Looking at lots of Vans

I‘ve been on holiday in my van with my humans. We went to a place called Devon and did lots of walking. Across fields and on paths near the sea, up hills, down hills, up more hills, on beaches…..it was great going but I wasn’t the only one who was tired at the end of the walks. They were tired too and sometimes it seemed to take ages to get back to my van for a rest and a snooze and some chill out time.

One day we went to a place where there were lots of vans, just like mine. We were there for a long time, getting in and out of vans, looking at them, opening cupboards, rolling out the bed and lying on it (well, I didn’t lie on it, they did). It took ages and there was a whole lot of chat and talk going on too.

I don’t really know what it was all about because every one of  the vans looked pretty good to me, and I settled down in each one we went in straight away, either in the place between the seats where I travel, or at the door. It’s a good lookout position and I can check out everything that’s going on.

Well, not much did go on for a while then all of a sudden, we changed vans (again!) and went for a drive in one of them. We didn’t go very far and when we stopped I thought we’d be somewhere different. But no – we were back at the place with all the vans again. I must confess I was a bit puzzled, but everyone was friendly to me and I said one of my special “hello’s”  to the person they were talking to who seemed to know all about the vans.

At last we set off somewhere else in my van, and left all the other vans where they were.

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We went to a beach and yes! I got to run on it and I even paddled in one of the big pools with rocks in it. That was delicious!

Hmmmm….then a few days later (after more walks and beaches and so on) we went back to the van place again. This time we had aother ride in another van, and we weren’t there for quite so long. But there seemed to a bit of choosing of colours and floor coverings and things. Sounded like we were probably going to get a new van because they even fetched my bed from my van to see if it fitted in ok.

Frankly, it was all a bit boring but I snoozed my way through it as I’d been there before, then we set off for home. If they do get another van I know it will be almost like my current one, and it will obviously be mine because it will feel like home, even if it is new.

I’m cool man

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No, I’m not advertising the particular brand of cooling coat I’m wearing, just sharing a pic of me chilling out in the midst of the heatwave, taking the air by the door to my garden and keeping cool.

I’ve been feeling pretty sluggish in this heat and The Bigs (my humans) have been very kind and left me alone in the daytime when it’s been too hot to go out far. If I wear this snazzy blue coat ( goes well with my natural colour, don’t you think?), I can walk much further without flaking out and plodding along slowly. I can also chill out more comfortably in cool places in the house and garden when I wear it, and I can settle down properly instead of keep fidgeting to find a cool spot.

The coat is wet – not sopping wet – but very damp – and it does a good job keeping me cool and helps me be a bit livelier too. That’s good, because that cat Kitty is here again, visiting and staying somewhere in the house……….and of course, you know I can never find her, search as I may.

So I’ll just cool it for now and chill.

Beach bum

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Life has been great just lately as I’ve been on lots of beaches.

First of all we had a day out in my campervan (that was before we were allowed to stay away from home in this lockdown thing) and we went to a beach. There were a lot of statues of the same person scattered about on the beach and I went to take a closer look – and sniff – at some of them, and I had a race across the sand with my human who does “School” games with me.

Then, oh bliss, a couple of weeks later we went away in my van for two nights. The campsites were open again and people could take their vans and sleep in them and have a proper few days away without having to go home. We went to a place called Wirral (sounds like “squirrel” but I didn’t see any). I’d noticed my bed was waiting in the hall to be packed so I knew we were going to stay in my van – at long last!P1080844

We had walks in the country park nearby, and on the beaches. I loved it as I met other dogs, and I found plenty of interesting things to sniff and explore and all the while I had that exciting feeling of sand between my pads.

Now we’re back at home and all I keep thinking is “When can we go again….?” Please…

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.’

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.

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.

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….