Hello to all my loyal followers and friends. I suddenly realised it has been at least two months since I last blogged, so I thought it was about time to bring you up-to-date on our goings on.
Firstly, in what is becoming more and more of a fading memory, we had a lovely holiday last month in Norfolk. We've never taken the Hounds to that part of the country before but we will certainly be going back. Talk about a Dog's Paradise! I couldn't quite believe just how dog-friendly and accommodating everywhere was…..shops, cafes, pubs, historic buildings, museums and of course the Hounds absolutely loved the miles and miles of extensive sandy beaches. My only criticism………it's a bit windy! Then I guess Norfolk is flat so that would explain it! Having said that, apart from the wind, we were extremely lucky with the weather as the forecast the week before we went didn't look too clever.
We broke with tradition and had a two-storey cottage with a stair gate so the Hounds could not go up to the bedrooms. This was in our vain attempt at getting a good night's sleep as before on holiday, that has never happened! So,first night we tuck them up in bed and off we go upstairs. Literally within three minutes one of the Hounds is up and whining at the gate. We may have three dogs but they all have their own unique sound and it was undoubtedly the bed burglar Peach. Then we played the game of "who will give in first" and I knew it wasn't going to be me so I continued to ignore her pleas thinking, she'll get fed up soon. Nope, she continued for what felt like hours but in actual fact it was probably only about an hour. You know when you're tired and in desperate need of sleep, you have that thing where everything seems much worse than it actually is? Yeah, I had that! In amidst her constant cries and whines with the odd bark or two thrown in for good measure, I was suddenly transported back eight years ago to when we first bought her home as a puppy. She cried and cried all night (I remember it well!). I must admit that's the one thing I would dread with a puppy again. It is incredibly difficult not to just give in to the cries for the sake of getting some sleep but of course, there's no going back with a dog. Once you do something once, they expect you to do it every single time. Needless to say, she was not on our favourite dog list the following day but I'm happy to say, she didn't do it again for the rest of the holiday although they were all probably so knackered from being dragged around here, there and everywhere and back again, I swear they could have slept for England after the first day!
One of our last trips was a true gem. We went on a fishing boat trip from Blakeney Harbour out to Blakeney Point seal spotting. It was approximately an hour's trip on the boat and back and we saw loads of seals which was fantastic. The Captain of the boat was very impressed at the Hounds' behaviour. The only difficulty is that they clearly allow a certain amount of space per person on the boat not allowing for the fact that one Basset Hound who decides to lay out stretched can take up the space of three humans! Plus of course, multiply that by three and you see the problem. The young couple that sat next to us on the boat were rather taken with our white-faced old gentleman Buddy-Love who was leading the charge in stretching out on the floor of the boat as far as he could! During a conversation with them, I noticed that Buddy had left a rather large slobber on the man's knee and he had shorts on! His wife was laughing and took out a tissue to wipe it off. Obviously, this hadn't phased her at all but I'm not so sure about her husband! Trust Buddy!
Talking of them taking up space, this is always my problem now when I book us a table somewhere to eat and again, we did come across this issue while we were away. You call somewhere, like a pub and ask to book a table for two and despite telling them you also have three large dogs, you arrive to find they've given you the smallest table possible in the middle of the walkway through the said pub or restaurant. Now of course, if it were just two adults, it would be fine but add three long Hounds to that and we're taking up the floor space of a table of eight! I'm always so tempted to book a table for four and then when we arrive just say the other couple couldn't make it!
Anyway, enough of holidays, it seems like an age ago but is only a month. However, in that month, we have started to see (or not see) just how dark it is in the mornings. The alarm goes off and I swear it must still be the middle of the night as I'm struggling to see my hand across my face. We're veering more and more dangerously towards the boiler thermostat but apart from having a slight chill when you get out of the shower in the morning, it's really not cold enough to put the heating on yet. The thermostat is still showing 17 degrees in the middle of the day! I will resist as long as possible from putting the heating on because the Winter just seems way too long as it is. In a couple of weeks, it will be dark in the mornings and dark by 4pm. This is my least favourite time of the year and I will be stocking up on plenty of vitamin D for those dark dank months.
After a few stressful months fretting about the proposed changes by the Council to reduce the number of dogs allowed to be walked by one person down to four instead of the current six, I was hugely relieved and pleased to hear the other night that they had decided not to change it. It was causing me a lot of worry not just because of my lovely customer's dogs but my own. They have been used to coming out with me in their little groups in the middle of the day every day for the last ten years so it was going to be extremely difficult for me to have to leave them at home. This has however made me think about slightly changing my walkies offerings and I'm thinking of introducing some new and updated walking services in the next few months……watch this space!
Grooming has been as busy as ever and as we race towards the end of the year, you can imagine that space in my grooming diary is at a premium now. I only have a couple of appointments free during mid November and early December and will not be booking any new clients in now before January.
My little grooming salon is also having a much needed makeover. After ten years I decided it is time for a change. Of course in my true style, I think about changing one little thing, that leads to another thing, to another thing, to another thing. So I'll just say it's a work-in-progress but I hope that by the start of next year, it will all be complete and clean and fresh. Meanwhile, I will apologise in advance to my visitors about its appearance at the moment, it isn't done yet but will be worth it in the end!
October is more affectionately becoming known as Cat-ober as I've had several kitty visits to carry out in the last couple of weeks and still a few more to come.
Also, it's the time of year for the annual pet insurance renewal. I was staggered to see an almost 100% increase in last year's premiums despite the fact I haven't claimed at all in the last year. Upon phoning the company who shall not be named but does have a dog as their marketing ploy………..oh yesss….I was told that my premiums were lower last year because I was a new customer. So it appears sadly, there is no appreciation of loyalty these days. The size of the premiums each month are so prohibitive, as much as I don't like to take the risk with aging dogs who are more likely to require Vet intervention, I am left with no choice but to take the chance by saving the cost of the premiums and stashing it into a savings account for the year marked "Vet Fund" and keeping all fingers and paws crossed that I am not going to need it before it's had a chance to build up.
So with that in mind, I think that is pretty much just about it for now. Thank you for your continued support. I do hope you enjoy reading about all our adventures. Until next time...…..
Much love Sally xxx
P.S. - Buddy-Love has just reminded me that he celebrated another Gotcha Day on the 4th October. We didn't think he would still be here but in true Buddy style, he's defying everything and everybody. Who knew that that day in 2008 would be such a life changer for me when my little boy came home to stay.