Day 48: A Clean Slate

Loving my conservatory room

The horror of yesterday behind us, it really was a clean slate this morning.  My new room is fantastic.  Upon waking Graeme responded quickly to my “request” and I did my morning ablutions quickly and efficiently – the en suite is really so convenient. 

I have to say that I think Mummy and Daddy could learn something from this arrangement – perhaps they could remodel my room to give me this additional amenity:  it is the noughties after all!

Day 47: A Change of Scenery

Beginning my holiday in Edinburgh

I had a great sleep despite being in a kitchen in unfamiliar surroundings and had a relatively uneventful night so that when Uncle Graeme got up he was as glad to see me as I was him.

Despite waking with high expectations for a fun day based on how well I was treated yesterday, I was sorely disappointed with the lack of attention I received today – Hamish and Cameron left for an all-day Football Camp and Uncle Graeme seemed to find working more interesting than playing with me! 

I thought his sitting at a desk was Uncle Graeme’s idea of playing “hard to get” and I played along for a while.  I began by “looking cute” and staring at him with wide-eyed appeal – he ignored me!  Then I began with gentle “ahems” – still nothing.  So then I turned it up a bit….I barked – he asked me to be quiet – please?!  What kind of a person is he?  I’m a guest in his home, at his request, and he’s ignoring me.

I think my Uncle Graeme must be partly deaf or blind because despite my dropping more and more hints and even taking a nap to show my disdain he seemed oblivious to my needs.  I endeavoured to “shock” him back to reality by leaving him – how shall I put it – a little present under his chair. 

Well, this worked a treat.  I’ve never seen a human move so fast.

Sadly, this wasn’t the wake up call I had hoped.  He wasn’t best pleased and while I received a lot of attention it was of the least pleasant kind.  He was really cross with me – it really put a dampner on my day and I missed my Mummy and Daddy tremendously.  They just “get” me you know?

Unfortunately my first day in Edinburgh went from bad to worse.  Hamish and Cameron were nowhere to be seen, Graeme and I weren’t “speaking” the same language and I was terribly homesick. 

I decided to give Uncle Graeme another chance though – clearly he was finding it difficult to accept my position as Alpha Male.  I vowed to give him some time to adjust.

But then, oh dear reader you’ll never guess what happened next, he left me!  For three hours!  On my own, in a strange house, in a foreign city.  Just what was going on?  This is no way to treat a guest.

I have to admit that I lost control and staged a “dirty protest”.  He would have to get the “message” now!

I won’t go into details but let’s just say that Uncle Graeme was greatly affected by the state of me and my room when he returned home.

My only regret is that when he spoke to Auntie Jen on the phone he was barking at her as if she had been the one who had soiled the kitchen.  I felt very bad about this – but I couldn’t help myself. 

Fortunately Hamish and Cameron came home soon after this and we played and played in the garden. 

The day ended relatively well, considering, as, well you’ll never guess.  Uncle Graeme gave me a room upgrade!  He moved me to the conservatory with it’s own en suite.  I accepted his apology and graciously acknowledged the gesture and resolved to have a dry night – a clean slate!

Only 18 days, and counting, till Mummy and Daddy get home!

Day 46 – The Holiday Begins

Chilling with my cousins Hamish and Cameron

The day I was due to leave for my holiday was a day of mixed feelings.  I was looking forward to my break at Auntie Jen’s and Uncle Graeme’s home in Edinburgh, playing with Cousins Hamish and Cameron every day would be great, but it meant I had to say goodbye to Mummy and Daddy.  I knew that Mummy and Daddy felt that being at home without me would be unbearable because they booked a cruise to coincide with my own holiday so that they wouldn’t have constant reminders of my absence – poor dears!

Mummy helped get me packed and then she and Daddy petted and patted me almost bare while Uncle Graeme packed up the car with all my things – wow, have I collected a lot of stuff during my short life of 3.5 months!

I put on a brave show as I was chauffeured away but deep down I was sad to be leaving The Den, despite being very excited about my trip.  It turns out that Auntie Jen is staying behind in Aberdeen to work for a few days and so it’ll just be us boys in Edinburgh – while the cat’s away and all that….what fun!

The journey was uneventful.  I snoozed the whole way down except from a short comfort break at The Horn.  Uncle Graeme was organised and remembered to take away my water bowl, unlike Daddy last time!

My arrival in Edinburgh was fantastic.  My cousins Hamish and Cameron were there and all but rolled out the red carpet for me.  I felt spoiled and special.

I took a while to get settled and acquaint myself with the layout of my holiday home.  Uncle Graeme sure is bossy!

I was slightly taken aback that “my” room was in fact the kitchen and not a place of my own.  I suppose it’s because their house is sooo much smaller than Mummy and Daddy’s.  I hid my disappointment well and resolved to make the most of it.  I won’t take my home in Aberdeen for granted in the future.

Only 19 sleeps till Mummy and Daddy get home.

Day 44 – My new Therapy Assistant job

Humphrey the Therapy Assistant

An exciting day. My official title at Inchmarlo is Therapy Assistant (Canine) in Training. My job when I am at Inchmarlo is to go round the residents in the Care Home, speak to them and try to cheer them up.

Daddy thought it would be nice for me to be photographed with some of the younger staff with whom I will be working. So a selection of them came outside with David, the head Security man in the centre who I had met on two or three previous occasions and you can see me with the pretty young girls who made a tremendous fuss of me, tickling my tummy and wanting to take me home.

After Mummy and Daddy had lunch at the bar I went back in and Karen, one of the social organisers took me round and I went to speak to my friends who were sitting in the reception lounge, licked their ankles, made a fuss of them and they made a fuss of me.

After the residents had lunch Karen took me through to the picture gallery and the Red Drawing Room and I spoke to a whole lot of residents who were waiting for the Sunday Church Service to begin. After that Mummy and Daddy took me up into the Alpine Garden and from there into the new Rainbow Garden which is situated within the keyhole shaped hedge.

Carrying out my therapy assistant duties

When I had looked at all the flowers – and I wasn’t allowed to chew any of them – we met one of the Home Owners who was sitting on a bench against the old main walled garden enjoying the sunshine. He is a retired surgeon and we spoke for a while and then we went into the Courtryard where Daddy and Mummy took me to see another Home Owner who’s pet had died not very long ago.

He was pleased to see me and then his wife came out and she tickled me all. Then we walked back through Pinefield to Inchmarlo House and I had a nice sleep on the way back to Aberdeen. An exciting day.

Day 39 – A trip to see the Queen

Off to see the Queen

This was going to be a different day. Mummy and Daddy were invited by HM The Queen to the Garden Party at Holyrood along with 6000 other guests. We left about 8.00am and on the way down stopped at Glendoick for my comfort break. As I was doing a poo a dog rushed up towards me and I was caught in mid-action – so to speak! This was very disconcerting for a young boy.

Since we were parked opposite the Old School Nursery, Daddy took me across to meet the boys and girls who were playing and many of them came up and put their hands through the fence and asked what type of a dog I was. Daddy said, “Do you know the cartoon Tom and Jerry?” – “oh yes” they said. Well, Daddy explained that I was like Spike, an English Bulldog. They were very excited to see a real Spike.

We then drove all the way to Edinburgh where we went to visit my Auntie Jen, her husband Graeme and their two sons, Hamish and Cameron. They all played with me in the back garden, and although there are no trees I left my marks all over the grass.

When I did a poo Daddy got a plastic bag to pick it up. Hamish wasn’t too happy about being told he would have to do it as well and turned his nose up. Granny said to him that it would be good experience for him because one day he may have to change his babies dirty nappies. Hamish did not seem convinced.

Then disappointment set in. I thought that I was going to go with Mummy and Daddy to the Garden Party and I was looking forward to seeing the Queen and all her Corgis. It was only then that I realised I was going to be left behind.

When they returned they said it was most enjoyable but the queues seemed endless. I realised that I would not have enjoyed standing in queues for such a long time so I’m quite relieved that I wasn’t there – and the corgis weren’t there either.

A stop en-route for a snack

Daddy and Mummy came back to Jen’s house where they had another cup of tea and they found me asleep on the bean bag. I had never been in one before and I wanted to leap out to greet them but I found I could not do it; every time I put my foot down in the bean bag the granules moved and it was like being in quick-sand, but I thought it was probably the most comfortable thing I have slept in!

When we were having lunch Mummy and Daddy discovered that they had left my feeding bowl on the grass at Glendoick so Jen gave me my food and water in new dishes. On the way back we stopped at Glendoick for another comfort break and lo and behold there lying in the grass in exactly the same position was my feeding bowl!

That was very, very pleasing but I will only be able to use the same bowl for a very short time. My food depends on my size and the bowl is already filled to the brim so I will have to go on to bigger bowls. I am looking forward to more food. It was an interesting day!