Monday 12 September 2011

The thistle, the sheep and the flexi-lead...

Does your human ever suffer from the disease 'brightideasitis'?

It never comes to any good does it? 

For example, let me tell you about what happened last week.

First you have to know that Gail's holiday cottage by Loch Torridon is near a croft and there are sheep wandering about all over the place, making all sorts of stupid baa-ing noises and generally asking to be chased by a spirited little wire-haired fox terrier. 

But apparently the crofter, for some reason, is less than enthusiastic about the idea of yours truly trying to make friends with his precious flock. And he owns a shotgun. 

So anyway, a couple of weeks ago Gail had the 'bright idea' to buy me a flexi-lead for use over at Torridon. She said that way I could have a bit more freedom than with my short city lead, but not be tempted into any naughtiness around the sheep. 

Personally, I was never convinced.

For starters, have you ever tried one of these flexi-lead thingies? SO confusing. You think you can race around to your heart's content then suddenly, just as you're reaching full speed, aaarghhh!!! Then there's the problem that, seemingly at random, you find the lead is locked short and you might as well be on the non-flexi one, where at least you know where you stand.

Well anyway, there we were, walking up just past the croft, me dashing to and fro and generally trying to figure out this new walking regime when all of a sudden a sheep ran right in front of me and I just couldn't help but try to follow.  It's in my nature. But then when I realised the lead was fully extended and the sheep beyond reach, I went, I admit, a little crazy and ran around in a circle. It just so happens, not my fault at all, that I had encircled a big prickly old thistle. I really don't want to repeat some of the words Gail was coming out with as she tried to disentangle the lead from the thistle. Let's just say "ow ow ow!' was the least of it! Then the sheep started baa-ing like it was making fun of me so of course I decided to show the world that a little terrier can make much a better noise than some big lumbering woolly lump that's destined to keep company with mint sauce on the dinner table .....

You know what? The good thing is, I do believe Gail is having second thoughts about her 'bright idea'.


  1. Hey Bertie!
    Wow, that's a big chuckle! Nothing like spoiling a great walk/run with the critters. I say forget that weird leash. That thistle might just do the trick! Lamb anyone?!? Delish.
    Grr and Woof,
    Sarge, COP

  2. Bertie, we aren't allowed flexi-leads. Being the rather strong, willful, and almost as heavy as Lisa, if we run fast enough we can either 1) pull her down (this has happened) or 2) just pull the flexi right out of her hand. Nope. We're either on our short 6-footer right by her side, or off leash. Waaaayyyyy too confusing for all of us. Stupid sheep...

    -Gizmo, Bart and Ruby

  3. We would imagine your duet with the woolly lump would have been worthy of a standing ovation at the Last Night of the Proms Bertie. ;-)

  4. Oh Bertie you made me laugh! Alfie will be chuckling too when he hears about it! He had a bit of an adventure with two sheep on the shore on Skye a couple of years ago. Somehow, while he managed to wriggle out of the harness and when I called him, the sheep startled and bolted and Alfie thought it was a big game to chase them- Oh boy! Thankfully the sheep could climb better than him, but we were mortified!!!!!!! Now we have a "belt and braces" approach to the harness!

  5. Hi Bertie. Silly sheep. We think they wanted to be chased. I hope your mentals weren't damaged hearing those words from your mum. Once, I have been told, my angel brother Brucey got in with some cows and gave them a bit of a chase. Mums heart did a few extra flip flops hehehe. No worries, and love, Stella and Rory

  6. Hmmmm....Mee bets dat's da reason my Momma never got me one of dos leads....BWHahahahahahahah

  7. Oh me oh my, those flexi leashes do seem to make life more difficult. I, my self, have never used one, but the Pea reports that there are often HBO words used when he goes into the brush with his on. Perhaps Gail has learned her lesson. Besides, I think those fat sheep could use some exercise and having a terrier nipping at their heels would be just the ticket.


  8. BaaaaWaaaaah... I love the pawt about the Thistle and the..WORDS.
    I am not a fan of those retractable walkin stings.

  9. I had one once but not for long. They are meant for tiny little well behaved bijon's or something like that.

    You had to teach her a lesson, but it seems it was a painful one, Bertie. Maybe a little gentler next time.


  10. hey Bertie,

    BOL! Pawsome story! It is obviously the sheep's fault that your flexi-leash got wrapped around the prickly thistle. He should not have run in front of you! ;->

    The ONLY leashes my human ever buys are flexi-leashes, even though she has been pulled face-down a few times (ouch!) and has accidentally let go of the flexi-leash on other occasions when I have pulled too hard. That is actually preferable, because then I am off and running to my hearts content, while dragging along said flexi-leash! So even if you get stuck with the flexi-leash, there are some fun things to do with it. :->


  11. Oh yea Bertie what a day!

    I gots to tell you that Mom says those nasty flexi leads must have been invented by a NON-doggie owner! BOL

    We tried one too, the first day I was on it, we were walking and cat came out of no where well, I thought it might attach Mom but instead all I did was wrap the silly lead around Mom's crutches! Mom said HBO words. Yea, we don't use that flexi lead any more!

    woos, Tessa

  12. Hmm. Seems like I should invent a better contraption.


  13. Bewtie, dawling Bewtie

    what can I say? These hoomans and theiw ideas, sheeeesh the less said the bettew..I HATE those flexis and I'm happy to heew that Gail has leawned hew lesson. I agwee wif Mango, those fatso sheeps could use some excewcise , but I do wowwy about the cwoftew wif the gun..pleez stay safe little Bewtie.

    I am taking youw advice to heawt,,no nuns wimple fow fow why you'we not in the pictoowe wif all the boyz? wel, Bewtie, I'm sad to say, I'm much oldew than you(which is pwobably why I havent twied being engaged to you too, hehehehe) and when that pictoowe was taken, you wewe only a glimmew in Gail's eye and a plan that my sweet Hamish had to make hew life full and lively and pawfect again
    smoochie kisses

  14. Oh's need to be trained over and over again
    Benny & Lily

  15. Isn't it amusing that Gail probably thinks your life together is about The Education of Bertie, when we all know it's about The Education of Gail. Mama hates those flexi-leashes; also the harnesses where the leash attaches under the chest and is always wrapping around the poor dogs' legs, setting them up for broken bones.

    We think your cravat - not bandanna - is most masculine and appropriate as sports team support gear. Right up there with a football jersey or cap. Good luck to Scotland!

    Jed & Abby