Not knowing where I’m going

Hello, everyone, it is I, Bruce. Today I am here to tell you about one of the important differences between us dogs and you humans.

One of the important things about being a dog (or to be more specific, a dog of the homely, domestic type) is that you never really know where you are going. For example, when your humans say to you “get in the van, Bruce”, who knows where you might end up? Your journey may be long, or short, bumpy or smooth, and the Somewhere Else that you eventually arrive at could be quite literally anywhere. You might be taking a trip to somewhere that’s lots of fun, such as a forest with many smells, a fine loch to swim in, or the home of a good friend. But sometimes the Somewhere Else turns out to be a Somewhere that you don’t particularly want to be, such as (horror of horrors) THE VET.

Each time I get in the van, I do so without knowing where I’m going. Sometimes I give Tom or Kate a look which says quite clearly “where to this time?” but they never enlighten me. It is the ability to accept this uncertainty, and to just get in the van, over and over again, that marks a fundamental difference between us dogs and you humans. Be honest, now: would you would get in the van whenever the doors opened, not knowing whether or not you might end up at the place where there are mewing cats and jaggy needles? Would you willingly take a trip to who knows where for who knows how long just because you were instructed to? Which of you humans would happily live your life never knowing where you were going? But we dogs just get on with it! We never know where we are going, but we always trust (albeit sometimes inadvisedly) that you humans do have a vague sense of your destination. We just get in the van, and wait for its doors to open and reveal a Somewhere Else.

A couple of weeks ago, the van doors opened, and I was told to get in with BOB and Bran. The journey to Somewhere Else was quite lengthy. It involved several hours in the van, a fun break for a nice sniffy walk in a wood, and some protracted interludes during which Kate sang loudly along with Louis Jordan. When Tom finally drove the van onto a Calmac ferry, I was very happy, because although the ferry itself is rather boring (dogs are not allowed to sample the canteen’s fabled square sausage sandwiches or curry sauce) I knew it was likely to take us to somewhere good. And I was right! Kate and Tom did know where we were going, and the Somewhere Else turned out to be here!

This is the isle of Colonsay, somewhere I have never been before (and nor had Tom and Kate, apparently), for they were immediately filled with Human Raptures of the aesthetic type that are bewildering to dogs, in this case regarding “the extraordinary prospect of the Paps of Jura”

Dogs care nothing for a view, but they do enjoy a BEACH.

And Colonsay abounds in fantastic beaches!

look at the photo above! That wee dot on the right is me! Enjoying the beach!

and those two dots are BOB and Bran.

While I enjoy a stroll and some gentle swimming . . .

. . .they get on with the business of rambunctious frolicking.

In a Somewhere Else like this, Kate enjoys what she calls “beachcombing” (a mysterious activity which involves picking up and putting down a lot of small THINGS).

. . . and Tom likes taking many photographs using the cameras that live in the bags from which we wet dogs must keep our distance.

Whether its picking things up and putting them down again, or holding a camera in front of your face, or walking, swimming, leaping, and rolling: whatever you like doing, a beach like this is a great place to do it!

I may not know where I’m going, but I always know a good place when I get there

see you soon, love Bruce.