Ben’s Munro poem

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.

On the first week of every month we get to choose our own words. Mine are food and climb .I am doing a Haiku

You can find out about the form, and have a go yourself, by clicking below:

Colleen’s weekly poetry challenge

I’m doing lots of walking in Scottish mountains for our charity challenge. You can read all about it here:

Mucky Boots and Flawless Paws

 

Looking north and a bit east

Back on the Munros

Steep ascent on mountain hike

Reward of Sausage

By Ben the dog-poet © 2019

 

 

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At last, I’m off

Friends, collies, dogs with Kangoo owners,

My person has been away Munroing without me three times already this year, and I’ve been getting more and more fed up about it. This was meant to be our big, big project.

I know, I know, there’s a bit of a thing about me chasing bikes on those long rides into the Cairngorms, and the temptation of nipping moving ankles which, for some reason, doesn’t seem to go down too well.

Then… additionally, I’m not allowed on ridges and scrambles in case someone suddenly comes my way that I might be frightened by and the same – rather unfortunate – outcome!!

Apparently, I’m not quiet the easy Munro buddy I might have been 😦

But, my people still think I’m rather special and there are lots of hills we go up together so …. HUGE excitement ………….

WERE OFF.

Must get some beauty sleep first

16
And so to bed!

Love Ben untitled 1

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas isn’t just about treats and presents.

Fellow Canines,

Just look at what a bi Ped, who I’ve become friends with, is doing for our homeless family. Christmas is all about giving and Hugh’s gesture brings a lovely warm feeling to my tummy.

Click this link to read all about it. Lovely tree Hugh 😀

via 2018 Christmas Charity Appeal – Help Me Raise £250 For The Dogs Trust By Leaving Me Links To Your Blogs And Books

Love Ben xx

Third 2018 Munro Day (7th July), Ben Mhanach (No. 52)

Friends, collies, cattle grid pups,

The phone calls that had been exchanged, between the spot 400 metres from my parking place (just off the road at Bridge of Orchy, where we had a faint signal), and our caravan in Ullswater, were sorrowful and full of pathos. The old girl was giving out, her back legs no longer working at all, or reviving just a little. Caring duties had become wearing duties and our absence had added an additional strain to the small domestic unit. After last nights call me and B had a long chin wag, reaching a decision to go home a day early, after our walk the next day.

Thus it was, thinking of the old girl, that we set off to Beinn Mhanach with our hearts in our boots making for v. v. v heavy feet, causing the inspirational celebratory of yesterday to metamorphose into Mrs Plod. It was a long, long walk in of nearly two hours duration, through the beautiful Auch Gleann, with not many metres of ascent along the way. Thankfully, on a day forecast to be v. v. v hot, an early start had given us a head start and shade thrown down by the hills kept us cool.

As we came to the hydro works, and our route took off north up the steep-sided, pathless flank of ‘The Mountain of the Monks’, the sun in splendour announced itself in blazing shades of gold, at just the wrong time. Thus, the usual huffing and puffing serenade was today punctuated with much panting and pausing, which even I was joining in. The quick steep hop up for speedy Gonzales, who had written one of our guide books, was given quite a different description in which the words: shattered, sprawling and, bitten off more than I can chew, decorated the page. However, and with good grace, Mr Sun put his hat back on and this little gesture gave us a bit of respite. We fought our way up hill by way of meandering Zig Zaggs that eventually got us to an easier gradient, just below the top.

The uphill flog

On our way up the focus had largely been taken up with the lack of progress made by B’s plodding feet. Then, at the summit, all was transformed. A 360o vista displayed the Southern Highlands in a panorama that spoke straight to the soul. This contrast refreshed mind and spirit so that, thoughts of ditching the whole project were miraculously vanished from the radar, no more than 45 minutes after being planted there. Drama and Queen are a two words that passed through my mind at this time, for some reason.

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Soaking up the views, and the inevitably bit with the camera, delayed our departure but, finally, the long drive home penetrated our thoughts and we turned to face the slog down the big hill and long walk back to my van.

If zig, zagging was a means of easing the gradient on the way up, all it served to achieve on the way down was dizziness and total confusion. One minute we were heading west in the direction of the fence we had crossed on our way up and the next we were going a long way east in exactly the opposite direction from where my van was parked. I became more than a bit disturbed by this loss of direction, thinking that perhaps my person’s brain had been pickled by the sun and the effort, or perhaps the bottles that make her very happy, which populate my van. Then, thankfully, just in the nick of time, some fellow hikers sitting by the fence called over, in a hail fellow well met sort of greeting. Happily, B waved and trooped over, back on a westward trajectory. More of that incomprehensible Munro dialect that I had witnessed yesterday took place over the next ten minutes or so but, I was so pleased with these humans I remembered my manners and even got praise and treats from them, for my good behaviour, much to the disgust of the canine in their pack.

The long walk back again

This diversion seemed to have cleared B’s brain because, after this, we set off straight down hill and were soon back on the track, starting the long walk back to my van. With the object of today’s adventure achieved and the 52nd Munro firmly in the bag, we began to visualise the lovely surprise that David would get when he saw me; I would brighten up his day.

Not too far from the end of our walk, while crossing a cattle grid, we encountered the strangest thing. A chubby little lamb had fallen through the grid and couldn’t work out an escape route, a thing that was beyond our combined grey matter too, even though I’m a big-brained Border Collie. We set our hopes on finding someone at home – a farmer type – in the cottages that were now in sight. Before then though we were able to flag down a passing vehicle and a shepherd was at the wheel. Twenty minutes later the truck passed again and a big thumbs up signalled success. We were so happy that we had rescued little Larry from his frightening ordeal.

I had meant, during the journey home, to keep a wary eye on B ensuring she didn’t go in for any of that dozing thing she often does when in the car with David. However, with the best will in the world, I did a bit of that dozing thing myself. Well, to be absolutely truthful, it was more of an out for the count, REM sleep, sort of dozing. I only came too when I was woken because it was everyone’s bedtime and I was in my garden at home. I’m sure I must have had some open eye time, to get a bit of dinner down me but, imagine this, I don’t remember; I was robbed.

Now there are no more Munros for Ben, until the old girl is the pot of gold where rainbow bridge ends 😦

The long sleep. My garden's never been this brown before.
And so to bed.

Love Ben xx untitled 1

Munros 2018, here we come

Friends, collies, heat loving dogs,

I have neglected my blog for too long and now I need to get back in the grove, keeping you up to date with my 2018 Munro adventures, or lack of them to date. A v. v. v big welcome and thank you, to those of you who have joined my blog this year, taking a peek as I share my world and sometimes, even liking my attempts at writing verse.

Best big news is that I am still alive and kicking when I might not have been. My people’s desire to get me exercised early each day, by playing ball before it gets too hot, wasn’t  very clever after all, when the temperature was, sometimes, already 20C. Apparently us canines can get heat stroke doing things like that. We read a big long post about it on Facebook and I can tell you it was scary stuff. Now I might get to play ball at midnight if it’s cool enough. Think of that, can the earth hold any greater riches than chasing a luminous ball at midnight?

Next big news is that my van is good to go for another year and all packed up too. Though I’m a bit concerned about where I meant to sleep. Being rather cheeky we took it for it’s annual health check a bit early, to avoid those nasty new tests that are probably going to set it up to fail next year.

Van

We have been ready for the off since early May and had a lovely holiday in the Lake District, getting good and fit. Just then my person had to go away; she has been away tons and I don’t like that at all. Me and my van have been waiting patiently at home. Then, and anyone who knows Scotland will marvel at this, it got too hot, over 30C some days, can you believe that, in Scotland of all places. So, as a result, we had to give the Munros a swerve last weekend too. Now we are keeping our fingers crossed – which is actually quite difficult for a dog – for this coming weekend.

It depends on the old girl though. She has been falling further apart since her 15th birthday and her back legs have nearly gone altogether, bless her.

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She does a neat line in stumbling about, once she gets a lift up, but the times when her wonky back legs won’t hold her up at all are getting more and more frequent. Soon it will be kinder to take that one last visit to the vet. That’s a day none of us are looking forward to at all. I really don’t won’t to even give that sort of thing headspace and just try and think about playing ball at midnight to help keep me positive.

For those following my progress, these are the Munros we hope to climb this weekend. Stob Dubh & Stob Coire Raineach, close to Glen Coe and then: Beinn Archaladair, Beinn a Chreachain, Beinn Dorain, Beinn an Dothaidh and Beinn Mhanach. All near Bridge of Orchy.

Wish me luck?

I’ll keep you posted, need sleep first.

SF 7
And so to bed…

Lots of love Ben xx untitled 1