DOGS of the ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE

In honor of Mary Tyler Moore (who could turn the world on with her smile), today is the perfect day (since she loved them, and all animals so much) to do DOGS of the English Countryside. MUSICA  And do not think I am insane, remember I am only the reporter. I didn’t think of this all by myself, and don’t forget this isn’t just one day, it took two and half months to take all these photos. I actually didn’t take pictures of every dog we saw, but I tried.

fullsizeoutput_1393British people are famous for their love of dogs. It starts right at the top, and is met with a mighty roar by everyone else in the Queendom. Dogs are everywhere.animals

Queen Elizabeth

The media has lots of fun with the Queen’s well-known adoration of Pembroke Welsh Fairy1Corgis, which have followed her around for her whole life. My favorite part of the wonderful movie The Queen was seeing those dogs with Helen Mirren, they just made every scene they were in. And it was all real, as you can see HERE.  According to Welsh folklore, Corgis were the “enchanted dog of the Fay,” and the perfect mount for tiny fairy warriors.

Queen Elizabeth

It all began when Elizabeth was a child . . . the look on both of their faces says it all…dog

dogI thought I might show a few of the British dogs we encountered on our walks. Of course, there were Corgis like this adorable one at Stourhead. If I had a dog, this sturdy little fellow is the one I would want!! They are always smiling. And when they want to play, they bounce on their front feet.

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Dogs provide the perfect opportunity to talk to strangers when you’re traveling. And as you know, dog owners are the best people (right up there with cat owners)! Here we are on a walk, hooking up for a meeting of the minds. Two dog owners and us and plenty to talk about.

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This dog was reaching up for a head pat and a smile.

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And then expressed joy of gorgeous fall day in the leaves and the wind . . .

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She wouldn’t stop. She was in heaven.get-attachment.aspx

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We definitely had nature’s address, so here we go … here’s my dog gallery:  This cutie was prancing along just fine, but was suddenly put off by the camera and the strange person behind it . . . he came to a stop, and was just about to step back . . .

dog at blenheim castle

This big boy was wearing his plaid best while walking the grounds of the Palace where Winston Churchill was born. His lovely owner shared him with us.

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This one thought it knew me. Just for a moment.

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Here come the twins. Yes, I am on my haunches ready and willing to be licked to death.

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Swans are another thing you see lots of. Most people know to walk around them, even when they look sociable, it’s a ploy. But that little dog wants them so bad.

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This is that same walk past the swans, along the canal in Aylesbury ~ you can see the little dog from the last photo in the back.  As we visited with the person who owns these dogs, she told us the black one carries his toy because it keeps him from barking. Brilliant!

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It was a beautiful, misty, fall day in the neighborhood.

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Then there was this one. In a store . . . she let me take her photo, one ear up, and one down, but soon it was clear she’d had enough,

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She opened the door . . .

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and left.

Dog George and Dragon Pub, chacombe

Because they are a civilized country and very people-oriented, dogs are welcome, along with their bones, bowls and chew toys, in almost every pub and tea shop, and most hotels.

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So, if you don’t mind the separation every night, you CAN bring your dog with you on the Queen Mary 2.  THAT’S how civilized this country is! Not so sure I see happiness in everyone’s faces, but still, dogs and cats can come along, they just aren’t allowed to sleep in your room and have to stay in this kennel where the owners can go visit. This would turn me into a smuggler. Look at that bulldog’s face. It says it all.

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And will be welcome wherever you go. You’ll note the water bowl with the heart in it. MAS MUSICA!

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All three wearing plaid, in a pub, and with all different owners . . .

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This one is at the table next to us at an outdoor tea room . . . extremely interested in …

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. . . this guy, just across from us.

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This one, and the one up ahead, are right at home at the beautiful Devonshire Hotel. And why not, look at the wallpaper. (Excuse me for a moment, Jack is insisting I come into the bathroom and watch him drink water from the faucet.)

words cat critters love life is good

dog lucas paul

Speaking of love, this is Alice. She is the lucky puppy who belongs to Rachel and Paul, our wonderful English friends.

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Here’s Alice among the flowers. She is beloved and they take her everywhere. She knows her way around the train too.

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This is Alice’s collar.

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And here are some of the decorative Alice collection, antique and otherwise, that reside on Ray and Paul’s kitchen shelf.

Rachel

Rachel is a dog lover from way back. This photo is in her childhood bedroom.

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So you can imagine how Joe and I felt at this antique store when we saw all of these wonderful old toy dogs . . .

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We were almost drooling over them through the glass cupboard doors, especially loving the one on wheels . . . thinking what a good gift one of them would make and how cute it would look in their living room.

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Trying to decide . . . very exciting, so many choices. “Maybe I could make cookies,” I was telling Joe, “and give them to Ray and Paul in this darling box.” Good idea!

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And then I started asking for prices. And was horrified to discover they are NOT FOR SALE. None of them. They were just put there to torture us!  The store owner’s private collection. Really! And I’m sorry to say that begging didn’t help a bit.

dog gift for ray and paul

Later on in the trip, we found this little iron door-knocker in another antique store, probably the only one of these dog things in England that other lady didn’t own. So we snapped it right up. Not big, furry, or on wheels, no straw hat, but still, old and kinda cute.fullsizeoutput_3738

There were dogs on every walk . . .

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We didn’t even have to get out of the car to take pictures of them.  This is at Loch Ness in Scotland. Look at the man wearing a kilt, talking to that white-haired person over the garden wall . . . Ahh Scotland . . .

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Doggies on display at stoplights . . .

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. . . and when we come out the front door of the house we were staying in, this car was parked across the street. Look at the little pillow hanging on the window.

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Don’t you think this pup would look perfect with Jack? They would make a beautiful pair. He seems very fit to me, and dressed tastefully, like the boots and pants of his owner.

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Photographing dogs means you get a good excuse to do the shoe-cam . . . these two look so alike, something about the eyes.

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Look at that eyeball. Isn’t he darling. What kind is he? I don’t know. Morning Science. I would like hair that color. Or those colors.

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Cool dogs in Bath.

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Farm dogs . . . in a car pulling a trailer filled with hay.

dog Joe and Mike

 Here’s Joe and a man we met on our walk named Mike. That’s our walking path off on the left (don’t you just want to follow it and see where it goes?), he was coming down as we were going up. He has a dog, so of course we got to talking ~ he was so nice and so funny. He had that cute English accent and all . . . . . .and after a while, among other things, he shared with us that he was a recent widower, he’d lost his wife Hazel, just six months before. We could easily see how much he was missing her. But his memories seemed to be all joy. 💝

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There is his beautiful dog, and I mean this dog was beautiful, standing near the fairy circle Mike had built for his wife . . .

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We’d seen this mysterious circle (at least to us, imaging all sorts of ancient Mists of Avalon Druid-y things) before we ran into Mike and started asking him about it, what it was, how long it had been there . . . he told us he was the one who’d actually made it (not a Druid after all) because his wife asked him to, from tree stumps that he buried . . . she wanted a magical place outdoors where the local children could have birthday parties. Isn’t this the best remembrance?  Shows how really easy it is to go on living forever.❤️

met Peter with dog Rex on walk

Same walk, different dog, in the English Countryside, which among other things, defines the meaning of the word “green.”

dog "largest in terrier breed"

This one liked to model for us. He was excellent at it.

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Very playful sweetheart of a dog. So see? It’s not all just trees and things . . . dogs and their masters are part of the discovery too.

endorse dog

Remember? I showed this one on the blog the other day. We’re in Birnam Wood, where we went to see an ancient tree, alive in Shakespeare’s time ~ I’m down low to take this photo, and he just kept coming. . .

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Getting cuter and cuter, he almost knocked me over! But it was worth it.

TV BBC 1 watching "one man and his dog"

Dogs on TV too . . . I was just going through the channels and happened upon this show and it was the BEST!  Could have watched it every night . . . it was called One Man and His Dog. You can see an episode HERE ~ you’ll love it too. Who knew? It’s a whole other world.

dog on tv shepherd contest

This was the winning dog in the episode I watched. Dogs have so much heart.

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Seeing that show on TV was what got us wanting to see the dogs and sheep in person . . . so when we got to Scotland we found Neil Ross, a shepherd and spent the afternoon enjoying his wonderful display of working dogs . . .

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I wrote an earlier post about them. So beautiful. And amazing, what they can do.

dogThey had puppies at the farm too . . .

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We spent part of our time in Scotland with our friends Elizabeth and Mike . . . and all of us fell in love with the dogs.

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Elizabeth has two dogs at home in California, one looks just like this one, this cairn terrier we met on an abandoned WWII landing strip (as we learned from his mistress) we found while walking the perimeters of Stourhead. See? Meet a dog, and you get all kinds of interesting information and history.

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Pretty and clean ~ obviously not walking through the English countryside. A town dog.

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Another Scottish dog.

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The look of love.animals

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And this little one is called Jack, and belongs to Carrie (our friend from Twitter @holywellbnb), and has a wonderful life chasing birds in Oxford. Soon, on an upcoming post, we’ll go visit the whole family and see inside Carrie’s really old, beyond normal, darling, cottage.

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And then there was this beauty. Perfect for a winter in the northlands.

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This is an English doghouse. Because charm is their middle name.fullsizeoutput_11032

Not every picture I took had a dog in it… some, like this one, had to stand on its own. And does a pretty good job of it. Loveliness-wise. Can you just feel yourself on that path. Look at that “architecture!” Who does that?ruralenglandistoobeautiful

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Ahhhh, deep breath, the English Countryside . . .

april 2014 sweetnessWell, I suppose it’s back to real life for me . . .

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Hope you enjoyed that ~ I’ll be back soon with more . . . maybe some amazing pub food, or maybe some Scottish plaid. Something quirky, no doubt.  I hope the sample mug shows up this week, if it does, and it’s good-to-go, we’ll have a Giveaway in the next post.💖 And, remember, if things get rough while I’m away, follow the old Mark Twain rule of thumb and it will all seem better . . .EatABullfrog OR, watch this . . .

Or, this . . . (you can go on all day with these!)

Or, if you have a special dog in your life, you can make these:dogbonesflowers

 

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392 Responses to DOGS of the ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE

  1. Susan Morse says:

    OH MY GOSH ! This is exactly what I have done on my trips to Europe, the past three years. Right down to taking a snapshot of a television program in Ireland, because it was showing two dachshunds. Some dogs, I admired from afar, with a photo as a memory and some I was able to pet and pet and pet. We BOTH enjoyed the interaction, as noted by the looks on our faces. Thank you for refreshing my memories of canine acquaintances in England, Ireland, Italy and France.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m glad to hear I’m not alone!

      • Nicoline Bostens says:

        Well, here’s another “dog picture taker”….! And pretty (mostly blue) doors in Cornwall, and all the different types of boats that go in and out a harbour….
        The lovely memories of nice trips!
        Nicoline

    • Carolyn says:

      Susan, I’ve wanted to contact you for some months now and, being “old,” this is the only way I’ve found to post an email to you. When your anniversary edition of Heart of the Home came out, I realized I didn’t have a copy, so looked on Amazon for used one. The book I received was inscribed, “To Betty Branch with Love from Susan Branch 2000.” I went back to Fairytale Girl to verify your mother-in-law’s name. Imagine my consternation! I wonder if YOU would like to have this copy. I am certainly willing to relinquish it for YOU. I am definitely one of your MANY girlfriends! We have SO much in common. Hugs from afar!

      • sbranch says:

        Hmmm, a mystery! Interesting, because, first off, the Anniversary Edition didn’t exist in 2000 ~ it only came out last year and Betty has been gone for quite a while. So maybe you got a first edition, which is what it would be if that was my Mother-in-Law, because I’m sure I gave her the original book when it first came out in 1986. So maybe somewhere along the way there was another Betty Branch. I also wouldn’t have said, “with Love” to her, I would have said, “Love Forever.” So it must be another Betty Branch is what I’m thinking. You are so sweet to think of me . . . Thank you Carolyn . . .❤️

  2. Judy from KC says:

    My favorite was the one with one ear up and one down. ❤️ Sooo cute!

  3. Barbara from Wolverine Lake MI says:

    LOVE this! We have a black and white mixed breed pup, Sisko, who has just turned 17 and is still going strong. he is a mix between a Corgi and an Australian Shepherd. black and white, long hair (all over the house) and can run like the Dickens!! but he’s short! when I was in England many years ago, visiting my pen pal, they asked me what souvenir would I like to look for to bring home. That’s easy, said I, a black and white sheepdog! (which I could not do, of course) About a month later my pen pal mailed me a gift – a cross stitched black and white sheepdog!! so cute, and how perfect. thanks for doing a post of dogs of England. thought perhaps it was going to be a give-away prize, those cute dogs. Great collection 🙂

  4. Ann says:

    What a fun post, right up my alley! When I’m traveling I always miss my dogs big time. So I always stop and admire other folks dogs (actually I do it at home, too).

    The dog you couldn’t ID is an English Cocker Spaniel, with lots of fur and an undocked tail. Wonderful affectionate breed; I’ve had one or two or three since the 80’s. They are my little shadows.

    I love the fact that you can take a dog anywhere in the U.K. So much nicer than our policies here!

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, someday maybe they’ll change. We noticed, as we’ve traveled across the country, some hotels are starting to accept them. But no restaurants. If they’re really worried about germs, they ought to look twice at the humans!😁

  5. Patti Lyon says:

    I have always been a cat person but these doggie ambassadors are doing a good job of making me see their side of things. Thanks for sharing them with us.

    • sbranch says:

      Cats are still easier to care for than dogs, they do have that going for them. But dogs are more people-like than cats!

  6. Karen Jones says:

    I began to think that the post was going to end with a puppy give away , or you were going to show a corgi of your own,! ha ha

  7. Claire says:

    Oh dear Susan, you bring such sunshine into my day with EVERY blog you write. I send telepathic thank you’s because I am afraid you must tire from such effusiveness but in case you don’t get those, thank you. I am somewhat grounded with my latest rescue pup so I travel through you. The QM2 remains a dream for my future-how interesting that dogs are allowed onboard but I’d be up all night-as would she-if we were separated. I Love the English countryside-the sheep, the rock walls, the green. I have been blessed to enjoy so many stops of yours. Wonderful to visit them again through your eyes and pen. One huge hug for you-and as I sip my tea, know how often I think of you.
    And thank you also for signing my 5!!! books at your book event in AZ last summer. I shipped them to my girlfriend who brought them with her –and later when she visited me we poured over all of her pictures and your beautiful placards and tea things left for guests on the table. You are so loved. (((Hugs))) You are sunshine amidst some very heavy looming clouds. Bless you.

    • sbranch says:

      People are brave to bring their animals, it’s probably a long 6 days. But then the get to HAVE them when they’re there and that’s got to be pretty wonderful. And if you’re moving to Europe, that would be the way to go! Thank you Claire, that was very sweet. It was a gorgeous tea party! xoxo

      • Mary in Phoenix says:

        Thank you for your kind words Claire and Susan! It was the “tea party of all tea parties” because of Susan and her many kindred spirits who gathered from far and wide on a beautiful June day 🙂 Still basking in the memories and loved planning every detail … from the menu to the decorations to the favors and beyond … it was all so easy with a Susan Branch Heart of the Home theme. You made this tea-loving girl’s dream come true 🙂 I cannot help but think the tea theme on this year’s calendar in the month of June did not happen by chance ♥ Love you. xoxo

        • sbranch says:

          It was a house of love Mary. Your family and friends were wonderful. Could never thank you enough. There was an otherworldliness about it, don’t you think? Probably because of that beautiful old Victorian house, that wide porch, those tables in the grass set with all the flowery china, the tiered plates of amazing food, everyone in hats, it was so elegant, a step back in time.❤️ xoxoxo

          • Mary in Phoenix says:

            Thank you Susan. It was a step back in time amid Victorian splendor … and the best tea party because of YOU. P.S. We’ve had some great snowfall up north in the last month, and I think of your dad and how he would have been calling you about the weather 🙂 A great man from the greatest generation. I still think about him and his phone call of gratitude ♥

          • sbranch says:

            He would have, and I would love it. And he would tell me about the birds at his windows and about his pellet stove. He was amazed by you Mary, that was one of the nicest things I’ve ever seen anyone do for anyone. That book was wonderful. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, for everything.❤️

  8. Anne says:

    Wonderful way to start a Saturday morning! Love this doggie post😊 What a country! You can just feel the respect they have for their furry children. I love Alice – what a sweetie. She reminds my of Asta – Nick and Nora’s dog😍 I’m not telling my kitty Millie, sleeping on my lap right now, that I’m looking at pictures of doggies! Hehehe😼

  9. Susiej says:

    Susan, thank you so much for sharing all these wonderful photos and beautiful animals. So very special – truly brightened my day!

  10. Kathleen says:

    I enjoyed this so much! Great dog photos, and when paired with the charm of England, well… it just cannot get much better!

  11. Sandra Garber says:

    I loved this post. I am spending the winter on Pawleys Island, SC and I walk on the beach almost every day. One of the best things about my walks is the wonderful dogs I meet.

  12. Deborah in the fields of Michigan says:

    Thank you for this oh-so-sweetly-full-of-dogs post, Susan! With so much angst on social media, I am thoroughly sick of all the negativity and bitterness. I strive to obey Philippians 4:8, where God commands us to “think on” what is positive, pure, beautiful, and of “good report.” Well, my dear Susan, your posts make it easy to ponder the beautiful, the loving, the pure, and the good. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    I am more of a kitty person, but we do love dogs as well, and have always had one (presently we have Gracie, a beagle). My husband and I especially enjoyed the terriers in your post … we have owned airedales in our younger days, and simply adore their funny square faces. Thanks for all the delightful pics.

    God Bless You, Susan, and your delightful posts!

  13. Jana Jopson says:

    The photo of the Queen as a young girl with her arm wrapped around her devoted dog touched my heart. I like to say that dogs are the universal repository of unconditional love! 💟

  14. Marla says:

    This post was like a giant HUG! I smiled all the way through. I was especially warm and fuzzy over the photo of the fairy ring for Hazel. What a lovely gesture of love.

    • sbranch says:

      That’s what we thought too. First an exciting mystery, then the story, a few tears, and the love. Travel discovery is a wonderful thing.

  15. Jena says:

    Dog lover here. We cohabitat with a few serious characters…they all have their stories to tell.

    Thanks for the moment of calm and giggles in between loads of laundry and dishes.

    Jena

  16. Suzanne says:

    I took a lot of dog photos
    when we visited London ~
    there is just SOMETHING
    about those British pups!!!
    So, I adored this post and
    your sweet heart for beauty,
    both canine and Mother Nature’s.
    Thank you for taking us along : )

    xo Suzanne

  17. Amylisa says:

    What a terrific post!! I have been watching The Crown on Netflix and have enjoyed seeing the Queen’s sweet corgis. I LOVE West Highland White terriers too, love the picture you included here. It’s my dream to have one or two someday in the not too distant future.

  18. Jennifer Bonynge says:

    The Queen and her dogs! I had NO idea…accompanying her on the plane, hilarious! Thanks for sharing these adorable photos.

  19. Vickie from NH says: says:

    Precious! All of them!!!!!

  20. Starr miller says:

    Doggies- love them!! Thank you Susan.
    Brightens our gloomy days here in Chicago.
    Be well. And can’t wait for the mug. 😊

  21. Bonnie B says:

    Our dog and cat days are done now, just 2 old birds now, but sure enjoyed this post! I buy squeaky balls for the neighbor’s young pit bull and often play catch with him through the fence. He is such a lovely dog, untrained, so the fence will always be between us. ;-(

  22. Peggy Willoughby says:

    Another great post, Susan. Thank you. We love our dogs! I am almost ready for another toy poodle puppy now. Meriweather passed in December and Orange Blossom is missing someone to romp with and to bully. The breeder who we got our pups from is no longer breeding. So we are on a slow search. We are taking our time and will be more excited when it is Spring. Thank you for all the pup pictures. I just want to cuddle them all.

  23. Rosanne Murphy (Oregon) says:

    Our family had Airedales when I was a teen, just like Mike’s dog in England. We used to throw rocks into the reservoir on my parents’ ranch, and the Airedales actually swam under to retrieve them. They are such a playful breed and love to romp in the water. I am in love with my sweet and cuddly kitty, but I miss dogs. I am so excited at the prospect of your darling mug! Thank you so much for your creativity, and your efforts to turn your creativity into reality for us! What a perfect girlfriend gift, especially for myself!❤

  24. Rosanne Murphy (Oregon) says:

    P.S. Have you watched The Crown on Netflix? It’s all about Queen Elizabeth II, and is great for Anglophiles like us! I’m also loving Victoria on PBS.

  25. Sidney says:

    When you were in Scotland did you hear the wonderful story of Greyfriers Bobby?
    He was the loyal west highland terrier who stayed by his madter’s grave for many years. There is a statue of the little dog in
    Edinburgh
    A Walt Disney movie was also made about Greyfriars Bobby.

  26. Elizabeth says:

    Loved this one about Dogs…man’s and woman’s best friends in my view!! Loved the sheepdog trials too…lovely. Thank you!!

  27. Barbara A Case IN says:

    Hi, Great post as always. Such a joyful read….thank you, Susan….kiss Jack for me. Have a wonderful week!

  28. Judy Young says:

    Loved this post! I adore dogs and have a collection of ceramic dogs myself. My favorite dog in this post has to be Rachel’s. Airedale terrier?? Fox terrier? So cute. I don’t personally have a dog since my husband is not fond of them. Hard to believe I know! Thank you Susan, as always a wonderful post. Looking forward to the plaid post too. Your new mug looks fabulous. Can’t wait to order one!

  29. Esther in the Missouri Ozarks says:

    What a fun blog. I can’t say I want to share a restaurant or a hotel with dogs, but your post almost makes me think I could. I can’t imagine trying to take our dogs out in public. We have 3, a lab chow, a golden retriever and an English Mastiff…unconditional love. Furry gifts left in our care as our children left home !!

  30. Candice says:

    Susan,
    I so enjoyed this post! We have 2 dogs, Mya and Rufus, Mya is a Texas Blue Heeler, she loves to round everyone up, especially the cats or cars that come into the driveway! Rufus is 13 and quite arthritic and elderly but still scampers about he is a mix of Papillon and Chihuahua. We are doggie Grandparents to our daughters two Pugs, Pippa (3yrs) and Myles James (MJ is 13 weeks).
    I have always taken notice of dogs when I have visited England, they treat them very special over there and yes they are everywhere and most welcome! My cousin has a boxer, Jeff. I went to dog obedience classes while I was there, with Jeff, he was the “stinker” of the class! It was so great seeing how they work with them, but he had his own agenda most of the time!
    Thanks for sharing all of the lovely photos! All of them pulled at my heartstrings!
    Hugs, Candice

  31. My twin sister and I grew up with Mary Tyler Moore! We were so sad to hear of her passing and will definitely miss that smile. I am happy that you did this joyful blog post in her honor. I loved seeing and reading about all of the dogs you saw in England. Especially liked the cutie who had enough of her photo shoot and turned and left . . . adorable!!! I also wanted to tell you that my daughter and I have been watching “The Crown” on Netflix – it’s amazing!!! Thanks, Susan, for sharing your wonderful “Dogs” post. HUGS!

  32. C degraves says:

    Awe cuteness overload ! Loved the post .love dog and catsnever knew they were such dog lovers .have you seen a dogs purpose ? Great movie bring tissue

  33. Mary says:

    OMG! My favorite post ever! Thank you for sharing pictures of those charmers!!!!

  34. Melanie Evans says:

    I don’t currently have a dog of my own but take care of dogs belonging to others to get my dog fix. When traveling, we always stop to chat with people with dogs as we’re missing the ines in our family.

  35. Lorraine says:

    You hit a home run for me with this post. I’m a dog lover, through and through. As I type, my Maggie Moo is laying next to me. Maggie is a Border Collie – a rescue. Unfortunately, we do not live on a sheep farm, so we play Frisbee A LOT – that’s her “job” – every day. Maggie just turned 10 years old on January 1. She is just barely starting to slow down. We are outside several times a day, in all kinds of weather. She doesn’t care. I keep telling my husband we need a couple sheep, but so far, no go. We had another dog, a Border Collie mix, named Hector (remember Richard Briers character in Monarch of the Glen), who died just a couple months ago. We miss him terribly… But we are holding off getting another dog for a while. So it was wonderful to see all these happy pups. Thanks for sharing.

    Also, I’ve always wanted a Corgi too. My friend’s mom had one. Her name was Harriet. She was a great dog. She had so much personality and was always ready to go for a walk.

    Thanks again, and good luck with the mug.

  36. Carol Wakefield says:

    What a wonderful post! A breath of fresh air. And the little doggie that you asked the breed of is an English Cocker, the breed that our dear Gladys Taber (and I still do) bred and showed. This one was simply not groomed so hard to identify (and in England they no longer dock tails )
    We are finally having some snow here in Indiana and am loving sitting by the fire and knitting with my English Cockers asleep by my feet.
    Blessings to you and Joe.
    Carol

  37. Charissa says:

    This was the cutest doggie post. I was in heaven. It was so magical. Since having to stop my petsitting business, I miss the animals sooo much and this was just the recipe for me:) Thank you💗💗💗 I just don’t know how you manage to create so much and to give us so much. When I think of how long you have been a part of my life and all the sweet things I have done because of you… you honestly seem like a member of the family. I remembered your tip for filling socks with rice and giving as gifts. I found the cutest and softest knee socks at Christmastime at TJ Maxx (and made sure they had microwaveable fabrics) swiss dots, ruffles, plaids and found beautiful ribbon to tie them off with and gave them as gifts. It was such a great time for me because I got to remember doing it when I first read about it years and years ago and knowing it was your suggestion:) and giving gifts of HYGGE. It all just made me so so happy. THANK YOU💗💗💗 I know that I sound smushy sometimes, but I just don’t ever think I can convey enough of the gratitude that I feel:)

    Tom came in while I was reading your post and said, “How is Suzie B?” He calls you that because he says he is better friends with you and that’s what you tell your “real friends” to call you and I just don’t know it yet because I am not as good of friends with you as he is. LOL (Did I tell you this already? My mind is going) The man makes me laugh. Always trying to find cute ways to irritate me 🙂 It goes both ways.

    I so wish that woman would have changed her mind on selling you something for everybody’s sake! She could have been happy to make your day. If I ever see something that is perfect, i will send off a note to you.

    I am so excited for your mug and can’t wait to hear what you thought of the script!!!

    Wishing you all good things xoxo

  38. Suzette Shoulders says:

    I was raised in a cat-loving family, and was always a bit afraid of dogs until I met my first Corgi, a dog of a dear older woman friend of our family. That dog could almost speak, he was so expressive, and so smart! And all my life when I meet Corgis, I speak to them exactly as I would when meeting another human being. Each one has repaid me by his or her sweet attention, lovely animals! I am allergic to both cats and dogs as an adult, but sometimes I just have to pet them, oh, well! Love that Mark Twain quote! I was on the OLD Weight Watchers program in the 1970’s, and it required liver once a week… I would have liver for lunch the first day of my week, and then knew the rest of the week would be easier, had no idea I was doing a Mark Twain action! Laughing out loud, Suzette in central Oregon where we only have 16″ of snow left. 60 ” in the 5 weeks or so , the record-keepers said. Such a mess on the streets.

    • Debbie Boerger says:

      Oh, I remember the liver….Morrison’s cafeteria had it once a week, and my po’ husband had to sit and watch me eat it. I could not touch the raw stuff, but love the cooked, with onions.
      Boy, we are “dating” ourselves by mentioning the early Weight Watchers. I’ve lost maybe 300 pounds on it over my rather long lifetime. How about You, Suzette? I never diet now, just eat some of everything and walk.

      Debbie in Tampa….for now

  39. As a lover of dogs, they all are beautiful!!

  40. Mrs, Mary Elizabeth Lawrence aka MiMi says:

    Lovely post. I have loved a dog all of my life. Poochie, Blackie, Estelle,Kim Su,Bobby Sue, Two spot, Judd,KamSu, Tasha and Willow. I have been without a dog for a few years now and oh how I miss one. I can not stand the heartbreak another time I keep telling myself of parting from them. However I have not ruled it completely out, as soon as our traveling days are done, I think I will find a forever friend again. I look so forward to your posts , they are a bright spot in my day. Fondly Mary Lawrence

  41. Jen in Linden says:

    Aww, love this adorable post! What a great combination…dogs and English countryside!! Dreamy! I am so in love with my dear dog. Dogs are just the best. An idea/question for you Susan…start selling special dog items in your store?!

  42. Trudi Varton says:

    So fun to see all the doggie friends you met on your trip! Dogs are the best! So are cats! And swans & squirrels & every living thing! Thank you for the up close share of these adorable creatures! Joe is beginning to look like a local with his wellies & beard! He fits right in! I so enjoy the inside look at your wonderful travels! Until SLO…..
    Truli yours from Redding, CA

  43. Kathiellen says:

    Dear Susan,
    Oooooh Sooooo cute….these little four legged Angels wearing fur coats !!! I love animals so much…especially cats and dogs and any animal that crosses my path! They are just innocent loves ❤. This post is so sweet! I especially love the two videos of the previous, precious Corgis!! They sprinkled “happy” on me for the rest of the day! ( Just like that cute little shepherd puppy video that you posted from Scotland…I will watch them many times! ) My “Forever Dog” was an English Setter named Penny Marie Valentine. She was white with very little rust colored ticking, one solid rust ear, and a heart shaped nose. I was blessed to have her in my life for nearly 13 years. She understood everything that I would say…even when I spelled the words. In times where I would be sick or sad, she would dry my tears with her whole body. She was companion and filled my life with joy that I would have never had. She became sick the last year of her life. When it was time for her to leave, I knew. Our communication was that good. I knew when she looked into my eyes that she was tired and needed to go to Heaven and wait for me there. She died peacefully in my arms. I had her cremated and she will be buried with me when my time comes. I can feel her walking beside me often, just out of the blue, and I know that she is here. Yesterday was the 9th anniversary of when she went on to where the woodbine twines. I miss that sweet heart every day of my life. We have our 12 year old Thomasina ( kitty ) and we won’t even consider getting another pet now because it would turn her life upside down. We tried it last year with a new puppy, Ollie, ( for 4 months ) my daughter ended up taking Ollie because it didn’t work out with Thomasina . It all turned out good, however,….Ollie is now our grand dog and still part of our lives! ❤ I hope that you will do a Kitty blog!…I will love it! p.s. I WANT ONE OF THOSE FAERIE RINGS!!!! ( but it would be a bummer to mow around, wouldn’t it?😞 xoxo sending love

    • sbranch says:

      Better to get a sheep for the mowing!

      • Debbie Boerger says:

        Oh, Kathyellen, I love your phrase, “Sprinkled happy on me for the rest of the day”. I believe our Susan is……don’t want to say Angel or a Saint, but what else can we say about a woman who devotes her life to making others feel peace and happiness? I’ll bet she would settle for Girlfriend!!!

  44. Mary Shearer says:

    Love, love, love all the doggies! And those two videos you posted the links to – they are absolutely hilarious! I love corgis so much! Love from Mary S. In Fresno, California

  45. Lee says:

    I have noticed while following you on Twitter that there is a person trying to find your Christmas recipe book. There are many of them available on Amazon here in the U.S. If she has access to it; they are in the used book category Happily, that is where I was able to find my copy. I don’t have a Twitter account so am unable to let her know.

    • sbranch says:

      You’re a sweetheart to tell me…she’s in England so I think her own Amazon would be the thing to do…I haven’t had a chance yet to see if Amazon UK is carrying it. Thank you! I’ll be sure to let her know.

  46. sylvia in seattle says:

    I loved the Tweet showing the first page of THE SCRIPT!! Perfect I thought. Very exciting to think about this. YAY.

  47. Holly says:

    Thank you for such a delightful doggie post. You make me want to get a dog. My 3 kitties are enough right now. I can hardly keep up with the scooping and kitten antics since having a big back surgery a few weeks ago. Perhaps after more recovery a dog would be a good walking partner. One of my kittens has learned to demand a drink from the bathroom facet. So smart! The photos are amazing. Thanks again.

  48. Made your cranberry cake today in honor of my Dad who passed away 6 years ago to the day. He loved when I made it for him and it brings me tears and joy making it. Thank you, Susan!

  49. Jane says:

    Good Morning, Susan! Oh, how I love, love your doggie post. We have a miniature labradoodle who looks practically identical to the one who’s running very fast with its ears flying and the smile on its face. I know you don’t have a dog but I fondly remember your neighbor friend who used to come for visits. Unconditional love!!! I have a random question: I’m getting ready to start our travel scrapbook from our UK trip years’ ago. What is your favorite writing implement for lettering? I tend to use Sharpies but am also fond of some gel pens. I just want to find a great pen that flows easily and will stay black over time. I’d love to know your favorite! I hope you will see posies pushing through the soil soon!

    • sbranch says:

      I often use a Flair … not for my artwork, but for book signings and things like that. It’s a nice fine point and is like a sharpie only finer. Stays black! Have fun with your scrapbook!

  50. Winnie says:

    The British love for their dogs was one of the first experiences we had in England this past year when we were in Port Issac(Port Wenn for those who love the Doc Marten series). When we went for a drink or dinner in the pubs, people all brought in their dogs. For the most part the dogs were all well behaved and right at home with everyone gathering for conversation and food. It made it all feel like you were in someone’s home instead of a restaurant. Being a beach resort , people brought their dogs there and took them on hikes around the town and also allowed them to play fetch in the cold ocean waters. There was a very casual atmosphere about people and their dogs and it made me love the British all the more!

  51. Debbie Boerger says:

    For the first time in a week I’m able to sit at the computer with some lovely tea and read the posts. My Tom Terrific is home from the hospital, having had open heart surgery. My lasting impression will be complete awe and thankfulness for the technology, skill and caring of all involved in this care. I’d start my day at valet parking with the warm smiles and pats on the back of the guys who do that job. As the hospital is the size of a small town and has hall ways like old village lanes in England. Confused, we visitors walk around with that “lost” expression. As soon as I looked the slightest bit puzzled, some one would stop and offer to help.
    Tom is taking his meds, and I am taking mine….Susan Branch and all the Girlfriends. I get so much comfort that I want to meet every single one of you. Thank you every one 🙂

    Debbie in Tampa…for now

    • sbranch says:

      Happy to hear you are on the other side of all that Debbie. Now all Tom has to do is get well, and voila, you’re on the road again! (I hope you’ve had your surgery…or are you next?) It’s amazing how wonderful the nurses and doctors are. xoxo

      • Debbie Boerger says:

        Mine will be right after Mr. Tom is able to drive, Hallejulia!!!
        He said he’d surround me with flowers, and manipulate the computer, so that I can read my daily medicine which is You, My Dear!!

        How on Earth do you remember all of us? No kidding, you really are a Spirit from Heaven, aren’t you. Fess up 😉

        • sbranch says:

          LOL, not exactly! You guys are so organized. It’s all going to go swimmingly and then you’ll be free as birds!

  52. Darylene in South Dakota says:

    That brick dog house impressed me and made me giggle. I think the dogs in England live in nicer houses than I do:)

  53. Such a fun post!!!! Love all the pics of the countryside!!!

  54. Jennie Lou says:

    Dogs, dogs, dogs! There can never be too many! Our two beloved friends are gone now, but one was Angel, a mix Golden/Lab with an enormous heart and a white flash on her nose and the tip of her tail. The other was Rambunctious, a Norwegian Elkhound who eventually grew into his big “airplane” ears and corkscrew tail. He was my darling and had to be near me wherever I went, even the WC! God bless all dogs! Thank you, Susan, for a lovely lunchbreak with the pooches across the Pond.

  55. Nancy Fenemore says:

    Speaking of dogs……………are you watching “Victoria” and her little dog Dash? Same time slot on PBS………….not our beloved “Downton” but it will do!!

    • sbranch says:

      Funny you should ask, JUST about an hour ago, I watched episode 3. LOVE IT. Yes, Dash, hurt his leg in this one. Assuming he’s okay since they really didn’t mention it in the episode. Albert fixed him up with a little splint.

  56. Marilyn says:

    Though I don’t have a dog, I do believe the US should allow dogs in more public places. They just bring so much joy to those around them.

    • sbranch says:

      They do! We thoroughly enjoyed our interactions with them, such a nice thing when you are traveling.

  57. barbara lassiter says:

    I saw a newspaper article over the weekend about a bus tour for dogs in London. The owners could come along and accompany their dogs! I immediately thought of this cute blog and thought, maybe, “only in England”. I think it was a promotion by a dog food company in England and am not sure if it was just a one time event. Anyway, it made me smile, as did this fun blog! Thanks! Looking forward to more about your wonderful trip. Blessings!

  58. This particular blog reminded me to get out last year’s Christmas present..the entire collection of James Herriot’s “All Creatures Great and Small” filmed in the Yorkshire Dells” about 30+ years ago. Yes..the English love their pets.

    • sbranch says:

      I loved those books!

      • Debbie Boerger says:

        On my first trip to Britain, May, 1977, I took the front pages of James Herriot’s Yorkshire, lovely picture book. and we drove as many of the lanes and roads that we could, even took a picture of my husband driving through the “Watersplash”. Yes, those are great books….and I found out on my latest trip Fall of 2015, that Yorkshire hasn’t really changed all that much.

        Debbie in Tampa….for now

        • sbranch says:

          Maybe one of my favorite places (difficult to say) but the Dales make me cry!

          • Debbie Boerger says:

            I find it hard to get a deep breath looking over the rows upon rows of stone walled fields going up and over the fells. Otherworldly, sort of. So glad you love it, too.

  59. Susan says:

    We spent some time in France in September and wherever we were there were dogs. Fine restaurants, local pubs, shops and walk abouts, dogs everywhere, it was wonderful. I agree I wish we could have our dogs in public places. I think we would be nicer to each other if we were bonding over our dogs.

    • sbranch says:

      It’s forward thinking, something Europe is pretty good at. The food in so many of the English pubs and restaurants (where the dogs are resting under the tables) is so amazingly healthy.

  60. Sandy P. says:

    Susan, Thank you for sharing these wonderful photos of all the much loved dogs in their beautiful English country side. (The humans looked awfully happy too.!) It just made my day!! There seems to be a lot of negativity around us in the present day world. Thank you for bringing your usual beauty through your wonderful art, quotes and photos to all of your fans. It’s such a note of positive energy that I for one really love.

  61. Janice Nelson says:

    I loved this. We have 4 dogs of our own, but I never tire reading about other dogs. You could do a book about pets. It would be a bestseller, I am sure.

  62. Penny says:

    No Cavalier King Charles terriers for Queen Elizabeth!?! You had a picture of one, think it said “Pretty and clean” under the pic. Queen Victoria has one in the new PBS series, calls it Dash. They come in 5 color combos I believe. So beautiful. Enjoy your blog! Did you have any motion sickness on the QEII?

  63. Rebecca Walsh says:

    Good Morning and what a wonderful blog about all the different dogs you met and photographed on your trip. I do so wish that we could take our dogs more places in the States. Oh Well. My Scottish Terrier, Sophie is looking at the blog over my shoulder and saying What no Scotties.

    Thanks for the trip to England/Scotland today.

    • sbranch says:

      LOL, Such an adorable dog! I’m sure they were out there, I may have just not had the camera in my hand!

  64. Christine Devoe says:

    Thank you for sharing about A Place to Call Home on Acorn TV. I love it and I’m addicted!
    I saw some westies in your pics, did you see any scottie dogs?

  65. Diane says:

    Love this post! And you must include Dash, Queen Victoria’s adorable companion on the PBS series, Victoria! He’s adorable running through the hallways of the palace, and then my heart caught in my throat when Albert and Victoria catch up with him after his mishap in the trees of Windsor!

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, Dash! I saw that too, was kind of odd how they sort of just bound his foot, and then basically, that’s all you saw of it. They went on like nothing happened, and I’m sitting here, but, but, how’s the dog?

  66. Caroline says:

    Dear Susan, I was home yesterday with stomach bug! And curled up on the couch in my bedroom, in front of the fire, with our darling darling black lab, Mabel Jane. We watched the snow together….ah bliss! The people in my family were very kind, from a far:) They were nervous to catch it! but not Mabel! She fearlessly snuggled right up:)
    I reread the end of Isle of Dreams. It has become my comfort book as Little Women was when I was a young mother! I wanted to be just like Marmee:) You write such absolute treasures! I read about the Martha’s Vineyard colony that you and Jane visited and about the first native American to graduate from Harvard coming from there….. and I had to ask you if you have read the book, Caleb’s Crossing?It is by Geraldine Brooks and is fiction based on a real letter written by Caleb to his English benefactors and is very beautiful. Have a beautiful snow day! Caroline

  67. Lynn Marie says:

    How did I miss this post?!!!!! I have been side-lined by some NASTY virus for the past week and lo and behold this happened while I was “out of it!” I loved every picture. We have a black and white Cardigan Corgi that goes by the name of Vanessa and a black corgi mutt that is her side-kick and his name is Frank. I am sure you do not remember, but she chewed the corner of my “A Fine Romance” book and you signed the cover “with love from Vanessa”. Long after she is gone, I will have that memory of her and you both. Thanks for the post!

  68. Fran Patten says:

    A dear friend has been kind enough to share her joy in reading your lovely posts, Susan

  69. Fran Patten says:

    Susan, a dear friend has shared your posts with me and now, I, too am in love with you and your wonderful ideas; doggies in England, recipes, your sweet home and attitude. Thanks so much for being you!
    Fran

  70. Deborah in Odessa says:

    Good morn’n. I love it. Thank you and have a splendid day.

  71. Ann says:

    Susan, what a wonderful post! The photo of Elizabeth as a child with her dog is just priceless, especially the look of complete happiness on the dog’s face.
    I wanted also to let you know that in the area at the bottom of the Older Comments sections , strange names and email addresses have been appearing. 👻

    • sbranch says:

      How odd. I’ll go see if I can see it! You mean on this very post?

      • Ann says:

        Yes, on this post. Right now, however, the unknown email address has been replaced by mine, I assume because I commented. Actually, an unknown address has been occurring over the last couple of days, but not with the same name/address. I think there have been three different names/email addresses. Today I decided I should mention it.

  72. Susan says:

    You may want to remove the recipe for dog treats. Onion and garlic are poisonous to dogs. Otherwise a charming article.

    • sbranch says:

      I did check with my vet and was told that the tsp and a half the recipe calls for, divided between 10 biscuits (large ones, 6″ each), is not enough to cause trouble and probably makes them more flavorful. She said if the recipe had 12 cloves of garlic, then it would be toxic. So far nothing has ever happened when I make them. But thank you for the reminder!

  73. Cam says:

    Susan, your blog on English dogs was so entertaining! These dogs reminded me of Lucky, the dog on A Place to Call Home. Thank you for telling us about this series. I was able to watch all 4 Seasons, all the episodes within the seasons, by going to youtube through Google (for free, yeah). What an intriguing show! I was surprised to find out that the actors playing the characters Sarah and Rene are married in real life. The actors playing the characters Dr. Jack and Aunt Carolyn are also married in real life. I like to think that their eyes give this away when they are acting with each other. I would love a discussion about the plot, the music, and the clothes, etc. One reviewer said that A Place to Call Home was about “the mistakes we make, when we’re just trying to do the right thing, can tear our relationships apart.” This sounds like they are discussing Anna and Gino’s relationship, not to mention other relationships. Production begins this month for Season 5 with a time jump of four years. I can’t wait to see what happens. Thank you again Susan for always sharing interesting things with us. You are such a giving person. Hope to see you at the Apple Farm.

    • sbranch says:

      I knew about Sarah and Rene being married, but not about Jack and Carolyn, but they have so much chemistry, it makes sense. Isn’t the music interesting? I love it, I wish they would do more. The only thing I can NOT understand is the way the big house is decorated. Nothing goes together in the slightest way. It’s nuts in that house. And when Elizabeth was visiting Carolyn she made a disparaging remark about Carolyn’s apartment decor. I had to laugh. I’m always saying to Joe, “LOOK at those drapes! How in the world did they put them with that wallpaper?” Maybe they did it on purpose to be surprising, as some of the music, and once in a while, the photography, is. Some of the prejudices these characters have make me so happy those days are over. We have come a long way, and still have a long way to go. Hearing it is shocking. Time jump? Interesting, I wonder why? So Sarah’s child will be about four. I wonder where Regina will be? She’ll probably have leprosy by then, or something else shocking. Right now she seems to be a drug addict! We’re halfway through season 4, almost done, and can’t wait for what is next. SO exciting! Do you know when it begins to show, and where?

  74. Stephanie Hull says:

    Dear Susan, I am new to your blog and enjoying every entry. I was wondering if I missed the January Willard. I received the December one in my inbox. Do I need to sign up again for the new year? By the way, I am rereading your trilogy and loving each book all over again!! Thank you!

    ..

    • sbranch says:

      I haven’t sent one yet. I’ve been wrapped up in designing the new 2018 calendars. I don’t really write Willards monthly, I kind of do them when I have time or when the inspiration hits me. You don’t need to sign up again. I love that you’re enjoying the books, thank you for telling me Stephanie❤️

  75. Sharan says:

    Hi Susan, I have a funny question for you. I’ve been a fan of your blog for a long time and I remember at one point you wrote about your stove and how much you love it. What brand is it? I am looking to replace an old stove that came with our home. My stove is so nice and big (40″ wide) and it has side-by-side double ovens. I hate parting with it but we’re beginning to worry about the wiring. I’m looking for a new model that has old charm. Any recommendations?

    🙂 Sharan

    • sbranch says:

      Mine is actually a restored O’Keefe and Merritt from the 50s. I think I’ve had it for almost 20 years … but the place I bought it is still in business. You might have a talk with them about yours, maybe it can be salvaged if you really like it. I got mine at Antique Stove Heaven, they shipped it to me from Los Angeles, you can google them. They fix stoves too. Even in parts. You could ask them about your wiring. Good luck!

      • Mary in Phoenix says:

        OMG … Antique Stove Heaven is where I got my stove after YEARS of searching! Marco is the bomb. I met him at the Long Beach Antique Flea Market. Will build your stove exactly how you want it … one oven or 2? Broiler or storage? 4 burners or 6? Griddle? Writing inside doors? Glass on doors? Cover with shelf? S&P shakers? Nothing compares to Marco! He completely rebuilds, rewires and rechromes them, and wants you to be happy. Comparing prices, his are the best I found. I actually picked mine up in Long Beach and drove the stove back to AZ 🙂 I can still call Marco if I have a question. This stove baked 200+ scones for Susan’s tea party in Prescott last June and is truly the ♥ of my kitchen. antiquestoveheaven.com. XO

        • Mary in Phoenix says:

          Forgot to say C*O*M*G*R*A*T*U*L*A*T*I*O*N*S* on finishing your calendars!!! And did you happen to see Dan Rather on Jimmy Fallon the other night? You’ll like this … The voice of reason … just like you. /watch?v=Q8Q9lfMGD0Y

          • sbranch says:

            Thank you sweetie! And yes, I think the thing that upsets me most about our political environment is how they have separated us! Makes me mad. Because it’s not us, we are the good guys, it’s them. They have been so tricky. I think there are now two generations who don’t remember that it didn’t used to be like this! They think this is normal. Breaks my heart. I wish I would have said something back in the 90s because it was so obvious even then that it was happening. But I didn’t know it would get so bad. xoxo

        • sbranch says:

          THIS is a 10-star review if I ever heard one! It’s such a down-home kind of company isn’t it, Mary? Real people who care. When I found them, and heard their name “Stove Heaven” I was sold! A national treasure.

          • Mary in Phoenix says:

            Haha .. I just love that place and the name IS perfect! We just need our world to be heaven! Please keep speaking up for what you believe in. It too breaks my heart to see how we are being divided. They are causing the chaos and doing nothing to unify the country. Don’t back down just because people don’t want to hear it. That’s what they want! You are truly a voice of reason and have proven beyond a reasonable doubt that you strive for peace & harmony and what is good for the world. Having to justify what you are saying, or asking people if it’s okay what you say, doesn’t seem right when this is YOUR blog and people can choose to read it or not. Losing a few on the blog is not as bad as keeping your mouth shut when you feel real injustice. I think you will gain readers who are feeling helpless but gain hope from your words. Be a Dan Rather. Be respectful and don’t back down girlie! xoxo

          • sbranch says:

            Thank you for your vote of confidence. I’m thinking if we looked at things less politically, and more of nuts and bolts, like I KNOW everyone wants clean air. So we talk about what it takes to get clean air. I KNOW no one wants those big banks to ever be able to do what that did to us again. So we just say no to that. (I still think someone should go to jail for that!) That we have been divided so terribly just makes me madder at the powers that be. XOXOXOXO

  76. Debbie Boerger says:

    ‘Tis I again, Susan. Hope I’m not making myself a nuisance by writing so often.
    Being tied to the house right now, I reread the comments and your blogs more than once.
    I did notice one girlfriend said she was not sure about dogs in restaurants. They have always been included, and the Brits are way healthier than we here. May be because of better health care, walking everywhere, but it could be that you get to take your best fur person friend with you everywhere….and meet and talk to folks who share your love for the fuzzies. Love your dog pictures and the comments….”opened the door,” “and left”. Chuckle!!!
    BTW, do you listen to Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me, on Saturday, NPR? Today caused Mr. Tom to have to grab his little heart pillow to his newly opened chest, as he was laughing so hard at all the DLT stuff on today. It’s my Saturday morning ritual. Turn the volume up, do house work, and laugh as loud and long as I wish. Another good medicine, humor, huh?

    • sbranch says:

      All those reasons! They are thinner too, which probably helps. Yes, we have the radio on in the kitchen most of the day ~ and I agree, Debbie, the BEST medicine! xoxo

  77. Elizabeth says:

    Hi, Susan! I saw you in June in GA at the event at FoxTale Books, and really enjoyed the event. I noticed in the comments earlier this month that you have other projects in line before making it to the meditation tapes… I was just wondering whether you have any tips for what to do/focus on/process to follow in the meantime to make the most of our meditation time following your example? Thanks!

    • sbranch says:

      I do think guided tapes make it so much easier to learn to control your thoughts. But two little things, sit up straight, uncross your legs, lay your hands flat on your lap, and take a deep breath. Then count backwards from 10 to 1, and as you do, tell yourself to relax . . . and go deeper . . . then deeper . . . and deeper, until you’re at 1, your deepest state of relaxation, and then go even deeper and let yourself feel every step of that relaxation. That’s a good start. After about 20 minutes, you bring yourself out of it the same way, going from 1 to 10, slowly counting up, and feeling the light grow stronger and more joy of life with each number until you are fully awake and ready to go on with your day, healed, loved, and strong. xoxoxo

  78. Dennis in MN says:

    Susan, this post is so delightful with those adorable dogs. I’ve a black Scottie with a mind of her own yet the sweetest heart! I read “Isle of Dreams” and it was like I read my own story, my cabin life was in northern MN on a lake, not on an island. Very similar so kindred spirits, I believe!!! 😀 I, also, ad someone else’s name and email showing at the end of the comments. Looking forward to Spring, the dats are getting longer. Best wishes to you and Joe!!

  79. Nancy B. says:

    How fun, an all doggie post! Woofnerful :0) I enjoyed each and every picture, caption and all. I am curious about two things though! First, I have always understood that Britain doesn’t have rabies and dogs coming in have to be quarantined for 6 months. So I am wondering how they can travel from the US to Britain on the QE2? Maybe those laws have changed? I don’t think I could sleep with my doggies in a kennel .. or if they could be satisfied not sleeping on the bed with me? But how wonderful to be able to travel with them on a cruse! How.. where.. do they do their “business” aboard ship? I guess its time now for y’all to adopt a doggie! And, those sheep that are being herded into that, to me, very small white fenced pen on tv. They look like their wool is pinkish? And they look like they have scarves on? Did you hear the story about them? I’ve seen pictures of sheep wearing sweaters when they are sheared in the winter time! So cute 🙂 Thanks for sharing all the cute pics.

    • sbranch says:

      I think the laws have changed . . . you just have show proof of rabies shots and good health for your animals … you would have to look up the rules before you go, but I think it’s okay now. Their kennel is equipped with what’s needed for business handling. I’ll leave it at that. 😃 The pics of the sheep going into the pen, that’s a photo I took of the show on the TV. So the colors etc probably aren’t very true to life. They were definitely not pink. And the pen was small because it was an event designed to show the skills of the dogs. The sheep didn’t have to stay there. Hope this answered everything!

  80. Claudia Cole says:

    Hi Susan. Love your blog on the English Doggies. I had two, Flat-Coated Retrievers along time ago. Their mom was imported from England to breed with an American male. Lovely dogs.
    How about English Kitties, meaning many cats who think they are English, because they live there and have a British Meow! Do you know of any English breeds of cats?
    Under “The Tatler” mag, there is a little otter that you had painted. Thank you for that. Otters are a favorite of mine. So darn cute!
    Have a wonderful week on the MV.

  81. Sue says:

    Dear Susan and Joe,
    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! I know you will have a wonderful day, because you always do. May you have 30 more. Hopefully on your next anniversary you will be visiting the British Isles once again. ( if you go once more before you publish your next book on Great Britain you can probably write the whole trip off as a business expense… hint hint) Best wishes to you both…
    Love Sue

    P.S. Have a great trip to see your Mom

  82. A. B. says:

    Different topic: regarding national events of the past year and considering the vast number and diversity of we who love you—might a wise choice be to forego all political comments and references? Just asking.

    • sbranch says:

      I totally understand what you are saying because I love ALL of you right back and I have never really cared which side you are on, I know we’re all doing what we think is best, from our hearts. I’ve met so many of you on my book travels across the country, and never once have any of us asked each other which political party we most agree with! Hurt feelings is just not what any of us come here for. But, can we maybe sometimes just mention a nuts and bolts issue like that they are going to deregulate the banks, get rid of Dodd Frank ~ issues that aren’t really “political” ~ don’t most of us agree the banks had too much deregulation before and that’s sort of how we got here in the first place? As if we were alerting each other that a storm was coming or something normal like that ~ we could band together on issues we agree on and tell our congress people not to let it happen. Not republican, not democrat, but people issues. Deregulating small neighborhood banks is more than fine, they aren’t the ones that got us into this mess, but the big ones should not be allowed to get away with it again. I know so many people still suffering from what the banks did, and at least 3 people who lost their homes. I never want to see that again. I definitely don’t want to argue the merits of individual candidates. What do you think of that? Not all the time, but when something really “people” oriented comes up?

  83. Teresa O says:

    Oh how I loved reading this post about the dogs of England. I so wish that those of us who dwell in more rural areas would find that our wonderful 4-legged loves are as welcome in local eateries & bars as their counterparts across the pond. Thank you for sharing this charming post.

    • sbranch says:

      Me too. I think it’s up to the individual states. Maybe you could bring it up at your next town meeting. 😃 Probably was the Queen’s idea in England. It’s good to be Queen. Things get done.

  84. Siobhan in Santa Monica says:

    (sigh)

    So delightful! What a lovely break in the day.

    THANK YOU! Don’t mean to shout, just really grateful. 🙂

  85. Gert~Iowa says:

    Oh Susan, what a wonderful post!!! Who doesn’t love dogs? I like to photograph them at the Farmers Market!! I see all different breeds and my question for you is…did the owners you saw, look like their dogs?? ha! ha! That’s what some say!! I wonder, do I look like Rusty? (My faithful companion!) Look forward to your next post!!

    Blessings,
    Gert

    • sbranch says:

      I looked for that, and sometimes, a little bit, but more in the way a sporty dog was with a sporty person and a prim dog was with a prim person, and shaggy dogs were with shaggy people. xoxo

  86. Eileen Ammendolea says:

    Oh how I love the fairy circle Gentleman Mike built for his late wife! So utterly sweet of him to honor his wife’s memory in tha way. It made me teary eyed.

    • sbranch says:

      Me too. I’m happy he made it for her when she was still alive and could see him doing it. Very special, what our guys do for us sometimes. xoxo

  87. Toni from Sylvania OH says:

    Susan…looks like there’s a lovely, beautiful, romantic winter storm coming at you
    YEA:-))) Enjoy as you snuggle in at your cozy home, with a great fire keeping you warm, as you watch old movies and listen to old songs. Sorta envy you…keep toasty warm:-))) Toni xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      I’m up and ready for it. But through the window just now is the moon! We need that to go away before a snowstorm can begin!

  88. Laurie Brandriet Keller says:

    Thank you for A Place To Call Home. My Man and I did a 2 season marathon last night. It’s just what we needed to see us through another few days of Winter on the South Dakota Prairie, when I’m not sculpting ice.

  89. Limner says:

    Thank you!

    I remember the Ann Landers quote. 😀

    I like dogs. I love cats.

  90. Toni from Sylvania OH says:

    Dear Susan just spent the last half hour writing you posts that keep disappearing. My computer is a complete mess, which is not helping this communication with you. God Bless and stay warm, love, Toni from Sylvania OH xoxoxo

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