Gail, I see you have a new book, 'Being a Beast' by Charles Foster. The title sounds interesting. Do tell me what it's all about.
Well Bertie, where to begin? The author, who is an Oxford academic and also a qualified vet, decided he would attempt to experience life as a variety of wild animals and then write about it. So he spent several months living as a badger in a makeshift set. He also had a shot a being an urban fox, an otter, a red deer and, perhaps least successfully, a swift.
Hmmm. Most intriguing. How did the badger thing go?
So the badger chapter opens with the arresting statement: "When you put a worm in your mouth, it senses the heat as something sinister". Later on he deploys the wine tasters' concept of 'terroir' to describe the way the taste of a worm varies according to the soil type in which it lives.
Gosh, isn't that a tiny bit pretentious? As well as unpleasant. Did he fare any better as an urban fox?
Not really. It seems the policeman who found him sleeping rough under a rhododendron bush on private land was not too impressed with his "I'm trying to be a fox" line and told him to "bugger off home, SIR, and get a life".
Oh dear, it all sounds a most unpromising enterprise. Perhaps it would have been easier if the author had chosen to replicate a dog's life?
Well Bertie, I suspect that a daily routine of being taken for nice walks, having all one's food provided in a clean and convenient bowl on the kitchen floor, and spending evenings being given belly rubs on the sofa, would not offer the sort of 'nature red in tooth and claw' experience Mr Foster had in mind for the book.
You have a point Gail. And anyway, who needs to read about humans pretending to be dogs when so many of my own species have already mastered the art of social media….?
P.S. For those readers interested in the progress of my 'Ambassadog' application - there will be an update on Tuesday this week. Watch this space!
I like to greet folk when I am 'oot an' aboot' and so does Gail.
Whether we're visiting the park, strolling by the river, having fun at the beach or a-roaming in the hills, wherever we are, you'll get a cheery 'hello' from Gail and a friendly sniff and a tail wag from me.
Nothing unusual about this, at least in Scotland, and our salutations are most usually acknowledged and met with one of the following weather-related responses:
"Beautiful weather today!" (Meaning the sun actually shone at some point in the last three hours).
"Nae such a bad day" (i.e. it's not actually raining, although it might be freezing cold with a gale force wind).
"They say it'll be better later in the week"(i.e. no redeeming aspects to current conditions).
It is true that, especially in the early mornings, a percentage of the humans we encounter will be striding along on Planet Headphone, but they are very much in the minority (and of course you don't get this with dogs).
The video which forms part of the campaign is downright weird. Although I must say I did enjoy the bit at around 1 min 56 seconds..
What's odd too is that I'm sure people from that part of the world are nice and don't need lessons in treating each other well. My beloved late Human Grandad came originally from Sussex, and he would never fail to offer a polite 'good day' to a passer by, and if she were a lady, to touch his cap.
Hi, I'm Bertie, a wire-haired fox terrier pup. I live with Gail in Aberdeen, Scotland. An old Westie called Hamish used to live here but he died on 18th February 2010 (exactly the same day I was born). People tell me that he used to have a blog and that I have big pawprints to fill. That's a bit too much responsibility for a very young puppy - and anyway, I intend to make my own mark!
(Gail says that Hamish could certainly have taught me a thing or two about marking stuff....)