“Happy birthday Smartie!” I said as I scooped him up in my arms, Saturday morning at 6am. He appeared to be hugging me back with his tail wagging rapidly, he circled me then ran down the stairs to mam and dad in the kitchen. I smiled to myself and went to get ready for the day ahead.
My mam, dad and I left for Cumbria Friday afternoon to a quaint three bed house in Maryport for Smartie’s birthday. The drive down was filled with good music, beautiful sunshine aaand Smartie sprawled across my legs… Snoring.
When we got to Cumbria, I noticed parts of the outsides of the houses were painted a bright colour. Intrigued, I did some googling to no success – if anyone knows why then I am all ears!
We arrived at Maryport at about 5:30pm, had tea and watched a film with some pre Smartie birthday cuddles. We sat closely around the fire listening to the wind hurtle through the street, there is something ever so calming about being warm indoors, away from it all. Safe and secure.
That night I slept soundly, and it’s a good thing I did! 7:30am the next morning we were on Maryport beach for the first of many walks! I have to say, the first walk was full of the most dramas (mainly because all the walks had no dramas!). We walked along the beach and back around again towards the house only, on the way back I notice a large dog trotting through the tall grass in the distance. He soon disappeared. I assumed it headed back to it’s human. Minutes later a woman walked by with a Husky and a Staffie cross shouting for Fly. I thought nothing of it. Several more minutes later the same woman was still shouting for Fly although this time her tone was distraught and anxious. I realised the dog I saw never returned back to it’s human and she is growing more and more concerned as time went on.
We walked and stopped and walked… and stopped. Having a constant back and fourth in my mind about whether to follow the woman and offer help or search the sand dunes for Fly. More minutes passed and a gorgeous white greyhound appeared over the hill… Without a human in sight. I made the link immediately and ran towards the direction in which I last saw the distressed woman. The ground was harsh and uneven, nearly going over on my ankle time after time. I eventually reached the small gap in the rusty, barbed metal fence and forced my way through the trees to a roadside. No woman, Husky or Staffie cross in sight. I stood there for a moment, confused and upset – in front of me was a large industrial state. “Where on earth did she go? to get help? Doubtful…” I thought to myself. I sighed, turned back and made my way through the trees and metal fence again. I glanced to my left and saw the woman. “HEY! Fly is over here!”. Jogging back to the path I remembered I did absolutely nothing about Fly when I spotted him. Panicking, my pace slowed and heartbeat quickened. This woman thinks I am reuniting her with Fly when actually I am bringing her to absolute nothingness. I caught sign of my mam then looked further to left, up the path and saw a different woman had Fly by the collar. I put my hands to my knees and leant over to take a quick moment, “thank goodness” I breathed to myself. The woman glanced at me, I pointed in the Fly’s direction and watched her eyes light up.
She ran over to him, Husky and Staffie cross by her side. I smiled and jogged back over to Smartie, mam and dad. No thanks needed, I knew she appreciated it. We walked on towards the house, got in and packed everything up for the rest of the day. Locking the house up at about 9:30am and we were off to Keswick!
I was amazed at how dog friendly Keswick is, there were literally dogs EVERYWHERE. Walking out of pubs, cafe’s and shops with their humans. Amazing. I don’t know why I was so amazed, I see dogs siting outside of cafe’s all the time in Durham. Just not walking through the doors of them. I once saw a man in Waterstones with his Staffie. I was baffled but, happy that no one was causing a scene about him bring his dog inside or that it was a Staffie…
Smartie rubbed noses with all the fellow canines walking passed him, occasionally acting up to play with the nearest greyhound or Staffie looking type (they appear to be his favourites). We stopped at a delightful cafe, Laura In the Lakes ( http://laurainthelakes.co.uk/ ). Smartie sat patiently as we had breakfast, occasionally peering over the table to see what was left. Some dog related ruckus kicked off slightly further up the market square and a little girl walked passed, pointing at Smartie saying “at least one dog is well behaved”. The comment was relevant and made us laugh, Smartie received several pats on the head from then on wards.
So many people stopped to say hello to Smartie, give him a stroke or a biscuit. I love it when people do that. I am very aware of the Staffie stereotype and when people don’t adhere to it, it is a truly wonderful thing. I’m proud to own a Staffie and will take any opportunity to Champion the breed and educate others.
We headed to Ambleside to take Smartie for a well deserved long walk. Yeah, Ambleside is aesthetically pleasing but, it’s full of people who really appreciate what they’re looking at and walking on. It’s a beautiful town with so many hidden treasures – I hope to find them all one day. The rain threatened but, kept off – we soon found a large, open field. Which meant, Smartie could have 20 minutes fetching ball. He ran from one side of the field to the other, sometimes not even fetching the ball and just enjoying the run! The run wiped him out and to be honest, he was knackered for the rest of the day!
We then shot off to Penrith for a final bite to eat at the Eden Coffee Lounge ( http://www.edencoffeelounge.co.uk/ ), again outside with Smartie, only with a bit more commotion from Smartie. He didn’t approve of the two small dogs that barked at him so he sent some noise their way – fair is fair, right?
We were homeward-bound after that. Smartie snoozed all the way back then continued to snooze at home on his bed. What a life, ey? I would say that is a Smartie thumbs up for his birthday weekend!
I hope you enjoy the pictures!