Days 65 - 80 

Date: 11th-26th Sept, 2021
Steps:  20,620+

What a couple of weeks these have been. Anyone would have thought I was a young pup, fit to take part in the activities they subjected me to. It’s an outrage and needs addressing if you ask me!

It has been quite some time since I last wrote to you and I’d like to think you’ve been missing me –nothing like being a touch modest, is there? Actually, I said that because I’ve been missing you; I love our little chats and if I’ve missed you, then I’m hopeful you’ve missed me, too.

Keith had a week away from work, and after a celebratory Chinese meal on the Friday evening, I settled down for a snooze for seven days. Well, that wasn’t to be. Oh no! No cat napping for this little doggie. I won’t bore you with all the details of our shenanigans, because there are many. I could go on and on. And on and on and on and on. You catch my drift.

I don’t quite know where to begin; I suppose no greater place than sharing the indignity of having breakfast and then the unceremonious plopping of me onto the back seat of the car, Keith’s car to boot. I may have been less disgruntled had I been in the nicer smelly, dusty, messy nest I’ve made in Sarah’s car. If I were a generous dog I would show gratitude that I wasn't in the boot. At the time I struggled to find this ability, instead I sat and stared at the pair of them as we hurtled up the motorway, this always discomfits them, which is great in car entertainment.

Before too long, we were in a place called Belper, which I have to say brightened me hugely. The smells on the pavements were incredible, divine even. I don’t know whether it was the old stone pavements, the people, or what, but I couldn’t get enough sniffs in. And, when we got to the park, there were literally hundreds of ducks for me to chase. Annoyingly, they were on the other side of a fence so I couldn’t get to them, and after my experience of falling… I can barely bring myself to say the words. The shame of it. As I am among friends, I will share… after my experience of falling in a reservoir on Boxing day whilst trying to chase a duck, I was more than a little nervous about going after another one. As luck would have it, the fence saved my blushes. I put on a good show of determination but had no real intention of actually trying to get to the feathery fellas.

Sarah and Keith seemed suitably impressed with Belper, but in under an hour, we were on the road again. They are strange! The next stopping point was Matlock. We ate some lunch outside a café on a high street filled with cheerful, characterful people. Compelled to keep up the step count we went off for yet another walk –by bedtime we’d done well over 10,000 steps– and although the smells weren’t so glorious the sun was warm, the pavements smooth and I was with my most favourite people. I couldn’t have been happier. But that soon changed!

Our travels that day took us up hill and down dale, which was great. Until we arrived in a place called Fartown. The name made me giggle when I first saw it as I read it as fart-town!! We arrived there at about 3, which was kicking out-of-school time, so we sat in traffic. This is an unknown phenomenon for us as we have little where we live; it made for interesting viewing and led to a sense of relief that we don’t have to endure it.

We eventually made it to our little nest for the night. Little nest is a perfect description. In fact, Sarah tells me this is what the owner refers it to on the B&B menu, The Nest –you can see it here. Go and stay there; it's a glorious, one down, two up, stone cottage. Whilst it was noisy and busy outside, it was cosy and quiet in. As soon as we were through the gate, I was snuffling about sniffing the smells and poking my nose into the shrubs and bushes around the courtyard garden. But the most delicious place of all was the inglenook fireplace. I’m sure there were biscuits there somewhere. I didn’t find any, but as I am all dog, I KNOW there were some near to my snout, I could feel it in my bones. Write to me and tell me if you find them.

We’d literally only been there for ten minutes when Sarah settled down to do a reiki session for someone. Keith sat in one chair catching up on the news, Sarah was sitting in the other doing her bit and we were all just sooooo chilled. I couldn’t help but bark here and there which was quite rude of me, disturbing the peace like that. But hey, a new place, unfamiliar smells and all that, and to be frank, I didn’t like being ignored.

I didn’t disturb either of them, much to my annoyance, despite best efforts. And then, after being so rudely ignored, they had the audacity to put me in my crate in that unfamiliar place whilst they buggered off and had dinner. I showed off alarming; I yowled and woofed my little legs off and pulled the cover from the top of my crate. That was until I heard the gate close. Then I settled down and had a lovely sleep. They didn’t need to know that! My efforts at provoking sympathy went unnoticed as they had a fabulous meal at the Shama restaurant… They were full of themselves when they returned but did they bring me back a naan bread? Of course not! I know it makes me constipated, but they could have made an exception for just one night. We all had a lovely sleep, it was cosy and quiet and all we could have wished for. 

The next day, we came home. Simple as that. One day on holiday, the next we were back home. We stopped in Belper on the way home again, but it was rainy when Sarah and Keith got to where they wanted to go, so I stayed in the car. I put on my best ‘cow eyes’ (you know how needy and pleading they can be) until they were out of sight, then settled down to chew my toenails and set about other bits of bodily housekeeping that us dogs have to do. It was quite a pleasant half an hour watching the pouring rain and nibbling various bits and bobs. They rarely leave me in the car, but on that day, boy, I was pleased. I was even more pleased to be home. In seconds I had chased K’Beera, I even stood up to Bolly! My bed, my bowl, my smells. Home really is heaven.

Before the sun had come up the next day, Sarah and Keith were at it again. What is it with them!! They had hatched a plan and were out doing stuff in the garden, which went on for days! And when they’re outside working, guess what happens to little old me? No lazing on the sofa, no dozing in my crate, no lying in the sunshine on the lounge floor. No. Muggins here has to be outside, too. It is exhausting (although I love being on the back door step barking at the things I think I hear in the road).

This project they had on the go was monstrous. They dug up half the top end of the garden and moved it. They unburied some massive boulders, built a wall, then put the boulders on top of it. Why even do that! They could have left things are they were! They then moved the soil back up the garden before digging up another lump of garden. This time they put half barrels where the lump of garden had been and filled them with the soil they had dug out. They made such a bloody mess of things, which was great as it meant there was lots for me to chew on and lots of mud to wander through, but boy, it was a long few days and for a while things looked pretty apocalyptic. We got little walking done, but we were all knackered.

Once Keith was back at work and the mess all cleared away, I let my guard down. I relaxed. I was mistaken. Sarah had other wily plans up her sleeve. She spent a day or two working on her poetry book -thanks to Sabine, the proofreader, for her help with making sure she had at least used good English. This is how I think she lulled me into a false sense of security. It was normality. She worked on the poetry book, did her Macmillan work. Carried out some reiki, had coffee with a friend. All was well. We had our walks most days. I saw my friend Badger and the growly dog who grumbled at me (although that was funny as she had her ball in her mouth and as she warned me off with her growly grumbles; and as she did the ball squeaked. Ha, not so tough eh!!!), as well as my love, the amber cockapoo, and then Sarah went out for the day! I jolly well couldn’t believe it.

For the second time in about 10 days, I resorted to showing off, something I've never done before. I have to admit to feeling quite ashamed of myself. She put my crate in the inner hall so that the postie did not disturb me and I repaid her by howling as she left. Worse still, I hadn’t realised that Kim was coming to get me so that I could play with McGee and Pollyanna my best ever friends. Eek! How embarrassing. I tried saying sorry by showing her how much I’d missed her when she arrived home that evening, but I ended up feeling even worse. She had taken Nanny and Grandad to an airfield in a place called North Weald, which is far, far away from our little home. And, the reason for visiting was so that he could fly in a biplane, an ancient one too! It was such a remarkable thing for him to do -he’s 90- and I’d behaved like a petulant pup. I shall visit him on Tuesday and apologise for being so grumpy about sharing Sarah.

It’s been an emotional time. Physically demanding, unsettling, exciting, happy, relaxing and all things in between. And that’s pretty much what life if about, isn’t it? I’ve felt so adored as well as bored, alone, hungry and tired. What is more, I’ve felt alive. Through and through–from my snuffling snout to the tip of my tail–alive. And I hope you all are too x x x x

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1 Comment

  1. oh Percy. I adore you, heaven help me. You really keep my spirits up reading about your aspect on life. I’m sure I should be paying you for giving me so much joy. I must just tell you I’m going to try – T R Y – to print out your blogs so that I can carry you around in my big handbag. Hang on there, I’ll let you know how I get on. So, so looking forward to seeing you next week, grandad will bore the pants off you if you have any on of course. (Dick Dastardly giggles here). xxxx

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