As anyone who knows me well will tell you, I am the world's worst at remembering and celebrating birthdays, anniversaries etc.
But it's an incredible five years to this day that I published my first blog post in the voice of Hamish, my late, dear Westie and even I thought that this date was worth noting.
It all started off as an antidote to writing up my PhD thesis, which required a tediously dry scientific style. My initial goal was to post on the blog a minimum of once a week.
For six months Hamish and I happily blogged away to almost zero readership.Then I put the blog URL on the then 'Dogs with Blogs' website, and started to gain a wider following after Hamish received a favourable shout out from Jo and Stella in Minnesota, to whom I shall always be grateful. Shortly afterwards I submitted my thesis.
Hamish's blog ran for the last eighteen months of his life. There was a 'Between Dogs Blog' for a predictably short period until Bertie bounced onto the scene. Hamish was my first dog, Bertie my first puppy.
If you are a regular reader of this blog you'll already know what fun it is being part of the amazing, warm and caring dog blogging community. Perhaps I've been lucky, and perhaps I shouldn't tempt fate, but I can honestly say that in five years I have never ever received a negative or unpleasant comment. There have been over 7800 comments on Bertie's blog to date (spam excluded) and I would like to thank our wonderful readers for every single one of them.
I wonder if you can guess the title of the post which has attracted the most page views for Bertie?
The winner by far is 'The Higgs' Boson Diet Plan', with, as of today, nearly 1500 views. Clearly, putting the both the words 'Higgs' boson' and 'diet' in a blog title guarantees notice, although I suspect that few of these page viewers were dog bloggers, who, as we know, favour stories about the misdemeanours of other folks' darling pups.
Which are my favourite ever blog posts?
It has to be the two posts about the 'scones and lace tablecloth' episode. Initially related on Hamish's blog, and later re-enacted by Bertie, if you missed these first time around, you can read them here:
Hamish tells the story
Bertie stages a re-enactment
My aims for my blog posts have been pretty constant throughout - each one should be well written and be fun to write, should entertain, and should offer readers something that goes beyond just "here are some more cute pictures of my dog".
As for the future?
I plan to carry on for as long as I'm enjoying writing and Bertie continues to provide me with plenty of subject material.
Based on his adventures in the past fortnight, I think we'll be going for some time yet!