Tag Archives: Fern

Cats and Chaos

7 Feb

It’s chaos here – the kitchen has been stripped out ready for refurbishing and our furry beasts are bewildered. Where is the feeding station? And the chairs and sofas and beds put out for their every comfort?DSCN0629There’s dust and disorder and drilling from dawn till dusk. and now the cat flap has been sealed off to stop the cats from coming in to walk onto the smoothing compound laid ready for tiling.

No wonder that Jaffa has been spotted, suitcase in paws, marching down the drive!DSCN0616And now, to add insult to injury, another guest dog has arrived to stay for the weekend. Yet more disruption to their lives.

Poppy looks resigned. She knows that Fern will bound about, crash into her with rugby style tackles as they race round the paddock, and steal all her toys from her basket in the house. Best just to stay here, keeping her place on the sofa in the living room.DSCN0613Jaffa and Zanzi scoot under the furniture. This is all too much! And to make matters worse, it’s raining outside – again!DSCN0599Treacle is not bothered. She can see Fern off any time she likes. And from up here she can survey any marauding dogs with her usual disdain.

One week of chaos survived – only another three to go before the pet palace will be ready for use again!




A Day of Doggy Delights

11 Aug

It’s been another delightful day out for the dogs to the wonderful estate of Gatcombe Park to watch the annual Horse Trials. Poppy at Gatcombe We managed to squeeze six people, two dogs and three picnic baskets into the Landrover and although it wasn’t the most comfortable of car rides for the dogs (no back seat all to herself for Poppy to stretch her long diva legs), it was worth it when they arrived. Poppy's picnic Acres of undulating parkland estate to walk around, hundreds of dogs to greet (so many enticing bottoms to sniff), much petting from other dog owners and tasty titbits from the picnic – a perfect doggy day out. Fern asking for more Poppy’s friend, Fern had a great day. As well as enjoying the walking and the picnic, she managed to get a refreshing shower in a convenient water trough and then a swim in the lake after the horses had all finished jumping through it. Dogs in lake

Dog Trio

4 Jul

It’s holiday time again and we have two dogs staying with Poppy.

Three dogs

Fern is here for a week and has really bonded with the two whippets. They have all have been charging about together in our garden, the woods and beside the lake. Today they are all standing, gazing at the water and watching the fish.

Three dogs beside the lake

Pippin is staying for nearly three weeks. You would never know that her leg had been shattered in a road accident less than a year ago


Fern loves to dive into our pond and have a swim. Pippin normally hovers on the edge of any water, not wanting to get her feet wet but to our surprise she has splashed in after Fern. But it is very hot at the moment. The cool water must be very welcome.

Fern and Pippin in pond

Poppy is not tempted though. She’s happy to watch the others playing in the water. You won’t catch me going in there ….

Poppy & Zanzi

Chilling out with the cats is more her style.



A Right Royal Day Out

3 Aug


Another brilliant day out for Poppy and her friend, Fern at the wonderful Gatcombe Park Horse Trials. Perfect weather, enough walking to keep any dog happy, a whole host of other dogs to meet and greet (although the royal corgis were not in evidence today), plus a great view of all the beautiful equine athletes negotiating the lake complex.

Poppy and Fern

Then at the end of the day, after the jumping is finished, there is a free for all with dogs being allowed to swim in the water. Suddenly there is a mad rush of gun dogs heading for the lake, plunging heedlessly into the water and splashing about in great excitement. Fern joins in joyfully. What a great party!

Dogs in water at Gatcombe

But here we witness the great divide. All the black labradors like Fern are bounding about in sheer ecstasy, leaping exuberantly in and out of the lake, while the greyhounds and lurchers look on in bewilderment, their feet firmly on terra firma, none of them wanting to get wet.

Poppy may have enjoyed playing in the sea last week, where the water was lapping up over the warm sand, but leaping into several feet of cold lake – now that’s a different thing entirely. And it’s all a bit too boisterous for a sensitive dog like Poppy. She settles herself down on the bank, keeping her paws safely dry. I think I’ll just stay here and watch.




Poppy and Friends

29 Jun

The kittens have been getting so much press, it’s time for Poppy to get a little attention.  First she has had a good long walk in the wilds of Gloucestershire, then she was invited to a BBQ (doggy heaven) where she took turns with Fern to look starved as they drooled over the steak and sausages!

Poppy & Fern

And now she has a visit from her pal Dusty. Treacle appears at the door to give him the evil eye … Don’t even think of going near my babies! before she positions herself at the base of the stairs leading up to their sanctuary.

Dusty knows that look and he’s not going to risk getting his face clawed off. I’m off to play with Poppy!


Having Dusty to play involves many circuits of the paddock as whippet racing is a very competitive business. Finally they flop down exhausted. What better few days could there be for a diva dog?

Dusty & Poppy


Tiger in the House

17 Jun

Poppy & Fern

High drama here at the weekend. A friend came to see the kittens and left her black labrador, Fern, outside playing with Poppy. Or so we thought… We are upstairs watching the kittens as they are playing and tumbling together, a delightful jumble of scrabbling legs and fur and twitching tails. Treacle is keeping guard like a sentry over their every move.

The entertainment is suddenly disturbed by Fern bounding exuberantly into the room – a door cannot have been fully closed downstairs and she has come looking for her owner.

Before we even have time to react, Treacle has leapt at her with all the murderous intent of a tiger while making the most hideous unearthly noises like a banshee.

The kittens bolt into a corner, burying themselves under a pile of cushions – we don’t know if they have seen the dog and scuttled away in terror or whether it is the shrieking of their mother that has scared them more. In any case, hiding seems to be a good plan.

Meanwhile, a startled Fern has backed into the bathroom with Treacle still leaping at her, lethal claws outstretched and a whole orchestra of full-throated yowls emitting from her throat. Fern’s owner is trying to pick the dog up to remove her from the room and I manage to grab hold of Treacle.

It is like trying to hold a wild animal and in her rage at being restrained from attacking the predator who’s threatening her babies, she sinks her teeth into my hand and rakes her claws over the skin until I have to let her go.

She hurls herself one last time at the departing Fern before returning to lie at the entrance to the room, eyes still blazing with menace.


Luckily none of the animals has been harmed and we can’t find a scratch on Fern. So it’s only my hand!

And a lesson to be learned in checking doors are properly closed. A nursing mother needs to know that her children will be safe from marauders.

Fern is shut back into the car where she can’t escape, but it is several minutes before the nervous kittens will venture out from their hiding place. They’ve never seen Mother in such a fury.

It’s a vivid illustration of a cat being prepared to fight to the death to protect her young.

Nervous Kittens


New Year Games

2 Jan

Christmas may be over and a new year just begun, but there’s still plenty of fun for the animals before the toys and decorations are put away.

Fern is very proud of her new toy pheasant and shows it off to all her visitors.

Fern by Christmas tree

Almost as good as the real thing

Treacle is looking for an opportunity to cause mischief. If she’s not pulling the tinsel out of the tree or knocking the baubles onto the floor to chase after, she’s hiding under the tree waiting for an unsuspecting dog to walk past.

Treacle under the Christmas tree

I’m under here!

Then she can run out and pounce before running away. Come on!  Chase me, chase me!  The house is filled with the sound of thundering paws as Poppy obliges. Sometimes Treacle is caught and she rolls onto her back and wriggles about in delight.  She knows those teeth will never bite her.

Poppy and Treacle playing

More, more!