Wednesday 27 June 2012

A walk on the wild side...

You know how it is when you're given a promotion at work?

You think, isn't it great! Finally, I'll be trusted to get on with things by myself, to work independently, with no more too close supervision and irritating micro-management.

Life can be so disappointing.

You will all be aware by now that I was recently elevated from 'Assistant' to 'Associate' Webguide Volunteer for the VisitWoods Scotland project.

And you may remember that Gail and I have already had 'issues' about what that means in terms of who gets to choose which woods we visit.

Nonetheless, I have been operating under the entirely reasonable assumption that an Associate should be allowed to conduct his own inspections of local woods without the need for a hectoring human in close proximity.

We arrived at the entrance to Dunnottar Woods last Friday.

Oh it didn't take long to realise that there was plenty here worth checking out.

And then I caught a whiff of something most interesting in the dense undergrowth.

In such circumstances, I believe I am contractually obliged to conduct a thorough follow-up investigation. 

Look, remember I am an Associate now.

Really Gail made a most ridiculous fuss when she lost sight of me for a few minutes. I can scarcely bear to tell you what happened next, it is so humiliating.

She actually went and spoke to some other humans who were out walking their dogs, and asked if they'd seen a wire-haired fox terrier anywhere. She was on the point of giving them her mobile phone number when I ran back to tell her all about the red squirrels, rabbits and deer that I'd seen, and the wonderful, just wonderful foxy aroma that I simply had to follow through the ferns to the furthest reaches of the wood.

But instead of being impressed, Gail just clamped on my lead - the horror - and said firmly, "that's quite enough independence for today, my wee mannie, you're staying right by my side all the way back to the car". 

As if the promotion had never happened. 


  1. Well at least you did a thorough inspection of the woods. Better luck next time with the freedom.


  2. .,Hi Bert., this sounds you have the full freedom to go

    Dog Fence

  3. Oh my Dog, the indignity of it all. I hope at least there was no one around when she chained you up. Does she not understand the meaning of "I am just doing my duty"?? You may have to consider taking a different less nervous human with you in the future.

    Loveys Sasha

  4. Dear Bertie,

    In my experience, humans always get huffy when they can't see you for 2 minutes in the woods (or the park). Anyone would think they don't trust us. At least your human didn't get hysterical. Mine would have. I hope you at least got a treat when she put on your leash.

    Hooroo! X

  5. Berteeeee! Whats with you pups? You never, ever get Enough. If you get one treat, you beg for more, if you get walked a mile, you want two! So you got a nice little promotion, where you should stay with Gail, but no, you have to go deeper into the forest, make her think you are lost. So typical of a dog!

    Jo, who hopes you have apologized to Gail!

  6. Totally unfair, Bertie, just as you were gaining important information about that necessary to a well balanced evaluation!

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

    And you weren't even chasing joggers or cyclists or anything.

  7. Oh Bertie, Im sure you were conducting a most important scientific expedition. It sounds like you were behaving beautifully, sigh. Thats humans for you.

    urban hounds

  8. The woods are great and Bertie we have completed our bouncing events entry.
    Best wishes Molly

  9. Uh oh! Watch out, you might get DE-moted!

  10. Oh Bertie, I hear you - soooooo unfair! The lead????oh the horror!!!



  11. You were obligated to check things out! Don't they understand we do this for their own protection.

  12. Bewtie
    These hoomans awe widicooloos
    why, you wewe only being thowough and wes[onsibull and instead of pwaise, you get Mommi is even wowse. Hewe in Boo da Pest, many doggies get to go off leash, but the one time, I took a "walkabout"(only a stweet's length) she neewly had a cowonawy.
    Belated congwatoolashuns on yoow well eawned "assosiate" pwomoshun
    smoochie kisses

  13. She put on your leash?! In the middle of the woods?! That's not showing proper respect for your title at all!

  14. I doubt we'll ever fully understand them Bertie mate. You just have to remember; they ain't very bright...hehe! Deccy x

  15. Bertie that was a lovely walk and all BUTT I think that the root of the problem here is.. Gail seems to be focused on the furst three letters of BOTH of your job titles and well, I think you get the drift here. Peeps can be such Linear thinkers, can't they?

  16. Bertie, Bertie, Bertie, poor you, how very humiliating. Glad to have found you here though, busy boy that you are :)

  17. My Mum and Dad did that too!!

    I had only run right up to the other end of the big field when they had stopped at the corner!

    My Mum said she was only cross because she was so worried and didn't know what she would do if I got lost

    It was so funny. She was telling me off and giving me a big hug at the same time!

  18. There are tons to check out in the forest. Oh those feets are dirty, BOL
    Benny & Lily

  19. Can't humans be the most embarrassing animals on the planet??

    Lilly, Piper, Carrleigh and Ivy

  20. The nerve!! She should have known that an associate like yourself would report back with all your findings!! Yes, they can be so embarrassing!!


  21. Bertie, please don't scare your Mom like that! By the way, please tell her we have a surprise for her on our blog.

  22. Bertie,

    We are so glad you like your post on our blog! Thank you so much for your lovely note and have a wonderful visit to Switzerland. Also: my mom asked me to please thank your mom so very much for purchasing her book. It's incredibly kind and supportive. (Tootsie's Mom here: Thank you so much. I'm very grateful for your support!)

    I'm wagging. :)
    Your friend,
    Tootsie (and her mom Renee)

  23. hey Bertie,

    *shudder...SO humiliating. I cannot imagine what I would have done in your paws. I am so sorry Bertie. To be leashed in the wood and in front of strangers - all because you did your job. I think you should woof a formal complaint to the Park Manager and possibly have Gail demoted for interfering with your work. I, for one, would have LOVED to learn more about those foxes. Are they tasty? Do they come in pairs, a 2 for 1 special? All that research gone now. So sad.


    P.S. The second photo of you with your nose in the dirt hole is pawsome! Love it! :->

  24. It is an indignity I myself have suffered as well, my friend. Pawsitively unacceptable!!!

  25. Humiliating! There yous are doing your job (VERY well by the looks of it) when the human hasta act like....a human! Just awful!

    Better luck next time

    Sugar the Who

  26. The air temp here is 101 and the heat index is 111; mama can barely get us out the door to potty. We are, however, most sympathetic to your plight - and the likelihood that your off leash adventures may be more curtailed in future, even though you did all the right things: clearly showing Gail your interests and indicating the general area of your explorations, checking in with her on a timely basis to reassure yourself of her safety, not leaving her alone with strangers in the woods. It takes the peeps many years to develop the self confidence to be on their own without us in sight. Some, like our mama, never make it.

    Jed & Abby

  27. Now it's 103 air temp. At 5 p.m. Time for a Bertie scientific seminar on Global Warming.

    Jed & Abby

    1. I refer you bakc to my two posts on Climate Change (see links on my 'Bertie Boffin's Science Posts' page.
      Toodle pip!

  28. Bertie,

    We feel your pain, terrier pal. Just when the trail is getting hot...out come the leashes!
    It's just not right!

    Wyatt and Stanzie

  29. Promotions my eye Bertie ~ they just mean more work and restraints on your free time. bah humbug with promotions!
    Sweet William The Scot

  30. hehe, sounds just like my stevie-pup! We just love you dogs too much to risk losing you! freedom... in moderation! xxx

  31. Bertie, thank you for your reality-check post. I was looking at your wonderful adventures in the parks and highlands, thinking that maybe WFT Fuzzy, at age 14, finally deserved a promotion. Then I read this, flashed back to last summer when he dashed off in a tornado, to hunt no less, and was brought back to Earth. So we may be off to the park but he'll stay on the Flexi.