Friday 31 December 2010

Dinner time with the grandparents

There are several things that I hope you have noticed in the picture above:

1. Human Granny and Grandad are very well trained at posing for the camera aren't they? (I am told I would do well to follow their lead, but that's not fair is it? I mean, I am posing nicely here too).
2. Did you spot the festive table decoration? We think it dates back to the Precambrian....
3. Grandad may not be as sharp as he once was (he is in his ninetieth year), but he still knows to guard his glass of wine against prying noses and tongues.....
4. Can you see Granny's home made steak and kidney pie? Gail says it's the tastiest in the WHOLE WORLD. I was allowed a little bit of kidney after the meal and it was HEAVENLY!
5. The dish on the right contains tagliatelle, a heated up left-over from an earlier meal. Never mind that this is an unconventional accompaniment to steak and kidney pie. The generation that experienced rationing does not waste food.
6. Isn't it a pretty Nottingham lace tablecloth, a wedding present from Grandad's friend Keith, back in 1956. Those of you who used to read Hamish's blog might remember the story about him, some scones and jam, and this very same tablecloth.  For some reason I was never allowed up close enough to check out if the stains were still visible....

Happy New Year everyone. I hope we all have a fabulous 2011. 

Wednesday 29 December 2010

A quick hello from Nottingham

So sorry I haven't been around much lately. Gail and I are staying with her elderly parents in Nottingham. The pace of life is slow here, as is the computer connection (and it's Microsoft Windows - yuk!) and I am on strict orders to behave myself impeccably....

But don't worry friends, normal service will resume after New Year when we return to Scotland.

Toodle pip!

Tuesday 21 December 2010

An outrage! Call Amnesty International!

Friends, I have a question for you.

It is customary, is it not, when one's name and picture are featured prominently on the invitation, that one is actually allowed to attend the party?!

Another question.

Since when was an enthusiastic and affectionate greeting a crime punishable by solitary confinement?

Oh, and another thing.

Where did it say 'humans only' on the invite?

So all my neighbourhood friends (next door's springer spaniel Molly, dinky little Daisy the yorkie, Mackay the black lab and handsome flat-coated retriever Jake from across the road, plus puppy Harry schnauzer, Border terrier Bonnie and wee 'apricot' poodle Jack, who all live down the bottom of the street, and finally Bunty whom we have met previously and who stays just quarter of a mile away), all of them were  heartlessly abandoned on Sunday night as their humans were merrily knocking back copious quantities of mulled wine and scoffing mince pies in MY KITCHEN.

And I was imprisoned without due process in the unheated back room.

Seasonal cheer? I think not.

Bah humbug.

PS from Gail: I would like to point out that is is a grossly inaccurate account of events on Sunday. Bertie was only 'confined' in the back room for a short period on grounds of over-exuberance in the presence of nervous toddlers. He then spent the rest of the evening thoroughly enjoying being carried around, patted on the head and generally fussed over to a quite absurd degree...

Amnesty International Aberdeen Group

Friday 17 December 2010

Bertie's Christmas Poem

I am not yet quite one year old,
So barely past a pup,
But I was ever brave and bold
While I was growing up.

I’m told that terriers can be
Quite naughty, when they choose.
Of course that can’t apply to me,
So please do not accuse

Me, I did never chew
That cashmere top, no way!
Nor did I ever steal Gail’s shoes
Not me, I only want to play.

At puppy class I bounced around,
And strived so hard to please,
But Daisy Dachshund, silly hound,
Kept trembling at the knees.

I learnt to sit, like, in a flash,
It’s easy if you try.
Of course I do prefer to dash
About. Why sit still? Why?

I know how sad Gail felt that night,
That dreadful night when Hamish died.
But even as he lost the fight,
New life was born. Through tears came smiles.

And now with Christmas drawing near,
We have a splendid tree,
And Gail’s face shows a look of fear
When I approach to pee…..

Oh it is very difficult
To keep these humans happy.
Maybe when I'm a true adult,
I’ll be a well-conducted chappie!

‘Til then I wish my friends good cheer
And ‘Slàinte Mhòr’ and ‘Toodle Pip!’
I hope you had a splendid year,
And through the next one gaily skip.

Wednesday 15 December 2010

I am very worried about Gail....

Most mornings, on our way back from the park, we stop at the paper shop. Gail leaves me tied up to a railing, goes in to buy her newspaper and then gives me a little reward for waiting outside quietly.

Only yesterday..

She tried to pay for her Guardian with a dog biscuit......

Saturday 11 December 2010

In a panic over Christmas? Bertie advises...

What to do..

Grab a beer.

Help with the decorations.

Remove any irritating and questionably 'seasonal' neckwear.

Go for a walk somewhere nice*.

Then chill...

Tuesday 7 December 2010

My park / Duthie Park

We've been debating, Gail and I, the title of my previous post, in which I declared that 'my park' had been invaded by Eskimos.

Leaving aside the matter of where the Eskimos disappeared to (we never found any), what Gail is objecting to is that I claimed the park as my very own.

Well let me set record straight, and tell you a little more about Duthie Park, to give the correct name, as it is such an important feature of my daily life.

Elizabeth Duthie, of the family that owned the Duthie Shipyards,  gifted the 44 acres to the Aberdeen Council in 1881.

When did you last hear of a modern day philanthropist donating land for public benefit and the enjoyment of city dwellers? (Gail says rants "these days we just have the Donald Trumps, buying up beautiful stretches of our coast, which were previously open and free for all to enjoy, but which in future will be accessible only to rich golfers).

Oh Gail, you do need to move on....Back to Duthie Park.

Well on dark winter mornings, it does feel like the place belongs just to us dogs and our faithful owners, out for the regular pre-work walk. You do also at this time of day see the occasional juicy-calved jogger, who I am not supposed to chase, and a few hardy fluorescent cyclists taking a short cut to the office.

On a sunny summer weekends it's a whole different picture: kids whooshing back and forth on the swings and vainly trying to descend the non-slip surface of the slide (a council 'health and safety' feature....), families noisily queuing up for ice-creams at the café, games of cricket (the players mostly brown-skinned south Asians dressed in some approximation to the traditional white outfit), picnickers surprisingly careless of their sandwiches given the number of unleashed dogs on the look-out, students lazily tossing around a frisbee, model boat enthusiasts making good use the large shallow pond, coach parties of old ladies visiting the Winter Gardens (I'm not allowed in the greenhouses, more's the pity. I did once sneak in. It's lovely and warm in the tropical house).

The park has a big grassy area with a bandstand in the middle, plus some beautifully tended formal flower beds, monuments, trees for peeing on, footpaths, ponds and fountains. Dogs are allowed everywhere except the Winter Gardens and do not have to be on a lead, although we are supposed to be 'under control'.

It's only a quarter of a mile walk from my house, so the morning circuit down to and round the park and back again is about a mile long and takes 20-30 minutes, depending on how many pals I meet en route and whether we call in at the paper shop on the way home.

Aren't I lucky to have such a nice place so close? Even if it's not, strictly speaking, 'mine'.

Sunday 5 December 2010

My park has been invaded by Eskimos!

The evidence...

I have noticed that all this snow makes humans very snap-happy, which explains yet more mostly white photos below. (If bored of pictures of snowy me, then I suggest you move on to visit some southern hemisphere dogs, say Toby in South Africa, or Downunder Daisy).

Oh and finally, please could someone send Gail tips on how to look more stylish in cold weather? Please? I mean there's me, always so handsome, it's embarrassing to be seen out with her sometimes.....

Thursday 2 December 2010

A new mug. About time.

Er Gail, now that we're all nice and cosy snuggled up together in the warmth, can I have quiet word?

Yes of course Bertie, what's on your mind, I'm listening. 

Well it's just that I've noticed you have a new coffee mug, and I want to tell you how much I like it.

Oh Bertie, you mean this one I guess, the one with 'wirehaired fox terrier' written on, and a picture of a fine handsome WFT face? 

Yes that's the one.

I get the sense there's more you want to say Bertie?

Yes Gail, there is.  You see Gail, I've been living in this house all these months, and everywhere I look it's been Westie this and Westie that.  Mugs, wall hangings, stuffed toys, ornaments, cards, fridge magnets, you name it....  Can't you see, it's been a little hard, surrounded by all these Hamish look-a-likes, not to worry just a wee bit that you think I'm second best?

Oh Bertie. Bertie Bertie Bertie.  Oh I am so sorry.  I had no idea you felt like that. I admit that when Hamish was here, I loved him more than words can say.  But now you've come along, and I've found a new and huge and special place in my heart for loving you just as much.  As for all those Westie knick-knacks, it's very simple.  It seems every other shop in Scotland sells something with a Westie picture on it; they're sort of the national dog.  The only reason we don't have a house full of fox terrier stuff is that it's much harder to come by. 

So where did you get the new mug from then?

Well Bertie, we're very lucky that Marie-Thérèse lives with us and is so clever at finding nice things on the internet. She gave me the mug as a birthday present last week.

Oh I might have guessed.  She is so thoughtful.  Where is she?  I want to give her another cuddle right now.  Just after I've had a sip of your coffee that is.....
PS Gail wants me to point out that I wasn't actually drinking her coffee, it was the 'dog beer' that my friend George sent me a while back. It was totally dee-lish!