I have to tell you that Gail is worried she was being inconsiderate to our fellow passengers on the 12:52 train from Newark North Gate to Edinburgh last Monday. In fact, she wishes to make an apology.
I have spent all week trying to tell her she did nothing wrong. Nothing at all.
I mean, how can she be to blame if the lady with the refreshments trolley was all over me like a rash no soon as she'd spotted me in the aisle (or rather, nearly reversed into me, truth to tell)?
The fact that this lovely lady, herself a wire-haired fox terrier owner, stopped to engage in a lengthy WFT-based conversation with Gail is entirely a Good Thing, in my opinion.
So what if the passengers further down the carriage were hungry and thirsty? One could say Gail did them a favour by helping them avoid the temptation to pay a king's ransom for lukewarm coffee and a tired sandwich.
The wiry theme continued when we took a break in Edinburgh to meet my pal Horatio, plus his Vizsla brother Harris and human Amanda. It was a damp and blustery afternoon for a romp up the slippery volcanic rocks of Arthur's Seat. Gail seemed particularly keen to stay away from any ponds and avoid a repeat of the Green Dog incident….
Can you tell Horatio and me apart?
The onward train from Edinburgh didn't arrive in Aberdeen until late evening and, would you believe it, just as we were about to disembark, Gail spotted a smaller version of your truly in the adjacent carriage. Turns out she is called Poppy, is eight months old, very cute (of course) and, like me, started life at Granddach Kennels.
All in all, I'd say it was a pretty perfect day. And absolutely no apologies are necessary.
No need to prove it Mr Brock,
That you are strong is clear.
I see you rolled aside this rock
And dug under the hedge right here.
You black and white guys with the good PR,
Wise Friend to Ratty, Mole and Mister Toad,
Admired by wildlife lovers near and far,
Though not the folk who live on Cragmoor Road,
Have you a notion what distress
These night time raids cause? So much damage done
By scratching up the grass, as if
You sought first prize in excavation?
For decades my beloved HGD
Nurtured his back lawn with tender care.
Now Human Granny worries night and day
That his hard work is wasted, and despairs.
So Mister Badger I am begging you,
Go dig your worms on someone else’s lawn.
It is so sad. Dear Human Granny, who
Cared long and lovingly for HGD with all her strength,
Feels she has let him down now he is gone.
I was just getting nicely settled in at Human Granny's when it became obvious that she and Gail were going out for the day, and, you know how us pups can sense these things, it was also clear they were not planning to take me along.
I tried barricading the front door, but to no avail.
When they returned several hours later Gail showed me this photo.
Human Granny, Janet and 'Fossy'
It turns out Gail had taken Human Granny to a school reunion in York. HGY attended a Church of England convent boarding school in Yorkshire and the whole school was evacuated to Canada during the World War Two. The two ladies with HGY are her school friends Janet and 'Fossy'. They all been together in Toronto, away from their families, between the ages of nine and thirteen.
Gosh, how I wish I could have attended the reunion too, and heard all their stories.
So many questions I would like to have asked.
So not fair that I was forced to stay behind, guarding HGY's back lawn against further badger damage.
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....)