DBTG – Van update, vet visit, blog make over

Friends, collies and geeks,

Well my van is back from hospital and all my paws are crossed, which makes the simple joys in life, like walking, a bit difficult. Anyway, I’m taking my van on our hols to the caravan, to give it a test run. If all goes well, and the weather turns good for a few days – anytime in the next two weeks – me and B can head up to the Cairngorms.

By the by, I’ve had a couple of outpatient appointments myself in the last week. A graze was turning nasty. In fact, I had something called a granuloma because no one could stop me licking my wound. I was a canine Houdini when it came to getting my sock off. I’ve had steroids and am on antibiotics but Andy still isn’t that happy with it, so I’ve now got cream as well. It doesn’t stop me walking though. Only keeping my paws crossed about my van does that.

a sock

Me and B haven’t been idle while we’ve been trying to get everything right for the Munros. We have given my blog a make over, having learnt all about pages and wikis.


You can even translate my blogs into other languages. So, for the Cousins family, how about reading this post in Italian, while you are there and let me know if the translation is any good.

All this geeking is v. v. v hard work…

And so to bed

a 220

Love Ben xx

Customer Satisfaction Survey

Friends, collies and form fillers everywhere,

I’m afraid the time has come. B hasn’t done half the things she needed to over the winter so it looks like I’m going to have to do all the work again and I need to increase my traffic, as us bloggers say. Therefore I need to know if I’m on the right track, or not. ALL advice most welcome.

So… please, please, please fill in my survey monkey dogquest. I really honestly need to know if you like my dog blog and how I can make it better, or if I would be better served nipping B until she updates her own stuff.

No news, in this case, would be very bad news indeed. There are only seven questions so please click on the link below and give me your honest opinion. I will publish the results in my next blog.


Closing date is 23rd March.

This has been v. v. v hard work indeed.


Love Ben x



Review of my Munro year, 2016

Friends, collies, climbing dogs

Well here it is fans, my wonderful first Munro year in verse!

My Van, getting us there

Road runner motoring on
– Tin box with complex needs –
Motorway or city throng
Rivers Forth and Clyde nae heed.



Awesome screens of deep hung mist
Refreshment for a sullen May.
Takes a turn and shakes a fist
Ben Lomond bathed in blue today.



Map and compass, GPS
Trigs and grids and contours gold.
Stone cairns to join our journeys song
Though B tries hard were lost and cold.

374 370


Tracks with stones to hurt my toes
And velvet paths of moss that sooth.
Big boulders span my highs and lows
While sinking bogs depress this dude.



Mountain views as ocean vast
Crescent rolls in Mexican wave.
Peaks that cut the sky like glass
Great valley floors, cathedral naves.

636a 623

Back at base

My van spells out the end of day
Poor battered and beleaguered tank.
Under purple blanket warm I stay,
For slippered feet, to Mary, thanks.



Friends who read my every blog
And send us readies for the pot
Big ambitions, little dog
Watch this space, it’s getting hot!

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Review of the year, 2016 – It got even better

Friends, collies, bloggers all,

Can you believe it I’ve been blogging for just short of 2 years. Where does the time go? The friends and followers I’ve been lucky enough to keep will know what an incredible year 2015 was. One I certainly didn’t think could be bettered. But, here I am wide eyed and bushy tailed (well OK, forget about the bushy tail) ready to spill the beans on 2016. Some of you have followed me all the way and I am such a lucky dog to have faithful friends. Others have dipped in and out. Thank you all very much too. You can’t be expected to read all my anthropomorphic antics so anyone who reads anything is a counted as a forever friend. Then, getting comments is just B’s knees, or something like that. And the very icing on the cake is… I’ve got followers who me or B don’t even know.

At the end of last years review I wrote that I had fetched up in quite a good berth and might stick around for a bit. Well, as it happens, that was a pretty sharp judgement call of mine. Admittedly, there wasn’t a lot going between January and March but we had some lovely lie-ins at the weekend. That meant I got more snuggle time than the brief period I’m allowed on the bed on a work day, or when we get up earlier on lighter mornings. It was also nice to sit by the fire of a cold winter night. To be honest I was just glad to be alive after the encounter with the vet man and my near death experience last year. I’m pleased to tell you that I had the repeat procedure just yesterday and without any ill effects. I wasn’t best pleased to be there again and tried very hard not to go the slippery slope to the room of torture. In fact, Andy asked me if I was going skiing as I was hauled down in a very undignified manner. I thought that degree of sarcasm was uncalled for in a professional man and I might have had a quick nip of the ankles if he hadn’t disarmed me with lots of cheese. It seemed to go awfully well after that, for some reason.

I continued to meet my dear friend Amber over the winter months though, if I’m truthful, it’s a bit like Rock n Roll meets Tea Dance, given the age differential. Still, her person always has pockets full of treats so there’s always a silver lining. Definitely, the best bit of early 2016 was making a new best pal, Oscar. He is a young dog like me. Chemistry, magnetism and fireworks are three words that describe our encounters; wonderful to watch but you wouldn’t want to get too close. At the moment these meetings happen by accident but I’m pressing for them to be put on a more formal footing. I’ve got a feeling that me and Oscar are going to be friends for life 🙂 .

Once March arrived my people had a bit more umph and we resumed the weekends at our caravan with what turned out to be – for me – boot camp. B and me were definitely in training for that Munro thing I was meant to be doing. The one where lots of people give us money and I don’t get to buy any treats with any of it. It seems that my behaviour has been deemed as good as it is going to get and I’m never going to be that easy going dog that would be a pleasure to take on the fells. I can do that classical laid back stuff – flat on my back with all paws up in the air – thank you very much, but only in the comfort of my sofa. Get me outside and I am assaulted my threats to my security; those of you who have stuck about a bit will know the rest. Despite my weakness for ankles I do have a lot going for me though. My response to a beep, beep, beep after lots of whistle training hide and seek, is near perfect. In addition, our hard work with the woolly things is truly admirable with cheese winning over chase since April last year.

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Anyway we had a lovely spring with a big mix of weather and I even behaved well with the little woolly things.

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Then we met some very strange looking woolly things  but luckily for me they were behind the wire.

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It seems it all happens in spring becuase our heard of deer were about in Boredale too.

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We did lots and lots of more walking and then we had vistors and I did more walking still, with a not a little measure of scrambling thrown in for good measure so that suddenly, there were three generations of us at it, strutting our stuff on the hills. I’m counting myself in with the youngest ones, of course.



Our Munros began with B buying me my very own red van, which was such a memorable day. However, my van has special needs and gives us a lot of angst. We aren’t quite sure it is up to the job. Then I was plastered all over Dumfries and Galloway in their local rag, as we tried to get some interest in our great adventure. It all promised exciting times ahead.


I’m going to review the Munros in my next post, to prevent this one from becoming too long. So, moving swiftly on, I had a well earned rest after the giddy heights of summer walking and when the darker mornings came in I resumed my snuggles on the bed. In fact B wasn’t very well in December and it was brilliant, though I suppose I really shouldn’t put it like that. What I mean is that I spent hours up on that bed with her and it was in the day time too!!!! Ever since then I’ve been chancing my paw and trying to get up in the early hours. Sometimes it works but there’s often a lot of moaning going on. Apparently, I’m too heavy, take up too much room and pinch all the duvet. Well, I’d like to reply, there’s a perfectly good cushion on the floor if either of you would like to have a go at living a dogs life. I’m not complaining though and however unfathomable my people are I have grown head over ears in love with them. And, guess what, they love me too despite it all. I despair of them often but now I’ve grown confident of a nice big dinner after a hard days sleep I can forgive their many foibles. It could just be that they have more to forgive me for but… let’s not go there.

Just when I thought it was all getting a tad boring excitement hit the end of my year. On 16th December 2016 I was whisked off to meet some new people and get plastered all over Dumfries and Galloway again. This time we didn’t come away empty handed and got lots of dosh for our charities, as well as some money for our own expenses, which is brilliant. B wants to try and keep this for when we need to hire a mountain leader who can navigate properly, on v. v. v steep, remote and dangerous mountains, but I’ve got a horrible feeling my van might want some of it first. Still paws crossed, think happy. After the excitement of that day, when I became a celebratory and got a big head, I made up my first jingle. This was to thank Arnold Clark for all they are doing to sponsor me & B. I’m so pleased with this new talent that I’m going to review my Munro adventures in rhyme. I bet you can’t wait!


Before I finish this blog, I want to tell you about my Christmas holiday. On 22nd December we upped sticks, the old girl and whatever else we could fit into our Fabia, heading to a lovely lake district retreat for a week. When we arrived there was so much to do: Unpacking the car, making the bed, lighting the fire and putting anything edible out of my reach. My attempts to help, especially the last task, didn’t seem to go down very well and I was definitely doggy non grata.

We all went for some shorter walks and B & David did a lot of that plastered thing, but not quite in the same way as me and the newspapers. I liked going out in the evening to meet up with Boots and Bingo in the pub because Claire, their person, gives out treats like they are going out of fashion. Even the barman at the Tower Bank Arms tried to fill up my tummy. I was so impressed by these random acts of kindness that I tried to behave myself, pretending I have a maturity beyond my years and that I belong to a breed that isn’t wired to the moon. It was v. v. v hard headwork and I slept like a log when we got back to our cottage. On Christmas day me and the old girl even got a bottle of Snuffle dog beer to oil the wheels of clebration. Then we got to open our pressies.


I am very good at opening presents but I only get the cheap ones to keep, due to my over zealous toy destruction abilities. Toby’s presents of yesteryear are sacrosanct and have to be preserved in aspic, once I have had the smallest play with them. Me and the old girl then had our dinners in a one, one, two. I still can’t work out why it took B & David so long to get their own on the table and then even longer to eat it all up. Perhaps it had something to do with those horrible bangs that came from their direction, or the silly hats they put on. I do hope B doesn’t take to wearing one of those on the Munros. Me and B got some brilliant Munro presents. I got some waterproof note books for writing in and B got a bracelet that can unwind with 12 feet of parachute rope, to get us out of all sorts of trouble. Then, my favourite present of all time, Mary bought me some slippers for when my feet are hurting a lot. What a brillliant year. Wonder if I can top it next year.


Gosh, that was a big one. I’ve only got enough energy left to wish all my friends a happy and healthy New Year. Two wishes for 2017 are to visit my friends in Norfolk and to – finally – meet the love of my life, Bumble of course.

Crashing out now,

Love Benzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz xx

Aw, my van is in hospital

Friends, collies and garage guard dogs

It was very sad to see my van towed away a couple of days ago and I shed a tear or two. B & David have done sterling work over the winter so far, keeping it going. Our magic jump start kit added umph when it was too much like hard work for the battery – in sub Zero temperatures – and we found a move a day keeps the mechanic away; saving the rust in the brakes drum linings from sticking and stoping the wheel from doing it business. It’s amazing what you learn when you set out on a Munro adventure, isn’t it?
I haven’t been going out in my van while it goes around the block to keep everything moving becuase I can’t have the heating on. That might drain the battery of energy but it’s v. v. v cold in my van in December. I stay in and curl up in front of the fire instead.
Anyway, David was giving it one of these nuture trips when it got all hot and bothered. It was very thirsty, like me and B are when we get hot, and drank all it’s coolant. I think it was also angry – a bit like B when she gets overheated – because it did a lot of hissing. The upshot was that we needed extra help this time and the RAC man came out, had one look, and said we needed to go to the van hospital.
I went down to visit it today and the upshot is…. phew, it just has a small inexpensive leak in the coolling system. My head gasket hasn’t blow, which sounds like an awfully good job and the water pump is OK too, unlike the old girls!! So, my favourite van man is going to set to work next week and my lovely red, paw-print van will be back on the forecout in now time at all, ready and waiting for our 2017 Munro adventure.

Sleeping happy


Love Ben xx