Wednesday 29 April 2009


Have you seen my Sheltie pal Ludo van Doggy's latest post (Tricky T-day)? Do go and have a look. There are two short videos, both showing Ludo’s excellent progress in his training programme.

Now Gail and I both absolutely adore Ludo’s blog, he’s such a fine and amusing fellow, but I can’t deny that this particular post has caused a degree of friction chez nous.

I see Gail watching Ludo learn all those tricks, dancing on a biscuit tin and so forth, and I overhear her saying to a friend, he’s so clever, that Sheltie, why can’t Hamish do that? And she looks at me like she thinks I’m a bit stupid and inadequate.  

I’d be hurt if I wasn’t so mad! I just can’t seem to get my point across, that we Westies don’t go in for tricks and stuff precisely because we are so smart!  Any student of history can see that unquestioning obedience leads to all sorts of bad things happening in this world. Independence of mind and an enquiring attitude are traits to be valued, and Westies can teach humans a thing or two in this area. Yes Gail, that even means humans who’ve just submitted their PhD theses!


Not that I'm jealous or anything.....

Sunday 26 April 2009

Not so mellow yellow


Have you ever suffered a close encounter with a gorse bush?

Round about this time of year, many of the hills near Aberdeen turn a vibrant yellow colour. It all looks so pretty from afar, glowing in the cool bright northern sunshine. It even smells nice (sort of like coconuts).

But I can assure you that appearances can be VERY deceptive. Especially if you're a dog with tender skin and paws.   

As I found out all over again this morning, those gorse bushes on Brimmond Hill are VERY prickly.

Just ask Winnie the Pooh. 

It's all OK when the path's wide enough and contact can be avoided. But in some areas there's no escape, so I just have to stop and plead to be carried. 

Thursday 23 April 2009

The famous thesis

Is that it???

The famous PhD thesis. The one Gail's been working on for nearly three and a half years and finally submitted last Friday. I have to say I'm not impressed. 

Apparently someone will actually read it all the way through and then examine Gail on the contents. Between you and me, I very much doubt it! There are 230 pages and frankly it's not that interesting. I didn't spot anything at all about dogs, for example. 

Anyway, don't they just weigh these things and then decide? Well, Mr External Examiner, I can tell you that according to my careful assessment using the kitchen scales, the thesis weighs in at over 2 lb (some chihuahuas are lighter) so I recommend that it should pass.

Oh. I am told that not only am I missing the point but also that I am being ungrateful. That the only reason Gail ever agreed to help me with this blog was to alleviate the tedium of writing up the thesis. And also that, in line with my suggestions in an earlier post (although not in exactly the same words), my contribution to the work has been properly acknowledged. 

But what now then? Surely she's not going to stop helping me? Panic stations! 

Wednesday 22 April 2009

The Joys of Spring

When you've survived the darkness and gloom of another Aberdeen winter, then the sun comes out, even a thoughtful old fellow like me gets the urge just to roll in the grass for pure joy.

Saturday 18 April 2009

Size matters?

Well I’ve had a bit of time to think about things whilst Gail’s been away.

The issue of height differences between couples has arisen a couple of times recently in the dog blogging community, I note. Especially when a smaller male dog seeks to pair up with a loftier lady.

As usual, and coming from one of the so-called ‘vertically challenged’ breeds, I have an opinion!  Controversial? Maybe.

It is my contention that this is one area of life where we dogs could take a lead from our two-legged friends. Think Nicholas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni. Or Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. When the male half possesses a certain charisma, lack of height is surely not a handicap.

 So too with dogs I feel! 

Wednesday 15 April 2009

Normal service resumed

Well. At Last. Gail and her bicycle are back from Belgium. First of all I want to say a belated Happy Easter to all my blogging pals and to apologize for not having been in touch lately. You know how it is when the technical support goes on holidays.....

I also want to say a big thank you to Margaret and Jeffrey, and to Aaron, for taking care of me so kindly. I know I'm not always very good at showing my appreciation, but I have heard about those prison places some dogs go to when their owner is away, and I'm so grateful I've never yet been 'sent down'.

Gail took this photo of a cushion cover she saw in a shop in Bruges. She's trying to convince me that it shows how much she was thinking about me and missing me. As If. I know how easily her mind switches to chocolate, which I believe was the main reason for her choice of holiday destination.

Which reminds me. Must just sneak upstairs and have a sniff in her bag, before she unpacks. You never know.....

Sunday 5 April 2009

In my element

Where do I belong? 

No I'm not going all deep and philosophical with you today. The answer is quite simple. I'm that special breed of Scottish terrier known as a Westie and my heart is in the (west) Highlands. My spiritual home, you could say.  That's where I was, too briefly, this weekend, at Gail's cottage by Loch Torridon to be precise.

I only wish we could spend more time there, exploring the beautiful mountains and lochs, and romping around in the marvellously squelchy bogs, the perfect surface for the dog with sensitive paws. I felt fully ten years younger.

So it's a bit of a come down to be back in boring old Aberdeen, especially as Gail is shortly going away for just over a week, leaving me at home but without my valued computer assistant! 

Wednesday 1 April 2009

Just like a toy!

Odd, don't you think, the ideas that humans have about the way us dogs should look.

Anyone who read the comments to my 'Male Grooming' post a couple of weeks ago will have seen that my canine blogging pals were one hundred percent in line with my thinking on this vexed issue, preferring the rugged natural appearance. 

Well, Gail (characteristically) decided to ignore the good advice of others, so last week I was subjected to what folks in these parts refer to as the 'Spring Trim', no matter that a few miles inland, it was snowing at the time. Brrrr and double brrrr. 

In response to this cruel treatment, humans without exception look at me, smile fondly and exclaim  "Ah, doesn't he look sweet, just like a toy!"

Let's be quite clear about this. Being compared to a toy is not in my book a compliment. It's wrong and hurtful on so many levels. Am I some dumb and inanimate object? A mere plaything? A Christmas present for a baby? How belittling.

So I'm not going to post the photo Gail took today. It would only encourage her think I'm proud of the new 'hairdo'. Which I'm not. In case you hadn't already realised.....