Winnie Wins a Certificate

Early this year the magazine “Country Life” ran a competition to find the naughtiest dog. I thought we should enter. The only problem was which of our dogs we should choose! Since Winnie (named for Winston Churchill, his sister is called Clemmie) had just taken himself off on yet another unscheduled saunter through the woods, I opted for him.

He is a working cocker spaniel convinced we all adore him, wrapping himself around my legs, crawling up into anyone’s lap who will have him and with a glorious enthusiasm for life. He is irrepressible, incorrigible and tireless.


I realised, however, that I could not actually admit to most of his adventures as I have covered up for him so many times that we would both end up in trouble.  Therefore over lunch, my husband, Sally and I created a doggerel we could enter in place of a description.

Last week I was thrilled to open a letter containing a certificate for Highclere with a recommendation for naughtiest dog of the year.

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I live with my family and friends at Highclere,

The people in the world I hold most dear.

I am a working cocker, I love to ramble,

Oft taking off with no preamble.

Indra, my friend, from high Nepal

Will try to find me with a call.

Park and field are mine to roam,

It is quite some time before I head home.

Sad to admit, there is oft a bungle

As time and again I am lost in jungle.

Gates and fences no challenge be,

A calling pheasant is my fancy.

Persisting still with cunning plans,

To lick the food from buckets and pans,

I sometimes have to make amends

With Lara or Frankie, my larger horse friends.

I cuddle my family  at the end of  the day

A full little tummy  and  then dreams of play.


31 Responses to “Winnie Wins a Certificate”
  1. Paul Mc Taggart says:

    Wow this has to be the Best certificate to have under your Collar well done Winston I’m very happy for you Sir 🙂

  2. David Anderson says:

    And Winston is a poet. Cocker Spaniels are amazing dogs. Our granddaughter, Morgan, got one as a Christmas gift last year. Bella (puppy’s name) now has authority over three households (including ours).

  3. Sophie Lamping says:

    Well Winston , that is quite an achievement being officially awarded the naughtiest dog i. the country ! Now you have to keep up your naughty behaviour and think of some new tricks to get there for next year ! You will come up with loads of idea’s ! Good luck and take care of your sister Clemmie !

    • Lady Carnarvon says:

      Clemmie – his sister – is very sweet, slightly smaller, although growing larger as she is having puppies!

  4. Maxula Pretti says:

    I think your dog Winnie has a personality. Just like humans in a way, can sometimes be difficult to change. But dogs and horses are the most loyal animals to their owners. I had both, a beautiful charcoal grey color horse named Fury, my father gave it to me and my precious chinese dog , named Yiro, my mother gave to me in elementary school. He died a few months , after my mom died of cancer. Why , am I tell you this story? Becuase you are so bless, you have your dogs and specially Winnie to love and to be love by him. Best wishes to you and your family, from Austin, Texas.

  5. Patsy Arnett says:

    Congratulations to Winnie— she truly is a champion! She may be the sweetest naughty dog alive.

  6. Deborah G. Calvert Price says:

    It would seem, a naughty dog indeed! Didn’t even open her eyes widely for the photo. 🙂

  7. Bonnie Lane says:

    WOW! Way to GO, Winston! This is great! Quite an accomplishment! Love, LOVE the photo of you sitting beside your certificate! You should be RIGHTLY PROUD of yourself! HUGS!

  8. Bonnie Lane says:

    Lady Carnarvon … may I now ask what are some of the TASKS that Winston ACTUALLY PERFORMS?

  9. Cynthia says:

    Very nice verse. I give the writer a ” Gold Star” as well as the naughty doggy who is the errant subject.

  10. Karen G. says:

    My very first dog was a blonde English Cocker and we were born in the same month/year. Blondie and I were rescued from a house fire when we were 4 months old, thrown into the same buggy and whisked outside; we were boon companions for many years afterwards. I love their irrespressible energy and joy in all things. Congratulations to Winnie from Canada!

  11. Edna Blue says:

    HAPPY FOR WINSTON! Among those wanderings is a heart full of love and loved my other’s hearts.

  12. Karen says:

    We also have a Winnie on our farm in Ontario Canada.
    She is across breed dog of undermined origin. Faithful, loving and can’t hear….
    Congrats to your Winnie!!

  13. Bobbi Allison says:

    Well done Winston! Congratulations!

    Here’s to many more adventures.

  14. Beckie Minglin says:

    Well done Winnie. You have two friends here in the U.S. who would love to go on adventures with you!

  15. Rosemary Gainvors says:

    Congrats to Winnie. I do believe I have some of his distant relatives here in the states. I have a Westie, that has the same wanderlust that Winnie has, but she too always comes home. Thank goodness.

    Thank you for your blogs. I love reading about your adventures. You are a very busy lady.

  16. Linda says:

    A heart so free the wind my friend, Winston is a friend to all.

  17. Carol Sawyer says:

    Congratulations to Winnie!!!
    What is the next competition that you shall conquer??!

  18. Mary Beth says:

    Congratulations Winnie! You’re a very pretty dog… Love the doggerel!

    • Lady Carnarvon says:

      He is very handsome and has very expressive eyes especially when he knows he has been testing us..

  19. CHRISTINE says:

    We just visited your wonderful home, the grounds and gardens were lovely and we spent a happy day there. Congrats to Winnie .

  20. Linda Keller says:

    Love the photo of Winnie with his certificate for Naughtiest Dog of 2015! (I hope Clemmie isn’t jealous, although she’s probably to sweet to care). It’s hard not to love a companion that exhibits that much joie de vivre!

  21. Penny Bechtold says:

    Winston, you made my day, but I think our dog, Tucker has you beat. He is the world’s #1 counter surfer. He has eaten a plate of homemade cinnamon rolls, 1/2 of a cake, snuck into spare bedroom and has eaten whole candy bars, boxes of peanut butter tandy cakes and even stole an extra Bark Box. He will eat anything he can get his paws on. Congratulations on your award. Job well done.

  22. Anne Folger says:

    Well done Winnie, think he is living up to his name, wanderlust dogs hold a special place as always wonderful to see them return.

    • Lady Carnarvon says:

      The funny thing is I am firstly so annoyed when I realise he is awol, then calling for him, I start to worry where he is. Next I get on my bike or in the car to look for him, which takes so much time so I am annoyed again, then I miss him, worry about him, return disconsolate and utterly fraught whereupon he does turn him, tongue hanging out, leaping up at a gate and I cannot decide what I am … it is sort of wonderful!

  23. Jenny says:

    Dear Lady Carnavon

    no need to feel like hiding Winnies antics anymore…. as its official you both like being in the dog box at times . Don’t we all , keeps life fun a bit of gay abandon eh?

    much love Jenny

  24. Bernie says:

    Your Lady,
    We also have an adventurous dog who goes AWOL so I understand your emotional roller coaster. He is a 7 year old golden retriever called Lucky. Some days we joke he is lucky to be alive. While in our home yard he chews everything that he has dragged home and digs holes. It is the roaming that is the issue as we live on a large parcel of land and searching for him is not an option. He chases rabbits, deer and coyotes. He’s been known to corner a skunk (which requires a couple of baths before he can come in the house again) but the real trouble is when he runs into a porcupine as digging out quills is no fun for him or us. He often comes home totally filthy and covered in burrs. Some days he’s lucky we love him.
    I also enjoy your posts and know that our next trip to England will include a trip to Highclere.
    Bernie Cruikshank
    Aberdeen, Saskatchewan, Canada

  25. Julie Pinchin says:

    We have 3 working cockers and love them. We got our first one by mistake. We thought we had bought a show cocker like our previous one. It was KC reg and long pedigree. When her legs grew and her hair didnt we contacted the KC and they told us we had got a working cocker.
    Now wouldnt have anything else!!

  26. Jean N Sozio says:

    What a wonderful poem! Congratulations Winnie!

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