Cannon Hall

Portrait Fail #2Trip to Cannon Hall was in order. I wanted to go in the Maize Maze, because I’m actually 8, but we didn’t have time.

Also, my dogs hate me.

Well, maybe not. But looking at their group portrait shots, you would think so. Kim is thinking how she can maybe kill me in my sleep, Dylan is thinking bad thoughts that probably amount to “I’ll maybe hide one of my toys, that will show you” and Mollie … well, Mollie’s probably not plotting my downfall, and is actually planning to decapitate all the flowers in front of her with misplaced enthusiasm when released from her wait. Mollie’s was the only successful plan.

Too EasyGirls were very tired after playing frisbee all across the estate, and Dyl was tired because it’s exhausting being stressed. Actually, Dylan did really well. We did some basic BAT retreats from a stressed Westie who was defending his 50ft space bubble, which relaxed him enough to be able to walk past later (no option to go another way, unfortunately), and then greeted some well-mannered Labradors politely and briefly. One minor meltdown which resulted in some barking and major retreating when a Golden Retreiver with a flexi-lead attached came flying down the gravel path, being chased by two young boys, but to be honest I wasn’t awfully relaxed about that one either! Positive reactions to the two small terriers we met later anyway, by ignoring and circling away.


GirlsThis is the first time we’ve walked Langsett. We’ll be back again, I now understand why it’s so popular!

We walked the three mile route as we didn’t know the area at all and didn’t want to get lost. The map in the car park said it would take 2hrs and we were a little concerned that it would be very hilly from that kind of estimate, but it really wasn’t and we walked it in an easy hour with a couple of five minute breaks. Think we’ll go the long way round the resevoir next time!

The dogs enjoyed themselves; Kim spent most of the time crashing through the undergrowth chasing rabbits and squirrels, and the collies spent most of the time on the path or in the muddiest puddles they could find. Wood

We met quite a few people and not many dogs, but we passed everyone by without a problem (except for a small scared Spaniel who did bark frenetically until we’d passed, but everyone ignored him). Mollie did manage to terrify a small child about ten minutes in, thankfully with sensible parents. The little girl put her hands together, palms outwards, in a greeting pose as Mollie was walking past. Mol loves children, and so on seeing this she walked over very gently, slowly wagging tail and her friendly face on and touched her nose into the little girl’s hands. I don’t know if she maybe licked her, or if the girl just didn’t like the feel of Mol’s nose, but the little girl shrieked like a banshee and burst into tears accompanied by proper screams. Mollie immediately moved away and got a cuddle from the girl’s father instead, which reassured the other little boy and left me happy as well. I kind of wish we’d been able to stop and let the little girl meet Mollie again, but I wasn’t brave enough to suggest it and Kim and Dylan were keen to move on as they don’t like children (too unpredicatable, like puppies!)

Bench IThere were poems carved into the tops of the benches all the way around; I didn’t get photos of all of them but I bet they’re out on the internet somewhere!

Sunny Day at the Lake

It was really very hot today. Hot = swimming! We took the dogs up to Digley just so they could spend all afternoon cooling off.

Intense Collie Stares = Tennis BallWell. Dylan and Mollie swam. Kim didn’t. She was bossy and neurotic and demanding about the ball being thrown, but then declined to go in and fetch it.

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I’m hoping this weather breaks before the weekend, both Kim and Mollie are scheduled to do some agility at Midland Counties and I’d like to let them both run. If it’s too hot, they’re going to have to stay cool and bored in the car!

Honley Woods

I shouldn’t have even bothered taking my camera; the lighting was awful! Overcast skies + twilight = not good for photos of moving dogs.

Still, look at Mollie’s smiley face!

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Dylan is getting really irritating on walks, I keep wanting to smack him round the head! He is generally pretty independent when we’re out and about, not so much as the girls’ but happy to go off and do his own thing. But as soon as I take off the lens cap, he’s right there in front of me. Almost touching.

Ever played that “not touching” game when you’re a kid? That’s what it’s like.

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You can’t tell, but in all these photos, he’s about 2 inches away from the lens, giving me the Eye. Incidentally, this is why I’m never getting another Border Collie. They drive you insane, like they are.

LopeKim is thoroughly enjoying being out and about again, she’s off-lead 95% of the time at the moment. We’re slowly starting to put some real muscle back onto her, but it’s taking time. I’d like to do some hydrotherapy with her but the pool we used to go to isn’t available at the moment, and she hates swimming. Maybe I can throw her in the sea at Redcar?

We set off on Sunday morning for Hare’n’Hounds, Dylan and I are competing all week and the girls are coming up for Waldridge Fell. Kim is running with Cat, which should be fun!

Hoards of Killer Bees

Dylan in the heatherIt seemed like a good idea at the time. However. Walking through waist high banks of heather in spring? BEES. Bees everywhere. I got all of four pictures in the heather, before the hoards of angry bees began circling my head and we fled.

So we spent a lot of time at the river, avoiding the bees.

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SoftThere were very few complaints, except perhaps by Kim. Kim spent the whole walk on lead, as she’s still supposed to be taking it easy after her chiro treatment at the weekend. We only argued two or three hundred times, it’s ok. She was not happy with the bees either, but I’m actually glad she was on the lead as she does try and eat them. Bees are not so down with that.

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The dogs were actually very well behaved; there is a lot of livestock at the edges of the valley, but all well protected by walls and solid gates, and we avoided almost all of it. Dylan did spend a while desperately trying to herd chickens through a fence (chickens are the only think he will actually try to herd anyway. Anything bigger than a chicken in worrying). We also avoided unexpected horses, even Mollie! Mollie doesn’t do livestock, she barks too much, but she just trotted alongside the horses for a while and then came back.*

*I should probably mention that the horses didn’t care, the riders didn’t care, and I didn’t let her do this. But Mollie apparently has some horse sense … who knew?!


We had a lovely walk around Digley Resevoir on Sunday, couldn’t believe it was March, I was walking in my t-shirt!

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The dogs ambled (and sprinted, and swum!) their way around, they’ve been so many times they know the path just as well as me. This is another resevoir my parents used to take us walking around as children, and all of it is filled with those wonderful childhood memories; there’s a section involved very steep stepping stone stairs, only for about 60m but when the stair is as tall as your leg, it becomes traumatic pretty quick. It becomes even more traumatic when your sister slams your fingers in an iron gate and chops three fingernails off in the middle of nowhere, and has never yet apologised … I’m not bitter, no, why do you ask?

Kim really enjoyed herself, it’s her first real run since she had the paw injury. It’s been healing well, but it’s not yet perfect and I daren’t risk letting her play in the res itself, so she had a minor tantrum whilst Mollie and Dylan went swimming. I got back in her good books by letting her pose for a while in various spots. It’s hard to be angry when you’re this beautiful.

Such a poser ...Another pose ...It's tiring being stunningly gorgeous

She even matches the landscape!

Not many photos of Dylan, sadly, because he spent most of the walk with his head in a bush, or herding the 300 other people who thought it would be a nice day to walk around Digley. He was very well behaved though, and only did the stiff-legged barking thing at one dog. He has impeccable manners with on-lead dogs (ie. ignores them completely), even the disruptive and out-of-control ones who lunge at him. He looked mildly concerned about a few of the off-lead dogs, but checked in with me and then continued. He was also flattened by two extremely exuberant Boxers (possibly Boxer/Staffie crosses?!), but didn’t bother a bit. So … interesting. Still thinking about this one, will get back to it at a later date.

(I actually remembered for this blog post that you are, sometimes, allowed to edit photos using this magical program called Photoshop! I’ve been so focussed on the 52 Weeks project that I keep forgetting it’s ok to edit the rest of the shots.)

Another section of the Kirklees Way walked … or so I thought, until I went and looked it up and realised it’s just kind of the same section as the last section we walked. Walking is apparently harder than I thought.

Paws to Valentines

This was the best way to spend Valentine’s Day. I drove the dogs up to Castle Hill and we ranged all over the footpaths; Mollie interrupted all the snuggling teenagers and Dylan tried to knock people over as he raced past. Kim was on her own mission, which involved digging up as many moles as she could find. She didn’t find any, but it’s always worth a shot.

Mollie did try and adopt herself out to several families who were out for a Sunday stroll, but none of them would take her home. Poor Mol, she’s stuck with us! I did have to send my dad to go and fetch her back after she latched on to a certain couple who were throwing a ball for their own dog, a very patient Collie/Staffie cross. Dad returned carrying her, because she wouldn’t actually leave them alone. She was looking plaintively over his shoulder, but as soon as her paws hit the floor she was off, racing Kim down the banks.

The fitness regime is kicking in, and all the gang are starting to get their streamlined figures back. Dyl has lost almost everything he gained, and his ribs are almost back to touch. Mollie still looks like a bit of a bear, but it’s her fluffy winter coat, and “Fat Rolls Kim” has her waistline back, although her belly is still clinging. It’s hard to get the old ladies to shift their fat.

cloudsWe did two lazy circuits of the hill, and the dogs did at least six mad laps of the hill. We all stood and watched a bit of the rugby going on below, and then wandered up to the castle for a nosy. It wasn’t open today, otherwise I’d have got some photos from the top. The lovely sunshine had all gone and the clouds were rolling in, so we came home a bit early and didn’t let the dogs blast over the kite field. I don’t think they minded so much.

I think Dylan wishes every day could be Valentine’s Day.

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Twelve Days of Christmas

The dogs had a good Christmas. The dogs always have a good Christmas, but they had an especially good one this year. They got some lovely new toys, lots of chews, and Kim got some ultra fashionable leg warmers from Accessorize. Unfortunately she has skinny hind legs so they only fit on her front paws, but they are unbelievably awesome1. They also got snow, which is the best Christmas present any dog could want.

We walked in said snow a lot, had a tasty Christmas dinner, and various other goodies. It’s been a bit of a strange Christmas this year for various reasons, but the dogs are always constant and always cheerful. Especially Mollie; she’s like a little kid at Christmas, she gets far too excited and overdoes everything, and has to go and have a time out when she gets too silly.

I know the blog is becoming a bit of a boring photo journal at the moment, which I promise won’t continue. However, I wanted to post for every one of the twelve days of Christmas, and it would take too long to write, so you’ll all have to put up with a few photo posts.

All the photos on this post were taken on Christmas Day. They all came out a bit dark because it was 3:30 and the sun was disappearing behind the hills, but the dogs had such a lovely time; Kim even tried to play with Mollie, but that’s a post in it’s own right.

1No, I can’t think of any time when Kim might be able to wear any leg warmers either.