#320 – ‘Mist’ – a dog in a million!

December 2017 – My favourite portrait of Mist © Babs Boardwell

For the best viewing experience, left-click the images and maps to zoom in to a new window, then exit that window to go back – go on, it really does work!

In West Yorkshire, January 2011

After the previous blog post was published (see post #319), I received a comment from an old friend asking after our Border Collie, ‘Mist’.  I had to give him the sad news that Mist had died a month earlier on 22 June 2022.  It wasn’t something that Chris and I had been keeping quiet about, we just didn’t want to make a song and dance about it.  Mist was 14+ when she died, a good age for many dog breeds, though fairly average for a Border Collie.

March 2011 © John Bamber

If you have been following recent blog posts, you will have picked up that Mist was becoming an old dog.  She was still getting out in the hills and mountains, but we were making the trips shorter and without too much height gain.  Just ten months earlier she had made the arduous ascent of Coire Raibeirt from Loch A’an to the cairngorm plateau (see post #308) with no more assistance than a push up the bum on the bigger rock steps, but once past the obstacles, she was away to her usual position in front.

Airborne! – March 2013 © John Bamber

On our May 2022 trip to Scotland, the dog walks had become much less energetic, though there was always a big show of excitement when the walking boots appeared.  Then in June, Mist went to the vet for a routine check.  Two internal tumours were detected, and I didn’t bother asking the vet if she could operate, due to Mist’s age, though I doubt if the vet would have agreed anyway.  We decided to let her go peacefully (the vet had advised “Better a week early than a week too late”).  So, two days later, Mist slipped away peacefully in a sunny garden at the vet’s surgery.

Pen y Ghent in the Yorkshire Dales, February 2011 © John Bamber

Now, this blog is about mountains (and hillocks) not dogs, and there may be some readers who don’t much care for dogs, which is fine – not all humans enjoy canine company.  So, the remainder of this post is going to be a collection of photos of British hills and mountains – it just so happens that there is an image of a black and white Border Collie in each frame.

Cautley Spout waterfall in the Howgill Fells, March 2011 © John Bamber
End of a Howgill day, March 2011 © John Bamber
Moelwyn Mawr in North Wales, August 2012
Rhinog Fach in North Wales, September 2012
Cwm Lloer below Pen yr Ole Wen in the Ogwen Valley, December 2012
Pen yr Ole Wen at Ogwen, North Wales, December 2012 © John Bamber
Pen yr Ole Wen, December 2012 © John Bamber
Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon), February 2013
Moel Eilio near yr Wyddfa, March 2013
Tryfan in the mountains of the Glyderau, April 2013 © John Bamber
The Glyderau, April 2013 © Tom Strawn
The Glyderau, April 2013 © John Bamber
Near Glyder Fawr in the Glyderau, April 2013 © John Bamber
Big day out in the mountains of the Carneddau, July 2014
Yr Elen in the Carneddau, September 2014
Yr Elen again, a year later, October 2015
Yr Wyddfa, February 2016
Quinag in Assynt, North West Scotland, May 2016
Descending to Llyn Anafon in the Carneddau, March 2017
Ysgyfarnogod in the Rhinogydd (the Rhinogs), April 2017
Bruach na Frithe on the Black Cuillin Ridge, Skye, May 2017
Ben Eighe in Assynt, May 2017
The Glyderau with a view towards Tryfan, March 2018
The Daear Ddu Ridge, Moel Siabod in North Wales, April 2018
Near Levers Water, Coniston, in the Lake District, April 2018
On the way to Sgurr na Stri on Skye, with the Cuillin Ridge behind, May 2018
Glen Sligachan, Skye, May 2018
The Northern Corries of the Cairngorms, May 2019
Cwm Glas near yr Wyddfa, July 2019
In the Glyderau looking towards Ogwen, August 2019
Near Suilven in Assynt, September 2019
A wintery day above Cwm Eigiau in the Carneddau, December 2020
Foel Grach in the Carneddau, April 2021
Cadair Idris June 2021
Yr Elen in the Carneddau, July 2021
Yr Elen, July 2021
Elidir Fawr in the Glyderau, August 2021
Glyderau day, August 2019
Glyderau sloppy kiss! August 2019

It’s sad to lose any true companion, be that a human, dog or cat, but it’s all part of nature and time rolls on.  Things I will miss with Mist’s passing include the grace and beauty of a black and white collie moving effortlessly up a steep mountainside, those big brown eyes staring at me when the lunch pack came out of the rucksack and even the big sloppy kiss she would give (even though I could guess where that tongue might have been minutes earlier!).  Truly a dog in a million (well for me anyway).  Goodbye Mist, gone but not forgotten.

April 2013 © John Bamber

Text and images © Paul Shorrock with additional images from Babs Boardwell (Babs Boardwell Photography), John Bamber and Tom Strawn.

About Paul Shorrock

I've been mucking about in the mountains for longer than I care to mention. I started out by walking my local hills, then went on to rock climbing, mountaineering and skiing. Still doing it, and still getting a buzz. I'm now sharing the fun, through my guided walking business (Hillcraft Guided Walking) and by writing routes for other publishers, mainly Walking World and Discovery Walking Guides. Just to make sure I keep really busy, I am also currently a member of my local mountain rescue team.
This entry was posted in 1. Scotland, 2. Lake District, 3. Yorkshire Dales, 4. Northern England, 5. North Wales and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to #320 – ‘Mist’ – a dog in a million!

  1. Thank you for this evocative post. My BC Jaq is nearly nine, and your post tells me I should get out on the hills more!

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  2. What a great tribute to Mist anyway in that post. Sorry to hear she’s gone but she was a very good age for a dog and at least, with you, she had the lift collies should have. You see so many are cooped up all the time and not exercised – at least she really enjoyed her life with you.

    Do you ever walk with John Bamber still?

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    • Thanks for that Carol. Yes, it was a win-win relationship – I enjoyed the company of a hill companion who never asked for the map or said “Are you sure this is the right way?” and Mist had as much freedom as a dog could get. The only time I put her on a lead was on potentially difficult ground or near busy roads and towns.

      John and I do still meet up, usually on the Spine Race at the very least – of course Covid-19 got in the way of that for a couple of years and I didn’t think it was fair to subject an old dog to the stresses of Greg’s Hut on the 2022 race.

      To answer your later question about the location of the March 2011 shot, it’s a trick of the angle that John chose for the image – it’s descending to the col at Bowderdale Head from The Calf, about 500 metres north of cautley Spout – the slope is shown as Hare Shaw on the 1:25k OS map

      Liked by 1 person

  3. *life not lift!

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  4. By the way, where is the airy looking ridge in the March 2011 photograph? It looks a bit like the Cioch na h’Oighe ridge on Arran…

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