Monday, 9 July 2012

Deer stalking in Torridon...

You're out for a walk with your owner. Not exactly a walk, more a galloping, gambolling frenzy of activity, all bouncing legs, flapping ears, manic tail and hypersensitized nose.

You're through the gate. The slope below the rough coastal path falls away steeply to Loch Torridon. The native trees planted a few years back are flourishing, protected from the voracious grazing of the local deer and sheep by the six foot fence.

You are let off the lead.

Your owner is happy, enjoying the rare sunshine and the midge-deterrent breeze, admiring the majestic, glacier-sculpted Torridonian mountains, lost in a Precambrian reverie.

You detect a faint, enticing whiff of large mammal. All senses now on high alert, you hear a rustle in the undergrowth, catch a momentary glimpse of antlers disappearing into a thicket of larger, older pines and birches.

You seize the forbidden moment and make off in pursuit.

You expect, half hope, your owner will join the chase. But no, she stays on the path, calls "Bertie, COME!" a few times but you affect not to hear.

You feel a pang of guilt and wonder whether to return. But the scent of the deer and the instinct to chase is strong. Your owner is out of sight.

The ground is steep and rough. You stumble between massive boulders. The trespassing stag dances lightly over the heather that for you is tough, scratchy and impenetrable. You know deep down that this is not an even contest. You are by now disheartened, panting and even trembling a little.

You think of your owner, of the bag of treats she always carries. Where is she? Suddenly the hunt seems less important.

You panic a little, zigzag back up the hill and find the path. Your spot your owner, just a few yards away, perched on a smooth slab of gneiss, waiting patiently.

You expect a treat. None is forthcoming. Your owner pats you on the head, but in an offhand, slightly frosty manner, and continues to walk along the path.

You follow, closely.


  1. Oh, the joys of being a Bouncing Bertie!

    Your energy reminded me a little of that Wimbledon finalist who also went on a hunt for a big prize. Were you, by any chance, the personal trainer of that Murray lad? You certainly share his energy!

    Sending lotsaluv to you all,

    (BTW...we were in awe as we watched that sterling performance from that other Scot at guys must be so proud of your countryman)
    (Another BTW: Such a beautifully written post, Gail - thank you!)

  2. Oh Bertie, the thrill of that chase! The only reason our human tries to catch us is we can be gone for hours!
    Next time Bertie we will come with you and show you the real fun when you can completely forget about your human.
    We are impressed that you are picking up the enticing scents, on the ground and in the air!
    Oh goodness we are excited just thinking about it.........!
    The human loves that first pic with little you
    amidst the wonderful scenery. Just think how many dogs must have walked there before you!
    Sorry we are becoming so bad at keeping up with your adventures!!
    The Aunties xx

  3. bertie you little scamp, your very lucky you found your mum again, i think i would of had to give you a big squish when you came back i would of been so worried about you. glad you found your way back ok xxxxx

  4. Oh Bertie we are glad you found momma again, but she sure should have given you a treat. At least you dont have our mom she would have probably give you a big kiss and squeeze

    urban hounds

  5. Oh Bertie, what a disappointing outcome, no treat, not even a teeny little treat?
    What do you have to do to get a treat eh? Is coming back in your own time not treatable enough, I mean, you came back isn't that the point? Don't tell us she's a little like ours tries to be, only treating if you do as humans want the very split second they ask, the unreality of that eh? We think treats should be given freely, anytime, just for BEING, not for doing.
    hugs from down in England xx

  6. I am so very much THRILLED that you FOUND your mum. WHEW.

    I hope that everybuddy starts sending you Pictures and narratives for your BOUNCING Event.
    AND if they are looking fur Corbin's addy to send their Cross Neighborhood Walkabout Pics.. here it is ohcutecorbin(AT)gmail(dot)com

  7. Oh Bertie no treat? Have a happy Monday and do let us know where to send our bouncing entry?
    Best wishes Molly

  8. Gotta be kidding! After finding her no treats. She will be lucky if you look for her again
    Benny & Lily

  9. NO TREAT??????? Wow, don't they know that means that next time you will take your time getting back???? I totally understand the thrill of the scent .... am very jealous that you got to chase a deer!!!

  10. Hey Bertie!
    Wow, we are never supposed to ignore a scent and a chase! Peeps don't seem to understand this. You totally deserved a treat for taking on such a huge, snarling, nasty beast!
    BTW: I'm all ready to enter your event!
    Grr and Woof,
    Sarge, Athlete

  11. Dawling Bewtie
    I was coming wif my application to come live wif you in that glowioos climate of yoows, but, ummm, I'm no longew shoowe I would be up to the dangews of yoow fine smelling inhabitants and no tweats???????
    So unfaiw
    Smoochie kisses

  12. What no treats????

    Stop on by for a visit

  13. what a great adventure you have Bertie, that place is really cool and very refreshing :D

    Dog Shock Collar | Puppy Bond

  14. NO TREAT?? A Frosty Manner??? Oh poor Bertie. You must come to Oz immediately. Why only the other day I ran into a paddock, chased some fat sheep with mum calling
    S T E L L A ! all the while. Then when I did come back she told me I was a good girl and gave me some treats. It's funny though cause even when she was telling me I was good, her face was all scrunchy and grumpy looking. It was a fun day. Anyhoo, the offer is there mate. No worries, and love, Stella (apprentice sheep dog, hehehe) and Rory

  15. WHAT! No treats. Good grief!

    Molly, Taffy, Monty and Winnie

  16. Oh Bertie, I was so on the edge reading this - how exciting!!! A deer - best fun in the world!!!



  17. The problem from our point of view is that you were chasing the wrong prey. Like Abby, you were bred to hunt small ground critters; leave the deer chasing to the Deer Hounds and Great Danes. You will thrive in your chosen profession only if you match your endeavors and your inherent skills and, of course, practice, practice, practice.

    From mama's point of view, you appear to 'suffer' from the same condition we do: selective hearing. Phooey. To our minds, the only risk to you is less off-leash time, but Gail would soon tire of that and revert to your normal patterns. And it's not like the apes don't suffer from selective hearing, like when we alert them to squirrel activity or strange dogs on our part of the street and they just ignore our warnings or say 'quiet.'

    Jed & Abby