Saturday, July 31, 2010
So, I went to London and saw a few dogs. Remarkably few, for such a big city, I thought.
Then I went to Cambridge, a smaller city, and saw a few more dogs.
But when I hiked the Lake District, I saw dogs everywhere I turned. And, being a dog lover, I couldn't help but snap their photos.
Every. Single. Time.
So, here is my unscientific, highly personal, ridiculously thorough compendium of Every Single Dog in the Lake District.
Canine-tracking scientists will thank me, I'm sure. The rest of you? Well, I just hope you enjoy the photos....
A West Highland terrier, a.k.a. "Westie," taking tea in style:
Two Foxhounds and a Border Collie, out on a lark by the lake:
Hiking through a meadow:
Dealing with a stile, Dalmatian style:
Leading the hike:
Border Collie, who don't need no stinkin' water dish:
This collie (above and below) is a working dog who belongs to "Farmer Brian." (More on Farmer Brian later, I promise. Visiting his farm was fascinating):
Westie on High Alert:
"Baz," a wolfhound, was one of TWO that I saw in Keswick:
This guy was totally obsessive about getting somebody to throw his ball:
This is "Sid," a four-year-old Corgi mix, rescued in November 2009. His owners (one of them is blind), say he is a dear:
Border Terrier. We saw a lot of these funny-looking little guys:
I can't see an English Bull Terrier without thinking of Bill Sykes' dog" in the 1968 movie "Oliver":
This is "Paddy," a black Lab who gallumphed up to the top of Loughrigg Fell (elevation 1,099 feet) right behind us. He's enjoying the view from the top:
This is his buddy, "Angus," a Jack Russell terrier who bounded up to the top with even more enthusiasm. He had so much leftover energy upon reaching the summit that I couldn't get a good photo. So his owner kindly picked him up and held him still for me:
BTW, Paddy has a great "smile," which he flashes on command. Hysterical!:
Deep into the Lake District's countryside, where sheep outnumber people eleventygajillion to one, most of the dogs are Border Collies, and most of them are working dogs:
The collies (above photo and below) had just put in a full morning's work, rounding up sheep on the hillside and bringing them down to the farmer in the green gumboots. He took the dogs down to the stream running through his property and let them have a well-deserved dip to cool off:
And they took care of other things as well:
(If you'd like to see these wonderful dogs in action, there are lots of videos of them on YouTube and the videos section of Google. Just type in "English National Trials sheep" or some such thing. I've linked one video here if you want to take a look.)
Working dogs wouldn't be caught dead in a raincoat, of course. But if you're the family pooch in a wet area like the Lake District, a raincoat is de rigeur. I love how this little fellow rocks a raincoat that matched his owner's:
This German Shepherd is sort of a working dog. His owner works for The National Trust, which works to preserve the coastline, countryside, and historic buildings of England. He and his owner were situated just outside the entrance to some National Trust lands. The dog was an attention-getter, and people stopped to talk to the man, learn more about protecting the land, and maybe drop a coin or a bill into the Trust collection can:
This is "Katie," a retired working Border Collie. Her senior-citizen owner hollered at her, "Come on, Katie," come ON!," then turned to us and muttered, "Almost blind and deaf as a post. She's no good for work anymore." We responded with something sympathetic, and he shuffled off, muttering, "We'll all get old like her, someday." Poor Katie! I hope you don't always get yelled at just for being old.
I saw this book in the teensy town of Patterdale. The shop lady told me this breed is small and compact, not much bigger than a pug. I was eager to see one in the flesh:
And I thought I spotted a Patterdale when I saw this little lady outside a pub. But her owner said no, she's just a very small Staffordshire mix:
Everywhere we hiked, dogs seemed to relish being out in the rain or mist, on trails that were muddy or slick. So long as they were going somewhere, they were happy:
And then there was "Chilli," a resident at a lovely guest manor where we stopped for sandwiches and tea. Chilli was a very busy Jack Russell terrier, whose main job was to look cute and greet guests:
A job she obviously took very seriously:
Chilli was a thorough professional:
She and I bonded over sandwiches and tea. We really had a hard time saying goodbye to each other:
But then on a cold, windy ferry ride, I met "Max," a chihuahua whose young-mother owner was on holiday with the kids, so Grandpa was dog-sitting. Both gentlemen were delightful, and I spent the whole boat ride talking with them:
My unscientific survey revealed that, along with sheepdogs, the Lake District has a fair number of hunting dogs. This is "Dice," who sported a nifty harness with built-in blinky light so you could see him in dim conditions or when he's bounding through the reeds at water's edge:
A lot of dogs I saw remain anonymous to me because I could only grab a snap or two before they went off. But they were funny and adorable, nonetheless:
This is "Millie," a Border Collie on holiday with her owner. Due to a car accident when she was a pup, Millie never worked as a sheepdog, but has spent her life as a family pet:
I saw these service dogs at a train station in Penrith. They didn't have special ID tags or vests, but their owners were both blind:
I found this couple enjoying a sunny day outside a pub in Penrith. Love the contrast between the girly looks of the Cavalier King Charles spaniel and the very tough look of his/her owner:
I met this friendly pooch near a huge waterfall called "Aira Force" ("force" is the Viking word for "waterfall"). When I reached out my hand to pet him...
I got a very muddy "handshake" instead! Oh, well:
"Prince," a 10-month-old Pug, was also enjoying the falls:
and clambering over every boulder he could find:
More Border Terriers! They were probably the third-most numerous dog in the Lake District, after Border Collies (a runaway first) and Jack Russell terriers:
The English love their dogs so much they're allowed in pubs, like this big boy I met:
But sometimes they have to toe the line:
Okay, these last photos aren't Lake District dogs. Strictly speaking, they're not dogs at all. I saw them for sale in Harrod's department store in London. And let's just say, even for a dog lover, there are some dogs that are NOT cute:
Super-scary, is more like it:
Yee-IKES! It's enough to make me run for the hills:
And more on that subject, later: