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Cloudy Skies, Sandy Paws


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So a strange thing happened last week: my Dad took a holiday. A whole week off work. Apparently the reason for this was the Commonwealth Games, which were held in Glasgow – a place I’ve never been to, but I hear it’s close to my Homeland of Kirkintilloch. My Grandad, who I don’t really know (we’ve met once and that was a while back, when I was still a young fellow), had travelled over from Northern Ireland (my Dad’s Homeland) to go to the Games with my Dad, so Mum and I had a few days to ourselves.

And then, unexpectedly to yours truly, Dad took the rest of the week off work. This was confusing. This turned every day into a Saturday, except Mum was working, kind of. “It’s a part time week,” she explained. Which means…? “Which means that on Wednesday and Friday we escape to the beach,” she said.

We. Escape. To. The. Beach. Beautiful words, aren’t they? Words that bring a thrill to a canine soul. So on Wednesday, once the Parents had faffed for an acceptable amount of time (Ed: I wasn’t ‘faffing’, I was at yoga) we headed down the coast to North Berwick. Now, I used to lie on the back seat of the car, but the problem with being, shall we say, vertically challenged, is that from the back seat you can’t see out the windows, which is poor car design if you ask me, so I’ve since claimed the passenger seat instead, on Mum’s lap, where I can take in the view and have a doze when we’re on a dull road. And there’s that moment when we reach North Berwick when I wake up to smell the sea. We’re driving through the town, along house-lined streets, so I can’t see the beach, but Mum opens the passenger window a few inches and I can smell it.

And then we turn onto Beach Road, alongside the pitch n’putt course (where, Mum tells me, she almost knocked Grannie out cold with a golf club when she herself was a little pupster), and there it is: the sea…

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So we park the car, by which point I’m almost howling with the anticipation, and we head… for a cup of tea. Seriously. “I’m quite tired,” Mum says to Dad. “Fancy a cuppa before the walk?” “That’s a good idea,” Dad replies. “I could do with a coffee. And cake.” I look on incredulously. We have driven 45 minutes to get to the beach, and we have to walk past the beach to get to the café. Worse: we walk along a short stretch of beach, just enough for me to feel the sand deliciously between my toes (yes, we have toes too), and then we head into town, into the café, where I sit below the table while the Parents get their caffeine fix.

Is this a good time to point out that we, us dachshunds, indeed us canines, have to put up with a lot?

And then, finally, finally, we get to the beach. I mean, look at this…

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And even though there are cloudy skies lurking overhead, and we can see rain in the distance over Edinburgh, none of us care. I paddle in the sea. The sand is full of sniffs. There are people and canines, but not too many of either to worry me. I breathe out. This is where I want to be.

And, as you may note, I’m rocking a slightly new look: my Puppia harness. Now I’m a fairly minimal guy; give me my Mungo and Maud rope collar and I’m happy. I wear it every day. But it’s been warm of late, and I’ve been panting my way through every walk. This is normal. You guys sweat, we pant. But Mum was watching me panting, and pulling in my collar (what can I say, there are times when I’m keen to get places) and she was thinking that this wasn’t the healthiest thing for my neck, or my throat. So we popped into Just Dogs and picked up my new harness. And it’s the most comfortable item of clothing a canine can wear.

So here I am, sporting this new look, perched on a rock, sandy paws, ears flapping in the sea breeze… Ah, happy days.

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2 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. Hi Harris, it’s Archie again. How lucky are you going to the beach? I don’t even know what that is yet but it sounds really exciting! I also love your new harness. Maybe Mum will have to get me one like that. My auntie gave me another harness and Mum tried to make me wear it for the first time today (she says I have to get used to it so I can wear it in the car) but it’s a bit cumbersome so I tried to chew it off. I bet she tries to make me wear it again soon. But yours look super swish. 🙂

    I am also getting used to wearing a collar because as of the end of next week I’ll be 12 weeks old and allowed to go ‘out for a walk’ whatever that is. I’m not sure why I have to wear a collar for that but Mum says something about a lead to attach to it soon.

    Have a good day! Archie x



    • Hello Archie!

      I wish I had emojis on my MacBook (technically Dad’s MacBook, only Mum requisitioned it, and she hasn’t downloaded Mavericks yet, so no emojis) as I’d insert a paw wave here. Thanks for popping by the blog.

      Yes, the beach. You’ll love it when you go, Archie. It’s my favourite place. I was little unnerved at first. I mean, there’s a LOT of sea, and it tends to be cold, and the sand moves under your paws, which is a bit weird at first, but it smells *incredible*. And there’s nothing in the world as good as running on damp sand.

      Well, other than chicken treats….

      Now collars.. my Mum has still kept my first collar and every so often she comes across it and gets all misty-eyed, and Dad and I give each other a look and leave the room. The best way to explain collars and leads is that basically, we, you and I, work at a higher level of intelligence than our humans, BUT, and it’s a big but, we’re pretty useless around cars and roads. We wander onto them at will, thinking cars will stop, only they won’t.

      And, because we’re hounds, we smell everything, and if we find a particularly enticing smell, we’re off. Outta. Here. So the concept of collars and leads is to make sure that a/ we don’t lose our Parents, and b/ we don’t get run over with the sheer joy of life. So while this will seem a little odd at first, stick with it.

      I had a harness for the car as well and you’re right, it is a bit clunky. But these Puppia harnesses are great, and you can click them into the car seat belt by getting a little seat belt attachment. I had a harness as a pupster – in camouflage, if you will – and it was so comfy that I didn’t complain even once. Mum tried a different kind on my Uncle Bracken though – a more strappy one – and he was having none of it. Lay on his back, paws in the air. On strike. So the Puppia ones gets our top marks.

      You must be so excited about turning 12 weeks old, Archie. Or, if you’re not feeling it yet, your Parents will be. It’s a super-special time in any young pup’s life. And The Great Outdoors really isn’t half bad. Indeed, there are times (when it’s not raining) when it’s incredible. Your nose won’t know what’s hit it!

      Harris x

      Liked by 1 person


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