Here are some pictures of Samba and her daughter Sophie.

Sophie was born, with five brothers, at the end of April 2002 and they all spent about two weeks with their eyes shut. When Sophie opened her eyes, we found that she had glaucoma in her right eye and was blind. Which was a blessing in disguise, because we had already promised her to someone and we kept her instead. A good decision!

Mum and daughter have always liked playing together...

Sophie didn't start walking seriously in the Lakes until early 2003. Here she is with Mum, waiting as usual for the humans trailing behind, on Catbells.

and at the top, once we caught up with both of them.

Playing with Samba on the shores of Derwentwater.

With Joanna in Barrow Beck just above the village.

An essential feature of any walk through Newlands is a swim just here in the beck. Samba loves swimming, Sophie is getting the hang of it but does not have the same enthusiasm as Mum.

This is another favourite, Stonycroft Gill beck, which has some great pools. The third dog is Tilly, who often used to come walking with us, until anno domini caught up with her - she is about 5 years older than Samba.

Sophie is still young and foolish enough to respond to calls from many hundreds of feet above her, as in this picture on Dale Head. Samba gave up on this some years ago...

A brown study...

A smile this time!

Who says I don't like swimming?

This is with the young master, on the top of Walla Crag.

Walla Crag is a TOP place for all of us...

and this is further along the same walk, towards Ashness.

we come back from Ashness via the lake, of course...

A picture of utter contentment: Samba gnawing her piece of wood after a dip in the lake...

Now we come to the episode of the bumptious sheep...

Here we all were, on our walk to Castlerigg and then across to Low Rigg

when they appeared: three or four young sheep, not at all apprehensive of the dogs, in fact quite the opposite

Samba and Sophie normally just stop when sheep appear on the path ahead, wait for the humans to catch up and then walk at heel until we are past the sheep - who normally scatter away from the path we are taking. Not these ones!

.

Samba: "Was this in the script...?"

Sophie: "Can we go now, please...? Quickly?!"

Samba in one of her (and my) favourite places: Hause Gate, looking out over Derwentwater towards Blencathra.

Samba and Sophie after a rather muddy walk across to Castlerigg Circle, where they were waiting patiently for me to try and get some pictures of the circle without any humans - difficult in mid-afternoon at any time of the year. This picture came out best of all...

The dogs are old hands at snow by now, but this was special - Christmas Day!

Tim tells a good joke, you know...

Sitting down after the pant up Bleaberry Fell.

Back to a favourite place again, with the family.

Sophie looking very pleased with herself, having swum a few yards rather than just splashed around...

Just below Stockley Bridge, on the way to Styhead Tarn, is a pool made for dogs...

At Calf Close Bay, some things never change...

Actually, something has changed - Sophie's bad eye (the right one) has much reduced in size, as you probably can see from this picture, and most people are surprised to hear that she cannot see from it...

Sophie, looking happy as usual, on the top of Latrigg

Samba and Sophie on top of favourite fell no. 1: Outerside.

Synchronised wriggling!  We never pass this spot in Coledale without a good wallow...

"Eyes right", waiting for those slow coaches...


Samba saying "thank you" after visiting Wordsworth's daffodils by Ullswater.

A triumph for the First Team: the dogs posing near the bottom of Helm Crag, in front of an almost vertical ladder stile, which they had hopped over without any problem.  These stiles are certainly not built for dogs, and I live in continual fear of a catastrophe.  Part of the problem is that they reach the stile about a hundred yards ahead of me, so I am in no position to help them.  They charge over, and wait nonchalantly on the other side.  But one time the waiting Samba had blood on her mouth, and there was a great smear of mud on her shoulder, so she is not infallible.  And they don't seem to slow down much, either...

This was one of the windiest days I had ever experienced, and Sophie certainly agrees.  I had to take this picture sitting down, and Sophie was getting blown away...


More to come...

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© P. G. R. Rigg  2003-2006