Thursday, 31 March 2016

Glowing golden in the early morning sunlight

Please ignore the dripping beard.

Which I feel compelled too explain is water from a puddle and not slobber.

I am in NO WAY a slobbery dog.

PS I have now submitted my AmbassaDog application, well in time for the 6th April deadline. I am sure VisitScotland will sit up and take notice when they see all the glowing references provided by my lovely friends (again, thank you all SO MUCH).

Sunday, 27 March 2016

The Terrible Twins explore Pannanich Hill

Please be aware it was Gail who proposed the title for this post.

I was shocked at her suggestion.

Gail, I said, that is no way to refer to your friend Amanda and her sister Fiona. I mean I know they are twins and all that, but they are really nice, and not at all terrible.
Left to right: Horatio, Amanda, Fiona, Mark and me
Can you believe that by 'Terrrible Twins' Gail actually meant me and my pal Horatio (whom loyal readers of this blog have encountered before)?

We - that is Amanda, Horatio, Fiona and Mark, Gail and I - met up in Ballater on Easter Saturday morning for a walk up nearby Pannanich Hill.

I want you to know that I behaved impeccably throughout - aside from the occasional 'vocalisation episode' - but Horatio's table manners in the hut where we sheltered for lunch left much to be desired…

I still cannot believe that such shocking disregard for meal time conventions was met with a reward...

And that's not all. When everyone was cold and wet at the top of the hill, it was Horatio who held us up for ages, cavorting in a tiny patch of snow like a thing possessed.

As we descended again into the woods we heard some gun shots in the distance and Horatio stood stock still like a statue and refused to shift. In the end Amanda had to pick him up and carry him part of way back.

Twins indeed. It is embarrassing enough that we are the same breed.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

BrewDog - the clue is in the name?

Did you know that here in NE Scotland we have a highly successful local craft beer company called BrewDog?

When I saw the name on the bottle, I thought for sure I'll be allowed a sip this time.

Sadly it was not to be.

Where is their canine-friendly beverage product?

I think they are missing a golden business opportunity.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

AmbassaDog in Training?

No soon as we'd returned from a magnificent couple of days with Aunty Yam in Dunoon than Gail was cracking the whip.

"Now Bertie it is time for you to be thinking seriously about your application to be Scotland's AmbassaDog. I'm sure that we can reference some of this weekend's adventures in support of the application. Perhaps you would like to share your thoughts on your first ever journey on a car ferry for example?"

Well I must confess I was a little apprehensive about this particular new experience.

Aunty Yam assured me we'd be on dry land again before you could say "roll on roll off" and it turned out she was right. But I have to say I was mighty pleased to place my paws on the solid ground of the Isle of Bute.

Now Gail is suggesting my friends might like to see the photos of my trip to Ettrick Bay, Bute, where I had fun with a new wee pal called Winnie.
And no, Winnie was not running rings round me. That video gives a totally false impression.

Some times I think Gail has no idea at all. Why she would think that watching the rugby on telly constituted any sort of highlight when MY (and Aunty Yam's) team Scotland lost to Ireland, and then we had to sit through some tedious contest involving England and France, which I slept through so don't quite remember the result…..

Well I am fast losing patience with Gail. Really, she is being a hindrance rather than a help with this AmbassaDog application thing. But to humour her, I asked her to choose the photos from this weekend that she thinks would most likely have my readers booking their flights to Scotland the minute they've finished reading the post.

So those are Gail's selections.


Have you ever heard of the world famous Public Conveniences in Rothesay?

It costs a mere 30p for a tour round the most spectacular and beautiful men's urinals this land can boast.

Aren't they simply splendid? The marble, the polished brass, the glass cisterns. A must-see for sure.

And to think that next morning Gail was expecting me simply to cock my leg against some boring old tree again...

What is that, Gail, about this whole AmbassaDog thing being in danger of going pear shaped?

Thursday, 17 March 2016

A wee nose hat?

That's what the vet said she was going to strap around my head before giving me my annual health check and vaccinations.

A 'wee nose hat' indeed. The cheek of it!

And then she tried to make up for the insult to my person by telling Gail what a fine, healthy and muscular chap I am (as if we didn't know that already).

Well Gail might have been glowing with pride but it was going to take more than a few nice words and a gravy bone from the vet to restore my equanimity after all the poking and prodding.


PS: It's not too late for you to write a reference in support of my 'Scotland AmbassaDog' application (see previous post for detail). And thank you so much to everyone who has already been so kind as to comment in such a lovely, and helpful, manner.

PPS: Oh I am once again SO EXCITED!  Gail and I are going to visit a Very Special Blog Friend this weekend. I wonder if you can guess who that might be?

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Job application - references wanted PLEASE

Oh I am fairly bouncing with excitement!

In the same week Gail learned her job is 'at risk' a marvellous new opportunity has been brought to my attention.

Scotland's tourism agency are advertising for an  'Ambassadog'.  Yes really! A position tailor made for yours truly, you must agree.

I do recognise the competition for this role will be fierce. Especially from the Scottie, Westie and Cairn Terrier community, with their built in 'native breed advantage'.

But I would not be Bouncing Bertie were I not a born optimist! And this is where YOU come in. I am hopeful that some of my dear blog friends might be a able to help me by providing references in support of my application, in the form of comments on this blog.

Perhaps you would like to explain how my blog has shaped your view of Scotland? Readers from overseas, have there been particular posts which made you think you wanted to visit this fair land? Can you nominate a favourite photo in which the beauty of our landscape combined with my own distinctive handsomeness makes for a notably striking combination? Maybe one of my posts has even taught you something interesting and new about my territory?

If you click here or biggify the picture below, you can get some more hints about the particular qualities needed for this role:

Any assistance will be SO MUCH APPRECIATED!

PS If you could mention in your comment which part of the world you live, that would be great too.

PPS Oh and, just a wee point, I would politely and respectfully ask dear readers not to focus those rare posts where my description of my homeland has, er, fallen short of the wholly complimentary…

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Bertie ponders Britain and the EU...

Hmmm. Brexit then? Almost an anagram of Bertie, you'll note.

Gail pointed out that, in advance of the June referendum, all self-respecting media commentators in the UK have been pontificating on whether Britain should "stay in Europe" and she suggested I should do the same.

Wearing my Boffin hat, the first thing to say is that, barring the unexpected and sudden appearance of an oceanic spreading ridge down the middle of the English channel, Britain is and will remain geographically part of Europe, at least within the time scale normally considered in this blog. The question is of course is about economic and political relationships.

To be honest, the pros and cons of UK remaining 'in' are somewhat beyond my pay grade. I tried Googling 'EU + dogs' but the search results were dominated by rants about puppy farms in Lithuania, sad indeed but not strictly relevant here.

So I decided to investigate the attitudes to dogs of various prominent human participants in the EU debate.

I confess to being disappointed that Mayor of London and recently declared 'Outie' Boris Johnson, although himself often acting like an overgrown and attention seeking puppy, appears to be disinclined to pose for photographs alongside my own species (fearful of being outshone, one suspects). More understandably perhaps, one leader of the 'In' campaign, former postman Alan Johnson - no relation to Boris - also seems wary of my kind.

But what to make of the fact that Europe's most powerful woman Angela Merkel, although undoubtedly pro Britain staying 'in', is distantly anti when it comes to any kind of canine companion - especially one belonging to Mr Putin?

Ms Merkel's ally, our own UK Prime Minister, was in his early days as leader known for 'husky hugging' but his credentials as a dog lover were somewhat dented when he very nearly dropped a wriggly terrier puppy on a fraught visit to Battersea dogs home.

Back to the Brexiters, I finally struck gold with Michael Gove, perhaps the most senior Tory MP to declare he wants 'Out'.

Who could not love a man so unembarrassed to be photographed embracing his much adored powder puff Bichon Frise, Snowy? Isn't she cute? Surely her owner must be a man of sound judgement? And what's more, he comes from Aberdeen! Yes I think I am convinced. Bertie for Brexit it is!

Oh. Gail is giving me a disapproving look and saying something about reduced treat rations and no more help with the blog unless I change my mind.

They said this was going to get nasty…

Sunday, 6 March 2016

This is not at all what I had in mind...

...when I said I wanted to go to the park this weekend.

But it turned out OK 'cos we ended up in Torridon, and had an awesome time.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Stripped and sulking

If you are thinking that I am wearing a reproachful look in the photo above, then you would be correct.

You have probably spotted the HUGE ball of furs and guessed the reason for my discontent.

I was fond of those furs. Attached to them even.

So a certain person saw a single daffodil in bloom, decided winter was over, and set to work with the stripping knife.

We only had two inches of snow this afternoon…

And don't imagine for one minute that the Fair Isle jumper makes up for losing my very own precious wiry coat. I am so not going to smile for the camera.