Tuesday 25 November 2008


Well everyone else seemed to be having a good time round at Margaret's house on Tuesday night.

Yes I saw them all, tucking into chocolate cake and cream. And giving Gail some delicious smelling presents - biscuits, more cake, wine etc.

But what about me? Was I offered anything? No I was not. Not even the little treat I'm normally given when I arrive. I guess Margaret was just too busy rushing around putting candles on the cake, whipping the cream, making the coffee. Later when all the ladies were having fun playing some stupid German game, I decided to conduct my own personal treasure hunt, only to draw a disappointing blank. Can you believe, not even a single scrap of meat in the kitchen bin? I checked very thoroughly.

I finally figured out it was Gail's birthday. I kept hearing comments about reaching a half century.

One of the ladies (Sandra - nice to see her again) gave Gail a card that read "Ein Leben ohne Kuchen ist moglich. Aber sinnlos".

Well quite. That applies to dogs too you know. I'm still sulking.

Saturday 22 November 2008

Tuesday 18 November 2008

Happy Birthday Gail's Dad

I almost forgot. Focussing on my own concerns as usual. Happy birthday Gail's Dad.

Now it all depends on how you calculate dog ages compared to human ones, which of us is older (him 87 today, me 13 years and 9 days). Let's call it a draw for now.

I do like Gail's Dad, even though I know he wasn't too sure about me to begin with. We share a view of the important things in life - regular walks taken at a leisurely pace, frequent and meat-rich meals, the idea that a constant supply of bones is essential to a dog's well-being. We also both value companionable quiet evenings at home, an orderly existence, a nice garden to explore.

We have ailments in common too - itchy skin problems, dodgy heart, a need for lots of rest. And we both feel a bit sad that our mountaineering days are over.

Well I hope you have a lovely day in Nottingham Gail's Dad, and that I get to come down and see you soon. Please save some bones for Christmas!

P.S. Here's a nice picture of me and Gail's Dad, taken 7 years ago on his 80th birthday. We both now look a bit older....

Feeling fine

I overheard Gail tell a friend that the vet had cut a lump the size of a plum out of my throat last week. A plum! No wonder I felt a bit sore afterwards.

Pleased to report that I'm feeling fine again now. However, I'm thinking it might be a good strategy to pretend my throat still hurts. For the last 5 days I've been fed delicious juicy meaty canned food, but this morning I note the boring old dried stuff made a comeback. Perhaps I'll try coughing and spluttering a bit and see if that works......

Gail claims that post lump removal, I've stopped snoring. As if I ever snored in the first place!

Wednesday 12 November 2008

A small operation

Well I had a horrid day today.

I suspected something was up when I wasn't given any breakfast. Ditto when, only a few minutes after we'd returned from the usual morning walk, Gail reached again for my lead. Experience has taught me that you don't just get one walk followed by another, for no reason. Life is not so kind.

It took me a few moments to twig that we were headed to the new vet (I haven't been often enough yet to memorise the route). Once there, Gail abandoned me.

What happened next is all a bit of a blur. Someone stuck a needle in my right front leg. Ouch! Then I fell asleep and woke up later with a sore throat and feeling really groggy. What on earth happened? And why? Please someone explain.

I panicked a bit, until Gail came to collect me. Now I'm back home, in need of cuddles, a point best made, I find, by lying at Gail's feet and whining piteously until she stops tapping away at her computer keyboard and pays me some attention.

Tuesday 4 November 2008

Decision time

Well congratulations President-elect Obama. I feel sure it was your canine support that swung it.

Now it's time for your first big decision. I am very confident that young Malia and Sasha won't let you renege on that promise you made, way back. So, the Obama family's in the market for a dog. The question is, what breed to chose?

Sir, this may seem presumptious, but might you consider one of my own kind? Yes that's right. A Westie.

Let's consider some of our advantages.

I think we can take it as read that the girls will be happy with a cute white fluffy little dog. But think what a Westie could do for your own image. Now I don't know quite how to put this tactfully, but there are some people out there still who see a black man walking down the street and clutch their purses a bit tighter. Let me promise you, no-one reacts like that if you have a Westie in tow. Just the opposite in fact. Little old ladies will cross the road to come over to pat your dog, all smiles, and tell you all about their own previous pets' life histories.

Then, so many Americans claim Scottish heritage, or feel a strong affinity for my homeland. Think how impressed they'd all be with what people often (mistakenly) call a 'Scottie dog'. If you treat your Westie well for the rest of the year, he might even let you dress him up in tartan on St Andrew's Day.

So much for the image. One thing I'm sure of is that it's a stressful job being President. Yes I too have watched the 'West Wing'. Well we Westies are naturally cheerful. Life to us is not complicated. We are not political animals. Food, walks, places to explore, a bit of attention, and we're content. Home after a hard day at the Oval Office, you're guaranteed a happy face coming to greet you and cheer you up if you chose a Westie.

Not convinced? You're worried that your predecessor had Scottish Terriers too? Oh don't be silly. Dubya's gone. That nightmare is over.


I'm depressed. Look at these pictures. Where would you rather go for walk? Not difficult is it?

Like many other dogs in this area, I love running around on the beach at Balmedie. Even more fun is exploring the amazing dunes. So huge I've even seen kids sledging down them when winter snows arrive. So unspoilt, so much space and freedom.

Now all this is soon to be ruined. A nasty American called Donald Trump is going to build hundreds and hundreds of houses, a ginormous hotel and a 'world class' golf course right by where I'm standing. That's one of his hotels, top right. (Gail helped me find the picture on the internet. We both felt a bit sleazy typing the words 'Donald Trump' into Google).

To me, a 'world class golf course' would be one that encourages dogs to run around and bark at the men in funny slacks. Somehow I don't think that's what Mr Trump has in mind. More like lots of notices saying 'Any dogs straying within a five mile radius will be shot' I suspect.

Yes it's really rubbish news. Maybe a property market crash can save us, now that Alex Salmond and Co. have caved in to the demands of the loathsome tycoon. If not, then I hope all the golf balls blow out to the North Sea and the players get lost in the haar.

By the way, Mr Trump, can I recommend a hairdresser? That thing on your head. Is it road kill? It looks even worse than when Gail did a DIY job on yours truly. Hazel, now of Grooming Pawfection, could sort you out I'm sure, next time you come to Aberdeen

P.S. American friends. It's your election day. Remember my post of 5th October. Bark for Barack.

Monday 3 November 2008

An invasion!

Arriving at Canapress on Saturday morning, I thought Christmas had come early. Waiting for me on the door step, a bowl of dog food. And not just your boring old dried stuff. No, nice fresh juicy meaty chunks, the sort of stuff I almost never get from Gail.

But then I start to sniff around. Something's up. I recognise the smell. It's Fudge, a pretty Jack Russell lassie who's always bouncing around in the company of tall Dutchman Arran. Gail opens the front door and inside the house, everything's changed. Where did all this extra furniture come from? Arran and Fudge have been in here, and other folk too. Why is Gail not bothered? Can't she tell that our nice quiet home has been invaded?

Well, it's all too much to take in. At least there's a comfy new rug on the sofa, so I jump up there and have a little nap whilst Gail busies herself in the garden.

After dark, they arrive. I thought as much. It's Arran, Fudge, a puppy called Nell and finally a lady by the name of Jo. They're acting like they live here. It slowly dawns on me that perhaps they do. Now I remember, Arran stayed at Canapress once before. Seems like he's returned with an entourage.

I've always rather liked Fudge, but she's not being friendly at all this evening. Well to be honest, I don't have much of a knack with the opposite sex. Gail says she knows how I feel.

Next morning Arran goes out and arrives home with a baby. Whatever next? How many more?

When one gets older, adapting to change is exhausting. For once I'm looking forward to the peace and predictability of life back at Devanha Gardens.