Thursday, February 24, 2011


Four Lufthansa flights in twenty four hours. Despite snow, every single one departs and arrives on time. How do they do it ? Now, if only the cabin crew could learn to smile .

Ninety people on the little jet that brings us across the Alps. Eighty nine of them Airbus employees shuttling from the plant in Munich to the plant in Toulouse. No intermingling. The French talk to the French and the Germans to the Germans.

Wilf is waiting in the huge new marble and glass arrivals hall at the airport. Its deserted apart from him, 'the font', a Morrocan family that's arrived four hours early for the flight from Rabat and a smattering of Airbus shuttle bus drivers. Despite the old chaps failing eye sight he somehow knows the very second that I walk through the sliding doors. Maybe it's time to invest in a new brand of after shave ? There again maybe he knows I've brought a cake back from Zurich .

The family fellow used to be the strong silent type. No longer. In the last two weeks he's started to make the most bizarre noises when he's in a happy mood. Neither bark nor growl. More a mix of half bubbling gurgle, half throaty trill. As I approach he flips onto his back and lets out one of these 'trurgles' of pure, reunited joy. At full volume. Everyone stops what they're doing and looks. That dog owner feeling - ' Why here of all places ? Why now ? '. Wilfs attitude - ' Why not ? '.

He's discovered there's an unspeakable dawn in carefree old age.

To the vets this afternoon. The first time in six weeks. He's maniacally drinking a full bowl of water every hour - day and night. Cortisone, insulin or tumour ?


  1. Oh Angus, you are so lucky to have loved ones greet you..Wilf is loving with abandon! and tats pure love..cherish it.

    Stormy (chops)..

  2. Angus you must feel fortunate, to be met at the airport by a fond and trurgling old friend. But one bowl of water an hour is an awful lot. Dear Wilfy, good luck at the vets this afternoon.
    Cheers, Gail.

  3. Medication related, I'd guess... Love the image of a 50-something Scot, debarking from two days of speaking about serious things to 'men in dark suits' being greeted by a furry fellow gurgleing and trilling!! Upside down!! And that Scot being so happy and soothed by the greeting. Wilf is instructing you in the fine art of 'carefree!'

  4. Not the aftershave.... it's the chocolate torte! Nothing amiss with Wilf's sense of smell.

  5. Happy to see you are back Angus, for the greatest pleasure of the beloved Wilfee (and the Font of course...).
    Hope the visit to the vet will give you some information about the fact that the boy drinks so much, and pray for no bad news.
    AmitiƩs to you Angus and lots of bisous and calins for Wilfee, the polar bear dog.

  6. Welcome back Angus :) Your welcoming party sure is a riot!
    Please please please do record a video for us of his gurgles.. and trugles. We sure would love to hear him.

  7. Pleased you're back safe and sound Angus. Good luck at the vets this afternoon. S x x x

  8. Did you get the cake on the left? It loks amazing - which jubilee is it celebrating?

  9. My guess is cortisone is causing Wilf's great thirst. Our wire fox terrier would drink gallons of water when she was on the stuff, resulting in lots of trips outside and more than a few accidents (Mom and Dad never really quite mastered her housebreaking, I'm afraid).

    How did your cake fare through Security? I was once bringing home a restaurant-size cheesecake (that my pastry chef roommate had made as a Christmas gift for our family of three) and the box did a full 360-degree roll through the X-ray machine. The cake was dense enough that it made it through almost unscathed.

    Fingers crossed that the Parisienne vet has the day off and "no news is good news."

  10. Wilfie - thinking of you - hope to hear good news tomorrow - stay wonderfully strong - we love you down in Southern Italy on the Isle of Ischia Susanne, Daisy and Foxiie

  11. Well, why hold back when somebody you love comes back to you? I'm with Wilf! Maybe he was also excited about the prospect of tasting that cake.

  12. You have no idea how many times I've had that thought about R - the "Why now? Why here?" thought. He makes a sound that I'd describe as being very similar to Wilf's!

    I hope that the vet visit can slow the drinking.

  13. There's nothing like a reunion between a dog and his master!!

  14. YES! Rosie Mae makes that noise - she's always been fairly silent but since becoming poorly sighted and deaf she has become much more vocal, and loudly vocal too. We think it's because she can't hear herself! I bet you were secretly really pleased to be greeted with a Trurgle - it's unique after all!

    Sending positive thoughts to you for this afternoon.

    x (for Wilf)

  15. "A thousand posts. Maturity reached , illnesses cured, griefs overcome, unconcious risks taken. Along the way he's been poisoned by Italian hunters, had run ins with processionary caterpillars, lost a brother and fought armed intruders. He's developed a liking for coconut ice cream, drinking from the stream, and sleeping, on his back, in roadside verges. He's met Madame Bay and made new, absinthe imbibing, friends at the cafe. Every day he's been an uncomplaining companion. A thousand days is a fine gift of experiences, memories and laughter.

    Our blogging days must inevitably draw to a close but what you start you finish . Whether the cancer grants us ten or a hundred more days our blog will continue to record the last stage of this shared, happy, never dull, journey. I would like to think that if you asked Wilf what he thought was the best time of life he'd reply " Now ! ".

    Bravo !! So perfectly said, that is their greatest gift to us isn't it ? - the being "with" them, living & loving them in the NOW. Big kisses from me & Missy D xo Susan (and the cats, oh yeah & Doug too, of course)

  16. Our guys will purr like a cat when we get the ear rub just right or deliver a full-body massage -- but that trurgle sounds uniquely joyful.

    We liked the contrast between the serious, probably also dark-suited Scot speaking of unsettling global trends to attentive dark-suited men (no women?) and the kind-hearted ex-pat villager welcomed home by a thurgling Wilf.

    We hope you get to see the understanding vet tomorrow and wait for an update!

    xxx Joan

  17. we're glad you're back home with Wilf.

    that's the good thing about getting older - you just don't care what others think of your behavior anymore. of course, dogs have known that forever.

    Wilf is a treasure. we hope the vet visit is good and you see a compassionate one rather than the stuffy unfeeling woman.

  18. ps oops & Sam (Leonburger look-alike)

  19. Welcome home...what a lovely greeting Wilfy gave you. If everyone could be "trurgled" at when arriving home, all would be well with the world.
    My diabetic cat drank copious amounts of water also...but he wasn't on cortisone...please have Wilfy's kidneys checked, the large amount of fluid can stress them out a bit. We eventually ended up giving fluids to both of our's not so hard, just takes practice, they didn't like it much but did very well and felt so much better afterwards. Cats tend to have kidney issues more than dogs but just wanted to put it out there as something to be aware of.
    Praying all goes well at the vet!!
    xo J~

  20. why not indeed! :) our paws are crossed for the visit to mr vetty xxxx

  21. What a sweet face on the first pic!! What a sweet dog! I'd reckon a guess that the increased amount of water drunk is hopefully from the meds...let's keep that hope with fingers crossed eh? Hopefully its all about the tweaking of medication and nothing more.

    And a cake from Zurich! What a lucky boy!! I am sure that he delighted in it with great relish!

    As for the noises, why not indeed make them wherever he is! Old age is somewhat a blessing, do what you can, when and wherever. Keep going Wilf! Beautiful boy....

    With love your Canadian pals who have given up on warm weather,
    Dianna along with Tor, Willow and Tucker

    P.S. Tucker would just like to state for the record that he hoots. Like an owl. So Wilf has a noise friend! And Tor, Tor "woo's". He's a husky so he does not bark, he sings with the sirens and woo's to speak to us.

  22. What could possibly be bettew than to come home to such a weception!
    keep Tuwgling Wilf!!!
    smoochie kisses

  23. Hurrah, you're back! Wilf is absolutely delighted to see you.. He is making the sounds of joy! You are blessed to have such love.
    Caring for my aged mother, I see in her the return of childhood joy and abandon. I wholeheartedly believe this is a gift given to ease the burden of age and illness. I believe it is a gift they give themselves after a life well lived. An earned right.
    I hope that it is a simple medication change for Wilf and that his hydration issues will fall under control. It's obvious he is madly in love with his life...and you! And we are madly in love with him. Hoping the cold fish vet is busy elsewhere. Maybe you could ask about a high protein diet? We know that you and the font will always do the best thing for Wilf. That's why we love you..

  24. Welcome back! No sounds emit from Maggie Mae when she greets me, I am blessed with the "boxer wiggle butt dance" and I love it! Hopeful that you received good news from the vet today.

    Blessings and Love,
    Janelle and Maggie Mae

  25. If there was no intermingling, then who did you talk to? You aren't French or German. I'm gonna guess you stuck with the French since I know you speak the language. Not sure if you speak German or not?!

    I hope the water consumption is just the cortisone. I don't want it to be the diabetes or the tumor because I'm thinking those would both be bad signs?

  26. Perhaps, on the q.t. Wilf has been trying to speak French, practiced these days and thought he had it right! Did what he thought was Welcome Home in the language of France. Amazing dog that Wilf is!

    Good luck at the Vet, Wilf!

    Stella and Jo

  27. First of all, a belated congratulations on your 1000th post. We do hope you will continue blogging. We so enjoy your posts every day.
    What a wonderful way to be greeted on your return home! There could be no doubt in your mind that you were missed and that you are very loved.
    I hope you get to see a good and kind vet and that all is well. Our thoughts, prayers and pawsitive energy are with you always!
    Love & licks,
    Skye, the Moondance Huskies, kitties and mom Joan

  28. There's no bad time or place to be greeted with love.

    Anxious to hear what the [we hope the nice] vet has to say. Sounds like steroid reaction to us, too.

    Jed & Abby

  29. i'd trurgle with happiness, too, if somebody i loved dearly came home and brought a delicious cake to share. :)
    i hope all goes well at the vet. it sounds like maybe the cortisone is the culprit. booker always drinks copious amounts of water whenever he has had to get a steroid injection for a nasty ear infection.

    the booker man and asa's mama