Monday, 30 January 2017

decidedly delish...

Oh I have something very exciting to report today.

A posh new shop especially for dogs has opened, and it is only about a half mile walk from our home.

Although my poorly paw is still not better, I persuaded Gail that I could hobble there, if allowed to go very slowly and sniff everything en route.

It was a bit unfortunate that when we eventually arrived we found there was another pup, apparently of uncertain temperament, inside the shop and being fitted for a fancy harness.

So I agreed, just this once, to wait patiently outside, while Gail checked the place out. I did have the foresight to impose the strict condition that she was not to come out again without having bought me a very special and expensive (because I'm worth it) treat.

I am delighted to report that the buffalo jerky from 'decidedly dogs' was Decidedly Delicious. 

Thursday, 26 January 2017

K-oss Party: Prince William to the rescue!

Gail reminded me this week that I have not yet made arrangements to attend Murphy and Stanley's K-oss Party on 14 February.

To be honest, I have been feeling so down in the dumps with my sore paw that I have not been in the party mood.

But then I had an idea!

It occurred to me that I could be taken there by ambulance, and pick up my darling Addi on the way, if she would do me the honour of again being my partner.

How lucky that I ran into Prince William, who works as an air ambulance pilot when he is not on royal duty.

I showed him my poorly paw, put on my most mournful look, and asked if he would be prepared to transport me and Addi to the party.

And you know what? He said yes!

Gosh, I am now thinking, I wonder if, just this once, Addi might be prepared to overcome her resistance to wearing clothes, and dress up as my nurse?

A guy can always fantasize....

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Stretching Scotland's 'Right to Roam' laws?

Readers, have you any idea how awkward it is to have to wear a lampshade? It really isn't easy relearning how to navigate one's way round the house as a 'wide load'.

Anyway, by Sunday morning I was fed up to the back teeth with being indoors, and despite my paw not yet being quite better, I told Gail I wanted to go out for a walk.

Much to my surprise, she  agreed, and said, "I know Bertie, what with all this week's news about President Trump, why don't we go and see how things are coming along at his golf course. It's only a few miles away, and we've never had a snoop around since it was completed, have we?"

Well of course I was totally up for it and even consented to pose by the sign at the entrance.

To be honest, neither Gail nor I were sure if we'd be allowed to penetrate any further, but we made it all the way to the strangely empty car park

The golf resort's restaurant was deserted too.

And there was absolutely no sign of any golfers.

With nothing else to see at the clubhouse, we moved on to the Balmedie Country Park, just to the south of the golf links, and walked along the beach.

If you climb up the sand dunes you can see the golf course again.

How strange. Still no golfers, despite what looked to us like perfect conditions (sunshine, no wind, not that cold).

Then we spotted a couple with a dog strolling down the fairway, and, there being no barrier or signs, decided to join them.

While I had fun with my new friend, Gail chatted to the couple. The too were bemused by the absence of golfers, and said they were hoping it meant that everyone was boycotting the course and that Trump's venture would go bankrupt and the area would be allowed to revert to its natural state.

I saw Gail was nodding in agreement.

(Readers may not be aware that this used to be conservation area designated a 'Site of Special Scientific Interest', but Trump bulldozed his way through the environmental legislation to build the golf resort).

Well by now my sore paw was beginning to hurt again, so it was time to head for home.

It only remained for me to leave a message for Mr Trump.

What did I say?

Friends, perhaps I should leave that to your fertile imaginations..

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Oh woe is me...

I regret to report that my interdigital cyst problem has suddenly flared up again, and my left front paw REALLY REALLY REALLY HURTS.

Oh I am feeling so sorry for myself (as only dogs can, Gail says).

First thing this morning when Gail took me outside for a 'comfort break' I did not even want to walk down the steps from our front door to the street so she carried me.

I then hobbled three legged to the nearest tree, cocked my leg as usual, and promptly toppled over.

Four legs good, two legs bad.

That it was a frosty morning, and slippery underpaw, did not help, obviously.

After a few more attempts, I figured out how to keep my balance, and at least avoided the humiliation of having to squat like a girl.

We went to the vet this afternoon. It was a battle of strength and wills as Gail put me in a stranglehold, and vet Katrine grabbed my poorly paw, and I squealed and squirmed as she squeezed hard on the swollen bit, and blood and pus spurted out leaving surgery looking like the aftermath of a terrorist massacre.

Gail said it was a flow rate to gladden the heart of a North Sea oil explorer...

I came home with some painkillers and antibiotics and I am hoping I'll be feeling better tomorrow.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Thursday, 12 January 2017

A Prize! (Thank You Wyatt and Tegan)

It may have slipped under your radar that last month I was joint winner of the 'Traveling with Terriers' competition run by my terrierific friends Wyatt and Tegan.

Well of course, the glory of winning (along with friends Christmas and Kinley) would have been sufficient reward. So the fact that, waiting for me in the hallway when I returned from Nottingham a couple of weeks ago, was a package from Wyatt and Tegan, was a most wonderful bonus.

And look what was in the package!

Really, next year there will be no need for Gail to spend ages decorating the Christmas tree. This stunning wee fellow will render all other ornaments quite superfluous, don't you think?

Oh and that's not all. For sure I now possess the coolest collar in the whole of Scotland (possibly Europe), courtesy of my Oregon friends' trip to the Southwest. Eat your heart out, all you tartan-wearing teuchter pups!

And a HUGE thank you to Wyatt and Tegan (and their humans).

It has to be said, that due to the ongoing 'no fur stripping in winter' experiment, this splendid neckwear gets a little buried in what Gail now refers to as my 'ruff'.

But by the way, for the record, I was glad of my super-thick winter coat when out on a chilly beach walk at the weekend. Gail has insisted I post the photo below to reassure our friend Madi that my tail is still very much visible, if gaining a more husky-like appearance by the day!

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Bed-loving Bertie's Blog?

Shall I let you into a wee secret?

Nothing to excite MI5 admittedly. It's just that the whole 'Bouncing Bertie' thing is not, these days, an accurate description of my usual demeanour at the break of day in the middle of winter here in Scotland.

In fact Gail has suggested perhaps I should consider renaming this blog 'Bed-loving Bertie'.

In my view, when a chap reaches middle age, he is entitled to a lie in every once in a while.

That said, once I am up and about, and especially when staying at our cottage in Torridon, there is something a bit special about our early morning rambles.

Or perhaps I should say early-ish morning. Here I am yesterday beside the footpath to Wester Alligin sign at a quarter to nine a.m., and it is just light enough for Gail's smartphone camera to capture my handsome figure posing against the loch in the stillness of dawn.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Pre-chewed biscuit

Gail has pointed out that I have been very remiss in not telling you about Human Granny who, after all, was the main reason we spent the Christmas period in Nottingham.

Well I am so pleased to report that she remains in good spirits, and was able to come with Gail and me to visit Human Uncle Max and his family (poodles included) on Christmas day.

I also visited HGY's care home several times, and enjoyed getting to know some of the other residents.

There is a corner of the living room where the old ladies who are "not quite so on-the-ball as Human Granny" sit. This area, I've learned, is always worth a good nose around.

One morning I timed my tour of duty to perfection and arrived just as coffee and biscuits were being served. A nice lady patted me and gave me half a Custard Cream. So then the lady next to her decided she too wanted to give me a treat, and kindly attempted to toss an already part-masticated Bourbon biscuit in my direction. I hope no-one thinks I am being guilty of "girls can't throw" gender stereotyping when I tell you that this particular resident was not accurate in her aim. So the goo-ified biscuit landed in the other lady's lap. How fortunate that I was on hand, ready and willing to jump up and promptly dispose of the sticky mess.

Gail adds: And how fortunate also that no coffee was spilled and that the care assistant supervising operations had a GSOH. 

Monday, 2 January 2017

Blogville's Director of Scientific Affairs speaks

Bouncing Bertie Boffin here!

On this auspicious occasion of the inauguration of Blogville's new mayor Arty, and vice-mayor Mabel, I wish to say a word or three about my role as the Director of Scientific Affairs.

But first I would like to congratulate all the citizens of Blogville for once again showing their wisdom and good judgement in selecting a leadership team of whom we can all, without question, be proud.

In some sections of the media, it is held that we now live in a 'post-truth' world.

To those who might be nervous about such a prospect, I would like to reassure you that when you visit my blog, the material you read will be evidence-based, and any assertions made will have been subjected to rigorous scrutiny in accordance with the scientific method.

I regard it as my mission in Blogville to promote a rational approach to life's big questions, supported by experimental data where possible.

For example, let me tell you about an important scientific experiment being conducted chez Bertie this winter, and concerning wire-fox terrier grooming rituals.

Although us WFT's are deemed to be, if not 100% 'non-shedders', then something pretty close, there is a theory out there that if our coats are allowed to grow long, they will eventually reach a stage where they are ready to 'blow' and thus the usually somewhat uncomfortable hand stripping process becomes, so to speak, a walk in the park.

Gail has always been a tad sceptical about this theory, and up until last September I was subjected to a 'little and often' stripping regime, maintaining my furs at an average sort of length.

This winter we decided, in the interests of science you understand (and absolutely nothing to do with my human having arthritic thumbs) to let my furs go untouched all winter, and then have a 'big strip' come Spring. At which point I shall be able properly to assess the levels of comfort or discomfort experienced.

All scientific experiments require some form objective measurement criteria, and I have proposed that the ease of stripping be measured in terms of number of pigs' ears needed to keep me quiet during the stripping process.

Of course I shall be reporting in full on the results of this experiment in due course.

Meanwhile, if any Blogville citizens have burning questions about science, or, even better, ideas for experiments to help advance our understanding of issues of importance to our community, please do get in touch. I can be contacted via comments on this blog or via email at Bouncing(dot)Bertie(at)outlook(dot)com.

Finally, I would like you all to raise your glasses to the future of Blogville, and to respect for FACTS, EVIDENCE and RATIONAL THINKING!

Oh yes, and Happy New Year to all my lovely friends!