deep depression had set in. Not with the weather as that
was depressing enough but in the House on the Hill. The
Dearest One was depressed, the Spins were depressed and
even the parrot was fed up, but then he’s three
parts mad anyway and I swear that bird has seen too much
television and got delusions of grandeur. But the parrot
was only fed up because he had ran out of fresh peas that
he gets as a treat – the ones in the pod…….he
him is a work of art
picks up a pod with his foot, cracks open one end with
his beak and proceeds from that open end to take out a
pea and munch away on it. When he’s finished that
one he returns to the pod held by his foot and carefully
takes out the next one down. He never flinches, loses
balance or concentration in maintaining a perfect balance
of beak, foot and eating.
like that with my wallet!!!
rather, I was like that with my wallet, and so
now I’m depressed as well. The only one of us who
was not depressed was the Viz?? Now the Viz, in my opinion
has the equivalent of just simply being utterly strange
in an eccentric kind of way. As you may have noted in
previous notes he goes out to strut his stuff in the garden
and around the woods and for reasons only known to him
he starts digging. He can be out for hours and we never
really worry about him. He never goes far away. When we
call him in he of course ignores us, it’s not that
he is deaf or has selective hearing but simply he is so
focused on his digging he just blots the rest of the world
out. So what’s he digging for?? God knows………..moles,
badgers, rabbits, foxes, bones?? We don’t know.
Never have……..and as I write this, he’s
out there now……digging.
was going to bury my wallet, but you know who will only
dig it up and bring it back to me. With a big smirk on
his face no doubt – The Viz
what is the reason for all this depression I hear you
The Landy had a problem
• The fridge broke down and died
• The boy from France arrived from the South of
• I had a vet bill
affected the Spins of course because with the Landy out
of play for a few days they knew their runnies were out,
with the fridge broken the Spins had to eat all the liver
cake that was in there and they knew it was the last until
The Dearest One got a new fridge and then made more liver
cake. Still, it was good while it lasted.
‘boy’ from France is of course Claude Barbet
who as some of you know is the new addition to the Awelymor
And with Claude now on the daily register – this
meant a vet bill
course the Dearest One worked hard at being upbeat?
she declared one morning over a cup of tea and toast “It’s
not so bad is it”?
get the Landy back fully restored back to life, we can
buy a new fridge freezer and I will utilize the space
better and it’s more economical to have a fridge
freezer and the vet bill won’t be too bad”.
Freya won’t start her training for some time yet”??
training”?? I asked innocently
dog training, she is perfect for it and you can take her
out with you when she is fully qualified”
you think we should discuss this as it will cost…….ME”
have just discussed it”
that was that!!!
few days later we got the Landy back. The Spins cheered
up. The Dearest One cheered up, the sun came out and all
was well again……Hoorah
few days after that we discovered the Landy wasn’t
quite what it was?? The Spins went back to being depressed.
So did I and so did the Dearest One
Land Rover at 33 months old took a serious turn for the
worse. Very serious in fact.
the last 10 years this is the first time we had actually
contemplated making this our last Land Rover. We bought
the Landy from new and I make no secret of the fact that
our biggest disappointment was the complete lack of support
from Land Rover themselves. Although still under warranty
they did little to nothing, and over a couple of months
I got the Landy fixed and bought back from the dead.
we live requires a four wheel drive and this is very essential
in the winter. We now contemplated life without a Land
Rover. DEPRESSED we were………….
Land Rover has gone. And personally I have no regrets
at all. None. Not over the Landy, we both regret having
to give that up. But the none existence of support we
never got from Land Rover themselves – and trust
me, I tried.
with me travelling so much I cannot allow the Dearest
One to be without reliable transport, it is something
that is absolutely crucial to ensure she has reliable
so over a period of weeks we reviewed all sorts of replacements.
Neither of us knows anything about cars having never had
one in many many years. But the hunt was on. Finally,
the Dearest One having gone through this review of new
suitable cars road tested a new Subaru Outback and loved
favourite bits were the car check. Boot space rear seats
up. Boot space rear seats down.
many Spins could she get in? Would a dog cage fit? Could
she get all the dog food in it?
Would the hay bales fit for the horse? And the list went
all that, the test drive became somewhat academic!! It
worked, it was comfortable and had lots of toys that she
has no idea how to use.
wallet was extracted from my pocket and like the parrot
I carefully opened it and pealed open the part containing
a five pound note. The Dearest One doesn’t let me
have more than that and so it was slightly embarrassing
when I gave the nice man at Subaru the five pound note
and asked for the change.
he explained to me that I might need a few more of them
to pay for the car. The Dearest One smiled at me………then
by her command I was packed off to the bank.
if it can take 5 Spins in comfort then clearly that’s
the one for us!!! “Priorities” She said to
me…..just before I passed out when I got the invoice
that’s it really in a pea pod…….We are
now the proud owners of a nice shiny new Subaru Outback.
and by the way?? With the rear seats down you really can
get 5 Spins in it. With the added bonus that with the
sun roof open (Oh yes, a new toy, the sun roof) they can
stick their heads out of it!! I can’t wait to get
a picture of that……..
came the fridge freezer………..
Claude I discovered, did not come free with a bottle of
Moet & Chandon!!
then the vets bill……….
the fuel bill for the day’s gun dog training for
was so happy
Dearest One had arranged to attend a sort of beginner’s
gun dog training for the day somewhere far, far away in
deepest England. As this was also involving her ‘Buddies’
then it was of course a night out in order advantage could
be taken of the full days training ahead.
The Subaru got its first full long range run out
• Freya has now started her gun dog training
• The Dearest One has a new interest
• The Banker has a new expense – oh joy of
is next on the agenda for the same training but that’s
closer to home because he’s a water dog. His training
starts from the end of June and will be developed as he
matures, although living with the Spins and us I doubt
he will ever mature
know what I’ve never fully understood ‘that’
heading? Water dog
here we go with:
will set the scene!!!
ISCGB (Italian Spinone Club of Great Britain) just for
those struggling to work out the hieroglyphics!! Had organised
a day of gun dog training out in the wilds of England
The Dearest One and her friends decided to enter their
respective Spins for this day out for the intellectually
was our choice for this because she is dependable and
reliable (there is a gun to my head you should know –
and I had to write that) and has shown an instinct for
what it says on the tin – Gun Dog.
a luxurious drive to Sharon’s emporium of dreams
where the Dearest One spent the evening, the following
morning saw them up and out early to get to the best parking
space!! The friendly and eccentric and quite laid back
but highly alert and exquisitely dressed car park attendant
Mick Brind, duly huffed and puffed at things like “Stick
that heap over there somewhere” and so the Subaru
was neatly parked up and the heap went over there!!
followed the courteous hello’s to all the known
friends there from the Spin world – including………drum
Doctor’s Tardis had landed near to the event and
he was obviously there to train his Spin as well. The
sign said so (Spinone Test) and by implication it followed
suit that this was where the training was to be held –
the Tardis is bigger than you think
course it goes without saying that when you have friends
like the Dearest Ones then one thing is for certain…..not
everything is taken seriously and much hilarity and some
good laughs followed them all over and throughout the
Sally, Annette and Bruce all added to the comedy club
of Great Britain gun dog day. And there would be no escaping
‘those’ moments because Linda Maine and camera
was there as well to capture those precious joyful events!!
came along to make up the capacity crowd which at one
point numbered about 3…….
horror of horrors!!!
was of course advertised as a gun dog day and so loads
of gun dogs were there. The Spins were separated out away
from the rest of the pack. Well, you would wouldn’t
don’t do other dogs because you’re either
a Spin or you’re just a dog……Except
Claude of course…..!!! (That gun at head moment
and by the way? Look at the dress code (SHARON) –
note: Not a pink pair of wellies in site. Good grief,
don’t you ever come to our house and bring that
pink footwear with you. You will be shot and retrieved
by your own Spin if you do!!
was a special beginner’s class for the newcomers!!
It was obvious where Freya now dragged the Dearest One.
Freya works on instinct and the Dearest One only works
with 8 million volts running through her and therefore
it now became clear that the training was NOT for the
dogs but for the dummies they had with them!!
all started so well? No one knew what they were doing
of course and this was clear when the training session
was all about obedience on the lead. Freya now swopped
places and put the Dearest One on the lead to train her
in being obedient out in the field. I’ve never been
able to do that in the past and will take tips from Freya
when I see her again.
course it’s early days and there were some good
moments and many more that weren’t. Patience and
perseverance Freya……keep at it girl and the
Dearest One will get it eventually, make sure she gets
a sip of tea as a treat when she does well!! Works for
gave the instruction that all bitches must be on a lead….yea
I know you’re ahead of me here so I don’t
need to write the obvious as she was already on her lead!!
(I think I just heard the safety catch released)
course with all that space around them the bitches, er……sorry
the dogs, in this case Freya and Angel, were not keen
on being held back so there was a slight resistance to
bimbling about on a lead. BUT, one whistle for sit is
the usual, the norm as it were. And with both dogs frustrated
at not knowing what one whistle meant they were duly encouraged
into position by a friendly hand – pushing down
to ensure the sitting position was established. But it
first field test was quartering – left to right
and right to left for retrieve or flush. However!!
and so the Dearest One charged off across the field to
her right…….and stopped…..to poo
hang on a minute?
got my notes mixed up!! Let’s start this again
wasn’t the Dearest One as she was allegedly training
Freya…….ah……now this makes sense.
sending the dog left and right to retrieve, flush and
so on…….but Freya went out right and suddenly
then carried on out and when The Dearest One called her
back – she came back!! After the Doctor had revived
the Dearest One from her feinting fit when Freya turned
and came back all seemed to be going well (Oh God) .
off to the left she was sent – that’s Freya
of course. And this time did not come back as she cleared
off to see what the others were doing. After The Dearest
One lost her voice (Which I thought impossible) it was
the whistle that finally got Freya moving again –
but on her way back she stopped and poo’d again!!
But did come back!!!! And so it was for this session,
off to the right and poo……..then two steps
Who said it was adrenalin………..I personally
thought it was itsh, but what would I know!!
in all Freya was making the most of it and generally got
the idea, she did do a small retrieve. Oh rah rah went
the crowd – I can imagine it was like a jigsaw puzzle
in her head and over time all the pieces will come together….I
could say the same for the Dearest One as well, but this
is where the ‘pack’ came in? With all that
support from her friends and having to go through the
same thing then I’m sure that working together things
will be easier the next time out. No really, I’m
having a serious moment!!
break for lunch…..of course on a real shoot all
the game also stop for lunch!! Good grief
Sharon (She of the PINK Wellies) had taken a picnic –
the scene, English countryside, daisies and buttercups
swaying in the breeze. Gentle bird song, fluffy white
clouds and on the woollen blanket sat around a bottle
of red wine and cucumber sandwiches were The Witches of
Eastwick…….I’ve just ruined the moment
and of course the Spins. Well mannered and offering small
slices of cake to each of their owners before devouring
anything that was left.
over and its back to the training……..
was judging the Kennel Club’s Good Citizen Scheme
and I have to sadly report that all the owners failed
miserably, whilst the dogs got their Bronze awards
and stay being the biggest hurdle to overcome - Freya
they all passed?? HOW??
next to the starting pistol?
is the bit where the starting pistol is fired off and
the dummy thrown away from the dog, who then is sent to
pick it up and bring it back – if it can be bothered
to that is – Freya!!
awards for this one, and just as well
test covers two things:
Is the dog gun shy. Not really a good idea having a gun
shy gun dog. But they exist you know and
The dog should watch the dummy being thrown, watch where
it lands and then sent straight out to retrieve it or
not in Freya’s case. Between her where the dummy
landed was a telegraph pole that was far more interesting
to sniff round than some stupid dummy.
that was it then. Loads of goodbyes and all that type
of stuff and off they jolly well went.
Doctor Who? We won’t know will we………
from the odd country clothing the Spin owners wore (isn’t
it funny how at Crufts I noted all the Spin owners in
the ring hadn’t quite dressed for the occasion when
all the other gun dog owners had – even if most
of them didn’t know a gun from a packet of corn
flakes) and now out on a country gun dog day it was the
have duly instructed the Dearest One to set the standard
here……so watch out for best dressed country
gun dog owner at a training day near you soon!!!
that will be very soon as she is off to another one with
Freya – and Claude (and he’s French and he
knows how to dress)!!
Thank you Sharon for the B & B
for the patience and perseverance in getting that lot
to a bronze award
the effervescent and bubbly car park attendant
pair of pink boots
load of dummies
to Doctor Who and the Tardis
know The Dearest One had a great day out with loads of
from me, hope you all did and this set of notes brings
back a few of those laughs
YES…….I will of course be reporting on the
next gun dog training day which I am led to believe involves
care out there and watch out for the dummies…….
so the Kennel Club are using Gromit as their logo?? Interesting
behaved, very intelligent, loyal and reliable and gets
his owner out of all sorts of scrapes!!
be modeled on a Spin!!