Well Hello,

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… and a very warm welcome to my dog blog. I’m so pleased that you’ve found me. I do hope you will enjoy reading about the trials and tribulations of my great adventure. I would love it if you joined in the saga by dropping me a line in the comments box. As you will see I’m going to need all the support I can get.

This my v. v. v big tail!

I started my blog in 2015, as a  young orphan puppy from West Cumbria in the United Kingdom. It will record my big walking adventure – climbing the 282  Scottish Mountains over 3,000 feet. Me, an agile young collie and my person – a creaky aging thing (called B) – aim to complete the task by the time I am 10 and she is 70. We are to spend many hours in some of the most wonderful and  remote parts of the UK: walking, camping, eating, drinking, writing and growing ever closer and closer. My primary purpose is to attract people who would like to follow me and see if I achieve my goal.  I aim to raise £32,000 for two v. v. v good causes. I have promised not to use any of the dosh for even a tiny morsel of a treat, how hard is that?

Scary map of 64 Munros completed, and those still to do 235!

This is our story from a canine perspective for a change.

The human story is very slow, but you can try to access it here and join the group: 

Facebook – Mucky Boots and Flawless Paws

The money we raise will be spilt between a charity for search and rescue dogs, and Canine Partners, which trains assistance dogs to  support disabled people. These dogs are sooooooo clever. This is Bumble and Sandra’s story. I am in love with Bumble.

SANDRA BELL AND BUMBLE – Partnership study

There are film clips of the clever canines at work below.  If after watching them you think what amazing creatures we dogs really are, and you wanted to support their work, you could always drop me a penny or two for my fundraising, just here :

Munro challenge doggy bag fund – just giving

Please join in the chat, by adding your thoughts below and become part of the adventure. It will give me encouragement and I’m going to need it, by the bucket full

By the bye, all my blog posts are here, on my home page, but I have other more specific pages. You just need to click a mouse (ouch!), on the menu below my lovely photo at the top, to access them:

  • Ben Speak – Understand the dogisms, and the odd philosophical musing in my blog.
  • Ben’s Annual Reviews – A summary of my little world, one post per year.
  • Ben’s Reads – My gift of reading just for you, in my recommended reads.
  • Ben’s Team – A slide show of those in commerce giving me a paw up.
  • Ben, The Dog Poet – check out my back log of verse and doggerel.
  • Constitution/Donate/Contact  Check out my credentials, donate, or contact me.
  • Doggy Dementia – Ben’s top tips – Written in tribute to our old girl, to help others.
  • Munro Posts – All my Munro posts, copied and arranged in chronological order from the start to finish, in one place.

You tube – Canine Partners at work

You tube – Search and Rescue dog doing their thing.

That was hard work, Need sleep.

Ben Asleep
And so to bed

Love Ben xx untitled 1

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2019 Munros, here we come :)

Friends, collies, deserted dogs,

Oh my goodness me, what a turn up for the books. As if landing ourselves with a much more reliable and younger Munromobile wasn’t enough, we seem to have gone way up market with, in fact, a Des Res, for our big charity challenge. Read all about it!

It’s all very salubrious compared to my old van (about which – by the way – I won’t hear a bad word). Though I have to admit to being a bit worried about this Des person, I just don’t know where we are going to fit him in.

We seem to have gone high rise with mark 2 and my bunk bed sits on top of a small truck containing all our precious maps, routes and assorted Munrobilia. B’s head is close to mine, with all my food and treats and balls stored under her. I do hope she doesn’t squash them.

Oh joy of joys, what times we are going to have. We spent all Easter weekend kitting it out and personalising it and now we are just raring to go.

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I have a very sad addendum to add here. It seems, that after last years aborted efforts, we have a lot of catching up to do and B has to go Munroing whenever she can. Sometimes, that might not include me 🙂 In fact, she did the first weekend on her own, taking the opportunity of working in Glasgow on a Friday, nearly 100 miles north of home, to head further north and do a bit of Munro bagging. She did the same, for the same reason, at the beginning of May and left me behind for a whole week. Mind you I might have been a bit of a liability. B was using her bike to cut down walking through the v. v. v long Glens to the start of the ascents. What, with my strong chase instinct, I might not have been able to have resist a chase and a nip when other cyclists past us. I’m told that lots of them did pass her too (hee, hee).

I’m going to post links to the place where B writes about all her solo Munroing on my blog and here are a few photos to wet your whistle. She’s very slow writing them all up though.

I can’t wait to go bagging again myself, and write up all about my adventures. Watch this space …

Better get some sleep first

SF 9
And so to bed

Love Ben 0

 

 

 

 

 

High days and holidays #Senury

Thank you for coming to visit a dog poet. This is my weekly poem in response to Colleen’s weekly poetry challenge From a range of structured poetry types we create our verse, in response to two words prompts.

As Colleen is out of action, while in the upheaval of moving house, we are selecting our own two words. This week my words are, happy and family.

I have such a lovely life with everything I need, in ample sufficiency, provided with love and kindness. As well as my walks, lovely food and  luxury soft furnishings (for relaxation), I have a wonderful garden to play in. Then, when we go on holiday it’s even better still. Me and my people spend all day everyday together, and I am beside myself with happiness. We have just had a wonderful week tramping across the Moors, in North Yorkshire (UK). My short Senury is about that.

Moors 1    moors

Oh, blessings bestowed

Day long walks with my people

Playing lots of ball.

Love Ben, the dog poet © 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Springtime frolics, #Tanka

Thank you so much for coming to visit a dog poet. My poems, for Colleen’s weekly poetry challenge, are a take on life from a canine perspective. We poets – and to date I seem to be the only dog poet –  write one of the structured poems permitted and have to integrate, as synonyms, the two words given as a prompt.

This week however, being the first week in the month, we can choose our own words and mine are April and Fool.

You can find out all about the challenge, the different poetry forms, and have a go yourself, by clicking below.
Colleen’s poetry challenge

After the dark days of winter, spring has enlivened me and I’m up for anything.  My newfound mischievousness has inspired this weeks poem, a Tanka.

pet mischief

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I’m game for a laugh

Purveyor of happiness,

Big wagging of tail.

Like the jester’s  guileless pranks,

Springtime frolics, harmless fun.

By Ben, the dog poet © 2019

You can see what all the other poets got up to by clicking below.
The poet writes – challenge no 129

Love Ben xx
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Ben’s new Munromobile #A Tanka

Thank you so much for coming to visit a dog poet. My poems for Colleen’s weekly poetry challenge are a take on life from a canine perspective. We poets – and to date I seem to be the only dog poet –  write one of the structured poems permitted and have to integrate, as synonyms, the two words given as a prompt.

This week the word are spring and sing; I am doing a Tanka.

You can find out about it all, and have a go yourself, by clicking below:

Colleen’s poetry challenge

 

Photo of Ben's van no available in this format.

Last week I had to relinquish my van, which had been our friend, transport and accommodation, as we climbed the first 50 mountains on our quest to conquer the 282 Munros in Scotland; they are the mountains over 3000 feet. While I had grown to love the character of my van it seems that’s it’s unreliability was a bit of a liability. I had very mixed feelings about this transformation and wrote about then in this blog:

Ben’s new Munromobile

You can read all about our v. v. v big challenge here. Ben’s adventure

However, look at what I’ve got now and, of course, I had to write a poem about it.

 

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Bought near Pentland hills –
My rising star, shinning bright –
Tanka-Kangoo beams.
Like the promise of sunset
Or a boyant, joyous song.

Love Ben, the dog poet xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have I got news for you!

Friends, collies, micro campers,

Last Monday my afternoon slumber was badly disturbed, or so I thought at the time. In Ben’s life, mornings are all about playing ball in the forest for a couple of hours and, after all that exertion, afternoons give way to lots and lots of zzzzzzzzzzs; life’s not all bad.

Being a creature of habit, I’m not at my best when such a well-oiled routine is interrupted and, therefore, I was in a foul mood when woken and directed to the garden (nature’s own public convenience), before getting into my seat in the car.

Arriving at B’s work to collect her early perked me up no end, but my body clock was seriously confused; what was going on? We started back towards home, but then went sailing (well, OK driving) right past the end of our road. Curiouser and curiouser, I thought, but such a lot of thinking was beginning to make my headspace hurt and the anxiety butterflies had started their workout in my tummy. There really is only one response to such uncertainty, so I thumped down on my seat – to let my feelings be known – and then proceeded to catch up on some shut-eye.

When the motion of rubber on tarmac became uneven I was jolted into consciousness and serious worry commenced. There was nothing recognisable here that could anchor me to time or place. The familiar dance of the butterflies I had experienced earlier became a frantic workout, involving cartwheels, back flips and double somersaults.

We had fetched up by some ruinous mill-type building, with portacabins and lots of cars, seemingly abandoned, decorating the landscape. Not only was the unfamiliar a cause for concern but B and David immediately deserted me and I didn’t know if they would ever come back. As you can imagine, I followed their footsteps with my eyes out on stalks and my neck stretched to the back window, which is a very long way, even in our little Fabia. Well, what a funny thing. B and David were giving one of those abandoned cars the once over and, before you could say “Ben, meet your new Munromobile”, B had driven off in it with a strange man, and David was sitting beside me.

It turns out that my van is being traded in for a newer model. Oh my goodness me, you should see it. Well, actually you can, here’s some photos. Will you take a look at that!

 

The mileage is only just over half way round the clock (whatever that means), and everything works as it should, which is a real novelty. Now the van won’t blow a fuse if she forgets the back door lock is dysfunctional, and neither will she get the key stuck in the passenger lock, because that one doesn’t work either. The audio system does the job properly too, which means melodious tunes. No longer do musicians sound as if they are undergoing some very nasty examination while trying to sing at the same time. And, if that isn’t enough, just look at the paintwork. I know appearances are only skin deep but I can do shallow if it means a spiffing car. I can tell you, I will be sitting up very proudly as we make for Munro country, waving my paw as if, for all the world, I was related to royalty.

And….., as if that wasn’t enough, very soon it is going to look like this – hells bells!

Van

When B came back from her test drive she asked for my opinion, and obviously that was a no- brainer. What adventures we are going to have as veritable owners of our Renault Kangoo, which is seven years younger than my van. I wish B could lose seven years just like that. Then we might be able to get up our Munros one heck of a lot quicker.

I’m going to call my new car/van Tanka. It’s after the poetry competition I enter most Tuesdays. While a Tanka is a form of poetry originating from Japan, my new Munromobile looks a little bit like a tank and drives like pure poetry in motion.

We got Tanka from Fraser Murray Cars Sales in Penicuik, near Edinburgh, and his is a v. v. v commendable outfit, getting lots of those five star things. I even got a donation in my fundraising pot. I’m going to add Fraser Murray Car Sales to my team, when I get back from my weekend away. Me and B are telling everyone to get their cars there.

I couldn’t sleep on the way back home. My tummy was in such a state. I don’t even know how to describe it. I had got so v. v. v excited, but now there was another drama going on and the butterflies were in free-fall. What was going to happen to myvan. B and me had started our big Munro challenge in it and, in fact, it had been our accommodation for the first 50 Munros. I know it had let us down a few times, and had more quirky qualities than you could shake a stick at, but it had character and I had grown to love it. We had even identified our own special song in it; albeit with Ronan Keating singing in a pitch something akin to soprano. I also got worried about Micky, who had come back for shelter again this year, as winter approached; how would he keep warm now? Apparently, the new model was top security, not even a little field mouse could gain entry. Then there were all my mini paw prints, each one denoting a Munro I had climbed. Where could I put them now, with nine windows taking up all the space? Oh dearie me, now I wasn’t so sure at all.

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I know B’s tummy was in a similar state to mine, and I believe hers started going wobbly when she produced that thing they call a credit card. Me and B had a big conflab when got home. B reassured me that we would find somewhere to put my paw prints and, while she is going to get a bit of kit that becomes a bed, for the sake of her old bones, I can still have my cushion beside her. Also, and oh this took my breath away, as Micky hasn’t been back for quite a while now, it is highly likely that he is a goner.

B was still going on but by this time my head space was like mince, and I was flat out dreaming of a Renault Kangoo parked far below towering Munro peaks.

 

BS1 476
And so to bed

Love Ben untitled 1xx

Sensational

Oh golly gosh,

Thank you so much for coming to visit a dog poet. My poems for Colleen’s weekly poetry challenge are a take on life from a canine perspective. We poets – to date I seem to be the only dog poet –  write one of the structured poems permitted and have to integrate, as synonyms, the two words given as a prompt. Though, for the first poem of each month, we can choose our own words. This week I have chosen the words scent and sad and I am doing a short Haibun , followed by a Tanka. The Haibun is a piece of prose, with a title, written in the first person canine singular, and it occurs in the present moment. The poem that follows – never seeks to repeat, quote from or explain the prose. It should reflect some aspect of the prose by introducing a different step in the narrative through a microburst of detail – seemingly different, yet somehow connected; gosh!

To be honest, I’m not sure I’ve captured all that but, then again, I’m only a dog and I’ve done my best for my first attempt. The Tanka that follows is structured in 5 lines, with a syllable count of 5, 7, 5, 7, 7. I’m pretty sure I’ve managed that, which isn’t bad for a dog, even a dog poet.

You can find out about it all and, have a go yourself. by clicking below:

Colleen’s poetry challenge

Sensational

sensational

She entered my life as a burst of starlight on a winter’s night, igniting my senses. The sky is now bluer and mown grass more fragrant, while autumn leaves laugh and crackle under foot. Our walks in the forest inject my heart with joy and – with soft steps – I dance, trying to catch moving shadows on the path. Here, verdant trees – swaying in the breeze – filter sunlight.

When she goes away, as she sometimes has to, a despondency numbs my senses and then a grey mantilla shrouds my life. I am reminded of lines from the poet, Yevtushenko:
“ The colours in my eyes will fade, when your face sets.”

Though – of course – being a dog, my senses will be extinguished when her smell is gone.

Her smell fading now
Each moment a crying shame.
Disrupted, my world –
Like neglected flower heads –
Drooping, lifeless, sees no sun.

By Ben, the dog poet ©2019

Additionally, you can read all the poems from last week here: Tuesday poetry challenge recap

And, if you need a little bed time reading to send you to sleep, you can read lots of my poems ever, here: The dog poet’s poems

You can also read all about my big walking charity challenge here: Mucky Boots and Flawless Paws, but that might keep you awake at night, or possibly give you nightmares – hee, hee!

Love Ben xx 0

Ben’s weekly poem #Senryu

Thank you so much for coming to visit a dog poet. My poems for Colleen’s weekly poetry challenge are a take on life from a canine perspective. We poet’s write one of the structured poems permitted and have to integrate, as synonyms, the two words given as a prompt. For the first poem of each month we poets choose our words. This week I have chosen the words meaning and passion.

Click here to find out more and enter

You can read all the poems from last week here: Tuesday poetry challenge 121, recap

And, if you need a little bed time reading to send you to sleep, you can read all my poems ever, here: The dog poet’s poems

You can also read all about my big walking charity challenge here: Mucky Boots and Flawless Paws

 

This weeks poem is about how me and my person feel when we get to the top of one of the big mountains on our challenge.

 

Our joint desire
Heartfelt union of a pulse
Definition – love.

By Ben, the dog poet ©2019