The nights were pretty cold when I was away and I was glad of a hot water bottle. Two dogs snuggling beside me in the evening, plus the heat from the stove kept me warm in the sitting room.
Westie Boy was probably feeling the cold as his coat has been clipped very short in preparation for Cousin’s upcoming trip to Australia to see daughter Number One in Sydney, while her husband, who’s staying at home, will be promoted to Dog Carer in Charge. The one who looks like a walking hearth rug is Westie Pup, who belongs to Daughter Number Two and with whom I was delighted to be reunited over the weekend. Rather more delighted than Westie Boy was to have her there I’m sorry to say.
The mornings were chilly and bright, frost evident on the fields and verges.
Puppy was full of beans and seemed to think that Westie Boy should be her full-time chum and playmate. He had other ideas and disappeared to the garden to gaze longingly across the field to the road where there were no rowdy puppies who wanted to chew his ears and bite his mouth. I like walking and thought I’d take them out, but although both dogs had harnesses there was only one lead. So Westie Boy and I went to explore the lane, up and down a couple of hills to where the lane joins the main road. In years past I have then turned left and walked the main road. There is no pavement and the traffic has increased in both volume and speed. The last time I did that walk I was relieved to get back alive. Now we reach the old cottage which one day soon will probably be pulled down, turn and retrace our steps.
I am fairly amazed to see that this trip I didn’t take a single photograph of the cottage, though we stopped and gazed at it every walk. We studied the entrances to badger setts with equal interest.
Next I took Puppy out. She’s had all her innoculations and is good to go. In the house and the garden she’s a confident wee soul, so it was a surprise to find how spooked she was by things we encountered. The things that brought her to a startled halt were legion: black plastic sheeting abandoned by the side of the road; sheep; a dog barking in the distance; a cyclist; joggers; parked tractors; the entrances to working farms; rabbits. Much coaxing and praise had to be deployed to reassure her. But she loved the look of other people’s gardens. Fencing was an invitation to climb up on her back legs and view property.
At times she jumped up and down with happiness, chewing on her lead, and nudging my leg. She is such a sweetheart, and unlike Westie Boy who strides along barely acknowledging that we are both doing the walk, she interacts and lets you know that your being there is an essential part of the fun.
Having neither headtorch nor hi-viz jacket with me, I tried to walk in daylight, but we were out for a few sunsets which were spectacular.
It all confirmed something I have long known; life is better with a dog.
old cottages can sometimes be bought and renovated. There are several very handsome properties around in both Hampshire and Yorkshire that I looked longingly at for a decade or two when they were abandoned ruins. Admittedly one does have to have money….
Yes they can, but this house has been empty a long time. Someone has bought the site quite a while ago, and I don’t believe they plan to restore it. A shame.
Octavia might recognise one of them – on the road between the Cornered House and the right turn down the hill into Sledmere.