Hoppalong Hideaway (part the first)

Miss Hoppy’s Tail


Heidi first came into my life when I was in much need of that unconditional love that only a dog can give.  She was six months old; I had just lost my Simcha (in every sense) – a sudden illness had taken my Blue merle boy sheltie unexpectedly from me.  I was lost without him and started searching for another dog – a large, blue boy sheltie was what I wanted; a replacement for the irreplaceable.   How I ended up with the ginger monster, the opposite of what I was looking for!

Whatever it was, it was not love at first sight; she was too red, too shy, too tiny and too, well, female. I wavered. It took a second trip across the Pennines for another view to convince me that this shy little girl was the one for me – well, she is undeniably cute.  And thus it was that almost exactly 6 years ago this noisy Yorkshire Lass entered my life.

At Christmas she pulled a ligament in her back leg and the vet said she had to rest; she was 9 months old. Yeah, you try telling a 9 month pup to rest up! Walks were very limited, restrained and short, building gradually up.  The ligament healed and everything seemed fine until a few months later she was chasing around in the park, squealed and stopped.  She had pulled it again and was in even greater pain.

I don’t know if you’ve tried to prevent a less-than-a-year-old pup from running and playing  – going for a walk, restrained was a frustrating time for her.

All was going well, the rest cure, drugs and the ligament healed in time and there was no sign of any return to the old injury,

Then came the fireworks.

The pyrotechnical ending of a local gig sent Heidi into such a panic that she actually hurt herself trying to escape from the noise. With November 5th approaching I decided on finding a dog-friendly rural retreat as far away from fireworks as possible.

heidi boo

Our first trip took us to an extremely dog-friendly B&B just outside Keswick, Low Nest Farm.  This was my first trip to the Lakes for many years.  I cannot think of any better pursuit than untroubled autumnal amblings with the dogs in the Lakes.  The autumn colours that year were exceptionally beautiful.  Low Nest was well placed outside of the town, so there was no danger of Heidi being disturbed by fireworks; there was a display in town at the weekend but that was far enough away for it not to be a problem.

Each day we would set off to find new ways of getting muddy. Most of the walks began from the farm and ended in a pub. I think I only used the car once during the whole week’s stay. Crossing the busy A591 from Low Nest we entered three very muddy fields whence we had a choice of turning left along a path by a stream that took us into town, turn left for Walla Crag or straight on for Great Wood and the lake.



Rosie – posing at Friar’s Crag, Derwentwater.

great wood path

Path through Great Wood

below walla crag

Below Walla Crag

Heidi 1



4 thoughts on “Hoppalong Hideaway (part the first)

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