Finding another uplifting companion

Blogging challenges, Walking, Yorkshire

Some of you may remember my first post this month, when I announced my plan to acquire a Virtual Dog to make sure I went walking every single day, come rain, come ice, come mud. My chosen companion was Dilys, shown in today’s feature photo, but she already walks miles every day with her own family. Much as I love her, I think I really do need a Virtual Dog.

Then I remembered Ai Wei-We’s Circle of Animal Heads at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Surely that featured a dog’s head? Up a pole? It did. Here is my Virtual Dog. Sadly, it’s my least satisfactory photo from there, so I’ll include a small gallery of some of the others to give you a better idea of this circle of mainly Zodiac figures up above your head.

My Virtual Dog

I’ve completed 116 miles this month. I felt this was a decent number – nothing to upbraid myself with here. But then I discovered that Jo of Restless Jo and Jo’s Monday Walk fame has upstaged me. She does eight miles a day. Almost every day. I’ll have to up my game.

Square Up

Thank you, Becky, for cheering up a particularly long and dismal January: for giving us the opportunity for uplifting friendships in the blogosphere, and for making us crank our brains up a gear as we tried to measure up to the skills, humour and ingenuity of our fellow participants.

A Sunday Walk, Accompanied by Thirteen Dogs

Blogging challenges, North Yorkshire, Walking

Our good friends Gill and Dave host a mid-winter walk for all their friends after Christmas every year.  We’re invited, and we’re never sure why.  We’re not known for showing much interest in horses, and we don’t own a dog.  As you can see from this shot taken just as we set forth, fortified by bacon sandwiches and coffee, having a dog in tow is pretty much expected.

Boots, wellies and dogs organised.

We love this post-Christmas event, and this year I was especially keen.  I’ve not been able to go on a decent hike for six months now because of a knee condition, but today was the day to begin to put all that behind me.

So here we all are.  Here are the dogs, here is the mud, here are the woods and the local views – understated, pleasant good old rolling English countryside.  I’ve deliberately overstated the mud for dramatic effect – it really wasn’t bad at all, and with enjoyable company we didn’t notice it anyway.

Back home with Gill and Dave, we ate and drank, laughed and talked for most of the afternoon.

The human friends are all inside eating, drinking and making merry. It’s a dog’s life.

And on the way home, this was the sunset.

Another entry for Jo’s Monday Walk.  It’s been such a long time since I’ve had the chance…

Brian and Betsy

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Even though these last few days have left us feeling bleak and helpless, with time passing so quickly, yet so slowly, there have been good moments.  You might expect two dogs to be behind one or two of them.

Here’s Ellie, Phil and the twins’ dog Brian letting off steam with his best friend Betsy. Luckily for them, Betsy’s owners are among Phil and Ellie’s best friends too.  So there are lots of playtimes for these two energetic dogs to look forward to.

Phil is still being cared for at home during his final days.