Thoughts on things and stuff.

Sunday evening and the fire’s on. We’re just back from a beautiful, icy beach walk. Selkie’s had her dinner, licked her whiskers clean and curled up in a wee ball on her bed, paws paddling, dreamies on. There’s a cup of hot tea on the desk, HQ is quiet and peaceful, and I’m looking back at a list of appointments from the 2018 diary.

It’s been another eventful year for Highland Dogblog, and while I wasn’t always quite sure which parts of the ship were going to make it through the storms, I knew the core was solid and we would emerge. And we have, different, but sound. And most important of all: still madly, passionately, ridiculously in love with dogs; keeping it woof and being good to the wurrld!

2018 saw us saying goodbye to two of our big projects: Selkie’s Seconds and Barker’s Bothy. Selks and I are super proud of both projects and all they achieved, as well as grateful to everyone who worked together to make them what they were.

There were more changes facing us when we reined in the HDB hosted pack walks. These had unfortunately become a victim of their own success, and despite trying out a few different options, I felt that we weren’t able to manage them properly and it would be better to let them come to a natural end. Again, we are happy to have had hundreds of walks with paw pals from all over the Highlands and Islands, proud of what we achieved together all of us and glad to know there are still pockets of friends who met through HDB still out walking together.

On the upside we held onto Scentral Park and all that it enables us to do. The project has gone from strength to strength and continues to be supported by HDB volunteers who give up their personal time to keep this special place on the go. It’s almost three years now since Mr Mohamed gave us permission to use his land and we are very much in his debt.

Following on from lots of community litter picks over the years we went on to introduce a new project in January called My Walk, My Bag! which has enabled us to play a much more active and ongoing role, together with millions of people across the world, facing up to the challenges of plastic and other waste clogging up our environment. Dog walkers have a unique niche that we are able to cover, and it’s been a joy seeing folks coming together under the HDB flag to tackle local environmental problems. The fact that this campaign is now celebrating a whole year’s worth of effort, month after month, whatever the weather, chipping away, one bag at a time, speaks volumes about you, your dogs and your commitment to keeping things woof. Oan yersels!

We did end 2018 without our usual Christmas Party in the forest but there was just no way our wee “Dingwall family” could take that on having lost our big man Riley at the beginning of the month. He was so much a part of everything at HDB and we are feeling his loss keenly. Thank you for understanding, and for supporting Dianne in what I hope will become a happy, new tradition of “Coffee & Chats” at the park.  

I’d also like to say thank you to the Board of HDB who quietly support the whirlwind that is HDB. I so appreciate their counsel, and their unwavering support no matter how many times Selkie and I change direction and charge off on new quests.

And speaking of herself … well, my “wee” Selkie Seal turned seven this year and is, I’m happy to say, as mischievous as ever. Keeping up with her adventures and her wild Highland spirit is a full-time job for The Mummy. She has absolutely loved, loved, loved moving to her new “house by the sea” and having her own wee garden. We have been in our new village for about six months now and have met some wonderful doggie pals and kind people. Selkie says we are two “verra lucky souls” and I agree with her 100 per cent on that one. We are also both very grateful for all your messages and support during those times she was “vet ridden” and on her “fishing line” for different reasons during the year. You cheered us up no end – thank you.

Pals, Selks & HDB are not really ones for new year’s resolutions. Selkie says it’s better to “look it back” over the year that was and say thank you for all the blessings and incredible people we have been able to share the year with. She also says that it’s good to “try and learn it some lessons” from stuff if you can, but not to stress about the past. Much more important, she tells me, is that once you’ve “done it your thank yous, counted it your blessings and learned it your lessons” is that it’s time to “turn back around, get your tail up, put your nose in the air and face whatever the new year has in store”.

“We gots to take it things as they come, one day at a time, do it the best we can, with ower pals, and that’s all, and that’s enough” Selkie Seal.

And on that note then thank you all for being our pals, for answering “the call” to all the crazy ideas we have foisted upon you during the year, for picking up the balls we’ve dropped and manning the fort when we couldn’t – I think we can say goodbye to 2018 knowing that together we kept it woof, big time. How about we do it ALL AGAIN in 2019?

Lots of love to you and your families, and a special thought to everyone who has lots their precious ones during the year.

Lauren & Selkie x

p.s. Rufty Tufty forever!

That’s 2018 (almost) in the bag!

HDB’s monthly “My Walk, My Bag!” is coming up at the end of the month with
December marking the 13th time dogs across the world put their “paws to their paths” under the HDB flag and join in the worldwide efforts against plastic and other gunk!

Thirteen clean ups have been completed in twelve months – and that’s a LOT of rubbish. Well done everyone. We couldn’t be more proud of you and we’re looking forward to bringing 2018 to a fabulous, positive close with one more … so paws to your paths on the weekend of the 29th – 1 Jan – let’s get out there and keep it woof! 

Holly, Keira and Rio from Finstown, Orkney (pic: Susan Harcus)

Selkie’s DAWGS add more than 70 locations to Word Cleanup Day

The results are in and between us DAWGS (Dogs Against Waste Globally) we added more than 70 locations to the global total for World Cleanup Day. DAWGS reported in from all across the Highlands and Islands, other regions of Scotland, as well as England, Northern Ireland, Tanzania, South Africa, Canada, the USA, Australia and The Netherlands!

Organisers operating from Estonia even gave posts from HDB airtime on the international page because what we were doing was so different! And Sandra Swanson’s photograph (featuring wee Kirstin) was selected by them for a promotional post.

What a fantastic experience it was to participate in a worldwide day of cleaning the planet. It feels like the tipping point is finally coming. Thank you for being part of it all and for all your fabulous support.

 

Scottish Highlands - Alness Point
Photo: Sandra Swanson, DIngwall

Baby Boris

Just met the most gorgeous “wee” dug, would you look at this? Everyone say hello to baby Boris – he’s a 7 month old Bulldog, isn’t he just perfect? Selkie was really not sure to start with, and gave the wee toot a piece of her mind for bumbling up to her as they do, but after some perfect play bows from Boris, and a little time during which she realised she wasn’t actually going to die, she warmed up and was giving him the famous smile by the end of their meeting. Big step for her as she can be a little scared around “power breeds”. Not to worry, HDB checked in with Boris’s dad to make sure she wasn’t overwhelming him – he’s just a pup after all. Can’t wait to see him again – what a lovely boy!

 

AniForte UK – Review: YUM YUM WOW!

So, ah have finished it ma review of the goodies sent to me by AniForte UK. Ah could write a whole long page for you to reaSalmon oild but ahm going to say it three things instead:

  1. Salmon Oil – YUM!
  2. Sprats – YUM!
  3. Doggie shampoo – WOW!

This concludes it ma review, what else does a person need to know?! Selkie x

HDB here, maybe just a little to add to Selkie’s review:

Selkie really enjoys the salmon oil and devours her food with it added. She then licks the bowl and keeps going back to the kitchen to lick it again! Her coat is lovely and sleek and shiny. Great quality bottle, easy dispensing and AniForte is 100% pure, cold pressed. I’d say definitely worth trying this brand if you’re a salmon oil fan or wanting to give it a try.

Sprats? She loved the sprats, and I loved the pail they came in which seals up tight and keeps the fish smell inside with the fish where it belongs. They were good quality, whole fish and are a fantastic natural treat for dogs.

Neem Oil Shampoo – HDB really liked this shampoo. It lathers up brilliantly but without any weird fragrances and rinses out really quickly. Leaves coat soft and beautiful. Very pleased with it.

Click HERE to go to the AniForte UK web site

When life is a little “full on” …

Well pals, there’s no doubt that this life is FULL ON. It’s been a wild couple of weeks here at HDB. So many joys and so many sorrows and all wrapped up in snow and Christmas round the corner too – ma whiskers are all over the place. We’ve had to say goodbye to our precious Oran, and Charles, and Kobi, and Aunt Molly and Glen too. Ruby’s still missing in the forest. Auntie Karen’s back in the hospital, Auntie Sue across the pond is just out.

We’ve had some wonderful birthdays to celebrate – big Caesar from Glesga turned 9, and Maggie May turned 3, and I see the Eilidh from Avoch is turning 15 today. Ah poisoned it maself, and then ah got a fishing fly wrapped up in ma tail, but ahm 100 per cent now. We’ve raised a thousand pounds to help a friend, sold all our NoseBoxes, raised money for Munlochy Animal Aid, helped the ‘vironment by using up old Christmas paper and things, had more laughs than you can count at the last NoseBox wrapping session, we’ve got two teams working with dogs that need help, we met a beautiful, soft, squidgy, licky, fat wee puppy Labrador last night called Bailey AND our Christmas Party is coming up on Sunday!!!!

Phew, that’s what ahm saying … life is FULL ON, and thems just the bits ah know about, so it’s guaranteed that yous are all got your own stuff happening too. So, this morning, ahm suggesting once you are read it this post, you take three deep breaths, stop whatever you’re doing and just remember how much love and laughter you have shared with your dogs this year. And if you’ve had to kiss them goodbye, know that everyone here knows what you’re going through, everyone, and we can’t take it a minute of your pain away, but we can loves it you. And if you’ve still got a house full of crazy, dirty, muddy four paws then take some time to hug them close, verra close, and give them sausages too! (Ah just made that up!). Now heads up, tails in the air and just do the best you can today, knowing it’s enough. And remember, who loves ya? Me, Selkie Seal, ah loves it you, a lot! Selkie x