Holly is quite fearless at stealing food from the bulls

A BARN full of fresh hay is a welcome sight and smells glorious.Literally meadow fresh. It has been easy to make this year with the dry weather. Some years John has struggled for a fortnight turning and turning the cut to try and dry it out.

Since the inception wrapping big bales of fresh grass for haylage, at the first sign that drying the grass is not going to plan, John rings a contractor and we get the lot sealed up in big green bales.

This year I doubt you will see so many. We did make a four acre field behind the wood into haylage bales, but that is a field that hardly gets any sun and is notoriously difficult to dry out.

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Plus a few bales of haylage always comes in useful over winter for the sheep.

Two loads are staying on the trailers until the end of next week when John gets back from another week's fishing in Scotland. Without me this time.

I feel I cannot leave Millie, our new Jack Russell puppy, whilst she is still so young. Hard decision, husband or puppy. Appealing John maybe but no competition I am afraid. But then neither am I. Fish or me? Salmon every time.

She is now eight weeks old and needed her first jab. I arrived at the vets in a tangle of dog leads as it was an opportune time to update all the dogs vaccinations. The vet took one look at Holly our spaniel and suggested we lift her onto the weighing table. Twenty three kilograms. Optimum weight. Twenty.

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"She needs to lose at least three kilograms " he said "otherwise as a working dog she will get increasingly arthritic as she gets older."

We know, but try telling Holly. She can find food anywhere. Ewe or calf milk replacement is a particular favourite, but she is also partial to a bit of rolled barley, sheep nuts, protein pellets for the bulls.

Holly is quite fearless about actually stealing the food from under the bulls' noses. As John tips the feed into the bulls troughs, Holly follows, a fat little dog in amongst the big bulls.

They have been used to her all their lives and do not bother. Of particular joy to her and Pip (our Labrador) are the visits of our occasional resident guest Labrador George.

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He is from Meg, our old Labrador's one and only litter and is a frequent visitor when his jet setting owners are off abroad.

He brings exotic and delicious fare. Tinned dog food. Unknown to ours who live off a complete dried dog biscuit and all the household scraps they can get their mouths round.

George is not a big eater however, never having had the competition of a pack of greedy dogs to challenge for every last scrap.

As soon as he is out of his kennel after his morning and evening feed, Holly, Pip and Nell are in. When George returns for another snack he finds zilch.

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