Oh I can't quite think how to begin. I am going to be one year old on Friday, and I am hoping for some nice presents! But it will also be sad day for Gail, as the night I was born is the same night that she lost her beloved Westie, Hamish, her first ever dog.
I never met Hamish, but I feel I know him well. And what I really want to say here is a big and affectionately bouncy thank you to the fine old fellow.
You see, I have come to realise that Hamish taught Gail many things, and it's partly down to Hamish that my first year has been such a happy one.
Above all else, Hamish taught Gail to appreciate that a dog is not a blank slate. We dogs arrive on this earth each with our own unique personalities and traits. We are not mere putty to be moulded into whatever shape our human fancies.
For example, Hamish, I'm told, was not one to be hurried when out on walks (British understatement here!) He liked to stop and sniff. Everything. For him, a walk that was just a 'route march' was no kind of fun at all, even in the days when he was young and fit and could have ran all day if he chose. At first, Gail thought "This is no good, I like energetic walks, I don't want to be stopping all the time. Come on Hamish, hurry up!" But soon enough she realised, that was just not Hamish's way. So she thought a little more and decided to buy a wild flower book. Before Hamish came on the scene, she had always been too impatient to stop and identify the plants as she strode onwards in determined fashion. But through him she discovered the joy of pausing to consider and delight in nature's glories. And Hamish always had plenty sniffing time, and was content too.
Now I am here, a joyous, wilful and insistent presence, an alogether different character from Hamish. Less about sniffing, more about bouncing. And I am so fortunate 'cos Gail has learned to let me be me too, and if what I want to do is bounce, then ways will be found for me to bounce, and bounce again, for as long as my legs have springs!
Thank you again, dear and most treasured Hamish.
(A report on my experiences at agility class is coming soon...)
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....)