Dougal at altitude

Now that Dougal has joined our family, we are having all sorts of new experiences.

Last weekend, we decided to have a dog-friendly hotel and pub practice in preparation for the planned Welsh summer holiday. So we went for altitude training in North East Perthshire.

The thing about coming from Perth is that I have never really done that part of Perthshire if you know what I mean. It was always there just up the road if I ever felt the need. I had, of course picked berries in Blairgowrie, caught chickens in Coupar Angus and delivered wine and spirits throughout the area for gainful employment in my school and student days but I had never, until now, holidayed there.

We found a hotel in Blairgowrie which prided itself online on its dog-friendliness. Dougal loved it. We were in a self-contained courtyard and I thought that I would try to get a few photographs of him.

You know how David Attenborough cheated on the Polar Bear shots by going to a Dutch zoo? Well, I began to think that I was going to have to tether Dougal to get anything. He just would not stand still long enough. Here’s one of my better early efforts.

Eventually, we hit on the idea of Mrs M holding him until I was in position and then releasing him so that he came charging over to see me.

At long last, he tired a bit and I got one of him at rest.

The hotel was as good as its word and we set off next morning to do a bit of exploring. Something else that I had never done was Glamis Castle, birthplace of the Queen Mother. When we got to the gates, they were open so we drove straight in. I was a bit surprised that there were no signs directing tourists and we rolled right up to the front door.

At which point, we realised that there was a family wedding in full swing and that the Castle was not yet open to the public this year. We beat a hasty retreat but stopped to take a photo.

Bright sunshine ahead of us to the west and dark stormclouds to our left and right.

Next stop was Kirriemuir, birthplace of JM Barrie. It was firmly not yet open this season, great-man wise but I got a photo of the square with the statue of Peter Pan and the local Italian cafe, in this case the property of the Visocchi family.

On and up to the Glenshee Ski Centre which is celebrating its 50th year.

This was a stamping ground when I was a kid. The school used to run a ski club and we would get up there once or twice a year when there was enough snow for the runs.

‘Tommy and Wife’ were, however, new to me.

Back down through Pitlochry where the allegedly dog-friendly pub was not dog-friendly on a Sunday. On to the backup in Dunkeld. It was seriously dog, cyclist, walker, biker and blues musician friendly and had great stovies and a fine pint of ‘Landlord’. It was here that I discovered my new status in the familial pecking order.

Mrs M went in to order the food and drink and apparently reduced the bar staff to laughter by telling them:-

‘I’m sitting outside with my spaniel puppy. Oh, and my husband’s there as well.’

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7 responses to “Dougal at altitude

  1. Lovely Dougal dog. Have I missed a post about how you acquired him. I have quite a few pix of Not Cat like your first of Dougal here.

  2. Hi Isobel.

    No, you did not miss a post about the acquisition as I never wrote it., Repairing that omission in the next day or so. Watch this space.

  3. I stayed in Blairgowrie on holiday in September 1984 and my only memories are of earwigs in the electrical sockets and a suburban garden full of rather impressive topiary (albeit of a slightly comical nature).

    Dougal is a handsome boy. Has he passed the test to allow him to go to Wales?

  4. Please do not use the words “David Attenborough” and “cheated” in the same sentence. It can only be a matter of time before he is beatified.

    Douglas looks totally gorgeous. With all due respect, I can quite see how Mrs M came out with that comment to the pub staff. Priorities. 😀

  5. Spaniels are breathing versions of loveable but brainless vacuum cleaners. I lived with a spaniel gun dog as a child in Corstorphine. He was spoilt beyond redemption by his owner’s wife. At the slightest whiff of a cold wind, she would sneak him into the house from his outdoor kennels, which allowed him to hide under her voluminous skirts at table, surreptitiously wolfing down whatever titbits she passed to him.
    It took a while for his owner to twig that his young gun dog puppy was being led astray by his wife, by which stage it was too late, and he was despatched to live with the gamekeeper for several weeks before the shooting season, in an attempt to re-instil some sense of discipline into his corrupted psyche. Donnie would go missing on occasion, if left at home when his master set off in the car. He would jump the garden wall and several hours later pitch up at the factory his master owned in Gorgie, several miles away. On one occasion, his master saw him at the side of the road, stopped the car, and in stern tones, said to him, “Get into the car, you miserable rat, you!” The spaniel jumped into the car, stump of a tail, between his legs, just as a woman ran up and said, “Where do you think you’re going with my dog?”
    Wrong spaniel: -as I said at the beginning, they are completely brainless!

  6. cwj, my apologies.

    A joy to hear from you and sorry for taking so long to reply. I’m just not used to getting comments on the secluded corner that it is my WordPress blogsite and I do not check often enough.

    Your story about Donnie made me laugh out loud for the first time in a long time on the Internet. That is so Dougal.

    I trust that you and yours are well and best wishes to you all. It seems to have been yet another good year for the Nairn micro climate?

    • Good to hear from you! Absolutely appalling summer up north, barring three weeks of high summer in mid-March! Fruit blossoms were then almost all killed off in a late frost. Awash in builders on a major conversion project which is scheduled to have lasted three months from August – however, we may be finished by Christmas…
      By the way, there is some process by which WP notifies you by e-mail if someone comments on your blog. I don’t remember the details, buty I am sure it’s there somewhere in hte small print!

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