Friday 22 March 2013

Parklife (and prison)

Can you believe we had yet more snow this week?

At least it's now light for my 7:30 am daily visit to the park. 

First thing I do on arrival is, of course, to check out my favourite shrubs.

Somewhere a bit further on I usually meet up with the regulars.

Of course I know who is a soft touch for treats.

I have found it pays to be persistent (something that comes naturally to us terriers, of course). And see how slim my waist looks in the pic below. Almost emaciated, wouldn't you say? Surely in such chilly weather I need more food...

But Gail is always going "Bertie, hurry up, we don't have all day, some of us have to work for a living, blah blah, blah...". So I must say goodbye to my pals and run along.

Back near the park gates, I stop and wait.

And if I sit and try to look my cutest, I often score another treat AND a nice ear scratch before Gail reattaches my lead and together we walk along the street and back home.

Well sadly I shall be missing the park for the next two weeks as Gail will be away in France for her Easter cycling holiday, and I must yet again endure prison camp.

So this blog will be quiet for a while.

Normal service will resume round about the time that new pups Bob and Sophie arrive chez Angus and 'the font'. Gosh I am SO looking forward to reading about their adventures.

Wednesday 20 March 2013


Lampard in his prime
It may have escaped your notice that the winner of the Terrier group at Crufts this year was a Skye Terrier (of quite extraordinary appearance) who goes by the faintly improbable name of 'Lampard'.

UK based readers will immediately and correctly have guessed that 'Lampard' is so named out of admiration for the well known Chelsea and England footballer Frank Lampard.

It set me to wondering. If you were to be called after a sporting hero, whom would you chose?

Berti Vogts in his prime...
I would like to take this opportunity to make it quite clear, most emphatically, that there is no connection between my name and that of Berti Vogts, the World Cup winning 1970s German football player who later had an unsuccessful stint as the Scotland team manager.

Gail has still, over two years later, not quite recovered from being stopped in the park by a local ned who, on learning my name, said "Bearrrr-tie? Yer didnae name him efta tha' sh*t Sco'land manager did Yer?"

Sunday 17 March 2013

Should I be happy or sad?

Happy 'cos it's so cold and windy and rainy that Gail decided to stay in with me this morning rather than take my big rival out for a spin.

Or sad 'cos it's cold and windy and rainy so we only went for a quick walk in the park.

On the basis that one can't choose the weather but one can choose one's attitude, I have decided to be happy anyway.

PS from Gail: this post is in tribute to my dear, recently departed friend Kate, whose capacity to inspire lives on. 

Saturday 16 March 2013

Every day is Pip + Puddles Appreciation Day!

Sorry we're late.

You just can't get the help these days.....

Pip and Puddles. What a pair.

Small dogs, enormous fun!

We salute you!

Thursday 14 March 2013

A snowy snout and a timely gift

Gosh it was a chilly scene in the park yesterday morning.

So what a nice surprise to get home and discover that Gail and I had received a heartwarming gift from my foxy friend Horatio (and his Mum). A wee note pad, for jotting down blog ideas perhaps?  

And given the events of last weekend, the cover picture absolutely could not have been more apt....

Monday 11 March 2013

Drama, drama, drama! (A weekend exchange of emails)

Saturday 9th March
Subject: Missing you 

Hi Bertie,

Boy am I missing you here in Nottingham. Won't be flying down again until the airline starts letting dogs on board. Without you to cuddle and to give me an excuse to escape the house for a walk every morning, I feel quite the grumpy old woman. But Human Granny and Grandad send you hugs. Sometimes I think they'd rather it was you who came to visit and me who stayed behind in Aberdeen.

Anyway, here is a photo of HGD watching the rugby on TV.

I don't think he knows any longer which country plays in blue and which in green, nor who is winning, but at least he settles down in his favourite chair and seems happy enough experiencing the familiar pattern of action. Unlike last night when I tried to view Crufts - it was the toy dog judging - and he became all agitated and kept asking "Gail, what are we going to do about this?" Maybe he would have preferred to see the terrier class.

Oh and another reason I wish you were with us. Do you remember how on your last visit to Nottingham you were busy inspecting the hole under the hedge by which the badgers had entered the garden?

And how you vowed to scare away the invaders to prevent them from digging up HGD's once so lovingly tended lawn?

Well the bad news is that Mr Brock and his gang have been back on the rampage and the grass is even more messed up than ever.

Anyway, I am sure you won't be worrying too much about that while you are 400 miles away and being treated royally by Marie-Thérèse and by Jakey's Mum and Dad in my absence.

Looking forward SO MUCH to seeing you tomorrow night.

Love and cuddles,

Sunday 10th March
Subject: Drama, drama, drama!

Hi Gail,

Wow Gail you have NO IDEA what excitement we had on our street yesterday morning!

Never mind the badgers!

I'm sure that Jake's Mum will tell you all about how I protected her and Jake's Dad from a drunken but harmless inadequate highly dangerous criminal whom they found hiding in the back of their car. And how Jake and I were put on guard duty while the police were summoned. You can guess how this evil man was terrified into submission after I barked and barked and barked at him. Really, Jake might be bigger than me, but I think we all know who can sound the more ferocious.

I understand that rewards are often given for heroic acts of valour. A medal or something. So far, I have to say, I have not received a even a gravy bone for my considerable efforts. Perhaps, on your flight back, you could think about how to remedy this......

Oh yes and that was a very nice photo of HGD, but I might just point out it would have been greatly improved had a certain exceptionally brave fox terrier been lying there and warming poor HGD's always cold feet.

Just a thought.

Toodle pip!

Friday 8 March 2013

Jke's birthday party

So I was all set to bed down on Wednesday evening after a tough session at Agility, when Gail clipped on my lead and said "look sharp Bertie,we're going to a party".

I had almost forgotten that my flat-coated retriever neighbour Jake's was six today. And  I couldn't believe my flappy little ears when Gail said that I was invited to the birthday celebration too.

Really, Gail is always running across the street and coming back with mouth-watering reports of meals cooked for her by Jake's Mum, a vibrant, friendly lady whose Jewish mothering instincts are delightfully well developed in all matters pertaining to food. Sadly all too often I am left home alone on the grounds that "two intact male dogs in a confined space is not a harmonious combination", apparently. Something about an excess of testosterone.

Talking of which, does having a Jewish mum make Jake Jewish too? And if so, quite how intact should he be....?

Well discretion being the better part of valour, I decided not to inspect Jake's nether regions too closely. After all he is a lot bigger than me.

And anyway there was a most delicious smell coming from the kitchen counter.

Sadly, Jake's birthday muffins were only for the humans.

Oh and in case you are thinking that Jake's Mum's spelling does not match up to her cooking, I should explain that one of her human offspring had gobbled up the 'A' muffin earlier.

Despite the disappointing lack of dog treats,  Jake and I had a most companionable time. I only growled at him once.

I also explained to Jake that I'd bought a stuffed fox for his birthday 'cos I felt a bit sorry for him, not being a fox terrier and all, and how I thought perhaps having his very own fox to tear apart, or even just to retrieve (so boring), would be the next best thing.

True to form, silly Gail of course forgot to take any photos of my so carefully chosen gift.

PS Gail would like to apologise in advance for any offence caused by Bertie's sketchy understanding of Jewish cultural practices. After all, he is only a dog. 

Wednesday 6 March 2013

A little bit of everything

I think you'll agree that my Sunday walk this week (round and about the village of Dinnet, on Deeside) had a little bit of everything.
An interesting place to sniff

A chance to bounce along an old railway line

A picturesque view of the River Dee

A paw-refreshing paddle

A scary suspension bridge 

A choice between mud and snow

A pause to pose

An ancient Celtic cross

A loch and some hills

A, er, stuffed mini cow

Sunday 3 March 2013

The knitted bicycle seat cover and worse...

There has been a disturbing new development chez Bertie.

Personally I blame Bronia.

This is me with Bronia and her husband Peter on a walk in Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire last month. Bronia and Gail have been friends since the Dark Ages. Apparently when they shared a flat as students, Gail was quite a keen knitter. (Yes, I am as surprised as you are, dear reader.)

So anyway, Bronia's Christmas gift to Gail was a "knit your own bicycle saddle cover" kit. Well we all know that my owner is far too fond of cycling. But I was pretty confident that her knitting days were behind her.

How wrong I was!

Maybe you are thinking "Bertie what is the matter with that (aside from the hideous colour and ludicrous concept)?"

Let me explain my fears.

You know the idea of a 'gateway drug'? Tobacco leads to cannabis leads to heroin then crack cocaine etc. My fears that this absurd seat cover might be an example of 'gateway knitting' were greatly compounded when Gail showed me the ball of wool left over and said "Bertie, perhaps there's enough here for me to make a wee sweater for you, how would you like that?"

Friends, please reassure me that I was being teased.

Just in case Gail was serious, I decided take matters into my own paws (and jaws).


PS Gail insists that I post these two photos of her bicycle on top of a big hill called Cairn O'Mount, which she claims to have cycled all the way up on Saturday morning, although I cannot verify that statement as I WASN'T INVITED TO ACCOMPANY HER.