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  • Writer's pictureJane Ritzenthaler

Aston, Oxfordshire

At the end of my last post, I stated confidently that I was going to take Peggy for a walk on the now-sunny afternoon. Suffice to say, Simon's description of their Bull Mastiff is accurate: sweet tempered, but stubborn. A few steps from the front door, she planted her four huge paws on the ground and refused to move. No nudging...okay, yanking...on her leash had any effect. I hadn't been able to find the sausage dog treats that had worked so beautifully the day before when Joanne and I took an extended walk with a reluctant Peggy. I gave in and she trotted happily back to the house. Below are my charges:

All are rescues...Peggy's story being the most heartbreaking. She was at death's door when she was found abandoned at a puppy mill after having numerous litters.

Yesterday around noon the sun once again made an appearance, and I decided to walk into town, sans Peggy. I wandered about, taking photos of stone walls and spring flowers, thatched-roof buildings, and finally ended up at Aston Pottery. It is an active pottery, with manufacturing taking place in a long building in the back. The minute I entered the gift shop, I wished I had brought my biggest suitcase!

Simon told me their cafe has fabulous quiche, but since it was Saturday and crowded, I decided to come back another day. Below are some more glimpses of Aston:

I've had a mostly quiet Sunday, except for another abortive attempt at taking Peggy for a long walk. This time seemed more promising, with her practically telling me she wanted to go. In fact, she trotted off leash ahead of me toward the path, but before we got any further, I saw a young girl with a small dog coming our way. Groaning, I put the leash on Peggy, and got a firm grip. The girl and her dog were obviously intimidated by Peggy, and took a wide berth around us. Peggy made one lunge at the little dog, but I reeled her in. After they scampered around the corner, I hopefully started out again. But no. Feet planted. Sighing, I took her off lead and walked back to the house. Maybe tomorrow...

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