Sunday 30 August 2015

I'm going on a diet RIGHT NOW!

Gail is back home and I have had a quick scan through her holiday snaps.

I had imagined there would just be endless boring pictures of people riding bicycles.

So imagine my excitement when I came across this.

Yes that's right, a wee chihuahua. Apparently he belongs to a Russian lady who sat next to Gail on the ten hour flight from Seattle to Frankfurt. 

You know, I'm sure there would be room for me under one of those airplane seats. I don't see my long legs and the fact that I am one kilo over Lufthansa's weight limit as an obstacle; do you? And Gail says I have an enviably strong bladder.

I would even be prepared to diet.

Ah, and now here I have found proof that it's not safe to let Gail out of my sight. Look at her, riding her bicycle over Tacoma Narrows Bridge...

OK, there were lots more bike photos too (I'll spare you) but eventually I found something of real interest.

Can you believe Gail didn't bring a packet of these yummy sounding potato crisps/chips home for me?

I mean, for sure they would be an excellent component of a calorie controlled diet designed to bring a wire fox terrier's weight down from nine to a flight-friendly eight kilograms?

I suppose I had better show you the gift I did receive.

 Hmmm. Wow! Totally delicious.

The diet starts tomorrow…

PS from Gail: readers in the USA might be interested to know that our planned bicycle tour, in the Chelan/Omak/Twisp region of Washington State, was hastily reorganised due to the wildfires raging through that area. We ended up riding further south, east of the Cascades, overnighting in Ellensburg, Yakima, Richland  and Othello (for slideshow click here). The skies were hazy and we could still sometimes smell the smoke. We also fitted in a hike near Mount Rainier, went kayaking in Puget Sound, and some days just relaxed. It was all good.

Thursday 13 August 2015

The Tragic Tale of Tacoma Tubby

So it is true. My worst fears have been confirmed. I am going to be abandoned once again, while Gail flies off to the USA to stay with her friend Marse and, you've guessed it, do yet more cycling.

Last night she showed me the map of where Marse lives. It is a city called Tacoma, in Washington State.

Well, while Gail was at work, I snuck onto the internet and did some research on Tacoma. And you know what? I have decided I am quite happy to be staying at home.

It seems that Tacoma is not a good place to be a dog. Let me explain why I have come to this conclusion.

As (apparently) any engineering student knows, there was a famous disaster in Tacoma in 1940, when a suspension bridge across the Narrows collapsed in a most spectacular manner. You can watch it on YouTube. Fast forward to 2 minutes if you just want to see the break up.

What they don't tell you in this video is that the man who abandoned his car on the bridge, and walked to safety just moments before the structure was ripped apart by the high winds, LEFT HIS OWN DAUGHTER'S DOG INSIDE THE VEHICLE...

Yes, this misfortunate pup, a three legged and part-paralysed spaniel called Tubby, was still in the car as it plunged nearly two hundred feet into the water below. Tubby was the only victim of the disaster. His body was never recovered.

Really, how hard would it have been for the car owner to carry poor Tubby off the bridge too? After all, the man looks quite astonishingly relaxed in the video as he strolls along the rollicking roadway doesn't he?

So now you understand why I'm not petitioning for a passport this time.

PS from Gail: this blog will be quiet for while I am away and Bertie is at 'camp'. Normal service will resume in 2-3 weeks. 

Sunday 9 August 2015

Detecting a worrying pattern of behaviour

I don't know about you, but I watch my human very carefully indeed.

Any deviation from the normal pattern of behaviour, and I'm onto it like a labrador sniffing a treat-filled pocket from half a mile away.

All summer (well what passes for summer in these parts) Gail has been out on her bicycle every weekend for a few hours, and sometimes in the evening after work too. I'm not saying my walks have been neglected, but the snuggling on the couch together time has not been happening quite as much as I would like.

These last few weeks, the bicycle-related absences have been getting longer and I notice Gail has been returning with a face redder than the frame of her second favourite possession (after me).

I note also there have been purchases of what I believe are cycling jerseys, short sleeved  and of material so thin that if you wore them in Aberdeen you would be hypothermic before you'd ridden to the other side of Duthie Park. Long disregarded sunglasses have been excavated from the back of the box room. High factor suncream has made an appearance on the kitchen table.

On the MacBook, Gail has bookmarked Google Earth and the other day I caught her looking at the profile of the 'Loup Loup Pass' on a website called

I think Gail imagines I haven't worked out that for me this betokens imminent abandonment and a spell in prison.

Humans can be so naive.

Wednesday 5 August 2015

A walk to the beach

It occurred to me the other day that, although we live less than two miles from the Aberdeen City Beach, whenever we visit it, we always go by car. So I suggested on Sunday that perhaps we could walk there just this once.

Gail raised an eyebrow, said this was hardly the most scenic of walks, and despite being August it wasn't exactly beach weather, but if I insisted, then it was OK by her.

I did insist. So off we went.

We headed north through Ferryhill,

Then down past (but thankfully not into) the Veterinary Surgery,

And eastwards across to the harbour.

OK I admit the tanks of drilling mud at Regents Quay are not picturesque,

But finally we made it to 'Fittie', Aberdeen's quaint old fishing settlement, which is...

….Right by the beach! 

Hooray. Time for a run! 

Here we see some Staffie owners sporting typical Aberdeen beachwear (if you zoom in you might spot the goose pimples on the bare calves...)

By the amusement arcades and cafes the gull are poised to swoop.

The funfair was in full swing as we set off back inland,

We returned via the City Centre, 

 To admire the Union Street's granite buildings (and ignore its derelict shops).

By the Music Hall we turned on to Crown Street and past the former Post Office building,

 Full marks to the Brentwood Hotel for their bright display of geraniums.

And finally it's onto the home straight.

Well I enjoyed the walk anyway. I hope you did too.

Sunday 2 August 2015

Meeting with Westie Puppy Rosie

The way Gail's been going on, anyone would think I have a reputation for behaving badly with tiny puppies…

"Er Bertie, you do have a reputation for behaving badly with the little pups. Remember how you bullied Daisy Dachshund at puppy class? And how you terrorised Bunty the Border terrier the first time she came round here when she was only three months old? As for the way you growled, really quite aggressively, at those two chihuahuas in the park the other day…."

Gail, please stop interrupting me when I am composing my blog post about my visit to your friend the Oil Man and his new Westie pup, nine week old Rosie.

Now as I was saying, it seems I have this reputation, so I want you to watch this video carefully (with the sound turned up) and count how many times words like "best behaviour", "good dog" and "impressed" are used with reference to myself. The voices are those of the Oil Man and Gail. Oh and cricket fans might pick up some background commentary from Test Match Special at the start.

For those readers who don't have time to watch a video, I have also posted some photos below. Although really, you should be rethinking your priorities in life shouldn't you, if you can't spare a mere ninety-five seconds to watch your favourite wire-haired fox terrier interacting with an indescribably cute Westie puppy?

It was such fun meeting Rosie. I do hope I see lots more of her in the future.

PS Gail, should we tell them about the emergency phone call from the Oil Man, half an hour before we were due there, asking if we had any newspaper?