Saturday, 29 May 2010

Oil spill - I try to help my friends in Florida


Gail says that if I am to take on the role of successor to the venerable Hamish, then I need to do some ‘pontificating’. According to the on-line dictionary, that means being “pompously dogmatic or self-important; pretentious”.

Oh. That sounds awfully difficult. And not my style at all.

I think I’ll just stick with being vocal and insistent. I can do that. And I know that Hamish never shied away from controversy, and neither shall I.

My friends in Florida, the ‘Barkalot Boyz’ (with my help, by the way, Gail is beginning to understand why a pair of WFT's might be so named….) and their Mom, and Kira and Scampi and their Mom too, are so very worried about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and how it will affect their precious coast and all the beautiful wildlife. Somehow I feel a bit responsible, ‘cos I live in ‘Europe’s oil capital’. What’s more, we have a lovely next door neighbour here who is always friendly and gives me lots of treats and cuddles and is a wonderful Dad to his two cute young children and helps fix Gail’s lawnmower and stuff like that. Can you believe how shocked I was when I learned that he works for BP? He’s an engineer on one of their North Sea oil fields. If you read some papers you’d think that only nasty stupid bad people work for BP. Well clearly that’s not the case at all.

So you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to run out into the garden right away and bark a message to my nice neighbour. I think he recognizes my voice by now. I'll tell him how concerned my pals in the USA are about this horrid oil spill. I'll also demand that he tells his BP colleagues across the Pond they must do absolutely all they can to stop the well leaking and the oil reaching those unspoiled coastal areas. And to make sure that a tragedy like this never ever happens again.

I know it’s not much, Jake and Just Harry, but I'm only a young pup and it’s the best I can do.

PS from Gail: Bertie has his work cut out if he's going to bark at all our many friends and neighbours who work for BP. Well, on second thoughts, I'm sure he'll manage!

Thursday, 27 May 2010

A fragrant visitor (etiquette)


Gosh it's been a busy few days.

We had a visitor, Helen, up from London, and it fell to me (Gail having some work to do) to ensure she was made especially welcome in our home.

And you know what? I've discovered that when thick woolly socks cover feet softened with blueberry moisturiser, you have a particularly appealing combination. I could have chewed on Helen's feet all day. Indeed that's what I tried to do. It's the proper way to greet guests, no?

Oh and we did go out for some nice walks too. Here's Helen and I enjoying the spectacular view along the coast south of Aberdeen. Long time readers of my esteemed predecessor's blog may recognise Dunottar Castle in the background.

And if you are thinking that Helen is focussing on whether or not I attack her boots, rather than on the castle, then you are wrong. That is just an optical illusion.

Later we went to inspect the azalea garden in Hazlehead park. I was secretly pleased to find the flowers mostly weren't in bloom just yet - surely that guarantees another trip in a couple of weeks?
Oh but they did already smell nice, those azaleas.

Almost as fragrant as a certain person's feet....

Monday, 24 May 2010

Black pudding, an explanation

It seems I have mystified some of my non-British readers with reference in my previous post to 'black pudding', one of our great national delicacies, and Gail says I owe you an explanation. The first thing to know is that, in the same way that 'spotted dick' is not a....... (oh, perhaps we won't go there, google it if you must!), well anyway, I was going to say, black pudding is not a dessert. It's a sort of breakfast sausage, and the main ingredient is pig's blood. It's really really yummy. I guess my wise Aunties Martha and Bailey must be correct when they say that it would make a mess if placed inside a trouser pocket, although have they not heard of polythene bags?

Gail also says that I don't have long on the computer today as we had a very busy weekend and now she has lots of work to do, but she has allowed me to upload a couple of pictures from Saturday of me playing nicely (it can happen) with my neighbour Jockie.

PS from Gail: I want certain doggies out there (I think you know who you are) to be aware that I am very worried about your comments regarding Bertie's behaviour at puppy class. I feel you are being a 'bad influence' and I have told Bertie that I may have to ban him from blogging unless he finds some cyber-friends who will encourage a more serious and constructive approach to his education!

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Puppy class (where was the black pudding?)



Uncle Eric, you promised. You ABSOLUTELY promised! You promised, you promised, you promised, promised, PROMISED! Yes you did. Did, did, did, DID, DID!!

Did.

You said there'd be black pudding at puppy class.

Gail says I have to learn that life is full of disappointments.

Well you can say that again. (Oh. She did).

I am thinking that I might take after my Scottie friend Bonnie, and be too independent minded for all this formal education business.

I tried to tell everyone. Loudly, repeatedly and persistently. That I wanted black pudding. Where was the black pudding? I wanted it and I wanted it NOW! And by the way, what was all this guff about 'sit', 'down', and walking on a loose lead? I thought I'd made it quite clear I was expecting a quantum electrodynamics lecture, at the very least!

I have to say that all the other puppies listened to me quietly and patiently throughout. I can't imagine why Gail seemed to find this situation stressful and embarrassing, as the other dog Mum and Dads looked on with ever so slightly smug expressions.....

Some of my classmates are a bit of a pushover, you know. Although with Daisy the dachshund, it's hard to tell if you've pushed her over or if she's still standing.


And I quite like cockerpoo Baxter. I mean, he's not as feisty as me, but, well, he can be pretty lively.
Oh and everyone seems to think Lhasa Apso Freddie is just too cute for words. Teacher's pet, I say! And that's not a compliment...

Beagle Murdo seems a bit wary of me. I can't imagine why.

Well outside at the end, I sort of got a chance to 'socialise' with my new pals, and began to see that it might not all be bad, despite the lack of black pudding.

video
And anyway I live in hope for next week....

Monday, 17 May 2010

No photos

Gail is making out that she deliberately didn't take the camera over to Torridon* this weekend 'cos she was worried I'm getting too vain...

Like I really believe she didn't just forget it! The dumbo!

So I don't have any pictures to post.

It serves her right, don't you think, that when we arrived at the cottage, we found that some mice had laid waste to her food supply....No, don't worry, we had my special puppy food with us in the car. It was just boring stuff like coffee and breakfast cereal that the mice got.

Well you'll just have to imagine the scene in the food cupboard. And the look on Gail's face.

So many other things she could have taken photos of too.

There's this ditch that runs through the cottage garden. So easy for a little puppy to jump into. And so hard to climb out of. There's mummy sheep and baby lambs running past the fence every few minutes. I totally ignored them (so far I only like chasing joggers). Sheep poo, on the other hand, I find quite interesting and tasty. The local farmer Donnie has some very scary, barky sheepdogs.

One thing puzzles me though. I'm always being told about how my predecessor Hamish was so brainy. Well, between you and me, I'm beginning to have my doubts. You see there's this wire mesh deer fence all the way round the garden boundary. Apparently Hamish never found his way out. Well it only took me about five minutes. I mean really. Easy as pie. Like the dog flap. Oh. I am being told not to be disrespectful. Hamish always focussed his mind on higher matters. Yeah, right.

It was a really long drive over to Torridon and Gail and I only quarrelled once. I didn't get car sick at all.

I heard Gail telling someone that this weekend she wanted to finish this great fat book she's been reading (you might have spotted it in my previous post). Well it's such a big book, I decided she needed some help. We do now have a photo of my efforts.
Is this not what is meant by 'finishing a book'?

PS I am going to tell you all about puppy class later in the week after we have been a second time. It seems I didn't quite behave badly enough to get banned anyway....

*For any new readers, 'Torridon' is a beautiful area in the North West Highlands where Gail has a cottage.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Legs and brains!


I think it is because my much loved predecessor Hamish the Westie was built on the low centre of gravity model. Like Maradona, or Lionel Messi, as he might have put it. Whereas I, at the moment, am shaping up to be more of a Peter Crouch type*. (Please someone think of a more flattering comparison).

Well this is the only explanation I have for why Gail is so obsessed with taking photos of my legs....

She says that if the pictures are blurry it's because I'm growing so fast and the camera shutter speed is too slow to catch up! Ridiculous, I know.

Now I don't want anyone to think that all this means I'm turning into some kind of an airhead, obsessed with my looks. Certainly not! Hamish, there is no need for all that spinning around in your grave. For I have brains as well as looks and your legacy is secure. Remember how quickly I figured out the dog flap! And I mastered the poo-ing outside thing days ago, and now I even understand that leads are not just for chewing.

I am going to puppy class tonight and shall be so disappointed if quantum electrodynamics are not on the curriculum.....

*Apologies to readers who don't follow football!

Saturday, 8 May 2010

I am overwhelmed! Thank you friends!

Now I shall have to tread a little carefully around today's subject matter. (Why is Gail giving me that raised eyebrows look and muttering "Tread carefully? That'll be a first then!" She's not suggesting I'm clumsy is she?)

The truth is, I think that she is just a teeny weeny little bit jealous. So I shall try to be sensitive.

You see, lots of parcels have been arriving at this house these past few weeks, and all of them have been addressed to 'BERTIE'. Not 'GAIL'. I've tried saying nicely to Gail that I'm sure that someone will give her a present one day. And even that I'm prepared to share, up to a point.

For example, we can both play tug-of-war with the banana that Martha and Bailey Basset sent. She can hold one end, and I can grab at the dangly bits. We can play this for hours. How did the Bonnie Basset Babes know that dangly bits are absolutely my favourite thing? And Gail, I won't object if you drink out of the clever travel bowl (aren't my Aunties thoughtful). Or sit with me on the cozy blanket. Even though both of them do have MY name on them.

All the way from Colorado, my special friends Jake and Fergi sent a lovely little birdie, which is I think a little too small to share.

They also baked me these yummy peanut butter flavoured treats. Some of which even arrived intact!

The colourful blanket these Two Special Wires also sent is just perfect for wrapping around my hot water bottle, so perhaps I'll be keeping that to myself for now. And no I'm not a wimp, it's freezing cold here in Scotland you know.

Now it is true that I still need a little help with the computer, so the mouse mat that Eric Square Dog sent can be used by both of us. Even though it is clearly designed with me in mind. I wonder if I should allow Gail to use it if she is doing stuff on the computer other than my blog? (Shocking, I know, but she does just sometimes use it for other, so-called, 'work').

Such pretty cards I've received too. I can't believe now that I was ever as tiny as in Asta's greeting! And Gail, who is trying to educate me in Science, insists that it is not strictly true that I arrived by stork.

So thank you all you lovely people out there. Not just the ones who sent gifts, but all of you who have been so welcoming and friendly. And I also want to thank Hamish, who I never met, but I know that most of you were his friends first, and I am just so lucky to inherit some of the love you all shared with him.

PS I know some of you said don't post about the presents but it just seemed so impolite, not to!

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Work, rest and play



The state of this garden!

I think Gail needs an assistant. There is much work to do. I mean Hamish might have made a start, what with digging a few deep holes in the borders here and there (one is still preserved in his memory), but I feel I have so much more to contribute.

Gail says she wants help keeping the dandelions under control.
(Personally I don't quite understand why Gail is so keen to get rid of the dandelions - as far as I can tell, they're the only flowers she's successful at growing in this garden!)

OK then, let's get going with the trowel.
video

This morning, I tried digging for the first time.

Don't want to boast, Katie pups (OK , maybe I do a little) but I'm absolutely not in need of digging advice from our friends Agatha and Archie. I've managed to work out a pretty good excavation technique all by myself, no instruction manual required. I'm a real terrier now! Just a shame Gail didn't manage to capture it yet on camera.

I am going to dig up all the moss in our so-called 'lawn'. Gail is muttering about why not paint the Forth Bridge it'd be quicker....

But it's not been all work and no play. Yesterday my border terrier neighbour Bonnie came round to visit. Something about me being 'socialised'. (Does that mean I'm supposed to vote Labour on Thursday?)

Anyway, I digress. Bonnie's four years old. I think that must be kind of ancient, because she didn't really want to play games. Kept growling at me, more like.

But guess what? I am a persistent little fellow....(apologies for the blurry video, you can't get the film directors these days).
video

So there's been all this rushing about. But don't worry, Aunties Martha and Bailey, I haven't forgotten about the relaxing bit.

First off I tried relaxing in my crate (look at my long legs Katie!)
But then I decided it's better to plonk myself down somewhere on Gail. I just can't quite decide which is the best bit of Gail to sit on.

The feet?
Or the lap?
Yes I think it's the lap.
PS Do you know, some very special people have been sending me lovely presents? People we don't even know, except through the computer screen. I feel a bit guilty 'cos I never asked for them, but I'm going to show you at the weekend anyway.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Cut a rug

This is how Saturday mornings should be.

Gail's friend Marie-Therese, who lives with us here at the moment, and who gives the best ever cuddles, has been teaching me to dance. Such a good way to wind down.

Katie pup, my wee foxy friend across the Atlantic (two days younger than me), I do hope you're impressed.

Do you like Kirsty MacColl too?
video

(Gail is saying she's not sure that Hamish would have approved of all this jigging about. Oh give me a break. We're only young once!)