Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Ten years of blogging

You would have thought the fact that today I, Bouncing Bertie, am celebrating my one thousandth blog post would be the day’s biggest news, and I would get to discuss this achievement at length.

But no! Instead, Gail is elbowing me aside for what she insists is an even bigger occasion for celebration. And so, somewhat reluctantly, just this once, I am handing over to my owner.

Gail here!

Breathe easily, those of you worried I might be focussing  on the England team's performance in the FIFA World Cup. This is not about football…

Rather, what I want to talk about is that it is ten years ago to the day since I pressed the ‘publish’ button and my (or rather Hamish the Westie’s ) first ever blog post.

A whole decade of blogging! What started as light relief from the tedium of finalising a PhD thesis,  a much-needed release from the constraints of writing in the accepted 'scientific' style, gathered a momentum of its own once I gained some readers and discovered the Dogs with Blogs (DWB) community.

Hamish the Westie (pictured below) died on 18th February 2010. By coincidence, on the same day, Bertie was born and Bouncing Bertie’s Blog followed shortly.

Over the years, readers and bloggers have come and gone. DWB somehow morphed into Blogville. Some of you have stayed the course. Rich and enduring friendships with bloggers have been formed. There was something particularly special about the very first blogging connections, and I have felt a real sense of loss when animals I’ve only known over the internet have died, or their owners have moved on.

I hope you’ll allow me here a few reflections of a more personal nature on the past decade. In the first month of Hamish’s blog I described a short holiday with my parents in SW Scotland. What I did not mention on Hamish’s blog was that this trip was when I first realised that my father was becoming disorientated and confused. A man whose sense of direction had always been second to none could not get to grips with the layout of a small village in Dumfries and Galloway. Human Grandad's subsequent slow and distressing descent into the fog of Alzheimer’s disease ended in his death in 2014, and a few months later my mother became very seriously ill. She was not expected to recover but did, and 'Human Granny' even became quite a star on this blog before the infirmities of old age claimed her earlier this year.
HGD's 92nd birthday. The last photo I have of my parents together
I have endeavoured to keep the blog light hearted (mostly) during a phase of my life which has contained the full spectrum of emotions. Without intending it, the blogs developed a more serious sub-plot, becoming a record of my parents’ last years. This I now treasure in the form of a series of 'blog books'.

I am so grateful to my blogging friends for their support. I know that many of you have gone through similar difficulties and much worse. I hope that, like me, you have found and will continue to find in the world of (mostly dog) blogs a source of fun, friendship, comfort, surprise and delight.

Oh yes, and please do congratulate Bertie, my faithful companion, on his 1000th post!


  1. Happy Blogoversary!!! wow 10 years!!! we had the same timing... the day our husky Frosty had to go, Easy was born...

  2. I have only come across your blog within the last couple of years, but with 10 blogging you must have been one of the early blogs.

  3. Bertie - congratulations to you, and Gail, on the 10th Anniversary of the blog.
    We haven't been following you for that long, and joined when we read about you being a finalist as Scotland's Ambassadog. That was actually before my time, I think, but I've been told the story by my human.
    Wishing you many more happy blogging years together.

    Inca xx

  4. 10 ans ! Congratulations. We never thought anyone could walk in Hamish's paws until we met Bertie. Thank heavens for dog blogs as a haven of civility .

  5. Happy 10th Gail....and happy 1000th post.
    We have so very much enjoyed every single word you have written too. I went over the Hamish's firs post, this was such a 100% true line , "You know I once heard Gail's American friend Marse (a very nice lady of who more in later posts I'm sure) say that if she were a Buddhist she'd want to be re-incarnated as Gail's dog, i.e. me." I was so honored to be able to meet your loving parents...

    My printed blog books are such a joy. At first I was uncertain about printing and the cost. Then Bryan convinced me when he said, all that work you put in to them needs to be in print.
    Hugs Cecilia and Madi

  6. Hari OM
    HOOOORRRRRAAAAHHHH to you Bertie lad, and also to Gail. I began blogging for similar reasons, and had the great good fortune to count you among my 'first five' connections made. To have formed a 'live' connection with you both also is a joy and delight. Who knew blogging could provide such life-enhancing opportunities??!!! I agree too, that this medium is the best way of all to 'archive' our life be it through word or image.

    B&G - here's to another ten!!! Hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx

  7. OMD, Bertie, 1000 posts?!?! That's so much! I've only done two, and it's exhausting. Congrrats! I know what it's like following on the heels of a blogging great-brother. Thanks for showing me it can be done well!

  8. Congrats on all your milestones. We enjoy hearing all about your adventures and life events. Keep up the great job.

  9. Gail and Bertie, although I don't comment on a "regular" basis, I am particularly fond of the touching posts about Human Granny (and now I know about Human GrandDad). Perhaps because I have traveled a similar path with my parents....Oh, and Bertie, I have loved getting to "know" a fox terrier! Thank you, both of you. Fay/cardis3/Spoo

  10. That is an accomplishment worth lots and lots of applause. Congratulations on your 10 years of blogging and Bertie's 1000th post. We are relatively new followers but we thoroughly enjoy every post we see here. Here's to many more years and posts for both of you.

    Woos - Lightning, Misty, and Timber

  11. Dear Bertie and his Gail,

    Congratulations to both of you for so many posts and so many years of posting! We are glad to be part of your online circle!

    Licks and wags,
    Cobi, Ojo, and Person

  12. OMD, CONGRATS!!!!!! To both you and Gail and Angel Hamish! I loves reading abouts your adventures and all the funs you have. Plus, you remind Ma of her two WFT she had when she was a wee lass!
    Congrats again dear boy!
    Ruby ♥

  13. Congrats to both of you on 1000 posts and 10 years of blogging!!
    Rosy, Arty, Jakey

  14. Congrats on your blogoversary! We have enjoyed all your posts and look forward to the next 10 years!

  15. Congratulations to Bertie and Gail! I'm Findlay, a wee wiry, and I was one last Sunday. Mum has loved your blog for years. She used to read it with my predecessor Mungo, who saw her through the passing of her mum too, so we understand Gail. He died last June but I've taken over on the mischief front! Toodle pip! (in homage to Bertie).

    1. Hi Findlay, and thanks for commenting. How nice to hear from a wee wiry reader we never knew we had!

  16. Many congratulations on your 1000th post, Bertie and Gail! What a great pleasure it is to read your posts - always so well written and beautifully photographed, as well as entertaining, interesting and witty. (Have I left anything out?) Thanks so much! Stephanie in Northern California

  17. Congratulations Bertie and Gail on 1000 posts. My human and I started reading Hamish's blog when we "bounced" over to the UK after being in South Africa reading MaxDog's blog. We got to know wonderful Hamish (and his like for scones!) and then eagerly awaited your arrival with great anticipation. In 2010 MaxMom convinced my human to start a blog for me. Years on we don't post much, but we still enjoy reading blogs and it always makes us smile that Gail used my suggestion of what the safest head gear would be for your “scientific adviser” site visits!

    Sending love and woofs from New Zealand on achieving this huge milestone.

    1. The Riley-inspired hard hat is a treasured memory and, who knows, may get another outing one day!

  18. Congratulations Bertie on your 10 years of blog posts and your 1000th post. That is super pawesome :) Milo,Jet & Arli