Monday 28 July 2008

The trials of old age

See this picture here on the left. That's me, on top of Beinn Alligin, above Loch Torridon. Not very recently, I'm afraid. In fact the photo was taken by Gail in October 2005. We'd climbed up over 3000 ft from sea level. Not bad for one with such short legs, as I'm sure you're thinking.

Well that was three years ago. I don't think I'll be going up there again. We just spent last weekend at Gail's cottage on the shore of Loch Torridon. The weather was hot and still and walking a just mile from Wester Alligin to Inveralligin and back, which was once to me a mere hop a skip and a jump, is now a marathon. I get short of breath, my paws hurt, I overheat, I need a drink every few minutes, my skin itches. Old age is just not that much fun.

Gail went for a swim in the Loch on Sunday afternoon. There's a lovely little stony beach just a few yards from her house. She went straight in and swam all the way out to the yacht moored a couple of hundred yards from the shore. Incredible. I don't get this swimming business at all. What a horrid feeling, to have a wet back.

Do you know, some idiot company published a calendar last Christmas called 'Water-skiing Westies. Yes that's right, a bunch of dumb pictures of my fellow terriers, in what I suppose are meant to be amusing poses, balanced on water skis in enormous ocean waves. Well let me make it quite clear that we Westies have clear and strict rules regarding water and these are:

  • Mostly, we're happy to avoid water altogether.

  • If it's a really warm day, it's OK to go and lie in a nice stream, or a still lake, where we can see what we're stepping into and can feel the bottom. On no account should that water come up higher that half way up the side.

  • Waves are a no-no.

  • Ditto fast running streams.

  • We have no desire to swim, retrieve sticks thrown in the water, or other such stunts which are fit only for lower breeds of dog.

  • In heavy rain, we'd really rather wear a coat (Some of us may even humour our owners and tolerate a tartan one).


Anonymous said...

You don't like water? How interesting - given that many, many of your canine compadres are to be seen in the present weather running into the sea water as much as possible, then hilariously shaking it all over their human companions. Of course, questions might be raised about your - ahem -personal hygiene in relation to your disdain for water. and the incipient success with the ladies, but I'm sure you're well past caring about that...!

MTM said...

Maybe Gail can help you design a more appropriate sports themed calender - extreme sports?? Or you could always do your own Olympic one like these guinea pigs did!