Notes from a small dog: IndieAni and the Whiteleaf Cross

I woke up to rain and grey clouds. My suggestion that I take the ball-guy for a nice walk while she went to work on Sunday was vetoed but by the time she came back, so had summer. The sun was shining, the day was getting hotter, even if it was blowing a gale… so when we had eaten their lunch and she asked if I was ready to go on another adventure, I jumped at the chance!

We didn’t have all that far to drive this time, ’cause they were taking me somewhere they had been before… Whiteleaf Cross, up on the Ridgeway. It wasn’t long before we were parked and heading into the woods.

I like woods…there are lots of new smells to ‘vestigate, and with it being October loads of crispy leaves on the ground to run through and crunch. There were lots of other dogs too, so they kept me on the leash a bit longer than they needed… just in case the other dogs weren’t all that friendly.

Now, I have to mention that leash, even though they soon let me off. The last one was nice and soft. Easy to bite my way out of. Try crunching this one and you’ll break your teeth, ’cause it is made out of chain. Sneaky. Not, I hasten to add, that they have made me wear one of those mean and horrible choker things… or even worse, one of those vicious things with spikes inside… it is just unchewable and much shorter than my favourite leash! She says it serves me right for biting through the last one,  but that she’s got me a new long one too.

Anyway, we headed through the trees to a gate on what they told me was the Ridgeway. Now, I didn’t know its name, but I know about these ancient tracks that go across the country. You two-legses have used this one for about five thousand years and it still goes for nearly ninety miles… even though you have built your cities in its path. It used to be around four hundred miles coast to coast, from Dorset and Devon in the south west to Norfolk in the east… but some  of it still remains and all along its route there are ancient and sacred sites.

Aerial image: Geograph ~ Chris

We had come to see Whiteleaf Cross, a huge chalk figure cut into the hillside. She says it is over three hundred feet tall and no-one really knows how old it is. It might only be a few hundred years old, but it could have been made much earlier, then changed into something less pagan-looking, she told me, but she wouldn’t tell me what she thought it might have symbolised before it became a cross…

But the Cross isn’t the only thing to see. There is a dyke as well, that goes right back to the  earliest times… and trenches that only go back a  hundred years where soldiers practiced for the trench warfare of WWI.

There are barrows just above the Cross too…ancient burial mounds. Only one of them still really looks like a mound, and when it was excavated a Neolithic burial was found inside… a man with worn teeth, abscesses and arthritis so he was probably quite old for his time. There was a child’s cremation buried in there too, much later, in the Bronze Age, and they found bits of Roman stuff as well, so it has always been an important place.

And there were other things that interested me ‘specially… like motorbikes and horses. ‘Course, they didn’t think I should be off the leash with them around… which was good, ’cause the ball-guy took me off exploring till they had gone.

I had a nap in the car and was ready with the ball as soon as we got in, but between the hills and the wind, I had quite worn them out by the time we got home. No stamina these two-legses!

Still, I won’t complain…we had a lovely day and I quite enjoyed their dinner too.

Wonder where they’ll take me exploring next?

Much love,

Ani xxx

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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66 Responses to Notes from a small dog: IndieAni and the Whiteleaf Cross

  1. Ritu says:

    Loving IndiAni’s adventures!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. barbtaub says:

    Thanks for sharing your adventures Ani. (Peri is very jealous. )

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely photos, and Ani’s having so much fun!


  4. You have such exciting adventures, Ani! I hope they plan on taking you for lots more big walkies to go exploring.

    That’s cheating with the leash. Sneaky humans!

    Lots of licks,

    Liked by 1 person

  5. jenanita01 says:

    I am loving your new Indie status, Ani… I always enjoy walking around with Sue, but its even better now you come too!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. davidjrogersftw says:

    Thank you Sue. Dogs are wonderful, aren’t they, and who does not love entering a woods?. Good writing. Best wishes


  7. fransiweinstein says:

    Nice to hear from Ani again. It’s been a while.


  8. Hmmm, that cross is quite intriguing…


  9. Pingback: Notes from a small dog: IndieAni and the Whiteleaf Cross | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

  10. Darlene says:

    I love reading about Ani’s adventures. I hope she gets to go on may more. Dot loves forests too. I bet she’d like the beach!


  11. That cross is impressive. Sounds like a marvelous outing.


  12. willowdot21 says:

    Ani watch those teeth on that lead you don’t get anymore if you loose them. Looks like you had a great day out!


  13. dgkaye says:

    Ani you are multi-talented. Your ace ‘vestigative skills are admirable, and you make an excellent tour guide! 🙂 ❤


  14. Interesting and Ani is so observant. Thanks for the tour. 🙂


  15. What a lucky girl you are, Ani! Sounds like you have strong teeth! My friends just gave their dog a new leash, it goes around him and ends at the top of his back, so his neck isn’t affected at all. Seems like these are getting more popular here in the northeast of the U.S. Hey, that Whiteleaf Cross is spectacular! Lots of good imaginings going on there. xo


  16. Jennie says:

    Ani, you had the best day!


  17. Widdershins says:

    ‘…when we had eaten their lunch…’ … heh, heh, heh. 😀


  18. Ani you are a character 😊 and so lucky to go on these adventures. Looks like another really good walk 😊


  19. noelleg44 says:

    Ah, Ani – freedom! Hope you ran your legs off. And I liked the history lesson too – can hardly go anywhere in your land without finding something of interest, right?


  20. Fantastic adventures, Ani! When will your first blockbuster start? 😉 Thank you for writing! Best wishes, Michael


  21. She is such a cutie! This two legses is enjoying IndiAni’s adventures 😃


  22. Jack Eason says:

    Reblogged this on Have We Had Help? and commented:
    More about what Ani has to put up with from her two-legs’s….


  23. Adele Marie says:

    wow, Ani, I is impressed with the exploring. Wish we could do it together some day. Much paw love, Dante Dawg. xxx


  24. I have had this waiting in my pile of email for five days. I really WANTED to read it, but finally …

    First, bad girl, chewing through your lead. That’ll teach you. Until they next non-chain lead and then you can show’em who has the real teeth in the family.

    El Duque went into wild dog mode last night and finally had to be crated because he was racing around the house with such speed and enthusiasm, everything was just falling and crashing. Today he is much subdued and no falling computers mark his passage. I do not believe I would even feel safe letting the Duke off-lead. He is, alas, totally and utterly nutz.


    • Sue Vincent says:

      Well, she got me a new long leash. Two of ’em, in fact! So she can put them together to make a really long leash for our adventures! I haven’t told her that yet, but I’m sure she’ll work it out eventually 🙂

      Duke sounds like my kind of guy. Nutz is good… though I know two-legses rooms aren’t usually big enough for that kind of nuts 😉 Mine keeps the floorspace free and the back door open most of the time, though I do seem to sleep more these days. he says I’m getting old. Hrmph.

      Echo, one of her girls before me, looked just like me but was twice as big and her tail alone, I’m told, could clear a table in a single swipe… She was totally nuts too.

      In fact, she says all her dogs have been… and wonders what that says about her. I could tell her 😉

      Much love, Ani xxx


  25. Hi Ani, It is so much fun to read the account of where you all visited from your point of view. I am glad that you get to go out into nature. It is hard for our mom to take us out with her and dad because there are now six of us, and the girls want to all go one way, and we boys want to go another way. Of course, the new fellow, Ratatouille, also called Rattie because the dad thinks he is a rat terrier or at least part rat terrier. Anyway, he is very polite, and was scared and cold and wet when our mom rescued him, so we have all done our best to make him happy. We liked your story, and wish we had a good story like that to tell! Thank you, Ani, from Yukon Jack, Charlie, Rattie, Mama (also called Tippy), Dolly, and Brownie. Well, Brownie is our special needs sister because she took so long for Mama to give birth to. Mama is tiny like Rattie, and we are bigger because we are deer chihuahua. We would have had another brother too, but he was stillborn, so we are sad about him, but we know he is somewhere good, maybe running through the hills like you got to do.


  26. macjam47 says:

    What a fabulous adventure, Ani! Thank you for sharing these amazing historic sites. I had never heard of the Whiteleaf Cross.


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