Thursday, 11 July 2013

Five years of blogging

Hi, this is Gail here, taking over Bertie's blog for the day.

As anyone who knows me well will tell you, I am the world's worst at remembering and celebrating birthdays, anniversaries etc.

But it's an incredible five years to this day that I published my first blog post in the voice of Hamish, my late, dear Westie and even I thought that this date was worth noting.

It all started off as an antidote to writing up my PhD thesis, which required a tediously dry scientific style. My initial goal was to post on the blog a minimum of once a week.

For six months Hamish and I happily blogged away to almost zero readership.Then I put the blog URL on the then 'Dogs with Blogs' website, and started to gain a wider following after Hamish received a favourable shout out from Jo and Stella in Minnesota, to whom I shall always be grateful. Shortly afterwards I submitted my thesis.

Hamish's blog ran for the last eighteen months of his life. There was a 'Between Dogs Blog' for a predictably short period until Bertie bounced onto the scene. Hamish was my first dog, Bertie my first puppy.

If you are a regular reader of this blog you'll already know what fun it is being part of the amazing, warm and caring dog blogging community. Perhaps I've been lucky, and perhaps I shouldn't tempt fate, but I can honestly say that in five years I have never ever received a negative or unpleasant comment. There have been over 7800 comments on Bertie's blog to date (spam excluded) and  I would like to thank our wonderful readers for every single one of them.

I wonder if you can guess the title of the post which has attracted the most page views for Bertie?

The winner by far is 'The Higgs' Boson Diet Plan', with, as of today, nearly 1500 views. Clearly, putting the both the words 'Higgs' boson' and 'diet' in a blog title guarantees notice, although I suspect that few of these page viewers were dog bloggers, who, as we know, favour stories about the misdemeanours of other folks' darling pups.

Which are my favourite ever blog posts?

It has to be the two posts about the 'scones and lace tablecloth' episode. Initially related on Hamish's blog, and later re-enacted by Bertie, if you missed these first time around, you can read them here:

Hamish tells the story
Bertie stages a re-enactment

My aims for my blog posts have been pretty constant throughout - each one should be well written and be fun to write, should entertain, and should offer readers something that goes beyond just "here are some more cute pictures of my dog".

As for the future?

I plan to carry on for as long as I'm enjoying writing and Bertie continues to provide me with plenty of subject material.

Based on his adventures in the past fortnight, I think we'll be going for some time yet!


  1. Wow…. 5 yrs. Congrats. Time sure flies when you're having fun. I love reading all abouts you Bertie.
    Your friend,

  2. Congratulations on your five year milestone. We loved Hamishs' finest hour. Well done you and we hope for many more fun blogs in the future.
    Best wishes Molly

  3. Congrats on your 5 year Blogoversary! We always enjoy Bertie's adventures.

    Millie & Walter

  4. Hamish and Bertie's scone and lace table episodes are legendary, and still make me smile!

    Happy 5th anniversary Gail. I look forward to reading Bertie's future antics as you continue to blog.

  5. PS Riley wonders, on Bertie's behalf, if there is going to be food for Bertie as you celebrate. Surely at least one celebratory scone should be consumed!

  6. Congratulations on hitting the 5 year mark...that's a big thing...So I've been clicking links and now I know about Hamish' final resting place, and how Bertie got named and all about the Higgs bosuns and both versions of the Scones story...I know so much more about you, Bertie and your blog and that's a very good's to 5 more years!

  7. Congratulations!

    Love your style. Keep it up, you're obviously doing it right. We always enjoy Bertie's take on life.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  8. Howdy Gail and Bertie. Wowza five years, that is something to be proud of! Sadly we didn't know your Hamish but after reading about the scones episode we think we would have loved him hehe. Here's to another five years of fun. Take care mates. No worries, and love, Stella and Rory

  9. Congrats on 5 years - that is an achievement indeed and we hope for many years and adventures to come

  10. Congratulations! I am a relatively new reader, so particularly enjoyed sharing Hamish's finest moment...and I can't imagine a finer one. You and Bertie write a wonderful blog. Looking forward to many more years.

  11. It's so much fun to read old posts, both our own and those of our friends. Blogging is such a wonderful way to share your adventures and have a record of your doings. Happy Anniversary.

    Mango Momma and Dexter

  12. A great big Congrats on the five years of doing such a fine job. we love following Bertie on his various adventures. Just read the scones and tablecloth post,s, how funny!

    The Mad Scots

  13. Wow! Congrats. I wrote for nearly a year with I think my parents and sister reading my blog (and maybe a few others). I think it is great to start writing it for yourself, and I hope even though you have lots and lots of followers, you still write it for you!

    To another 5 years!

  14. Gail -
    I really enjoy and admire your style of writing. It is always witty, intelligent, and entertaining. I especially like your scientific posts. Your comments on, and explanations of, various theories are unique and clever, but always true to the individual concepts. Among my favorites are “Leaping about in an excited state . . .” (22 Nov 2010) and “A tendency to topple” (10 Feb 2012). Thank you for the past five years.

  15. We so enjoy your blog. It was one of the first we began to follow! Looking forward to further adventures!

  16. CONGRATS on 5 yrs Bertie. I haven't been around for that whole time, but Jazzi has and she loves the post about going on the scientific rock field trip and she had to prove that she knew about all that scientific stuff, plus she brought tacos in her backpack!!

    I am glad that you are staying Bertie, I am staying too and look forward to many more dates with you.


  17. It was such fun sharing pages with Hamish, as "older dogs" we could go on chatting for a good while. It saddened me so with Hamish's loss, took me a while to get over it.

    Congrats on your five years and good wishes for many more, Gail!


  18. Congratulations and here is to many many many more!

    Loveys Sasha

  19. Happy anniversary Gail and Bertie. Always a great read. I loved the scone eating posts!

  20. Whooa! Congratulations!
    Benny & Lily

  21. Hello Gail,
    Happy anniversary (of blogging) to you and Bertie! It's been a joy for us all to read your posts, and wonderful to meet you in the flesh! I've read some of Hamish's posts and wasn't surprised to see that they were just as entertaining as Berties!
    Happy blogging,
    Pippa, Eve, and the rest of us.

  22. Congratulations on 5 years!!! What an accomplishment. Here's to another 5+

  23. Hari OM
    Golly, and I was excited at hitting my fifth month!! Con-greouwf-ulations. As a 'newbie' I have been very fortunate in finding many delightful and embracing blogs and I truly prize Bertie's "offerings" as among my top ten.

    If you have had chance to check out some of the back-posts at Wild YAM, you will have realised that I ventured out in the ethersphere for very similar reasons. High study is great - but it needs decompressing &*>

    I adored checking out your backlinks and the scone story is a "scream" (sorry HGM). A Notts lace tabelcloth? Oh dear Hamish.

    Clearly you are loved and enjoyed by many and whilst most are with canine company and I currently am not, it is greatly appreciated that you have reached out to me in return. Sometime in the future there may be another YAMdog, but for now it will just need to be the memories and interactions with others.

    May you have many, many, more fun years of blogging - you're quite a team!!
    Hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxxxxxxxxxxx

  24. Dear Gail and Bertie and Angel Hamish....congratulations on 5 wonderful years.
    Our favorite post of Hamish was the scone and your dear sweet Mom's reaction. Our favorite of Bertie to date was his great escape in Newcastle....of course knowing as we read he was ok made it funny.
    Blogging is indeed fun. Escaping into Madi's head is a stress reliever. As long as she continues to purrfectly pose and tolerate the flashy beast I will continue to be her voice.
    Hugs Madi and Mom

  25. Every time I see a Westie I want to call him Hamish.

    1. Every other Westie in Aberdeen is in fact called Hamish.

  26. Hey there Gail,
    Just wanted to say congratulations on the big five-year milestone. It's been a delight to follow your adventures and to get to know you a little better in the background. Thank you for your entertaining posts and cyber-friendship.
    Cheers to many more years of fun.