Lending a paw 2016

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Every year, me ‘n’ @HeatherAlex try to do something to help raise money for something we support. In the past, we’ve walked for John Muir Trust (1000 miles) and Dogs’ Trust, because we love the outdoors and other dogs (of course!).

This year, we’re walking for a charity that helps women set up their own businesses so they can make their lives better. It’s called WEvolution, and it helps women by creating small communities of them who help and support each other while doing business.

Just for a change, we’re part of a team this year, from Scottish Women In Business (SWIB) – WEvolution was chosen to be SWIB’s charity of the year for 2016 – and we’re taking part in something called the 5×50 Challenge. There’s lots of different ways to take part in this, but all involve doing some exercise for 50 days. We’re doing the 30-minutes-a-day version instead of the classic 5km-a-day, partly because of my sore leg from March. But I think @HeatherAlex was worried about the days when I’m off to play with my friends at day-care and whether or not she’d get out and do 5km!

So far (today being April 6), we’ve walked nearly 46km and spent over 12 hours doing that.

If you would like to support our 50 days of exercise for WEvolution, it’s dead easy – just pop over to the team’s fundraising page to make a donation:-)

Thank you!

Queens Park through the year

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Most mornings, me ‘n’ @HeatherAlex walk in our nearest park, Queens Park in Glasgow. It’s not quite like the open countryside or woods, but it’s VERY handy and can be very beautiful, especially in the morning.

sun thru trees

Lovely sunshine! … and lovely me as well, hiding in those shadows😉

Sun through the trees

In the autumn, you get lovely low light – just perfect for sneaking up on squirrels…

Anyway, last year, we thought we’d record a year in the park, mostly taken from one spot – the highest point, where the flag-pole stands – and looking over the city to the Campsies and even beyond (on a good day, you can see Ben Lomond!).

We had lots and lots of photos to choose from as we took one almost every weekend, and during the week too if there was some special weather. But I’ve chewed up the ones that were too much the same so you don’t get too bored:-)

Here we go…

View from the flagpole

Our first photo – mid January and the sun is just emerging:-)

Across a month, the weather can be very different. In March, for example…

View from the flagpole

A lovely crisp morning in March, perfect for snootering through the fence!

View from the flagpole

But on this March morning, we’d lost the hills completely…

And then in April…

view from QP flagpole

…it could be grey, with the hills hiding in the clouds…

View from the flagpole

…or it could be a lovely sunny morning, with the leaves starting to come on the trees

And again in May…

QP flagpole

After our May holiday, the park was looking lovely…

View from the flagpole

…but by the end of May, where were the hills??

June is usually lovely in Scotland, so I was hoping for lots of sunshine every morning:-)

View from the flagpole

If you peer closely, Ben Lomond might just be in sight (so I am told)

But it wasn’t like that every day, sadly…

View from the flagpole

It’s not exactly “flaming June”, more like “foggy June”😦

In fact, pretty much every month had some lovely days and some not-so-lovely days…

view from QP flagpole

This is early July, the grass has been cut and it’s a lovely day…

View from the flagpole

But by mid-July, it’s gloomy skies again. Still, at least it’s not raining (yet!)…

August was mixed too…

View from the flagpole

Streaky sunny skies on an August morning

View from the flagpole

Mid-August and everything is very green – because it just kept raining! (which is why the hills have disappeared!)

View from the flagpole

I just love walks in September sunshine!

View from the flagpole

Late September and the leaves are starting to change colour…

View from the flagpole

Not much of a view on a foggy October morning…

View from the flagpole

But here’s a glorious October day, perfect for morning snootering!

By November, it started getting a wee bit darker in the mornings, but we still had some nice days…

View from the flagpole

November sees trees undressing and putting their leaves on the ground #brrrr

View from the flagpole

A cold’n’clear November morning….

View from the flagpole

Brrrr, it’s freezing fog in December….

This was our last photo of the year, before we headed south for the Christmas holidays…

View from the flagpole

December mornings are dark in Scotland…why are we out this early??!?

One last thing… you’ll have seen that there are lots of trees in the park, and we even saved one of them last year! It was looking very poorly…

Toppled sapling

This poor tree had fallen over so we told the nice man at the park about it…

sapling staked

…and they made it all better and gave it a stake to hold it up (so we can leave pee-mail again!)

So that’s a skip through my morning walks in 2015 – hope you enjoyed seeing my park in all its different colours and weathers!:-)

 

December walkies

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My New Year resolution for 2016 is to blog a bit more than I did last year, so here’s a round-up of some of the walks I did in December.

There are quite a few walks I can’t show you because some of them were VERY wet and @heatheralex didn’t have her waterproof camera with her. Truth be told, I didn’t want to hang about for pictures then either! December was a very wet month and I ended up with very wet fur quite a few times! #shakingallover

We finally went back to one of my favourite country parks, Mugdock, which is to the north of Glasgow. It’s not our nearest park so it’s a bit of a drive to go there but it’s worth it. Mugdock has a river and woods and a loch and an old penguin pond and a boardwalk and sheep and barbecue pits and TWO castles and a moor which is just perfect for chasing balls, so it is quite a special place.

Twiglet on boardwalk

Look how big my shadow is on the boardwalk!

The next day, me and my pal Finzi went to visit Loch Ard near Aberfoyle. It has a sculpture trail (with squirrel sculptures too!). The sculptures aren’t doing too well these days, though – the silvery eagle seems to have flown away… You can see what it used to look like in one of my Big Walk posts.

Locah Ard sculpture trail

The eagle has flown from its pole😦

It was a winter’s day, so me ‘n’ Finzi had a fine walk.

Twiglet & Finzi

Me & my pal Finzi, just pootling along and enjoying the sniffs…

Another great park is Rouken Glen. That’s a bit nearer so we go a bit more often. It has a nice river, which makes it really good in the summer when it’s hot, but I like it at any time.

Rouken Glen waterfall

All that rain means the waterfalls are very splashy!

It also has LOADS of squirrels…

Twiglet looking for squirrel

Drat, it just went up that tree…

Over the holidays, we headed south to visit @HeatherAlex’s mum, and various friends and family. When we’re there, we like to go to Chobham Common:

Monument @ CHobham

A lovely sunny day in the Far South!

There are lots of watery bits…

Twiglet at pond

Admiring my reflection – looking pretty good, I think!😉

Twiglet at hill pond

You can just see me…

Our last park walk for the year was at Pollok Country Park, my regular park. It was VERY wet, and there were loads of bits where I’d have had to swim where normally I could walk!

Floods at Pollok

Errm, we can’t get through this way today – I’m not swimming!

And now it’s a brand new year and we’ll be off on our walks again later today. I hope y’all have a fantastic year in 2016!

 

2015 in review

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Last year, Teagan Times introduced me to the WordPress annual report on my blog. Sad to say, this year’s report mainly highlights how little I have blogged this year😦

Thanks to all those who read my blog though – I promise to post more often in 2016!

Here’s the 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 390 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 7 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Wandering in Wales (May 2015)

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After Cornwall, our second week of holidays was in North Wales in a place called Caernarfon. It was MUCH bigger than where we stayed in Cornwall, and had a HUGE castle as well.

Caernarfon castle

It’s a very big castle but it’s not dog-friendly so we didn’t go in…

This week we had our good friend Carolyn staying with us for most of the week. I like snuggling up with Carolyn…

twig on seat

There’s just about enough room for both of us…

We used a different book to help us find good walks this week. It was very clear in all its instructions which made doing the walks straightforward.

guide book

Lots of good walks in here, but only a few were near where we stayed😦

We stayed in a nice dog-friendly house just on the outskirts of Caernarfon, with a park across the road for our early morning walks and a steam railway just below us! The only slight problem was the two (TWO) cats next door as I spent a lot of time trying to see them and chase them. There was a lovely conservatory with views into the garden so I could play Spot-The-Cats:-)

view to garden

No cats on view just now…

squirrel thru window

… SQUIRREL!!!!

twig on sofa

…and sometimes it was nice to doze after a hard day’s walking

park

Our morning walks were in this lovely wee park…

Erw Goed

… and the house was right beside the railway line

There weren’t very many trains a day so it wasn’t too noisy, and in any case, I liked hearing the trains chuffing past every so often.

WHR engine

Here comes the steam train…they tooted when we waved:-)

We even took a trip on the train one day, just a short ride down to Dinas so we could walk back along the cycle path.

train tickets

I really like my special “Rover” ticket (and the people were third class!)

twiglet on train

I was mostly well-behaved…

WHR locomotive

This was our train when we got to Dinas – it’s quite big!

Then we had an easy walk back to the house along the cycle path. It was a very handy path as you could also walk into Caernarfon on it, and stay off the busy roads.

cycle path entrance

We walked into Caernarfon a fair number of times on the path…

Our first proper walk though was up a hill called Conwy Mountain. It was a great hill, but it was very windy that day – my ears kept blowing the wrong way!

path on Conwy Mountain

Ears flapping in the wind…

view of the hill

It was a lovely walk, even if it was on-lead (because of the sheep)

After our windy walk on the hill, it was time for lunch so we went into Conwy and found a great cafe where we could sit outside. @HeatherAlex had what sounded like “welsh rabbit”, which would obviously be delicious, but she told me it was mostly cheese, which is also delicious. I did get a few crumbs:-)

Conwy has a castle too, but we didn’t explore it. Instead we went for a walk across the suspension bridge and had a look at the tiny Toll House where people used to pay to cross the bridge.

COnwy castle

All these places have castles, it seems…

suspension bridge

…but I liked the bridge better

mussel statue

… and there was this pile of HUGE mussels by the harbour!

We needed to walk off our lunches, so we went to explore Aber Falls.

slate fence

First, we walked past some fences made out of thin stones called slates – very different to the stone walls I’m used to…

view to the falls

It was a great walk out to the falls, even if I did have to be on the lead…

welsh ponies

…because there were other animals about

Aber Falls

It was definitely worth the walk, and I had a great paddle in the stream below the falls

My people quite like woods and waterfalls, like me, so the next day we went off to find the Swallow Falls. We had to drive up a VERY narrow and steep road to get to the car park. It had nice views but I did NOT like the drive (I don’t think my people much liked the drive either).

view from car park

There were peacocks hollering in the distance too but I wasn’t allowed to chase them this holiday…

in the woods

…still, it was a really lovely woodland walk…

twig with a twig

I found some tasty sticks to chew…

Swallow Falls

…and the falls were impressive

We had taken a picnic lunch so we didn’t have to find a dog-friendly restaurant but we found one in Capel Curig anyway, just for a wee refreshment, as they say in Scotland. And then it was off to our afternoon walk at Cwm Idwal.

view of the mountains

It was a beautiful area but it was oh so windy!

cwm idwal

The lake (Llyn Idwal) has waves and spray from the wind…

My people could barely stand up in the gusts of winds (I was fine, being nearer the ground), so we didn’t finish the walk that was in the book, and hot-pawed it back down the path to the car!

It was nice and sunny the next day, though, so we went to find a nearby beach for a long walk and much chasing of the ball. DInas Dinlle has MILES of sand. Part of it is not for dogs though, so it’s best to park in the last car park as that is right by where dogs can be.

beach view

There’s a LOT of beach….

view of hills

…with great views …

seagulls on beach

… some seagulls for chasing …

twiglet chasing ball

… and of course, balls to chase too:-)

twig on beach

… I’m ready – you can throw it again now!

That afternoon, after lunch and some snoozes, we went to find Gelert’s Grave. It’s a sad story about a brave dog😦 There’s a statue to him as well as a tombstone.

Gelert statue

Not sure what he’d have made of the lamb, mind you

We had a good walk after that (another one from the book) and ended up at a cafe in Beddgelert having ice creams. Yum!

On our last day, me and @HeatherAlex were on our own and had to do packing and stuff (again!), so we went back to the beach at Dinas Dinlle for some ball chasing.

twig with ball

There’s no escape for this ball…

twig with ball

Here I come – throw it again!

And all too soon it was time to leave Wales. I had a great holiday with loads and loads of walks and ball chasing. Still, at least we were driving to a very special birthday celebration with the family, so we had that to look forward to.

Cavorting in Cornwall (May 2015)

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I’m a very lucky dog as my best friend takes me on holiday with her (mostly!) and so I get to explore new places, new woods, new beaches, and there are loads of new smells for me to sniff. This year, we went on two holidays in one trip, as we went to Cornwall for a week and then to North Wales for a week, followed by a birthday celebration in Oxfordshire. (I was quite glad to get home after all this, by the way – 2000 miles is a lot of driving!)

Anyway, this is my tale of our travels in Cornwall. Where we stayed was over 500 miles from home – the furthest I’ve been away from home ever!

We stayed in a lovely dog-friendly cottage called Vernon’s Retreat (I’m not sure who Vernon is – we didn’t meet him – just our lovely landlady-next-door who was ever so helpful and friendly). It was toasty warm, very comfortable and had LOTS of information about where I was welcome and where I wasn’t (that was especially handy for the beaches). The pub in the village, the Lanivet Inn, was also dog-friendly and we popped in there after a walk so I could bark at the other dogs. Well, I don’t think I was meant to, but I was there first so it was MY pub, right?

We had a great week there, mostly thanks to Toby the Dalmatian. I didn’t know Toby (sadly he went OTRB in 2011) but he wrote the most fantastic book telling you about all the great walks you and your humans can do in Cornwall.

book of walks

Every walk we did was a winner!

We did all of the walks near us – King’s Wood, Cardinham Woods, Luxulyan Valley, Padstow Beach – and they were all fantastic.  We also did some other walks, but Toby’s were easily the best!

For most of the week, our good friend Linda was with us. She’s great. She throws the ball for me loads, and for some reason that’s much more fun than when @HeatherAlex throws it so I usually take it to Linda for throwing:-)

linda throws ball

Throw it again, please please please – yay!

Our first walks were in Cardinham Woods.

map of cardinham woods

We did all of these trails at least once!

There’s one walk where you go past an old mine and can catch a glimpse of the old engine house and chimney. We did that walk once and didn’t spot the buildings at all. I think it’s because it was raining and the people had their heads down trying to get back to the car. Because, honestly, they are very easy to see if you just look! We went back another day, and there they were, right by the path:-)

chimney in the trees

See – it’s pretty obvious really…

Another of Toby’s walks was in a beautiful valley, called the Luxulyan Valley. You wouldn’t know it to look at it now, but it was a very industrial valley in its time. There’s a bit of a tramway that forms part of the path (it was a horse-drawn railway really) and up in the valley there are old buildings from that time…

Wheelpit

The old Wheelpit – I had a good sniff round this

Water was delivered to turn the wheel using “leats” – I liked checking them out in case there were any small furries lurking at the banks:

stone bridge

This little bridge is handy for checking out the leat…

This was part of a building that dried china clay…

china clay dry - chimney

…there’s lots of wildlife there now – I disappeared for a while to go sniff it out:-)

At the far end of the walk, there was a viaduct and aqueduct across the valley so we just had to go out and walk on it, of course.

cornwall 2015-05-04 11.01.34

The aqueduct is dry just now, but runs right under the viaduct…

It’s amazing how beautiful an industrial site can become when it’s left to recover, with interesting reminders of what used to be there.

path thru trees

And it had lots of places to sniff out furries…

That afternoon, we went hunting for camels on the Camel Trail:

camel trail sign

We didn’t see a single camel!😦

We did see lots of bikes though, and I had to stay on the lead because I could’ve found my way into fields with sheep (I think that’s why Toby didn’t put this walk in his book, to be honest).

cycle path

Too many cyclists – I think they scared off the camels…

The next day, we headed off to the Eden Project. This too is an old industrial site – it used to be an old clay pit so it is pretty amazing how it has been changed. It turns out that this was the main reason why we came to Cornwall but – impressive as the place is to the humans – it wasn’t my favourite day, sad to say.

biodomes

I wasn’t allowed inside these big bubbles😦

It is dog-friendly – we’re allowed in the outdoor grounds and some of the buildings, and there’s shaded parking for when the people want to visit the bubbles and have to leave us dogs in the car. But I did spend quite a lot of time snoozing in the car – it was a bit lonely😦

Still, I did get to walk around the outdoor part later on (on a lead, mind you) and found a few interesting bits to have a sniff at.

on stone seat

Wonder what’s on the other side of this?

I was allowed inside the Core building so we had a wander round that. I was a wee bit bored though…

twiglet yawning

…very clever, but can we go get lunch please? *yawn*

We went to have lunch in a dog-friendly pub called the Ship Inn, right near the beach at Par so we could go for a walk and run around the beach afterwards. Sadly the weather changed while we had lunch and it was VERY windy on the beach. It was a bit too windy, even for me, and I kept getting sand in my eyes, so after a few minutes I had had enough …

ball catching on beach

… sorry folks, I’m going back to the car!

So far we’d explored the middle of Cornwall and the south coast, so the next day it was the turn of the north coast. Being right in the middle of Cornwall was very handy! We went to a place called Padstow – among other things, it has a nice beach, as recommended by Toby, so off we went to explore it.

view across estuary

Lovely views, but I’d quite like to go to the beach…

It turns out that this is where the River Camel meets the sea. So THAT is what the Camel Trail is – it’s by the River Camel! Why they called a river after an animal from the desert beats me. Still, deserts have sand and so do beaches…

Twiglet on beach

…quite a LOT of sand, as it turns out:-)

After running about and chasing my ball for a while, we went to find a dog-friendly pub called The Cornish Arms. It was very lovely, and very dog-friendly, with quite a lot of dogs. I barked a bit at some of them, but then I did settle down to chew my bone, so I was allowed to stay:-)

After lunch, we went to Harlyn Bay along the coast a bit. It’s not one of Toby’s walks, which may be because it has a car park where you have to pay quite a lot even just for an hour or so. It has a massive beach too, but we were off for a walk on the South West Coast Path, so we didn’t worry about playing on the beach.

Actually it was quite hard to get across the beach if you wanted to keep your feet dry. @HeatherAlex just splashed through the stream but Linda decided to try and keep her feet dry…

rock clambering

Hard work, but the shoes stayed dry!

It was still quite windy though not as bad as the day before…

beach safety flag

You can see the beach flag blowin’ in the wind…

waves on the beach

…and the waves were HUGE – much bigger than me!

bay view

There are just so many fab beaches here…this one is further along the coast path

lifeboat station

A house on stilts, very odd…

For the next couple of days, we were on our own, so we went back to Cardinham Woods to find that old mine chimney – which we did, of course. We also did one more of Toby’s walks, at King’s Wood near St Austell. It was a nice walk through the woods and by a stream.

twiglet by stream

I like exploring woods and streams… it’s my favourite kind of walk

twiglet in stream

…especially if I can paddle in the stream too

That afternoon, we headed back to Par Sands for a less windy visit, thank goodness. I chased my ball and I found some places where furries live too…

twiglet on the dunes

Surveying the beach…

on beach with ball

I had fun with my ball…

Twiglet at hole

… then I found some rabbit holes in the bank of the stream…

twiglet in hole

What else could a terrier do…??

It’s just a shame I was on the lead – I’m sure I could have headed further in and found the furries…

Still, that was the end of the walk for me, and pretty much the end of our week in Cornwall too. We headed home and packed up all our stuff (we always seem to have a LOT of stuff!) so that we could drive north to Wales the next day. We had a great time in Cornwall, I loved it and was sorry to leave. I think we will have to go back…

Big Six Oh

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My best friend @HeatherAlex had a BIG birthday recently – she’s really very old. I wonder if you can guess how old she is from the scrummy-looking cake her sister and niece made her??

birthday cake

Good job they didn’t put 60 candles on it or it would have melted!

In case you hadn’t realised, her niece Ellie did a picture of ME right in the middle of the cake – look…

close up of cake

Look – that’s me on that cake!

It’s just a shame that they didn’t make it from dog-friendly chocolate as I wasn’t allowed a single crumb😦

Anyway we had a lovely weekend. There were lots of presents and balloons and streamers and dangly things for me to jump at.

balloons etc

Lots of bits hanging from the ceiling – great fun to jump at!

@HeatherAlex got loads of presents. Some very nice ones from the family but most of them were from ME – a whole crate of them!

crate of presents

There are SO many good things in that crate!

There was toffee, and chocolate, and soap, and a scarf, and seeds to plant, and a picture of ME by Ellie, and gravy bones, and crisps, and popcorn, and, oh lots more but I can’t remember all of them:-)

unpacked crate

The crate unpacked – look at all those presents:-)

What do you mean, does @HeatherAlex like gravy bones? As I made it perfectly clear on the card, the crate was for BOTH of us:-)

gift card

Presents are made for sharing, you know…

To make the weekend even better, me and Holly (that’s their dog) got on quite well for a change. Almost no snarling or growling. In fact, I was the only one who growled and that’s cos I was on @HeatherAlex’s lap and Holly looked at me. Well, I could tell she wanted to be up there instead of me, so I had to tell her off, didn’t I? Sadly, for some reason, I ended up off the lap and banished to the floor in the kitchen in disgrace…

Next day, I made up for it by helping Peter in the garden. He had decided to dig up some old concrete from when Ellie had a swing in the garden. It was great fun helping him, even if I did get under his feet a bit:-)

digging up concrete

It’s very big and heavy … getting there though

digging up concrete

Nearly there – just need to check to make sure there’s nothing in the way…

digging up concrete

And that’s it! Now I can nose around underneath:-)

We had a lovely weekend, thanks to all the family. After that, we headed home because we’d been away on our holidays before that (more on the holidays coming soon), and I was quite keen to make sure my home parks were still there and waiting for me.

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