Guest blog post: Fan mail

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You know I said I’d got a fan club? Well, I’ve had some letters from the girls who come to visit me and sometimes take me for a walk and groom me and play with me…..you know, the usual sort of fuss I get. Of course I love it! Now they’ve written to me as I sort of put the idea out that it would be very nice to have a guest blog post every now and then (about me, naturally), and I’m so pleased I’m nearly wagging my tail off with happiness! Thank you girls! Here’s what they say:

Tilly

l LOVE Boz because he is really cute and friendly. He always walks a funny way down the road which makes us laugh! Boz is one of the best dogs I have ever met. He always enjoys a cuddle and is normally very well behaved. It was fun when we got to groom him and we even got to brush his teeth! He seems to enjoy going on walks because his tail wags every time we see him on one!!! I really like seeing him and playing with him. His owners say that when he walks past our house he looks for us, which is really nice to hear!’

Bee

I really like Boz because when we first met him he was bit shy but after a couple of days he got fine with us being around and the next thing I knew he was licking me all over! He is sort of a blonde brown colour which I think looks cute. One of my favourite things about him is he wags his tail when he goes past our house! Boz even let us groom his fur but after it got all messy again! Once we went on a walk with him because his owners went somewhere but he didn’t want to go because it was raining. Boz has made me think I might get a norfolk terrier when I’m older! I think Boz is looking forward to us coming round again. Boz is always up for a cuddle and I am really missing him.’

Not going out (much)

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I’ve been away on my hols, staying with Uncle Steve and Auntie Donna who do home-from-home dog care at their house when my humans go somewhere they can’t take me. They’ve been to visit the family and grandchildren who live in Texas and I’ve stayed put in the UK, being well looked after.

I thought I’d be there for a while, like I usually am if they go to the US, but no, they’ve come back a lot sooner and I’ve sort of got an idea of why. This nasty virus that’s taken over normal, everyday life all over the world meant my humans had to come home early so they didn’t get marooned in the US with no way to get back home. You can read more about it here as they’ve written about it on their own blogs.

So here I am, back home, and yes it’s great to be back even though I had a good – short – holiday. I’ve already had another go at getting through that tiny space they blocked up in the corner of the garden. Hmmm….still can’t get through it to see next door’s cat who sits every day on the upstairs windowsill looking out at me.

And things have changed a bit. Our daily routine is different. We used to go out a few times a day for a short walk in the morning and evening and a long walk in the afternoon. But the humans have been told to stay at home and not go out much so that the virus doesn’t spread.

Now I’m happy to do my bit and not have so many walks – and that’s fine because I count myself as very lucky to have a nice garden to sit in, walk and run in, sniff in, dig in (a bit!) and watch the birds. They play with me and I get one big walk a day at the moment with my humans. They take me out late at night when it’s quiet – very quiet too, with no-one about and the streets are empty – so if feels as if we have the whole town to ourselves. A bit spooky and eerie really, but kind of different too.

In these weird, strange times, it’s what we all have to do. So:

  • we’re not going out (much) – once a day is what we’re allowed for exercise
  • if we see anyone when we’re out, we’re keeping at least 2 metres away from them – further if we can – as we may be shedding the virus ourselves without knowing it (dogs don’t do this and are not carriers)
  • we’re staying indoors/in the garden to support the efforts to get this virus under control

Dog friendly?

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAOk, 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:

Dog-friendly pubs 

Dog-friendly beaches

And here’s my human’s viewpoint on dog-friendliness

Sunny, frosty Southport

We went to Southport me aP1080297nd 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.

I was only being a puppy!

20180721_185452It’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!

IMG-20191225-WA0006I 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