The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Every being loves attention. Dogs and Pay it forward.

inca in bedMost nights I tuck the Min Pins and great aunt Daisy Beatyl into their beds. We have a lot of rugs. Mainly Barbie rugs, cut from the blanket that I bought just before we collected Inca. Sometimes I unearth one of the starter rugs – the size of a facecloth – it’s easy to forget how small she was at seven weeks. Easily wrapped in a 6″x6″ cloth.

The response from the dogs is variable. Inca and The Contessa snuggle firmly into their hat shaped baskets. These sit on chairs, out of the draughts. A small cuddle and tummy rub usually suffices and a blanket dropped over the entire bed will stay in place until the morning. I have to attend to The Contessa first. Inca is curious and will throw off her blankets if she thinks that The Contessa is getting more attention than she has been given.

Even if she is second on the list, I have spotted that she wants to observe what is going on under the table. This is where great aunt Daisy Beatyl and Dr Q hang out. These dogs can no longer leap into a bed on a chair. They sleep in warm igloos on the floor. Both dogs adore being wrapped in blankets and tend to play so as to extend the wrapping process. The under table baskets are a great quiet place to snooze in the day. But in the evening the dogs on the chairs tend to get lots of passing trade and the ones under the table are easily forgotten.

There is a great scheme that is bobbing about in the blogosphere at the moment – Pay It Forward. ‘The premise of Pay It Forward is one that any person can implement in his or her own life, at any time. It begins with doing a favour for another person– without any expectation of being paid back. Indeed one would request that the recipient of that favour do the same for someone else: ideally for three other people. The unconditional favours can be large or small. As the author observes: it doesn’t have to be a big thing. It can just seem that way, depending on whom you do it for.’

The above excerpt was taken from the Pay it Foward UK site . I have participated in the scheme on two blogs Little Foodies and Shadows and Clouds. So this is my first Pay it Forward post and the second one will appear over the next few weeks.

The first three people to leave a comment on this post will receive a small handmade gift from me before Spring. All that I ask is that you continue the scheme and offer a similar treat to three other bloggers.

  Leave a reply


  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Virginia,

    How exciting! Eating your first homebred guinea fowl. I bet that it tastes delicious having had a happy life and even starred on YouTube.

    I don’t have much spare time at the mo but I’ll check out the freerice site. Sounds fun.

    We have a few good Christmas recipes that are worth making and are good presents:
    Quick cranberry sauce recipe

    Last minute Christmas cake recipe

    Light Christmas pudding recipe

    Apple chutney

    Sweet chestnut jam

    Glad that you’re enjoying the blog.

    Our dogs only sleep upstairs as a treat or if one of us is away. Even so, they are a pampered pets.

    Thanks for the update.

  2. Virginia

    Hello Fiona,

    We’re eating our first guinea fowl for lunch tomorrow! I almost hope it isn’t any good so that we don’t feel we have to do the same to more of them.

    How you have the time to write so many articles and run a business and house I don’t know, but if you have any spare time, perhaps you might like to have a go at this?

    I’ve spent more time than I should doing it, but all in a good cause.

    Have you any extra special Christmas recipes you would share with us? I made some quince jelly that looks beautiful but no-one seems keen to eat it, any ideas?

    Thanks for the blog, I love it.


    ps. Just as well the dog can’t read it, she would complain bitterly about her sleeping arrangements… in a dog bed , no covers,OUTSIDE the bedroom, she snores more than my “other half” and that’s something!

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Pat,

    I love hearing about Jingles and Cheeky.

    Hi Kate(uk),

    Cats are so bright! When I had cats they had little hammocks that hung from the central heating pipes. They loved sleeping there in the winter.

  4. Pat, that reminds me-before we had Andrew we had two brothers, George and Mouse. George was boss, Mouse the undercat. When George died I expected Mouse to be inconsolable and search the house for him. Far from it. He did spend a lot of time looking for the video player which, in the same week, we put into a cupboard under the television as we did not think that Mouse sleeping on top of it all day and covering the ventilation holes was doing it any good whatsoever.He sat for ages in front of the cupboard doors waiting for them to open.

  5. Yes our boys have several blankets dotted about the house. And favourite sleeping spots. One of Cheeky’s fav spots is on top of the Sky digi box. As it is nice and warm there. Jingles is usually curled up on the bed ontop of a pile of sweaters.

  6. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Kay,

    I can understand that your Cairn terrier feels secure in his cage. Our pup slept in her cage for months until one night she howled and howled to be let out and join the other dogs.

    Hi Jill,

    Yes, I think that pay it forward is a great scheme. I have already worked out what I am going to make and will have great fun making them over the Christmas holiday.

    Hi pumpkin-power,

    It’s good to share. Everyone involved seems to get a lift.

    Hi Kate(uk)

    I love the fact that your cat is called Andrew!

    What a great picture you draw of your grandmother’s cat. Our dogs have beds all over the house. The bed they like the best is our bed and they will creep up to our bedroom and slip under the duvet when we are not looking.

  7. My cat Andrew has various blankets,baskets and furry bits around the house,shed and greenhouse. He is absurdly pampered. My mother thinks it is in our genes to go to great lengths to create cat beds ever since we found some photos of my grandmother’s back garden when going through some pictures recently. There were a couple of snaps of her little lily pond full of bloom, a couple more of my Uncle Jim’s prize carnations and chrysanths. All the rest of the photos were of the cat. A large pile of cushions had been placed carefully on a comfy chair in the spot just outside the french windows, a spot I remember being the most sheltered and sunny in the back garden.On top of the cushions was a rug. On top of this was the cat.

  8. pumpkin~power

    What a lovely idea! To not only bestow an act of kindness on another but also to encourage this kindness to continue. A generosity that so many of us could encourage in a world that can be a cold place. I feel inspired to take this idea forward not only in my personal life but also in my work… Thank you for a thoughtful post!

  9. Paying forward will bring warmth to your heart, not to mention the one the kind act is being blessed upon. Thank you for reminding us that it is great to give to others. Have a grand day!

  10. Kay Sexton

    I have Cairn terriers, one of whom sleeps on a chair under a blanket and the other sleeps in a cage with a cover over it, because he has night-terrors and used to blunder around the house whimpering and walking into walls. I know folk who visit think we are cruel, but a dog with nightmares is best in a small enclosed place that they trust, and he certainly sleeps without dreams once he’s tucked into his bed with his water and biscuit.

    As for paying it forward, I am about to do that very thing myself, with a fellow writer, so sychronicity is a very odd thing, isn’t it?

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