Follow by Email

Sunday, June 15, 2014

All Creatures Great ... and Creepy

Bailey and her mistress

Britain is a country that loves its dogs, and, so, let's begin there. Along the banks of the River Ness in Inverness, I met Bailey and his mistress. Bailey is a two-year-old greyhound who never raced. Slim, with a halting walk, he broke his hip while playing with another dog and ran into a tree.

Newfie at Loch Ness
Along Loch Ness, we came across two handsome dogs cavorting in the sand - this young Newfoundland mix and his mom, a lovely golden retriever. Chasing each other, sticks and balls, they seemed to be having the greatest time. I, on the other hand kept an eye out for the legendary Loch Ness monster. The closest I came was a mirage of Margaret Thatcher. A waitress in Inverness told us a story about when she and her husband had a restaurant on the shores of Loch Ness. Her daughter kept agitating to see the Loch Ness monster. Mom kept saying there was no Loch Ness monster. Finally, mom snapped, widened her eyes, bared her teeth, and snarled at her daughter, "I'm the Loch Ness monster." That's a serious conversation shut-down.

Newfie's mom

George, a rough-coat collie in Sleat

Gun Lodge cat; didn't move throughout a long supper

Ziggy, the Uig Hotel border collie
Rabbits - coneys, in Scotland - at The Castle, Inverness

OK, this is not a real dog, but rather a collection point for guide
dog training. The Brits have these collection sculptures in a variety of places, as well as collection boxes and charity shops supporting the RSPCA.

Nursing milk cow on a two-lane road

There's a surprising amount of open range in Scotland, something with which we westerners are pretty familiar. On the way to Glen Elg, traffic stopped in both directions while this dairy cow nursed her calf. Eventually, an enterprising driver and I hazed her off the roadway, the calf nursing all the while. Then, there was this roving pack of feral black-faced sheep that appeared not to have been sheared for years.

This handsome fellow was guarding a small bridge
This shy lamb hid behind a rock...

...until she and mom got hungry
We found these sheep - and then found us - when we visited the graveyard at Cill Chrisoid. The sheep kept their distance, hiding behind roadside rocks and ducking into bar ditches, until we entered the graveyard grounds. Then, these two ambled across the road and looked up at us expectantly. The reason became obvious as we observed widespread sheep pellets on the closely-cropped graveyard grass. Clearly, it was lunch time, and they were hoping we'd open the graveyard gate for them.

These herring gulls are everywhere, so why do people feed them?

Web spider at Cullodden battlefield parking lot
Hermaphrodotic black slug...

...beloved only by hedgehogs
And the stars of the show, the beautiful Highland cattle or, as one of our Idaho neighbors calls them, "hippie cows"

1 comment:

  1. Jay missed his dog so much, he stopped every dog owner to converse on the joy of owning a dog.