Sunday, 2 July 2017

Redmarley d’Abitot, Gloucestershire – June 2017

Jackie with Oscar, Max and Muffin with Flora behind
Apparently it's my turn again, as this is an animal based one. Not sure how that works as I've done the last two but......

We left poor Sooty, who had just got used to coming into our bedroom promising we wouldn't be gone long, and arrived back at Richard and Judith's, our second home from home to a rapturous welcome from all four dogs and Charlie cat keen to show off her huge scar, apparently a liver herniated through the diaphragm doesn't make you feel very well! So a huge operation and some gentle recuperation later, is she the most expensive cat in Gloucestershire? Judith thought so, but was challenged at the vets by a man whose cat had been in a car accident! Though I guess when you take into account, her car accident, getting lost in the woods for four days after trying to go on the dogs walk, and the poisoning incident earlier this year (which we haven't actually had the story of) she may well be, not to mention running short on lives!

Oscar making himself comfortable
Muffin gets covered in earth that Flora has kicked up
After a bit of catching up we left Judith to it while we went with Richard to walk the dogs, he's always found a new path and it's always good to practice our recall skills, though this is something we've found a bit tricky when going out with any dogs and their owners as it's not till proper 'Top Dog' has gone that we have any chance of establishing ourselves as 'Top Dog'. We are keen to let the dogs off their leads as they enjoy their walk so much more, but are aware that the woods are used by lots of people not all of whom are pleased to have four big dogs barrelling up to them and their dog. Our technique is twofold, we never go the same way twice as this keeps the dogs on their toes so they don't know which way we will be going at a junction so they have to wait for us. We also try to put them on their leads before we burst out of the woods onto the main paths as visibility can be limited at these points. This encourages them to come back when called and because we do it regularly and then let them off again they don't mind. Dog walking has taken a large part of this week, but at least an average of 8km a day has stopped B moaning about going walking for a short while!

Jackie gets a bit of love from Fred
After preparing the dogs BARF, bones and raw food, dinner. Chicken and mince, amongst other things everyday means the dogs eat pretty well, we were finally at liberty to sit and talk with Judith and Richard, always a joy, there just is never enough time. J&R left bright and early the following morning after B went for another walk and I did another dog meal. 

To this point cats had not been much in evidence, only really Charlie who had to be kept a close eye on to make sure she didn't wander too far, and Molly who doesn't go out. It was great to see little Lottie who lives on the car roof in the garage, and Fred shouting, as he came out of the undergrowth, for lots of fuss. Ginger also appeared at some point so we had a full house, hurrah.

We were hoping not to have the ridiculously high temperatures we had last week and have had for the past two years when we have been here, as it makes dog walking very difficult, though I guess it does slow them down! We were not disappointed, just a bit too much rain, but that's not the end of the world, though wet pants while walking through chest high bracken is not necessarily what you want.

I'm sitting here watching the swallows swoop in to the balcony to feed their three young, though it is worrying how often they crash into the window. There is also a shop bought woven nest hanging up that seems to be inhabited by a wren, who I have just seen fly in with a grub in its beak, so hopefully we'll get updated on all the progress.

Charlie cat helps with the jig saw
One thing we have to be careful of when going out with the dogs is that Charlie doesn't come too, as her little legs just can't keep up, so the catflap has to be locked and she has to be located. Yesterday afternoon we struggled until I saw two back paws under our car, though not for long as she went up into the engine, to be seen behind the radiator grill! We'll have to thoroughly check the car as we leave!

So a very relaxing week comes to a close, we've done a jigsaw, with Charlie's help and made good progress on the TEFL course. We loved and fussed and been loved and fussed by nine animals and we are just waiting a text to say R&J are boarding their plane so we can head off to Birmingham to a BBQ.

Charlie snuggling up to Max
Now this guy knows how to relax!

The squirrel they chased up the tree has their full attention

Ginger cat (Fred's sister) gets a bit of fuss

Little Charlie cat fast asleep and showing off her huge scar

Charlie cat attends to Floras every need

Oscar doesn't mind who he goes to sleep on

1 comment:

  1. Great to see all the cat and dog pics. Hope you are enjoying the not too hot weather.
    Looking forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks times xx
    Love Ian, Helen and Monty