Being out in the countryside with my dogs gives me time to think. I’ve learnt the pleasure of solitude without being lonely, and that’s a good feeling for me.

Welcome to "Man with two dogs" - the family website for dog owners and dog walkers.

This is my countryside diary which appears each Saturday in the Dundee Courier newspaper.

Letterhead had me foxed

October 20th, 2018

I wonder how many visitors to Edzell drive through the high Gothic arch with its crowstepped gables at the entrance to the village and assume it was erected to commemorate a visit by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. read more

Black sheep in every family

October 13th, 2018

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Gin to the rescue of damson in distress

October 6th, 2018

I know when Inka trots by my side without panting he has picked up something particularly foul that he is holding in his mouth to present to me later.  His most recent offering was a a dead pigeon chick, or squab, which was more interesting and less revolting than usual. An ugly looking baby, mostly still bald but with its primary wing feathers starting to grow.  It can’t have been much more than a week old as they fledge and are ready to leave the nest after about a month. read more

A moving Highland scene

September 29th, 2018

Regular readers of this column know of my inclination to quote poetry, especially from the abundance of our Scottish vernacular poetry which I increasingly believe is a neglected tradition, a forgotten strand of our cultural emotional output. read more

Transitory birds but the music endures

September 22nd, 2018

A small feathered body, looking for all the world like a withered leaf, lay in the grass below our sitting room window.  It was a chiff chaff which had flown headlong into the glass and killed itself.  Probably the way the light was reflecting off the glass at the time confused the bird into thinking that the window space was safe to fly through. read more

Cockles and mussels and some gey fishy tales

September 15th, 2018

Tales of the salmon fishing at Kinnaber in last week’s column brought back memories of his own youth for a Montrose reader.  He remembers the days when commercial salmon fishers Joseph Johnston & Sons Ltd were one of the major employers in Montrose, providing seasonal work to a small army of local men, as well as year-round employment for office staff, boat builders and other support staff. read more

Method now lost to the sweep of history

September 1st, 2018

At 6 p.m. on Friday 31st August 2018, as laid down by statute, a small bit of our Scottish cultural heritage ceased, probably never to be revived.  The sweep nets on the Kinnaber beat, at the mouth of the River North Esk, were taken off the water – for the last time. read more

Spinning web of autumn stories

September 1st, 2018

I’m sitting at my desk wondering how to start this week’s piece and a friendly spider has provided the answer.  I’ve been watching her – or maybe it is him –  repairing holes in its web, spun in the corner of my study window, to ensure no passing beastie, and potential lunch, flying into it can escape. read more

Unforeseen dangers for dogs

August 25th, 2018

Here are two dog stories. read more

Flights of fancy with sting in the tail

August 18th, 2018

A fortnight ago I wrote about what seemed a near infestation of hoverflies in the garden, but I see from the Scottish Wildlife Trust blog that mine is not an isolated experience and there has been a population explosion throughout much of Scotland. read more