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.

The origin of Tuttie’s Nook

December 22nd, 2018

We have been entertaining Rosie, daughter Cait’s roly-poly bundle of fun – a rough-haired Jack Russell who terrorises Inka. read more

Heaven’s hounds music to my ears

December 15th, 2018

Dogs – as I’m sure other dog owners will confirm – have a canny habit of finding the most revolting things in smelly corners and either rolling in them and carrying the fragrance back to share with the family, or eating them and throwing the proceeds up on the drawing room carpet. read more

Winter’s harsh reality displays flight of artistry

December 8th, 2018

Walking with Inka on a woodland track a woodcock rose silently from rough grass and flitted off ahead of us, jouking and jinking low between the trees.  Woodcock are essentially wading birds with a long, straight beak, a dumpy body and short legs which have adapted to a woodland environment.  Unlike the explosive clatter of a pheasant taking flight, woodcock can be so silent and fleeting you question if you really saw it – just a blink-of-an-eye encounter. read more

Good books to curl up with

December 1st, 2018

I’ve just finished an utterly absorbing book – The Seabird’s Cry, The Lives and Loves of Puffins, Gannets and Other Ocean Voyagers, by Adam Nicolson.  The ocean voyagers are “creatures of the high latitudes and distant oceans” and include albatross and gannets, kittiwakes, shearwaters, fulmars and gulls – “pelagic wanderers and wind-buffeted migrants”. read more

Elemental spirits of nature

November 24th, 2018

A report in this paper of the sighting of a hoopoe at the Scottish Wildlife Trust visitor centre at Montrose Basin reminded me about a possible sighting of one of these exotic birds on Piperton croft, outside Brechin, in 2005.  I haunted the croft for five days hoping to see it but was disappointed. read more

Calm contemplation at kirk

November 17th, 2018

Several weekends ago we – the Doyenne and I, that is, and son Robert and his family – were frustrated by the weather from meeting for a family lunch at the Finzean Farmshop.  The Lecht was closed to the north and Cairn o’ Mount closed to the south with our intended destination marooned in the middle. read more

Don’t forget the dogs of war

November 10th, 2018

Tomorrow marks the one hundredth anniversary of the end of World War One.  The Doyenne and I shall attend our church Armistice service to commemorate the stark events of the Great War – a hideous euphemism for those four years of conflict and their bitter harvest of senseless death. read more

Perishing sea dip no picnic

November 3rd, 2018

On Monday morning I drove up Glenesk hoping to get the best of a sun which was competing with some wintery-looking clouds.  I was just too late to get a cup of coffee and a scone at The Retreat Museum for it had closed for the winter the previous evening read more

Pointing the way to a cure

October 27th, 2018

With the threat of the first winter snows this weekend – earlier than I would normally expect – it’s certainly time to start feeding your garden song birds if you haven’t already done so. read more

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