Monday 19 July 2010

Smelling of roses?

It's a thorny issue isn't it? How to avoid being defined by one's worst moments. (I think Bill Clinton has faced the same problem).

You know, I was SO well behaved for so much of the time on my trip down to Nottingham to stay with Gail's Mum and Dad. Impeccably well behaved, you might say.

There were no 'accidents' leaving marks on the carpet. At least not from me. (A certain person did drop a glass of red wine but that's another story).

Neither did my teeth leave any marks on the shins of my dearest human grandparents. Or on their hands or wrists.

I settled down happily at night in my cosy corner of the utility room, never making a noise or fuss. Of course it helped that I was given my first ever proper bone.

Even though I quickly spotted a hole in the hedge, I never once tried to escape from the garden into the neighbours. (The garden is too nice for that).

There was no hint of car sickness, despite the fact that we drove over a thousand miles.

The white Nottingham lace table cloth remained jam free.......

I performed all my puppy school lessons and Granny was impressed. She's a great believer in education.

So what ever could have gone wrong, I hear you ask?

Well, you know what it's like when someone invades your personal space? I mean, don't tell me, you humans, that you haven't stood in a queue at an airport and spotted some blimp-shaped traveller just in front of you and prayed that you won't be sat next to them?

I had always thought that the rear of Gail's Mini was my domain and mine alone. But then, last Friday, Gail decided we all would go on an outing to Newstead Abbey (ancestral home of poet Lord Byron). It's only a twenty minute drive. So I would travel in the back as usual, and all three humans could fit in the front surely? They're thin, not blimp-like, after all. And these new Minis are much bigger than the originals.

Well. Just imagine my horror when human Granny, despite her arthritic limbs, bent herself into the rear of the car and sat down beside me (I was in my crate). I can tell you, I voiced my disapproval of the arrangement VERY loudly. And yes I can keep going at full volume for twenty minutes, no problem.

Is there something about sound reverberating in a confined space? Human Grandad was sat in front of me in the passenger seat and I guess my mouth was only a few inches from his ear. When we arrived at the Newstead car park he was all dizzy and confused. Gail led me away from him and gave me a right old ticking off.

Luckily, Human Grandad recovered enough for a walk round the Abbey gardens. Just in case he should be starting to doubt the benefits of canine companionship, I took him over to see Lord Byron's monument to his beloved dog, a Newfoundland called Boatswain. On the monument is inscribed Byron's famous epitaph:

NEAR this spot
Are deposited the Remains
of one
Who possessed Beauty
Without Vanity,
Strength without Insolence,
Courage without Ferocity,
And all the Virtues of Man
Without his vices.
This Praise, which would be unmeaning flattery
If inscribed over human ashes,
Is but a just tribute to the memory of
"Boatswain", a Dog
Who was born at Newfoundland,
May, 1803,
And died at Newstead Abbey
Nov. 18, 1808.

But do you know, I don't think, that particular afternoon, that Gail's Dad was quite in agreement with Byron.

What do think will be remembered of my first trip to Nottingham?

Do you think I came out smelling of roses?


  1. Oooops,you've blotted your copy book there, mate. It WILL be remembered.

    Boatswain was a much loved and respected canine.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Kendra & Bella

  2. Dear Little Bertie,
    You must not worry at all - the grandparents will most certainly forgive your one little slip from grace.
    We dogs can teach humans a good deal about life as Boatswain did.
    Once Grandad recovers his hearing he will remember and smile.
    Indeed it is often the outings and events that did not go so well that humans tend to remember.
    With the passing of time - their once annoying experiences usually become those life events to be laughed at.
    Let us tell you that Hamish once made more of an impact on the grandparents - a fall from grace that you have come nowhere near.
    He was forgiven and loved and now remembered fondly so take heart dear little Bertie.
    We must say your grnadparents have the most beautiful garden!
    your adoring Aunties xxx
    ps not quite back from our blogging break but rained off at present......!

  3. ps as for the bone - can I just say I used to so enjoy a bone until your Aunt Martha arrived!
    She is such a greedy guts that she has to have everything and as a result of several little incidents bones are now banned!
    Still I have fond memories
    love and kisses
    your Auntie Bailey xxxx

  4. Woos! Yummmy bones! I am certain woo enjoyed that. I am also certain woo will be forgiven shortly. new experiences as always hard on you young puppys and they must remember woo look bigger, but are still just a wee little chap!
    Stop and eat the roses~
    ~husky kisses~ Stay well and strong
    -Kira The BeaWootiful

  5. Ah, Bertie, I would be most happy to go on a holiday with you. You are most mature about things and I am proud of you. Just one little slip won't ruin things forever.

    As for teenage talk (about my dream car) well, I'd say you're ready for that stage of your life. Enjoy things as they come along.


  6. You're a terrier and so ridiculously cute-of course all will be forgiven!

    Your buddy,

  7. Bertie, How else would you make your feelings known, if not by long and loud --- and we assume fairly high pitched -- barks.

    It's what we do -- every morning Jake's basso profundo and my ear-piercing high-C tenor harmonize to awaken our humans. And see, they still love us.

    So your granddad will love you as well. That's what grandparents do best -- love and spoil their grandkids -- and granddogs!!

    So fear not, a rose is a rose is a rose!!

    Wirey love,

    Just Harry

  8. Bertie, I think you did marvelous dear boy, just marvelous!

    I do think that your Mum was the one who messed up! She should have know that the back was yours. They are always the ones telling us WE need training.

    Well, Mum owes YOU a bone!

    woo woos, Tessa

  9. Bertie we know you are not to blame for anything...You got so big...cutie!!
    Benny & Lily

  10. Listen we say you get an A plus..I mean listen a kid's gotta voice an opinion here and there right? For all she knew you could have been telling her the winning lotto number....We love your little devilish look.......and PL2 was a little leaky reading the tribute to Boatswain..Love and kisses A+A

  11. Bertie - It could have been much , much worse. Round here that excellent behaviour would warrant a sausage as a reward - just a hint.

  12. Hey there Bertie
    The truth is that first impressions do count...but then a sad face, when confronted with conflict, works wonders...and yes, you might score a treat too.
    Glad you got home unscathed though.
    Sending lotsaluv

  13. One does need ones personal space. I would think the humans know that now. Fight for your rights.


  14. Well Master Bertie, we can not get over what a big boy you are now...You walk in beauty! We think you will be thought of with great fondness. The car ride was but a blip on the screen. Your good behaviour the rest of the time far outshines that!

    We liked the tribute to Boatswain. Lord Byron is one of mom's fave dead poets.