Two pints of lager and a packet bonio's please...

Well, I had a word with Abby, the woman who seems to be in charge here, and she has promised to take me sightseeing today. That’s more like it. First off on our day trip was this weird sounding place called CAT. I got a little excited when I heard that but apparently it stands for Centre of Alternative Technology and is just down the road from the pub.

They treated me fantastically well, and laid on a tour guide and a professional photographer! I decided not to mention that I was actually a retired ambassador, just in case they toned down the VIP treatment. We had a wonderful time learning all about stuff like energy, and recycling and plants and buildings. And Sam! They had the most enormous crane! I wanted a photo for you but it was just too big to fit in.

Here’s a few snaps:

Me and my photographer

No! This is not my empties pile…they make buildings out of all kinds of things here at CAT!

Here I am pondering the fate of the planet, on the photovoltaic panels

I was talked into having a ‘look’ inside the wind tunnel. And of course some joker had to turn it on and blah, blah, blah…you get the picture. Personally, I’m not sure they weren’t all laughing at me, but being a fit and healthy young hound I had no problems resisting this powerful force of nature!

It was a great visit and I couldn’t wait to get to the next fun place on our tour. Abby was being a bit coy by now and after quite a drive…

…we got to Aberystwyth University. Turns out Abby was doing a talk to some students about a different charity – the Oldies Club. Now I am more than happy to help other great charities, but boy these were a hard crowd! But after a few winning smiles from me, and some corker jokes, they all relaxed and I think Abby was very glad I was there to break the ice.

As a reward for my helping out, Abby said she was taking me to a Very Special Place. When we arrived at this big warehouse called ‘Bookers’ I really didn’t think much of it and thought I’d have preferred a tool along the seafront, but we had to stay. Abby, it seemed, had come shopping.

Me and some boring drink called ‘Water’

But then…boy oh boy! You could have knocked me down with a feather. I have never, ever, seen that much alcohol! Retirement rocks! Can you spot me?

Sigh…such happy days.

Shopping for pub supplies is hard work!

Thursday 7 May

Today I have woken up in a thoughtful mood. My visit to CAT yesterday seems to have left a lasting impression on me. I learnt that there is this thing called a ‘Carbon Footprint’ and even dogs with paws can have one, especially jet setting hounds like myself.

A Carbon Footprint can be good or bad, and mine is almost certainly dodgy, what with all the international travel I do. I was up half the night thinking what I could do about this. It’s tricky as we have to travel to do Dogstar work. But I think I have come up with a nice little plan. This morning I had a quiet word with Abby and she agreed to make a small purchase on my behalf.

Here I am buying two plants that will help soak up all that nasty carbon that planes put in the air when I fly around.

Today I am a sober(ish) hound, doing my bit for the planet.

Friday 8 May

I’m beginning to suspect that this is not, after all, retirement. I have been all around pub the last few days talking to people about Dogstar and the place is buzzing with talk of the work we do. My day trip (my one and only day trip!) was nice, but suspiciously full of Dogstar talk. Hmm. I hope I haven’t made a horrible mistake.

Still, I’ve been having fun with the gang. Today I listened to cool jazz with Betty and Ray:

I did some very important bar work for Kev, the man in charge – broaching new casks of ale!

And I then sampled said ale and, possibly, got a bit carried away with some high jinx with my new friend Redrock…

Saturday 9 May

Okay, so I am now 85% sure this is not retirement. Or if it is, Sam! Get me outta here! Running a pub turns out to be long hours and hard work. Despite helping out loads behind the bar with the beer, they’ve also had me polishing glasses:

and clearing dirty plates! Yuck!

But then Abby said I could have some down time, so it was off to the piano for some tunes:

I snaffled some bar snacks:

Hung out with some of the darts team guys:

And generally just did my best to fit in!

Sunday 10 May

Today was an important day! At the close of the pub, we drew the all important Dogstar Foundation Grand Raffle! I‘ve been working hard all week to sell the tickets and am very pleased with how it went. The raffle was drawn by a member of the darts team, mysteriously called ‘Puggy’, but a very nice chap despite the name.

Here’s me and Puggy after drawing the winning tickets:

First prize was a meal at the pub, won by a young buck named Mikey. Second prize of a bottle of wine went to my old pal Redrock. We raised £24 for Dogstar and I was really pleased. Thanks to the pub customers!

Monday 11 May

My last day at Tafarn Dwynant! I am at peace now with the idea that this is not my retirement but merely yet another interesting pause in my jaunt around the world. But I didn’t feel like I had really seen much of the countryside round here, so while Abby was off in Birmingham for the day, me and Kev took the hairy mutts off up a nearby mountain to be manly.

We had a great yomp up and down the hills. Here I am having a well earned rest. What a view!

All in all it has been a wonderful visit, despite them actually working me rather hard and that silly little misunderstanding about retirement. I’ve had some brilliant experiences, though I don’t think I will forget that very near miss with the darts any time soon!

So, the time has come for me to move on. I feel I will return to this hilly place. I hope so. Goodbye Wales!

This is Sirius, Dogstar Ambassador, signing off.


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Postcard to Dogstar HQ

I am having a fantastic time in Barbados but being the good little travelling ambassador that I am I remembered to send Sam and Mark a postcard

Love Sirius xxx


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Sirius's adventures with Mary

So bags packed we checked in and went to the departure gate where the nice Singapore staff were serving champagne in celebration of their 1 millionth customer on the airbus A380.

My new friend Scottie and I had thought we’d best help the rest of them by partaking in this celebration.

First stop was Bangkok where I made a new friend with a lucky Soi (street) dog . Lucky as she was rescued as a pup and now lives a fabulous life with her owners Tim and David.

When in Bangkok, you have to visit Temples so off we went to the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, known as Wat Pho. He looked quite a distinguished chap!!

And the Buddha was huge…………….

I rode a fierce looking dragon-y type thing

And tried to hide in the ornate building

here I am

We then took a ride in a Tuk Tuk ride with a crazy driver so I had to be held tightly so I didn’t fall out. Debbie and Mary just had to balance well as we flew round corners.

All packed up again we travelled on an overnight train where a lady magically turns the seats into beds!

I had to sleep on the top bunk as the bottom bunks were all taken, and I had to share with Mary, but there was enough space for us both!

Here is my friend Debbie in her bunk

In Northern Thailand we went trekking, I had to carry the camera as Mary was a lightweight!

Once we’d recovered from all that walking we moved onto Chiang Mai where we stayed at the Green Tulip so that we could be collected to go to the Elephant Foundation.

After a short-ish bus ride we arrived at the Elephant Foundation, where it was all go and we got to see some elephants (strangely, being that it’s an Elephant Foundation)

Including the naughty little baby one they have at the Foundation who manages to cause chaos when he wants to!

We then headed off to our luxurious accommodation to make friends with the local inhabitants, do a little elephant spotting on the veranda and have some well deserved rest!

The following morning we managed to get some shopping of hand carved elephants

and some bags. Very important for a dog to have these things!!!

Then it was back to Bangkok and to start the next part of the trip in Borneo.

The first couple of night we stayed in the lovely Hotel Shangri-La, what a come-up in the world, Scottie thought he’d relax without the need for a change of the silk sleeping sack for protection!

Whilst I explored

and finally found a suitable chair to relax in

That evening I watched a beautiful sunset with some new friends

Which was followed by a huge breakfast the next morning

Some playing of musical instruements, quite tuneful I’ll have you know

and meeting one of the hotel staff who does a tribal dance when guests arrive, I’m not sure if it’s to welcome them or scare them away!

Before we left, as Debbie’s camera got stolen I took her to the police station to get a crime report for insurance purposes, I think she just wanted to see some men in uniform!!

Then it was time to check out and start the Tour of Borneo, this kind man gave me a lift back to reception, it was a long way when you’ve got short legs!

Mount Kinabalu
Mary had mentioned something about climbing a mountain, easy I thought and then we arrived at the lodge and we looked at the map. Oh my goodness and for some strange reason Mary had chosen the longer route…madness I tell you madness.

So the morning of the climb and off we went, up and up we went….until we finally reached the lodge where we slept (or tried to, really Scotch and I were planning how to make sure Mary reached the summit the following day!)
Luckily our planning paid off and we all reached the summit were we had our photos taken!! What you can’t see there is that Low’s Peak (strange name) is 4095.2 m high…that’s a long way to go with legs as short as mine!!!

After the long tiring walk what we needed was to return to the Shangri-La for a hotel shower and good food, instead we headed to the Jungle…where Scottie and I shared a meal of vegetables and rice (don’t holiday with a veggie!) with coffee…I ask you…where was the wine and hot food…oh didn’t I mention the veggies and rice were cold!!!

Luckily on the cold wet day that it was, we ended the meal with some nice water melon!!!

I thought I’d try a tree to sleep in a tree

but settled for sharing Mary’s hammock (with Scotch as well – a tight squeeze for us all…)

The next morning we were each left on a section of the path way to see what we could see in the quiet…well I saw a leech on Mary’s fleece and some mushrooms (not even edible I don’t think) not really what we were expecting!!!

Anyway after breakfast we headed off for the final jungle walk, I held tightly onto Mary

So as not to get my feet dirty…it was ick muddy…

Finally out of the Jungle we were allocated our *homestay*. This is where we got to stay the night with a local family!! Well Debbie and Mary were allocated Mina, so I went along with them!!!

First Mary took me for a shower…oh my word….

Then we had lunch in the kitchen

And we were shown our bedroom

Where Mary had to hide me from the naughty grandson who tried to borrow everything in sight!!

That night they had a cultural evening, but they didn’t make me a costume so I just took photos!

The following morning after tea and red bean buns we headed off again!!

We also went to Turtle Island, where I sunbathed (I know in jeans and jumper…blame Mary) whilst the others played in the water

After visiting the orang-utans and monkeys the end of holiday arrived, and with my new t-shirt to remind me of my trip we had to start heading home


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