Wow--I can't believe it's been two weeks since my last confession! To make up for my lapse on a slow-news day, here's a short travelogue about the weird animals of the Scottish Highlands and Islands. (Thanks to M and to my sister Bonnie for letting me raid their vacation photos.)
Let's begin in the tiny seaside village of Plockton, where the BBC's Hamish Macbeth TV series was filmed:
What is most remarkable about Plockton is that there is a dog there that walks himself:
For many years the push-me-pull-ewe was thought to be extinct. But then M spotted this one on the Isle of Skye:
Throughout the Northwest Highlands there are cows that people often mistake for Donald Trump:
See what I mean? (By the way, this is not one of the vacation pics.)
You've probably heard of Loch Ness. Here's a nice picture of it--with a run-down castle that reminds me of the abandoned house where I used to hang out:
As for the fabled Loch Ness Monster, here's proof that there's not just one of them, but THREE:
Finally for your enjoyment, I present a bunch of drowned rats:
I think Robert Burns must have had digital cameras in mind when he wrote, "O wad some Power the giftie gie us / To see oursels as others see us!"
M had a new experience last night, dream-wise. He dreamed about me! On the one hand I was flattered, but on the other I wondered why it took him so long, since we've known each other almost a year.
He told me what little detail he could recall on our walk this morning. We'd apparently gone somewhere in his pickup truck. He thinks that I probably rode in the truck bed, under the camper shell, since it's just a little Ford Ranger with a floor shift, and there's hardly enough room up front for him and J, let alone your humble correspondent. But with dreams you never know, since things are a lot more loosey-goosey and less constrained than in waking life.
In M's dream we'd stopped somewhere and I'd been let out to wander around the truck on the side of the road. I wasn't on my leash, which tells you right there that it was a dream, since he never takes me outside without the leash unless we're in a fenced-in area like a dog park--which isn't all that often, hint-hint. (Or the few brief times when I've slipped my collar by accident.) Pretty soon M got nervous about having me running loose near the traffic, especially since there was another dog walking toward us and he was afraid the other dog might lure me into trouble. So he was trying to corral me and get me back into the truck, and that's about all he remembers.
"Do you ever dream about me?" he asked. "I know that you dream, because you make all kinds of funny movements and noises in your sleep."
"I've dreamed about you now and then," I said.
"Really? Do you remember any of them?"
I scanned the old hard-drive. "Mainly just one that keeps recurring. You don't want to hear about it."
"Of course I do," he said. "C'mon, give it up."
"Okay--but I warned you. In my dreams you're usually dressed in a bunny suit and I chase you." (Rimshot!)
How about you, gentle readers? Got any good dreams to report?
One of my loyal followers sent me a recent blog post by a man named Sam Harris. It's pretty thought-provoking, though I'll admit that it's a bit lengthy and obviously not written for dogs. (I had M read it in detail and then give me what he calls the executive summary.) As one whose current good fortune depended on pure luck and human kindness, I think this piece has some great ideas in it about self-reliance and sacrifice. There's a link to it below. I hope you will read it and pass it along to your friends, even if you aren't a billionaire--but especially if you are.
Today is the start of a brand new year. M says that people like to celebrate it in hopes that the year ahead will be better than the one just past. He also says that in other cultures the year can begin on a different day than this one. If that's true, then I will celebrate my Happy New Year on April 13th, which is the day I came to live with M and J. Things have definitely been better since then!
But I certainly hope your new year--starting today or any day that seems right for you--is everything you want it to be.