This was the Food Tasting Dinner night at Inchmarlo which I had heard Daddy and Colin the Chef and other staff speaking about for some time. It really was extremely disappointing that while they all enjoyed the 6 courses chosen from Michelin star chefs and other famous cooks from throughout the world I was left in the back of the car on my own with my bowl of water. On the way back I heard Mummy and Daddy discussing some of the comments from the 52 Home Owners and friends of Inchmarlo and it appears that all the recipes went down very well. But as Daddy said to Mummy, “It is always the same, a recipe that many people will give 100% to, somebody else will give 20% and where some people say they could taste the peppers someone else will say they couldn’t taste them.” That is why they put on such a wide variety of food both for the residents in the care home, for the Home Owners who come to eat in the bar and for private functions in the drawing room. What is one man’s meat is clearly another man’s poison. I would have loved to have sampled some of Joël Robuchon’s dishes, a French chef with no fewer than 25 Michelin stars, but I did not get the chance because I am restricted, not to ‘puppy’ food but now to ‘junior’ food. However I think that next year I will be allowed to taste some of the same meals which adults eat. One of my favourite treats is ham which I absolutely adore and will do just about anything for. The menu looked delicious:
This was Guy Fawkes Night and Inchmarlo always has a huge bonfire, fireworks and then a sausage and mash supper for the Home Owners. Because Ollie and Jamie were frightened of the fireworks Daddy and Mummy didn’t want leave me at home in case the neighbours had fireworks so he took me and was going to put me behind the reception where I would not hear the fireworks. Unfortunately Daddy was very busy that day and we didn’t arrive until the fireworks were over but I saw the bonfire which was in the Parklands field in front of Inchmarlo House and it was huge. This was because apparently last year it rained so hard the gardeners couldn’t get it lit. I was in the car quite comfortable while Daddy and Mummy met all the Home Owners and had their sausage and mash before we went back to Aberdeen. Unfortunately as we arrived back at the house and Daddy opened the boot of the car a firework went off and I just bolted. Mummy said she had no idea I could run so fast. I ran down into next doors garden, which didn’t have an exit so I rushed back up again, Daddy caught me and I was shaking like a leaf so he picked me up and took me into the house and calmed me down. Why do people let off bangers which frighten us animals so badly. Adults forget that our hearing is 10 times more sensitive so a loud bang to Mummy and Daddy is an enormous explosion to a sensitive young dog like me. I do not like Bonfire Night.
It was time for a check up at Ardene Vets. Daddy told me that whenever he used to take my predecessors Ollie and Jamie to the vets, as soon as they got out the car and smelt where they were they ran back into the car again. I must be more courageous as I do not have a problem at all. Our appointment was at 10.30am and I went in and all the nice receptionists came round and spoke to me again and said how well I was looking and then I was petted by the lady vet. Daddy lifted me on to the table and I wasn’t shaking like a leaf as Ollie and Jamie used be and I sat there quite contentedly while the lady vet inspected me, said how well I was looking and then weighed me.
I’m actually now weighing 19.60kgs which shows just how big I am getting and how Daddy finds it difficult to lift me up all the time. This is why he was trying to get me to jump into and out of the car without carrying me. So when we got back to the house he opened the boot, called me over and I tried to come down, went back and forwards a few times but I wouldn’t take the step. Daddy put a treat on the ground and I saw it there but despite my desire to eat it I just couldn’t pluck up the courage and went back and sat in the car until Daddy lifted me out.
We went out to Inchmarlo and after Mummy and Daddy had lunch I went in and spoke to all my friends sitting in the Reception Lounge plus a new lady that I hadn’t met before. She had apparently been in another Care Home in Aberdeen but was not happy with it so she came to Inchmarlo. She was clearly a very nice lady because she liked me and petted me. Afterwards Abbie took me to the Picture Gallery and the Red Drawing Room where I saw all my usual friends. Then we went a very long walk, after Daddy got some slices of bread from the kitchen. We went down to the Heronry and fed the ducks both with me outside the wire fence and then we went inside, which I have never done before.
It was very interesting. The ducks are so greedy they overcome their fear of me in order to eat the bread. There were half a dozen female ducks and two male ducks and by goodness were the males so much better looking than the females but of course it’s the same with us bulldogs.
After that we went all the way round Westfield and up to the high walk where eight trees were cut down earlier this year because they were so old that water had been coming through the roots and they were unsafe. New trees are to be planted there. Then we went up into the plantation and back down to the car and back to Aberdeen. It was a long walk but I enjoyed it.
It is very unfair. I can understand Daddy and Mummy and Jen when they say “come, sit down, leave, Inchmarlo, car” and so on but they can’t understand what I say to them. Does this make me cleverer than they are?
Anyway what has been happening for some time is that when I am in my own room at night I start barking at about 6 o’clock in the morning , sometimes earlier, and bark and bark and bark. When Jen and her husband Graeme visit, they stay in a part of the house where they can hear me barking and I heard Graeme say that I had barked 100 times in about 3 minutes.
Daddy or Jen has been coming down for sometime at 6.30am to let me out and they have been very displeased with the barking and I have frequently flooded the room or left big poos on the linoleum. In order to try to find out why I am doing this they went and took out my normal bed and put in my favourite bean bag thinking that this might be more comfortable for me and I would stop barking. But I didn’t. I still barked and barked and barked. I heard Daddy say that all this barking cannot possible be good for me and he was extremely worried why I do it because his other bull dogs, Ollie and Jamie, never barked after they were a couple of months old and got used to having their own room.
When Daddy put me to bed one night he did something very unusual. He left the door from my room into the kitchen open and immediately he left the room I followed him in to the kitchen. He said ‘good night’ to me again and shut the door and left. I had the choice of going back to my own room with the door open or sleeping in my day bed in the kitchen. I chose my day bed and when Daddy came at 6.15am he was absolutely delighted to see that I had not done a pee or a poo nor had I been barking. He congratulated me gave me some treats and then let me outside.
The same thing happened the next night and he came down and I was still in my day bed and no pee and no poo. Both Mummy and Daddy congratulated me again and I wish they could understand what I am saying and why I am unhappy in my own room. I’ll be quite happy if I can sleep in my day bed in the kitchen rather than in my bedroom.