Weeks 17 - 19
Rhodes Minnis Caravan Rally
Sunday 6th September 2009
I had my walk around the block and fetched the newspapers this morning as usual, except Gill came too. Then a little scrambled egg on toast for breakfast and about 11.00am it was ĎWagons Rollí and off we went with the car and caravan. I was in my big cage equipped with food and water because this was a long journey, 133 miles to Rhodes Minnis near Canterbury. We stopped for a comfort break on the M20 and I had a walk and lunch and then off we went again. I was pleased to get out and have a run around when we arrived on the field. Mick and Dorothy arrived with their caravan and later on I went to visit them and left mum to do the jobs.
After lunch people started to arrive with their caravans and they all had to be greeted and sited. At 4.00pm they all came for tea and cake and talked about how much I had grown, but how I was still cute. I can jump on the caravan bunks now, but am not quite brave enough to jump from one to another.
I made a new friend, Snowy who is on the small caravan site next to our field. He is a Bijon Frise, six years old, but smaller than me and he is soft like cotton wool.
We went out in the car and mum said first to see the sea gets sixpence. I didnít know what the sea was, so could not possibly win, how unfair was that!
We stopped at several seaside places today and eventually found a beach where we could have a paddle. I thought the waves were a bit frightening to start with, but chasing pebbles and digging on the beach was pretty good fun. We also went to look at the old lighthouse at Dungeness and we had a walk there. I gave it three out of five for interest as there were a lot of rabbit holes.
Tuesday bedtime and I was not put in my playpen, this was called Ďan experimentí. I walked up and down the caravan and at 2.00am got mum out of bed and in the field and after that I refused to go back in my bed. Her bed is so much warmer than mine and I like to snuggle up to her, so that is where I went and that is where I stayed.
I hear Ďthe experimentí will not be repeated because mum is a bit tired today.
Yesterday Gill bought me a flashing light that goes on my harness when I go out in the dark. What a pesky thing. It flashes red and blue and a chap cannot go about his business in private.
This afternoon we went for a walk on top of the White Cliffs at Dover. There was a lot to see and learn and I sat and watched the ferries coming in and out of the harbour and the lorries loading and unloading. A lot of people spoke to me on our walk, some thought I was an old dog because I was concentrating so hard, but I know that if I am going to learn about the world I have to sit and watch. We went to the visitor centre and had an ice cream before we drove home.
I was left with Mick and Dorothy today because mum and Gill went to Dover Castle. They really enjoyed the castle, the way the holograms of people told parts of the medieval story, and they also went down into the secret war tunnels. I donít understand how mum knew where they were, or how she got in if they are secret, something else to ponder on.
Hung around all day waiting for more caravans to arrive. Sited them all and the circle of caravans is now complete, so weíll be alright if the Red Indians come. This evening we walked along the lane and inspected the village hall. I was relieved when the man who gave us the keys said that dogs were allowed in.
In the morning we made two large bowls of tiramisu, and then we took them and the raffle prizes and loads more things to the hall ready for the AGM. After lunch I stayed with Gill while mum went to the AGM and then we walked down to meet her. The horses have made rather a mess in the lane and I am not too popular when I pick it up.
I had to sit in my cage in the car on Saturday evening and so I missed the main course and the wonderful puddings, but mum saved me a few chips and I did get to try a couple of pieces of her cheese. We won two raffle prizes but mum and Gill picked red wine and chocolates, one I donít like and one Iím not allowed.
I stayed with Ann and Frank while most people went to the Lord Whisky for lunch. My tea was roast beef, carrots and potatoes which was probably the scrummiest tea I have ever had, so thank goodness Thelma couldnít eat all her dinner and I got the doggy bag, not Freddie!
Monday 14th September
I am four months old today and I am told new grown-up rules apply, i.e. no biting.
I have had a dry pad four mornings running and slept through until 6.00am, and as I am a boy I can only concentrate on one thing at a time, so the no biting will have to wait.
Asparagus for lunch today Ė a birthday treat, I would have preferred a little more butter, but it was OK. Tea was ox liver gently poached in gravy and that was an improvement on the usual chicken.
4 month birthday
Teddy came to visit Ann and Frank today and we had a jump around. He is a Labradoodle and huge compared to me, but I was not a bit frightened of him and we had a really good time. I hope Freddie, the snooty Lhasa who is four years old tomorrow and who has finally managed to grow his long fur coat was watching.
Brian had a bit of a problem on the way here when a tyre burst on his caravan and damaged it underneath. He decided to buy two new tyres today, but he forgot to mention Tyrons to the garage, so he had to cycle back to Canterbury with no mudguards on his bike in wet and windy weather, while Barbara had a rest in the caravan. Itís past 5.00pm and we are still waiting for him to return. I could carry the brandy barrel if we mount a rescue mission.
Tuesday 15th September
Today we went to Sandwich and had a walk around the town and along the river. Nice town with a lot of ducks. Ann and Frank came for Tartiflette tonight which smelled absolutely delicious. I only got the smell as not a morsel passed my lips and my tea was chicken yet again.
Ducks at Sandwich
We said goodbye to several of our ralliers today and to some, said Ďsee you next yearí. Surely we are not stopping caravanning until next year. Iím just getting the hang of it and I love it, so I must point out to mum that it would be beneficial to go all year round. All the walks are good for her health, I share any ice creams she has thus helping with her diet and I keep her warm in the mornings when I jump in her bed.
In charge of the field
Capel le Ferne was the first stop today to see the Battle of Britain Memorial, followed by a walk on the cliff edge. This was nearly a walk over the cliff edge as I got slightly too enthusiastic, good job I was on a tight lead.
Battle of Britain memorial
Next stop Samphire Hoe, a new piece of land created from the Chunnel diggings. It was extremely windy today and I chased a reel of cotton along the sea wall. The fishermen on the Hoe had caught nothing, no more fish in the sea they said as they packed up. I hope they are wrong as I am partial to a sardine or two and occasionally a piece of salmon.
Then off to Deal and Walmer where we admired the castles. I was amazed that Henry VIII had time to build castles when he had so many wives to look after. I had a paddle in the sea at Hythe, having decided that swimming in cold salt water is a bit over-rated. Whoever said it was good for your health has not been here on a windy day.
We went west today along the coast road and had lunch out. That sounds quite posh, but actually it was fish and chips out of the wrapping sat in the car at New Romney. Then we went north to Ashford and through Appledore. What a lovely village this is and we are booking a rally here in 2011. We passed a really busy pub and a tea room, so I will look forward to a return visit.
I was a bit strange today when we got home, biting everyone and really frantic. Mum thinks that it may be food colouring as I had a fishcake from the fish and chip shop for lunch.
Terry and Wendy came over tonight and everyone talked about running a rally at New Year 2010/11. I listened very carefully, and worryingly not once was my name mentioned.
A hectic morning today, lots of clearing up and cleaning up. When everything was packed away we went to the Battle of Britain museum. All I saw was a few Nissen huts, but mum returned with a few purchases that she wanted for her WWII stuff she does.
A good romp with Finlay this evening and thatís it, rally over and home tomorrow.
Last off the field at just after 10.00am, so a good start to our journey. A slight detour to drop Gill at Harlow, as she is working for her charity at St Jamesí Palace for the next two days. We were at Harlow before lunch time so I got to eat her corned beef sandwiches. Then home and unpack. I really enjoyed some time in the garden having a look at everything again. It was all exactly as I left it. Whilst I was out there I suddenly picked up a scent and I knew Helen and Ed had come to see me, so a great rough game with Ed.
Checking the garden On patrol in the garden
Here we go again, everything washed, a chap darenít stand still today in case he ends up in the washing machine.
Are the spring bulbs growing yet? Oh, yes they are.
No sooner was I up this morning than my beds, blanket, Boris and Fido were in the wash. Then I spot them hanging from the line and jump as I might I could not reach them.
Off in the car, pick up Helen and off to Market Harborough to the butchers. After more than twenty years Helen has started eating meat again, so mum took her to our butchers. On the way home the two women went shoe shopping, Iím not sure why as mum has so many shoes they fall out of the wardrobe . What torture for a chap to be left in the car with great big bags of meat. So near, but oh so far. I got a taste of pork scratchings when we got home, but the main purchases disappeared into the freezer.
My big cage has moved from the car to the kitchen and the playpen has been folded up. I was put to bed in the cage tonight and was not happy about it.
Did my impression of an Andrex puppy with the toilet roll in mumís bathroom this morning. It runs quite well, but unfortunately the bedroom door was closed and so I could not get down the stairs with it. When she is in the shower there is usually something lying around that you can amuse yourself chewing, but there was nothing this morning hence the toilet roll run.
Iím pretty good at snatching the socks off her feet when she is trying to put them on and she says that I make getting dressed really hard work. Itís just nice to have fun and make her laugh.
Mum was busy this morning, puppy proofing the kitchen she called it. Then she went out shopping and left me with the run of it. I got in my cage after a while and had a snooze and she was back before I woke up.
This afternoon I went out in the car and sat on my bed on the front seat with my harness attached to the seat belt. Thatís OK for a short journey but I have no water and canít move around much. We went to the dog shop where we get supplies and I watched the rabbits. Their ears are longer than mine, but all they did was kind of twitch their noses, so I selected some food and then we went home.
We were out really early this morning for our walk to the river and I lost count how many dogs we saw. Once I ran out of front claws I gave up trying, but I had a really good time as most stopped to say good morning. There were two Bassetts, two German Shepherds, Smudge the Scottie dog, a collie, a Beagle, five Ďnot sure what they wereí, and my friend Amber the spaniel who I love to bits.
The caravan was re-packed today after mum finished ironing everything. Looks promising.
Paul came to see us on his motorbike today, he called me a scruffy little chap. How dare he, but I didnít argue because he is very tall and I donít know him very well yet. Then Helen and Ed came round to show off their new car. I was left behind and they all went out to dinner. By some strange error I found that I had the run of the house all night. It was good, no time to sleep. Too many things to do.
Slept most of the day apart from when I had a game with Ed. I got some new treats from Helen today. These are for training me to do tricks. Carla got me to turn round when Helen took me to visit her the other day and so they think Iím going to do it again. Mum is teaching me High Five and Ed is asking for a paw. It is hard work today just to get a piece of chew.
Got my first letter in the post today from my godmother. It was a postcard which said ĎI know Iím gorgeous, but please donít stareí.
Mum not too impressed with my performance last night, so kept a low profile most of the day. Tonight I have been shut in the kitchen but not inside the cage.
The postcard is right, I am gorgeous
A lovely sunny day and an early start down to the river. Hardly anyone around today. Had a wee on the kitchen floor last night, so I expect Iíll be back in the cage tonight.
Mum washed and vacuumed the floors this morning which woke me up from my nap on the settee in the conservatory, I think she could have waited a bit before making all that noise.
Never mind digging up Anglo Saxon gold I also found some treasure today and I did not use a metal detector, just my nose. After much digging and struggling I managed to retrieve the oldest dirtiest scruffiest tennis ball from under the pampas grass. Mum said it might have been worth taking to the antiques road-show until I stripped off the outer covering and it fell apart.
Saw a photo of one of my sisters today. Her name is Kyla and she is much smaller than me, but she does look like me. I have a slight concern that our mums are talking to each other, and Annette our breeder, about our behaviour. This can only mean trouble, or worse, reduced rations. Kyla has been camping and she was cold so got a jumper to wear. My godmother offered to knit me a jumper when it turned cold at Canterbury last week, but mum said she didnít think I would wear it.
Yep, I was right, back in the cage tonight.
My Sister Kyla in her jumper
Mum was up before I yelled this morning and I had a dry pad at 6.45am. We were off to the river before 7.30am and there were not too many people around. We did bump into Dave on the way home. He comes caravanning sometimes and they are off to Stafford next week. Heís not well and is on steroids for a throat problem. I think they are making him a bit grumpy as he did not want to talk to me at all.
Gill rang today and a discussion ensued about a knitted jumper for me. I was measured several times and I could hear Gillís voice coming out of a little black box but I couldnít see her. I am telling you now that I am only going to wear this thing in public if it is my colour, otherwise I will only wear it in bed as pyjamas for the caravan, does everyone understand that?
We had a nice walk off the lead by the river today and I behaved impeccably. This was mainly because there were some rather large dogs around and I thought it prudent to stay close to mum in case of trouble.
I had pasta with spinach and ricotta for breakfast with some roasted vegetables which was rather tasty. Lunch was the normal boiled chicken. We went out for a short walk following my afternoon nap and picked up mumís newspaper, and then went looking for conkers. There is a rumour that a bowl of these in every room stops spiders and moths setting up home so we are going to try it. If it cuts down on the time spent cleaning and gives us more time for games then Iím all for it.
Wednesday 30th September
On my last patrol of the garden last night I heard a rustling in the pampas grass and Hector the hedgehog emerged. I was just getting up close and personal when mum picked me up and took me indoors. Today Iíd had the stuff squeezed on my neck so I donít get fleas and things, so I thought a conversation with Hector would have been OK, but mum thinks she knows best, and so it was not to be.
I had a long spell off the lead this morning and I was tempted to have a dip in the river, but in the end decided that there was no easy access, so weíll put that adventure on hold for another day.
If mum gets out of her chair in the evenings, I move fast and get in it. Then we have a game when she wants to sit down again. Sometimes she sits in another chair, so then I move because I like to sit on her lap. She always wants to read the paper and do the crossword in the evenings which I think is a bit boring, so I walk all over her and chew the paper until she gives up.
I hear that my pyjamas are being made and they are maroon. Will that go with my titian highlights, I donít think so.
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