Holidays, runaway horses and street food  

Ernie and Theo were hiding under the biggest tree they could find. All this sun was making it a bit of a dogs’ life for them both.

“Did you have fun on holiday Theo?” Ernie asked.

“Very enjoyable thank you Ernie, I had a whole field to myself one day. I met a lovely rescue dog from Spain called Daisy and had a great time on the beach. I also loved the peace and quiet of sitting in the shade below a beautiful tree,” Theo replied. He’d missed many things about Ernie but not his constant questions.

“Oh, I am pleased Theo. You deserved a break. Running Ernie and Theo’s is tiring,” Ernie said. “I know you haven’t been back long but I bet you want to know how we did at the Aintree Community Fun Day and Dog Show’ don’t you?” he went on.

“Yes, I was going to ask you. Did we get lots of visitors?” Theo replied. He didn’t ask Ernie many questions so Ernie was feeling especially important.

“Oh yes, it was great fun. Lots of dogs with their humans came to see what we make,” Ernie explained. 

“People bought lots of our handmade bandanas, dogs’ bottoms, dog leads and collars,” he added.

“That’s good” Theo said, smiling.

“Oh, and we saw lots of horses. One of them got away from its humans and they had to go and bring him back,” Ernie went on breathlessly. “It was a bit scary really but they got him in the end. There were actually more horses than dogs Theo. We didn’t sell anything to the horses though – we didn’t have the right sized bandanas and leads to fit them,” he explained.

“Well, we aren’t aiming to sell into the equine market just now Ernie so not to worry,” Theo said chuckling.

Ernie wondered if the “equine market” was like the other markets they did. His questions could wait though. He had other news for Theo.

“Because we make our dog leads and collars in lots of different designs, we’ve launched a series of collections,” Ernie explained. “We have got the ‘Tyson and Teddie,’ ‘Erik’ and ‘Flossie lead and collar collections. They are named after some of our mates and everybody loves them!” Ernie said excitedly before going on:

“You were right about there being enough room on the website for them too Theo. If you go on it, you’ll find photographs of all the collections. Oh, and one other thing, the humans say we’ll be launching other collections as our range expands.”

“Well, you have been busy,” Theo said. “I am very impressed Ernie, I will have a look at the website and find out what our humans’ plan is for launching future collections. I need to make sure they have thought this through. Remember Ernie, it’s our name over the door”

This reminded Ernie that he kept meaning to ask Theo about this “name over the door” business. He’d looked above all the doors in his house, and everyone else’s he’d been in, but he couldn’t see their names over any of them. 

It all left him a bit puzzled. He did think about asking Theo but, again, he had more important things to say.  

“We’ve got lots of markets coming up this weekend Theo,” Ernie said. “We’re off to Lancaster’s ‘Meet the Makers Market’ on 30 June. Then on 1st July, we’re at Clitheroe’s ‘Crafty Vintage Fair’ and our handmade pet accessories will be on sale at Heaton Park’s “Curated Makers Pop-Up Shop’.”



“Yes, I know,” Theo said “I’m impressed you went on the website Ernie. It’s not like you.”

“Well, you left me in charge so I tried very hard to keep on top of things,” Ernie explained. “With all you have to do Theo, I can see why you get so tired sometimes. I couldn’t run the business all the time like you do.”

“Well, if you could help me a bit more I wouldn’t get so tired! We’ll have a lot to keep an eye on with all these markets at the weekend so we can share the work,” Theo explained.

“Okay Theo, I’ll do my best,” Ernie replied. He actually thought he needed a holiday. Theo had no idea how tiring it was chasing birds, ducks and squirrels – not to mention digging his humans’ lawn over for them. He knew now wasn’t the best time to tell Theo all this though. So, instead, he decided to ask what was happening at the markets they’d be doing.

“Oh, there’s going to be so much going on,” Theo explained. “I can’t wait to see the “handmade loveliness” at the Makers’ Market – you know how much I love art.”

“Yes, that sounds very good,” Ernie said, stifling a little yawn. Deep down, Ernie knew he wasn’t really the “arty” type. So, he asked Theo what there’d be at the “Crafty Vintage Fair.”

“Well much the same Ernie. There will be lots of creative people at Crafty Vintage too. I am sure we’ll see some wonderful things,” Theo said excitedly.

Ernie tried desperately to get excited about wonderful arty things. Unfortunately, his cortical neurons weren’t having it. He was starting to get increasingly distracted. He thought he’d seen a couple of squirrels lurking nearby and began to think about giving his legs a stretch.   

After a paws (sorry, a pause), Theo added “Oh, I forget to mention, the Crafty Vintage website says there’ll be live music and street food there too.”

Ernie’s ears pricked up. His tail twitched. Music didn’t really do it for him either. Ernie, though, spent many hours vainly searching the streets for food. Suddenly he could picture streets overflowing with it. Suddenly, the 1st July could not come quickly enough. He needed to build up his appetite and what better way than to play chase with the squirrels.

“Oh, that is good news Theo, I’ll see you at the weekend,” Ernie said as he broke into a trot.

Theo decided to make his way home too and check these new dog lead and collar collections. “Yes, see you then, Ernie, don’t be late!” he shouted after his little friend.

“I won’t be, don’t worry,” Ernie shouted back. He was never late when food was involved. 


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