Christmas time!! Photos (of course) and a few sobering words.

As we are winding down for the Christmas holidays I am still trying to find time to catch you up on all our walking fun from the last few months. Hopefully next year I will have the internet up and running again in my home and be able to get back on track with making these blog entries a more regular and consistent event!

It will seem a little odd looking at fairer weather photos now considering how awful the weather has been here in Edinburgh the last few months. Winter has hit us hard, cold and wet weather pelting us at every turn making our walks a soggy affair. Perhaps a little reminiscence therapy of milder days gone by is exactly what we need right now! Though if I am honest I absolutely love Christmas time! I am a huge geeky Christmas fan at heart! I wish I could fill this blog posts with snowing dog photos haha. Sadly we have only had rain and sleet here, no snow as of yet. I live in hope we have some snowy days in the not too distant future.

To start us off, a beloved handsome face. No one ever believes that this stunning boy could be a rescue. Truth be told, Winston much like my own Molly-dog, stands as a testament as to how amazing rescue dogs are. You should never make snap judgments about why a dog has ended up needing a new home. Rescue dogs can carry a stigma that something is ‘wrong’ with them or that they are a ‘bad’ dog and is quite simply the biggest pile of dog poop! Take from someone who has worked in rescue centers both here in the UK and abroad, the vast vast majority of dogs given up for re-homing has nothing to do with them as individuals at all! It does however have everything to  do with the people who hand them over.  Some have genuine heart braking reasons for why they can no longer care for their pet. But all too many just lose interest, can no longer be bothered with the effort involved or did not seriously consider the costs behind owning an animal. Many many rescues like my Molly or Winston here are quite simply just a bit behind on their training due to previous owners not putting in the time required, that’s all!  With training, patience, understanding and a great deal of love and affection you have quite simply the most amazing loving loyal companion! Who after having a rough start with ahem, ‘dodgy’ humans, thinks you fart rainbows. IMG_7157[1]

Rescue dog are without a doubt the most fantastic dogs, I can’t stress this enough. Perhaps as it is the Christmas season I feel the need to talk about the amazingness of  rescue dogs even more. I really hope that with this following story as an example you will understand more fully as to how many dogs end up in shelters especially around this time of year, and how they are truly just innocent victims of circumstance. This weekend a man tried to buy Gus my French Bulldog in a pub because his daughter, ‘…wanted one of them for Christmas…’ like he was some sort of fashionable toy. It was a horrific experience especially as the man proceeded to become angry and insulting when my partner refused asking him in return which of his family members he would like to sell for a Christmas present! He even waved cash in my partners face and seemed totally perplexed as to why we wouldn’t jump at the chance to sell our beloved Gus for cold hard cash. As if ANY amount of money would make us part with our heart and soul. When I volunteered for the SSPCA Boxing Day would greet us with dogs and puppies being abandoned in droves, the result of children and adults already bored or overwhelmed having not thought carefully enough about the care or attention a dog would actually require. Some poor souls were even tied to the gate waiting for us before we had even opened the center. I have no doubts that an individual who thinks it is acceptable to try and rudely haggle a dog from clearly horrified owners in a pub, just because his teenage daughter fancies the look of one for Christmas, would also not hesitate to dump said dog again as soon as the novelty wears off.  Safe to say, as I clutched Gus closer to my chest, we were not very polite in letting the man in question know that Gus would never EVER be for sale! But with so many puppies being punted on gumtree as ideal presents for the big day, I can’t help but think what ever pooch that man does get his hands on for Christmas will not be long destined for the local shelter. So my last parting word on this matter would be that if you are seriously considering introducing a dog into your family, please please take your time, do your research THOROUGHLY, and don’t shop, please adopt. There will no doubt be many more confused and frightened unwanted Christmas pups waiting for new loving homes as soon as the day is over.

On with the photos! You know I love my group shots!

IMG_7411[1]IMG_7417[1]

Help! Half my face is melting! lol IMG_7452[1]Brother and sister, my inseparable pair…IMG_7467[1]

Miss Tia! IMG_7468[1]

Also known as Miss Tia ‘Frog Legs’ haha! IMG_7485[1]

Giorge. IMG_7536[1]

But I wanna sit up front!!! Waah!!!IMG_7548[1]

More Frenchies, I can just never get enough!IMG_7549[1]IMG_7550[1]IMG_7551[1]IMG_7552[1]

Just a little reminiscing about the beautiful summer forest foliage.  Sigh… IMG_7586[1]IMG_7587[1]

Ready for home! Biscuits first please, of course!IMG_7611[1]This summer I took a few lovely beach trips. I was joined by Stephanie Parker who owns and operates Pawfect Therapies here in Edinburgh. If you haven’t already checked out Stephanie’s site I highly recommend you take a gander! She also offers walking with the city center and I couldn’t recommend her highly enough! (http://www.pawfecttherapies.co.uk/)IMG_7139[1]

Miss Stephanie dishing out treats, Molly in the background doesn’t yet realize she’s missing out hehe 😉   IMG_7158[1]IMG_7636[1]IMG_7637[1]

One last photo where we had a freak spell of, yes you guessed it, snooooooooooooooooow!!!! It only lasted about four minutes though! IMG_7638[1]

Have a very Merry Christmas everyone, lots of love from Gus, Molly and Andie xXXx

 

Gus and Molly do Scotland, Part 2- Aviemore and the Black Isle

Holiday, whoop whoop!!

We are finally away on our long waited tour of the Highlands of Scotland. So far we have been pretty blessed with the weather, very unexpected I must say! But true to form we have experienced a wide range of insects haha. Both the Scottish midgie and wasp have been most especially present, ah well, can’t knock nature!

We left on Friday morning and sped up to Aviemore. Our first stop for the night was camping at Glenmore Campsite (http://www.campingintheforest.co.uk/scotland/glenmore-campsite) situated right next to the shores of Loch Morlich. We have visited here quite a few times before, the Loch is absolutely stunning and the surrounding Glenmore forest has many interesting walks that are suited for any level of hiker. I’m not big on hill climbing I must say. though will happily walk for hours on semi-even ground! Gus and Molly had been very patient on the car drive and the forest walks around the Loch were the perfect opportunity for them to burn off some steam after being such good passengers!

The campsite at Glenmore itself is very nice, costing about £21 a night (expensive IMO but also pretty standard for Scottish campsites these days). Unfortunately though we were pretty washed out by the weather! The ground very quickly became water-logged and our old North Face tent, which has been bombproof for ten years, finally gave up the ghost and started leaking! The weather was always going to be a risk when holidaying in our wonderful country! Thank god for our new and wonderful Volvo. We hastily put the back seats down and took refuge in the back. Car camping woohoo! Dry and warm and much better than a swimming-pool tent 😉

RIP North Face tent xxx

unnamed (35)

 

Shores of Loch Morlich

P1030991

Forest walks, purple heather yey!

P1040004

P1030992

P1030994

After our slightly damp nights sleep we left Aviemore and continued onto our destination in the Black Isle, just above Inverness where our dog-friendly lodge awaited us! On our way there we stopped at the Black Isle brewery (http://www.blackislebrewery.com/) to pick up some yummy scrummy beer! We received a very warm welcome from the people at the shop and their gorgeous resident Labrador…Black Lab of course!

P1040006

After our brewery visit we carried on to our accommodation, a lodge set in the Muir of Ord. Boy did we choose right! These amazing wooden lodges super cozy and are kitted out to perfection. Literally the only accomodation that had all of our requirements; dog-friendly, wood burning stove and a bath!!  Set in a beautiful quiet and scenic spot with views of the mountains and surrounding forest of  Spittle Wood, we feel S-P-O-I-L-E-D!!!! After all our driving we had set Sunday aside to have a super relaxing day and all I can say is someone up there really must love us as the weather was spectacular. SUNSHINE!!

Accommodation at Big Sky Lodges- http://bigskylodges.co.uk/

unnamed

P1040011

It’s not a Scottish holiday without a Highland Coo….

P1040012

Sun-worshiper…

unnamed (1)

We thought that it would just be us three on our little highland adventure, but our very very good friends had time off and so booked the lodge next to us!!! Amazing! So now we have the legendary Lucie’s company (aka Queen Squishy) for the next few days as well…the best surprise EVER!

P1040015

Snot Zombie…

Ugg….first cold of the season and I feel like a snot filled zombie :S

Couldn’t ask for better dogs to spend my sick morning with though, they all had the perfect opportunity to run riot with my brain and body not functioning at full capacity! But instead the sweethearts basically chaperoned me around the walks, keeping a close eye on me and giving me kisses at every opportunity. Bless…..I was not so sick though that I could not appreciate what a beautifully stunning morning it was up on Blackford Hill. And where did this heat come from!? Ok it’s not 30 degrees (thank goodness) but the we are definitely experiencing summer’s last breath I feel. Enjoying it while it lasts!

Now at home wrapped up and on the Beechams Gus, Molly and Elvi are lying next to me and across my feet keeping me warm. There is just no other way to say it……DOG ARE AWESOME!!!

Sniff, sniff…… x

P1190294

Elvi enjoying the view….

P1190296 P1190298

Colin photo-bombing Ella and Winston’s shot hehe 🙂

P1190299

Tongues out!

P1190300

Cocoa blocking Colin’s head shot for a kiss!

P1190304

Cocoa you couldn’t look any more mental if you tried haha!

P1190305 P1190306

Nom, nom, nom….frisbee tastes good!

P1190309

Elvi enjoying a roll down the hill….

P1190307

“Andie you’re not looking too good, how about another kiss??”

P1190310

Coming back to check on me again, sweethearts!

P1190313 P1190316

 

Sweet faces…

P1190318 P1190319 P1190320 P1190321

Winston loves his swimming 🙂

P1190325 P1190326