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This is Attlee’s view of his trip to Hawes and a lovely picture of The Little Cheese Shop.
Red In Tooth And Hawes
The people decide to go to a little town called Hawes for another walk but, as soon as we step out of the car, it begins raining. This isn’t vertical London rain –it is diagonal, slicing into your body rain and even though I’m a hardy little fellow I don’t like it. It is making my insides cold.
Hawes is a grey little town, with all the buildings made out of stone and the rain makes it even greyer. I can’t see a foot in front of me and the smells are all mixed up in the diagonal rain.
We go to a pub, The Crown Hotel, which has a silver plaque on the wall saying: ‘We are a dog friendly pub.’
So it should be. Dogs are always friendly to pubs – we even wee on their outside walls, as a mark of respect – so why aren’t pubs always friendly to us?
The pub has a real fire and there are two other dogs in it – a graceful girl greyhound and a Bulldog. The Bulldog stares at me and I stare straight back at him. This may be his local but I won’t be intimidated.
Attlee’s WensleyTails – the picture below is of our Little Cheese Shop
In the pub everybody talks about how they hope the rain will stop so we can go for another walk. But it doesn’t. Jane dashes out into it to buy some cheese from the cheese shop – apparently Hawes is famous for Wensleydale cheese. I have heard of Wensleydale cheese because there’s a dog called Gromit, on television, and his master, Wallace, eats a lot of it. Then Tracey dashes out to buy a bottle of wine. Then we all dash back to the car and home to Askrigg.
Back at the house, the humans sit and talk with the rain lashing down outside and Jess and me sit and stare at each other with the rain lashing down outside. Jess was a rescue dog, from a shelter, like me so I suppose we
have that in common. Perhaps we are growing to like each other a little more. I don’t think she’s bad, even though she is bossy. She has kind eyes. But I still want to be only dog again.
Then it is decided that we shall walk around Askrigg, even though it’s still raining. We look in a gift shop that takes dogs and a coffee shop that takes dogs and then decide on the pub opposite the cottage – the Crown Inn.
This is a great gig as, for some reason, rather than having to sit on the floor, as I usually do in pubs, I’m allowed to sit on the seat, in between Vicky and Jane. They even place a pint of beer in front of me so I don’t feel left out. At times like this, I forget I am dog and honestly believe I’m a human.
It isn’t long before I’m in trouble again, though – and this time it’s BIG trouble. Really big trouble and I do something I definitely shouldn’t do. It’s the excitement of the countryside and the Dales, which look like moors, and have a sort of danger to them – that’s what makes me mischievous.
It happens the next morning. Hazel has arrived and Jane and Hazel take me out for a walk, up the hill again, and into the same fold of fields, with the public footpath sign, as the day before. Jane has a look around for livestock and can’t see any sheep or samesuch so I’m off the lead, hurtling and hurdling, and Jane and Hazel lag behind, chattering.
I gallop from one field to the next to the next, all the smells triggering every nerve in my body with newness. And then I see them, behind a grey stone bothy –two of the white fluffy things called sheep. Sheep with curly horns on their heads. And before I even have time to think, instinct has kicked in and I am chasing the sheep. Then Jane is screaming and chasing me and Hazel is chasing her and it is like a Benny Hill sketch, us all chasing each other, around the fields, in a row of running sheep and dogs and people.
The sheep run through two fields and I nearly catch up with them, because I’m very fast, before they charge into a small stone barn. I go in after them, even though there’s hardly any room in there and they are kicking at me with their paw-hooves. I bark and bark at them, to tell them to stop and listen to me.
After about a minute of this, Jane comes in, all teary and red in the face. She has to crouch down to clamber into the barn and then she reaches forward and grabs me. I struggle because I want to keep barking at the sheep, until they admit that I’m boss, but she can be quite strong when she wants to be, Jane, and she doesn’t let me go, even though I’m wriggling.
She puts the lead on me – I am in trouble – and then, with Hazel, we are running through the fields and through the gate back on to the road to the cottage.
‘You could have been shot,’ Jane says, and she is shaking. ‘If the farmer had seen you chasing his sheep, he could have shot you.’
I don’t like that one bit – the idea of being shot. I have seen people being shot on television and know that it’s not a very nice thing to happen. I’d hate to be shot. If I was shot, I’d definitely need the vet. The sheep might have been fun but they are not worth that.
Back at the cottage, when Jane tells everyone what has happened, they are all very stern with me. It is almost a relief to be back in Christine’s car, and then back on the train to London, to escape the sternness. I have done a very bad thing. I will never chase sheep again. I will say it a hundred times in my head, so I remember it.
Phileas Fact Box: Yorkshire Dales
- The Crown Hotel, Market Place, Hawes, North Yorkshire, DL8 3RD Tel: 01969 667212
Very friendly atmosphere, in the centre of Hawes, coal fire and extensive menu, especially for puddings! Has rooms overnight, dogs allowed, starting at £27.50 per person bed and breakfast.
- The Little Cheese Shop, Ivy Cottage, Hawes, DL8 3RZ Website:www.ribblesdalecheese.wordpress.com
- The Crown Inn, Main Street, Askrigg, Leyburn, North Yorkshire, DL83HQ Tel: 01969 650298
Popular with locals, good selection of beers and real ales, on a walking trail so busy during the summer months.
- Sykes Tea Room, Askrigg, Leyburn, North Yorkshire, DL8 3HT Tel: 01969 650535
Cosy little café with toasties and homemade soup.
- Simon rented Kirkdale Cottage in Askrigg from Yorkshire Cottages. Telephone 01228 406701 or log on towww.yorkshire-cottages.info.
The cottage slept six and cost £210 – that’s £35 per person – for a three-night break.
This is me, Attlee Common. I am a two-year-old mongrel from Battersea Dog’s Home in London and, in November 2010, when I was still a young pup, my mistress, Jane, picked me out from all the hundreds of hounds in Battersea and took me to live with her in South-East London. I like living with Jane: I don’t like living with Jane’s cat, Dodger, quite so much.
My hobbies are sleeping, eating Jumbones and chasing squirrels. I also like picking up empty KFC wrappers in the street – there are lots of empty KFC wrappers on the street in Camberwell – and chomping on them. This has earned me the nickname ‘Chicken Bag Dog’ among the kids in the area, which I think is funny and Jane thinks is embarrassing.
I like my life. I am a dog and I do dog stuff. But Jane has ambitions for me.
Her latest plan is that I should be become a travel writer – a sort of Egon Bone-ay. Jane is a journalist and often she goes away to review hotels around Britain and takes me with her.