November 1997 – 20th September 2012

I couldn't be happier


Clyde arrived about a year after we took on Bonnie and slipped comfortably into the role of her husband.  A rescue dog found by a neighbour in Roath Park he was six months old, according to the vet, and already a reasonable size. A Heinz Variety, possibly part Rottweiler, Clyde became Jacob‘s dog, as Hope had a male hamster called Wendy and Bonnie belonged to Anna.  Although his chewing phase stretched our patience to the limit, he had a penchant for Dr Martins and Sylvanian toys, he made up for it by being incredibly loyal and a ‘real’ dog.  By ‘real’ I mean he was not bothered with home comforts.  He preferred a cold tiled floor to a dog cushion, he sat outside in the rain, he loved camping and a true example of man’s best friend slept at you feet.

Clyde demanded respect not just because of his size, he asked for it.  He was a talking dog and would sit, fixing you with a stare, making various sounds which I am sure were his attempt at speech. If that didn’t grab your attention then he was extremely adept at hooking his nose under a protruding elbow to give you a nudge often, and with alarming regularity, when you had a glass of wine half way to your mouth.  Many visitors left our house with red wine stains down their front.

Although never vicious he could at times be intimidating.  If we ever play fought as a family he would muscle into the foray attempting to stop it.  Once when rubbing my sons bare feet against the bristles on my chin whilst he lay on the sofa and causing him to squeal, Clyde got into position, astride Jacob’s feet, almost nose to nose with myself and gave a low menacing growl.  I stopped.  Another time on returning from a camping trip to Cardiff he pinned a passer-by to the hedge as we climbed out of the car.  The poor gentleman had obviously been either too close to our house or in some way was perceived as a threat to the family.

Clyde would eat almost anything. Curry, chilli, tomatoes, cucumber even lemons were fair game.  We think he possibly developed the taste from scavenging at the numerous takeaways in our area before we took ownership of him.  He was also an adept thief, snaffling any titbits that were too close to the edge of the table when no one was looking.

Come on in

The thing he loved most, water (like Jacob). Not daunted by the waves at the sea and diving to the river bed to retrieve large rocks that he would bring to the shore, depositing in a pile, to what purpose we could never figure.

Loosing Clyde, especially so soon after Bonnie, has left a massive dog shaped hole in our lives.  The house has just not been the same with both gone and it will take time to acclimatise but they lived good lives and were loved by everyone.


Select this photo to view a gallery of photos of Clyde.


14/10/1996 – 11/08/2012 (Glamorstaff Red Sonya)

BonnieWe never intended to by a pedigree dog but when a former colleague informed me that they knew an owner that had to get rid of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy because their older dog had taken a dislike to it, the temptation was irresistible. So Bonnie, at three months old, came into our lives, our first family dog and one which my children, now grown up, can barely remember being with out.

Bonnie Kennel Club CertificateBonnie, named after my Triumph Motorcycle, soon made her mark and our kitchen furniture still bear the scars of her puppyhood teething.  Always full of energy, eager to make new friends and say hello like a coiled spring she would leap onto your lap, chair, bed determined to lick every inch of exposed flesh, especially ears, that she could.  She didn’t confine her exuberance to family and friends either. Anyone was a fair target for her affection especially if they were sitting or lying down. One day, whilst walking through Roath Park, Cardiff, my wife (I bought Bonnie for her) let a friends child take the lead and they promptly let her off it. A rugby match was in full swing and a player went down possibley feigning injury. My wife shouted ‘Get up! Get up! Get up!’ but it wasn’t until Bonnies nose and tongue made contact with his ear did he leap to his feet, injury forgotten.  Another time, a man relaxing, reading a newspaper was rudely interrupted when she leapt through the centre of it to give his face a good slobbering.

Bonnie hated loud noises, especially fireworks.  Her reaction to this would be to destroy the first thing she could find, this included record collections, various plastic boxes, a kettle, kids toys, a badger skull and a wine bag (half of which she ate and we had to dose her with liquid paraffin to ease its exit). On the eve of the millennium she bolted from our house in Cardiff as we stepped outside to view the fireworks.  We thought we had lost her for good but fortunately she had entered a pub some miles away and a kind local phoned us, luckily she had a tag, and we were able to retrieve her.

I never met anyone who disliked Bonnie, even self-professed dog dislikers would warm to her.  She was a brilliant, loyal friend to all the family and will be incredibly missed. Goodbye Bonnie.

Goodbye Bonnie

... and relax

Select this photo to view a full gallery of photos of Bonnie.


Hergest Ridge

A favourite place

As I am a self proclaimed dog walker and haven’t mentioned dogs or walking yet I thought I better had.  I have been walking over what I affectionately call ‘the hill’ since we moved back to Herefordshire , from Cardiff, some ten years ago.  Always with a minimum of one dog and sometimes with family and friends, I have covered most of the open land, bisected by the Offa’s Dyke Path and still never tire of the beautiful diverse scenery to be found here, on the English/Welsh border.

Please browse my photo album below which will take you on a little virtual tour of this wonderful place and which I will continue to add to.  So come back and visit again.

Walks to try

Here are a sample of some of the walks I have taken, click on the red marker for details or use the ‘view larger map link’. All the walks start from Ridgebourne Road, the Kington side of Hergest and were recorded using My Tracks on my Android phone.


Walk to the top and back

This is probably the most popular walk which is up over the top of the hill and then back around one half of the Victorian country race track, I walked a little further here so that the dogs could have a drink at the hill top pool.

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Off the beaten track #1

This walk takes in the southern half of the race track, the ridge and then follows the lower ground past Hergest Farm.

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Off the beaten track #2

A variation of the above walk taking the northern branch of the race track. Also shows (blue marker) where the monkey puzzle trees are situated.

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Walk to Gladestry

This walk takes you right down the ridge and to The Royal Oak in Gladestry.  Good beer but I would suggest taking your own sandwiches rather than sampling their menu, although that was a while ago now and things may have improved.

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There are other equally beautiful walks to the north through wooded hills and lower lands but I have not, yet, recorded them.