The struggle is real


March, a month of change. Of slightly longer days. Of slightly more light. The temperature even rises a degree or two some days. If you're a dog parent and you've made it all the way through winter, through the rainy walks, the freezing cold walks, the dark walks, the walks when it's dark and freezing and raining, when any sane person would be tucked up indoors … Yes, if you're a dog parent you'll understand why March feels good. And if you're a dog, well March really feels good. Let's be clear, Harris does not do inclement weather. I'm going to make a sweeping statement here and say that dachshunds in general (not that there's anything general about dachshunds) are not designed for winter; for days when rainwater and grit and mud is soaking into their lowrider bellies. I mean, who wants that? So, on the bad days, March involved snuggling. On the better days, it involved city walks, posing on benches and posing by gates. And on really good days it involved escaping down the coast to the woodland and beach. Sometimes with Uncle Bracken.

Circus Lane: our favourite cobbled lane in Edinburgh, particularly as it leads to Harris's grocery shop, Just Dogs.

Walking through town to Stockbridge is one of our regular jaunts. People describe Stockbridge as being like a village in the city, and that's true. Harris and I often rest our paws alongside the Water of Leith.

We also took our first walk up Calton Hill since last summer. To get from home to here is an anxiety-inducing walk for Harris - too much traffic, too much noise - so I've avoided this for months. But we're slowly, slowly working through the anxiety. It's tough. There are good days and pretty bad days. So, given that challenging Harris is part of this process, we walked up Calton Hill.

That's the National Monument in the background...

The National Monument is Scotland's memorial to the Scottish soldiers and sailors who died fighting in the Napoleonic Wars. It was modelled on the Parthenon in Greece. Work began in 1826 but stopped just three years later when the funding ran out. The monument became known as "Edinburgh's Disgrace". It's now a popular spot for tourists to stop and take photos. And, on this windy March day, we joined them.

One of the most photographed spots in Edinburgh, with the Dugald Stewart Monument in the background.

And now, after all that exploring, it's time for snuggling. As Harris said on the cover, the struggle is real...

While we're talking about struggling, bath times suck.

March also had some cool surprises. Ruby & Duke sent Harris his first #DukeBox filled with fairtrade toys and organic goodies, including his very favourite πŸ— treats. And eco poop bags, of course. Ruby & Duke have also offered a 20% discount off a month's DukeBox subscription to Harris's followers (until April 15).

The discount code is "HAPPYHARRIS".

Note to self: Don't ask Harris to pose for photos while sitting on a box filled with tasty treats. This doesn't make him happy. Remember this.

We quickly discovered that the Squeakair Kong ball has been designed to drive humans insane.

So we removed it. Cruel parents.

To be fair, Harris's requests for the humans to do something about this situation were remarkably polite. Elegant grouching and all that.

And topping it all, Ruby & Duke asked Harris to become one of their brand ambassadors.

We are chuffed! Though I suspect this means more squeaky toys. A year's worth of squeaky toys. 😳


Yes, March also involved adventures. Running through the woods and inhaling new scents. Running along the beach with sandy paws. Chasing up sand dunes. Good times.

And then last weekend there was blue sky above the trees. And it felt good.

It was breezy...

So let's hear it for April. For warmer, brighter days. For beach walks where your ears aren't painfully cold. Let's hear it for spring... 🌿


Thank you for reading

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  • coppernotes

    @Steller πŸ‘‰ "Whuff!" (Translation: Harris says thank you for sharing this.)

  • coppernotes

    Thanks for sharing this one @thirteen ✌️

  • marij56

    Love love love the Beach vids Peachβ€οΈπŸ’™....have a good April Harris..xxAuntie Marij!

  • elsaannukka

    What a cutie! 😘

  • coppernotes

    @marij56 Thanks Marij πŸ™ Harris wants to add something: Auntie, thanks for sharing this! 😘 And I can't wait to share some *warm* beach vids. Paddling! Happy April 🌸🌷

  • SomeCatherine

    This dog is so cute and expressive as many/all dogs...lovely story Fiona! 😘

  • coppernotes

    Thank you @SomeCatherine I think all dogs have this, this expressiveness, if you spend time with them (some people miss this fact - dogs are not meant to be solitary) and nurture them and encourage them to grow. A dog isn't just a "dog" to me - they are a being. And they are filled with expression and emotion, if you pause and pay attention. Learn from them. Listen. I love the interaction I have with Harris and I wish that for every dog, but know, so sadly, that not every dog has this opportunity... 😘

  • janicedunwoody

    Harris is amazing!

  • coppernotes

    Harris sends you a gentle "whuff" of thanks @janicedunwoody ☺️ I realize I'm (hopelessly) biased but he's a pretty cool little dude...

  • dominickers

    I just found this one! Bertie makes those same noises when he wants something! Attention mostly... They're irresistible !! 😏

  • coppernotes

    @dominickers I tell you, our boys know how to get out attention in an irresistible way! I can't believe how scruffy Harris looks in this story πŸ™ˆ. Winter scruff!

  • dominickers

    I gotta say I'm a fan of the scruffy look

  • coppernotes

    @dominickers Wee fella now gets marched off to his groomer to get stripped every 8-10 weeks max. His coat grows crazy-quick!

  • dominickers

    He looks like he has a softer coat than Bert. Bert is quite wiry and it doesn't grow much in the summer at all! I strip him myself and mostly in the winter months. He is a present upside down on the sofa snoring loudly!! πŸ’˜

  • coppernotes

    @dominickers Yes, Bertie has a coat more like Bracken - wiry, with an undercoat. Harris is a really soft wire - not wiry at all really! His coat just grows long and curly, thus the frequent stripping! I love when H does that! I usually have Harris and his Dad snoring on the sofa of an evening! ☺️

  • MillerDoxie

    Great story! Harris gets to go on such inspiring walks at all times of the year and we get to come along!

  • coppernotes

    Thanks for sharing this @MillerDoxie πŸ‘‹πŸ» It's so funny looking back on an old story - Harris was so scruffy! He gets stripped every 2 months now and clearly didn't go as often then! πŸ™ˆπŸ˜‚ Yes, having Harris means we go out in all weathers at all times of year. We've had many, many brutally cold beach walks!!!


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