I don’t often get grumpy, but….(Bosworth has a rant)

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Yes, I know. I look a bit grumpy and disgruntled in this photo of me in my campervan, even though I love being in it and going out for day trips during these weird lockdown days. Yes, everyone, everydog, is waiting for the time when we can go away somewhere – like on a REAL trip – and stay overnight, but we’re making do quite nicely for the time being with days out.

So it was a bit of shock going out last week for our awayday in my van and going to a different place. My humans decided we’d go to Delamere Forest, which sounded pretty interesting and nice. Lots of sniffs, interesting trees, wooded paths to explore and a nice view out of the open door of my van while we had lunch.

What a disappointment. The car park turned out to be like a huge gravelly lorry depot (that’s NOT it in the pic above; it wasn’t worthy of a photo. It’s just one of me looking a bit grumpy). It was like stopping off en route somewhere & finding the worst possible car park possible, with lots of cars in it, and which you had to PAY to park in. So we kept the door shut while we had lunch so we didn’t see too much of it, then went for a walk in the forest.

To be fair, there are some woody paths, but after we’d skittered down one rather damp and muddy one, we reached a made up path, a bit gravelly like the car park, and fairly wide. On each side there was ferny bracken, then trees which you couldn’t really get to walk in amongst. It was dark too, all big trees, not many open spaces amd gravelly paths everywhere. Pretty boring I thought.

We walked around a lake – at least it looked like there was a lake somewhere hidden behind the foliage, but you couldn’t get near it. My humans said there was nowhere to look at the birds which we could hear, but we eventually found an open muddy patch of earth where you could see that lake. My humans said it looked like something out of a disaster movie, with chopped off tree trunks sticking up out of it.

Not a very successful trip all round, and I know we won’t be going back there for a long time. I gather it was a long time since the humans had been there anyway. Perhaps now we know why!

The Buttercup Path

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“Shall we go for coffee? Have walk earlier as it’s going to be hot today?” one of the humans said.

“Yes, good idea,” said the other one, “set off early and walk before it gets too hot for him.” (“him” being me – they do think of me walking in warm weather and usually take me out when it’s cooler, in the morning and evening.

I wasn’t going to hide away and seem reluctant to go because I heard them say we were taking my campervan for another run, and off we set to the nearby nature park, forest and canal (we got lost in the woods there last time we went).

On the way, the human who was driving suddenly remembered he’d not packed the jar of coffee into the bag we took. We had hot and cold water, milk, biscuits (for them and me), but no coffee? They decided it wasn’t a disaster, they’d drink hot water (uh?!?) but when we arrived they found some tea bags in a cupboard in my van, so all was fine. They usually keep the van supplies topped up, but with the lockdown, and not being able to go away and stay in it, there are only a few basics in the cubpoards for the time being.

Walking in the sunshine through fields full of buttercups and long grasses was quite delightful. Most of the buttercups and grasses were taller than me, and there were buttercups everywhere.

I saw a few dogs and had a bit of a play, people said hello and everyone was doing the proper social distancing thing they all are supposed to do now. The paths we followed took us through the woods where it was shady, and as we walked back by the canal there was one boat puttering along. The driver (not sure what you call boat drivers) said hello, what a wonderful day it was.

All very friendly. Nice morning out, and now it’s snooze time.

We did it again!

P1034807Yep, we did it again this week. We went out in my campervan for the day and did something a bit more exciting than trawling around in the garden in these everlasting lockdown days. Not that I’m really complaining as I get an extra short walk during the daytime now as well as my long walk in the evening (the humans were muttering about the rules changing but  no-one could understand them. All blahblah to me too).

We had lunch in my van – you can see one of my humans getting it ready in this picture – then off we set.

We walked in a different part of one of the nature reserves in the Mersey Forest, and very good it was too, but I did get a bit tired towards the end as it suddenly got warm, AND we got just a bit lost in the forest.

Quite frankly I did begin to wonder if we’d ever reach my van as we took a load of different paths then ended up following one into the woods. OK, it did look as if it might go somewhere, and it did. It took us as far as a fence and we couldn’t go any further. I looked around and thought we were lost, but we did once get lost  in Cumbria and I was the one who found the way back, so I wasn’t too worried. I just needed a drink, and biscuit and a snooze after that walk.

It all ended well though. We turned back, got on to the main path, and with a bit more walking, that was it.

Yours, with sore paws, Bosworth.

 

The Real Van Awayday

The lockdown awayday finally happened. The humans had been talking about giving the van a run, the weather was getting interestingly spring-like and from what they were saying, it sounded as if we could have a day out in my van without breaking any of the lockdown rules.

I didn’t need any encouragement to get into my van. I waited until my harness was attached to the strap and belt that secures me safely then I settled down between the front seats, in travel mode. I’d not forgotten what to do.

We drove for a short while, to a place called Anderton Nature Park. It’s part of the Mersey Forest and I’ve been there lots of times before. There are so many places to walk – in woodlands, by the canal, along paths and to the lakes and ponds which are called flashes  (something to do with the salt that’s mined here).

The humans had lunch in my van while I had treats and titbits to tease out of my Kong (it’s a sort of dog puzzle), then we walked for miles. I heard them say it was ok to drive somewhere nearby if you then walked for at least as long as it took you to drive there. Well, we did that alright!

It was a long walk, and they kept stopping, going oooh and aaah at the trees covered in blossom, and at the wild flowers growing. That was sort of ok too because I was able to have a good sniff around while they did this. We saw some other humans with their dogs, but although everyone now seems to stay at a distance, they usually say hello, which is friendly. We dogs, too, only briefly come closer for a quick sniff because all the humans keep them distanced too. It’s a bit different and it seems to be because of this coronavirus thing.

Nothing could have spoiled my day, though. It was wonderful to be in my van again, and although we didn’t go far or have a sleepover in it, I loved being out somewhere different for a change. I hope we can do it again soon.

The Norfolk Terrier Club Fun Day

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My humans joined the Norfolk Terrier Club of Great Britain so they’d get extra info about my breed and could learn new things about us Norfolks. But I really think it was so I could have a day out and meet lots of other Norfolk terriers at the special Fun Day arranged by the club.

It took place on what was the hottest day last summer, and phew, was it sticky! I needed plenty of shade and lapped up the water they gave me. We had to drive to a place near  Coventry and on the way the humans were making jokes about this not being a good place to be sent to. I didn’t know what they were on about.

When we got there they had some lunch and I chomped up a few sticks of carrot and had a drink. I sat under the table with another couple of Norfolks who were quite friendly. But it was strange, very strange. All the other dogs looked like me, apart from a few who had sticky up pointy ears instead of droopy drop down ears like I have. The pointy-eared dogs were Norwich terriers, and they’re sort of cousins to we Norfolks.

Everyone was friendly. The humans chatted to each other and us dogs sniffed how do you do at nose and tail ends and we were all very well behaved. It was too hot for anything else. After lunch, there were what they called sporting events, like races and dressing up competitions and humans running with their dogs at the same time as holding an egg on a spoon. Weird. Thankfully my humans didn’t show me up by wanting to take part in any of this.

They must have had beauty pageants or something in the morning before we got there, as a lady who was called Judge had a look at me while my humans were chatting to her. It seems she is the owner of my dad. She liked me and said I had wonderful teeth. Well of course I do, the human who feeds me cleans them regularly with delicious liver- flavoured toothpaste.

 

That Dordoggy Place

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Thought I’d write (through the usual telepathic channel with the human who feeds me) about a place I’ve been to twice now, since I got my pet passport and was allowed to go abroad in my van with my owners. My van was driven on to a train (don’t know what that is) but when they drove the van off the train I noticed it all smelt a bit different somehow. We weren’t where we ususally live, we were in France.

I did have a great time there on holiday. I was still a young pup, 8 months old, so it was all a bit new. We went there again last year, on a train (again), and after we’d travelled around a bit we ended up at the same campsite we’d been to last time.

It was in a place called the Dordoggy. I’m sure it’s called that. It’s such a great place where we stay, perfect for dogs – near the river where there are great walks, near the hills where there are great walks in the woods – and my humans seem quite happy to stay there for a bit and do nothing much. They seem to lounge around, and eat and drink that wine stuff and swim and read books and generally have a nice relaxing time.

P1060194But I have no idea why it’s called Dordoggy. Would that be because there are other dogs there and all of them are friendly? I met two HUGE dogs one day when we walked by the river. They were Dogues de Bordeaux, with crinkly folded up faces, and they were very friendly and gentle even though they towered over me. And on a walk in the hills I met a friendly local dog called Luna, who  trotted along beside me all the way back to the campsite.

But why is this place called the Dordoggy?

Editor’s note: As the one who telepathically channels the thoughts of Bosworth, I can answer that question. When I was teaching, working with a class doing geography, they worked in small groups using a map of France to find the names of as many rivers as they could. One boy asked,  “Miss, what’s this Dordoggy place?” and the name has just stuck on our household.

The Campervan Awayday

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Let’s get this straight. It wasn’t an away DAY at all – oh no – we didn’t go anywhere as we just stayed on the drive. And it was an afternoon, not a full day. But in these lockdown days we have to be grateful for small blessings and tasty snippets of pleasure.

The human who feeds me decided that as it was warm and sunny, she’d get busy and would give my van a bit of a clean, so she took herself off outside to the front of the house, equipped with that noisy thing called a Dustbuster (the one I like chasing and barking at), and did things like cleaning the van’s fridge, washing the floor in the kitchen area and getting the mucky bits off the carpets and cab mats which had been there since we went away for a short break in February (ah, those were the days…).

Anyway, once it was a tad tidier and the cushions had been plumped up (I notice these things), she invited me to come and join her in my van. Well, I jumped at the chance when I heard the words “Bozzy in the van?” as I thought we might actually be going somewhere. But no, it was what she called an Awayday, so we stayed on the drive with the big sliding door open so the sun could stream in, and – best of all – she’d packed my ruffle snuffle mat with goodies so I could have a nuzzle in that and search out tasty titbits.

She sat in there with me. She’d carried a drink and biscuit to my van, put  her feet up on the long bench sofa and soaked up the sun while I snuffled and found the treats. Then I settled down by the open door to see what was going on outside.

To be honest, not much was going on at at all. I had a great view of the car and the small front lawn and that was about it. But I enjoyed being there. It was peaceful and the birds were singing (quite nicely too), and all in all I’d be up for doing this awayday lark again.

Especially if I get treats!

Campervan dreaming

P1034487I’ve already written something about how different everything is at home right now – ever since my humans came back early from visiting the family in Houston – and although they’ve been back nearly three weeks, I’ve noticed that:

1) we don’t go out in the car (not my favourite mode of transport I have to say) but there it sits on the drive.

2) we don’t go out in the ‘van, which they think is theirs, but it’s actually mine, and it’s by far my preferred mode of transport, because it takes me on holiday to lots of new and interesting places. Yet there it sits on the drive as well.

So I’m going to indulge in a spot of campervan dreaming and reminiscing while I sniff around the garden, sit in the sunshine, and have the odd snooze before my one big walk of the day.

We went to a place called Aachen during our big holiday last year. It’s in Germany and there was a distinct smell of delicious sausages in the air. Nice. We left my van on the campsite and got the bus into the town, but that wasn’t nice at all. I’ve been on a few buses before but this one was hot and crowded and I had to sit on the lap of the human who feeds me. The other human had to stand as there were no spare seats.

When we got off we started to walk towards the cathedral (my humans like visiting these wherever we go). As we walked towards it there was the most almighty revolting STINK of bad eggs. I sneezed and twitched and tried to get away from it; it was driving me crazy it was so nasty. I didn’t know that Aachen had natural springs with healing waters. Healing? Puke-making more like for dogs!

We reached the cathedral but it was a “no dogs” place so my humans took it in turns to go in and stay with me. That wasn’t too bad though because I met another Norfolk terrier – a German-speaking one – but we managed to communicate using our noses. Then we walked around the town looking at some of the many fountains and statues there. Thankfully the water in the fountains didn’t stink and I was quite interested in one of these in particular.

And we walked back to my van at the campsite rather than get on the bus again. I was rather pleased about that because there were lots of new smells along the way so all in all it was a good day out, and something cheerful to remember.

Things are a bit odd right now…

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Since my humans came back from staying with the family and the grandchildren in Texas (they left me with Uncle Steve and Auntie Donna and I had a good time), I must say that things have been just a bit odd. You know, not quite like they were before they went away.

There’s nothing wrong with the house and garden and the humans are as doting and loving and as slavishly attentive as they ever were, but the daily routine seems to have changed a bit. I put a few thoughts about this on my blog last week – take a look here –  but this new sort of routine seems to be everywhere.

Yes, it’s quiet and the streets and green spaces we walk on in the dark of night are all empty. They’re doing something they call isolation for 14 days as they flew back home in a plane, so we’re not seeing anyone. They might chat on the phone, or talk across the garden fence or open a window to say hello to the neighbours. The best bit is when they do the Skype thing with the family and I go crazy because I recognise all their voices and their faces and I want to get a look in on the screen too.

The other good bit about this slightly odd pattern of the days is all the singing and music which the human who feeds me does. On screen, there are people going “la la la” and singing funny warm up songs like “My dog he can do the can-can” (as if!) and some stretching and body wiggling before they sing a song. This happens every single day!  I quite like that because I’m allowed to sit at the laptop and watch.

Then there’s the crazy 15 minutes of jumping and stretching and hopping and push ups they both do every morning with the on-line PE coach. I just sit there and watch while they laugh and leap about and then have a cup of coffee when it’s finished.

This morning they got out the fluffy duster on a stick and let me chase it around in circles for my workout and that was good. I wonder how long this will go on for though….

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