Thursday 21 June 2012

Gifts for humans - a case history

Readers, before I go any further, I want you to reassure you I am aware, as a proper grown-up dog, that not all presents are meant for me. I do understand it is appropriate that Gail too should receive gifts from time to time.

But you will, I think, allow me to express an opinion about what is or is not a suitable gift for a human, and this is the subject of today's blog post.

I shall put forward my argument in the form of a case study. It concerns two presents Gail has been given by friends who have several times enjoyed the use of our Torridon cottage. To save embarrassment, I shall use only the initials of these friends.

The first present, from 'F' and 'A', was a hand-built sea kayak. This is an example of an unsuitable gift. Long time readers of this blog may remember me expressing my concerns about Gail's new kayak last October. Well. Now that the Scottish so-called 'summer' is upon us Gail has again been venturing out in this flimsiest of craft. Lest you think me selfish for disapproving of a toy that results in me being left alone onshore, let me point out it is merely Gail's welfare I have at heart. Do you know how windy it can be, even in June, how high the waves, even in a supposedly sheltered sea loch, how strong the tidal currents, and how cold the water, despite the purportedly warming effect of the Gulf Stream. And how low in the water a sea kayak is, and how vulnerable to being up-ended by a basking shark?
And how lonely I would be if Gail were 'lost at sea'.....

By contrast, the second present, a redwood garden bench from 'M' and 'J', is, I believe, an excellent example of an entirely suitable gift. It is substantial, aesthetically pleasing and most importantly designed to stay on solid ground - in this case in the front garden of the cottage - and be sat on. It encourages the humans to relax outside, safely enjoying the view of Loch Torridon without any danger of drowning. They may be tempted to consume their meals while sitting on the bench, and as we know, when humans dine outdoors, especially when they have already enjoyed a glass of wine or two prior to eating, they become a little more, shall we say casual, about their manners, with a subsequent increase in foraging opportunities for the alert canine.

A perfect gift indeed.

So readers, in particular those of you contemplating the purchase of a present for a human friend or relative, I hope you will stop a while and ponder the lessons from today's little case study, and make sure you chose wisely and well.

PS Watch out for the invitation to take part in my unique Blogville Olympics Bouncing Event, which I'll be posting this coming weekend!


  1. Bertie, I would worry about that kayak too. I think the bench is a more sensible gift.


  2. Wine and humans. Scavenging made easy.

  3. You wonder why they can't just be satisfied with a box of gravy bones don't you? I'm intrigued to hear about your bouncing event... Deccy x

  4. Oh I totally agree Bertie. The bench is much better. Yep, you dont want her lost at sea. Maybe you can just give the boat thingy a push in the water and it will get lost at sea, problem solved!!


  5. Bertie you are so very wise. Thank goodness Gail has you to keep a close eye on her, we hate to think what could happen to her otherwise.

    Molly, Taffy, Monty and Winnie

  6. Hi Bertie, looks that you and your humans were having fun there..

    Dog Fence

  7. Well thought argument, Bertie...even though we some might just say that as there's no room for you in the kayak, your argument might not hold water.

    Can you get on that great bench when the humans get off?

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  8. Hi Bertie , I think let the humans have the kayak and you get the bench!
    Best wishes Molly

  9. Completely understandable concerns! Looking forward to hearing about your event!

  10. Oh Bertie, your concern is absolutely heart warming. I am sure though that Gail is a very good sea farer and will not be lost at sea. On a side note they have kayaking in NYC at hte pier but our mom cant bare the idea of falling into the Hudson River, perhaps the dirtiest river on earth

    urban hounds

  11. Well I agree with your case study completely. Now...can someone please toss some crumbs in my direction from that nice bench!

  12. Bertie Bud
    Remember never to look a gift-dog in the mouth...BOL! I agree with you, your Gail is far, far too energetic for a human. Time to put her in the dog box.

  13. What!!!! Since when are all presents not for us!!
    Benny & Lily

  14. OF COURSE I (Frankie Furter) DO recall that ridiculous Ki Yack gift. NO WAY was that a Proper gift fur "HER" since YOU could not take pawt in its Use. However the BENCH is Perfect. I totally agree. YOU can get some GRRRRREAT use of THAT.
    I think WAY more attention needs to be paid to the giving of gifts to peeps. EXCELLENT point you have made here my furend.
    PeeS.. Ernie and I are workin on our BOUNCING...On the Furniture.. everytime mom and dad are Out of the Room.. hehehehe

  15. You aren't such a big dog, Bertie, that you couldn't fit in to the kayak opening, are you?
    I am sure you have a nice little life preserver to wear while boating, and if you slipped into that, you might go kayaking with Gail. I'm sure you'd both have a swell time!


  16. Oh I so agwee wif you Bewtie
    It would be cewtainly howwific if Gail was lost at sea ow eaten by shawks..WHAT WEWE THOSE HOOMANS THINKING?????? and besides, even if she's not lost at sea, you awe left behind stomping up and down waiting fow hew unsootabull, now that bench is [awfect! I hope all yoow guests will take heed and Bewtie, If I might ask a small favow? could you send some of youw not so hot summew my way? Its much too hot this week fow hoomans ow fuwwkids hewe
    smoochie thankful kisses

  17. We totally concur with your assessment, young Bertie. We understand that dropping a rock from a sufficient height into the kayak should be sufficient to knock a hole in the bottom of the blamed thing, in case you find yourself with some idle time on your paws.

    For your own protection, Abby urges you to make sure Gail has a Will or other legal document that provides a reliable guardian for you in the unlikely occurrence of an Unfortunate Event. And perhaps a nice Trust on the cottage with you as the beneficiary, so you could take your new kayakless guardian for weekends.

    Jed & Abby

  18. Bertie, I am in complete agreement with you. Humans can be so silly sometimes and they seem to have no sense at times. The bench is a lovely gift that can be enjoyed by all. What can we do?? I look forward to your Olympic information.

    Loveys Sasha

  19. Dear Bertie, you are so wonderfully thoughtful. No-one wants to give an inappropriate present and with your help, these little problems can be easily solved. Thanks for your advice. No worries, and love, Stella and Rory

  20. Well hellllooo Gail! I had no idea that you were so enamored with my kind. Yes, us Alaskan Malamutes are quite the handsome breed. Powerfully built, with a quiet, dignified temperament. Yes, I can see why I would make you weak-kneed.

    Oh, hey Bertie, yes, very well woofed. I don't know why humans don't consult with us more often before making decisions. I am very happy the second gift worked out so well, and I hope you have already benefited from it by finding extra nibbles on the ground after the humans have eaten.


    P.S. ;->

  21. Bertie, I have learned much from your post and though I like to take an occasional dip in the water, I do NOT care for small crafts like canoes and kayaks. Just be glad, Gail hasn't taken you out in that kayak. My assistant once took me out for a ride in a canoe and I hated it! Years later, I still tremble at the thought of the two of us out in that so-called boat ...

    Your pal, Pip

  22. You are so right in your assessment of good gifts versus bad gifts.

    Personally I think more should have been bought for you though.

    Love and licks, Winnie

  23. No flimsy craft would be able to hold my ma peep out of that water!!! Frankly, there are many instances here of white pointer sharks taking CHOMPS out of them here on our beaches...... I like my peep alive because I can't reach the treat cupboard on my own.

    As usual Bertie, you are completely right! Bench is IN, flimsy craft is OUT!

    Just sayin'

    Tail Wuggles, Rubie xxx

  24. Bertie I am with you on the flimsy craft thingy as I frequently go along for the jaunt Butt Mom would say that flimsiness gives it more excitement! To be so close to the sharkies and other sea creatures...WOOOWEEE! Yap she even went kayaking by herself in a lake full of alligators! :O Gonna have to get a tie down and check rope for her. How strong is that bench Bertie? Might it be strong enough to leash her to? ;)

    Waggin at ya,

  25. I think this post should be circulated amongst all gift giving humans. Honestly, I am feeling faint just from looking at that photo of the flimsy craft on the high seas.


  26. The garden bench is indeed very lovely. I like the kayak too...does it come in a Terrier size?
    Can't you just picture it...Terriers on the high sea...what could go wrong!


  27. Dear Bertie,

    A sea kayak is not necessarily an unsuitable gift. Last summer, a month after I joined my furever family, my crazy parents took me out on an inflatable sea kayak in the San Juan Islands (Washington State). Mom was a nervous nelly, dad thought it was perfectly fine, and I though it was wotten waven. Unfortunately mom's concerns prevailed and my sea kayaking fun was short-lived. The worst part is that nobody took a photo of me in the sea kayak :(

    I completely agree with you about the redwood garden bench!