Merry Christmas one and all

To conclude our celebration of Christmas in all its guises around the world, I asked Eddy in Yorkshire, Tyrrell in Australia, Marigold in the USA & Curfew in Thailand how they enjoyed themselves at this most wonderful time of the year. Thank you for reading this little series of blogs. It has been interesting to see the differences as well as the similarities.

If you had one chance to see one place in the world at Christmas where would it be?

Eddy: Lapland

Curfew: I would like to visit one place and it is Anfield, Liverpool.

Tyrrell: Mum says somewhere with snow where she can see the Northern Lights and we get to see snow.

Marigold: A place where all our pals could gather

You can meet one person at Christmas, who?

Eddy: Santa

Curfew: I want to meet all my Twitter pals.

Tyrrell: We’d like a party with all our Twitter pals together.

Marigold: Mum says she wants me back, I was a furry little person.

Best thing about Christmas?

Eddy: Everyone is happy

Curfew: The best thing about Christmas is everyone has a lot of fun and smile.

Tyrrell: Mum has a week at home with us, extra belly rubs and treats. Mums says her kindle and hammock.

Marigold: Food

Worst thing about it?

Eddy: Knowing there are lonely out there

Curfew: Fireworks

Marigold: Food.

Sprouts or no sprouts?

Eddy: Half and half in our house

Curfew: I’m not sure if it is different from here. But I like to eat all veggies. Don’t worry I’m not a Vegan. Chicken & bacon always better.

Tyrrell: Christmas dinner is not right without sprouts although the fall out can be tough.

Marigold: We don’t eat a lot of sprouts, so probably that would be a no.

One gift you could give to one friend?

Eddy: Better health

Curfew: I want to give many kinds of Thai food for them to taste how amazing is it.

Tyrrell: I’d share my Roo treats. Mum says friendship.

Marigold: A sympathetic ear

Something you would like to receive?

Eddy: Good news for me after my little op.

Curfew: Want a blessing from heaven to bring back my pals who running over the Rainbow Bridge.

Tyrrell: Anything edible.

Marigold: Mum says she wants me back.

Best Christmas song?

Eddy: Driving home for Christmas

Curfew: All I want for Christmas is you – Michael Buble

Tyrrell: Mum says White Christmas by some dude called Bing. I say Raffa’s 2016 version of 12 days of Christmas

Marigold: Any Christmas song sung by Tony Bennett.

Do you think Christmas has lost its meaning?

Eddy: Yes

Curfew: Everything in this world is dominated by business. All commercial

Tyrrell: Isn’t it just about extra treats? Mum says yes it is too commercial but the twittpack gives her hope

Marigold: Somewhat, but not everywhere for everyone.

Has it been watered down into a purely commercial thing?

Eddy: I think so

Curfew: See above.

Tyrrell: See above. No, mum just gifts me more treats

Marigold: Yes sadly.

Do you wear reindeer ears at Christmas, or should they stay on the reindeer?

Eddy: I like an antler

Curfew: I have a lot of Christmas costumes. So, yes reindeer ears. Do I want to wear? Sadly I have no choice.

Tyrrell: Mum made me wear them one year, then I ate them. She wears an elf hat with elf ears

Marigold: Only on reindeer around here. Not that there are any, reindeer, I mean

New Years Resolution or are they a total waste of time?

Eddy: Yes

Curfew: Not a waste of time. No, the happy moments are never enough.

Tyrrell: What are they for? Can we order more treats? Mum says waste of time you should always do what you resolve to do at New Year

Marigold: Its worth a shot, you never know.

Bring back one thing about Christmas past?

Eddy: To have all people and four legged pals back

Tyrrell: My pals over the rainbow just for the day. Mum says her mum, she is over the rainbow too, probably with all our pals she loved dogs.

Marigold: Kids shopping for one or two presents in a printed catalog. It’s out of control.

Home Alone or A Christmas Carol?

Eddy: A Christmas Carol

Curfew: I’ve never been home alone.

Tyrrell: Christmas Carol every time.

Marigold: Christmas Carol with Patrick Stewart

Would you rather have Christmas with friends or with your parents?

Eddy: Parents

Tyrrell: I would rather with our mums as they have my treats. Mum says with friends as no parents left.

Marigold: Mum says she would love to have Christmas with her parents.

Do you get turkey shares?

Eddy: Yes

Curfew: No turkey here, but every time there’s a New Year celebration in my home there’s usually many different types of food on the table. You have no idea how much.

Tyrrell: No turkey as we have Prawns, crayfish or crab. I get a tiny bit.

Marigold: Pups always got turkey shares—not a lot but yes. I wish Marigold could be here and have whatever she wanted

Do you think you will have snow at Christmas? Do you like snow at Christmas?

Eddy: No, I pray for snow at Christmas that’s why we got married in December but it didn’t snow

Tyrrell: If we do the world is in serious global warming trouble! We are expecting 36°-39°. Mum says she would like to be somewhere with snow.

Marigold: Maybe a tiny bit way early in the morning… forecast doesn’t look promising.

Cluedo or Scrabble? Who wins?

Eddy: Scrabble. Not mum

Curfew: No games played at all, only whiskeys, wines and beer.

Tyrrell: Cluedo and mum wins

Marigold: Never heard of Cluedo. Scrabble… sometimes I win.

Trivial Pursuit or Monopoly? Who wins?

Eddy: Trivial Pursuit and again, not mum.

Tyrrell: Both.

Marigold: Monopoly. It usually doesn’t ever end, so nobody wins.

Fairy or a star on top of the Christmas Tree?

Eddy: We’ve got eyeore cos we’ve a Disney tree

Tyrrell: Neither we has a Scotsman playing the bagpipes.

Tis the season to be jolly

I have many friends around the world and I asked some of them what they thought of Christmas and, if they celebrated, who they did so. This is the third instalment so I thought I would ask some more overseas pals.

Lucy lives in Arizona. Dixie lives in New Jersey. Gracie lives in Massachusetts. Pruny’s mum, Carolina, lives in Argentina.

If you had one chance to see one place in the world at Christmas where would it be?

Lucy: Wherever I am at!

Dixie: Anywhere in the Caribbean, we spent Christmas on Bonaire one year and it was fantastic!

Gracie: Not sure — maybe Finland or the UK.

Carolina: Any place cold with snow and not hot.

You can meet one person at Christmas, who?

Lucy: My mum again.

Dixie: It would have to be my Mom who never stopped believing in Santa for her whole 82 years

Gracie: My mom. She died unexpectedly in 2003, and we weren’t able to be together the Christmas before she passed.

Carolina: Oh my favorite singer or any Twitter pal.

Best thing about Christmas?

Lucy: The decorations.

Dixie: Making people smile simply by wishing them Happy holidays

Gracie: The lights and the feeling of peace. And watching Roscoe and Gracie open presents. Roscoe loves it.

Carolina: Lights, decorations and movies.

Worst thing about it?

Lucy: Grumpy shoppers and drivers.

Dixie: Road rage and parking lot crazies.

Gracie: People. They get so angry so quickly over things that don’t matter.

Carolina: People arguing where to spend the night, what to eat and fireworks.

Sprouts or no sprouts?

Lucy: We don’t do spouts much in the US but fried with bacon they are amazing!

Dixie: I don’t eat them but they were always on the table when I was young.

Gracie: No sprouts however Gracie says yes to sprouts. Roscoe likes to shred sprouts and make a mess then walk away.

Carolina: No sprouts for Christmas here.

One gift you could give to one friend?

Lucy: I wish I could give a friend of mine the gift of forgiveness about her marriage failing, it has been 13 years and she has not moved on.

Dixie: I like to make people laugh (or at least try to) so they can forget their worries if only for an evening.

Gracie: Something handmade.

Carolina: Something special for him/her that surprises him/her but not necessarily expensive.

Something you would like to receive?

Lucy: Magic weight loss

Dixie: Hmmm, that’s really hard, more kindness in the world.

Gracie: I don’t know. I think this year I have everything I need.

Carolina: A ticket for my and my pups to travel.

Best Christmas song?

Lucy: O Holy Night sung by Nat King Cole

Dixie: Mum says Silver Bells (showing my age there)

Gracie: White Christmas

Carolina: All I want for Christmas is you.

Do you think Christmas has lost its meaning?

Lucy: I don’t think Christmas is much about religion anymore. However, I have seen it bring out generosity that lacks during the rest of the year.

Dixie: It hasn’t lost it’s meaning for me so I can’t really say how others feel about it.

Gracie: Not to me it hasn’t. But to the world in general… maybe.

Carolina: Yes, definitely.

Has it been watered down into a purely commercial thing?

Lucy: In general, yes.

Dixie: Yeah for some it is

Gracie: It has definitely gotten more commercial.

Carolina: Sure! Kids only want presents, they don’t know Christmas meaning.

Do you wear reindeer ears at Christmas, or should they stay on the reindeer?

Lucy: I have been known to wear a Santa hat

Dixie: No, but a Santa hat and lots of red, yes.

Gracie: Reindeer need their antlers.

Carolina: Nope, only for pups. (Dexter says bad luck pups.)

New Years Resolution or are they a total waste of time?

Lucy: My resolutions are to recognize when someone needs help and provide it. When we travel and I see people taking pictures of each other individually I step up to take a picture of them. It’s a tiny thing that makes people happy.

Dixie: New Year resolutions are ridiculous unless they lead to a good habit that will make the person happier.

Gracie: Reflections are useful, but resolutions. I’m so horrible at them that for me they are a waste of time.

Carolina: Not waste of time for people who want to make them possible. Personally don’t think about them.

Bring back one thing about Christmas past?

Lucy: They have been all over the place, in the military, as a police officer, with friends and family! Someone has always been kind enough to share.

Dixie: Not sure about bringing back one thing from the past, not really my thing.

Gracie: Family who have all passed away.

Carolina: A happy Christmas, when I had a bigger family and was fun.

Home Alone or A Christmas Carol?

Lucy: What a Wonderful Life

Dixie: Sorry but it has to be White Christmas with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye.

Gracie: Christmas Carol

Carolina: Christmas Carol

Would you rather have Christmas with friends or with your parents?

Lucy: My parents are passed but Lucy says with everyone, no other dogs, so she gets all the pets and tickles.

Dixie: The more the merrier, friends and family works

Gracie: I wish I could have Christmas with my family.

Carolina: Friends. Too many not very happy Christmas with family.

Do you get turkey shares?

Lucy: Always.

Dixie: Dixie here: No because they have ham at Christmas

Gracie: White meat turkey shares for Roscoe and Gracie! Arrroooo!

Carolina: Not turkey here. Each family eats different things but for sure vitello tonnato and English sandwiches.

Do you think you will have snow at Christmas? Do you like snow at Christmas?

Lucy: No, it will be 60 F. We’ve never had it.

Dixie: We don’t usually have snow for Christmas here, I always had snow when I was young. When I was young I liked it but now that I’m the one driving, I’m just as happy without it

Gracie: I hope so! It doesn’t really feel like Christmas to me if there’s no snow on the ground.

Carolina: We expect 36 °C for that day. I would love snow.

Cluedo or Scrabble? Who wins?

Lucy: We don’t usually play games.

Dixie: We don’t play board games at Christmas. There might be a card game or two going on depending on the crowd, but it all fun so who cares who wins.

Gracie: Scrabble. Don’t know what Cluedo is. I would probably win at Scrabble.

Carolina: Scrabble, my mum wins.

Trivial Pursuit or Monopoly? Who wins?

Lucy: We don’t usually play games.

Dixie: See above.

Gracie: Trivial Pursuit. Mark might win, but I would put up a good fight.

Carolina: Monopoly, I win.

Fairy or a star on top of the Christmas Tree?

Lucy: Neither

Dixie: Always a Star

Gracie: We have a star on currently, but I would like to find a nice angel.

Carolina: Always a star here.


A Christmas for Border Terriers

The next instalment of my investigation into Christmas as enjoyed around the world. As I have a large number of pals who are Border Terriers I thought I would make this blog purely on their views. In fact I am an honorary member of the BT Posse, a fine and venerable group alongside the BeagleBug Club.

For reference Moss lives in New Zealand. Topa lives in California. Hamish lives in Scotland.

If you had one chance to see one place in the world at Christmas where would it be?

Moss: I would like to meet my grandad. M would like to meet David Bowie

Hamish: My sofa with friends and family.

You can meet one person at Christmas, who?

Moss: I would like to meet my grandad. Mum would like to meet David Bowie.

Topa: My Mums parents. I’ve heard they love dogs but they live 3000 miles across the country and I’m too big to fly.

Hamish: You Dexter!

Best thing about Christmas?

Moss: Lots of fuss from the family and helping them unwrap their pressies. I’m a big help and Christmas ham is always tasty. Mum says it’s being able to legitimately ignore work emails

Hamish: BTPosse Secret Santa…..all these furs and people who haven’t met do something kind and fun for someone else. It’s lovely and it’s all thanks to Hamish HRH who is a logistical genius!

Worst thing about it?

Moss: Me – what’s not to love about fussing and Christmas ham? Mum says she doesn’t like the commercialisation of it and pressure on families to have Instagram perfect Christmases

Topa: This year my Mums are going away without me.

Hamish: Thinking about the furs and little humans not as fortunate as us.

Sprouts or no sprouts?

Moss: Sprouts! With almonds and pancetta

Topa: Hmm. Sprouts aren’t really a Christmas thing here in the US, but I always love a good raw, smelly brassica to crunch on!

Hamish: M used to hate them when she little, now she loves them! Her taste bugs getting old I think

One gift you could give to one friend?

Moss: I would like Frank the BT living with Mr Mike to get better and for my other pals who are sick to get better. Mum has a colleague who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. He has a young family. She would like him to have more time. (Sorry to be heavy hedgehog as Hamish would say)

Topa: I would give my pal Gracie Rae Good Girl, my Border Terrier friend here in my town, no more operations or health issues for the rest of her life.

Hamish: We wish we could give a thank you to all the folk who have to work on Christmas Day.

Something you would like to receive?

Moss: squeaky pigs please Mum wants an email wizard who would clear up her inbox and file everything correctly

Hamish: This is a tough one but I’m 11 soon and I feel time be flying in. So the gift of time please.

Best Christmas song?

Moss: Fairytale of NY – no contest!

Topa: Anything that my Scottish pal Roky Boyd (@RokAndWag) has written.

Hamish: The Coventry Carol.

Do you think Christmas has lost its meaning?

Moss: We’re not a religious household at all so it couldn’t lose that meaning but it’s definitely more commercial. For us it’s about time out with family and friends.

Topa: I don’t know. I’m only three.

Hamish: Yes and no! I guess it’s up to each and everyone of us to keep what it means in our hearts and try to live up to that all year round.

Has it been watered down into a purely commercial thing?

Moss: See above.

Topa: See above.

Hamish: Again it is but only if we let it!

Do you wear reindeer ears at Christmas, or should they stay on the reindeer?

Moss: I don’t wear reindeer ears. Mum does. I have also been known to nom them if she leaves them lying about.

Topa: Definitely for reindeer only. I hate things on my head.

Hamish: They can keep their antlers !

New Years Resolution or are they a total waste of time?

Moss: You can make resolutions at any time of the year but there is something appealing about re-setting the clock.

Hamish: Just to keep trying to have fun and be the best terrier I can be!

Bring back one thing about Christmas past?

Moss: Gooseberry creme from the Quality Street tins!

Hamish: Remember the satsumas wrapped in the wax paper: bring them back!

Home Alone or A Christmas Carol?

Moss: Neither – Die Hard! Ok – Home Alone.

Hamish: Christmas Carol (the muppets version)

Would you rather have Christmas with friends or with your parents?

Moss: We are lucky and do both. It would be nice to have Christmas with the UK family.

Topa: Definitely with my Mums because I love them best. But I love Gracie and her Mums, too, so perfect Christmas would be all 6 of us.

Hamish: We now do Christmas with family and Boxing Day with friends! It works well!

Do you get turkey shares?

Moss: We don’t have a turkey but I get Christmas ham!

Topa: Not so far. I’ve only had two Christmases with my Mums and they haven’t had turkey at either one.

Hamish: I get a little bit.

Do you think you will have snow at Christmas? Do you like snow at Christmas?

Moss: We will never have snow in a million years. Beach baby! I think I’d like to try it. Mum doesn’t like it. It’s a pain to drive in.

Topa: Not where I live in Southern California! But we do get snow in the mountains near here. I think it would be fun to play in, but I don’t really know first hand.

Hamish: It seems really mild so probably no snow.

Cluedo or Scrabble? Who wins?

Moss: Can we have both Cluedo and Scrabble please? Mum and Dad fiercely contest Scrabble but Dad is tricksy and usually wins. Mum wins Cluedo

Hamish: My mum can’t spell so scrabble a disaster for her.

Trivial Pursuit or Monopoly? Who wins?

Moss: Trivial Pursuit. Can’t stand Monopoly as it goes on too long.

Hamish: We likes trivial pursuits

Fairy or a star on top of the Christmas Tree?

Moss: Star. MERI KIRIHIMETE!

Topa: We have a wooden yellow bird with a scarf around its neck on the top of our tree.


All I want for Christmas is?

As the Christmas holiday period looms over the horizon, I sat wondering recently what some of my friends and their parents thought of the Christmas period. I wondered if and how they enjoyed themselves, so I asked a few of them. These are the first set of replies I have got. There are others I will put on here in forthcoming blogs.

He looks a bit too big to fit down my chimney!

If you had one chance to see one place in the world at Christmas where would it be?

Griff: Heaven, just for a day, so I could meet Charley and say thank you for helping your M&D find me.

Fergus: M spent last Christmas in Australia with lifelong friends, and she loved it. She’d love to spend it with me in a log cabin in Scotland.

Raffa: Santa Paws workshop, North Pole

Oscar: I would like to be in Santa’s Sleigh. That way I could zoom around the world delivering presents to all my pals and their humans and give them all a Christmas snuggle.

Beadnell: Bethlehem.

You can meet one person at Christmas, who?

Griff: Charley Beagle.

Fergus: Mum says Joe Lycett as she reckons he’d be a cracking dinner guest but I say Santa Paws

Raffa: Santa Paws

Oscar: This is tough. I would like to meet Santa Paws but Og met him last year and Og said that he smelt funny and had run out of presents. So I would really like to meet 3 special souls; Goon, Bean and Momma Boo

Beadnell: Santa Paws

Best thing about Christmas?

Griff: Turkey dinner.

Fergus: Mum loves the cold weather at this time of year, I’m not so sure. I love that many humans are happy

Raffa: Being with family

Oscar: Nut would say “Wrapping paper” but I would say extra noms

Beadnell: Noms

Worst thing about it?

Griff: We love Christmas Day so our answer is nothing.

Fergus: Mum & I will not be spending Christmas together this year, again: she is going to a friend’s and they have elderly cats. So it will be sad to not be together but I am going to my amazing holibobs home and Mum says we’ll have our Christmas the weekend after. It’s also very sad to think about all the humans and furs that are alone, lonely or without homes.

Raffa: Washing up.

Oscar: Knowing that there are dogs and humans that are alone and sad

Beadnell: Disruption

Sprouts or no sprouts?

Griff: Sprouts – with turkey gravy

Fergus: Mum says YES! I say no thanks love.

Raffa: Sprouts for Mum, none for me

Oscar: We love sprouts especially when they’re mixed with bacon.

Beadnell: Sprouts but not for me for fear of farting

One gift you could give to one friend?

Griff: I would turn back the clock and give a fit and healthy Pruny back to auntie Carolina.

Fergus: A brand new ball to play with and have lots of fun all year round! Or, until you dead it

Raffa: Life

Oscar: I would like to give a Skype call to the Rainbow Bridge to anyone that wants one.

Beadnell:Time

Something you would like to receive?

Griff: I have everything I need, so I would like to hear that all animal testing has been stopped at Midnight on Christmas Day.

Fergus: Mum would like new running trainers; I would like lots of fishy treats

Raffa: Good health

Oscar: A Skype call from the Rainbow Bridge

Beadnell: Understanding

Best Christmas song?

Griff: Fairytale of New York

Fergus: Mum can’t decide between “Fairytale of New York” by The Pogues or that Slade song. I like the ones that make M happy and dance like a loon as I then join in with her and we have a lot of fun

Raffa: Driving home for Christmas

Oscar: Fairytale of New York

Beadnell: Anything choral or happy.

Do you think Christmas has lost its meaning?

Griff: Yes

Fergus: Mum says she thinks it has. It’s so commercial for so many. She is looking forward to spending time with friends, being with them and not thinking about other worldly worries.

Raffa: Yes

Oscar: Maybe just a little bit, which makes my Mum sad

Beadnell: Only if you let it.

Has it been watered down into a purely commercial thing?

Griff: To a large degree yes, but not entirely.

Fergus: Mum says not purely but definitely very commercial.

Raffa: Yes

Oscar: We don’t think so but that is dependant on the humans who try to make it that way

Beadnell: Only if you let it.

Do you wear reindeer ears at Christmas, or should they stay on the reindeer?

Griff: Mum has reindeer ears for Boot and myself. We do our best to shake them off and avoid wearing them.

Fergus: I think they should stay on the reindeer, pal. It’s bad enough Mum gives me a Christmas jumper!

Raffa: I wear various headwear at Christmas.

Oscar: I sure wish they would stay on the Reindeer

Beadnell: Antlers are for Reindeer

New Years Resolution or are they a total waste of time?

Griff: Waste of time

Fergus: Not if they’re the thing that gives you a focus. Mum says she “resolves to be the same fabulous, foul-mouthed person she always is” and it works out just fine.

Raffa: Resolution but it needs to be achievable not silly.

Oscar: Nothing is ever a waste of time but we dont make resolutions cos we can’t keep them

Beadnell: The middle of winter is not the best time to deprive yourself and do tough things: only humans would do that.

Bring back one thing about Christmas past?

Griff: Snow. A white Christmas should be compulsory

Fergus: Snow

Raffa: Great Grandma

Oscar: Mum says Naivety – when Christmas was super exciting and magical like when she was a little girl

Beadnell: Everyone Over The Rainbow Bridge for Christmas Day

Home Alone or A Christmas Carol?

Griff: A Christmas Carol

Fergus: Neither. Mum says Elf

Raffa: Home Alone

Oscar: Home Alone

Beadnell: A Christmas Carol

Would you rather have Christmas with friends or with your parents?

Griff: Parents, but all our friends would be invited.

Fergus: Mum spends Christmas with friends. She says next year she will make sure it’s not with cat friends.

Raffa: Friends

Oscar: Everyone, friends and family. That would be a pawsome pawty

Beadnell: Friends

Do you get turkey shares?

Griff: Silly question. Of course.

Fergus: Mum is a vegetarian so never turkey.

Raffa: No, but maybe this year

Oscar: Don’t you?

Beadnell: Of course

Do you think you will have snow at Christmas? Do you like snow at Christmas?

Griff: Probably not, but we love snow at Christmas

Fergus: Maybe, there is already snow here where I live. We love it, however mum isn’t so keen on driving through it though.

Raffa: No, but I like it

Oscar: Probably not, probably rain, but we would like a white Christmas. We love snow, any time. We like to pee in it and make it yellow.

Beadnell: Not in Northumberland. And I am not that keen on anything that wets my paws

Cluedo or Scrabble? Who wins?

Griff: Scrabble. Griff = 2+1+1+4+4 = 12 points, Boot = 3+1+1+1 = 6 points, so Griff wins.

Fergus: Mum loves both. She gets competitive with both too! This is the first time she’s spending Christmas with these friends so she’s not sure who will win, but she’ll be trying her best!

Raffa: Cluedo

Oscar: Cluedo, Mum wins. She always wins.

Beadnell: Neither.

Trivial Pursuit or Monopoly? Who wins?

Griff: Trivial Pursuit and mum would win

Fergus: Monopoly to be played properly, but the Trivial Pursuit questions are fun to answer anyway. Mum always picks the Scottie piece in Monopoly, naturally.

Raffa: Trivial Pursuit

Oscar: Monopoly. Dad wins. Sometimes.

Beadnell: Monopoly

Fairy or a star on top of the Christmas Tree?

Griff: Star

Fergus: Star

Raffa: Star

Oscar: We have 2 trees, one with a star and the other with a fairy.

Beadnell: Polar Bear

I am home

If I may, I would like to indulge my fair readers for a short time.

In the world of rescues there are a number of days, dates and occasions which mean an awful lot to many. The saddest of these occasions is our time to pass over the Rainbow Bridge. With our job on earth being completed, we take the longest journey to the everlasting meadow. I’ve no intention of making any such journey any time soon.

Another is our birthday and this is a day of joy and happiness for all involved. Sadly my birthday isnt until May so I have too long to wait.

The third, and the one which affects me today, is called a Gotcha Day. It is the day we officially allow our humans to adopt us, look after us, look out for us and generally become minions for our every need and whim. I came to my forever home on 19th December 2013.

First day

I strolled into the house sometime late in the morning, through the cold sleet. I had no idea what to expect when I arrived but all I knew was that it was very different from a kennel and that these people, who’s house I now owned, had been to see me three times in the rescue centre and had said good things about me. The log fire was burning, there were strange decorations on a green tree in the corner of the room and there was a crate in the dining room. And it had a bed in the crate along with a bed in the living room and another in the study. Within days I was celebrating Christmas and getting two or three walks a day to explore the local area.

Once I had realised that I had stability and routine after some eighteen months, I began to settle in and saw my pawrents as forever. We had worked with each other to overcome my anxiety and confusion at the lack of stability. We were going to reap the rewards by taking long walks through muddy fields, large muddy puddles, across farms, through more muddy fields and even flooded local lanes. I enjoyed it anyway.

I have explored Surrey, Sussex, Dorset, the Lake District, Yorkshire, the Chilterns and even been to Essex for the day. I’ve had dozens of trip on the London Underground and even been to London itself on numerous occasions. I would never have done any of this if I had not chosen my pawrents that fateful day. This year I have allowed my little brother Lenny to join the family and I think I am supposed to have grown wiser. I’m not so sure.

How can you tell I enjoy my life?

Therefore a Gotcha Day is an important date in most rescued animals lives. It’s the day we hopefully get the stability and routine we need. It’s the day we see the love, friendship and lifelong companionship with our pawrents start and then blossom. I have so many friends that my life is happy and fulfilled.

May all rescues be as lucky as me.

It’s the day we get to say “I have a home and it’s forever”. It’s the best day.

Postcard from London

A few years ago I sent a postcard to my good friend, Raffa the Beagle, who lives near Liverpool. It was a postcard of London with a tick list of sights to see, including Big Ben and the Tower of London amongst others.

I wonder how many I will see?

A couple of weeks ago, we heard from Raffa who said that she was going to come to London to try and tick off some of the sights, and she asked me if we would like to be guides. Of course I couldn’t think of another fur in this house who had been to London so I volunteered my service and took Lenny along to carry the bags.

It came as somewhat of a rude shock to Lenny that we were unceremoniously woken up at 6 am on a Saturday. After a very brief walk locally we were marched up the hill to the train station so we could whizz into London. Fortunately it was a lovely sunny day but it was a bit chilly. After we arrived in London, we strolled through Regents Park towards Euston Station so we could greet Raffa and her mum in true beagle fashion by a huge arooo in the middle of the station concourse. Raffa was in her chariot as she cannot walk as far as she could do when she was a young pup.

We immediately wandered off to find the tube station as Raffa had always wanted a trip on a tube train.

Raffa and her protection on the tube

We got off the tube at Moorgate and strolled to the Guildhall (original meeting place of the Guilds of craftsmen for the City of London), Royal Exchange (the original stock exchange), Bank of England (where Raffa keeps her pennies), Mansion House (official residence of the Lord Mayor of London) and then on to Leadenhall Market (poultry market from Victorian times but now a boutique shopping area) where we made our first pit stop for some coffee to warm up the humans.

We started the next leg by walking down to the Tower of London which was very busy with visitors, and where Lenny managed to see a pesky squirrel but forgot to tell me & Raffa. We then crossed Tower Bridge.

We went along the side of the river, making our way through the throngs of tourist visitors on the south side of London Bridge. We showed Raffa the replica of the Golden Hinde ship (Francis Drake’s ship), the Clink (original dungeon prison in London) and then went on to see the rebuilt Shakespeares Globe theatre.

Now for the exciting part as we crossed the Millennium Bridge, also known as the wobbly bridge, and saw St Pauls Cathedral in its glory directly ahead.

Having strolled past the cathedral we went down Ludgate Hill and into Fleet Street (famous for printing) and managed to get two tables in a pub for some lunch snacks, as well as warming ourselves away from the chilly wind. Suitably refreshed we set off and found ourselves in the middle of a wedding procession coming out of the nearby St Bride’s Church, accompanied by a brass band. This surprised us all. We continued along The Strand and dad managed to stop pedestrians crossing the road, as he told Lenny to “WAIT” and they thought he was talking to them. We continued towards Trafalgar Square to see Nelson’s Column and then off to Whitehall (government area) to stop at Horseguards Parade to see a member of the Household Cavalry, who was watching Raffa to make she didn’t misbehave.

The London Eye across the river was spied, then Big Ben and Westminster Abbey were ticked off before we ended up at Buckingham Palace. Unfortunately the Queen wasn’t at home otherwise we would have popped in for a cup of tea and a cucumber sandwich (without crusts of course).

To finish we wandered slowly up The Mall back towards Trafalgar Square and took a London Black Cab to return to the train station at Euston. We woofed a sad cheerio to Raffa and her mum as they boarded their train back to Liverpool and their home.

Our journey home on the train passed like a blur, mainly due to Lenny and I having walked nearly 13 miles in total and being very tired. It was worth being really tired though, as we showed Raffa around London and she ticked off all the sights on her postcard except one. No Yeoman of the Guard Beefeaters were seen at the Tower of London. We hope we did Raffa proud as she managed to see nearly everything on her postcard list.

So close to getting all the sights.

Finally I have to admit that Lenny was so good, given it was his first trip to London. He managed the trains, tubes and strolling around with great aplomb. We took ages getting from one place to the next as so many people wanted to say hello to us and give Raffa, Lenny and I many tickles. He dealt with the sights, smells and noises of London without fright or fear. I am proud ears of him.

The history of Hamish

Continuing in the vein of speaking with friends who have inspired me and made me feel loved, I thought it might be good to hear some background on a funny, intelligent, happy BT who lives in Glasgow and who goes by the name of Hamish. Many people follow him which is not unsurprising. He is most approachable and always pleasant, polite and happy to woof with all furs. He is the epitome of what being friends is all about. From personal experience he has helped me out on a number of occasions where I have needed a shoulder or a wise ear to bend. I will never forget his kindness.

He was one of my first twitter pals, and though I haven’t yet met him, I wanted to find out some more about the brilliant fur he is. So sit back, grab some popcorn and enjoy the ride.

When you arrived in your forever home as a pupster, were you adopted or bought? If you came from breeders, do you have famous posh heritage.

I was little 8 week pupster and I came from just outside Bannockburn. I was the tiny pup and my sisters were about twice the size.

You say you were the smallest, does this mean you were the youngest of the litter? Assume you were healthy and everything was good.

Yes I was healthy but the girls in the litter were definitely bigger. I remember I was so small that my first vaccines were the ones for a rabbit.

Do you know where all your litter siblings are? Do you still have contact with them?

I don’t know where my siblings are. There were 2 boys and 3 girls in the litter.

No idea why I’m wearing collar on day one.

Have you always lived in Glasgow?

Yes, I like living here as I like the city and I can be nosey at all the people. Also Glasgow has got lots of big parks and green spaces so it all good for exploring.

When you joined twitter was it for fun or was there a background reason?

My mum joined twitter because she bought a job lot of candles and sold them on eBay!! Hence the yankee bit in our name. But then she tweeted a picture of me wrapped in a Scotland flag around time of referendum thingy in 2014 and Clapton found me. The rest is history as they say.

Scotland the Brave.

Ok, once you had joined Twitter and Mr Clapton “found you” did you change your approach? What I mean is did your picture appearing on your Mum’s page change her mind straightway to being more about finding out about BT’s, the breed and traits.

Yes my mum only had about 20 followers and didn’t really understand Twitter but then everyone so welcoming and we quickly got to know lots of other BTs and really enjoyed their adventures.

Are you the first dog that your mum has owned?

There were two Jack Russell Terriers in the house when she was growing up but she never had a dog of her own before I arrived. She knew she wanted a little dog and one that was fairly uncomplicated in terms of grooming and things. Then one day she was walking up at Loch Lomond and there was a couple with two little brown dogs walking in front of them. All day up and down hills their tails were wagging. Mum and her pal caught up with the owners when they stopped for lunch. The people said they were Border Terriers and they said they were the best dogs ever. So that was that and the rest is history.

When you decided to change your M’s twitter perspective, was it an instant decision to try and make it predominantly light hearted with some interesting stuff like #hamishdoeshistory thrown in?

I’m not sure we really thought much about the tone of our twitter we just thought we’d share our walks and trips.

Were you a naughty or a goodly pupster, easy to train or just have a mind of your own?

I’m not well trained: I’m not allowed off the lead as I have no recall. This is more mum’s fault than mine as she would worry too much that I might run away!

Has Twitter changed since you have been on here?

We really like twitter. We have got to know so many nice dogs, cats, hamsters, humans that we would never have met in real life! We know so much more about different places now. The support from twitter and the shared fun and laughter does make us very happy!

You are the Quartermaster in the ZS. How did this come about?

Aw yes! Well we do love the zombiesquad and I’m not sure how it all started from my perspective. And I am in the BeagleBugClub which means loads! I’ve never had post from Argentina before! That was so special! Everyone is so kind and welcoming.

When you do #hamishdoeshistory do you feel like you are introducing people to your city?

Yes I think you are right about Hamish does history we try to show people things they might not see otherwise.

When I did the interview with Winston about his life and achievements, I asked him about the reason behind starting ZS. He said it was to bring together as many pals as possible to show that if everyone all got on and pulled together, then anything could be achieved. Is this something that you see? I only ask as you are a friend to everyone and always happy to help and lend an ear.

I dont think Winston, Clapton and others probably realise the difference they make to a lot of folk’s lives. We spoke about it at a tweet up. There are people who don’t have a dog or maybe for health reasons they don’t get out as much as they might like but through Zombiesquad or the BT Posse or Beagle Bug Club they have this community they are part of!

My fur cousin Angus & I. Best of buddies

Hamish, apart from George Square where the Duke of Wellington is duly attired with his traffic cone hat, do you have a favourite place in Glasgow.

In Glasgow my favourite place is Pollok Park it a big country park with highland cows and Clydesdale horses.

Also do you have a favourite place in Scotland.

I love going to Loch Lomond which is just about 25 minutes in the car there lots of great walks and places to explore

A proud Terrier

If you could have a dinner party, who would you invite and why?

My dream dinner party would be a BBQ on Luskentyre beach on Harris and I’d want to invite all our twitter pals!

Is there a favourite #hamishdoeshistory place you have been to, and are there other places you haven’t yet visited but want to?

This my favourite Hamish does history it was recreation of ww1 trenches

As for places I have never been, I would really like to visit London. We would pretend to be the dog on the monopoly board and go to all the places on the board.

Is there anywhere in Glasgow that you havent yet covered for #hamishdoeshistory ?

Well I’d like to sneak on the pitch at Hampden Park but that might be hard to achieve.

What three pearls of wisdom would you give a fur just coming onto Twitter?

I think my advice to folk joining twitter would be enjoy it! Be yourself and don’t worry if any troll type folk reply. Just ignore them as they soon get bored and go away.

You are allowed to meet one person, living or over the rainbow bridge. Who is it and why?

This is tough but the fur I would have loved to have met was Marley. He started something so special. It’s so sad that his life on this side of the bridge was so short but Clapton, TT and the wider BT Posse community do so much to keep his memory alive.

On that note I want to thank Hamish and his mum for allowing me to ask questions. It is an honour to know of Hamish and to chat with him. He is a wise and gentle fur, and a very good friend to all.