The Bonus Christmas

I am not a miracle, I'll have you know.
I'm very scientifical in fact.
And just because this cancer thing I've got
Is not behaving as vets say it should,
It's all to the good.
But not a miracle. Understood? 

Because a WFT's a complex entity,
His journey can't be easily foretold.
So many interactions and what ifs, 
Combine to unpredictable effect,
And when that means another year of life
Please join with me and celebrate! 

I might be, statistic'ly, 
An outlier in survival terms.
But though it's sometimes difficult to pee
And Gail finds it a bore to wait for me, 
In all other ways, these sweet extra days 
Are, oh I nearly said the word,

A miracle (of sorts).

Northern Twilight 

How bashful the sun
In a northern December,
Midday and barely risen,
About to surrender.

The fractal heathland's lit
By gentle, careworn rays.
Shadows, always elongate,
Reach further as light fades.

A much loved dog trots gamely on,
His radiance fading too.
But Scotland's twilight is prolonged,
And he is not yet through. 

Bouncing Bertie's Sonnet no.1

A summer afternoon so blithely spent,
An amble down the coastal path to Cove,
The dog and human perfectly content,
The route a vibrant floral treasure trove.
Harebells and willowherb and meadowsweet,
And vetch, angelica and tormentil,
And thistles various, and to complete
The scene, a spotted burnet moth, quite still.
To one side, sea, for once both blue and calm,
Inland, the railway line, a train glides by,
And nearby, from the local rare breeds farm,
Some longhorn cattle languorously lie.
And up above, fine wisps of cloud, so light
And fragile – an ephemeral delight.  


I'm a pedigree,
And proud.

Part white, part black,
I nothing lack! 
I'm proud.

Canis familiaris
Is what I is!
Quite proud.

A Scot, a Brit,
Both labels fit! 
So proud. 


A Convenient Excuse

I have heard people say that "a dog is a tie".
These are not dog lovers, obviously.  
Today I propose an alternative view,
And I hope you don't think me obtuse
When I state that a dog's a convenient excuse. 

When the person's a lark, and it's hours after dark,
And the party's gone on far too long,
And they hate to seem rude by departing too soon, 
They remember the dog that they've left all alone.
At such times, a dog's a convenient excuse. 

If the cycling club's due to ride all the day through,
But the forecast's for afternoon rain, 
Then why not join in until coffee, then say
That you need to turn back 'cos your dear pet's shut in.
Again, I contend that a dog's a convenient excuse. 
When family stresses make home life oppressive,
(We all know this happens sometimes),
The claim you can make, that the dog needs a walk,
Ignoring the fact he's on bed, fast asleep,
Demonstrates how a dog's a convenient excuse.

In long wakeful nights, when losing the fight 
Against intangible worries and strife.
A person's mind might focus on how short
A dear dog's life is, and other woes suppress.
And in this too, a dog's a convenient excuse. 

The Ballad of the Nordic Snowflake

The knitting pattern didn't look quite right,
The pictured dog not Bertie's shape one bit
But Gail thought, she surely could adapt
The size, and make a jumper just to fit.

Come late September, yarn and needles bought,
But then that fateful visit to the vet,
The bladder cancer diagnosis shock,
A poor prognosis for her precious pet. 

The pup of course went on his merry way,
As happy and as bouncy as before,
The tablet he was given once a day,
He thought of as a treat and nothing more. 

And Gail decided she should press ahead. 
And knit this Christmas jumper just as planned.
To not do so would be a breach of faith, 
The thought of Bertie's passing, more than she could stand.

So Christmas came and he was bouncing still,
For sure he knew how handsome he appeared
In his red sweater. Gail was thrilled,
And optimistic for the coming year.

In January, he's doing fine. He's such
A loving pup, so fond, so smart, so bright,
One might imagine that he knows how much
Gail needs him through these long dark Covid nights.

The weather worsens, ice and snow set in,
The Nordic snowflake sweater earns its keep,
And passers by see Bertie, stop and grin, 
And comment on his winter wear. "So chic!"

Six months now passed since Gail first was told
That Bertie likely would not live too long.
This jolly jumper represents her hopes, 
And she is full of joy he's fighting on.

Winter at the Model Boat Pond

Once a gangly tangle, of legs not well controlled,
A skinny frame and fuzzy puppy face,
Eager to explore, not wise, too bold,
With joyful bounce I leapt onto thin ice...

A nasty shock ensued, the ice gave way,
The model boat pond water chilled my core,
I panicked, and my limbs would not obey
My frozen brain, I could not reach the shore.

Gail to the rescue! Her long arms 
Reached out and grabbed me firmly round the trunk
And saved me from more self-inflicted harm,
And hard I learned the dangers of a winter dunk.

So ten years on, and sensibly attired,
My Nordic sweater proof against the chill, 
I calmly pose beside the frozen pond, wisdom acquired.
Of reckless youthful capers, I have had my fill!

A Contemplation (Seaside Thoughts)

It doesn't have to be a beauty spot,
It might be somewhere just nearby,
An undistinguished stretch of North Sea coast
Where you can sit, and contemplate the sea and sky.

It matters not if you're just starting out 
On life's great journey, or you're near the end,
To stop and meditate on nature's power,
Will calm your heart, and help your sorrows mend.

A Transient Delight

The path I tread right now is rough, unclear,
Dark clouds loom over all that I hold dear.
Although my body has not failed me yet,
And on I bounce, no obvious cause to fret,
Inside me grows a mass, malignant, cruel,
And laughs at me for being such a fool.

A fool to think that things would never change,
That ever onwards I would gaily range
Across this damp, expansive, Northern land,
At once inspiring, peaceful, wild, and grand. 
Should I feel grateful to have known the feel,
Of happiness, of life lived free and real?

I look ahead and see a mountain capped
With freshly fallen snow. I sit down, rapt, 
And contemplate the thin veneer of white.
Such unexpected, transient delight. 
Just hours later, melted clean away,
Like us, its time on earth too short a stay.  


A perfect morning, clear and bright,
We walked from Diabaig to Craig,
And found a peaceful picnic site,
Escaping politics and plague.

A herd of deer peeped o’er the cliff
Just for a moment, then were gone.
Was it my bark, or did they sniff,
Gail’s sausage made from venison…?

Nature versus Trump

You who are so fond of walls,
And fences and barriers and all that divides us,
Take note of what nature has wrought
At the boundary of this, your alien golf course.

Balmedie's treasured shifting dunes,
You sought to stabilise, destroy.
But nature will not play your tunes,
No matter how much herbicide and barbed wire you deploy.

Keep out! You said. Not welcome here!
No entry to my Scottish land.
But Scottish sand dunes don't adhere,
To rules laid down by one self-centred, odious man...

Grain by grain, in winds they shift,
Slowly but inexorably, to devour
Each barricade put up to thwart,
The natural way of things. This is the greater power.

The Proper Dog

A "proper dog" is what she said.
Implying I'm a normal chap,
And not some fancy, over-bred
Type, only fit for ladies' laps?

Was she admiring of my form,
My profile square yet neat?
In looks, do I perhaps conform
To Earth's canine elite?

Did she mean proper as in prim?
No surely, that can't be!
My wayward furcut's scarcely trim,
My manner's far too free.

Or was her emphasis on dog,
As in a proper, intact male?
Not so. I never saw her look
At this particular detail...

Maybe, like Gail, she as a child
Possessed a terrier on wheels,
And ever after, all the while
Held dogs like me as the ideal.

We'll never know, she passed on by,
Without conversing any more.
I like to think that in her eyes,
I just was perfect to the core!

A Walk into the Forest 

The sunny sandy track shades into slippy ice,
And deeper darker in, the forest firmly grips the snow, 
And dainty paws can dance across where heavy booted feet will founder.

Bertie's 2019 Christmas Message 

If “bumpy” best describes your year,
Like the Queen's, and you wish things were merrier,
Here’s a message of hope and good cheer
From your favourite wire-haired fox terrier…

What do I do when I see a bump?
Do I halt in my tracks? No, no, no! 
I bounce and I skip and I jump,
And joyfully onwards I go! 

If your road this year has been smooth,
Then pause and give thanks, you are blessed.
To ALL friends, Happy Christmas to you,
And I wish you peace, love, and the rest.


Though the path may be rough
We walk together.
When the going gets tough
We walk together.

Side by side through life's worst
We walk together.
In friendship and trust
We walk together.

photo by our friend Michael in Germany

Advice in Verse

(especially applicable to those enduring the Scottish summer...)

Why fret about the wet?
Don't be cowed by too much cloud.
There is much to gain from lots of rain,
Why fret about the wet?

Don't grizzle when there's drizzle,
And if it's dreich, stand tall, look chic!
When skies are grey, go out to play,
Don't grizzle when there's drizzle.

A blizzard can be wizard!
And ice is rather nice.
In heavy snows, just wear warm clothes,
A blizzard can be wizard!

There is no doubt, we won't have drought.
Evapo-transpiration's low in this location.
Enjoy walkies through mud when everywhere's humid.
There is no doubt, we won't have drought.

Yes, why fret about the wet?

Gorse and More

A paucity of gorse is quite unknown
On Aberdeenshire hills in spring.
A plethora of heather later blooms,
(The botanists distinguish Erica and Ling).

And by the sea shore drifts of thrift
Are poised to make the cliffs blush pink again.
In woodland dells, bluebells will soon appear,
And uncontrolled, marsh marigolds seize damp terrain.


Nature's Tricks

I thought I'd wear my tartan scarf,
To brighten up the winter gloom.
How unexpected then, to see,
For colour, I had company,
A clutch of precious yellow blooms.

Insistently proclaiming spring,
Our primroses are all confused.
For surely we shall soon have snow.
What then for such a pretty show?
Nature can be so hard and cruel.

The Festive Photoshoot

When northern air is crisp and bright,
And woodland scents excite one's nose,
A bouncing chap thinks it not right
To have to sit and calmly pose.

That perfect Christmas photograph
Can wait another day (or year).
Just watch me gallop down the path,
Then pause to sniff - is this a deer?

My mission's to investigate
Each blade of grass, each fallen leaf.
I absolutely cannot wait,
Our winter daylight's all too brief.

So please accept apologies,
We have no festive pics to show.
This turbo-powered WFT
Has things to do, places to go.

The Decomposing Hare

How fine it is to sniff
A decomposing hare,
Oh what a pungent whiff,
Just nothing can compare.

I raced across the heath,
And there I found, its rank
And fetid guts hid right beneath
A gorse bush on a bank.

They lay before me in a state
Of sumptious putrefaction.
When Gail caught up it was too late,
I'd gorged to my full satisfaction.

When further on the walk I tried
To kiss Gail with my slime smeared nose,
She backed away in horror, cried,

An Ode to Freedom

The Right to Roam is a thing to be treasured,
In Scotland it's the law.
If you're a 'Good Boy' you can wander at leisure
Through forest, on mountain and moor.

There are just a few rules to obey - they're not hard.
Around livestock you need to attach
A lead to your human. And be on your guard
That they never leave field gates unlatched.

Rejoicing in freedom, your spirits will soar
As the prospect before you unfolds.
The wide open spaces demand you explore
And a joyous excitement takes hold.


There is nothing on earth that can beat
A walk with your very best pal,
On a midsummer's day when the air is sweet
With wild roses and honeysuckle.

When buttercup meadows invite you to gambol,
And lily-strewn lochans await,
Offering paw-cooling ease at the end of your ramble,
Then together in peace you reflect.

On how many paths together you've trod,
On the sorrows and losses endured.
On how side by side you'll walk forward in hope,
And delight in exploring this wonderful world.

Human Granny: 13 August 1930 - 21 March 2018

I called her Human Granny,
She sometimes called me Petsy,
I loved her tender touch,
And her kind and welcoming smile.

I wished I’d known her younger self,
That brave child aged nine, who was not seasick
When she crossed the Atlantic in 1940
In stormy weather, in wartime, to Canada.

They can’t have been easy, those four years away,
So far from her ‘Mummie’ and 'Daddy’.
She learnt to skate, to swim, to ski,
To be resilient.
She overcame her fear of Dick the Dog.

She was brave at the end too.

Reflections on Absence

Was it really only two weeks and three days
That you were gone and I was left bereft
Of all home comforts?

Abandoned in what I would not describe
As a 'pet haven', although I'm told that's what it's called.

Where was the comfy lap
On which to cuddle of an evening?
I barked (and barked) but no-one paid attention
(The other dogs were barking too).

Let me assure you,
A pad in a concrete kennel
Is no substitute
For a shared double bed (with goose down quilt).
And it's hard to sleep at night,
Unbolstered by the warm bulk of a human leg.

On too short walks with unfamiliar pups,
I yearned for Duthie Park.
For favourite trees, park benches, monuments,
For all my friends.


Did you miss me too?
My eager little fuzzy face,
And the endearing way my ears flap
As I trot daintily along
On my more compact than average paws?

You did?

Ode to So-called Spring

Really? Winter's over?
Please present your evidence!
The London-centric media may declare it so,
And talk of balmy days, but we have snow
On higher ground.
The case that Scotland is another country
Climate-wise at least, makes sense.

I’ll grant you, for the pre-work park walk
My collar-light’s required no more.
And by midday my square dog shadow
(Should the shy sun grace us with a beam or two)
Is less elongated than before.

But down by the North Sea
(The clue is in the name)
A fierce onshore gale cruelly exposes
The folly of last week’s over-zealous grooming session.
Oh how I wish those furs were still attached,
All seven ounces of them…

It’s true, brash ranks of daffodils
Are now amassed on southern facing banks.
They breed ‘em tough at these high latitudes.
But as for me, tho’ born of Buchan stock,
I’ll keep my Fair Isle jumper on
Until my precious wiry fur’s regrowed.

An Ode to Blogging Friendships

I read about you almost every day.
From countless photographs I recognise
The angle of your tail when you feel joy;
The precise set of your anxious ears;
Your food-expectant head tilt.

Although you live a world away,
I’m confident that I could navigate
From your front door
Directly to your well-worn comfy bed, or better yet
Your kitchen where the treat jar sits.

Your daily routines, though different from mine,
Are quite familiar now to me.
There is more sunshine where you live (most probably).
But then my park, I think, has fewer rules than yours,
For dogs, that is.

For all the fun we share when life is sweet,
There are those other times
When you are injured, ill, or nameless terrors strike.
And then I yearn to help you, but
Feel at a loss.

We’re old friends, are we not (though never met)?
Our lives are now entangled, in
A precious world wide web of friendship,
An unanticipated bond.


I want to scale the Matterhorn, glimpse snowy Alpine peaks at dawn,
I’d also love to see the bears of Bern,
But as a Bouncing Boffin, what I’d find most simply toppin’
Would be visiting the physicists at CERN.

Yes for sure it would be fun, to climb the Rigi like Mark Twain,
I might even reach the summit in one day.
But it’s the Large Hadron Collider that I’d like to get inside o’
To view sub-atomic particles at play.

Some might make heavy handed jokes, deriding all those cuckoo clocks,
As the sole result of centuries of peace,
But for me it’s the Higgs Boson that makes Switzerland the Chosen
Land for scientific-minded WFT’s.


You can take your Costa Bravas, the Greek Islands are all yours,
The Italian Riviera's not for me,
I'd rather be in Deeside where the ground beneath my paws,
Is soft and green, and clear the river flows,
And the air conditioning's natural and free.

The Balearics are too crowded, and Australia far away,
And California's sun has too much glare.  
But a little patch of heaven's a short bounce from where I stay,
Where the only sound is birdsong on a gentle summer's day
And a sweet pine resin fragrance fills the air. 

If you're searching scorching sunshine and a Mediterranean tan,
Then I'll point you to cheap flights on EasyJet.
But for dogs, a trip to Scotland is by far the better plan,
We have laws that grant you access to our wild and empty land. 
Come here! Roam free! All weary cares forget!   

A love poem dedicated to my sweetheart Addi, and inspired by the recent (11.2.2016) and thrilling announcement that gravity waves have finally been detected, a century after Albert Einstein first predicted their existence:


by Bouncing Bertie Boffin

When I think of you Addi, so large yet so sweet
My heart starts a pounding. It will not behave 
In the regular way. So strong are its beats
I believe I've produced gravitational waves.

These faint fluctuations will surely distort
The space-time continuum betwixt you and me.
I know you will feel them; a lass of your sort 
Has the requisite fine sensitivity.  

In my mind I imagine old Einstein is smiling
His forecasts are all now proved right.
And you dearest Addi, I find most beguiling; 
So massive, so dense and so white.

On Clearing Out Human Granny's House

Us dogs can always sense when something is amiss.

Our noses can detect
Change in the air, the end of things, and sadness.

A lifetime of cupboards, emptied, yield
Pile upon pile of holiday leaflets; medicines galore;
A Nottingham lace tablecloth,
Still faintly stained with raspberry jam;
Notes from every evening class ever attended,
(And there were many).

Did Human Grandad once throw away
An item he could mend?
I doubt it.
No saucepan handle in this house
Escaped his meticulous application of araldite.
Was ever a rusty bolt discarded
When it could be stored in a Gold Block tobacco tin
For future use?

Who uses now
A 'best' china tea set (non-dishwasher proof)?
What to do with table linen - napkins, cloths, mats -
Lace or embroidered, stiffly starched,
Untouched for half a century?


A sudden moment of delight.
A wad of letters, unknown, unsuspected,
Found in an old folder.
Close-typed on tissue thin airmail paper,
Stamped RAF, Egypt, 1945,
From a fond father
To the teenager who became Human Granny.


But why will the charity shop not take
The painted furniture?
Can it really be so dangerous?
Surely some poor soul would be glad of it?
I lick Gail's hand to compensate
For tears shed, as Human Uncle
Builds a funeral pyre of tables, desks, chairs,
Unwanted but for the memories.

Us dogs can always sense when something is amiss.

And then it was Autumn  

A treat most unexpected,
But welcome as a bone,
A week of sun, blue skies, still air,
When summer should be gone.

It could not last, it felt
So undeserved. And yet
When normal service weatherwise
Resumed today, and wet,

Cool, blustery, and dour,
The world o'ernight transformed,
I thought it quite unfair,
And for the sunshine mourned. 

Then Gail cried "Chin up Bertie,
Remember what they say,
There's no bad weather just bad clothes.
Put on your coat, and seize the day!"

A Protest Addressed to Gail

I don’t buy your line about ‘Quality Time’
I want it in quantity; I want it now!
Forget about work. Cut loose, go beserk,
Tell the boss you’ve a dog, who needs you, and how!

I want you to stay right beside me all day
On the sofa, the bed or the chair.
I can curl on your lap, maybe take a wee nap,
You can do what you like, I just want you here.

It doesn’t seem right that it’s only at night
We’re together. How cruel that you go
To the office at dawn, only late to return,
And bored I sit waiting and watching for you.

You who live in sunny climes
Might think you have the best of times;
I beg to disagree.

If every day the skies are blue,
No clouds obscure the dazzling view,
There’s small variety.

You’ll never feel the deep delight,
When dour grey turns to dazzling bright
For a short precious while.

The sense that duties, cares and grief
Can be forgot. And to the beach,
To run and bounce and smile!

(Inspired by a sunny, if cold, trip to St Combs on Sunday 14th June, 2015)


No more flatland Trent-side walks
On claggy floodplain clay.
I'm back amongst the heather'd hills
The bonnie banks and braes.

Enough of dismal redbrick towns
And concrete urban sprawl
For now. I'm home, a home that's built
Of silver granite walls.

Goodbye to triffid pylons marching
Over hedgeless fields and wastes.
Hello to birches, burns and bogs.
I'm back. This is my place.


No need to prove it Mr Brock,
That you are strong is clear.
I see you rolled aside this rock
And dug under the hedge right here.

You black and white guys with the good PR,
'Wise Friend' to Ratty, Mole and Mister Toad,
Admired by wildlife lovers near and far,
Though not the folk who live on Cragmoor Road,

Have you a notion what distress
These night time raids cause? So much damage done
By scratching up the grass, as if
You sought first prize in excavation?

For decades my beloved HGD
Nurtured his back lawn with tender care.
Now Human Granny worries night and day
That his hard work is wasted, and despairs.

So Mister Badger I am begging you,
Go dig your worms on someone else’s lawn.
It is so sad. Dear Human Granny, who
Cared long and lovingly for HGD with all her strength,
Feels she has let him down now he is gone.


Your name is a good one, dear Dui my man,
And your human chose well with a simple Munro.
You could have been named Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan,
Or Carn a' Coire Boidheach (shortened to Bo).

When you visit the vet to be vaccinated
You'll also be needing ID, like as not.
Just remember, a chip on both shoulders is said,
(By the English) to signal a well-balanced Scot.

And remember the kilt is traditional wear
For true Scottish males be they humans or dogs.
The lassies will think you so brave and so fair
When you're all fitted out in your best Highland togs.

But you might find it tricky, when Scotland's teams play
'Gainst Australia. You must choose which one you'll support.
(You'll find Scottish footballers have feet of clay,
Andy Murray means tennis is these days our sport.)

Our national dish haggis is affa scarce Down Under,
But it's worth searching out, I guarantee.
The meat is digestible; you will not 'chunder',
You'll love it, dear Dui, so try some for tea.

And lastly wee Dui, stay true to your breed type,
Yon Scottie dugs are couthybraw and thrawn.
Just show those dingos what a well-bred pup's like;
They'll soon be wishing that they too were Scottish born.



My Human Grandad, Gail's Dad,
Was modest, true and kind.
For four years our lives overlapped,
He'll stay for ever in my mind.

He always loved to be outdoors,
And thoroughly believed
That walks with me were only fun
If I were off the lead.

He saved lamb shank bones in the fridge
For when I came to stay.
He loved to watch me on the lawn
Gnawing contentedly.

He could have been a dog, you know,
So loyal, trusty, steadfast.
Devoted to family,
In affections, uncomplicated.

He always smiled his special smile
On seeing Gail and me.
His deep blue eyes lit up
And sparkled curiosity.

I never heard him angry once.
Even towards the end.
His carers all used the same words,
"He is a lovely gentleman".

He rests now in the soil near home,
As peaceful as he lived.
And thinking of him, there is joy
Dancing beside the grief.

The worms will now be gentle too,
Nourished on his gentle flesh.
The grass will thrive, the blackbirds sing.
Even the badgers will show respect.

On behalf of Human Grandad

Gail is too gentle, but I am a terrier.
I can growl.

I can growl at Herr Alzheimer
Though I know he's not to blame
For HGD contracting
The disease that bears his name.

I can growl at the unfairness
Yes, I know Gail, "life's not fair".
You can lead a good and worthwhile life
And near the end, despair.

I can growl at those who cannot see beyond
A sick, demented man.
I can growl at those who will suggest,
Such suffering is Planned.

In growling, I can try to speak
For one who cannot now express
His thoughts. Beloved HGD
I'll make it known you were and are the best.

Snapshots of Duthie Park

Winter mornings. Dark, sharp, cold,
Dogs are sporting flashy disco lights,
Their ghostly owners wrapped in Marks and Spencers' shrouds,
The wind that's crossed the river gathers bite.

A weekend afternoon in Spring,
Much optimistic pallid flesh exposed,
Goose pimples notwithstanding, those from Aberdeen
Think, if the sun is out, they need few clothes.

Light evenings, masochists enrolled 
In British Military Fitness race
Around in circles, yelled at by
Instructors thick of neck and red of face.

Summer Sundays: barbecues, picnics,
Ice-cream cones lightly held by dog-height hands,
Those kids with flappy arms and high pitched shrieks,
Will tempt a chap to disobey commands.

And by the pond exquisite model boats,
Are all controlled by older men, sad,
One suspects, because their sons 
Prefer to lurk indoors, tending their (i)Pads.

A coach from Elgin parked beside the gate.
A line of grey-topped green enthusiasts
Make for the Winter Gardens' warmth, 
But pause en route to give cute pups a pat.

The cricket pitch brings out a different crowd.
Brown skins exotic still, in Scotland's chilly north.
When game's in progress I am not allowed
To dash across the grass and chase the ball.

But mostly we are lucky in our Park
Few rules constrain us pups, we're free to run
No lead required, we socialise,
Explore and play, and have enormous fun.


I could compare you to a star, 
But Addi love, that's wrong 'cos you
Are quite unique. The stars are many;
Bonnie pups like Addi few. 

So long to seek, so hard to find,
You look exquisite with no clothes on.
No, not a star, but something rare,
My very special own Higg's boson.

And never fear, my Addi dear
To me your largeness is no curse.
There'll always be some space for you

Such beauty does uplift my soul,
And as I gaze and feast my eyes on 
You, I know I'd brave the blackest hole 
To traverse your event horizon.

As light bends round your extra mass
I ponder my proclivity
For awesome girls. For you I feel

Oh I would wish to ride the skies 
Besides you in our rocket tank
To far off galaxies we'd fly, 
And there create our own BIG BANG

It does not matter to me
That you sank down to rest on the sofa
Which Gail and I so often share.
I know it's hard for you these days
To remember which is your chair.
I'm told you used to be
A chemist, pilot, rugby player, boss.
That you did not really approve of dogs.

Now you struggle with the simplest task
But I have noticed how
When I pass by, your oft unfocussed eyes
Light up, and you reach down
And pat my back, and scratch my ears, and sometimes smile.
I'm told you always were a gentleman.
A gentle man, and as I snuggle close
I feel that gentleness, still.
Gail says you used to love to walk the hills.
That as a child her happiest times
Were when you took the family
On Easter Sunday ten mile tramps
To Monsal Head, Mam Tor and Kinder Scout.

Now climbing up the stairs to bed, for you
Is tougher than the steepest Northern peak.
Oh HGD if only I could speak
I'd tell you how clearly I can see
That you have formed the Gail I know and love
How the apple falls not far from the tree.

*HGD - Human Grandad, as you know. 


The year begins with shocking cold.

With long dark nights. The sun stays low.

The snow is deep, but in the home,

Soft laps, warm hearts and fires aglow.


February’s time to celebrate,

And bake my birthday cake.

But Gail finds it hard to eat

My replica, such a mistake!


In March a new experience,
A true test of my social skill.
A house party with fifteen guests,
For whom I finally sit still….


So April is the cruellest month,
Old T.S. Eliot had it right.
How mean of Gail to leave me home,
And go with friends to France by bike!


In May, in Britain, some were pleased
To cheer along our Wills and Kate.
Did you stay in and watch TV,
Or climb Munros to celebrate?


The month of June, my chance to shine.
A village fete (Feis Alligin).
When I am jumping through the hoops
Those collies don’t get a look in!


July and down to Nottingham
To visit Gail’s Mum and Dad.
We go by train, the passengers
Think I am such a bonny lad.


Not everybody's quite so charmed.
In August Michael comes to stay.
I really did not mean to harm
Him but, bare legs? What can one say…?


Month nine, it is my turn to show
My heartfelt patriotic zeal,
Go Scotland rugby team, go go!
Win the World Cup! Or not. Oh well.


October comes. In Torridon,
I'm simply horrified to see,
The kayak, made by Florian


Can you believe it? I cannot,
November saw this lovely chap,
Gail’s Dad, turn ninety, that’s a lot
Of years, (he often needs to nap).


So here we are, year at an end,
It’s now the season of goodwill.
So bouncing love to all my friends
And may your lives be joyful still.


I am not yet quite one year old,
So barely past a pup,
But I was ever brave and bold
While I was growing up.

I’m told that terriers can be
Quite naughty, when they choose.
Of course that can’t apply to me,
So please do not accuse

Me, I did never chew
That cashmere top, no way!
Nor did I ever steal Gail’s shoes
Not me, I only want to play.

At puppy class I bounced around,
And strived so hard to please,
But Daisy Dachshund, silly hound,
Kept trembling at the knees.

I learnt to sit, like, in a flash,
It’s easy if you try.
Of course I do prefer to dash
About. Why sit still? Why?

I know how sad Gail felt that night,
That dreadful night when Hamish died.
But even as he lost the fight,
New life was born. Through tears came smiles.

And now with Christmas drawing near,
We have a splendid tree,
And Gail’s face shows a look of fear
When I approach to pee…..

Oh it is very difficult
To keep these humans happy.
Maybe when I'm a true adult,
I’ll be a well-conducted chappie!

‘Til then I wish my friends good cheer
And ‘Slàinte Mhòr’ and ‘Toodle Pip!’
I hope you had a splendid year,
And through the next one gaily skip.

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