Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mountain Mutts

After a long & arduous journey, we arrived at North Wales on Friday evening and in preparation of a long day Saturday it was early to bed.

Saturday dawned bright and we all met up at the base of Mount Snowdon. Sheila & Ernie were sensible & parked in the car park opposite while my chaffeur for the day decided that the extra mile walk would get us in the spirit!

With rucksacks full of drink & snacks we set off up the 1st part of Mount Snowdon - within 5 minutes the majority of us were thinking that we must have been mad to agree to young Ollie's quest.

Despite struggling at just 200m, we plodded on, removing our jackets to enjoy the sunshine. The path soon became a gentle (ish) slope & we were optimistic as we reached the halfway point.

After a short break, we continued the trek thinking the worst was over - how wrong we were! Soon past the halfway point, the slope became so steep that rocks had been placed to make steps - poor Poppy B had to leap up each one as most were talling than she was. Struggling up we asked our 'leader' - Dino if this was the worst of it. With a reply of 'more or less' we should've known! We reached the top of the steps to eventually go under a railway bridge which we were was told had magnificent views. Unfortunately, the mist was so thick that we could hardly see 10m ahead - probably a good job because if we could've seen any further I think we may have given up. It was now a case of one foot in front of the other & to just try & keep going. At one point, I found myself alone with Poppy M in the mist - with no one passing me on the way up or coming down & I began to wonder if I'd lost direction & gotten onto the wrong track. Even Poppy stood in front of me, looked up & cried!

Looking back I could see Sheila, Ernie & Poppy B fighting their way up. We eventually went thru the mist to a sight that was breath taking. The sky was a glorious bright blue above the pure white clouds, with other mountain peaks visible above the clouds. Now the summit was in sight & we needed no further encouragement.

With a last push, we continued on our way, finally reaching the summit after 2 & 1/2 hours. We took our turn at standing on the summit point for that all important photo shot (Sheila & Ernie will need to add their photo!).

We had about an hour to relax before beginning the descent back to civilization. It was all downhill from now on! Easy! or so we thought. The journey down was as difficult as the journey up. By this time our thighs were pulsating and our knees were trembling. The steep gradient caused chaos with toes & both Ernie and I managed to grace the mountain with our bottoms!

Poppy B & Poppy M were still as fresh as a daisy & went running ahead & playing around - it must be the 4 legs as opposed to 2!

A well deserved cup of tea & piece of cake at halfway point refuelled us to continue the descent.

We all finally made it down in the exactly the same time as it took us to get up and it was back to our Hotel & Farmhouse to freshen up & collapse into bed!

It was such an achievement for us all - many of us didn't think we would make it. Young Ollie (11) didn't complain once & even carried his mum's rucksack up most of the way. We even had a lady who had recently (6 weeks previously) had major surgery - all for the love of dogs!

Thank you to all that sponsored Poppy B - I vouch that they walked every step!

I would like to thank everyone at Hope Rescue for letting me stay at the farmhouse & making Poppy & me so welcome. I would also like to say a HUGE thank you to Sheila & Ernie, for not only allowing me to accompany them, but for also driving me there & back & for helping me get my new addition - welcome to Meridian Mutt - (Manic) Maisie.

There are lots of photos which we will try and get on a slide show - unfortunately, the pictures do not do Snowdonia justice. We did 2 further walks on Sunday & Monday, and both had jaw dropping scenery. This is definately a place to go back to - tho apparently next year it's Hadrian's Wall!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Poppies on Snowdon

Just a reminder that Poppy B is set to lead her staff up Mount Snowdon on Saturday and is looking for Sponsorship to help those who saved her - Hope Rescue - see their site http://www.hoperescue.org.uk/.

This is a very worthy cause and not just based in Wales - they will help dogs from all over the UK so please give generously by adding a comment.

Just to ensure Poppy B's owners behave themselves, Poppy M and I are now going to join them (stretchers at the ready!!!)

Between us we will hopefully have lots of photos to post next week.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Paws in the Park 2009 - The Brown Torpedo

Sunday 13th September saw day 2 of Paws in the Park - a weekend dedicated to dogs and their owners. Set in the grounds of the Hop Farm, Kent there are lots of activities for the dogs to try out and stalls for their staff to spend money. MM Sizzles & Poppy M made the journey and met up with MM Poppy B in the 'Terrier' Racing (there was no breed restriction for them on this day!) Poppy M did very well in her first round, coming 2nd despite crashing into a hay bale that was on her blind side! Poppy B (aka The Brown Torpedo) amazed the crowds with her speed and her reluctance to let go of the fur rag they had to chase. She did her staff proud by winning all her heats before going on to win the grand final.
Dash n Splash was also an unusual attraction. The idea being for the dogs to launch themselves into the water to vie for the spot of top dog with whom could go the furthest. Despite Poppy M & Sizzles' love of water back home, they shied away from this trembling. Obviously the water was neither dirty or smelly enough!
A run round the agility was a definate order of the day with all the owners getting worn out and Poppy M making a dash for freedom - I think she'd heard us talking about tea & cake & was off to place her order!
A good day was had by all and a definate must for next year.

RIP Beautiful Blossom

Since trying to set up this blog, my darling Blossom has passed away. Although she owned me for a short 2 years, she brought me lots of love and happiness. Despite all her trials she was a very placid dog who never complained. She surprisingly loved everyone she came into contact with and bore no malice despite being neglected and mistreated for the first 8 years of her life.

She has left a gaping hole in my life but I know she is now at peace and doing what she longed to do but was unable - running around nicking all the socks and playing with all the other dogs - especially black ones - she always seemed more attracted to these!
Sleep well my baby - until we meet again
Love Mum & Poppy M xx