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.

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Archive for 2008

Ghost of Christmas Past

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

“THAT'S WHAT I came for”, came the happy response from one youngster. I was dressed in my wellie boots, a long red robe and red cape fringed with white, and nylon whiskers. I'd been ambushed into being Santa Clause for the children's Christmas party up Glen Esk. It wasn't me the young man was looking forward to but the present I'd promised was in the sack over my shoulder.

Written for Weekly |

Weasel words

Saturday, December 20th, 2008

WALKS WITH Macbeth occasionally take on a flavour of high drama. A Border terrier of our acquaintance is called  Weasel'. With a name like that you could be forgiven for thinking that Weasel is a man dog. But, no – he is a she, and despite some characteristics which seem to attract a lot of shouting, when she and Macbeth meet it is on the most cordial terms.

Written for Weekly |

Eating habits

Saturday, December 6th, 2008

“ARE YOU coming?” – that's what Macbeth waits to hear, for it means I'm ready to take him his walk. From lunchtime onwards he dogs my steps (in a manner of speaking) getting under my feet and making sure I don't forget him. It gets dark so early that I like to get the walk over between three and four o'clock, but if I'm busy and late with the walk he sits in his bed with a grumpy look on his face until he sees me put my jacket and wellies on.

Written for Weekly |

Crossing the cultural divide

Saturday, November 29th, 2008

“'TIS BETTER to travel hopefully than to arrive” is one of these unattributable sayings attributed to all sorts of people, but when you try to analyse it, it seems to be nonsense. It makes more sense to turn it around and say – “'Tis better to arrive than to travel hopelessly”.

Written for Weekly |

Canine philosophy

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

JULIUS CAESAR is said to have remarked that Roman women had given up having babies in favour of their lap dogs. Could this be said of our family? We've had eight dogs and three children, but I've always thought it was because dogs are so much more economical than children.

Written for Weekly |


Saturday, November 15th, 2008

THE NIPPY smell in the nostrils when I'm out walking Macbeth means one thing at this time of year – someone's burning fallen beech leaves. There's no other smell like it, so there's never any doubt. Seen in their autumn glory of browns and ochre and raw umber, it's little wonder that the beech has been a favourite tree of generations of landowners in the north east of Scotland.

Written for Weekly |

Dusky harmonics

Saturday, November 8th, 2008

THE COLD snap at the start of the week brought the red squirrels and the woodpeckers and the garden song birds all flocking to the peanut feeders. Not that they didn't come before but the availability of easy feeding was a welcome invitation.

Written for Weekly |


Saturday, November 1st, 2008

HOW DO you go downhill when you are already at the foot of the mountain? Answer – visit Cruachan Power Station at the head of Loch Awe on the A85 from Tyndrum to Oban.

Written for Weekly |

“…. comes the bitter frost”

Saturday, October 25th, 2008

I'M SAD to report that Inka, our black Labrador, is dead. It would have been less of a blow if he had been an elderly dog, but he was only four years old, so his death was unexpected.

Written for Weekly |

“…. little smoke, in pallid moonshine, died”

Saturday, October 18th, 2008

THE DOYENNE and I have only just discovered autumn fruiting raspberries, which are whopping great berries about the size of loganberries. Surprisingly neither of us had tasted one before, but they have been grown locally for a considerable time. A friend remembers seeing them thirty years ago on Chivers' farm at Courthill, which lies south of Montrose, overlooking Lunan Bay.

Written for Weekly |