Sunday, April 18. 2010
Well that’s us half way through our time here already and this is only my second blog entry … but I’ve been oh so busy what with all this training of my new assistant that I’ve had to undertake and my humans have assured me that they’ve been keeping you up to date with what’s been going on! (I don’t however believe them and so shall give you a quick summary anyway shall !?)
It’s been rather exciting, lots of warships and activity on our doorstep. We’ve been revisiting some old friends at both the butchers and the “temporary office” (read as the pub … “community outreach” is the phrase I keep hearing but I’m not complaining as I get pork scratchings, carrots and lots of attention!) and been doing a bit of beach-combing and swimming into the bargain – I could get quite used to the taste of seaweed, eventually!
You humans also seem to be obsessed by the weather … personally speaking, I couldn’t care less although I must say it’s been a nice change not to have to battle against the gale force winds just to stand up or be blown off the back doorstep when I got kicked out to go pee (sorry, when I got gently coaxed outside to relieve myself), and the water that falls from the sky has also been conspicuous by its absence. So when it comes to the weather we dogs don’t really have a preference but we do tend to have more fun when our humans aren’t spending all their time looking through those big glass things so we’d like less of that kind of weather please!
It’s also like living in a kaleidoscope this far north, as contrary to popular belief us dogs (at least us “working” ones) can see shades of colour and appreciate the beauty of nature (when we’re not chasing it down a hillside that is) … and what magnificent skies we see up here – the northern lights (whatever they are, looked like a big oil-slick in the sky if you ask me), pink dawns and fiery red sunsets … quite spectacular I must say.
And I guess you’re all tuning in to see how my new assistant, Harvey is getting on and if he has passed his one week assessment. Well, I’m a tough boss to please (there are certain health and safety standards one must employ) and I demand unwavering dedication to the cause (plenty other assistants out there who’d gladly take on this job!!) but at the same time I can appreciate and reward effort.
And so to an overview of Harvey’s performance to date: -
We’ll start with the areas that need some work and could be a cause for concern shall we, as it’s always good to end on a positive note! … 1) His inexperience is very obvious at times as he’s nearly fallen in the drink once or twice, and he’s also fallen in the ditch – it was admittedly on the way ‘to’ the pub but I’m not sure if that’s actually worse?!; 2) He has a very bad habit of stealing all the bones when my back is turned and then stashing them away somewhere in the field next to us; 3) He did the unthinkable and tried to steal my Frisbee, but I soon put him in his place; 4) He’s not always “on the ball” when it comes to what he’s meant to be doing and where he’s meant to be looking – easily distracted; and 5) His in-car etiquette really does leave a lot to be desired (my side of the back seat, his side of the back seat, quite simple really!) and if the humans don’t do something about his constant desire to be over on ‘my’ side ALL the time then I may have to request that he travels in the boot from now on … that’ll soon teach him!
And so to the positives … 1) He’s effortlessly (and actually without prompting – I like ingenuity) taken over “sheep duty” first thing in the morning … and the afternoon and the evening, come to think of it, he’s just taken over, brilliant! However I do fear that we may lose him out of the car window one of these days in his exuberance to get to them – needs to find some restraint; 2) He’s keen, if a little misguided, but shows promise and there is possibly a glittering career ahead of him in this work if he keeps his head; 3) He’s definitely a team-player and what he lacks in confidence he makes up for in joviality and friendship.
So in summary, I’m glad to say that Harvey has passed his one-week assessment and as long as I see some improvement in the areas that have been highlighted as needing work, I believe he may be on his way to becoming a permanent member of the WDCS canine team.
And so I guess it’s back to work … there was a submarine out there earlier on so our walk has been delayed – again!!
Have you however heard the latest very exciting news? Apparently I’m going to be on TV (as are of course the 2 humans)!! Both times that we went visiting my friend Reuben (who sadly never passed his Assistant’s training course) and his human Monty in North Uist, in the Outer Hebrides, they were filming a TV show for the BBC (Britain’s Best Canine? No?!) and we’re going to be featured in their new programme – Monty Halls Great Escape, BBC2, 9pm on April 21st 2010! (I don’t think we make an appearance until about Episode no. 3 so don’t all get too excited too soon …. All good things come to those who wait!)