Tag Archives: dogs

Golden Gage…..what a treat for plum lover me!

One of many plum trees in the orchard.  This one is a beauty, called Golden Gage.....wonderful!
One of many plum trees in the orchard. This one is a beauty, called Golden Gage.....wonderful!

I will never forget living here in Hampshire on this property.  I’m always discovering interesting things about plants and nature and I’m so blessed Steve has set up this website for me…..I will always be able to refer to it in future years when I’m old and grey, walking and  writing books!!

I found this variety of plum today when I was in the orchard picking a selection of plums to put into a dish for the big house.  It’s called Golden Gage, a variety I have never heard of and certainly have never tasted.  Not surprising I guess, living most of my life in Australia!

Golden Gage plums picked fresh from the orchard.....how lucky am I?
Golden Gage plums picked fresh from the orchard.....how lucky am I?

So unlike any other plum I have tasted.  Not as juicy, I would say and not so sweet, but refreshingly sweet, if that makes sense.  The colour is gorgeous; starts from a beautiful lime green then when fully ripe, a lovely golden yellow.  I like to eat them just before they reach their fully ripe state of golden yellow.   How lucky am I as a plum lover to discover this today?  Poor Steve is working hard inside on his computer and when I came back into the cottage with a broad smile on my face, he was wondering what all the fuss was about.  “Over a plum!  I’m trying to work here!” he said.  Oh well, I just get caught up in my own little world I guess!!  My next job is to water the tomatoes with the dogs!!

Sweat Peas and Roses

It’s late afternoon and I’ve just taken the dogs out for a swim and run in the gardens and on the way back stopped, while they played together, to pick a posie of sweet peas and roses to give to a friend who is calling by in the morning.  The roses are still booming and the sweet peas are having a growth spurt now.  The perfume together is beautiful.  Must get them in some water then feed the hungry, naughty dogs!

For me, the combination of sweatpeas and roses is heaven on earth!
For me, the combination of sweet peas and roses is heaven on earth!
Two naughty dogs, Jester and Indi in the distance.
Two naughty dogs, Jester and Indi in the distance.
"We're back now Jenny and hungry!" says Indi, being licked by Jester.
"We're back now Jenny and hungry!" says Indi, being licked by Jester.

Chicken, Spinach, Ricotta and Goats Cheese Cannelloni!

Ready for the oven....Chicken, Spinach, riccotta,goats cheese Cannolloni
Ready for the oven....Chicken, Spinach, ricotta,goats cheese Cannelloni

It’s Saturday morning and I have walked the dogs,  been to the gym (got saturated by a heavy down pour on the way back!!)  walked to the local shops with Steve, read the papers and have done a bit of house work.  The weather is crap…..typical English weather…..wet with occasional sunny intervals and a slight chill to the air.  This is meant to be Summertime!!!!! 

So, I’m preparing Cannelloni for supper tonight.  It will be a well deserved treat.  It’s my own recipe, made with wholewheat Lasagna sheets (‘cos we’re healthy!) and works very well with all the other flavours in the dish. 

I feel like a relaxing quite night so, Saturday night at home in the cottage will be just that….supper in front of a lovely fire with some decent  TV, wonderful.  We’ll walk down to the Pineapple Pub for a drink before hand (raincoat will be a must!) This is rural Hampshire, not much excitement here at the weekend unless you’re invited to a party.  That could be a different story!

  The recipe is quite yummy……..serve with a crisp green salad or on its own with a lovely glass of red wine.   I will post the recipe soon………

  

Ready!...Chicken, spinach, ricotta and goats cheese Cannelloni...you little beauty!
Ready!...Chicken, spinach, ricotta and goats cheese Cannelloni...you little beauty!

The Labradors are protecting us!

Jester and Indi the Labradors surveying the garden.
Jester and Indi the Labradors surveying the garden.

I was in the big house doing some housekeeping work and had to put the dogs out into the garden while I hoovered and cleaned their room.  I took a little sneak through the dining room windows to see what they were up to and found them sitting together happily surveying the landscape, just like lions…….checking out their kingdom!  Such beautiful boys!  Great guard dogs too!  I must hurry up now……rain is on the way and doggies will get wet!

A pheasant I will never forget!

Jester and Indi are always so thirsty!
Jester and Indi are always so thirsty!

What a wonderful walk we had with the two dogs today.  Jester is so well behaved now, still very wary of strangers though.  Indi, on the other hand is very relaxed on his walks and still doesn’t respond to any sort of discipline when he is in a particular free roaming mood.

Today Indi didn’t run off too much and stayed by my side until we arrived back to the estate.  It’s amazing how quickly things change!!  As we were walking through the last field where the lambs are grazing, he took off (and Jester too) to chase a pheasant.  The poor bird was cornered into an area of the fence and had no where to go.  Indi pounced on it straight away and had it grid locked in his mouth, walking back towards me like he had landed some Noble Peace Prize!  “Drop it!! Indi”, I demanded.  No response.  “Dead Indi!” I said. (a phrase gun dogs are supposed to respond to…..but not this dog!)  “Indi, drop that bloody bird!  Now!!”  I shouted.  No response. 

He followed us back to the dogs room, sat down in his comfy bed, then finally released his tight grip on the bird.

Indi with his pheasant
Indi with his pheasant

 Pretty horrific behaviour for a dog that has meant to have had great training!  The worse was yet to come.  I now had the grizzly, barbaric task of putting the poor bird, that was still alive, out of it’s misery………..this was not going to be pleasant!

So, after putting on a a pair of gloves, I took the bird from Indi and took it down into the field, to a quiet spot where I thought I could lay it to rest after putting it out of it’s misery……. to break the bird’s neck was the most humane way to put the wounded bird down.  I have never in my entire life had to do such a horrible thing, but the bird had to be put out of his pain, so I had to do what was required.

I sat next to the pheasant and cried a little for the pain that had been inflicted on this bird.  I felt sick in the stomach but will be well up on the correct procedure if this is to happen again.

Beans Galore!

I’ve just come into the cottage after spending some time in my small garden and I feel wonderful seeing my beans looking so healthy already.  This is my first attempt at growing runner beans and broad beans so it’s a bit of an experiment this year……so far, so good!

Runner beans looking quite happy in pots on the decking area.
Runner beans looking quite happy in pots on the decking area.

I spoke to the gardener who looks after the large garden on this estate and he thinks they will do well, as long as I feed them regularly.  I think our crop will feed a small village but that’s not a concern….we can give some away and freeze them if needs be.  I’ve been researching through my cook books and on the Internet for summer recipes for beans and I’ve come up with some great ideas and can’t wait when it’s time to start harvesting them.

Broad beans in their early stages of growth.
Broad beans in their early stages of growth.

The sweet peas I planted out are going to be a beautiful fragrant display. As long as we continue to keep the two dogs from peeing!! on my plants, all will come together well.  Jester and Indi love to come and see the garden when we are in there and so far have been very respectful!

"Okay, Jenny" says Jester, "I promise not to pee on your plants and just save that for the big garden!."
"Okay, Jenny" says Jester, "I promise not to pee on your plants and just save that for the big garden!."

The dogs much prefer running around in the big house’s massive garden anyway.  They have taken into rough play in a big way in their garden.  It’s like the doggy version of championship wrestling.  There’s no rules,  just whoever gets tired and fed up or (in Jester’s case!) scared by the other dog, wins.  Indi is still top dog and wins nearly every time.  It’s very entertaining and a good workout! for both dogs.

Let the Wrestling begin.......
Let the Wrestling begin.......

Perfumed Roses are a sight to see……

How incredible it is for me to be surrounded by such beauty as I step outdoors at this time of year!  Wow, if only my mum in Australia could see what I can…so many beautifully scented roses everywhere in this extensive big garden.

The Paeony Roses are now blooming in the sunken garden
The Paeony Roses are now blooming in the sunken garden

As I walk across the large terrace of the big house on this estate, I get a lovely waft of  perfumed roses.  A beautiful climbing rose covers part of the rear of the house, living happily with wisteria.  The balconies surrounding the terrace are also covered with a creeping white and pale pink variety of rose which has a very suttle scent and as it catches the passing breeze, it provides an delightful scent in the air.

The sunken garden is surrounded by a number of varied varieties of roses and a border of lavender surrounds the top wall of this wonderful display.  Just as well I am a great lover of flowers and for me this is paradise in the countryside for sure.

A special white variety of rose in the sunken garden.
A special white variety of rose in the sunken garden.

As the very warm spring is drawing to an end, one would think summer has already arrived with the spectacular garden that is blooming before our eyes.  The grasses in the lower fields are full of buttercups and forget-me-nots and a vast array of other pretty blue, white, mauve and yellow wild flowers.  As I am out with the two dogs each day, as well as checking on the lambs in their fields, I often stop to pick a hand full of these flowers to fill a vase in the cottage.  Although they don’t last very long, they provide a wonderful display and reminds us of the season we’re enjoying.

Buttercups fill a vase in the Cottage's kitchen.
Buttercups fill a vase in the Cottage's kitchen.
Roses from the garden
Roses from the garden

So, I must finish this blog now as I have to tend my own little garden!  My runner beans and broad beans need checking for the greedy caterpillars, slugs and snails that love to gorge on my tasty plants.

Windy walk

Jenny and Jester
Jenny and Jester

It’s blowing a gale outside today but no freezing temperatures so walking the dogs shouldn’t be too cold for my Aussie bones!

Haven’t seen Indi and Jester all weekend and I hear they were out on a shoot all day Saturday which they both would have loved.

So, Steve and I walk  them down the long pebbled driveway, put their leads on then head out into the lane which eventually leads to the woods.   A pee on every post and stump is a great way to start a walk in Indi’s mind and I see Jester has taken up the habit but with not as much vigor as Indi yet!  Jester still doesn’t know the difference between a post and a leg as he stopped near Indi and pee-ed all over my left gaiter.  “Jester!!” I shouted, “that’s my leg your peeing on you little monkey.  Can’t you see it’s clearly my leg and not a post!  How could you pee on me!!?”  I said suspecting that he perhaps was paying me back  or just playing a childish game?   “Well, you were standing a little too close, Jenny,”  Indi said smartly.  “What do you expect….you just got in the way of his line of fire, that’s all.” he concluded.  “Too close?” I said becoming annoyed.  “I was trying to get you two well behaved!! dogs off the damn road as there was a car coming….perhaps I should have left you to wander about…..and have your paws run over!”  “Now, now Jenny, don’t be like that.”  Indi commented, with such a wise old tone.  “You know we appreciate you caring about our safety….” he said smiling.  That dog is too much, I thought to myself.  He has an answer to everything.

The wind seemed to disappear while we were walking in the woods and as we came out onto the open road it reappeared, whirling gusts around in the air like a wild beast.  The dogs loved this wild weather and held their heads up to make the most of the wind blowing in their faces. 

 Walking back past the stables we could hear the horses running around and neighing in protest.  They were not keen on this windy weather at all.  The wind carried the noise they made a long way and almost sounded quite spooky.

We finally reached the entrance to the long drive and Indi cocked his leg on the stone mushroom again.  How can such an old dog have so much pee in him! I thought in amazement.  Jester was all pee-ed out and was finishing his walk like an A grade student, walking beautifully at Steve’s side obeying his every command.  What that dog will do for food in the form of treats is working wonders….he has worked out this game and plays it extremely well. 

The water bowls needed refilling and Jester went to his straight away as all the treats Steve gave him made him terribly thirsty!  “Thank you Jenny,” He said taking a breather from his drinking.  “Good boy Jester, see you tomorrow.” I said.  Indi just nodded at me and after I gave them both a lovely big pat I was off again back to the cottage.

Chinoock helicopter

Well, it’s Friday and our last walk with the dogs until next Monday.  Jester has been whining in the dog’s room for over fifteen minutes, driving Indi mad.  “For god’s sake Jester, give it a rest will you…..you’re driving me nuts with that awful noise coming from your mouth!  You know we will be collected soon for our walk.  Why can’t you follow my example and wait with a little more decorum?” Indi said.   Before Jester could respond, I was already entering their room and Indi stood up in his bed excitedly, dancing with his two front feet around in little circles.  ” Who’s waiting with decorum now then you crancky old dog?” Jester said.  “Your too old to give advice anymore, you’re past it Indi……” he concluded as he leaped out the door.

“Jester, wait!” I shouted after him.  “I’m supposed to teach you to wait at the door and leave after I step out.” I said.  “Big deal, too late now, I’m out anyway and Steve’s got a pocket full of treats to feed me.  That’s more important than that sit, wait, sit, wait, silly lesson of yours.” Jester said without a care in the world.  “Don’t waste your time on that poorly trained animal Jenny.” said Indi. “He needs to go back to school….a boarding school would fit the bill.  A period of SIX months would be very nice.” he said dreaming about the peace and quiet he would have.  “Come on Indi,” I said in exasperation.  “We will have a lovely walk today, I can feel it.”

Jester was playing the “heal and treat” game very well again with Steve today and although conditions were milder than usual, the air I thought was still invigorating.  As we approached a big open field near the horse racing track, I heard a thundering sound in the distance.  “What is that noise?”I said to Steve.  Before he had time to answer, a huge massive army helicopter appeared in the distance flying very low, just above the tree tops.” 

 I’m a huge army aircraft fanatic and this was an awesome sight for me!  “Wow, look at that!” I said to the dogs.   Indi didn’t know what all the fuss was about as in his long life as a Labrador gun dog he had seen many aircraft, including this type of Chinoock Helicopter.  This was no big deal in his opinion.  Jester was looking up in the air along with keeping a keen eye on Steve’s pocket and really had no interest in the funny shaped greyish thing that was in the sky.  By this stage the Chinoock was flying closer and quite incredibly low, it was breathtaking.  Steve and I started waving at the Chinoock and it instantly changed it’s path to fly almost directly over us.  It was the most fantastic experience.  The dogs just stood there looking at us with bewilderment.  “Gee Jester, wonder what Jenny put in her soup at lunchtime today.  They are both behaving somewhat childlike, don’t you think?”  Jester wasn’t listening to a word Indi said.  He was too busy digging another hole in hope of finding another dead animal.

What a wonderful exciting addition to our walk today and as we made our way back to the cottage, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.   “Doesn’t take much to make Jenny happy.”  Indi said to Steve as they approached the orchard.   ” On a good day!” Steve replied. 

Back safe and sound in the dogs room and Jester remembered to say thank you.  Indi just bowed his head again like some upperclass gentleman as to say, “Very nice thank you Jenny.  See you next week.”   I closed the door on another eventful week walking the two dogs and felt pleased they had been exercised well.

Thank goodness for Jenny and Steve!

“Oh, thank goodness….here they are!!,”Jester said to Indi as he pressed his nose up against the glass of the dog’s room.

It was approaching 1:30pm and the dogs of course were ready and waiting for their daily walk.  As I opened the door to their room Jester was more than ready to be released out into the open air, looking up at me and waiting for my next instructions. Indi began dancing around in excitement as per usual (if only my husband was this excited when I came into a room!! I thought to myself…how nice would my life be!)

“Gee, you both are excited and waiting eagerly today,” I said.  “Oh Jenny, can we skip the chat today, I’m dying to pee,” Jester burst out.  Before I could say wait! to make him sit and wait until I was out the door first, Jester the beautiful Labrador bounded out the door like he was escaping a house on fire!

“Well, that lesson to wait at the door worked well today!” I said to Indi with exasperation.  “Jenny, he’s a monkey of a dog and in my opinion will continue to be so for quite some time…..lets get a move on now shall we….so unnecessary to waste our walking time with discussions about that unruly animal that disrespects me.” he concluded

Poor Indi has to put up with so much with Jester……but he takes it all in his grand old stride and I know Indi loves Jester very much.  Since he arrived on the scene, Indi has gained a new lease of life and become more playful for such an older dog.

So, another wonderful walk today through the woods and fields for the dogs.  Jester found part of a dead animal again and crunched up the bones before we had a chance to examine what he was getting into.  He did manage to tease Indi with his find before he demolished every ounce saying, “Na, nah nah nah nah, found a dead bird again…..it’s all mine and you’re not getting any of it!”   Indi took one look at his beaming face and thought what an insolent rude boy he was..no chance in hell of him trying to confiscate that dead matter from his mouth!

But Indi was very well behaved today and didn’t run off, although oblivious at times to his name.  Sometimes it doesn’t matter what you call him as often there is zero response and as I tucked them back into their beds and topped up their water bowls, I could feel their gratitude in the way they looked at me….”Thank goodness for Jenny and Steve!”

Two Good Boys!

I haven’t seen the dogs all weekend so I was looking forward to taking them for a walk today. 

Jester looked like he had grown bigger and more muscular just over the weekend! and Indi was so happy to see us….he was waiting at the door for me, looking through the glass door dancing with his two front feet as much to say, “About time you showed up…haven’t seen you for a while Jenny……..come on get my lead…..we’ve been waiting ages.” 

Jester bounded outside the door in such a hurry he headbutted Indi.  “Heeeeheeee….I’m free at last….and there’s Steve….my new best friend with all the treats!  He’s great!  As long as I behave well, I’ll be given a reward.  This games great, a piece of cake!” he said as he ran up to Steve and sat at heal beautifully. 

Indi was dancing about in such excitement that he didn’t really notice Jesters childlike behavior, headbutting him above his right eye.  He was more interested in the tennis ball he thought Jenny had in her hand!  “Indi boy, you know I’m not allowed to give you a tennis ball because you are a gun dog and a very good gun dog by all accounts…..and gun dogs are not allowed tennis balls.  Your master has said so.  But if you find a tennis ball in the garden it’s yours……I won’t tell if you won’t.” 

Indi’s look was in happy agreement and as I began to put him on the lead to walk down the lane there it was……a dirty looking tennis ball he found somewhere.  He was on cloud nine. 

Indi and tennis ball!
Indi and tennis ball!

We could hear a shoot in the distance somewhere.  The pheasant population was diminishing very fast….just as well, as Jester still had a huge interest chasing these birds whenever the opportunity was there.  Another “not allowed” form of behavior I was told…..but he still continued to do this.  I gathered this will stop soon as all the pheasants will have disappeared until next year.  Hopefully then he will be on his way to becoming a well trained gun dog?  Hope so. 

The two dogs were very well behaved today, although Jester bristled up a lot when tiny Ida, the friendly scruffy terrier he sometimes sees came running to say hello.  Indi totally ignored her attempts to make friends again because he was on a mission again to find the perfect spot to do his business.  “Get out of my way you ridiculous tiny little waste of space,” I heard him say.  Ida got the hint and after a little growl from Jester she was off like a rocket, in the safety of her master. 

Jester the Monkey says, "I'm sitting at heal Steve..."
Jester the Monkey says, "I'm sitting at heal Steve..."

 

By the time we arrived back home Jester was walking superbly at Steve’s side.  “Any more treats Steve?  I can walk this way for a lot longer if you like……..?”  “Good boy Jester,” Steve said stroking his lovely head.  “What a good boy you have been today,” and gave him one more treat. 

I tucked them back into their beds and made sure their water bowls were full.  I gave Indi the pig’s knuckle bone to work on and Jester had the remnants of the bone filled with chicken to keep him happy.  “See you tomorrow boys.” and I gave them a big pat each and made my way back to the cottage.

A Merry Chilly Christmas

Woke up a little later than usual on Christmas morning…wanted to go for a walk but it was quite foggy and bleak and also very cold….made my husband and I leek scrambled eggs and bacon.  A beautiful start to the day.

I make a brief visit into the dog’s room to wish Jester and Indi a very “Happy Christmas!”  Jester is absolutely totally absorbed with his new Christmas bone filled with chicken (our present to him)  His tail is wagging madly but doesn’t move from his bed…”Thank you Jenny, Merry Christmas to you too but could you let me finish my bone?”

Indi gets up out of his bed thinking I’ve come in to take him out for a walk!  “No Indi boy, just coming in to wish you a Happy Christmas.”   “Oh, that’s a shame.”  I think I heard him mumble!  “How come Jester’s got a special treat then?  Where’s my special grand treat?”  I bet he said.  “In you bed Indi, have a good day.” I say to him  and give him a good old pat.  The look he gave me was disappointment and he resumed back to huddling up in his cosy bed.

 Meanwhile Jester the little monkey was still madly wagging his tail while engrossed in his new bone.  When I went over to him to say goodbye he rolled over onto his back (bone still in his mouth) and let me tickle him a little on his belly.  left their room pleased to have seen the two lovely dogs.

So, it’s just the two of us this year for Christmas day (I rang my parents in Australia last night to wish them Merry Christmas as they are 11 hours in front of us here in the UK)  So, I have no stress cooking for a large number and am enjoying this quiet time very nicely thank you!  Not doing a traditional lunch. We will be serving a slow cooked leg of lamb marinated over night with rosemary, garlic pesto and tomato paste, topped with onion and a decent amount of red wine in the pan.  This will cook for 3- 4 hrs and will fall off the bone to serve.

So, this morning I’m setting a lovely table for two! with candles.  I’ve made a cauliflower cheese, prepared brussel sprouts and carrots.  Also made thin wholemeal bread stick toasts for our smoked salmon caper and creme fraiche starter (we will have this when we get back from the “George and Dragon.”  Cheese board includes a West Country Cheddar, Stilton and French Brie.  We have some New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc (a gift for Steve from the big house) as well as some French Champagne and some decent Australian red wine. 

We have a gorgeous fire burning now and the cottage is very cosy….oh my God! the sun is out now which is quite lovley….think I will turn a few lights off now and let the Christmas tree lights take centre stage.

We just rang Steve’s mum on skype in Florida for a Christmas chat.

“I found my own treat in the snow!”

We are walking two dogs today and Indi is beside himself with excitement as he comes out of the dogs room and Jester the monkey is as happy as Larry.  Steve has some “training treats!” for Jester in his pocket and the smart dog already senses this and starts behaving orderly, but only after a manic run around first.

So we start out through the orchard today and Indi is looking for the tennis ball he thinks I have for him in my pocket! while Jester is just pleased to be out and responding to Steve like he is his schoolmaster!

We reach the small wood and off the leads they go….Indi, on a mission to pick the perfect spot to do his business and this sometimes takes a while….to find the discreet, right spot.  Today he didn’t seem too particular and just “did the business” only slightly off the path.

Jester was running with the wind again….so free spirited.  We found him digging a hole in the snow and think he found the head of a fish!  Can’t believe this…. but a fish head is what it looked like.  Would a bird of prey have left this?  Not sure but whatever this was he was on cloud nine and running around defrosting it in his mouth and teasing Indi at the same time!  “look at me Indi,” he said  “You’re too old and slow to have found this.  Wehhaaaay!”

We let Jester have his find which gave me time to chase Indi as he decided to run off.  Not for long.  After blowing my whistle for ages, he finally decided to turn around and join us.  “Indi…come on, behave now!”  His look at me was like he was ten times smarter than me….giving me any easy time today!

Walking back to the cottage was very rewarding.  I love the snow, although the lane was very slippery in places.  It was funny watching the dogs slip a little as they walked…not like us heavy adults!

Back home and I tucked the dogs up in their beds with plenty of water and a smile.

Jester chasing a pheasant!

Took the dogs out for a walk again after lunch and I had a feeling in my chilly bones that Jester was in a very unruly mood, so I had my “strict teacher” hat on to be ready……….

It all started out okay, with both dogs walking well at heal down the lane (on leads though as there are the odd speeding nutter motorist that could easily finish a dog’s life in seconds!)  So we enter the woods and off the lead and off they go……….having a wonderful time in the cold icy conditions!!

Jester runs at full speed like a little pony (as usual) and Indi pleases himself and ignores any call or whistle.  Nice to see he is maintaining his usual behavior!   Jester disappears for what seems like ages and all my whistling, calling does zero to locate the naughty monkey.  Just when we thought he had disappeared forever, he darts out of the wood into the open field like a starving greyhound chasing a rabbit.  In this case, Jester was hot on the foot of a pheasant and not a rabbit…(but would have loved that too!)  May as well throw my whistle away as there was no stopping him.  There is a horse racing track close by and he jumped across the beautifully manicured track in two leggy bounds….very impressive.  It wasn’t until my husband gave a piercing whistle with two fingers to his mouth, that he stopped in his tracks and came running back.  Thank goodness there were no horses out training on the track as there could have been an incident!

Back on track and we were walking towards home again, Jester thinking nothing of his earlier antics.  Both were back into their warm beds and pleased with the exercise.

Walking the dogs in the fog

Jester
Jester

Set out for our afternoon walk with Indi (so excited and pleased to get out into the cold! of -2 celsius) and Jester just pleased to be out ……..

Jester is very well behaved today and walks to heal down the long pebble driveway, then sits to wait to be put on a lead to enter the lane.  Very good puppy!  I talk to them constantly which I think Indi quite likes but Jester,  I think gets very board with my voice and constant “Jester, heal! Jester, Heal!”  Indi responds to heal very well until he enters the woods and then just basically responds to direction when he wants…..he’s seen it all and won’t be bossed about by some Australian girl who has no idea what elite level of gun dog he is!!!  Okay Indi, that’s okay with me as long as you have a lovely walk and don’t wander off!!!!

The scene is like walking into the set of  the “Adventures of Nania…”  I find this so breathtakingly beautiful and enjoy every step of the way.  My co-walker with the dogs (and husband who by the way is an Englishman) typically says, “it’s alright seeing this at Christmas time, but day after day is too much….”  So….. anyway, dogs and I are loving the conditions and we finish the walk with the sometimes naughty boy Jester behaving very well.  I fill up their water bowls and make sure their bedding is sorted out for another bitterly cold night ahead.  See you tomorrow boys!  No taking them out before bed tonight as the owners will be home and will do this later on.

Dogs out before bed!

It is SO cold now and I have to keep reminding myself that Indi and Jester are just dogs……Let them out before bed tonight into their vast garden then came back in 10-15 minutes to find them waiting at the gate saying “where the hell have you been Jenny?  We are freezing!'”  Well, maybe an Australian dog would say this but I think these two Labradors are pretty hardy, not so much Jester (yet) the 18mth old; but Indi the grand 8yr old gun dog is extremely accustomed to the cold and wet.  He’s a legend.  What a great dog he is.

As I opened the door to the dog room to settle them down for the night, Jester, the monkey went straight to Indi’s comfy bed, hoovered around for any bones or balls he could steal…couldn’t find any so decided to wait there  for the old boy…… to share his bed!  Indi prefers to sleep alone, so Jester was gently coaxed back into his own warm bed for a long sleepy night.