St Valentines Day in the Azores

A lovely start to the day today. Woke up to a St Valentines kiss and a cuddle AND a promise of a sunny day and no wind. Turned out to be mostly true. We had a couple of light showers but overall, it was warm and sunny all day.

I gave Sue her St. Valentines gift first thing. Well actually, I hid it behind the chopping board in the kitchen, knowing that the first thing she would do would be to cut herself a slice of pre-breakfast bread to go with her coffee, before we go down to feed the horses, dogs and chickens. However, I could hardly believe my eyes when she picked up the board and didn’t see the gift!! I know it was not large, but…….

Anyway, we sorted that out and Sue gave me a lovely card with touching words. “Why would I want anyone else? We go together like hay nets and horse poo” and “Love you loads (of poo)”. So sweet 🙂 Both references to the fact that we spend a few hours every day making up hay nets and collecting horse poo here on Faial, Azores.

After breakfast, we headed to Horta to change part of the gift that I bought. It was a “Tree of Life” necklace, but the chain was too short. Of course, we had to do some household shopping while we were in Horta, as it is too far to go without ensuring that we are well provisioned at the house.

Having sorted the chain and the shopping, we headed back to the house for lunch. We had promised Lisa (a friend of Lesley and Alan, whose house we are sitting) that we would help her move her dog kennel from her house to a friends at 14:00 hrs, as he was going to care for her dog while she went off the island travelling for a bit.

After the kennel move was completed, we all took our dogs for a walk in the countryside. What a tale that was!!!

Jack the puppy chased a calf a couple of weeks ago, so Sue and I do not let him off the lead unless we are certain that there are no cattle / animals about. We were informed by one of the walkers that there were no animals up ahead and so we let Jack off. MMM. Not a good idea. After a few minutes walking he ran off and I could hear him barking and barking in the distance. I ran up a big hill looking for him and eventually found him on a ledge in a quarry like hole, worrying a goat family. Not good, to say the least. It was extremely dangerous and difficult for me to get to him, but I headed towards him anyway as he would not come, despite a few weeks of “come” training. Obviously he was having a lot of fun. I have to say that the adult goat, who I guessed to be the mother, was doing a good job of keeping the predator off of her two young kids. Unfortunately, one of the kids broke ranks and made a run for it. Straight past me, but near the edge of a precipice that I guess was about a 5 metre drop. The kid either ran or fell over the precipice and Jack did the same. I felt for sure that Jack would be seriously injured, but when I inched to the edge to look over, he was standing, rather dazed looking, at the bottom of the pit. We quickly run back up to the track from the ledge and down the hill again, to the quarry entrance to get Jack on the lead. He could not be seen from the track as he was around the corner in the quarry.

The quarry floor area was allocated to some big cattle and they had really churned up the entrance. Graham (Lisa’s friend) climbed along the railing as best he could but ended up ankle deep in the mire. Meantime, I whistled and called Jack and he came bounding around the corner and…… into the quagmire that was cattle poo, urine and heaven knows what else. As he tried to dash past me, I caught him by the scruff of the neck and got a lead on him. Meantime, Graham was cleaning his feet in a trough of water, as best he could. What could I do but tell Jack he was a “Good boy”. He had (sort of) come to me, eventually. The excitement was over and we headed back to the cars with Jack on a lead. Never to be let off again, while we are here pet sitting. It’s too stressful for us and too dangerous for Jack and the local wildlife!!!

Posted in House Sitting, Tourism.