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Ripon is a delightful place, a small city in the North Riding of Yorkshire - Yorkshire has three administrative sub-divisions, called 'Ridings'. The word Riding is derived from the Viking word 'Threthingr', meaning 'a third part'. There are many interesting sights in and around Ripon, including the magnificent cathedral, part of which dates from AD 672, and contains superb wood carvings from the 15th century (my main reason for going there).

I had spent a happy hour or so in the cathedral, and thought to return to my rental car, which was parked in the city-owned car park to the rear of a shopping area called, 'The Arcade'. The car park is on two levels, with the larger area being below that of the nearest of the shops. The busiest shop in the area is a Sainsburys supermarket, and I stopped there on my way to the car, to buy a few groceries prior to resuming my journey south.

Emerging into bright sunlight, my eye was drawn to a group of figures near the pedestrian access ramp to the lower level. As I approached, I saw that a lady was making a great deal of fuss of a rather sweet doggie who was sitting on the warm stone. I went over and asked the owner (who I found was named Fred) if I might take a photograph of his lovely companion, and he agreed. The lady, a Mrs Atkins who lived in senior accomodation close by, explained that she often met Bess - our delightful woozle - when she came to shop in the supermarket; indeed, it transpired that she was not on her own in that respect, as many people looked forward to meeting the 'wall dog'!

Bess is part Labrador, part 'something else', as Fred said; whatever her antecedents, Bess had turned out to be a very loving and gentle dog, with a distinct appetite for the company of others, AND small treats from the shopping bags they sometimes carried. Whenever Fred took her for a walk, she would usually head in the direction of the parking lot, where she would jump directly onto the top of the wall, and wait to greet her 'regulars'.

Needless to say, after I had taken her photograph, I rewarded her with a whole McVities Digestive Biscuit, which she took, gently, from my fingers! A really lovely woozle, to end my trip to Ripon!

Originally posted to shortfinals on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 07:01 PM PST.

Also republished by PWB Peeps.

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