Ozy’s Last Blog

We are very sad to inform you that we lost Ozy last month after a short illness.

Ozy joined us here in Nether Stowey just after we opened the guesthouse and grew up in a house full of people and dogs and he welcomed each and every one of them – especially when they would sit down for a cup of tea and biscuit on arrival. He loved fetching and carrying and all our guests will remember his after breakfast napkin routine when he brought the napkins to the kitchen after retrieving them from guests’ laps. No doubt, environmental health would have had a view on this – had they known.

Ozy 2003 – 2017

Ozy loved the Quantocks and his daily walk up into the hills. However busy we were, we always found time for a walk, rain or shine, and this often turned into the highlight of the day –  and kept us all fit. Ozy was also the first dog to walk the Coleridge Way and his contribution to the Companion Guide was invaluable and without him we probably wouldn’t have walked the route so many times.

With his pet passport, Ozy travelled around Europe and visited France, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg usually writing a blog about his take on our European cousins and the state of the various nations. He was never particularly reverential – unless food was involved.

Ozy’s blogs were read widely and, from the comments received, much liked. In fact, they became so well known that we would turn up to marketing training days, only to find the blogs being used as examples of good practice. On other occasions we would get into conversation with complete strangers who would say “So you’re Ozy’s owners – we always read his blog.”

However, what we will miss most is him just being around and being our friend. He was a lovely dog.

Ian and Lynne

theoldciderhouse@gmail.com 01278 732228

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Ozy’s DNA

Everyone is doing their DNA at the moment. Ian has had his done and he is 42% western European, 36% Great British, 12% Scandinavian, 8% Iberian Peninsula and 2% Irish. This sort of follows wot Ian thinks his ancestry should be on the basis that he was originally a mad Calvinistic Huguenot from France back in the seventeenth century and obviously has striking Viking good looks (Ian wrote this bit). I pointed out that Sandi Toksvig was also a Viking and she’s not known for her looks!

So if Ian could have his done, then why not me? Most dogs know where they come from from their smell, this is why dogs are always sniffing each other’s bottoms. However, there is now a new test, also known as DNA – Dog Nose Alternative.

The first thing you need to do is dribble some of your dribble into a test tube. Ian got me to do this by mentioning ‘kibble’. Then you send off the dribble by putting it in the red slotty thing on the corner of the road, opposite the George pub.  Ian then got the results on the screen thing on his desk.

My results were very accurate. Firstly, part of my DNA is from Portugal. This is because my ancestors were originally Portuguese fishing dogs. Next I also have DNA from Newfoundland which is where I get my name from. Lastly, I am from Bridgwater, cos this is where I was born, in a Wendy house, in a garden.

Wot was even more interesting was my characteristics which show intelligence, my swimming ability and why I’m always hungry. The ven diagram left shows this quite clearly. I wonder where cats come from?

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OZY’S BIRTHDAY

Me on the funicular railway

It’s my birthday today – I’m 14. This is very old for a Labrador and according to the Pedigree Petfoods site I am 103 in human years. I should have got a telegram from the Queen in about March, but probably she was too busy to send Labradors messages.

I didn’t want anything for my birthday, if I need something, Ian buys it for me and, to tell you the truth, apart from biscuits I don’t really need anything. What I did want was to go to the beach and have ice cream, so Ian and Lynne took me to Torquay for the weekend.

We stayed in a small hotel overlooking the sea what was very nice (it was called the Downs – very dog friendly) and I did little walks a few times a day as my legs are a bit wobbly nowadays. Having said that, they did drag me up and down cliff paths a few times, although I insisted on going on the funicular railway on the way back.

Me losing my money on the penny falls

On Sunday we went to Paignton for a walk on the beach, paddle in the sea and a vanilla ice cream in a tub – BRILLIANT!

Today has not been quite as much fun as it could have been. It was sleeting on my walk this afternoon and then the vets was open so I had to go in for a lump what has appeared on my bottom. The lady vet stuck a needle in it and I have to admit that it made my eyes smart a bit!

So, now that Ian has sent the second edition of his book to the printers, hopefully he will have more time to type up my blogs.

Until next time …

Ozy

Me and Lynne

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US Election

I have been asked wot my opinion is on the United States election, so I have been watching the debates on the television while Ian has been doing the ironing and this is the way wot I see it.

There are two people wot can be the President. One is called Hillary Clinton and the other is Donald Trump. According to the press one is a complete Shih Tzu, the other Labradoodle.

16-11-01-clintonHillary Clinton is mistrusted by lots of the American public – mainly because she is a politician and sucks up to people wot she thinks will support her. Supposedly this is not the way to do things in America! But wot is reely a problem is her using her own e-mail account.

Now I am supposed to use the official Old Cider House account, but when I don’t want Ian to see wot I’m saying I often use my woofwoof@theoldciderhouse.co.uk account. And this is the problem; the powers that be can’t see wot is being said. In fact I’ve now deleted my e-mails, all 62,320 of them – admittedly most of them were about Nigerian dogs wanting to send me money and non-prescription worming tablets but some might have been important.

16-11-01-trumpOn the other hand, Donald Trump is like a Spaniel on ketamine. Firstly, he has a cat on his head. As a rule of thumb, don’t vote for people who have cats on their heads.

Secondly, Donald Trump wants to build a wall across America to keep the Mexican Chiwawas out. This is estimated to cost in the region of $12BN. Now, I don’t know about you but I think Chiwawas are not very big and probably breezeblock height would be enough to stop them. The border is 3,145 kilometres or 1,954 miles. A breezeblock is 440mm x 215mm. therefore using Jewson’s Brick Calculator I reckon it will take 7,765,433 bricks (including a 10mm mortar joint). Wicks sell these at £1.90 a brick so that would be £14,753,500 or $18,048,841. Even if you made the wall double the height then this would only be $36M and you’d probably get a discount for bulk buying. I’m not sure he’s as good a businessman as he says.

So, who will the Americans vote for – just seven days to find out.

If you want to discuss the election with me then use my secret account woofwoof@theoldciderhouse.co.uk

Ozy

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Ozy Olympics

I have been asked my opinion on the Olympics wot have just finished by Alan from Sittingbourne.

While Team BG did reely well, most of wot they did is wot I do (or used to do) as a matter of course. So here’s my take on the last few weeks:

Beach Frisbee

Beach Frisbee

Jumping into green water – I’ve been doing this for years. Give me a stagnant pool of green infested algae or pond weed and I’m in like a shot. Never mind that I’m on my way to a restaurant or that Ian has forgotten my towel – green water is for jumping in.

Running after a tennis ball – Wot’s all this fuss about Andy Murray winning a gold? As far as I can see he didn’t manage to catch the ball once in his mouth. In addition, he had a tendency to want to get rid of the ball – tennis balls are for keeping and chewing up.

The ‘triple dump’ – This is where you do three or more poos whilst walking along the pavement. I have got reely good at this lately and think I may deserve a world record.

Modern Pentathlon – the running and swimming woz okay and I always use fencing to have a wee up. I don’t like horses and misheard the word ‘shoot’. All in all, not my best event.

Me walking 500 miles

Me walking 500 miles

But I’m now doing my own Olympic event – I am walking 500 miles before the end of the year. This is for charity – The National Animal Welfare Trust – and Ian even set up a charity account for me at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Ozy-the-Labrador if you can give me a penny a mile that would be fantastic and it would help all the poor dogs with no mummies (please note no money will go to any cats).

Until next time …

Ozy the Labrador, The Old Cider House, Dog Friendly Accommodation, Quantocks, Quantock Hills, Somerset

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Terrier May and the Cabinet

Terrier May is now our new Prime Minister after Andrea Leads-on dropped out of the race due to comments she made about Terrier not having any puppies.

Having Terrier as PM should be interesting and she has now put together her kennel of people wot will be running the country. Phillip Hammhound will be the new Chancellor of the Exchequer and will be in charge of counting the number of biscuits and making sure everyone gets a treat etc. The Home Secretary is Amber Pug and she will be doing the job wot Terrier did. George Osbone has got the sack because he lost the rufferendum.

Wot is really interesting is that Boris the Bulldog has been made Foreign Secretary. Boris is not very diplomatic sometimes and is likely to upset Alsatian Merkel, Great Danes and practically every other European breed of dog. Having said that, the ‘Bulldog’ is forthright and calls a spade a spade and wot you see is wot you get.16.07.15 Kitten heels

One thing wot intrigues me is why Terrier has been reported as standing on kittens? Not that I’m saying this is a bad thing, it’s just that I thort the cat lovers of the country would have something to say about this.

Finally – does anyone one else think Laura Kuenssberg is working more than a 48 hour week? Whenever I turn on the telly she’s there running between Westminster, Number 10 and Jeremy Corbyn’s little white house on that council estate … and John Pienaar’s been dragged out of retirement – poor bloke.

Ozy the Labrador

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Euro 2016 Dogxit

So why are we so rubbish at football?

Last week in the Euro 2016 men chasing a ball around the field game, England lost against a team called Iceland wot is not even a country but a shop where you can buy frozen stuff. This woz very bad, especially after losing the EU vote. Wot could possibly get worse? The UK getting ‘nil’ points in the Eurovision Song Contest?16.07.04 Labrador Teeshirt

Roy Dogson, the England Manager has resigned saying, “I am really disappointed. I didn’t see the defeat coming. Nothing in the first three games here gave me any indication that we would play as poorly as we did.” Obviously he hadn’t been watching the telly like everyone else.

So wot can we do to make things different next time?

  1. Training, training, training. The trouble is that UK footballers play a lot of games (chasing the ball, running, dribbling) but they do not play as a team very often. Therefore, when they get together they act like a bunch of collies at a village fete dog show.
  2. Incentivise the players. When they have done a good thing praise them. “Good boy Rooney” or “Come on Kyle – you can do it”. If they have done reely good, then they can have a biscuit – but not too many otherwise they will get fat.
  3. Tell them off when they have done something wrong. The players need to relate the telling off to the activity they have just undertaken. For example, Sterling’s hesitant play in the draw with Russia should have resulted in a tap on the nose with a copy of Pravda to reinforce the message.
  4. Encourage grassroots players. Young puppies should be encouraged to play with soft balls from an early age.
  5. Make them proud to play for England. At the moment they reely like playing for the Premiership coz it makes them loads of money. Playing for England isn’t very lucrative. Having said that Roy Dogson woz paid £3.5 million. Nice work if you can get it.
  6. Get Arsene Weimaraner to run the team. Normally he only manages teams wot have got similar names as him but he’s been over here for so long he might as well be British and the Gunners might be ready for him to go.
  7. Get the Premier League to run the England squad. This is not as daft as it sounds. The FA management team is full of people wot do not know very much about football; Martin Glenn (CEO) worked for a biscuit manufacturer before taking the job, Darren Bailey’s a lawyer, Clifford Burroughs woz a bingo caller and worked for a biscuit manufacturer – are you getting a theme here?
  8. Move the team to Leicester. This seems a gud idea and you can go from being rubbish to winning stuff.
  9. Cut their goolies off. Mine went and this didn’t affect my playing at all.

Whatever happens the next big match is 4th September when England play Slovakia in the World Cup qualifier. Either they have to be gud by them or don’t bother and save us all the disappointment of losing in the first round in Russia.

Ozy the Labrador, The Old Cider House

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Brexit for Dogs

Dear Ozy

I am being asked by all the people I send your Blog to on what your thoughts are on us leaving the EU?

Alan

Dear Alan,

Thank you for your e-mail asking me wot I think about the fact that the UK have voted to leave Europe.

Firstly, let’s consider Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. I’m probably the only dog ever to have read this … In fact I’m probably the only individual who’s read it!

I find the red, white and blue goes better with my eyes

I find the red, white and blue goes better with my eyes

  1. Any dog may decide to withdraw from the EU in accordance with its own constitution. We had the Dogxit vote and most dogs decided that they wanted to be independent. I have the constitution of an ox and can eat the whole of a decomposing rabbit found in the woods without being sick (immediately).
  2. A dog wot decides to withdraw shall notify the European Kennel of its intention. I have drafted a letter to Jean-Claude Schnauzer saying that us UK dogs want to leave the Kennel of Europe because it is too big and lots of dogs are coming over here wot are too young and come from puppy farms.
  3. All Treaties (these are small treats I believe) shall cease to apply to UK dogs from the date of withdrawal or, failing that, two years after the notification. Two years is a long time for some dogs, especially the bigger ones. Therefore, we need to get things done quickly. I have told David Camerhound to get his finger out. Alternatively, perhaps that Jeremy Colliebyn culd help out as he appears to have a good grasp of the situation.
  4. UK dogs shall not participate in the discussions of the European Kennel. This shouldn’t be a problem as they never listened to us beforehand.
  5. If a dog wot has withdrawn from the Kennel asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49. This is known as the hokey cokey procedure and is wot dogs are good at. When they are inside they want to go outside and when they are outside they want to come inside and scratch at the kitchen door – it’s wot dogs do.

All in all this is a bit of a Cockerpoo. However, nothing will change in the short run, except that all Bichon Frises will be required to return to France immediately.

So Alan, I hope that this answers your question. Next week I shall be discussing what I will be doing for the England football team now Roy Hodgson has resigned.

Ozy, The Old Cider House, Quantock Hills, Somerset

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Taking a Dog to France

Me visiting a chateau on holiday

Me visiting a chateau on holiday

I have been on holiday to France again with Ian and Lynne, Menace and Alan and Uncle and Auntie Biscuit.

This year we spent a few days in a place called Theillay wot is the town Nether Stowey is twinned with, right in the middle of France on the Loir-et-Cher (wot is a river). We spent loads of time with French families who fed me tons of stuff – mostly sausages made out of bits of pig that us English tend not to eat (or even feed to dogs). It woz GREAT, although it did have a touch of the Toulouse Trots afterwards!

There woz enough wine in one of those barrels for a whole evening's worth of  fun at The Old Cider House.

There woz enough wine in one of those barrels for a whole evening’s worth of fun at The Old Cider House.

Then we went down to the Dogdogne for a week. This is where we went last year so I knew what to do and where to go. The only issue was that that Alan and Menace were in the car as well and I woz a bit cramped – mainly because Ian had filled the car up with boxes of wine! Now don’t get me wrong; I like Ian drinking wine as he tends to be far more generous with treats and tit-bits as he wades through the bottle, but having to sit on the corner of a Côtes du Rhône case for hundreds of miles is a bit of a pain in the bottom.

I do like France; all the restaurants allow me in and French bread is just designed to be eaten by Labradors and can be easily passed to me under the table. I do not, however, like French vets, who are exactly the same as English vets but smell more garlicky.

Me taking my turn driving on our long journey to France

Me taking my turn driving on our long journey to France

On the way back we stopped at La Closerie Saint Martin, the B&B owned by our friends in the Loire. This is really nice although I had to be polite to Fado – the mad Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever wot lives there.

I am now a bit worried about what happens if we vote to come out of the European Union on Thursday. On the one paw I think it would be a good idea as it will stop the trafficking of under aged puppies from Eastern Europe and stop Bichon Frises from yapping. On the other paw, other countries may ban me from entering their countries. Have a look at my useful guide on the subject.

Decisions, decisions …

I mite do a special blog on the rufferendum on Friday – watch this space.

Ozy, The Old Cider House, The UK’s most dog friendly B&B.

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The EU Referendum

The postman delivered a load of rubbish this week, including a letter from HM Government about voting in the European Rufferendum.

Labrador Ozy with Passport

Me with my passport

Supposedly this booklet cost £9M (that’s an awful lot of Bonios) and its purpose is to let people know wot they should think. This seems a little bit Orwellian if you ask me, but that nice Mr Cameron thinks it is a good idea to stay in the EU.

So wot should us dogs think?

I travel to Europe regularly on holiday and like meeting other dogs (as long as they don’t bite me like a French dog did once). I do not, however, like foreign vets very much.

So, I have given Ian nine of my dog biscuits and have asked him to produce a simple guide that dogs (even Afghan Hounds) can understand.

Click on the picture below to read or follow this link: http://www.flipsnack.com/9EDEB697C6F/labrador-dog-view-on-the-european-referendum.html

Labrador view on EU referendum

Click above to view brochure

If you want to discuss wot the EU means please come to see me at The Old Cider House – the UK’s most dog friendly guesthouse.

Ozy

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Offshore Biscuit Haven

After a great deal of pressure, I feel that I need to clear up the issue of whether I have taken advantage of an offshore company to avoid paying tax.

As you are aware, I have always been open and transparent about my tax affairs and even published my tax return a few years ago SEE BLOG HERE.

Offshore kibble account.

Me with the £20 I saved by putting my kibble offshore.

I have never heard of to Mossack Fonseca (sounds like a pedigree dog to me) and the only Bahamas I know of are those yellow fruit wot Ian sometimes gives to me as a treat.

I do however, keep my biscuits in the laundry room. This is for safe keeping and nothing to do with saving money – it’s just a biscuit efficient location.

Ian buys the biscuits out of taxed income from the pet shop and transfers them into a biscuit efficient vessel. This is purely to keep them dry and crisp and nothing to do with tax. The biscuits are then kept in the laundry room until they are required by me on walks and stuff. I ask Ian for the biscuits and he opens the biscuit efficient vessel and takes out a handful and puts them in his pocket. He then transfers these biscuits into his other pocket leaving a few to avoid incurring any Canine Gains Tax (CGT). The rest are declared to me as and when required. Any biscuits that are left are returned to the biscuit efficient vessel and accounted for by creating Bearer Bones.

Chews are however treated differently.  I operate a Flexible Chewing Structure whereby I get Ian to take the chews down the pub and then eat those treats supplied by the pub. My chews can then be returned to the laundry room and used again at a later date. This is a double entry system used by many dogs and whilst morally suspect I am a dog and have no morals.

I hope this has cleared things up.

Ozy – store your biscuits with me here at The Old Cider House and I won’t tell anyone!

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Ozy on Drugs

Next month I will be thirteen and, according to the Pedigree dog age calculator I shall be 96 in human years. This is worrying for two reasons. Firstly, 96 is reely old and secondly the Pedigree dog age calculator doesn’t have a human equivalent for fourteen years – perhaps they are trying to tell me something!

As I am getting on a bit Ian took me to the vets yesterday for my annual MOT.

I do not like the vets. It’s full of sick dogs and cats and the vet smells funny. It’s the same abroad and French and German vets smell the same – ‘funny’.

Wotever, the vet said that I was very fit with just a few lumps and bumps and very slim – however, I could do with sum drugs.

Now I am usually very anti drugs – I have seen how they have ruined dogs’ lives; dogs hooked on caninebis and cockercaine. Just look at any farm collie wot is completely mad because of eating too much cow poo wot is full of antibiotics. Then there are the dangers of LSD – large stupid dogs.

However, the drugs wot the funny smelling vet gave me are not hard drugs they are for making your back legs work better. It’s got stuff like glucosamine and vitamins in it. The only problem is that it tastes DISGUSTING! So I spit out the capsules or try to leave the bits of food that Ian has sprinkled the stuff on.

Ian has also got a bad taste in his mouth – the vet’s bill woz £93.

See my video below or CLICK HERE

So until next time – keep well and don’t forget to visit me at The Old Cider House.

Ozy

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NEW YEAR DIET

Ian has decided we all need to go on a diet.

Well, actually, Ian needs to go on a diet as he spent most of the Christmas and New Year period in the pub with his mates and Uncle Biscuit drinking loads of Stowey Ale beer!

So I have been doing a bit of research to find out wot diet would be good for a Labrador:

16.01.03 Ozy Diet

I’ve fainted with hunger already!

WeightWatchers

This is based on a points’ system. No foods are banned and you daily and weekly ‘Smartpoints®’ and ‘Fitpoints’. For example, my normal kibble would be my daily allowance and I could have some Bonios each week with some chews. The Fitpoints are easy as I go on a walk every day. This looks like it might be a good thing to go on as it’s what I normally do.

Slim-Fast

This replaces two meals with a milkshake and then I can have a sensible meal in the evenings. Some snacks are allowed. However, the real drawback is that one of the shake flavours is chocolate and dogs must NEVER eat chocolate. Probably not good for dogs.

Cabbage Soup

This is where you eat cabbage soup. HORRIBLE

New Atkins

This involves staving the body of carbohydrates. It’s protein-rich diet with no restrictions on fat. This sounds FANTASTIC. I can go without biscuits and just eat meat.

5:2 Fast Diet

This is where you can eat as much as you like on five days but on two days you have to eat less. This sometimes happens when Ian forgets to feed me. It sounds like it might be alright, but one of the side-effects is bad breath – WOT am I talking about, I’ve always got bad breath!

NHS weight loss plan

This is really boring. Wot you do is just eat less and move more. However, it’s wot most diets are.

So all in all I prefer the Atkins diet – but first I must work out my BMI (Body Mass Index). To do this I need to take my weight and height and Ian pushes some buttons on his little machine and …. WHAT THE …

16.01.03 Ozy BMI

Ozy the Labrador

To come and stay with me at the UK’s most dog friendly guesthouse call 01278 732228 or e-mail woofwoof@theoldciderhouse.co.uk

 

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As you are aware a few months ago some of our guests wot come all the time wrote a letter to the Kennel Club to say we were reely dog friendly here at The Old Cider House. We then had to get people to vote for us; so I got Ian to send stuff out on the e-mail and Twitter and Snoutbook and wotever and we crossed our paws and hoped that we would win.

Last week Lynne got a call from the Kennel Club to say that we had got the most votes in our category and we had won the bestest B&B/Hotel. This is fantastic. We got 1,836 votes wot was 11% of the total votes cast.

On Saturday I sent Alan and Glenny together with Uncle and Auntie Biscuit AND Barky Harvey up to the Excel Centre in London to be presented with my prize (sorry OUR) prize; a bit of glass with some words on it.

I would like to thank all those people wot voted for us and Ian has said that all dogs visiting up until Easter next year can come and stay for free. You just have to tell him that you’ve read this blog when booking.

I hope to see you all in the next year at the UK’s most dog friendly guesthouse.

Luv, Ozy

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Vote for Ozy at Most Friendly B&B

Be Dog Friendly Awards 2015

Vote for The Old Cider House

Vote for The Old Cider House

In 2008 The Old Cider House was voted the most dog friendly B&B in the UK by the Kennel Club. This is mainly because of me greeting all the dogs wot come and stay with us to make sure they have a good time and stuff.

Ian and Lynne do their bit as well; giving all dog guests home-made dog biscuits, a booklet of walks and stuff, a tag (mainly so the owners can get delivered back to us after a night out at one of the three dog friendly pubs in the village) AND a sausage breakfast. The sausage breakfast is a bit of a bone of contention as I do not get one and I don’t think this is fair. Ian’s response is that he doesn’t have cooked breakfast in the morning. Not much of an argument I think!

VOTE FOR ME PLEASE

“Please Sir, Can I have some more votes?”

This year one of our reely nice guests has nominated us again and wot I need you to do is to vote for The Old Cider House by clicking this BE DOG FRIENDLY link. I think it is important that there are loads of places around the UK wot allow me and other dogs to stay. Mostly dogs are well behaved (although some of the owners are a bit suspect) and it is important to convince accommodation providers to let people stay with their dogs.

I have also been entered into the Brakspear’s dogs in pubs completion. You don’t have to vote for this one, but you can see my reely good photo at www.brakspear.co.uk/woof – I’m in the fourth line down.

Ian has now finished his book and so I should be able to blog more regularly now – in fact my next blog will be about the book as I appear in it and on the back cover!

So, until next time…

Luv, Ozy

The Old Cider House, Dog Friendly B&B, Somerset

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Hannah’s Sweets

I have just done my Maths DCSE (Dog Certificate of Secondary Education). Blinking Nora, it woz difficult. One of the questions woz nearly impossible to answer.

ROVER’S BISCUITS

Rover has a number of biscuits, six black kennel-shaped biscuits and an unidentified number of orange fish-shaped ones. Overall he has ‘N’ biscuits.

Rover eats one of the biscuits – it’s black. He then eats another biscuit, this is also black.

The probability of him eating these two black biscuits is a third.

How many biscuits will be left?

I sat for a long time pondering this question. Finally I used the following formula to work it out:

N = 6 (black) + N-6 (orange) – 1 x black = N-6-1 (black) = 0

Therefore there are zero biscuits left.

Wen I got home I asked Ian to carry out a practical experiment to prove this and he did a video of me…


If you are having difficulty with your maths, come to The Old Cider House, Dog Friendly B&B.

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Coleridge Way

I’ve just had my 12th birthday , that makes me 89 according to the Pedigree Petfood website, wot is quite old (me not the site).

So, wot did Ian get me for my birthday? A new blanket to cover my knees or a hot water bottle to keep me warm at night?

Me in the wind on the Coleridge Way

Me in the wind on the Coleridge Way

No.

He took me on a 55 mile walk!

As you know, Ian is writing a book on the Coleridge Way wot starts in Nether Stowey and goes all the way to Lynmouth in Devon. He has nearly finished it and wanted to walk it one final time. I can’t actually remember agreeing to walk it with him and woz sort of carried along with the plan. The next thing I knew, I woz in the vets getting a health check to make sure I woz fit enough. The stupid vet said ‘yes’ and so we walked the entire path in three (yes, you heard me right – three) days!

Luckily the weather woz quite nice and I didn’t have to carry any food or water (Ian did that for me) and I just trotted off at a reasonable pace. We did nearly 18 miles on the first day with no trouble at all. I must admit I woz a bit tired at the end of the day, but other than that fine. The second day woz 17 miles and again it woz easy peasy, although Ian woz moaning a bit about the ups and downs and the third say no trouble at all as well. We then got up at the crack of dawn on the last day to walk an additional 4 miles so we could see where Coleridge went with his friends and to take drugs (Coleridge, not me and Ian).

The best bits of the walk were the sausages that Ian took with him on the first day, lunchtime and dinner and treats in pubs. Other than that, I’m not sure I can remember much. The scenery woz okay and meeting an adder woz a bit frightening, but walking 55 miles is not difficult – even if you are 89!

So, if you fancy walking the Coleridge Way, then give Ian or Lynne a call and they will help you.

Luv, Ozy

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How should dogs vote?

Vote carefully by licking the candidate you want.

Vote carefully by licking the candidate you want.

I have been wondering how I should vote in the election. So I have been scanning the manifestos of all the main parties looking to see what they say about dogs’ rights and how us dogs will be looked after in the future.

Dogservatives

There is nothing in the manifesto about dogs. This is disappointing as there are 8.3 million dogs, lots of them living in middle-class homes. These dogs have a lot of needs; kibble, nice places in the country to walk and like to travel abroad to their owner’s holiday homes in Provence etc. They would have a lot of pester power and could convince their owners to vote Tory.

 Labourdors

Their manifesto actually has stuff about dogs and animals:

We will build on our strong record on animal welfare – starting with an end to the Government’s ineffective and cruel badger cull. We will improve the protection of dogs and cats, ban wild animals in circuses, defend the hunting ban and deal with wildlife crime associated with shooting…

Whilst we would be bankrupt again it seems that they have our best interests at heart.

Liberal Dalmations

Nothing about dogs here at all. However, they do not appear to rule out forming an alliance with another breeds to form a government. All these dogs are owned by people wot work in schools or in local government.

UK Independent Pooch (UKIP)

These are run by a Rottweiler called Nigel. It is his intention to limit the number of foreign dogs wot can come into the country. This is all well and good but I am originally a Portuguese fishing dog wot worked in the north-east part of America. Would he let me in today?

Scottish Naughty Puppies (SNP)

These are reely naughty. I couldn’t find their manifesto on their website initially, until I found out you had to click on a picture of the fish woman with the funny haircut. Nothing about dogs – how will the Westies and Scotties know how to vote?

Greens

Blinking Nora, there’s loads of stuff on dogs here:

  • Strengthen the ban on hunting with dogs
  • Stop non-medical experiments, experiments using primates, cats and dogs
  • Completely review and update existing dog legislation, particularly relating to dog control
  • Ensure properly coordinated action on dog fighting
  • A requirement that dogs living in council owned homes should be micro-chipped

Monster Raving Loony Party

Nothing in the manifesto really about dogs, although I did like the policy for HMRC to give Nectar points to those paying their taxes on time. However, previous policies have included:

  • Abolition of dog licences (1987) – nothing yet on the abolition of the poetic licence.
  • Passports for pets (2001)
  • Pets, especially cats and dogs, may not be dressed in miniature human clothing for the purpose of human amusement

I’ll leave it up to you how you or your owner votes…

However, if you want to discuss politics with me call 01278 732228 or send me message at woofwoof@theoldciderhouse.co.uk 

Ozy

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The Grand Tour

Firstly, I know a lot of you have been worried cos you haven’t heard from me lately. This is because Ian is writing a book and decided that all other stuff had to be put on hold – including my blog. As Ian has now finished the initial draft and is on the first edit he sed he had a few minutes to type up a lot of backlogged dictation from me.

So wot have I been up to?

Well, I’ve just come back from a ‘Grand Tour’ of Europe. This is wot the Victorian middle classes used to do, and as I’m middle class I thort I’d do the same.

BELGIUM

Me with mad Belgian people

Me with mad Belgian people

Ian likes Belgium, mainly because it does gud beer this meant that we spent quite a lot of time in bars, which, on the whole is a gud thing as there are always opportunities to hoover up under tables and to beg food from other diners. However, the Belgians are a bit mad, including one couple wot insisted on having their photo taken with me.

Dog friendly rating ****

LUXEMBOURG

Very expensive water in Luxembourg

Very expensive water in Luxembourg

This is a funny little country wot is quite difficult to find, in fact Ian had to drive round and reverse a few times to make sure we were actually there.

It is a very rich country (2nd highest GDP per person) this is because of the exorbitant prices they charge for a beer. However, they were reasonably friendly. If you struggle to name a famous Belgian, then you will have no hope with a famous Luxembourgian! I didn’t spend long there.

Dog friendly rating ****

GERMANY

My first escalator

My first escalator

This woz our main destination and we hired a dog friendly apartment for a week.

Germany is reely dog friendly. There are loads of walks (wot are very well signposted), and all the bars and restaurants let dogs in – even reely posh ones – restaurants, not dogs.

Ian had bratwurst every day for lunch and I even got my own one, wot I bought out of my holiday money I had saved up from my tips.

Looking worried in the  German vets with scruffy lead

Looking worried in the German vets with scruffy lead

We did a lot of travelling by train in Germany and once Ian had worked out how to buy the tickets we went all over the place in including Heidleburg. However, I can report that German trains DO NOT run on time.

The only disaster was that I lost my lead and had to buy a new one.

Dog friendly rating *****

FRANCE

We stayed in Epernay in Champagne. I’m not a lover of champagne as the bubbles tend to go up my nose and with a nose the size of mine, this can be quite painful.

In posh French restaurant - Oh la la!

In posh French restaurant – Oh la la!

I’m not sure whether it woz just because we were in a posh area, but it wozn’t as dog friendly as I’d expected with a few ‘no dog’ signs placed at snout height to let me know I wasn’t wanted. Having said that most places did allow me in and people were very friendly.

Dog friendly rating ***

We went through the tunnel on the train thing and that was interesting and very efficient, and I can recommend this as a way to get to the Continent as it is not as up and down as a boat. Details of Le Shuttle here

So, I hope to be back blogging normally now – until next time.

Luv Ozy

If you’d like to discuss the EU, please come and stay with me here at The Old Cider House, Nether Stowey, Somerset – the UK’s most dog friendly accommodation

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HALLOWEEN

Whooooo!

Whooooo!

It’s been Halloween. This is the time of year that I get dressed up by Ian to look stupid. And do you know what? I let him do it on the basis that I might get a biscuit. How shallow is that!

This year I dressed up as a ghost by putting a tablecloth over me and then Ian put a plastic bucket on my head and took my picture.

Now, I have been doing sum research on photos and stuff using Ian’s Practical Law subscription (don’t tell him), and it appears that a photo of me is capable of amounting to personal data under the Data Protection Act 1998 if I am identifiable from the photograph. This probably means that the ghoul photo is okay, but the one with a bucket on my hed is definitely me.

This is demeaning!

This is demeaning!

Whilst consent is not always required for the processing of personal data the purpose for which the images are to be used may be relevant. And the purpose in this case… to make me look like a blinking idiot.

So what can I do about it?

Well I could write to the Information Commissioner’s office about misuse of my photo, or bring a claim before County Court for breach of the DPA.

Is anyone out there willing to do this on a pro bonio basis?

For more information on the Data Protection Act or just to talk about how awful life is contact me on 01278 732228 or woofwoof@theoldciderhouse.co.uk

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No Bonios For Dogtober

Guess what, I’m doing something for charity this month – giving up Bonios for October.

Why? I hear you say.

No Bonios for Dogtober

No Bonios for Dogtober

Well, Ian and Lynne are doing ‘Sober for October’ wot is a campaign run by MacMillan Cancer Support and humans have to give up drinking beer and wine and stuff for the whole of the month. They then get people to give them money.

This is a NIGHTMARE! Firstly Ian keeps moaning all the time about how he could really do with a beer and that ‘this meal really needs a glass of Cote de Rhone with it’ and worst of all we have stopped going to the pub! Ian says that this is to stop me being tempted to eat any Bonios that Bill in the George might give me. I have tried to argue that gravy bones are not Bonios, but Ian said that woz semantics (wotever that means).

So, here we are all being miserable for the month. It wasn’t so bad last year wen I did Movember  and Ian had to choose a moustache to put on me. So if you would like to sponsor me then you can go to Ian’s Sober of October page on the MacMillan site and give a few pounds.

If you want to come and be miserable with us call Ian or Lynne on 01278 732228

Ozy

The Old Cider House, Quantock Hills, Dog Friendly

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THE SCOTTISH RUFFERENDUM

I have been reely interested in the Scottie Rufferendum wot has been on the telly and the radio all the time and last week woz the decision.

Ozy's take on Scotland

Perhaps saying ‘Aye to Pie’ is contributing to the Scottish obesity problem?

The fish people (Salmond and Sturgeon) wanted all Scottie Dogs to be free and not to be told wot to do by the English who held their leads. However, when all dogs were asked wot they wanted they decided that they would rather be part of the United Dogdom.

However, the Scotties had to be bribed by the ‘Barkett Formula’ whereby all dogs in Scotland are given an extra 1,623 biscuits a year (about 10 boxes) because they are reely poor, despite the North Seal Oil they get. This seems to be bonkers given that 60% of Scottish dogs are overweight or obese and will put an extra strain on the NHS (Neaps, Haggis and Sausages).

And now the English dogs are complaining because they do not get any extra biscuits and Scottish dogs can decide how many biscuits they have. This is known as the ‘Westies loathe ‘em’ question.

So that nice Mr Cameron is now in a bit of a pickle. Wot does he do about stuff that only affects English dogs – or even Welsh Springers? He says that they should be able to decide how many biscuits they should have, but Mr Milliband has now had second thoughts – no that can’t be right because he rarely has a first thought – wotever, Milliband has loads of MPs in Scotland and they won’t be able to vote on stuff…

Talk about complicated – I’m glad I’m only a dog.

If you want to discuss stuff about Scotland, then come and visit me at The Old Cider House 

Luv, Ozy

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Thunderbolts and Lightning – Very Very Frightening

With all this hot weather, I thought I’d just give you a few tips about looking after your owners during a thunderstorm.

At the moment there is a lot of warm air around and this causes cumulonimbus clouds to form. When this warm, moist air hits cooler air a collision occurs creating a positive electrical charge. The ground has a negative charge and a spark can then cross over from one to another. A bit like when you get your fur brushed and Ian accidently touches your nose.

At the moment were experiencing the Spanish plume. This is warm air from Spain meeting colder air from the Atlantic in the west. A man on the television can explain this.

So, what to do if there is a thunderstorm.

If it is during the day, you probably need to go to where Ian is likely to be to make sure he’s okay. This is usually the office. So that you do not get in the way, the best place is to squeeze in under the desk, behind the computer. The only problem is that you tend to get covered in dust and stuff and get bits of fur in the computer meaning Ian has to phone the man from Dell to get it mended.

Make sure there are no monsters under the bed.

Make sure there are no monsters under the bed.

If the thunderstorm is at night then firstly you must rush into Ian and Lynne’s bedroom, because they might be frightened. Next check under the bed to make sure there are no monsters there (see photo). Then, if you can’t get all the way under the bed, you need to get on the bed and get as close to the bit where the human’s heads are. This gives them comfort.

These actions work just as well when there are fireworks or other loud bangs outside.

If you want to know more about thunder and stuff, come and see me at The Old Cider House, Dog Friendly B&B, Somerset, Quantocks, Quantock Hills

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A Dog’s Breakfast

Whilst The Old Cider House may have been voted the most dog friendly B&B in the UK a few years ago, we are always conscious that some people don’t like too many dogs.

I am always careful to make sure that people like me (or have cake) before I greet them in the lounge over a cup of tea. As most people get cake, I have to assume that they like me.

Now we do get some people wot are allergic to dogs. I have this message for you. If you don’t like dogs or are allergic to them THIS IS NOT THE PLACE FOR YOU. Ian gets reely annoyed when people turn up who don’t like dogs and then complain on TripAdvisor. “Do your research” is wot he says, although not as politely as that.

We have two dog friendly rooms and usually limit the number of dogs to four. However, this weekend, we had people wot brought their dogs down wot were special guests and we had six guest dogs and me making seven.

Every dog is offered a ‘sausage breakfast’ this consists of a sausage. All dogs like sausages, although some owners think they should be on a diet; “come on – they’re on holiday for heaven’s sake!”

So we got the dogs to eat their breakfast together.

Now you have heard the expression, ‘it’s like herding cats’, well this is dogs…

To watch ths on YouTube click here

If you want to have a sausage breakfast contact me here at The Old Cider House, Dog Friendly Accommodation, Quantocks, Quantock Hills, Somerset

Ozy

Posted in Dog Friendly, Sausage Breakfast | 4 Comments

Ian’s Arm and the Coleridge Way

The vet used bits of old meccano from his son's toybox.

The vet used bits of old meccano from his son’s toybox.

There has been a delay in getting this blog out due to Ian’s stupidity in breaking his arm. This is becoming a bit of a family trait with Menace breaking hers last year. However, Ian had to go one better and broke it in two places and has had to have his arm rebuilt by the vet with bits of Meccano. The long and the short of this is that he has been unable to type my blog and my bark recognition software has developed a fault in that it won’t open on Ian’s PC or my dogtop.

Whilst Ian has been indisposed, this hasn’t meant that I’ve been lying around in the sun doing nothing all day (well only 95% of the time), Last month Ian was supposed to be walking the Coleridge Way for his now book The Coleridge Way Companion Guide, so I have done it for him with Lynne (Ian just sat in pubs waiting for us to turn up at the end of the day). And guess wot; I got a certificate to say I’d walked it. How good is that?

My certificate

My certificate

The Coleridge Way is great. You can walk along paths and stay in bed and breakfasts. It is 51 miles long and takes four days. The best bits were; bits of sausage at breakfast, leftover bits of sandwiches at lunch and chips and leftovers at dinner. Luckily, Ian woz feeling a bit under the weather with his arm and didn’t have his full appetite so I helped him out.

Finally the Luis Suarez incident has reignited the unfortunate occasion when I bite Dave ‘the Nose’s’ nose a few years ago. I would like to remind everyone that this was an accident due to the fact that Dave had consumed a lot of beer and insisted on feeding me biscuits with his mouth.11.07.13 Dave's New Nose

I must go now. I have to write a section on my http://www.law4dogs.co.uk site on the new Flexible Working Dogs regulations which allow every dog (as long as it is over 26 weeks) to make a request to work flexibly. I’ll let you know when this is done.

See you all soon,

Luv, Ozy

The Old Cider House, Dog Friendly B&B, Quantocks, Quantock Hills, Somerset

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TECHNICAL INFORMATION

Dear Reader,

It has come to my attention that if you are getting my blogs via e-mail then you may not be getting the ‘multi-media’ element  in the blog itself.

Therefore, please click onto the title within the e-mail to take you to the blog itself. Yesterday’s blog was at https://ozythelabrador.wordpress.com/2014/05/10/busy-in-nether-stowey/

Thank you,

Ozy

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Busy in Nether Stowey

Wot a week! I can’t remember one being so busy – and I’m supposed to be semi-retired like Lynne and Ian are.

It started with the Nether Stowey May Fair. This is fantastic with loads of stalls with local food and drink, all at nose height. I woz lucky enough to meet my old mate Paul George from BBC Radio Somerset who was helping out on the Charlie Taylor programme. Paul allowed me to have my photo taken with him and I’m thinking of having this run off and getting him to sign it for me. Then I got a MENTION! I didn’t know about this at the time but someone told me in the pub that he’d heard me in YEOVIL, wot is miles away – I didn’t think my bark woz that loud.

 

Lynne went away for a few days so I had to look after Ian and make sure that he kept hydrated by taking him to the pub for beers. Ian got very hydrated on Sunday night! This together with loads of Cornish pasties meant he had a well-balanced diet (and I got the crusts).

Me being polite and shaking hands with Jayne

Me being polite and shaking hands with Jayne

Then Ian woz short staffed at work so I had to go in to help him with a few simple Settlement Agreements and a bit of moving pieces of A4 paper from one wastepaper bin to another. I woz formally introduced to his colleague Jayne and had my photo taken shaking hands/paws. She does divorce stuff and sorts out who gets the puppy when people split up.

Finally, I have had quite a few answers to last week’s Sudoku competition and have been contacted by the Daily Telegraph’s crossword compiler, Kate Mepham – who is very clever. So here’s the answer, very nicely drawn by Glennys.

Easy Peasy

Easy Peasy

I am looking forward to a more relaxing week next week and you can join me for a relaxing week too by contacting me at woofwoof@theoldciderhouse.co.uk or speaking on the telephony thing 01278 732228.

Luv Ozy, The Old Cider House, Dog Friendly B&B, Quantocks, Quantock Hills, Somerset

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Dog Sudoku

I don’t know about you, but after a long day there is nothing better than sitting in front of the telly and relaxing, perhaps doing the Times crossword or even a Sudoku.

Ian and Lynne had some business training this week from Jim Hardcastle of Viper Marketing (he really has that little hair!) and Jim woz saying that his collie is a nightmare if it doesn’t expend all its mental energy by the end of the day (not sure whether that’s Jim or the dog) – and I’m just the same. Things just keep going round and round in my head – mainly thoughts about kibble – and I really do need to switch off. However, this Sudoku is turning into a bit of a nightmare. Can anyone help?

There's a free chew to the first person to complete this and send it back to woofwoof@theoldciderhouse.co.uk

There’s a free chew to the first person to complete this and send it back to woofwoof@theoldciderhouse.co.uk

If you want to relax and do a Sudoku or something, come and stay with me at The Old Cider House, Dog Friendly Accommodation, Quantock Hills, Somerset

Luv, Ozy

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Birthdays are Pants

It was my birthday yesterday – although it might as well have been any other day.

Ian and Lynne went out in the morning, leaving me to watch daytime television – wot a load of rubbish woz on. Homes under the Hammer, Bargain Hunter, This Morning, Come Dine with me. It woz all tripe. Radio Four wozn’t much better. Woman’s Hour, Book of the Week – phurrr!

Then wen Ian and Lynne came back they said they had a present for me – fantastic I thought, they hadn’t forgotten my birthday… and wen they opened the car wot woz in it? A load of chickens!!! Wot am I going to do with half a dozen young hens I thort? (dinner came to mind) – it woz pants!

Easter Duties

Easter Duties

Easter wozn’t much better. Ian made me play the Easter Bunny, delivering Cadbury Mini-Eggs to the guests at breakfast. This is a tradition wot I don’t reely mind coz I get loads of treats. However, I mustn’t have the chocolate coz these are very bad for dogs – having said that the toxicity levels for me would be 383 Mini-Eggs  or 38 small packets!

To make matters worz, I have been to the vets this week. There woz nothing wrong with me but Ian thort I’d better have an MOT as we are walking the Coleridge Way in June. This is a long walk – about 100 miles to Lynton in Devon and back again. The vet with the hairy arms (the same one I sprayed with liquid poo when I had a cyst on my bottom) felt me all over (it woz like being in a room with a 1970s’ disc jockey) and said I woz reely fit and could go on the walk. I suppose it will be alright.

Well must go now – I think that there is a present for me reely – I hope it’s those hide chicken strips.

If you want to come and see me (and bring a birthday present) please do.

Ozy, The Old Cider House, Dog Friendly Accommodation, Quantocks

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FOX POO AND DEAD BADGER

In the running around the field game yesterday, my horse came 13th! This was very disappointing as I had got a first and a third in the last two years and I have become to rely on those winnings for my holiday money. Ian said that I shouldn’t rely on gambling as an income, but because I get so little money from doing napkins and stuff I need to supplement my income somehow.

This afternoon I am going to bet on the blue team to win the Boat Race.

Dog and Cat Argument Service

Dog and Cat Argument Service

Today is the first day of the new Dog and Cat Argument Service (DACAS). This means that if you have an argument with another family pet member then instead of growling (dogs) or spitting (cats), you now have to go through DACAS (actually you are not obliged to do so until 6th May – as Ian keeps shouting at the BBC Radio 4 broadcasters).

DACAS will take your details about who’s allowed to sit on the sofa or who gets the blame for digging up the tomato plants and then talk nicely to you. This is all part of the Government’s scheme to stop people using the Employment Tribunal (although charging dogs and cats 1,200 biscuits seems to have had the desired effect).

Finally, Ian has made a smell in the office.

The Smell of Exmoor!

The Smell of Exmoor!

This comes from the new Air Wick ‘Scent of Exmoor’ air freshener wot he has put in the office. Supposedly this smells of ‘sea spray and ocean minerals’. I think it smells like the stuff Lynne puts down the toilet when someone has done a poo!

Ian thort it would be a good idea to find out wot the Quantocks smell like and has done a competition. Wot you have to do is log onto the competition page by CLICKING HERE or on the picture of the Air Wick box and put down what you think the aroma of Quantock Hills  contains. I have suggested; dead badger, fox poo with overtones of stag musk. The winner will get to stay at The Old Cider House and get their perfume made up (there’s a firm wot does this, although I didn’t actually see any mention of badger on their site!

Well, that’s enough for today. Remember that Somerset is open for business and I look forward to seeing you all over the spring and summer.

Luv, Ozy

The Old Cider House, Dog Friendly Bed and Breakfast, Quantocks, Quantock Hills, Somerset

Posted in Employment Law, Grand National, Law4Dogs, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

12 Years a Slave Dog

I woz born a free dog in the village of Huntsworth, near Bridgwater. My life woz idyllic, playing with my brothers and sisters without a care in the World – then that all changed.

Please come and rescue me!

Please come and rescue me!

I woz approached by a couple of people wot said they owned a bed and breakfast in the Quantock Hills and offered me a high paid job helping in the guesthouse – clearing tables and stuff. It woz an offer that I culdn’t refuse, so I packed up my blanket and bowl and followed them to the Quantocks. Little did I know that they were crooks and I woz told never to mention my free life in Huntsworth again.

I woz transported to Nether Stowey in a Ford Galaxy and immediately put into a collar and lead, something that I have had to wear ever since. From then on my life has been one of toil and hardship. I even have to eat my food out of a bowl on the floor!

The first thing they made me do woz learn how to do stuff in the guesthouse; clearing napkins and tablecloths after breakfast, putting pillowslips into the washing machine and doing ‘spillage cleaning’ jobs wen something fell off of the kitchen counter onto the floor (wot isn’t too bad I suppose).

I also had to be nice to other dogs wot visit The Old Cider House and I am sure that it woz my hard work wot got them to be the winner of the Kennel Club’s best B&B in the UK award a few years ago. It’s all well and good being one of the most dog friendly places in the South West, but I don’t have much time to myself.

I have set up a website for other dogs wot are also suffering called www.law4dogs.co.uk and I am hoping to be freed in the near future.

I have heard that they are going to make a film of my life. I think Morgan Freedog would play me well as an older dog and perhaps Brad Pitbull could also star in it.

So it’s back to the grind…

If you want to come and help rescue me, then I’m at The Old Cider House, Nether Stowey, Quantocks, Quantock Hills, Somerset – dog friendly bed and breakfast accommodation.

Luv, Ozy

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It’s Only Weather

Very funny - ha, ha!

Very funny – ha, ha!

As I am only 14 inches off the ground (I know this coz Ian measured me with the tape measure – it woz like an episode of ‘Are you Being Served‘ and I woz expecting Mr Humphries to mention my bits and Mrs Slocomb’s pussy [see here for some fantastic quotes]) – where woz I…. oh yes….so water levels are very important when your willy is so near the ground and if you believed everything you saw in the Press or on the BBC you would have thought the whole Country was under water.

I live in the Quantock Hills in West Somerset these are 300 metres above sea level. The Somerset Levels are a sparsely populated coastal plain and wetland area of reclaimed land consisting of coastal clay and peat and most of the area is at mean sea level. They grow willow and teasel there as well as grass coz it is WET and always has been. Now don’t get me wrong if you’ve got loads of water around your bits for weeks on end you’re going to be a bit cheesed off, but this doesn’t mean that Somerset is closed for business.

In 1919, 70,000 acres (283 km²) were flooded. In 1872/3, 277 km² was underwater from October to March. This year 65 km² was flooded, but they didn’t have Sky News in 1919 or 1872. And on that point, the number of journalists in the Levels far outnumber the population at the moment. The areas that are flooded are spectacular – with water as far as you can see. However, this was how it used to look and proposals were being considered to return the area to a couple of inland seas before the latest flooding.

Sunday, 16th February 2014 - Kilve Beach in the sun

Sunday, 16th February 2014 – Kilve Beach in the sun

Today is a lovely early spring day. The sun is shining and Lynne, Ian and I are off to Kilve Beach for a walk in the north of the Quantocks. Other than that it’s WEATHER – get over it as we’ll be moaning about the drought in the summer and climate change and the fact that we’re all doomed.

The people wot run hospitality businesses in the South West have seen visitor numbers drop by 65% this year. It’s up to you sensible people to spread the news that we’re open for business and looking forward to seeing a few guests – although I suggest you bring a brolly.

See you soon and don’t worry if you are a short dog as you can be carried over any puddles.

Luv, Ozy – The Old Cider House, Nether Stowey (70 metres above sea level), Somerset – Dog Friendly Hotel

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DOG MARKETING

January is very quiet – Ian says this is really bad coz there is the moregage to pay and ‘those nice people at HMRC’ also want money to give to poor dogs in Liverpool wot sit around and watch Sky TV all day and smoke cigarettes and stuff. Therefore Ian has designated January as ‘Marketing Month’ and I have to come up with my marketing plan for the next 12 months in order to get more dog guests in.

I’ve started by visualising my target audience personas or ‘client profiling’. This is like thinking of a dog guest wot you want to come and stay and then structure your marketing so that they want to come and stay. Personally, I like Labradors coz they are very handsome and clever (especially the black ones). So I have imagined him or her as the ideal guest.

This is a dream I often have.

This is a dream I often have.

So, what would appeal to a Labrador? Answer FOOD – so all my advertising and marketing has to revolve around food. We already give away free home-made biscuits and there’s always a bowl of treats and dog-choc-drops in the hall and we even give dog a free trial pack of Tea for Dogs (personally I think it tastes like wee – but smaller dogs with funny owners might like it). But is this enough? Well, the pubs in Nether Stowey all have biscuits behind the bar (The Rose and Crown and Ancient Mariner) and Bill at the George Hotel has Scooby Snacks wot are reelly nice.

However, Ian has just asked me wot happens if the dog guest is not a Labrador and not completely obsessed with food, like wot I am. Well this is a bit of a problem. We put out walk books for dogs and even poo bags – but it’s difficult to market wen a dog doesn’t eat. I am now going back to my doggie mind-map to see if I can come up with some gud ideas.

So here’s my plan

1) Objectives

To increase the amount of dogs wot stay with us over 2014

2) Product/Service

Ian and Lynne provide a dog friendly guesthouse with two rooms being designated ‘pet friendly’ – the Poets  and Orchard Rooms       

3) Customers

These are humans (mainly) wot have dogs (or even cats) and want to go on holiday with those dogs (and cats).   

4) Competitors and SWOT analysis

There are a few dog friendly places around but we are the nicest.

  • Strengths – well established, reely nice, gud walks and stuff
  • Weakness – I don’t have any weaknesses, I am a strong dog
  • Opportunities – there must be loads of people out there wot want to go on holiday in a nice place
  • Threats – if you don’t come and stay we will beat you up

5) Positioning and USP

I’m not sure I have an usp. I do have a bowl and lead, but honestly have no idea wot an usp is!     

6) Pricing

£3.00 per dog per night – this is reely cheep   

7) Sales & Support

Lynne deals with this sort of stuff. She sits at the square boxy thing in the office and does moving her fingers and then pictures come up on a screen.     

8) Promotion

Lynne puts our name on loads of websites    

9) Budget

We have never had one of these or a parrot  

10) Action Plan

Wot do you think this is?

Luz, Ozy the Labrador, The Old Cider House, Dog Friendly Bed and Breakfast, Somerset

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It’s Christmas

I know it’s Christmas because Ian keeps putting on that Mariah Carey CD wot hurts my ears and Classic FM keep playing the same music wot they did last year except that this year they have gone trendy with a bloke on a guitar playing ‘Fairytale of New York’ every ten minutes.

Well Christmas has come early, with my cousin, Barky Harvey, already here – Blimey, it’s like a Jane Austen novel with family coming for the ‘Season’ and talk of balls and Death Comes to Pemberley on the television.

I didn’t write a letter to Father Christmas this year, coz last year he woz RUBBISH. I asked for loads of stuff and all I got woz some chews and biscuits. Don’t get me wrong, I like chews and stuff, but the iBone 5 and iPaw would have brought me into the 21st Century and allowed me to do good blogs and stuff. I have had a bit of a sniff around the tree and found some presents that were for me – in fact I have managed to open one already (don’t tell anyone).

If they will leave stuff on the floor!

If they will leave stuff on the floor!

I think Menace is going to buy me a new lead as my old one is a bit tatty and I have asked for a new mat to put my bowl on as the current one is disgusting and I am worried about getting food poisoning every time I lick it, (just in case some of my kibble has escaped out of my bowl). Other than that it will be the same as last year – sleep, pub, brussel sprouts (Ian has put them on already so that they are properly cooked), walk, sleep. Lynne woz going to do a Nigella Christmas and has been crushing up Drontal tablets and putting them in £50 notes. However, she’s changed her mind and we’re now having a Gordon Ramsey Christmas with f’ing turkey and stuff.

Ian has made some reely nice Christmas beer wot he is taking down to the Rose and Crown so there will be plenty of visits down the pub I hope.

So, I hope you all have a reely good Christmas. Remember, if you are a dog you mustn’t eat chocolate or mince pies (unless it’s just the pastry) and if you are a human then be careful about drinking too much of Ian’s beer.

See you all in 2014.

Luv, Ozy

The Old Cider House, Dog Friendly B&B, Quantock Hills, Somerset

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Movember

Yes, I know it’s December, but this is a serious thing about looking after yourself if you are a man human.

Now as a Labrador, I pay a lot of attention to my private parts and spent hours at night making sure my willy is nice and clean and in good working order. However, humans need to do the same.

Ian says it tickles when I kiss him

Ian says it tickles when I kiss him

Last month, humans (and dogs) were invited to grow a moustache to raise awareness of men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer and problems wot male humans get. I got an email from woofandbrew.com wot make teas for dogs (honestly!) and they invited me to send them a photo of me with my moustache – and here it is. I really wanted to send a copy of my very clean willy, but Ian said that would not be appropriate. SEE ALL THE PHOTOS BY CLICKING HERE

Tea for dogs - what will they think of next!

Tea for dogs – what will they think of next!

If you have any spare collar money and want to give it to the Movember campaign, I’m sure they would be very pleased to receive it. Just go to the MOVEMBER SITE

I’m just getting ready for Christmas now, so look out for my December blogs. Don’t forget to follow me by clicking the button on this page and there’s always Twitter

Don’t forget to come and see me in the New Year.

Luv, Ozy

The Old Cider House, Dog Friendly B&B, Quantock Hills, Somerset

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Tor Bagging

I’ve been on holiday (again). Ian, Lynne, Menace and Alan all went to Dartmoor for four days to get away from the stresses and strains of running a small rural guesthouse!

Dartmoor is like the Quantocks but with more prisons and loads bigger. It was also, and I know that you are going to find this hard to believe, nice weather wot woz good as I’m not sure I would have enjoyed getting wet every day.

Me with tors behind waiting to be bagged

Me with tors behind waiting to be bagged

The holiday started well with me being taken to my favourite shop, Jollyes, to choose some treats for the break. I chose three packs of posh biscuits for dogs from the Pet Bakery. I also stole some biscuits from the buckets on the floor – well, wot a stupid place to put biscuits – I ask you!

Ian wanted to go to Dartmoor to go ‘tor bagging’ this is where you go into the middle of nowhere, and then look for the highest point, then walk up to a load of rocks. Then when you’ve done that you look around for another load of rocks and walk up to those as well. I thort this woz GREAT although I woz a bit knackered at the end of the day.

Nearly as good as tor bagging woz going to the pub at lunchtime and I cannot recommend the Plume of Feathers in Princetown highly enough – they had a MENU FOR DOGS! Can you believe it? Ian quite liked the Dartmoor beer (Ian likes any beer!) but I had the doggie sausages, sliced and diced – SMASHING.

Doggie Menu - FANTASTIC. Well done the Plume of Feathers

Doggie Menu – FANTASTIC. Well done the Plume of Feathers

Other good pubs were the Exeter Inn, Ashburton (good Legend ale), the Rugglestone (reely good Cornish (or perhaps Devon) pasty, Widecombe-in-the-Moor and the Old Inn, also Widecombe, where Ian saw this sign…

Oh er missus!

Oh er missus!

All in all, it woz a reely good holiday, but I don’t think you can beat the Quantock Hills and I woz glad to get home.

If you want to discuss tor bagging with me, then just get your owner to give Ian or Lynne a call on 01278 732228 or e-mail me at woofwoof@theoldciderhouse.co.uk and I’ll be happy to show you some rocks wot you can walk up on the Quantock Hills.

Until next time, Ozy

The Old Cider House, Dog Friendly Bed and Breakfast, Quantocks, Somerset

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Dogital Dictation

Dog Dictation Software

Dog Dictation Software

After months and months, Ian has finally got round to uploading my new digital dictation software – Dragon Naturally Speaking Bark Recognition. Originally this was for…dragons, I presume, but it seems to work reely well for dogs too. All I have to do is bark at the little microphone thing on my dictating machine and then plug this into Ian’s computer and my bark comes out as text. This means that I no longer have to rely on Ian to type my blogs, although I do need a little bit of help plugging the cable into the USB slot. So here goes, my first attempt at doing my blog myself… Ian has kindly set up my own Audioboo account at https://audioboo.fm/boos/1700473-ozy-s-first-blog

…and in words: Snuffle woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof snuffle woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woofwoofwoofwoof woof growl woof.

This is fantastic – unfortunately you can only understand it if you are a dog – so it needs to go through a translator. I used www.babelfish.com to do this. Unfortunately, they did not have a dog to English button but they did have an English to French one – so here is my dictation in French: Pense wouf wouf wouf wouf wouf wouf wouf wouf pense wouf wouf wouf wouf wouf wouf wouf wouf woofwoofwoofwoof woof growl woof. … and in German: Snuffle wuff wuff wuff wuff wuff wuff wuff wuff Snuffle wuff wuff wuff wuff wuff wuff wuff wuff Woofwoofwoofwoof Woof Knurren wuff

I have also managed to translate a few choice words into Klingon:

‘Open the Door’ – ‘lojmIt yIpoSmoH!’

‘Sit’ – Ba ‘Dog’ – ‘Ha’DIbaH’

Then I found the best app ever – Google Translate for Animals. This came up with ‘Really, food please’. How accurate is that!

So that’s enough blogging for one day.

If you want to blog with me, then come to The Old Cider House, the UK’s most dog friendly bed and breakfast. Luv, Ozy

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My Mind is a Blank

Me pretending to be asleep

Me pretending to be asleep

You will remember that last week I sent Ian on a time management course and that he had put ‘typing my blog’ into his diary for 7.30am today. Well – he got up and got me up too! This is too early. I tried to pretend I woz asleep but he woz insistent saying that the reason for me not getting things done woz because of a lack of organisation and that today he had some exercises for me to do. Now, I quite like exercise (walking and running and stuff), but this woz stuff on paper and I don’t do paper (except putting stuff out for recycling).

The first thing I had to do was a ‘mind dump’. This is where you write down everything wot is on your mind. Unfortunately, I misheard wot Ian sed. Luckily he had a poo bag on him.

The next thing woz to do a ‘mind map’. Mind mapping is when you write down something that you want to do and then think of things wot come into your brain related to that idea. This all sounds a bit like modern mumbo jumbo although supposedly woz invented by Aristotle (although he didn’t have flip charts and PowerPoint and had to use sand and sticks). I have chosen ‘Getting my blog done each week’ as the central subject – Ian sez that he thinks he has spotted the reason why I can’t get round to doing my blog and that something else might be on my mind.

There seems to be a common thread!

There seems to be a common thread!

If there’s anything wot you think I should be writing about, please e-mail me – I know that I have the Stableford Scoring System in golf to do for Uncle Biscuit, but other than that my mind is a blank (coz I am a Labrador).

I have also asked Ian to diarise the next session at a more reasonable time!

If you want to mind map with me give Ian or Lynne a call on 01278 732228 or e-mail woofwoof@theoldciderhouse.co.uk.

The Old Cider House, Dog Friendly Hotel, Quantocks, Somerset

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Making Time to Blog

I have sent Ian on a time management course. He’s always complaining that he hasn’t got time to type my blogs so I thort it would be a good idea to get him trained.

First of all he said that he didn’t have time to go on a time management course, but I told him to make time – wot a misake!

Now he’s gone bonkers, writing everything down, putting stuff in his diary and ‘making time’ for me. He says it’s called NLP – Neuro Linguistic Programming. Wot a load of RUBBISH, wot it is is just writing stuff down and then getting on with it. Ian says the reason he didn’t do stuff is because he has built up loads of bad habits and negativity. I think he woz just lazy and disorganised. The only good thing is that he said he would put aside time in his diary every week to type my blog – I see he has 7.30am on Sunday, 20th for the next blog – I’d better think of something to say.

For £100 an hour I expect to allowed on the couch!

For £100 an hour I expect to be allowed on the couch!

The real problem is that Ian now wants to organise me! This is ridiculous. I am a dog. I do NOT do organised. Ian asked me to tell him why I always bark when someone comes to the gate. Answer – coz I am a dog and it is wot we do. Ian said that it is because I have got into the habit of barking and that I need to think that the person at the gate might have a biscuit for me and therefore doesn’t need to be barked at. This is STUPID – I’d bark at them even if they had a biscuit!

I think Ian will give up on trying to organise me soon.

Menace pretending to be ill and using up valuable NHS resources!

Menace pretending to be ill and using up valuable NHS resources!

I also had to act as Nurse Ozy a couple of weeks ago as Ian and Lynne were on holiday (again) and I woz being looked after by Menace and Alan. Unfortunately, Menace had an accident and broke her wrist. This severely curtailed me going to pubs and on long walks – for heaven’s sake it it’s only a wrist – it’s not like she has to walk in it!

Luv Ozy

If you want to learn about NLP and you are a clever dog (like a Labrador), then come and visit me at The Old Cider House, Dog Friendly B&B, Quantock Hills, Someret

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The Chief Rabbit

I was listening to Radio 4’s ‘Sunday’ programme earlier in the week. Now, as you probably know, I am not a religious dog and more of a Richard Dawkins canine (I’ll do my take on the Dog Delusion soon, I promise), but I like to listen to Edward Stourton and occasionally bark at the rubbish his guests talk about – if I hear the expression, “different faith groups” again I will go bonkers. If they mean a people from a different religion, then say so – wotever, they’re mostly from an Abrahamic base the only difference being that one of their more outspoken members didn’t like alcohol and the other, prawns.

The Chief Rabbit

The Chief Rabbit

On today’s programme they had the Chief Rabbit – Lord Jonathan Sachs. He is retiring from being the Rabbit after 22 years in the job. I presume this will mean that he’s doesn’t appear on Thought for the Day any more (I wonder when Anne Atkins is retiring? She hurts my ears!). Lord Sachs has had a varied career, first appearing on The Good Old Days where he used to say ‘prestidigitation’ a lot – I looked it up, it means ‘performance of or skill in performing magic or conjuring tricks with the hands; sleight of hand’ which seems to sum up the role of all religious leaders. Then he played the hapless Spanish waiter in Fawlty Towers saying funny words that no one understood, which stood him in good stead for being the Chief Rabbit.

"I have a dog"

“I have a dog”

I also heard that it was the anniversary of Martin Luther King Charles Spaniel’s “I have a bone (to pick with you)” speech. To celebrate this, President Oboner has just got a new dog a Portuguese water dog –I AM A PORTUGUESE WATER DOG! This is just a woolly haired, black, resident of The White House, and the dog’s not much better. The new dog’s call Sunny wot is a better name than ‘Bo’, the Second Dog. Can you imagine being called Bo. You’d be frightened out of your skin each time someone called your name – BO!

I have just given Ian permission to renew my www.law4dogs.co.uk domain name. Ian said he would have time next month to upload some new laws – so watch this space.

Luv, Ozy

If you want to talk about the existence of Dog or join my ‘Anne Atkins makes your ears hurt’ club come and see me at The Old Cider House, Quantock Hills, Somerset Dog Friendly Accommodation

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