Tag Archives: Hill

Is this the Arctic Circle??!!

12 Mar

Yesterday was soooo cold and windy I was really not looking forward to walking Rudy and Rio after work! We had been having snow falls albeit minimal on and off all day. It hadn’t come to anything so there was no excuse not to get wrapped up and head out!! Well, apart from the fact it was quite hard to open the door against the wind which by then was almost gale force!!!

Little bit windy Rio??

Little bit windy Rio??

I got home and the dogs had been enjoying a snooze in the warm but soon the excitement hit fever pitch as usual when they realised we were off out!! So I started the daily chore of dressing in so many layers I look like a walking, talking Mummy!! It’s always hard to know exactly how cold it is so better to err on the side of caution! Trying to bend down to fasten my boots was interesting!! It reminded me of being pregnant but this time it was the clothes that were in the way!!

Anyway like intrepid Arctic explorers(!) we set off in the car. I decided to walk the other side of the hill as it’s more sheltered. I parked the car and struggled to open the door against afore mentioned wind and wrapped myself up as well as I could and we set off down the track. I can honestly say I have rarely been so cold or blown around!! The dogs set off like torpedos, ecstatic to be out running around and I trundled along hands stuffed deep into pockets, muttering to myself about the sense of this walk and how good I was to the dogs etc etc!!!

It turned out to be beautiful up there and by halfway round the walk my hands obliged and thawed out enough to get some feeling back into them!! The snow was still falling and in fact it looked more like tiny hail stones in the ground. The sun was shining and it really was lovely. It would have possibly been more lovely from inside sitting by a roaring fire but where’s the fun in that??!!

Hail stones

Hail stones

Towards the end of the walk we came across a field full of horses so giving them a wide berth we finished the walk by road. An old chap was putting his dogs back in his car and asked me what breed Rudy and Rio were. On telling him they were working cocker spaniels he said “No they aren’t!! My daughter has one and it’s half their size!!”. Hmm well that’s me told then!!!

Mud glorious mud!!!

4 Mar

This sunday turned into something of a group walk with some friends over Cleeve Hill. One of the gang, Jan, joins me every now and then and unfortunately for some inexplicable reason, our walks nearly always end with us hearing then seeing in the distance the Air Ambulance!! We have no idea how we seem to entice this sort of attention but it’s now a standing joke between us!! We can’t start the walk without the usual quips!

Anyway this time we managed the whole walk without hearing the distant drone so that’s a first!! It was a clear , bright day if not sunny but hey at least it wasn’t raining!! We all set off, me, my friend Sarah, Fi, Dave and their dog Digs and of course Jan and the conversation and laughs flowed really easily as we trekked up the track.

Happy days before the mud!!

Happy days before the mud!!

After a while the dogs found a discarded golf club cover . Rio had it in his mouth for a while running round then decided he was bored and dropped it. Digs ran across and grabbed it and as soon as he did, Rio decided he HAD to get it back!! There then followed a very comical chase scene with Digs trying to out run Rio who being a bit smaller can turn more sharply!!

So the game continued with us all in stitches and deciding Rio was like that annoying child at school that doesn’t want the toy ’til someone else goes for it!! They happily chased each other for about 5 minutes while we carried on walking.

We headed down to the sheep dip which involves a sharp and steep descent. ” Oh it’s fine” I said as we set off down the track. “We did it yesterday and it’s not too muddy”. Hmm  well that was true except somehow overnight it had got very mucky and slippery and our boots became so clagged up with mud we all ended up 3 inches taller!!

Having made our way down almost in one piece the reward awaited the dogs!! Digs especially loves swimming and we were soon joined by various other dog walkers and their canine counterparts . Rudy was more interested in doing his own thing as per usual and was last seen scaling a practically vertical ascent and then sprinting back down at the same speed!!!

Jan decided to throw a stick for the dogs to retrieve. Great idea. Except where she threw it was about 10 inches deep in thick, black, smelly, disgusting mud!!!! Cue one very dirty dog!!! Digs who is mostly white suddenly looked like he had had a mud wrap!! He was black/ grey nearly all over!! A happy filthy dog!! All us humans found it hysterical and I think Digs thought we were really pleased with him so he came and shook some of the prized mud over us!!!

Maybe Digs should have worn these!!

Maybe Digs should have worn these!!

Luckily he went back into the cleaner water and by the time we left he was white again…ish!!! Jan did offer to bath Digs if necessary but somehow I don’t think the offer was entirely heartfelt and genuine!!!

Jack Frost…

16 Jan

The weather has been quite changeable over the last couple of weeks. After what feels like months of door to door rain we finally have colder frosty weather. I’m hopeful that means I won’t have 2 extremely wet and muddy dogs to contend with yet again!! I can’t count the amount of towels I have gone through in the past few months just to ensure my carpet remains cream and not paw printed in an interesting shade of brown!!!

I always think I have dried Rudy and Rio’s feet enough and if they walked through the house sedately it would probably be ok. But no, they charge through into the front room when I say they can as if they have been caged for a fortnight!! Everything it seems is SO exciting to them and the faster they can run the better!!!

So a deep breath is taken (me) and ever decreasing circles are run ( them) and I try to ignore the mud ’til later and it has dried and can be hoovered up. I figure there is no point raising my blood pressure to boiling point and really they can’t possibly know the trauma to my eyes!!

I walked with Sue and 2 of her dogs, Tallulah and Princess ( Yeah I know!!!) yesterday and we had had a sharp overnight frost that had yet to melt on the hill so it made for a very beautiful and picturesque walk. It was slippery in places but Sue and I managed to stay upright even with Tallulah trying her best to wrong foot Sue!!!

We came across patches of snow/ice which Rudy decided he wanted to slide along bodily!! He would scratch at the surface then launch himself down and skid like a child!! Princess ventured toward him wondering why this crazy dog would want to get any colder and decided against following his example!!

It was a lovely walk which we wanted to prolong but alas work commitments ruled that out so with regret we got back in our cars and left!!

Pleased to meet you!!!

14 Jan

Rudy, Rio and I have had some lovely sociable walks over the last couple of weeks!!! It made me realise yet again what social creatures us humans and our dogs are!!! Whether I walk with friends or alone it’s very rare for me to come home not having spoken to someone. All random strangers with one thing in common…a love of dogs of course!!!

I walked with my friends Fi and Jan last weekend and I don’t think we stopped talking for the entire walk, all 3 hours of it!!! You may remember Fi and her husband Dave have Digs their young Cocker spaniel so the 3 dogs had almost as much fun as us 3 humans!!! Jan is a seasoned Springer spaniel owner although she is currently “between” dogs due to work commitments so she dog shares with  whenever she can.

Rio, Rudy and Digs

Rio, Rudy and Digs

We slipped and slid our way round Cleeve Hill and ended up screaming with laughter at the weird , wacky walks we have attempted in the past!!! Jan recounted a horror story of a walk she once took with her long suffering hubby and their dog Rolls. She recalled they had undertaken a hilly walk and had been on the go for several hours when the terrain suddenly became almost unmanageable!! So steep and rocky that they both ended up crawling up the bank gripping the sliding rocks with their bare hands, nails breaking and much blaspheming colouring the air!!

They finally reached the summit but before they could make the last scramble to safety they heard hushed voices and Jan looked up to see a family walking along the top of the hill, on the proper path, on the level, no stony crags to scale, no sweaty brows, all walking sedately along and wondering , whispering, why these 2 crazy people had chosen to climb the hill almost vertically without mountaineering gear and safety ropes and hadn’t just taken the clearly marked footpath like everyone else!!!!!

I'm sure the sign pointed this way!!

I’m sure the sign pointed this way!!

We all had a good laugh at Jan’s expense and to this day she still doesn’t have a decent explanation!!! Obviousy I can’t say anything as I am a frequent faller!! It doesn’t matter what the terrain, weather or anything else I can fall over / trip / slide down banks / catch my foot on a fence…the list is endless and can be extremely embarrassing but hey I’m hoping no one recognises me in my DWU!!!!

Happy New Year!!!!

1 Jan

After an amazing night with my close friends seeing in the New Year eating, drinking and dancing, this morning

New Year's day

New Year’s day

surprisingly found me without a headache and even more surprisingly the sun was shining!!!  Yes you read that right. the sun was shining!!!!!!! Wow is this the weather we can expect from the new year?? No rain for a whole day???

My friend Paola wanted to walk too so we arranged to meet on the hill. Me with Rudy and Rio and Paola with Crash the beautiful Dalmation. As I drove up the lane toward the car park I was slightly concerned to see the amount of cars everywhere!!! Hmm these fair weather walkers!!! I didn’t think I was going to find anywhere to park, Rudy was jumping up with his paws on the back seat eager to be free and Rio was whining incessantly!!!

I finally found a space and we got out of the car and set off to meet Paola. The hill was swarming with hundreds of people, those in the distance looking like tiny ants against the vast backdrop of the hill. It was an absolutely stunning day, the sky was blue and the sun shining!! Joy!! After weeks of constant rain and gale force wind today reminded me how much I love being out in the fresh air walking the dogs. Simple things I guess!!

I lost count of the amount of dogs we saw and Crash, Rudy and Rio got on really well, running around together and meeting and greeting all their new friends. I’m used to my 2 running off miles away from me and I can be (fairly) sure they will always find me and come back…after all they know who feeds them !!! Crash it seems likes to cover the ground too and because he is so big he runs like a racehorse!!!

At one point on the walk we turned and saw Crash fairly close behind us playing with another dog so we carried on walking. Literally about 2 minutes later we looked and he was nowhere to be seen!!!! We were on the flat part of the hill on the top so we could see for miles but there was no sign of him at all!!! We waited a few minutes and decided that he would find his way back to us so we continued on our hike. It is a route Paola and Crash do very regularly so we weren’ t worried.

I think we walked for about another 10 or 15 minutes heading back towards the car and suddenly Paola shouted and there was Crash!!!! Running happily toward us, not concerned in the slightest, tail aloft looking happy as could be!!! Being of the same ilk Paola asked Crash where he had been and not getting a sensible answer we just let it go and all trundled on!!!

Sunny day at last and they bury their heads!!

Sunny day at last and they bury their heads!!

All in all it was a lovely walk and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. Sadly it’s back to work tomorrow after a lovely long break and back to the frantic lunch time rush!!

Xmas Presents…

27 Dec

I’m sure we can all heave a huge sigh of relief that Christmas has been and almost gone again!!! Don’t get me wrong I have had a fab time seeing family and friends and being home with Rudy and Rio more.  Our whole family got together on Christmas Day to celebrate, including friends and it was lovely!! Much laughter filled the air while we all consumed our body weight..or so it seemed!!…in turkey with all the trimmings followed by 2 puddings!!! Both chocolate and both delicious!!

After that feast we all fell on the sofa to snooze it off but more presents had to be opened first!!! My Mum’s dog was given the wrapping paper shredding job but sadly he was not impressed with the challenge!!! Rudy and Rio were at home…alone…it was raining all day and 4 dogs running around was not ever going to end well!!! We came home around tea time and as expected they were like speeding bullets coming out of the kitchen to greet us all!!!

We had done a long walk over Cleeve Hill in the morning so I didn’t feel too bad leaving them and I really don’t think they grasped the significance of the day except the added bonus of turkey with their dinner which disappeared at record speed!!!

My Xmas Present

My Xmas Present

My daughter had told me several times I would really, really LOVE my present from her so I knew it had something to do with Rudy and Rio!!!  Sad I know, but true!!! Anyhow she was right..I do LOVE it!!! She had a friend paint Rudy and Rio from a photo I had taken and it’s amazing!! So lifelike and she has captured them both brilliantly, especially Rudy who is looking away from camera slightly, just to prove the point that me asking him to sit and wait is SO boring!!! I’m surprised he didn’t throw in a cursory yawn just for good measure!!!

The dogs have enjoyed some longer walks during the holidays and we have bumped into so many other dogs it has been lovely. The weather has been atrocious with almost constant rain but when u are sitting inside with your friends and family, sharing good food and plenty of wine, who cares??!!

Wo(Mans) best friend

22 Nov

Best friends

As Rudy, Rio and I set off for our lunchtime walk today the wind was really blowing hard, so I knew up on Cleeve Hill it would be wild!!! I wasn’t wrong!! The car park was now completely under water due to the heavy rain this area and many others have been experiencing over the last few days.

There were only 2 other vehicles in the car park, hardy dog walkers or just plain crazy!!! I got out of the car and was nearly blown off my feet!!! As I got the dogs out of the car I pondered my sense in coming up here just to let them have a run around and realised I do it because I love them!! There are not many other things I would step out in this weather to do!!!

Unfortunately it was not the best day to realise I didn’t have my whistle with me!! I attempted one of my own and heard it sail away on the wind, the dogs none the wiser!!! I called to Rudy and he didn’t hear me at all ( I’m sure he wasn’t ignoring me!! )

The ridiculousness of the scene..dogs happy as ever running here, there and everywhere, ears flying madly, having a whale of a time…made me realise what an important place our dogs have in our hearts. Yes Rudy and Rio are “just” pets i.e they don’t work but still I am more than happy to walk them whatever the weather for hours at a time for 2 reasons. 1; They love it. 2; I love it!!! Simple!!!

It’s in here somewhere!!

Other dogs serve a much more useful purpose. There are Guide Dogs for the blind, Hearing Dogs for the Deaf and PAWS, dogs trained to help children with Autism.

Dogs are so clever and so happy to do the right thing and just imagine the difference they must make to a blind person. The freedom the dog provides and the opportunity for the blind person to go places and do things previously impossible must forge an incredible bond.

Again hearing dogs for the deaf must be an incredible aid to an easier life for the human, alerting them to the telephone ringing etc and it has been proved that having a dog helps lower stress levels for families with an autistic child.

Dogs really are our best friends and I’m sure if they were human they would do all the right things!! They would always remember our Birthdays and buy the best presents!! They would never moan about us going out with our friends or forget to put the bins out!! They would always insist our bums didn’t look big in that and assure us  that no one would notice the spot in the middle of our chin!!!!

We walked on and I was nearly blown off my feet a few times but watching Rudy and Rio enjoy themselves more than made up for it .

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