Ben’s extra special FREE summer competition – all in white

Friends, collies, puzzlers

(A big hello to anyone new to my blog. I‚Äôm Ben a young Border Collie on a v.v.v adventurous challenge. You can read all about it by clicking here. My blogs tell the whole story, paw by paw. I do so hope you will like them and want to follow my adventures).

Oh dearie me, it seems that I need to reinvent myself. Quite apart from being a bit of a liability, as a Munro buddy, particularly if I come into close contact with the human variety on narrow mountain ledges – I also have this dual responsibility; I’m needed at home too – a home isn’t home without a dog and, looking around me, I seem to be the only one available. So… it seems that I need to forget about flogging my way up 3.000 foot mountains (phew – way to go!) and concentrate on the domestic scene.

HOWEVER, I can still do my bit. I’m destined – it seems – to become the popular image of our fundraising campaign (an ambassador?) and reach out to people of money. We haven’t met any yet but are always hoping. In the meantime, here is my FREE summer competition ūüôā which, curiously for July, features lots of the white stuff.

Me and B had a conflab about the shapes the snow made on the Munros, in the photos she took of them. We could see lots of animal shapes. It made me wonder what you can see. We had real animals, cartoon characters, even a mythical beast. What do you make of it all? I can’t wait to find out.

So… for one of Ben’s v. v. v special prizes, what are they all? Just click on the photo to enlarge it and use the arrow keys at the side to move to the next photo. There are two prizes this time. One that gets closest to matching what me and B came up with, and one for someone who has even better ideas. Please puts (puts?) write our answers in the comments field below and number them 1 – 9, to correspond with the images, so that we are on the same page mountain.

That was hard work – must sleep.

And so to bed

Love Ben xx

Ben’s World, 9th April 2018

Hello,

how lovely of you to visit me, thank you. This is a snap shot of my world in response to the weekly questions posed in Cee’s Share Your World  post.

You can read all about my v. v. v big adventure by visiting my home page  and also, my Munro blogs. All my poems are here dog-poets page

Been anywhere recently for the first time?

Not for a little while now. The caravan park where we have our static is open again, so it’s been rediscovering my favourite walks at weekends, since 1st March. I must say they looked a lot¬†different at first, in all the snow.

I did go to Stratford upon Avon, in January. It was brilliant I had the biggest game of ball ever down by the river, across from the theatre where they put on all those plays by a man called Shakespeare.

List three favorite book characters.

Lassie, Montmorency, Rowl and Snitter.

 

The Plague dogs is my favourite. It’s v. v. v exciting and I really worry about their safety but there’s a happy ending.¬†And, big bonus, it’s all set in the English Lake¬†District.

What is your favorite non alcololic drink: hot or cold?

A nice long drink of cold fresh water from a Scottish Loch, high in the hills, after a long walk and before a lovely swim.

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What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  

Our old girl was 15, that’s 90 in human years. She had a big party and I wrote her a special poem. A poem for the old girl.

I’m looking forward to hearing about the new places you have been too.

Love Ben xx

 

 

 

Dog-poet’s latest

Hello,

how lovely of you to visit me, thank you. This is the latest offering of the dog-poet in response to Colleen’s weekly poetry challenge The two prompt words this week, to be integrated synonymously, are charm and time

You can read all about my v. v. v big adventure by visiting my home page and also, my Munro blogs. All my poems are here  dog-poets page

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Nameless mascot of

our Munro quest fronts ageless

cliffs called Braeriach.

By Ben, the dog-poet xx © 2018

Love Ben xx

#BlackAndWhite#PhotographyChallenge#DaySix

Thank you very much to Luccia Gray for nominating the dog-poet, suggesting he turn his paw to this photography challenge. Luccia is a writer, and exponent of the best in Victorian literature. She blogs at https://lucciagray.com/ 

I’m a bit in awe of this challenge business because I’m only really good for the odd  family snap. Being a dog, it’s a bit fiddly with the paws and the press button, so don’t expect anything grand. The camera’s not up to much and it’s only basic editing. It’s a bit of fun and I’m so pleased to take part.

Here’s the job. Black and White Photography Challenge: Seven days. Seven black and white photos of your life. No explanation. No people. (and, Ben’s rule, no dogs) Challenge someone new each day.

Today I nominate Ewan who blogs here, Wild About Scotland. Ewan has a passion, like me, for the amazing place that Scotland is. He is a bit more adventurous than my person. Accept the challenge if and when you like.

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Love Ben xx 0

 

 

#BlackAndWhite#PhotographyChallenge#Day Four

Day Four already, oh dear they’re not getting any better ūüė¶¬†¬†Seemingly, there’s something wrong with my exposure which I don’t like the sound of at all.

Thank you very much to Luccia Gray for nominating the dog-poet, suggesting he turn his paw to this photography challenge. Luccia is a writer, and exponent of the best in Victorian literature. She blogs at https://lucciagray.com/ 

I’m a bit in awe of this challenge business because I’m only good for the odd  family snap. Being a dog, it’s a bit fiddly with the paws and the press button, so don’t expect anything grand. The camera’s not up to much and it’s only basic editing. It’s a bit of fun and I’m so pleased to take part.

Here‚Äôs the job. Black and White Photography Challenge: Seven days. Seven black and white photos of your life. No explanation. No people. (No dogs – I’ve added that one!)¬†Challenge someone new each day.

Today I nominate Dawn-Marie who blogs here Dawn Marie loves Scotland and adventures as much as I do and takes much better pictures than me or my person. Accept this challenge if you like and when you can.

I‚Äôm going to find it so hard not to tell you what the photos are all about but, seemingly, they just speak for themselves, telling their own story ‚Äď golly gosh. Guess where I’m sitting…

Fire = vanilla a

Love Ben xx 0

 

Review of 2017, the year of the mouse

Friends, collies, fellow travellers,

I ended last years annual review by wondering if¬†life could get any better for a young, sometimes troubled, rescue dog. Well, have I got news for you? However, I had a dilemma –¬†where on earth to¬†start. David said I¬†had to mention how high I’d climbed and – quick as a flash – big border collie brain in gear.

Now, with the help of another great thinker, a certain Mr Maslow, I can let you know¬†what I’ve achieved in 2017 and also, why I was able to. According to Abraham – a 1940s scholar and not a biblical one, despite the name – we’ve all got needs that have to be met and¬†they¬†come in a lovely big¬†colourful triangle.

Maslow needs
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

It’s a bit like a game of snakes and ladders. You start at the bottom and once these needs are met you get on¬†the ladder… this takes you up to the next level. Then, Holy Moses, you can be nearly at the top and still¬†come a cropper, doing a big slithery¬†thing¬†down¬†a venomous¬†snake.¬†As far as I can ascertain, with¬†a bit of insight from my friend¬†Google, I seem to be the only dog writing on this¬†subject at the moment.

Level one Рbasic needs

Mr M says that I need my tummy full ALL THE TIME and I can personally validate the reliability of his research. Andy (the best vet in the universe), put me on the scales only today and confirmed that this joyous¬†need had been met; a little too well met as it turns out. Apparently, I also need a supply of fresh water constantly at my disposal.¬†Two ceramic bowls that decorate¬†the bedroom and living room floors, full to the brim¬†and accounting for the thread bare carpet around them –¬† fulfil this need, with the dog beer in the fridge being¬†– it seems –¬†just an¬†added extra.

On a more delicate note and still in the red zone, I also need frequent visits to the garden – if you get my drift – and I’m happy to report that there haven’t been any accidents in the house again this year. That’s more than you can say for the old girl. What with the mind falling apart and the body disintegrating, we are experiencing a few whoopsies here and there. Though it’s not all bad news, I hear¬†the profits on pet deodorising spray at Tesco¬†have shot up.

Level two – safety needs

Keeping Ben safe, now there’s a story and it is¬†BIG on my people’s agenda;¬†something to do with the ankle nipping tendency, me thinks.¬†Hats off to them, they do their best and, even three years down the line,¬†are still coming up with creative ideas to help me focus my anxiety on more socially acceptable outlets. In pursuit of this lofty ideal, 2017 saw the pointing of¬†nozzles –¬†attached to¬†tubes of Primular –¬†right at my mouth, whenever anyone passed; nothing wrong with that. ūüôā¬†Perfectly timed and –¬†squeezed with a nice even pressure¬†– they¬†have proved spectacularly successful, also giving witness to the astonishing length of my tounge.¬† Timing sadly, isn’t always top notch, so we have also¬†introduced a rather moreish little¬†herbal remedy called ‘Complete Calm’, my medication of choice. It has a mildly tranquilising effect and makes for a rather mellow Ben, most of the time. However, it isn’t up to the mark when ankles pass at speed, or when they are close to a couple of¬†wheels travelling at speed.¬†Desperate remedies accompany these extremes,¬†including restraint on a leash, to save me from myself and¬†make sure I am able to fulfil my safety needs.

While¬†on the subject of level two needs,¬†I must say that¬†– even if I am just a pooch with a laptop – I rather take issue with old Abe, as we like to call him,¬†about an important omission.¬†He is –¬†quite rightly –¬†big on safety and security. However,¬†he totally misses the importance of comfort needs and so doesn’t give the¬†physical and metaphorical significance¬†of the soft furnishings¬†a look in. I knew when, within 5 minutes of arriving, I was tucked up beside B on¬†our¬†sofa with my own –¬†rather¬†attractive –¬†throw, that I was going to have all my needs met at this strange place¬†I had fetched up in.¬†To prove my point, and to amuse my good friend Mary McCarthy, I have inserted a little moving¬†gallery.

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Level three РSocial needs, all about Ben belonging

2017 has really cemented my journey from orphan pup to happily ever after, via the dedicated work of Animal Concern West Cumbria (Click Mickey), and my wonderful temporary accommodation with foster people, Gavin and Wendy.¬†Admittedly, living with 2 legged things is a v. v .v odd and sometimes alarming¬†experience. I mean they spend all day putting things on and taking them off again: whey they get up,¬†go out, come back in, when the fire is hot, when the fire is cold, when we go to bed… Why would you do that? I’m not even going to mention when we go out for our¬†walks, dizzy doesn’t come anywhere near it. Then there is¬†this small room, that¬†I never go into, but which¬†my people spend¬†hours in in, all on their own. Sometimes, when¬†I snuggle up close to the door while waiting, I get¬†the benefit of a Turkish bath from the steam that creeps out from under the door. Having settled into this weird and wonderful place, with the ever mysterious human race –¬†and not forgetting the old girl – I have somehow become confident of a place where I belong and now call home.

And that really is just the start of my social life.¬†I’ve got a little mouse called Mickey, who has taken a shine to my van, and a feline friend from Devon that I correspond with now and again.¬†Then there’s my trio of loyal canine followers from Norwich and a few pals from my old dog obedience class. Topping it all, there’s a whole bunch of us who meet in the forest most days, on our morning¬†constitutionals, which includes my very best pal Oscar, who I introduced you to in my review of 2016.¬†I have¬†an internal struggle¬†when I see him,¬†because his person comes with a nice succulent line in treats. I’m never sure who to say hello to first, Angela for my level¬†one needs, or Oscar for my level¬†three ones. Our games are still just magic, and the electricity¬†generated¬†really should¬†be sold off to the national grid as a substantial contribution to the¬†renewal energy strategy.

To top all this I’ve got a whole band of¬†two legged things who are friends, fans, followers and supporters. 2018, is going to see me and my¬†young cousin Bobby making headlines, when he comes to visit me in the Lake District and I just can’t wait – watch this spot.¬†Then,¬†of course, there’s Bumble, as ever making my tummy go all¬†fluttery and my heart beat faster.

I think I can say, with a degree of confidence,¬†that level three needs are done and dusted so… going up.

Level¬†four¬† –¬† esteem needs

Well, with all that going on¬†I’d have to be a bit soft in the head not to feel a bit puffed up, wouldn’t I? Anyway, soft in the head is¬†Labrador, not¬†Border¬†Collie territory.¬†As a result I’m something of a buoyant little fellow, though sometimes –¬†I’m told –¬†my head gets a bit too big for my walking boots, then I need to be taken down a peg or two. The big names¬†who didn’t respond to e mail quest (enabling me to name drop through tagging¬†them, and thereby getting tons of followers) did just that. Therefore, my blog still isn’t a viable proposition for would be advertisers, paying lots of dosh for¬†my fundraising. I know B¬†meant to be consoling¬†when she told me they might have thought I was a bit of cheap meat – spam I think she actually¬†said – but, quite¬†frankly, ¬†I didn’t find it in the least consoling. It has dented but not altogether destroyed my faith in the two legged variety because, BIG BECAUSE,¬† I did get a few responses with kind and encouraging words and they were from v. v. v. BIG names:¬†Roy Hattersley, a mystery celebratory, Elton John and, Julia Bradbury who just recently sent me a present to thank me for being friends, how cool is that.¬†Julia and her team at The Outdoor Guide, are doing their best to help me get recognised and I am v. v. v grateful to them. The comments of my celebrity fans¬†are at the end of¬†the welcome post that¬†fronts up my blog. With such warm sentiments ringing in my ears how could I not be elevated to the very top of the triangle, with the best of them, going for gold.

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Level five  Рself-actualisation needs

I’d say¬†this is¬†a work in progress, 47 Munros down and a mere 235 to go. I did manage to climb the equivalent height of Everest this year and, of course,¬†I have my literary ambitions – to get a book of my own published one day.

With such a lovely life and so much going for me, I’m looking forward to doing a bit more of this self-actualising stuff in the¬†coming year and, guess what,¬†I’ll let you all about it. But, not before…

And so to bed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love Ben xx

 

I lied!

Friends, collies and cunning little hounds,

Actually, I didn’t lie deliberately when I said my next blog would be to post the results of my survey, on 23rd March, I just¬†hadn’t anticipated how excited I’d be. I can’t keep my paws still till I have spilt some of the beans and tapped out a quick response. Thank you very much for taking me seriously enough to complete the survey. The three words that describe my reaction are humble, humble, humble. Apparently, I’m informative, funny, inspirational and warm hearted. Oh goodness, what accolades for an erstwhile sheep chasing cur, with a penchant for tasty ankles.

My survey is still open till 23rd March.

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/FD7WXLP

The results will still be published shortly after that. It looks like, by popular demand, my blogs will be monthly to include Munro updates with a short and snappy one in between. A sort of dog blog¬†to go,¬†for my busier readers. I am also working on some charts to show progress. Yet another learning curve on this adventure. I think B can show me how to do this on Excel but, if anyone knows of any freebies on the net don’t be slow in coming forward, please.

I hope you will forgive a few quick posts over the next couple of weeks. This is because I am going to contact lots of doggy loving celebs. to try and get them to support our cause and read my blog. Therefore, I need to have a few short posts for them to scroll through so they can get a quick flavour of my literary style.

Oh dear, it’s all a¬†tad overwhelming for a little fellow; need sleep.

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Love as always,

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.

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Weather

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

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Navigation

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.

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Terrain

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.

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Laindscape

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

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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.

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Sponsorship

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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