Hamish Magruder's Home Page

First of all, a word of apology to anyone who has stumbled on to this page by accident. My owner (Owner? What is this? I thought slavery had been abolished in this part of the world), anyway, my new "owner" says that we have to have a web page so that his daughter whose name is Nancy can see pictures of me. I think a daughter is sort of like a female puppy. I can understand her wanting to see pictures of me, because I am a pretty cute guy. Here I was at the age of five weeks.

 Apparently Nancy goes to a University called Queens. This I don't understand. It doesn't seem to be a University for Queen's (drag or otherwise), and it isn't owned by a Queen, and its not in Queens, but there you are, when you are only 7 weeks old there are a lot of things about the world that you don't understand. Like why she can get my pictures on a web site but not as an e mail attachment. I did hear that she had said, "Dad, the e mail system here is, like, Jurassic"

Monday, Nov. 23

A week from today I will have been spirited out of the big city and living in this little nowhere town on the shore of Lake Erie. I am not sure I like this idea. What will I do without Henry and Hawk and the others? And mom? Well, I mean, you don't really want to talk about missing your mother, and stuff like that, but well, I mean, I guess I will.

Sunday, Nov. 29

 Well, tomorrow is the big day. I go off with my new "owner". And I am some nervous, I can tell you. What if I don't like the guy? I met him once three weeks ago, but I was just a little puppy then. And I am going to get a bath! As if the day isn't going to be stressful enough. Does Mrs. K have to add in soap and water as well? It sounds horrible. And what will my new owner think with me smelling like a box of bloody scented laundry detergent? I still have trouble with that word "owner". I think I will refer to him as The Big Cheese. Wish me luck.


 Click Here  if you would like to read chapter one in the life of Hamish Magruder. It won't include the pictures from the original web document, but it does include all the text from Nov. 30 to Dec. 20.


Click here if you would like to read about Hamish's first Christmas and New Years.


Click here for January, February and March


Click here to read about adult obedience class, and other serious stuff.


Click here to read about a summer spent going to dog shows.


Click here to read about Hamish's trip to new Mexico.


Click here to read about Hamish's second Christmas, and the first 4 months of the new millennium.


Click here to read about Hamish's success in the show biz, and the Spring and summer of 2000.


Click here to read about Hamish's trip to Colorado and his exploratory laparotomy.


Click here to read about the Summer and Fall of 2001


Click here to read about 2002

Jan. 15, 2003

I know, I know. Apologies to those of you who wonder why I haven't been writing more. It is all TBC's fault. He has been working on the script of another video for the historical society and says he can't just drop everything and start typing for me whenever I want. Without him I have to do everything with my nose, which is a real pain in the - well, let's say nose.

We all had a great Christmas and New Years. Just enough snow to snuffle around in, but not enough to make it hard to get around. Everybody arrived on Christmas day. I was a big help opening presents, especially for Wyatt who hadn't quite got the hang of it. Here is a picture which TBC and Margi say they are going to use with their Christmas card next year.

So we did all the usual Christmas things. I scaled the wire of my chicken coop on boxing day and led everybody for an epic chase around the neighbourhood. Everybody left on the Sunday after Christmas, and TBC and Margi and I went down to Toronto to spend New Year's Eve with the Waddells. They have two ancient cats, which meant that I had to spend the time locked in the bedroom or tied to TBC's chair. Bit of a bummer. They would have left me partying with Marlene and her dogs, but Marlene was going away for New years.

Last week we got the Christmas tree down. Margi discovered that somebody had peed on the tree skirt, and a half hour discussion ensued on the topic of who it might have been. Humans. Honestly! They do go on so. I wasn't saying anything.

The weather has turned cold. This weekend we are going down to Nancy and Rob's to help them install a new bannister system and ceramic tile landing which TBC gave them for Christmas. The weather report says minus 21 in Kingston. How do you treat frost bitten paws?

Jan. 22

Back from 4 days at Nancy and Rob's place. It was great. We had about a foot of new snow while we were there, and went out every day for an hour or so of skiing in the bush behind Nancy's house. I loved it, forging forward intrepidly through the drifts. TBC would get annoyed at me when I raced around him in circles on my long lead, but it is difficult to control your exuberance in really good snow. I remember a long time ago when I was just a little dog and I went on my first ski trip to Stowe. This year I was a bit conflicted as to whether I should get in front or behind on the trails. If I was in front and slowed down I would get goosed by TBC's skis. Behind him, if I slowed down I would just get jerked along by his momentum. So ski trips are no experience for a wussy Cairn, but I love them. If only we got that sort of snow at Port Stanley. Yesterday was really cold, about 20 below Fahrenheit, and Nancy got her car stuck in a snowdrift beside the driveway so we had to go out and dig her out. It was pretty cold sleeping in her basement, but she has a low bed, so I got to sleep on the bed with TBC and Margi, which is always good. Now we are back home in the South (Southern Ontario, that is) wondering if we are ever going to get any decent winter.

Jan 27

The following entry is not going to make for pretty reading, so if you are feeling disgustable you had better stop reading right now. It may, however, give some guidance to those younger dogs who haven't had my extensive experience with the feline race.

Margi and TBC and I had just finished lunch in the sunroom Saturday morning. TBC was sitting in the corner reading, Margi was still at the table and I was lying on the floor looking out the patio door. Margi, who could see around the corner noticed a large yellow cat sneaking (do cat's have any other mode of locomotion?) around the corner of the deck. She said to TBC, "Hamish is going to get a surprise". The cat appeared, and I decided to play it cool and pretend it wasn't there. The cat came closer. I didn't move. When it was 6 inches from my nose it suddenly turned around and shot a stream of urine at the window. TBC and Margi were appalled, which just goes to show you that they don't understand cats the way I do. Me? I yawned and went back to sleep. Call me Hamish McCool.

Yesterday we were out climbing on the ice dunes which extend out from the shore a couple of hundred feet. I was on my long lead, and stopped to dig at a patch in the snow. TBC came back to see what I had found. It turned out to be a dead deer. Dave Noad told us later that there had been a trail of blood leading across his lawn and down to the lake so the deer must have been wounded.

So there you have it, tales of revulsion and tragedy. And now for a tale which will awaken pity in all of you. Last night, I was lying on the couch and TBC was starting a fire in the fireplace. As usual, my toys were scattered allover the floor. I jumped down, landed on one of my toys, and twisted my paw. It is cruelly sprained. I really need a crutch assist me in walking, but can't quite figure out how I would use it. Nancy?

Jan 29

Well, after two days of hopping and limping on 3 legs, my sprained paw is all better, thanks to Nancy's advice. She suggested ice, which I figured meant lots of walks in the snow, which is now at least elbow deep. My paw got steadily better with each walk. I thought maybe I should have gone in to see Mary Yett and have it Xrayed, but knowing her tendancy for aggressive treatment I might have ended up with 3 legs, so it is probably just as well that TBC decided to procrastinate.

My friend TT turned our Christmas picture into a very nice looking Christmas card which she sent us last week. In a previous version she had Wyatt saying, "Beam me up, Scotty", and me saying, "Did someone say Scottie?" which I thought was very funny. She is off to Florida for two months, poor thing. What if she sprains her paw down there?

Feb. 4

Went for a great walk along the main beach on Sunday with TBC and Margi. The sun was shining and snow was melting and it really felt like Spring. We must have walked for miles along the shore of the lake. It seemed that half the village were out taking their dogs for walks. There is a rabbit who has taken to appearing each evening about 10 in front of our bay window and just sits there looking at me. This of course incenses me, but the rabbit seems impervious to my most frenzied barking. I dunno what the worlds coming to.

TBC and I have been slaving over the computer to churn out several more episodes of my memoirs for the Cairn Terrier Club of Canada newsletter. It is sort of fun to think back to my younger days. It seems that there was a lot more going on in my life back then, but maybe it is just the result of compressing all the excitement of several months into one column. I think I have matured a lot since then. I seem to accept TBC's fobiles more readily, and I don't think about sex as much.

Feb. 17

Back from a fun weekend at Marlene's, playing with the other dogs. Marlene was surprised at how much I love the snow. We don't have a lot of it, but a few flakes sift down every day. TBC and Margi came back from their weekend in Toronto talking about the Border Collie puppy which Nancy and Rob are going to get in the Spring. That will be fun, because we do visit Nancy a lot, and they come to visit us quite often. I was tired enough after my weekend at Marlene's that I was reluctant to get up and go out to get the Globe this morning.

TBC did a web search for "Hamish Magruder" last week to see if my web site was on Google, and it was. There was also a Danish Cairn web site with links to my page. I will have to check it out. Not much else is new. Squirrels and cats around, but the rabbit has disappeared. I thought there was something under the downstairs bathroom floor last week, but TBC and I did a really careful inspection of the perimeter and couldn't find any holes under the lattice work. Maybe I was wrong.

March 3

We have been our for some good skis on the lake. TBC has laid out a 1 Km loop which I am learning to do. There are a variety of commands that TBC wants me to learn. Nancy says border collies can understand 40 commands, so I will have to pretend to expand my vocabulary, or else teach her bc to never admit it can understand anything. She and Rob are going to call the bc Daisy. Daisy? I dunno. How about Dase for short? Anyway, I was talking about skiing. "Left" means that I am supposed to cross to the left in front of TBC, while heel means the same as it usually does. "Come On" means stop smelling the ice dunes unless I want to get jerked off my feet and dragged through the snow. "Go" means I am about to get goosed by the tip of TBC's ski. "Damn it Hamish" means that I have ignored one or more of the above commands and got my lead tangled up with TBC's ski poles and legs again and then we have to stop and untangle. But it is all fun. TBC's stride is about 27 inches when he skis, and mine is about 3 inches, so for every 1 Km he skis, I do 9 Km. So if we do the loop twice that is an 18 Km ski for yours truly.

They are on a repainting kick these days. Yesterday we did the guest bathroom using a sponging technique. TBC thought that using my tail might produce an interesting effect, but it would have been difficult to do the top part of the wall. After all, I'm not Doobey. Margi and I were out yesterday and I was trying to be friends with the big D but he kept trying to hold me down with his paw. I guess he is just not used to having a cairn terrier as a friend. I should have talked to him about the rabbit who is still a problem. It hopped right up on the deck yesterday. TBC and Margi think it is scrounging stuff from the bird feeders.

March 30

Hey, you know about Nancy's new puppy Daisy? Well, it turns out that all the puppies were males, so Daisy is going to be Blaze. He was born last week. Here is a picture of his parents.

At least, I think these are his parents. It will be a couple of months before he is ready to leave the farm where he was born. I hope he likes cats. I probably shouldn't put this next picture on my web page for fear people get the wrong idea about me, but we were all at John and Betty's for 4 or 5 days, and I wasn't really fraternizing that closely.

Actually, I think Griffen is O.K., as cats go. At least he and Sabine weren't stalking me as badly as they did on our last visit. Wyatt is walking now, and was learning how to take me for walks in the house. I spent a lot of time following him around. I am not sure he understands "Don't give your cookie to Hamish". I scarfed up a fair number of cookies which I wasn't supposed to have. There was still 18 inches of snow on the ground in Ottawa, which made the long climb up the mountain to John and Betty's house challenging. One afternoon we went to a dog park where there were tons of dogs to play with. Nancy took this next picture.

Not my best angle. The next shot shows me sitting alertly in the parking lot.

It was a good week. We stopped off at Nancy and Rob's on the way down to install the spice rack which TBC had built for her kitchen, and then all went on to Ottawa, where TBC and John spent a lot of time working on John's new workroom, and I spent time following Wyatt and socializing with the cats. Then back to Lonsdale where we had to get the car windshield wipers fixed at the garage where Rob is the service manager.

They are all coming here for Easter. TBC even invited Griffen and Sabine, but I don't expect they will come because cats don't like car rides. I have never understood this. I suppose they aren't intelligent enough to understand what is going on around the car. Maybe their eyes can't focus on things when the car is moving? Maybe they get car sick. I dunno.

Anyway, I am glad I'm a traveling dog.

Tuesday April22

The captains and the kings have departed, and just us chickens are left. Thereby hangs a tail, but I'll get to that.

A good Easter weekend with John and Betty and Wyatt and Rob and Nancy. Great games of chase and long walks and Wyatt fed me far more cookies than I should have had. Apparently there was a good picture of Wyatt and me sleeping on his blanket which TBC didn't take, and another picture of me in the basket which held the Easter eggs which I thought somebody took, but I guess it was a "Somebody should take a picture of Hamish in the Easter Egg basket" situation. They spent a lot of time decorating Easter eggs and watching movies on the new TV set. I had a sore paw but it is better now.

One day they spent all day tearing down the deck and my chicken coop. This has its good aspects and its bad aspects. The good aspect is that I get taken for more walks. The bad aspect is that I only get to pee when they feel like it. Anyway, TBC has been working hard rebuilding the deck. Humans are weird. Maybe he didn't want people to tear it down in the first place, but I watched the whole thing from the living room window, and he didn't look mad or anything. So I'm not sure what is going on.

Monday, April 28

We spent a hard working weekend rebuilding my chicken coop. A bit of the old royal we there, since I spent it lying on the new deck, or watching nervously from the living room window. Besides, Margi says I can't refer to it as my chicken coop anymore. I am supposed to call it my "garden enclosure". With the chicken wire gone, I thought I would be able to walk in and out at will. In your dreams, Hamish Magruder, in your dreams. I was hopeful right up to the very last moment late yesterday afternoon, when TBC after a long days work installed the gate. Oh well. At least when the gate is open I will be able to walk from my garden enclosure onto the deck without being lifted ignominiously over the chicken wire. TBC is talking about plans for putting spokes around the deck so that I can sit out there with him.

In other news, do you remember my talking last winter about the rabbit who used to drive me nuts by coming and sitting under our bird feeder every evening staring in the window? Well, ten days ago TBC was clearing leaves off the flower bed, and he suddenly uncovered a nest of very small squirming animals, about 2 inches long. He wasn't sure what they were, but covered them up again. Yesterday Margi was working in the garden, and two baby rabbits, about 6 inches long ran out of the nest. I am amazed that they survived the evil yellow cat who stalks our land. I thought rabbits dug burrows in the ground, but maybe that's only in Watership Downs.

Friday, May2

Regular readers of this page will have long since jumped to the conclusion that I am a normal happy well adjusted Cairn Terrier who is prepared to except things as they come without complaint. Well, all right, maybe not always without complaint, but the point I am getting at is that life is not the bowl of cherries that some of my readers seem to think. A lot of the time life is a bitch, and that's mostly the fault of the people you live with. The last two days being a fine case in point.

You see, TBC has this thing about thinking that I need psychological challenges in my life. About twice a year he decides that he is going to get his indescribably filthy car washed. Yesterday was the day. Really faithful readers of this page may remember that when I was a really tiny puppy I had the psychologically traumatic experience of being put through a car wash. Did TBC consider this? No. He said, "Come on Hamish, let's go and get the car washed". Well, this was even worse than your average car wash. We got shut up inside a little room, and then the brushes started coming at the car, and the water and the soap and I was of course barking frantically and they just kept coming and then water started coming in the car and TBC just sat there laughing. I don't know what's worse, having a bath or getting the car washed.

We got home and it started to rain. Apparently it always does that when you wash your car. Along with the rain there was thunder. I ran back and forth barking, like all cairn terriers are supposed to do, until TBC, who was trying to watch TV shut all the doors. So I sort of had to stop until Margi came home and then I recommenced. A big discussion ensued between Margi, who thinks I bark to make the thunder stop, and TBC who thinks I just like running around barking. Well, this turned out to be the mother of all thunder storms, which went on for hours. We went to bed, and TBC kept telling me to shut up, which I would for several seconds. Eventually I got put in my crate. Motel rules you know, since I am NEVER allowed to bark while I am in my crate so I had to shut up and just lie there listening to the thunder. Bad.

The next morning I thought things were looking up because a bunch of Margi's friends came over to help her make cards. (Don't ask. It is one of those totally incomprehensible human activities which is not worth trying to explain). This was fine, and I figured they all wanted to play chase with their card making stuff which was going to be fun and all, and the next thing I knew I was shut in his study with TBC. At least TBC had been banished as well. But you see what I mean. Dogs who ride around in cars on silk pillows and get told what darling little sweetum cuddly cairns they are , and I'm not pointing any paws here, have no idea what life is like in the real world.

Monday, May 5

A good weekend in Sarnia. We stayed at the same motel we had stayed at for one of my first dog shows which has a nice marina and marsh area for walking around. On the way down we stopped at an outdoor museum at Oil Springs for me to walk around and sniff the exhibits. Mostly oil. Sarnia smelled pretty bad too. On the way home we stopped at Point Pelee and I met a cairn terrier by the name of Holly. Here is a picture.

It was a big bird watching weekend at the park. Margi was chatting to Holly's owner, who at one point commented, in rather a loud voice, "I've never tried stripping", not realizing that several of her bird watching friends were standing at a picnic table behind her. They all started laughing. Anyway, she spoke to the ranger who was leading the two hour bird watching hike that TBC and Margi were going to do if I could come along, and he said "sure". So that was good, except I bet we would have seen a lot more birds if we had walked faster. Add "bird dog" to my list of accomplishments. Will I get to meet Blaze next weekend Nancy?

Friday May 16

A good weekend with Nancy and Rob. I didn't get to meet Blaze, but I did meet his parents. I think he is going to be a BIG dog. They had a crate in the middle of their living room which was the size of a small house. I kept eyeing it dubiously, trying to imagine how big this animal was going to be. They say that at 6 weeks he is already as big as I am. So I don't know. If he gets the idea that I am someone to be herded he may be in for some nasty surprises. There is a chance that he will be coming to visit us at Port Stanley next month.

Tomorrow we are off to Kitchener for the annual show. I haven't been in the ring for a long time, but it is always fun to socialize with the other dogs. I will have to drink a lot of water before we leave.

Monday, May 19

Holy Crapola!

Just back from the KW show where I got in this freaking great fight. We were sitting around socializing in the Sullivan's room when Titan jumped me. He didn't lay a paw on me of course, but TBC, with even less sense than usual waded into the middle of things and got his hand pretty badly mangled. There was blood all over the room. I didn't know he had that much in him. I thought it would be all alcohol by now. So anyway, after that, the show the next morning was pretty much of an anticlimax. Following the show we went over to the Guelph arboretum and went on a wildflower walk with a botany student .

Monday, May 26

Sometimes I feel like Lucy and the football. You would think that I would know by now that when Margi is laid up with the flu or something, and TBC stop's what he is doing and says, "Hey Hamish let's go to the war of 1812" I might stop and think. But oh no, not me. I wag my tail enthusiastically and do the old play bow and jump into the car. It didn't start out too badly. There were all sorts of people in the village and a bunch of other dogs, and a parade of a fife and drum corps down the main street which was fine. Then a few cannons went off which I barked at fiercely. But then the rifle fire started. I didn't like the noise and I didn't like the smell, and kept trying to drag TBC in the other direction, while TBC tried to drag me closer to the fight. He kept meeting people he knew and stopping to chat, and I just didn't want to be there. Mostly I tried looking in the other direction, but every time a rifle went off I would jump. TBC kept picking me up, seemingly not getting the message that this was not somewhere I wanted to be. Eventually it was over and we came home, but I spent the rest of the evening looking at him reproachfully.

In other news, Blaze has joined the family. Nancy reports that he is fitting in very nicely, but has lived in a barn all his life, and gets spooked by house things like mirrors and shiny water bowls. I would think cows would be a lot scarier. He is coming down to visit in a couple of weeks time. That should be interesting.

Wednesday, June4

I hate to seem ungrateful, because they have spent hours and hours working on my new garden, but there was really nothing wrong with my old chicken coop. I do have more room, but it isn't as friendly somehow. It is supposed to be a Japanese garden, with an area of grass, and a pretend river made of rocks with a little bridge over it. And paving stones and pea gravel on the other side of the river. TBC and Margi apparently think that the pea gravel is a terribly funny visual pun, but I rather liked the dirt which was there before. Oh well. I will get a photo of it with me and Blaze this weekend.

Tuesday, June10

A pretty exciting weekend with Blaze. He's a bit of an ox, though. His idea of being companionable is to give a friendly body check which knocks you off your feet. I can't imagine what this is going to be like in another couple of months. I may have to work on my ankle biting skills. (That's a polite version of what Nancy suggested). Considering that he is only 10 weeks old I thought he did very well at not peeing in the house. At least not very often. We went for a long walk on the beach. Here is a picture of him trying to help me carry a stick.

It was pretty funny. Nancy threw it out in the lake for him and he started to wade out to get it and then all of a sudden realized that the water was over his head. Nancy had to wade out and get it for him. Then later he started to try and bite me on the back of the neck. I don't know what that was all about, unless he thought he could pick me up and carry me around.

He gets to go "off lead" a lot more than I do. He surprised everybody at one point by squeezing through the pickets on my garden. He must have a narrow skull. I can't do that. Here is a picture of him flaked out in my garden after our walk.

Monday, June 16

Well, that was interesting. I've never been in on a major drug bust before.

It was a really nice evening on Saturday, so we decided to go for a long walk after supper. We walked down to the west end of the beach and out to the lake and passed the Spaniel's house who barked at us a lot, and Buddy's house except I don't think Buddy was home because he didn't do any barking. Then up to the east end of the beach. We were about half way there when two police cars roared past us. Margi thought we should turn around, but TBC and I wanted to see what was going on. By the time we got to the McManus's point it was getting pretty dark, but the two police cars were parked, and the cops were making their way quietly down to the beach. There was a campfire and I think a tent set up on the shore of the lake about 500 yards east of the point. The cops snuck along the beach, with their flashlights just barely showing, and probably their guns drawn although it was too dark at this point to see. When they arrived at the camp site we heard some shouting and they were playing their flashlights along the face of the cliff. Maybe some of the perpetrators were trying to escape up the cliff, but they were pretty well trapped. Then the cops kicked out the campfire and it was really too dark to see anything else so we came home. Is that what our camping trip in July is going to be like Nancy?

Sunday, July 13

I've been neglecting my blog again. That's the cool think to call your web log these days, and everybody is doing them. Me, I've been doing it for years. Heck, I practically invented the genre. I think more people read my column in the CTCC newsletter. There was a post on the cairn terrier website last week commenting on my latest column, which of course talks about things that happened a really long time ago. The fellow wanted to know if I had an agent That's probably what I need. Do agents take you out for walks whenever you feel like it?

So let's see. Rob and Nancy were here, and that's always exciting. And Blaze. Don't know yet about Blaze. Then John and Betty and Wyatt were here for several days. Wyatt is getting pretty good at throwing squeaky toys for me and chasing me to get them back. TBC and Margi expect me to bring them back, which always seems pretty pointless. Here is a picture of me and Wyatt.

Oh oh! TBC has lost it. Who but TBC could lose something on a computer. Honestly!

It happens to everybody all the time, you rat faced terrier.

Here we are (15 minutes later).

Me and Wyatt on a picnic at Rondeau Provincial Park That was picture #169. Wow. I know my web site is taking forever to load. I will have to keep bugging TBC to clean it up. Last week I got a snazzy yellow life jacket for our canoe trip. It is a lot more comfortable than I expected. I have been in the lake with it a couple of times. I think I could probably swim to shore without it, but if I have to rescue TBC and Margi it might be a good idea to be wearing it. I will get TBC to take a picture this afternoon and put it on my web site tomorrow.

Friday, July 18

The Canine Cork goes to sea.

Wel-l-l-l. At least I got my paws wet.

Tuesday, July 29

I don't have the pictures yet, but we are back from a good camping trip. The canoeing was pretty exciting, especially when we got close to the other two boats, and I taught Blaze how to pee on 3 legs and to sound the alert in camp. We went for a good hike, and I snarfed up some hotdog remnants around the camp fire.

We stayed at Nancy and Rob's Friday night. That's when I taught Blaze to pee on the brick wall in their basement, for which I got in a lot more trouble than Blaze did, since TBC was the only one who saw me doing it. Blaze and I don't interact all that much. Blaze would like to spend more time playing with me, but Blaze's idea of playing is to try and step on me, which isn't all that much fun. TBC spent a lot of time rolling around on the floor with Blaze Sunday night, and came home covered with flea bites, which served him right. At one point I couldn't stand watching them anymore and rather pointedly turned around and lay down staring at the wall. But Blaze did do well at the camp site in following my lead when I would start barking at what could have been bears. Sleeping in the tent Saturday night was very noisy. There was a high wind which made the material of the tent flap loudly. I couldn't seem to find a comfortable spot on the air mattress, and kept squirming around in the middle. TBC would get mad at me and toss me back on the ground, which didn't do much good since the mattress itself was on the ground. Margi says she slept soundly all night. The spot where we put up our tents was really nice, on a point with a great view of the lake. It only had 3 camp sites for our 3 tents, so we had it all to ourselves. Wyatt and John and Betty were with us. Wyatt has an insatiable appetite for cookies and cheesies and is not a terribly neat eater, so I probably got more people food than was good for me, strictly speaking, but what the heck.

So all in all I think camping is fun, and if we do it again I will try not to bounce around the canoe as much.

Monday, December 1

So you've never hear of writer's block already? How about bloger's block?

We are just back from Key West. TBC figured that a visit to Hemingway's home might cure the problem, but when we got there it was overrun by 6 toed cats. Isn't that gross? I mean, cats are gross anyway. But cats with six toes? They actually breed these things. That is so disgusting. It would be as if a cairn terrier was born with only one eye and then they bred him as a tourist attraction. So we stayed at a place with a sign on the gate saying, "Hemingway never slept here". And 3 nice dogs. Lucky I got there at all what with the alligator and all, but I should tell the story in order.

We left in late October and spent the first night at a really old hotel in Williamsport, PA.. Our room was on the 17th floor, and the corridor to get to it was like a block long. TBC had taken to calling me "croc bait" before we left, so I was a mite worried, what with watching for crocodiles around every bend in the corridor and trying to remember not to pee to mark our way. I am happy to say, or at least TBC is happy to say, that I didn't forget myself once on the whole trip, but this was our first driving holiday for a long time, and I had almost forgotten things like how to behave in an elevator. The most important part of a room for me is always the window ledge. This room had a good ledge with a window looking out over the city of Williamsport. TBC says there is no way he can tell in advance how wide the window ledges are going to be, but that's just because he is too lazy to let me see the room before we agree to stay.

On to Fredericksburg, Virginia, and our first and only problem with finding a motel which took pets. As I am sure I have fulminated about before, this type of overt racism should have been eliminated long since, but after all we were visiting the South. As a guide on one of the guided walks we took said, "You think the South lost the civil war? Nah, this is just a pause for resupply". Anyway, discrimination does still exist, so I guess we dogs just have to live with it. The problem in Fredericksburg was not so much that places wouldn't take pets, but that they wanted them to stay in a smoking room. TBC always insists on a non smoking room and he was too cheap to get me a separate room. Of course, he never allows me to stay by myself in a motel room, so I guess that solution wouldn't really work out. We eventually found a brand new Holiday Inn with really nice rooms. Since TBC won't leave me alone in the room it means that I have to wait in the car while they have dinner. I sometimes worry about this a bit, especially like on the night in Fredericksburg when we were parked on a dark side street in the downtown area while they had dinner. But I can always lie down under the wheel where nobody can see me, and its not as if anyone would steal our ancient car.

Third day was a long boring drive down I95 to Santee, South Carolina. We stayed at a rather unmemorable Day's Inn. It was Halloween, so I was watching for trick or treaters, but didn't see any. The next day was a short drive on to Hilton Head and our condo in Sea Pines Plantation. I knew it was going to be a good spot when we stopped at the gate and the guard gave me a dog biscuit. Which was promptly confiscated of course. After the trip, TBC learned that they have been confiscating dog food at the border because of mad cow disease. We had a huge container of my hypoallergenic kibble in the trunk I don't what we would have done if that had been confiscated.

The condo was really nice. Here is a picture of it from the outside.

Inside, there was a kitchen and living room and dining room on one floor and two bedrooms on the upper floor.

There was a patio door in the living room, and a cat which sometimes wandered by. Just like home.

By the end of the week, TBC was leaving me alone in the condo, since the weather had turned really hot, in the high eighties. Hilton Head was alligator country. There were signs everywhere warning you not to feed the alligators, which was fine with me. One afternoon near dusk we were walking in a forest preserve. I like walks of course, but the path went right beside a swamp. Doesn't this look like Alligator country to you?

I was just as glad when we made it back to the car safely. We didn't actually see any alligators in Hilton Head, and by the end of the week TBC was beginning to think that maybe they didn't exist. He and Margi had gone on a couple of kayaking tours, while I stayed in the car, which was probably just as safe, considering their history of dumping canoes in tropical rivers. Anyway, TBC asked the guide on their last trip if there were many alligators around. "Oh yeah", she said, "They caught one just the other week. When they opened him up they found five dog collars in his stomach." You would think TBC might have had the sensitivity not to recount this story with such relish to your's truly, but as things subsequently turned out, it was probably just as well that I was forewarned.

Alligators were not the only hazard on Hilton Head. I learned about salt water the hard way. There was a great beach that stretched for miles, and we went for one of many good walks along the beach. When we go for a walk at Port Stanley, one of my favourite things is running into the surf and biting the waves. So I was doing this, and did realize that the water tasted a bit funny. TBC told me to stop, but when TBC tells me to stop it usually means that whatever I am doing is worth doing, so I kept doing it. Not a good idea.

When we got back to the car I threw up on the back seat. Oh well, I did mention that we are about due for a new car, didn't I?

Another problem was ticks. With all the walks we went on, it is not surprising that I got three of them. Margi kept giving me repeated baths with flea and tick shampoo until TBC told her she had to stop before she dried out my skin. After that things were better, and it isn't that bad having a tick yanked off.

Sunny weather the whole time we were in Hilton Head except for one day when we went over to Beaufort for an historical walking tour. A bit slow paced, if you ask me. Stopping to sniff every bush is O.K., but I like to cover a bit more territory. It was awfully hot, with temperatures around 87 degrees every day, but our condo was air conditioned, and all in all it was just a great place to visit. TBC and Margi are talking about going back next year.

TBC says he has other things to do so I have to stop dictating, but I will continue this account tomorrow.

Dec. 3

Nice new snow down here. I love burying my nose in it. Margi tries to wipe my paws after every walk, but she will probably give up after a few days. TBC just laughs at her.

But back to our trip.

We somewhat reluctantly left Hilton Head and pushed on to St. Augustine. We had a motel beside the Fountain of Youth. Margi and I found a dead squirrel just outside the wall around the fountain of youth. The question is, was it coming or going? St. Augustine was pretty weird. It reminded TBC and Margi of Niagara Falls. The first night we were there we went for a walk after dinner to see all the souvenir shops on the main drag. We don't usually do this sort of thing, and it was strange. There were all sorts of people dressed up in costumes who were giving "ghost walks" and big black hearses driving around the streets. Also wedding parties. Margi thought half of them weren't real weddings. I dunno. The next day it rained while Margi and TBC wandered around looking for historical stuff. I was glad to stay in the car.

Then on to the Keys. Quite a good motel in Key Largo. It didn't have a window sill, but it did have this table from which I got a good view of the parking lot and the feral chickens which were wandering around outside. That required every ounce of my restraint, believe me. Motel rules are you never bark.

When we got back home, TBC said, "My goodness, that's the first time I've heard Hamish bark for a month".

From Key Largo we drove over to the Everglades. I wasn't allowed out of the car, which was probably just as well, since TBC and Margi saw lots of alligators. My big alligator encounter happened the next day. We were on our way down to Key West, and stopped at Big Pine Key to visit the Key Deer wildlife refuge. We were on a pretty deserted nature trail, and walked out on a wooden platform overlooking a pond. TBC didn't pay any attention to the sign which said "Do not lean over railing" and was trying to take a picture of a bird on the far side of the pond. Without looking down, he said, "What's Hamish upset about?", because I was growling and wuffling. Margi looked down, and there was a huge alligator 8 inches below the edge of the platform. Margi and I beat a hasty retreat while TBC leaned over the railing to take as picture. The picture turned out. I think TBC was a bit rattled, because after that he stopped calling me croc bait.

We had a great spot in Key West. It was a small hotel in the middle of the old town where the people really did welcome pets. They had 3 dogs of their own, including a cairn terrier. They gave us a sign to hang on the door of the room saying "Dog Gone" so the maid would know when to come in and make up the room. They said that whatever I was used to doing at home I could do here. Whenever we went out for a walk, and we went for a lot of walks because we were so near Duval Street and the docks where the cruise ships came in and everything, whenever we came back the 3 dogs would come out to welcome me back. Here is a picture. It really was a great spot.

TBC says I should point out that it was also very expensive.

Got to go. More tomorrow.

Dec. 4

Honestly! TBC screwed up my web page again yesterday and spent hours trying to get it straightened out. You would think after 4 years he might have figured out what he was doing.

But back to our trip:

Key West, according to TBC is 2699 Km from Port Stanley. Lucky I like traveling. It's not so much riding in the car, which is just boring, mostly, but car rides often mean other interesting stuff at the end. We were going to stay at a Staybridge Suites at Naples, but when TBC told them I was along they said the pet fee was $85. Holy kibble! That would be a 3 month supply of food. So we went a little bit farther north where we stayed at a very nice motel which didn't charge extra for pets. The following night was spent at a very fancy LaQuinta motel which had the most interesting smelling carpet on our whole trip. TBC and Margi thought that it looked like a normal dark green plush carpet, but I spent hours going over it inch by inch. There had been some very interesting dogs there, and once again I showed highly laudable restraint in not adding my contribution. We had arrived just after lunch, so TBC and Margi decided to go to Silver Springs where they supposedly had a free kennel. The free kennel was a wire cage under the trees. We took one look at it and said, "No Way". But TBC was able to find a place to park under the trees. With 87 degree temperatures for the last 2 weeks, TBC has been very careful about never leaving the car in the sun. So he and Margi visited the springs and thought it was a real rip off. Not the place they had remembered (as if TBC could remember anything these days), but TBC said that you can't visit Florida without getting into at least one tourist trap. I am not sure exactly what that means. He hadn't chewed his arm off or anything when he came out.

With one day left in Florida, TBC wanted to go back to a place called Cedar Key where he and Margi and Nancy had been 7 or 8 years ago. We got a nice two level condo type room and TBC cooked dinner again (he had done all the cooking in Hilton Head) which is always good because A) he is a sloppy cook, and B) he sometimes sneaks me stuff. Before dinner we went out for a great boat ride. The people who operated the tour said I was welcome to come along and made a big fuss over me when they heard I was a Canadian Champion. TBC and Margi do tend to mention this a fair bit. Here is a picture. Do this right this time TBC.

Half these pictures refuse to load unless I convert...TBC, stop that. Nobody cares. Just results, that's all we want out of you.

So anyway, it was a great boat ride. I wasn't wearing my life vest, and at one point jumped up on the back of the seat which was very slippery. TBC made a rather heroic lunge to stop me joining the sharks. Actually, I don't think there were any sharks, because they stopped the boat on a reef while Margi and the other passengers got out to look for shells. Later in the ride, we docked at a deserted island and went for a good walk under the palm trees. A fine farewell to Florida.

Then Perry, Georgia, Knoxville, Tennessee and Dayton, Ohio. Good window sill in Dayton. All in all a great trip. Blaze is coming to visit next weekend. That should be interesting.

Thursday, Dec. 10

The big problem with Christmas is parties to which cairns aren't invited. Like last night. I stayed home by myself all evening. When TBC and Margi got home I gave them a really big welcome. You would think that they might have stayed up and played with me for a couple of hours, but no, all they wanted to do was go to bed. It's not fair.

Blaze will be here tomorrow. We have a big pile of presents ready for Nancy's birthday. I peed on the corner of the sofa (just a couple of drops) just to let him know that it was a friendly sort of dog house. DON'T TELL MARGI. TBC sprayed SOX on it and berated me enough, and Margi would just put up another of her stupid gates. At times this house is a veritable obstacle course.

TBC found the picture of that alligator I was talking about. In my last entry, I had meant to type "The picture didn't turn out", but it was just that TBC had lost it. How could you "lose" a picture? The same way you could lose your cairn terrier to an alligator, by not bloody well paying attention. Who is it who says in Death of a Salesman, "Attention must be paid"? Well that applies to cairn terriers too, especially at Christmas.

Right, the alligator.

Scary, eh?

Here is another photo of that great place we stayed in Key West. Not only were dogs welcome, they were welcome around the pool, even when their owners were having breakfast, which was served on the patio around the pool.

Monday, Dec. 15

TBC says that I was an excellent host to Blaze and that he was really proud of me. I couldn't believe how much he had grown in the last 2 months. This is one big mother of a dog. When he stands on his hind legs he can put his paws on TBC's shoulders. He kept trying to put his paw around my shoulders. He must have seen people doing this on TV or something, but a border collie's paw is not really articulated to give someone an affectionate pat.

The first thing he did when he arrived was to chase me around the dining room table 8 times. TBC said he was getting dizzy just watching us .If anyone was brought up on the Little Black Sambo books you will remember the tigers chasing Little Black Sambo around the palm tree so fast that they turned into a pool of butter. This reminded me of it.

Little Black Sambo??? No wonder TBC has such a warped mind. Anyway, lots of good chases with Blaze. He is fast, and pretty good at cornering me. He can't really get under the coffee table in the living room, so I can always go to ground there. He let me chew on his cong, and I let him share my chew toys. He is going to be here for 4 days at Christmas, and then is coming for a whole week in January when Nancy and Rob go to the Dominican Republic for a winter holiday.

TBC says that he and Margi are going to have to learn not to leave plates of food on the kitchen counter. Even Rob says that he is starting to see the advantages in having a small (by which he means normal sized) dog.

So now I have to go around outside and pee on all the spots where Blaze peed. If you'll excuse me I will get to work right away.

Wednesday Dec. 17

Really, I don't know how TBC can be so........

Shut up, alright, just shut up. You cut me off a few days ago when I was trying to explain some of the problems involved in publishing your wretched ramblings on the web, and I am sure everybody is aware that there have been a few problems in the last couple of days, and some of us have a few more important things to do. Besides, anybody who is stupid enough to bark their fool head off any time anybody blows a bosun's whistle on an episode of Horatio Hornblower so that no one else in the room can hear anything which is going on has no room to talk.

The background colour on chapter 11 is pukey. HAPPY BIRTHDAY NANCY.

Saturday, Dec 20

Singing mice!! Usually I blame this sort of thing on TBC's weird friends, but since this came from TT's owners, I guess I have to take responsibility. I was sitting downstairs with Margi when we got this singing Christmas card and according to Margi I was acting as if I thought TBC, upstairs in his study, had totally flipped out. TBC's comment was that Chhris and George probably own the complete works of Alvin and the Chipmunks. Alvin and the Chipmunks? Don't ask. This is TBC in historical mode.

So after the singing mice, Margi went off to pipe for the day, and TBC and I went up to London to shop for Christmas presents for her. I will say one thing for TBC, he doesn't waste time when he shops. A lot of driving around, then Bang, into a store for 5 minutes and then a lot more driving around and Bang into another store. He told me what he got after each trip, but I can't repeat it here in case Margi reads my web page before Christmas. I think she will like the stuff. Around noon, TBC came back to the car with a hamburger. He has never done that before. I didn't know they would let you take food out. I got a very small piece of the bun. When he was finished, his fingers were all over hamburger juice so he wiped them off on my head. What a guy.

The other day we were out to get the mail and met Buddy. Have I mentioned Buddy? I think he is a cross between a Jack Russell terrier and a bull mastiff. He always freaks out when he sees me, and his owner starts jumping around and screaming, "No Buddy, stop it". Pretty funny. Margi is terrified of Buddy and she and I always turn and walk in the other direction when she sees Buddy coming. TBC figures I could take Buddy easy, especially since Buddy always wears a muzzle, and always waves at Buddy's owner. So anyway, we were out to get the mail, and TBC stopped to say hello to Buddy's owner, and I went up to Buddy wagging my tail in my usual friendly fashion. Buddy's tail is about a foot long and he carries it curled over his back. Buddy lunged at me. Thanks to my training with Blaze last weekend, I dodged smartly to one side and continued to wag my tail, while Buddy's owner went into his usual agitated dance. TBC, with unusual discretion, just grinned at Buddy's owner and he and I continued on home.

January 2, 2004


We have had a great holiday. It started when John and Betty and Wyatt arrived on the Tuesday before Christmas. I threw up on the carpet just before they arrived, but that wasn't my fault because Margi had just brushed my teeth with baking powder. Besides Wyatt threw up just after he arrived but that wasn't his fault because John had been feeding him chunks of bagel. So there you are. Then I peed on the couch, but that was because Wyatt squeezed me, and what can you do when you have to pee and somebody squeezes you? John and Betty and Wyatt were here for nine days. They just left yesterday, and it was great having them here. Wyatt likes to "chase" me, which involves toddling around the house while I walk ahead of him at a relatively sedate pace. Unlike chases with Blaze. Blaze and Nancy and Rob arrived on Christmas day. When Blaze chases me, he usually wins. Both Blaze and I got lots of new chew toys for Christmas. Blaze is pretty hard on chew toys, but we shared throughout the holiday. He left me one of his favourite Nylabones. I wish he would stop trying to hold me down with his paw, but we get along pretty well together. On the last day that he was here (last Sunday) I was lying on the green chair, and Blaze came up and started licking my whiskers, so I licked his muzzle. TBC said that if we didn't stop kissing each other he was going to throw up. He is rather homophobic.

So it's funny, isn't it? You think you are a dog who has gone to live with two elderly people (Hey!) and then you discover that you are part of a big family and have a whole different set of responsibilities. Blaze is doing his best to help out. He is only 8 months old. When I give my rally the troops bark Blaze always joins in and runs to see what I am barking at, and I do the same for him. It will be fun having him stay with us later this month. Then in February we are both going to visit the cats in Wakefield. We should be able to cover each others flanks pretty well. And in March we are off for another week in Hilton Head with John and Betty and Wyatt.

Sunday, January 4

A pretty exciting morning. Margi is playing at a birthday party this afternoon, so just before dinner last night she went down to the basement to practice. When she came back up, the smell of skunk under the living room was intense, to say the least. This morning when TBC and I got up for breakfast, there were snuffling grunting noises under the front deck. We went out to explore and found a skunk wedged under the corner of the deck, seemingly trying to get out. I thought this was a job for a cairn terrier, but TBC said I hadn't had enough experience. Yeah, right, the great white hunter himself. He very gingerly pried off one of the slats under the deck. Nothing happened. So he opened a jar of tuna and put that about 8 inches from the skunk's nose. Still nothing. He pried off some more slats, and still the stupid skunk wouldn't move. So he got a long piece of wood, and sort of rolled it out on the lawn. Skunk lay there heaving rhythmicaly. Time to consult Margi. She thinks it is in labour. So now we have a skunk giving birth in the middle of the front lawn. TBC says that the bagpipes are the only thing he knows that will put a skunk into labour. He is being kind. He could have said Margi's playing. Ha Ha. Stay tuned.

Monday, January 5

Most of yesterday was devoted to the skunk. They were predicting a major winter storm, so TBC and I drove Margi up to St. Thomas where she was piping for this hundred year old lady. Back home, the skunk had only moved a few feet. TBC decided to put a wheelbarrow over the skunk to give it some protection from the snow (which never did materialize). Back to St. Thomas to pick up Margi. I guess the piping went O.K. At least she didn't get sprayed. By the time we got home, the skunk had crawled out from under the wheelbarrow, but was still doping this weird heaving head bobbing thing every few seconds. We have decided that it can't possible be in labour. Margi thought it was convulsing, and TBC thought it had some strange mad skunk type neurological problem. Me, I dunno. I'm just the dog. Probably good that I haven't been allowed within six feet. TBC washed his hands five times. By this morning the skunk was frozen stiff, so we put it out with the garbage.

Sunday, January 18

A bad week for paws icing up. It has been cold by Port Stanley standards. Not cold cold, but cold enough that you don't want to stand around, and the salt on the road is a bugger. After about half a block my paws start to freeze. If Margi is there she picks me up and carries me home. If TBC is with me he drags me through the snow like a cairn terrier plow. Both ignominious. Of course, I could put on the boots which Nancy gave me a couple of years ago, but what if somebody saw me? So I don't have a solution. When Blaze come to visit next week, he will probably have an easier time of it since the snow is only about 6 inches deep and he will be able to wade through it.

When we went out to get the newspaper on Friday morning I saw a border Collie about half a block down the road. I was sure it was Blaze, and started wagging my tail wildly, but TBC says he won't be here until Friday. TBC and I have had a busy weekend getting Margi back and forth from piping performances in London. It has been snowing a lot, and TBC thinks he is a better driver on snow. Maybe. With TBC you never know.

Monday, January 26

Things sure are interesting around here. Except I wish Blaze would stop trying to put his paw around my shoulders. TBC and Margi are trying valiantly to keep things organized. I am not allowed to eat Blaze's food, which is in the bedroom, and every time I go near it Blaze gets all paranoid, so they are now keeping me out of the bedroom, which means I can only pee when we go for walks, which is good, I guess. And they don't want Blaze eating my food, which he seems to like more than his own, so that creates problems in the laundry room. And Blaze isn't supposed to be fed at the table, so when TBC has lunch Blaze gets shut in the back half of the house. Then there are issues about who is going to sit beside TBC on the couch.

TBC was trying to do formal obedience training with Blaze yesterday, so I was showing him what to do, except Blaze never bothered looking at what I was doing, and always assumed that TBC was talking to him even when TBC gave me a command. TBC isn't sure how to sort this out and eventually shut me in the other room so that he could treat Blaze. I watched through the glass door. Blaze was doing pretty well.

Then we went for a walk on the ice dunes, and Blaze found a stick, which TBC threw for him. The stick went farther than TBC expected, and Blaze jerked him off his feet. TBC stubbed his toe. It is all purple and swollen and TBC is limping around. So things could be better, but at least Blaze gives me lots of backup when I start barking. He has a habit of walking around with a bone in his mouth and suddenly dropping it on the wooden floor, which make everybody jump, because its like dropping it from a height of three feet. Maybe I'm exaggerating, but Blaze is a BIG dog.

They are predicting a big storm. I hope Nancy and Rob are enjoying the Dominican Republic. Blaze just walked into the study and leaned over TBC's shoulder to see what he was doing. At least he doesn't put a paw on TBC's head.

Wednesday, January 28

Maybe Blaze read my web page, because he seems to have stopped trying to put his paw on my shoulders. He sure does have a lot of energy. His favourite chew toy is an old tire (I'm not kidding) which he drops in TBC's lap to get his attention. TBC can be pretty oblivious at times, but dropping a tire in his lap seems a bit extreme. Blaze had spent a lot of time Monday walking around the house looking at things. Looking at the paintings, looking at the knick knacks, looking at the candles, looking at all the books and magazines which are usually lying around. But he must have missed the water buffalo in the sunroom. He suddenly spotted it yesterday morning and started barking like crazy. TBC just laughed at him.

TBC and Blaze were doing more obedience training yesterday, and I was tagging along because - well, I dunno - just because I know what to do I guess. Anyway, at one point Blaze got confused about whether he was supposed to be sitting or supposed to be down, so he turned around to see which I was doing and then copied that. Smart dog. He got to go for a couple of rides with TBC while I stayed at home with Margi. We have had some good wrestling matches. Blaze gets under the dining room table, which sort of handicaps him while I attack him from the perimeter.

Anyway, with all this activity, Blaze seems to want to go to bed about 10:00, so we put him in his crate and don't hear from him until 9:00 the next morning. It is easy to forget that he is just a puppy. Tell me he won't get any bigger.

Friday, January30

A pretty funny day yesterday.

TBC decided that we had to rehearse the trip to Toronto to meet Nancy and Rob. After much debate it was decided that Blaze would ride in his crate, and I would ride in the back window. This involved much pushing and shoving, not so much to get Blaze in his crate, but more to get the crate in the backseat of the car. However, eventually this was achieved, and we drove up to St. Thomas. Blaze was very quiet in his crate, probably because every time he shifted his weight the crate would lurch on the seat. Once we went around a corner and I landed on top of the crate, but managed to scramble back onto the window ledge.

We got home and TBC decided it was time to start playing mind games with Blaze. Blaze keeps trying to persuade TBC and Margi and me to play tug of war with his rubber tire. We all say, "No way". Would you play tug of war with a 900 pound gorilla? So TBC got out a coil of 5/8 inch polypropylene rope and tied Blaze's rubber tire to the chesterfield. Blaze immediately started his Lassie act, trying to untie the knots. He was pretty good at it, but TBC kept trying more and more elaborate knots. So Blaze settled down to playing tug of war with the chesterfield. An hour later he was actually tired out and laid down in the corner for an hour. Following that, TBC invented a game called hide the kong. You might think this involved hiding Blaze, but no, Blaze has a chew toy that he likes called a kong. There is a variation of this game which TBC plays with me that involves throw feints as TBC pretends that he is throwing a chew toy in one direction and as soon as I start running in that direction TBC tosses it in some other direction. This simply doesn't work with Blaze. He sits there and watches until the toy is actually thrown. A skill I should learn. But anyway, to get back to the story, the new game involved TBC walking around the house and pretending he was hiding the kong in different places. He would then show Blaze that the kong was gone. Now if it was me, I would just sniff around until I found it, but apparently Blaze couldn't smell it. What he could do was remember the last three or four places where TBC had pretended to hide the kong and check them in reverse order. More than 3 places, and he got confused, but I thought that was pretty damn impressive. That game went on for a long time, and then TBC gave Blaze an empty wine box and that entertained him for another half hour or so.

In other news, we got an e mail from Betty this morning saying that friends of theirs have a new Westie puppy with a web site like mine. You can check it out at http://members.rogers.com/margaret.aaron/. Cute puppy. I dunno about the three cats tho. Puppy may have his work cut out for him. TBC and Margi had two Westies before I was born.

Tuesday,March 17

Boy, tempus fugit, eh? It has been a busy winter, and with chin high snow yesterday, it may not be over. Where to start? We have done some good travelling, some excellent skiing and some exciting skunk hunting. The skunk was living under the house for about 2 weeks, and was driving us all nuts. TBC and I went out every morning looking for the hole where it dug under the deck. We would then stop up the hole with rocks, and the skunk would either dig a new hole (DUH!) Or throw the rocks out of the old hole. The thing was, we didn't want the skunk trapped under the house, so TBC would go out every morning and take the rocks out of the latest hole. Then my job was to watch in the sunroom and let him know when the skunk left. Which was all very well, but I admit that usually I got excited and barked at rabbits and squirrels and anything else that moved, so that TBC was never sure whether the skunk was in or out. Anyway, we think we finally got rid of it. A week ago TBC thought I thought it was back, but it was just a vole in the sunroom. That was pretty exciting, except when you don't have any bottom incisors it is difficult to kill a vole. Eventually I got it trapped in a corner and dispatched it, and then TBC and Margi threw themselves on top of me because voles aren't on my diet. Still, Margi said she was really proud of me.

The there was the skiing. We went up to the Pinery Provincial park one day and they had a special 10 Km trail for dogs along a road with a trackset trail for TBC and Margi to ski along beside me. I thought that was great. More good skiing last weekend in Haliburton at Rob's cottage. We went for a long long hike, and a couple of good ski/ hiking excursions. The whole family was there, Blaze and Nancy and Rob and John and Betty and Wyatt, so it was a good weekend, with a couple of nights at Blaze's house in Lonsdale thrown in.

Another weekend in February we were up visiting John and Betty and the cats. Again, Blaze and Nancy and Rob were there, and Blaze got his nose scratched. I figure it makes better sense to just ignore the cats, but I think they are less likely to stalk me with Blaze there. John and Betty refer to Blaze as "the other dog". Blaze has learned pretty well to lie down when he wants to play with me, although he still does the friendly 900 pound gorilla draping his paw around your shoulder shtick which tends to annoy me. We spend a lot of time chewing on each other. That was the weekend that we picked up our new car in Lonsdale - a 2000 Toyota Camry. The centre arm rest could be better designed for sitting on, but it is a nice car.

I won't blame TBC for not being a more faithful amaneusis, since his computer has been in the repair shop a great deal. He is having it rebuilt. The first rebuild was unsuccessful or something and he is going to try again soon. He and I are both worried that my web page may disappear into the ether never to be seen again, since this time he is going to get a new operating system and reformat his hard drive. There is also another trip to Hilton head in the offing, so don't be surprised if you don't hear from me for awhile. TBC has just realized that the program for transferring this page to the web is lost somewhere on his new hard drive, which is what happens when you get your computer rebuilt and don't get your brain done at the same time. Oh well, he is going to try.