Jessie was a wonderful dog. Her mum was a border collie. We didn't know about dad, but going by the way she looked, we think he was probably a long-haired retriever. Here she is in the Lake District, looking very noble!
After she died two years ago, I thought I would still walk up on the hill, and I did from time to time, but not very often. It wasn't the same without a dog; we missed Jessie terribly.
We weren't sure whether to have another one. But then we met a couple called Pete and Caz, who had a really delightful white-and-tan collie called Skye - and they said they were hoping to breed from her. So we decided that if Skye did have puppies, we'd have one; if she didn't, we'd leave it.
Well, romance blossomed for Skye with a handsome working dog from Bodmin called Harry.
And on the first of September, the puppies were born. Ours, Nessie, is at the bottom of the picture, with a black spot between her ears. We called her Nessie as we wanted a Scottish connection, because of Skye; we went though lots of Scottish islands, but though lovely, none of the names seemed quite right for everyday use, and then our daughter, Katie, came up with Ness.
We've had her for just over a month now. We had to wait till she'd had her second lot of vaccinations to take her for walks, but now, at last, we can. They have to be fairly short to start off with, but soon she'll have full possession of the hill (which is called Roundhouse, for reasons I'll explain at some stage). She hasn't been to the top yet, but we're getting closer every day. Here's the view she would see on a misty morning - if she looked up, which usually she doesn't, because the smells on the ground are far too enticing!
Or if it's a clearer day, a bit further round to the south: