CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cotswold Life today CLICK HERE

Pub dog: Fred and Big Ron

PUBLISHED: 13:31 19 January 2015 | UPDATED: 13:38 19 January 2015

Fred and Big Ron at Crown & Sceptre, Stroud

Fred and Big Ron at Crown & Sceptre, Stroud


Life’s pretty good for father-and-son team, Fred and Big Ron, at the Crown & Sceptre in Stroud.

’ello. My name’s Fred and I live with my son Big Ron at the Crown & Sceptre in Stroud. On the day the woman from Cotswold Life visited Ron disgraced himself by eating a huge block of Wensleydale, and was still sulking from his telling off when she arrived. The thing is, he’s not normally badly behaved, so it’s Sod’s law that he felt the need to demolish a month’s supply of cheese minutes before the press arrive. Unsurprisingly, the daft thing had belly ache for ages after, too. Tsk.

Being the young one, Ron’s pretty energetic and loves it when we have company. In fact, he’s not very good at being on his own at all and will often jump on Dad Rodda’s lap which, given his size, is something to behold. He’s rather proud of the award he’s won a couple of years running at the pub’s annual Country Fair, for ‘Cleverest Dog’. I suppose it is pretty impressive, particularly as he took his orders from Anne in French. What a show-off.

Five days a week from 6-11am you can find me at my other job, which is entertaining customers at The Goods Shed at Stroud Railway Station. I go there with Katy as she works there as well as at the pub, so I have the best of both worlds, with my morning friends at the café and my afternoon/evening ones here at the pub.

I’m originally from Abergele in North Wales. I’m a little embarrassed to say, but Rodda first called me ‘Stinky’ as I had a touch of wind in the car on the way to my new home. Thankfully, the name didn’t stick and I was given the name Fred, after Freddie Flintoff, as it was 2005, the year England won the Ashes. Ron’s full name is Ronald Duncan Thomas – after Duncan Ferguson, the Everton footballer. He’s known as ‘Duncan’ when he’s naughty.

A couple of nights a week bands come and perform at the Crown & Sceptre, so Ron and I usually pop up to Katy’s house to get away from the noise and crowds… well, partly that, but mainly because Ron has a habit of joining in by howling. He’s no singer. Dad’s hoping to breed him with another Chocolate Lab and is on the lookout for a suitable female, so I do hope his girlfriend Bracken isn’t reading this… wouldn’t want him to get into trouble.

Favourite food:

Of course Ron does enjoy his Wensleydale (natch), and we both like a hearty bowl of meat and gravy. I enjoy the occasional raw carrot for crunching on too.

Favourite pub snack:

Rodda doesn’t like us to eat salty bar snacks as they’re not good for our health, so he instructs the customers not to sneak them to us.

Favourite customer:

There’s a lovely lady down the road called Donna who takes me out for walks three or four nights a week. Rodda’s mum, Joyce, also has little treats for me when I go to visit. I’m rather fond of her.

Walk of choice:

The pub is just across the road from Daisy Bank which is a great place to go to meet other dogs and stretch our legs. We also have The Heavens just up the road, and enjoy going to the Daneway, and the lakes around Miserden. We both adore swimming, and crazy Ron is fearless when we go down to Dawlish, where he enjoys a spot of surfing in the sea.

Favourite spot at bar:

Ron likes to snuggle underneath the window seat, and you’ll generally find me by the bar. We both like to sit at Table 6 – the big round table by the far wall – as it’s out of the way of the general traffic so we don’t get stood on in the dark, and there’s the opportunity of plenty of fuss from the people sitting there.

Favourite toy/collar, etc:

Ron likes sticks, whereas I like playing with balls, and simply adore handbags. They’re my favourite thing ever, and have been known to pick them up and carry them away to my basket.

Dislikes/pet hates:

We’re both pretty relaxed, but Ron gets upset at the sight of balloons and barks at them. I don’t know why either.

Dog’s danglies (top ale/cider):

Pig’s Ear and Uley Bitter, both Uley Brewery; Budding, Stroud Brewery; Wilce’s cider.

Hair of the dog (hangover cure):

“Probably the best Bloody Mary in the SW”, including sherry, red wine, vodka, Cholula, celery salt and tomato juice.


This article by Candia McKormack is from the January 2015 issue of Cotswold Life.

For more from Candia, follow her on Twitter


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Cotswold Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Cotswold Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Cotswold Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & about

Mon, 13:15

Tracy Spiers takes an impressive, if hypothetical, budget on a shopping spree in Cheltenham’s independent stores

Read more
Mon, 12:23

Get out and enjoy seasonal celebrations with a Cotswold twist

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

If you’re looking for things to do in the Cotswolds this month, we have gathered plenty of events for you to pop in your diary

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Hundreds of participating National Lottery-funded visitor attractions across the UK are saying ‘thanks’ to people who have raised money for good causes by buying a lottery ticket, including a number of venues in the Cotswolds

Read more
Monday, December 3, 2018

“We’re looking forward to lots of festive fun this Christmas festival and hope to welcome lots of people to our town.”

Read more
Monday, November 26, 2018

“Faringdon upholds old-fashioned values through its traditional shops, personal service and shop owners who go the extra mile to make their customers feel at home.”

Read more
Friday, November 23, 2018

Home to some of the country’s most breathtaking architecture and picturesque gardens, the Cotswolds boasts plenty of beautiful stately homes you need to visit. We pick eight special locations that are made even more magical during Christmas time

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Taking the classroom outdoors is fun, inspires fresh ideas, broadens horizons – and encourages a new generation to enjoy and care for the Cotswolds

Read more
Monday, November 19, 2018

Chipping Campden – once the meeting place for a council of Saxon kings – now offers the warmest of welcomes to all its visitors, from the humble shopper to the seasonal shin-kicker

Read more
Thursday, November 15, 2018

As well as three days of action-packed racing and tradition, there’s plenty to do away from the course at this year’s November Meeting. Neil Phillips, The Wine Tipster, shares his 14 suggestions on how to make the most of your time at Cheltenham Racecourse

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Warwickshire town of Alcester is considered one of the best understood Roman settlements in the country. Tracy Spiers digs below the surface to discover its hidden jewels

Read more

Thanks to the impact of ground-breaking comedy This Country, the quiet market town of Northleach has become one of the Cotswolds’ hottest film locations. Katie Jarvis is sent to investigate

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Stephen Roberts walks in the footsteps of the Oxford scholar who enjoyed attending parties dressed as a polar bear, and once chased a neighbour while dressed as an axe-wielding Anglo-Saxon

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

I send this postcard from Cirencester, complete with the discoveries and viewpoints from four members of my family – both the young and not so young

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search