up” before I set off for my new home. I don’t really remember this, but it didn’t seem that long before I was being brushed and tidied up again, once I’d settled in.
We Norfolks have lustrous long hair, all lovely and golden ( well, some of my cousins have black backs, not golden ones, but they’re more unusual). Our colour is supposed to be “red” – a sort of russety, coppery bracken-like colour – and for it to stay that colour, and not get pale, our coats have to be hand stripped so they grow back properly. Ouch. That sounds like it could be a bit painful, having hairs pulled out, but it’s not really. If we get our coats clippered, they lose their rough thickness and go soft and possibly curlyish.
My human did a lot of learning about hand stripping – there’s a video she got, and she bought lots of brushes and combs and stripping knives and thinning scissors. She made notes about what to do and how to tweak out bits of my coat. At first she tried to do it sitting on the floor with me, but it was hard (I wriggled a lot and ran away) so she bought the grooming table which has made things easier. I still wriggle but I’m getting better at standing still…for a short time only you realise. She still calls me an eel. What’s an eel?
The nice bit is that I have my teeth cleaned with the most delicious tasting toothpaste – liver. Mmmm. Can’t get enough of that so I behave very well, and as it’s ususally the last thing she does with me on the grooming table. I know I’ll be able to get down after that.
Grooming notes are here on the Norfolk Terrier Club’s website
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?