It’s a red setter day at Phileas Dogg HQ – no, that’s wrong, a red letter day. Whatevs, Boomerang, a fellow canine paw-thor, has written a feature for us on West Wales, where he goes on holiday every year. And I, Phileas Dogg, aka Attlee Common, am elated to have Boomerang on board – in no small part because he’s a kelpie/Border collie cross and a lot bigger than me. Let’s hope, as his name suggests, he keeps coming back to write for Phileas. Grrrrruffaw!
Boomerang writes: I was very alarmed on my most recent trip to the Aberdovey area of Snowdonia – I go there regularly with Karen – when we arrived at a sign announcing ‘sheepdog trials’. Is the fact I write books of walks on Shropshire and Staffordshire not enough for Karen? Do I now have to work as a sheepdog as well?
Thankfully, the chap said that, as I don’t have any training with sheep, I am not, technically, a sheepdog and, therefore, not eligible to enter the trials. Thank Dog – it looked bloody hard work for the 40 dogs who were on trial. They had six to eight minutes to herd the sheep – and they had to keep them in line. Properly in line – symmetrical, like, not squiggly.
And the commands – a dog would need a dog-ree to understand them. Come-by means herd the sheep clockwise; away means herd them anticlockwise, in a circle.
This sheepdog malarkey is not for me. Sorry Karen! Instead here’s my guide to Aberdovey and mid-Wales.
- I stay at Chalet 52, Woodlands Holiday Park and Country Club, Bryncrug, Tywyn, Gwynedd, LL36 9UH. Tel: 01654 710471; website: www.woodlandsholidaypark.co.uk. Chalet 52 sleeps up to seven people and can be rented for £30 a night. Contact: 07831795422.
- I walk along the four miles of sandy beach linking Tywyn, where Woodlands Holiday Park is, and the small town of Aberdovey. The beach is dog friendly all year round.
- I shop at The Pet Shop, 39 High Street, Tywyn, LL36 9AD. Tel: 01654 711834
- I eat scraps and Karen drinks at the Britannia (The Brit) Bar and Snug, 13 Sea View Terrace, Aberdovey, Gwynedd, LL35 0EF. Tel 01654 767426; www.britannia-aberdovey.co.uk
- Dovey Inn, 14 Sea View Terrace, Aberdovey, Gwynedd, LL35 0EF. Tel 01654 767332; website: www.doveyinn.com. Karen bought a decent bottle of Sauvignon Blan for £7.95. It’s a barking bargain!
- If I want to go upmarket, it’s the Penhelig Arms, 27-29 Terrace Road, Aberdovey, Gwynedd LL35 0LT. Tel 01654 767215; www.penheligarms.co.uk. Lovely ham in the cheese, pickle and ham sandwiches!
Boomerang’s books of dog walks are available to buy at www.bestdogwalksuk.com.
So far he has written guides to Ironbridge and Shrewsbury in Shropshire, South Staffordshire and, coming soon, Bridgnorth. The guides cost £4.99 each.