Monday, 31 August 2009

An old dog with something to prove

It has been suggested that my views on paying for doctors and vets (see previous post) are overly simplistic, and that I should stick to what I do best. Which is accompanying Gail on walks in scenic places, and sniffing things. 

Just for once, I'm going to follow the advice (it won't last, after all, what's a blog, if you can't be a bit controversial now and then......?)

Well this weekend, I decided I had something to prove. You know how us older fellows can find it hard to accept that our glory days are behind us. I certainly resent any implication that I am fit these days only for short strolls to the park and back. 

So I persuaded Gail to take me up Millstone Hill.  Just south of that famous Aberdeenshire landmark, Bennachie, it's a favourite haunt of my youth, and I knew that the heather would be looking pretty at this time of year. 

I was so sure I could still manage to get to the top.

At the start, you have to climb some steps up through a conifer plantation. No problem, although the steps do go on for quite a long time....
A bit higher, the trees are mostly birch and Scots pine, and you start to see the heather. 
A granite boulder makes for a good vantage point from where to admire the view over the valley. And if you're thinking that maybe I needed to stop and catch my breath at this point, well you're JUST WRONG. 
In fact, I was going so fast that I had to keep stopping to look round and check that Gail was keeping up (she is fifty you know...)
As you can see here, I had absolutely no problem scrambling over the larger rocks on the path. 
When you get even higher up, there's more heather and fewer trees.  So much heather in fact, a small dog could almost disappear in it.
Gail kept making me stop to pose for photos. I didn't want to stop, really.....
Approaching the top, I was still going strong(ish).
Eventually I reached the summit. As on most Scottish hills, you can tell you're at the top 'cos there's a pile of stones (technical term, a cairn, as in cairn terrier, Petey). OK, I'll admit, I was by then ready for some refreshment.
And as it was quite a warm afternoon (for Scotland that is...), and the pool was so handy, I felt the need to cool off my underside. This was the result...photogenic or what?

I really don't understand why Gail had a problem with this look....
But for some reason I was banned from the next photo on the way down.
Then forced to sit so that the muddy bits weren't too visible. 
Now I will admit, that by the end of the walk, my paws were getting a little sore, so it came as a relief to find a soft grassy stretch. 
Then, just before we returned to the car, I saw a building that looked very interesting, and went straight inside. They had all sorts of fine animals in there. I felt right at home. 
Well all in all I had a splendid time, and the fact that it took us nearly three hours to complete a walk of under four miles was of course due to Gail taking all those pictures and ABSOLUTELY NOT ON ANY ACCOUNT because I'm old and slow....


Martha Basset said...

Och Hamish
What a great wee determined terrier you are!
That was a lovely walk and we loved the photos, especially the ones with you in.
You looked adorable when you were all mucky - that is what happens when you have little short legs - just ask us!
We understand that you let the walk take longer so as Gail would not feel old - it is so sad when your human can't keep up with you.
You don't want to hurt their feeling and we know that excuse for photos is really cos they have run out of puff going up the hill!
Well done Hamish.
Martha & Bailey xxxx

Martha Basset said...

PS how cool if the cairn had been Petey!!!!

Stella said...

Hi dear Hamish:

How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were? How good would you feel if you didn't think about feeling old?
My Mom says the best thing to do with your age is forget about it and she does it too!
So after this, when someone says how old are you, just say you really don't remember, and charge on up any hill you wish!



Eric said...

Hamish. You're looking a fine figure of a wee westie in those photos. The ones of you amongst the heather were nearly as good as the two toned Hamish ones ...which of course were paws down winners.Like you climbing that hill. First place to you, last to Gail right? Smart canny laddie.

Wiry wags n kisses Eric xx

MAX said...

Hey there, Hamish
Firstly let me say that we really enjoyed your last post and the opportunity of commenting on an issue which has such diverse practices over our globe. Don't be disheartened - it's good to have discussions like that!
Secondly your walk and taking us along was breathtaking! (excuse the pun). That Scottish heather is exquisite! (Does it have a fragrance?) Those views too must be to die for (another pun...hic:) and the terrain...mindblowing(?)!
Thank you for taking us along - we really enjoyed it!
Next, as to your advancing years: We think you are in fine shape. I was 'levelled' by another dog on Sunday (on one of our walks) and feel totally pooped now. You, my boy, look regal, handsome and ready to party!
Take care and lots of licks to Gail

Rocky Creek Scotties and Java said...


What a beautiful walk!! We're so glad that Gail made you pose for all of those pictures. We love seeing the heather of our homeland.

Lilly, Piper, Carrleigh and Java

Ludo van Doggy said...

Wow Hamish! Very scenic and gosh, 4 miles, even I get tired after one!!
~lickeis, Ludo

Eric said...

Hahaa Hamish! Mom was having a little bet with myself on who whould pick up on that. Guessed it might be you!!

Wiry wags Eric xx

Asta said...


YouWe cewtainly not old in my eyes..a hansome fit fellow!!!
What glowious views..what a pawfect walk
I'm suwe it enewgised you to see it and wemembew the fwagwances of youw youth..the heathew is sooo lovely..pawfect fow a bookay fow youw twoo love.
So glad you went and enjoyed it
smoochie kisses

Tee said...

Hello Hamish,

We think you're still adorably cute even if your undercarriage have taken a shade of grey (from wading into pool). What great walk - we enjoyed viewing your pictures!

Licks and wags

The Dog Woods Pack