Monday, 18 February 2019

Can you believe I'm nine years old today?

I'll be honest with you. Given my human's woeful record on gift giving I have learned to moderate my expectations when it comes to my birthdays. So when I woke first thing this morning I saw little point in bouncing out of bed in a frenzy of anniversary excitement.

It was a pleasant surprise then, when I came down into the kitchen and was presented with a 'special package'.

Look look, a new friend! She is a snow leopard called Sophia, and she has a very satisfactory squeaker.

Snow leopards do like having their tales tugged, don't they?

Ooooh but wait, I can smell something else too in the bottom of the bag.

OMG OMG OMG Gail has baked me some special super tasty ox liver cookies!

I think I am going to enjoy my 9th birthday.

How I would love to share these delicious liver treats with all my precious readers (except the vegetarian ones, of course). Sadly, cyberspace has not yet evolved to permit the direct distribution of offal based snacks on line, but Gail has kindly agreed to provide the recipe, which was loosely based on something she found when googling liver-dog-cookies-recipe.

 1 1/2  cups pureed cooked ox liver, 3 tbsp olive oil, 2 cups wholewheat flour, 1 cup rolled oats, 2 carrots (grated), 1/2 cup beef stock, 1 egg (beaten).

Mix together all the ingredients, knead until smooth, roll out and cut into required shapes. Gail did stars because she says I am a star, and bones because, well DUH, I'm a dog!

Bake at 180ºC for about 30 minutes. Allow to cool, and present to your beloved pup on his 9th birthday.

PS Gail says the process of puree-ing cooked ox liver is not for the faint-hearted, but she persisted, "just this once, because you're worth it Bertie".

Friday, 15 February 2019

Oops I sat on the daffodils...

Last weekend at the Torridon cottage. I was checking out new growth in the garden when Gail called out, "Hey Bertie that would make a nice picture for the LLB gang's Nature Friday, you and the daffodil shoots. Your readers will be pleased to see that Spring is on the way here in NW Scotland."

So of course I obliged. Or so I thought. Only to hear an anguished cry.

"NO BERTIE! You're supposed to sit BESIDE not ON the daffodils...."

Ho hum. And I thought that after nearly nine years of blogging I had this posing business cracked...


(Belated) congratulations to King! The fifteenth wire fox terrier to be crowned Top Dog in the USA.

At least there's one Westminster where good decisions are made...

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

The Ocean GreatWhite at Kishorn

I wonder what thoughts strike you when you look at this picture of Loch Kishorn, taken last Sunday?

If you're a meteorologist you're probably marvelling at the unusual sight of clear blue skies and sunshine on the West Coast of Scotland in February... 

A climber or hill walker would be eyeing up the backdrop of snow capped Applecross mountains, and wishing she were at the summit enjoying the stupendous vista across to Skye and the Cuillin Ridge.

Maybe you can just make out the Bealach na Bà, the notoriously steep single track road winding through the cleft between the mountains, and if you are a cyclist, you might even be remembering sore thighs and calf muscles after attempting the ascent.

The eagle-eyed oil man will have spotted on the left the Ocean GreatWhite semi-submersible drilling rig (the biggest in the world) currently being overhauled at Kishorn Port, and he will be hoping things will go safely and smoothly for the rig's summer drilling programme in the harsh ocean environment West of Shetland.

Or maybe, just maybe, you have realised that there is something missing from the picture. You are seeing a fox terrier shaped gap in the foreground, and are waiting for it to be filled by an exceptionally handsome wiry chap named Bertie...?

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Scottie talk

So here I am on the beach at Nairn (our favourite stop-off en route to Torridon), enjoying a break in the wintery weather, checking out some driftwood and minding my own business, when along come two Scotties and their owner.

Has it ever struck you that the conversations your human engages in with other dog owners are not of the highest intellectual  calibre? 

It seems a bit rich to be criticised as uncouth for sniffing each other's rear ends by way of introduction by a species that rarely ventures beyond "Oooh, SO cute. Boy or girl? What's his name? How old is he? Weather's not so bad today is it?"

(This final question is purely rhetorical. Unless it is freezing cold AND rain is bucketing down AND a gale is blowing AND visibility is at the 'can't see beyond the tip of your nose' range, the typical Scottish dogwalker will classify conditions as "nae bad".)
For the record, these Scottie guys are called Archie and Phoebe and they are, respectively, five and seven years old. It is agreed that we are all three exceptionally handsome terriers and that the weather is indeed "nae bad".

Later at the Torridon cottage I am pleased to see that Gail had packed some suitably brain stimulating reading material for the weekend, and live in hope of hearing her discussing the relevance of quantum decoherence to the Schrödinger's cat thought experiment, or the role of non-locality in avoiding violations of Special Relativity, with the next dog owner we run into....
Beats Brexit anyway.