posted 18 Jun 2013, 14:57 by St. Thomas' Church Aboyne   [ updated 18 Jun 2013, 14:58 ]

If Master ever mentions the words “sponsored walk” to me again, I shall bite his ankle.

Apparently a sponsored walk is a “good thing”, “dog and human in partnership in a good cause” – that sort of stuff (according to Master). This may be all very well for humans – it looks very different indeed from a whippet’s perspective. Not that Master and Mistress often make that leap of imagination into the mind of a rather attractive, vaguely literate silver brindle whippet with a manly white chest and rather elegant gait. I’m talking about myself and my own mind, in case that description didn’t give you the necessary clues.

Sundays are usually notable for a couple of hours’ peace and quiet in the morning. This is our normal Sunday morning routine: Master goes out to do what he laughingly calls “singing”. Mistress disappears from our home – I don’t know where she goes. I sleep.

On the Sunday of the “sponsored walk”, or SW as I call it, things were very different.

For a start, it was a beautiful day. That in itself was notable. I don’t know about you, but I have found this winter long and tedious – cold wet walks, frozen paws and icy winds that rattle your teeth have been the order of the day here. Anyway, the sun was shining and the air felt quite warm. “Surely, surely,” I thought, “there will be no mention of SWs today. This is a day for lounging about on my garden bed, soaking up sunshine, eying up spring time rabbits. That sort of thing.”


I was bundled unceremoniously into the car bed and thrown a biscuit by Mistress to keep me sweet. Instead of going singing, Master jumped into the car as well and we all drove off. The warmth of the sun shining through the glass soon made me drowsy and I slept for what must have been at least an hour. I awoke to find we had stopped near a large reddish building. The sun was still shining, but there was a fierce wind blowing which whipped dust into my eyes as I jumped stiffly from the car bed.

Despite the dust in my eyes I found myself gazing at a visual horror show. Master and Mistress had both donned horrible purple shirts and Master was carrying a long pole. He also appeared to be wearing black glasses over his eyes – “No dust in your eyes, mate,” I thought as we ambled off through the wind to meet some of Master’s friends.

“Not so fast, Hamish.” This from Mistress who was pulling something over my head. I have spoken before about the indignity of dogs being made to wear human-imposed clothes, but this was the worst ever. Purple is not my colour, yet here Mistress was dragging a purple shirt over my manly body. The three of us – Master, Mistress and myself – looked like a nightmare in purple.

Things got a bit better as we stood around with Master’s friends. Despite my horrific clothing, these friends seemed to want to pat and stroke me – something that appeals to my sense of value and dignity as a dog.

As for the SW itself – it was long, tiring and breezy. Lots of new smells, but not a rabbit in sight.

As I say, if Master mentions SW again, I will bite his ankle – hard.

Hamish Sinclair

© Eric Sinclair 2012

Eric would like to thank all members of St Thomas’s who sponsored Hamish and himself to walk round the grounds of Glamis Castle. As a result, over £275 has been raised for the work of the Stroke Association.