Humphrey’s Peak District Journey

Back in July I lost my beloved Mable, the boxer dog that I have loved deeply for the last 9 years and who I was lucky enough to write about on Peak District Online, as we walked throughout the area and enjoyed the glories of the whole Peak District National Park. Mable was a joy but in the last couple of years had slowed through illness and it was time to say goodbye – heart rending as it was the right decision to make and she passed away on her bed, with friends and with the kind assistance of a vet and nurse from Bakewell Veterinary Clinic.

After I lost her, I immediately knew that I wanted another boxer and knew I wanted a white boxer bitch puppy. I wanted “Elsie” and planned for her arrival in November as I did not want to leave it too long before “jumping back in”.  It was hard,

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but I knew that it was the right decision – after all what reasons are there to go for a walk if you haven’t a dog? In my mind the two go together!

Half-heartedly and I looked around for a puppy, not wanting to replace Mable, but needing to fill the void that she left. Nothing caught my eye, nothing was right, it wasn’t the right time! All of these comments were made to friends and family when they asked about my progress until a friend, the owner of Peak District Online emailed me a poster he had helped create for a rescue centre in Rotherham. Rain Rescue were hosting a campaign to heighten awareness of the plight of black dogs taken into rescue.

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Apparently black dogs are often overlooked by potential new owners for their more colourful cousins and the poster was to bring attention to this plight. The poster, showing Mable’s two best friends – black Labradors – was lovely and eye-catching but what caught my eye was the web address for Rain Rescue. Out of curiosity I clicked the link and found myself face to face with a lovely red boxer bitch called China, drastically underweight, but looking for a new home. It was fate, so I got in contact an arranged to visit that Saturday.On the Friday, however, Jacqui at Rain Rescue called to say that a home had already been agreed for China but would I like to come and meet Doogle, a six year old white boxer dog with a red patch who had been with them for 8 weeks.

I hesitated as I really wasn’t convinced that a dog was for me , but then thought “what the heck” and went along to their friendly and caring centre on the outskirts of Rotherham. Within seconds of meeting Doogle, it was a done deal. I decided he was mine – love at first site and he was to come home with me  – he was slightly aloof at first but showed many good positive signs, even though he also showed signs of having had a rough past.

I walked him locally, with Rowan who had been walking him since he arrived at the centre. He pulled like a train on the lead, diving into hedgerows and generally being heavy on the lead, but still he possessed manners and showed himself to have a kind and gentle heart – I was smitten.  Having brought him home to Tideswell, Doogle has transformed into “Humphrey” and his journey in life had begun.

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He is now learning to cope with everything that is new and alien to him – walking properly on a lead, meeting with friends and their dogs, meeting strangers and their dogs, learning to pass fields of sheep and cows without trying to dive on top of them – there is so much for him to take in but each day brings little improvements and I know he loves his knew surrounds in this wonderful part of the world.

As a start walks have been limited to the local area of Tideswell, Great Hucklow and Foolow as he accustoms himself to his new life, with minimal disruption to others as he learns his “manners” but in time, I hope we can expand on the walks that Mable and I were lucky to share, as his energy allows him to walk (and pull) for miles! Humphrey and I look forward to sharing walks with you, on Peak District Online, that he and I make with friends – mine and his – and i look forward to ensuring the journey that he has just embarked on will be exciting and fun and make the most of this most stunning part of the U.K.

Above Stoney Middleton – Peak District Walks

Above Stoney Middleton Time taken – 1 hour This walk was taken on a rainy Sunday afternoon in mid-December and was intended to be short and quick walk around Stoney Middleton and whilst not the longest walk I have taken opened my eyes to the beauty that the hills behind the Stoney “corridor” have to offer. Humphrey and his little chum Ash set off from Trinkey Lane, by the allotments towards The Nook and Moon Inn, via a grassy path that runs securely by the road and ends at the Moon Inn car park. We then…

Above Stoney Middleton - Peak District Walks
Eyam via Bretton – Peak District Walks

Eyam via Bretton Time taken 2 1/2 hours This is a great walk if you don’t mind a stiff walk uphill at the start, out of Eyam on Hawkhill Road. It is also a great walk when you have a dog (Humphrey – my Rain Rescue lovely) that pulls like a train and who is daft enough to pull you all the way to the top! Humphrey, for anyone who has read some of my other pages on Peak District Online has now been with me two months and is thoroughly enjoying his new life in this fabulous area. He has new friends to walk with and lots of…

Eyam via Bretton - Peak District Walks
Stoney Middleton via Coombsdale – Peak District Walks

Stoney Middleton and Coombsdale Time taken – 2 hours Having and allotment at Stoney Middleton , in the Peak District, for some time now, I have tried part of this walk on a number of occasions, with Mable – taking her over to Calver Sough Nurseries for seeds and the like on warm summer days, Since Mable passed away, I have used the car to traverse what really is a very short ride from Stoney to Calver traffic lights. It has only been since the arrival of Humphrey that I have sought safe avenues to walk “Mad Dog…

Stoney Middleton via Coombsdale - Peak District Walks
Tideswell via Monk’s Dale – Peak District Walks

Tideswell via Monk’s Dale Time Taken: 2 hours To celebrate Humphrey’s fourth weekend living in The Peak District, I decided to make the most of a lovely November day to walk locally around Tideswell and out into the countryside beyond.  As always he was hyper, as even being walked twice a day does not make up yet, for what I believe was a lack of walking in a previous life. As a rescue dog, I know very little of his life prior to being taken in by Rain Rescue in Rotherham apart from what they had experinced…

Tideswell via Monk
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