Monday, 29 June 2009

100th Post (a Nobel Prize for Physics beckons?)

For fashion conscious readers of this blog, Gail has persuaded me to model my 'best' collar, rarely worn, but fitting for this special post, my one hundredth!

For the more serious minded  (I count myself in this category), I would like to share with you my latest scientific hypothesis....

Many of you will already be familiar with the ideas of String Theory, a construct which combines quantum mechanics and general relativity into a quantum theory of gravity. One prediction of this theory is that there are a near infinite number of parallel universes, i.e. a 'multiverse', that together comprise all of reality.

For a theory to be scientific, it must be testable, and until now, a a major problem with the multiverse is that this testability criterion has not been met. 

I say until now because, with the help of my blogging friends, I think I have this one cracked! 

For we already have several examples of parallel universes in the dog blogosphere do we not? 

Think of Petey and all his pals, simultaneously in their own homes and having the most amazing adventures in Scotland. It seems that Asta is both in New York and at the Rodeo in Montana with Baby Rocket Dog and Hootie. Martha and Bailey appparently saw me in Mugdock Woods, when I was also staying beside Loch Torridon. 

I notice that the Barkalot Boys have started to ponder this problem too. Mindful (as was Charles Darwin  when he heard that Alfred Russel Wallace had also hit upon the idea of natural selection) of the need to establish scientific priority, I have decided to write a paper detailing this evidence, a major advance in theoretical physics, without further ado. 

Any further relevant data that my blogging pals can contribute will be gratefully received, and of course properly acknowledged in future publications.  

A Nobel Prize beckons, surely?

Oh, and here's another picture of my collar.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Breed envy

Sorry I haven't been in touch this week. A change of plan at short notice meant spending the week over at our Loch Torridon cottage - great views but no internet access. 

We went for a walk on Beinn Alligin, and I decided to see what it would be like to be one of my black coated Scottie cousins for the day. 

Do you think I succeeded? 

I think I looked pretty  good.

But Gail seemed less than keen on the new image, and wouldn't let me back in the Mini until I'd had a cold bath...

Now I have just learned that my friends the  Rocky Creek Scotties are having a 'stick out your tongue' challenge. It so happens that I posed in appropriate fashion a couple of days ago, and would like to enter the photo below in the sub-category 'best tongue displayed in a beautiful mountain landscape'!  

This final picture probably won't interest you, because I'm not in it, but Gail is convinced that some people/dogs might like to see the view outside our cottage at about 10:15 pm on Midsummer night.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

In touch with your inner wolf

Gail has been reading me extracts from an interesting book this week. It's called 'The Philosopher and the Wolf'. It's written by a man called Mark Rowlands,  a philosophy lecturer, who buys a wolf cub and whose life for the next eleven years is dominated by his lupine acquisition. All you dogs out there, take my advice and make sure your humans buy a copy of this book immediately. 

Why so? 

Well, put simply, this wolf will make you look good. Really really good. Because it will entirely re-calibrate your human's idea of what it means for a pet animal to misbehave.

Well, that is, unless you too did $500 worth of damage to the air conditioning system within ten minutes of entering your new home as a puppy. And in the subsequent few days engaged in "...destruction of all furniture and carpets, with a soiling option also available for the latter..."

Or maybe, like Brenin the wolf,  you regularly wake your owner by dropping a dead bird on his face as dawn breaks. Perhaps you also think that 'playing' with a dog involves seizing it by the neck, pinning it to the ground and then shaking it violently back and forth. Or do you like to practice a little feng shui by attempting to drag your favourite armchair out into the garden, and then wrecking it when you find it will not fit through the door frame? 

Yes, it seems, the pattern of daily life with a wolf includes all these activities and much more besides. 

So, fellow pups, if you have committed some petty crime this week - stolen a piece of cake perhaps, or barked too loudly at the postman - and your human has taken it badly and you feel they need to get things in perspective, then, well, use your computer skills, check out the credit card number and get ordering on Amazon right now....

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

I want to be carried

Quite properly, you are wondering where I am in the picture above. 

Lurking behind a tree perhaps? Hidden in the undergrowth? No. Not at all. I was at the time stuck at home, alone, with only my itchy paws to chew. 

The picture is of Bennachie. A hill near Aberdeen where Gail went yesterday for a long walk with friends. She says I couldn't manage twelve miles any more, and some of her fitter friends think I'm annoying because I'm too slow, and like sniffing things too much, and that anyway my paws are a bit sore at the moment so it would be better for me to stay behind.

The lady doth protest too much, methinks. For one supposedly so well educated, Gail can be weak on lateral thinking. 

If the walk is too long, why cannot I be carried some of the way? Gail is strong, I weigh less than 10 kg (just). Everyone would, I am sure, enjoy my company.

Can anyone out there recommend a rucksack suitable for carrying a small(ish) dog? Like the ones they have for babies, but suited to someone with four legs and a different shape? If so, please please please let me know! 

Sunday, 14 June 2009

A walk along the cliffs

I took Gail out for one of her favourite walks today, to cheer her up because she hasn't been looking as happy as usual  this week. We walked along the cliffs, just south of Aberdeen. 

There's something about being by the sea that always helps you get things into perspective, don't you think? So many pretty flowers too - sea thrift, orchids, campion, clover, buttercups. And I was very considerate, allowing her plenty of time to take photographs and contemplate the scenery - I'm not one of those dogs that's always in a rush to get somewhere, you know. 

It was a warm day. No wind, and temperatures over 15℃ (60℉). That's almost a heat wave in Aberdeen!  So we scrambled down the rocks - Gail on her backside, I wish I knew how to use the camera - to some inviting looking rock pools. I checked carefully for crabs before stepping in to cool myself down.

Out at sea, we didn't see any dolphins today, but we sure heard plenty of gulls, screeching away in their customary ear-splitting fashion. Be grateful Gail hasn't yet worked out how to add sound effects to this blog! 

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Assertiveness training

You know, it's a good job Gail has me to stick up for her sometimes. 

I mean, take Tuesday night for example. As some readers already know, Tuesday is when I accompany Gail to her little informal 'Deutschklasse' round at Margaret's house. 

Well this week a new lady came along. A very nice lady, I am quite sure. So I couldn't believe it when she went and sat in GAIL'S CHAIR. Yes, the seat at table, by the window, where Gail ALWAYS sits! And even more unbelievably, Gail didn't object, just meekly settled herself down in TOTALLY THE WRONG PLACE!!

As you can imagine, I wasn't going to allow that. So I took it upon myself to engage the new lady in conversation. Apparently she speaks fluent French, English and German, so she should be able to understand Dog. In case she was a little deaf, I (considerately, I think) raised my voice. 

I am pleased to be able to tell you that soon enough, Gail and the new lady got up and swapped positions, and so I was able to relax again as usual. 

But really, Gail, what ever would you do without me??

Sunday, 7 June 2009

BBQ - Aberdeen style

Back in Aberdeen, I am delighted to report that the humans here are too stupid to realise our climate is not suitable for barbecues. 

Every summer, in a triumph of hope over experience, someone decides that a party which involves cooking and eating outdoors is a good idea. No matter that the guests may need to bring their winter jackets or risk hypothermia. See Laura, pictured left, she's wearing gloves and she's from Finland! 

Well I already have a built in furry coat, so I just adore barbecues in any weather. I expect you can guess why! 

Thank you, thank you, thank you Katherine and Dave for allowing me to come along with Gail to the party at your lovely new home.

Fortunately, and despite their apparent misunderstanding of the term 'barbecue weather', all these supposedly clever young people from the university did at least seem to know that a dog's well-being depends on a regular supply of meaty titbits, and plenty of affectionate pats on the head. And if they forgot, I can assure you that I did not for one moment suffer in silence...

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Hello, I'm on the train...

This is so much more fun than just having to sit there watching Gail reading a book.

We're travelling back up to Aberdeen, after a week down in Nottingham with Gail's Mum and Dad. (And yes Stella, that is where the Nottingham Forest footballers come from. And Robin Hood too, of course. And yes Max, you're dead right about Grannies being a soft touch when it comes to food treats! )

Well we saw neither footballers nor outlaws, but we did go on lots of interesting walks.

Some times I was being chased.

And some times it was me doing the chasing. I can't believe I was being out-paced by Gail's eighty seven year old Dad. Well I suppose he doesn't have to stop and sniff so many things...

The weather was much much much hotter than Aberdeen, so it was kind of Gail to find me a nice cool stream when we went out for a walk in the Peak District.

Back on the train, can you tell whose blog we're looking at? (Hint - a famous New Yorker?)

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

A quick hello

Just in case anyone's wondering, I'm down in Nottingham with Gail this week, visiting her Mum and Dad. That's them in the picture. We've been on lots of pleasant slow walks and enjoyed lovely warm sunny weather. I'll tell you more in a few days time, when I'm home again and with full computer rights!