We talked to Richard and Mindy Hammond’s gorgeous dogs (Blea, Captain, Dimple Chicken and Sparrow) about what life is like living in the fast lane with Richard and Mindy!
– How did you choose Richard and Mindy as owners?
My mum was the girls’ prep school terrier,Tig, owned by a favourite teacher, Mrs A. The Hammond girls loved Tig so much, Mindy asked Mrs Aif Tig could have a litter before the girls left the school. Tig spent her confinement with the Hammonds and Mindy and Willow acted as midwives when I was born on the sofa in the snug..I’ve never left.
Mindy, Izzy, and baby Willow turned up at my house one Christmas Day and I fell in love. I was being bullied a bit by my litter mates and they scooped me up and cuddled me. Mindy came back a few weeks later, and although I was the runt and just a smooth coated jack Russell with an overbite, they loved me right back.
I am a Cumbrian collie and all my ancestors have worked the fells with Richard’s shepherd friend, Les who lives in Buttermere. My mother is Les’ ‘best dog’ Tess. Richard came to visit Les when I was a very young pup and he took a picture of me and sent it to Mindy; I didn’t want him to leave. Mindy secretly spoke with Les and came to collect me as a surprise for Richard. I’m named after Bleabury Tarn near Buttermere
I am a black Labrador with a pedigree to die for and although by rights I should be living with a game keeper and working in the field, Mindy loved me too much. She taught me how to do all the gundog stuff with those dummy things and whistles, but I’m glad I have a sofa instead of a kennel and cuddle up with my Hammonds – even though my tail hits Richard’s bad knee constantly (it’s got metal in it you know)
– What does a typical day look like for you?
I do the mucking out every morning, we go for a trot around, then I come back indoors and snooze until afternoon stables
I’m rather deaf these days (well, I am nearly 15) and don’t like to get cold so go for a couple of walks a day and sleep the rest of the time (unless I can get into the bins)
I run a lot, bark a lot, and guard my home. I have sheep to work between walks which I enjoy, but my best times of the day are spent cuddling my people
I run everywhere, sit on laps whenever I can (especially Richard’s),I help Mindy when she’s on the computer, and love my two walks but have to stay on a long lead (I’m easily distracted). I go to the stables but I’m still a bit scared of horses. I play with my best friend ‘Ketchup’ the cat most of the day – I like licking her ears.
We all love helping to put the ducks and chickens to bed in the afternoon – we each get an egg sometimes
– Do you enjoy road trips with Richard and Mindy
Captain: Yes, I love the car
Blea: On a lap, yes
Dimple chicken: I go for the cuddles
Sparrow: Why do I always have to go in the back??
– Do you have a favourite pet accessory?
Sparrow: a chewy bone, any chewy bone
Blea: My brush…I love to be groomed
Captain: A ball..I love a ball and will play fetch for ages
Dimple Chicken: My orange tiger- especially when Sparrow plays tug of war – she always lets me win
– Whose style do you most admire? Can be human or animal!
Sparrow: Izzy Hammond is cool
Blea: Richard’s…I love him
Captain: Willow Hammond’s- to me, she is perfect
Dimple Chicken: Ketchup’s
– If Richard was dog which breed would he be?
– Do you have a favourite human?
Sparrow: I love everyone
Dimple Chicken: I love them all
– Are you a city pooch or a country-loving hound?
Country!! All of us.
– Where are your favourite places to walk?
Sparrow: The Long field at home
Blea: running the woods with Richard
Captain: to the feed room
Dimple Chicken: anywhere there aren’t stinging nettles
– Do you go on holiday with Richard and Mindy if so where?
No we stay at home with our carers and get spoilt rotten
– What are you hoping for this Christmas?
Sparrow: an enormous chew bone
Blea: all day on the sofa
Dimple chicken: a Christmas onesie