My First Birthday

My Birthday- and a week of celebrations.

 What an exciting day.  I’m a year old and Daddy had arranged a birthday party for me with all my friends at Inchmarlo.  The Head Chef, Colin Davidson made a cake for the Residents. 

My Birthday Cake
 We went outside and I was lifted up onto a table and Colin walked through carrying my cake on a silver salver and gosh was I excited because the cake was in the shape of a bone.
Colin showing me my cake
Katie had organised a big birthday card for me with my 6 stars because Inchmarlo was rated Grade 6 Excellent by the Care Commission.
My Birthday Card – with my picture on it!
A number of my friends both at Head Office and at Inchmarlo signed the inside of my card.
Inside my card
The photograph on the back of the card just shows you how I feel when I have completed my job of going round speaking to all the residents.
Back of my card
After that we went outside again and I was photographed with a group of my friends around the table.
All my friends wished me Happy Birthday

My friends in the photograph include three staff members, Jill, Karen and David and three of my favourite residents, Jack, Rose and Albert.

Later in the afternoon the residents all enjoyed a piece of my birthday cake.

 Sunday at the Beach

It was a gorgeous day on Sunday and Mummy and Daddy said to me, “Let’s go down to the beach for a walk along the prom”. Now I’m a dog who does not really like going on walks and despite coaxing me out and getting me into my harness I stood in the hallway, looked at the open door and didn’t move.  Eventually Daddy pulled me outside and I went over to my special bit of grass on which I always relieve myself before going for walks in the evening.  Daddy turned round and when he turned back again he couldn’t see me anywhere. 

Bet you can’t see me!
 Now you might think that this is simply a photograph of a bush but it’s not.  What I did was I went round the back and hid from Daddy and if you look very, very closely you can just see me in the middle.  But Daddy did find me and here I am sitting behind it because quite honestly I did not feel like going on a walk.  
Hiding from Daddy

However down to the beach we went which was crowded and we went a walk along the prom.  And did I enjoy myself?  Yes. There were lots and lots of dogs who came up to me and we smelt each other all over.  There were plenty humans, young girls with babies and many of them came up and said, “What’s his name?” and “Doesn’t he look cute?”  They were speaking about me not Daddy! There were also a number of very young children, one of whom was only 16 months old and had just started walking.  She came over and spoke to me and I was very, very gentle with her.  Daddy needless to say had grabbed my harness so that I couldn’t be somewhat over excited and accidentally push her over. 

On the way back walking along the prom we went down onto the sands which was the first time I had walked on a beach and the sand was lovely and soft.  They took me down to the sea so that I could see it coming in but the minute the water got too near my feet, I ran away! 

Then we walked to the cafes and sat down outside the “Sand Dollar”.  Mummy went inside and got 2 hot chocolates and the owner, Sue, saw me outside and gave Mummy an ice-cream cone.  This was the first time I’d had ice-cream and I just absolutely adored sitting at a café on the beach in the gorgeous sunshine eating my first ice-cream. 

All the family have been up in Aberdeen this week and I like to think they’ve all come up to celebrate my first birthday! I have, as usual, been supervising Charlie as he plays with his toys but once or twice I’ve been told off because I believe that anything that’s lying on the floor is suitable for chewing and I love chewing things. However, Charlie and Pam brought me a special type of dog bone which also cleans my teeth and it was absolutely super. I chewed it and chewed it and enjoyed it so much that Daddy took it away from me and hid it so that I wouldn’t just eat it all in one fell swoop. I searched everywhere in the house to try and see where it had gone but I couldn’t find it.

Presented with a Portrait for my Birthday

Remember the photograph of me and my friends with my birthday card, well one of my friends, Albert who is a keen artist, took that photograph and drew two paintings of me. So in addition to getting a dental chewing bone and other bits and pieces for my birthday I got two beautiful painted portraits of me. One of which is on the notice board in the entrance at Inchmarlo and here is the other one for my friends to see on my blog. I wonder if any other dogs get presented with a portrait on their birthday…

Humphrey's portrait
My Birthday Portrait

Humphrey’s Valentine.

Just over two weeks ago I got an email out of the blue from a Shona Anne. It said:

“I’ve had a lovely time reading your blogs today from the very first up to this one and would like to thank you again dear Humphrey and your Daddy for doing them and for all you do for Inchmarlo. I feel I’m getting to know you, your family and friends and Inchmarlo and am definitely a fan of yours now x

Your Daddy really is an amazing person (Daddy liked this bit) as you are an amazing, brave and wonderful doggie (I liked this bit). I’m so glad he made Inchmarlo, it really is a wonderful, safe community to retire to and it’s great that he’s so hands on and gives everyone the best of everything as much as is possible.

I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you all and certainly will be interested in any new blogs for as long as you enjoy doing them. Going to mention you and your blog to my friends on Facebook, they’re sure to love you too”

I was very, very flattered. Who is Shona Anne? So I sent a reply asking her to tell me where she was from, but regrettably she hasn’t replied.

Daddy tells me that when he was a young man it was customary for young men and women to send a Valentine card to somebody they admired. The card was never signed so no one knew who had sent it. Now I can understand Daddy sending Valentine cards to young girls but I have a bit of difficulty in believing that he got any!

However, I was very pleased to receive this from Shona Anne wherever she is, and if she is reading this then thank you very much, love Humphrey x

A visit to Inchmarlo, a trip to the Vets and a new toy!

Daddy and I were out at Inchmarlo and I had been round with Karen speaking to all my usual friends and was out in the back of the car again when Daddy and Judy walked up to me. Judy is one of our Client Liaison Officers whose role it is to regularly visit Home Owners to see that they are enjoying life and check whether they require additional support. She told Daddy that one of the Home Owners was feeling “somewhat down” and could she have the use of my services so that I could go and speak to her and cheer her up.  It was the first time I had met Judy but I liked her immediately and off we went down to see the Home Owner.  When we returned Judy reported that I was very enthusiastic but she had difficulty getting me to sit down since I was somewhat over-excited but that I had succeeded in cheering the Home Owner up.

I was glad that I had done my duty of being Therapy Assistant (Canine).

Judy and Humphrey at Inchmarlo
Judy and Humphrey

I had another appointment to go back to see my friends at Ardene Veterinary Surgeons and as soon as I knew where I was I enthusiastically entered the reception area to be greeted by my two young friends behind the reception desk.

Bulldog at vets
Humphrey at Ardene

There was a lady waiting with a little Pekinese on her knee and I went up to try to speak to it and it was already shaking like a leaf in a strong wind.  Daddy told her that my predecessors, Ollie and Jamie also used to shake like a leaf as soon as they smelt they were going to the vets but that I don’t.  Am I not brave?

Brenda, the vet, took me into one of the consulting rooms and tried to weigh me.  Unfortunately the rubber mat on the low level weighing machine fell off with the result my claws skidded on the metal which always frightens me. Daddy and Brenda had quite a job getting me to get all my weight on the weighing machine but eventually they managed.  I now weigh 22.25 kgs.  I’m now within a few days of my first birthday and Brenda told Daddy that I was just about my final size and probably my final weight.

Daddy told her that one of her colleagues had previously recommended they should cut down on the amount of food I was getting which Daddy and Mummy have done and Brenda thought that it was now the ideal portion size for me.

After I was weighed I was lifted by both of them – because I’m quite heavy now – up onto the table where she opened my mouth and felt my teeth all over,  then looked into both earsand then she had a look at my toenails.  While I had a manicure two visits ago she decided to manicure my dew claws. This was in case they catch on anything. She said that I was extremely good sitting there quietly on my own and letting her do all the investigation that she wanted.

Getting my teeth checked
Looking in my ears
Getting a manicure
On my best behavior!

When she had finished she gave me a biscuit which I just loved.  This wasn’t the only biscuit I got because later one of my reception friends gave me two doggie biscuits and then she went behind the reception counter and got me a much harder biscuit which took a lot more chewing but really was scrumptious. Oh I do like going to Ardene Vets, they’re so friendly.

Dog biscuit
Another treat.

When we came out of the consulting rooms there were three or four people in the waiting room with two dogs both of which barked and barked when they saw me.  Oh what a noise they made.  All I wanted to do was to go up and sniff them but Daddy wouldn’t let me.  I didn’t bark at them and I’m obviously much better behaved now I’m almost one.

Mummy bought me a new toy which is made up of a whole series of small, fabric multi-coloured balls with string through the middle.  When she threw it on the floor in the kitchen it rattled and frightened me and I ran away from it so Mummy went and put it to the back of a chair and I looked at it and went up and sniffed it and had another look at it.  Finally I actually went up and touched it with my nose and eventually took hold of it and dragged it into my bed where I started chewing it.

Humphrey's new toy.
Smells ok
Taking another look


Hmm... its not so scary.
Having a good chew

Now I’m used to it I absolutely love it and when Daddy’s sitting in his Parker Knoll recliner looking at the television or reading the newspapers I go up to him with my new toy and push it onto his arm. When he tries to take it from me I quickly turn away and then go back again and challenge him until he grabs hold of it and I pull and pull and growl and growl and I make such a noise that at times I frighten myself. Daddy sometimes growls back so we make quite a noise.