May 2014

Hi there everyone,

One sunny day I took mummy to Gowy Park so that I could have a run off the lead. The first dog we saw mummy called him a teddy bear – he was an Airedale Terrier. In fact he reminded me of Tilly Terrier who I think might be a Welsh Terrier. She also looks like a teddy bear, but a small one. She’s quite sweet really. Anyway I decided to do my growl thing at this big one, and then I growled at his master as well for good measure. He wanted to stroke me and I didn’t want him to. Mummy was not best pleased and tapped me on the head and made me sit down. She’d already had trouble getting me to listen to her commands. I was out having a good time and didn’t want to do what she asked, did I? So we had to do a few more recalls and sits, to make sure I behaved myself properly. I then went to say hello to a man who was having difficulty walking and trod on his toe. I do that often to mummy and she says it hurts. The man said I was a big dog – I think he was being polite. Anyway, the farmer near by keeps huge hairy cattle with big horns, mummy thinks they’re Highland cattle, and they had babies with them, I mean calves. Later on we saw a lovely Husky called Cody, with very pale eyes.

Did you know – I‘ve seen two new puppies lately. One was Vinnie Alsatian who I saw on the cycle path one day when I was with Chris. The other was with Buster’s mum and called Willow Black Lab, better known to his intimates as Will or Wills. Like when mummy calls me Alf or Alfs I suppose. Anyway I always thought that Willow was a cat’s name.

I don’t think I’ve told you about Maggie Magpie, have I? He comes to visit the bird table every day to see if there’s any food been put out. He’s quite clever actually because he’s taught himself to peck the fat from the hanging thingies. If he doesn’t find anything to eat he steals the cheese off my biscuits which I tend to leave lying about outside. And one evening he pottered right up to my dinner bowl whilst I wasn’t looking!

You know I said that I’m getting quite good at ignoring rabbits when I’m on the lead, well that doesn’t apply to cats. I’m jolly fast too, although I’ve never caught one yet. That might be because I get stopped by the lead and told no. Sometimes I miss seeing them altogether, especially if they’re sitting on top of cars or walls and things. Mummy laughs at me then and says ‘You’ve missed one!’ I see one sometimes sitting safely indoors behind a window. We just glare at each other. Anyway, we were on our way home one day when a cat appeared from a field with a rabbit as big as itself in its mouth.

D’you know every day I have to ask my humans to make my tea. I’m sure they’d forget if I didn’t remind them. Their excuse is that it’s too early. ‘You’re getting earlier and earlier’ they say. Well I’m ready for it, especially as they’ve cut down my lunchtime bonios to only two now. What do they expect? Of course I go on grumbling then until it’s in front of me.

We went for a walk along the river bank one day. The tide was just on the turn, but there was quite a lot of water to see. Of course I was more interested in the smells than the water. There was hardly anyone about too. I only met one four-legged-friend and he ignored me. He was a rescued red and white Husky, but I didn’t catch his name.

The following weekend was a busy time. In fact it started before the weekend, if you know what I mean. On the Friday my humans left me looking after the house for a bit whilst they had to go out all smartened up. Chris soon came back and took me out for my next walk, although my door to the garden had been left open for me. Mummy came back a while later with her cousin John. Then both men went off and left me looking after mummy as well as the house. What a funny old day.

The next day, after breakfast, we all went out in the car across country as far as an old racecourse that I had been to before, but to a different part. There were bluebells everywhere and mummy thought it looked very pretty. The bluebells in our garden got smashed to bits in the heavy rain earlier in the week. We walked around along different paths and met up with a few other people and dogs. One couple were dog-sitting a Black Lab and a slim-line Collie, both nice girls but silly me grumbled at them as usual. Mummy said if I wasn’t such a misery guts I could have a lovely time playing with other dogs. But I can’t help it. The couple said they had looked after a Newfie once who weighed 14 stones!! That’s nearly three times my weight.

Alf in Bluebells

After the racecourse we drove to somewhere else and I sat outside with my humans while they had coffee and cake. And then, surprise surprise, we had another walk along a canal. Where do they find them all? Later, on the way home, we stopped for some ice creams.

Next morning we were up early and back from my walk by eight o’clock when Chris’s friend Neil arrived. I thought they were going to go out for the day and leave mummy and me at home, as usual. But no – we all piled in the car and drove for miles and miles, by which time I was ready for a wee and started shouting to get out. When we finally stopped again for more than a few minutes I was given my breakfast, which I’d missed earlier on. We drove to another place and stopped again for a bit and mummy and I had a little walk. We drove on again to yet another place where there were lots of people, but no dogs that I could see. First of all we had a proper breakfast, then Chris and Neil wandered off for ages. So mummy and I went for another little walk and sat down in the shade of a nice tree because it was really hot in the sun.

A couple of nights later there was a terrible storm, with horrible bangs and flashes, which went on for ages. I didn’t like that very much. At some point I had to go out for my evening walk with Chris, so we picked a time when we thought it wasn’t too bad. Unfortunately it poured with heavy rain whilst we were out, but we managed to shelter for a while in a funny glass box that was barely big enough for both of us!

The very next day we went on another long drive, but I did get quite a few little walks here and there. It was another hot day, so I wasn’t allowed to stay in the car except when it was moving of course. We had a walk along a canal somewhere too and saw lots of little helicopter insects, all different colours. Mummy said they were damselflies. We sometimes have them in our garden. Chris and mummy had gone to look at a little house that wasn’t very tall; in fact I don’t think it had any stairs. That would be much easier for me to dig them out of bed in the mornings, wouldn’t it? There were lots of lovely cows and their calves in the field at the back of the garden. Mummy said the garden was nowhere near big enough for her or for me to play in. It was only about half the size of the one we have now. Oh phooey!  What am I going to do with her? She’s never satisfied.

You know I usually decide where I go for my walks from the house; well, at lunchtime one day I set off in the direction of the Rugby Club, thinking I might get a walk across the field. But when we reached the Rugby Club mummy said we weren’t going across the field because she didn’t have her wellingtons on. What she really meant was that she didn’t want to go that way. So, on the way back when we reached the lane to the farm, I wanted to turn down there. But no, mummy said she didn’t want to go that way either. So, do you know what we did? We went straight home! Phooey, I didn’t think much of that idea. But when we got home Chris gave me a couple of cheesy bonios, which I actually ate at once.

A few days later mummy and I walked along the cycle track – coo, she’s not done that for a while. If we head east it isn’t quite so busy, and on this particular day we didn’t see another dog and only two cyclists, so I was off the lead all the time snuffling about in the grass and stuff. The track comes to an end after about a mile or so, going in this direction. Just before we reached the end it started to rain. Not far along the road from there is a farm café! So we rushed along to get out of the rain. We sat in the corner by the window so that I could see who was coming and going whilst mummy read a magazine . . . Who should appear first but Elvis Labradoodle. At only nine months old he was already much taller than me; his legs seemed to go on forever. He sat just across the doorway from me so I tried to ignore him, after growling at him when he first came in. Later on his mummy said they hoped Elvis would behave as well as I did when they went anywhere, but at the moment he’s a bit of teenager. Anyway, next came in Millie Spangle, I mean Spaniel. She sat the other side of the café so I couldn’t see her until they left. Mummy said that if I wasn’t such a nasty piece of work we could have had a lift home in their nice new car. Well really!  Of course, we had to walk all the way home in the rain, and mummy was only wearing a cardigan. Oh dear.

Just for one day we had lots of sun in between days of rain, so we took off in the car and headed for Delamere Forest, expecting it to be very busy – and it was! There were cars parked all over the place. SO, Chris drove off round the countryside until we came to the very far side of the forest, to a place none of us had been to before. And guess what – we only saw one couple with two Vizlas – they were just leaving as we arrived – and about half a dozen people on bikes. That was all. It was great. It felt like having the whole forest to ourselves. But I was glad to get home eventually so that I could have my tea, because I was starving. Then of course I wanted to go straight out for my evening walk! But I had to wait a while.

Wow – what a great day I’ve just had!  First we drove into Wales and stopped for a walk along a nice river, where we saw lots of other dogs. Then I had a nibble of some bacon & sausage. We then drove a lot further on, and over some water to Anglesey, where I’d been on holiday a year or two ago. This time we headed straight for the beach. By this time it was lovely and sunny, and there were a few people and dogs on the beach and even in the water. You’ll never guess what I did – I ran in and out of the sea fetching sticks. It was brill. I had a fabulous time. Then before we set off home we had a walk in the shade of the forest. After my fish supper, which was more than an hour late, I fell asleep on the lawn. But after a while I decided I needed to make myself comfortable before settling down for the night; so went for a quick walk with mummy while the sun was still shining.

Good night all.

Lots of love & wags from Alfie