Ma dug’s no deid

On Monday evening I went to an event hosted by Paisley Women for Independence. For once I wasn’t speaking, instead I went along to listen to Mark McNaught talk about the importance of developing a draft Scottish constitution. It was a fascinating and informative evening. It was a pleasant change not to have to “perform”.

While there, a number of people came up to me with long sad faces. “I’m so sorry to hear about the dog. That’s terrible,” one said. “Well it’s not that bad,” I replied, thinking that they were commenting about the fact that for once the dug had been left at home and wasn’t the star of the show. “He’s lying on the sofa with a chew bone trying and failing to do an impression of having a hard life.” Ginger, like most dogs, strongly objects to being left alone at home, even for just a short time. It’s one of the worst things you could possibly do in his universe, up there on a par with voting Conservative or buying the Scotsman.

However it turns out that several people at the event thought that the dug had passed away. To paraphrase the words of Mark Twain, reports of my dug’s death have been greatly exaggerated. When I made my flippant reply they must have thought that I had the corpse of a dug draped over my couch and had gone out for the evening leaving it there. I am happy to report that the dug is alive and well, and definitely much happier now that I’ve come home from Paisley. Although I don’t think he was upset because I went to Paisley specifically. When I came home he gave me an exhuberant and enthusiastic welcome in the way that only a dog can. This is most definitely not a deid dug.

The people who believed that the dog had died had seen reports of his passing on social media. There was nothing malicious about the rumours of Ginger’s death that were circulating on social media. It was an innocent misunderstanding so please don’t get annoyed or upset with the person who told you incorrectly. They made a genuine mistake and there was no intention to deceive or cause deliberate upset. It turns out that someone had posted on their Facebook page that their own wee ginger dug had passed away. The wee dug who passed away was a wee female dug called Toffee from Edinburgh who had passed away after an illness, and my heart goes out to her owners. I’ve had dogs for decades and have lost a few. It never gets any easier.

However because their dug was wee and ginger, some people confused the report on their wee ginger dug Facebook page with mine. It was an easy mistake to make and entirely understandable that some people leapt to the wrong conclusion. It wasn’t the death of THE Wee Ginger Dug. It was the death of A Wee Ginger Dug, and I am sure that it must be traumatic and distressing for her owners. They have all my sympathy and my deepest condolences. I know how painful and upsetting it is to lose a beloved dog. They’re a part of your family and you grieve for them deeply.

DSC_0135Ginger had a vet’s appointment shortly before I went away to Spain last week, and the vet was extremely pleased with him. He’s not a young dog, but he is an exceptionally healthy one. Because he was found abandoned as a stray beside an irrigation canal in Spain, no one knows his exact age, but he must be pushing eleven. For an eleven year old dog he’s doing amazingly well. Apart from having to have his teeth cleaned recently and a couple of extractions, he’s never had any health issues in his life. He’s got that mongrel vigour and you can rest assured that he’s going to be around for a good few years yet. This is a pic of him trying to look hard done by which was taken this evening after I returned from Paisley.  How he suffers, eh.

A few weeks ago Callum Baird, the editor of The National, asked me how old the dug is. Although I fully expect him to be around for a good few years to come, I quipped that when the dug does finally chew his last dog biscuit and pee on his last lamppost, that he will probably be the only dog in Scotland who’ll get an obituary in the newspaper. Callum replied that Ginger won’t just get an obituary, he’ll get a four page spread.

However even though it’s a long way off, and I fully expect to have Ginger for many more years to come, the fact is that dog’s don’t have the life expectancy of humans. When the sad day does come the news will first be published here on this blog. Not on Facebook or on Twitter, except as links to an article published on this blog. So that is how you will know in future whether to allow yourself to get upset by a report of Ginger’s passing. If you haven’t read it here, then it hasn’t happened.

I’m sorry I haven’t published something about this sooner and quashed the incorrect rumours, but I’ve been trying to catch up with myself today after getting home from Spain yesterday. I did have a death to deal with too, my desktop computer died. Since that’s the computer on which I do all the work on the maps, and it contains all the files for the maps, losing it was a major trauma. For a few hours I was seriously worried that I could have lost all the data. However all is well. The problem was just a faulty power unit which has now been replaced. And I’ve backed up the map file data, which I should have done months ago. Panic over.

I know my place in the cosmic scheme of things, and I’m under no illusions that out of the two of us Ginger is the photogenic one. You can rest assured that Ginger is very much alive and well, and he’ll be coming to an independence event near you very soon.  And now he’s been the subject of a death hoax, he’s officially famous.


Mapa Gàidhlig na h-Alba / Gaelic Map of Scotland

albarevisedThe Gaelic map of Scotland is now available, the cost is £15 plus £7 P&P within the UK. Please note P&P outwith the UK is more expensive. P&P to Europe is £10, P&P to the rest of the world is £15. If you require multiple copies of the map, you only need pay once for P&P, up to 3 copies of the map which is the maximum that can fit in one postal tube.

You can purchase a copy of the map by Paypal by clicking the donate button at the end of this page and entering the requisite amount. Please also include the address to which the map should be posted. If you prefer another payment method, please email me at for alternatives.

Please note that the map is currently at the printers and I won’t be able to start posting maps out to buyers until the week starting May 28.

The Wee Ginger Dug has got a new domain name, thanks to Indy Poster Boy, Colin Dunn @Zarkwan. You can now access this blog simply by typing into the address bar of your browser, the old address continues to function, the new one redirects to the blog. The advantage of the new address is that it’s a lot easier to remember if you want to include a link to the blog in leaflets, posters, or simply to tell a friend about it. Many thanks to Colin.

gingercartoonWee Ginger Donations & Speaking engagements

You can help to support this blog with a Paypal donation. Just click the donate button.
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Or you can donate by making a payment directly into a special bank account, or by sending a cheque or postal order. If you’d like to donate by one of these methods, please email me at and I will send the necessary information. Please also use this email address if you would like the dug and me to come along to your local group for a talk.

Many thanks.

32 comments on “Ma dug’s no deid

  1. […] Wee Ginger Dug Ma dug’s no deid On Monday evening I went to an event hosted by Paisley Women for Independence. For […]

  2. JGedd says:

    I don’t do Twitter or Facebook so the first I read of this was in your post just now, so for me, Wee Ginger was, for a space of time while \I read, both dead and alive. Schrodinger’s dog…?

    Glad you are both very much with us again.

  3. Mark McNaught says:

    For those who want to watch the event:

  4. I knew it wasn’t true cos he’s going to visit me first before he goes to doggy heaven.

  5. mogabee says:

    ‘The famous and the dead’ was a phrase that leapt to mind on reading this!

    Glad you have both recovered from the trauma, though must admit I’d heard zilch about any of the story as I’ve only been popping in and out of twitter recently.

    Sam kept us in line as per usual. 😀 😀

  6. Annie says:

    I’m surprised that a mistake was made as tbe owner of the other wee ginger dug clearly stated the dug’s name and there was a picture of poor wee Toffee who clearly looked nothing like Ginger (apart from the colouring).

  7. I’ll tell yie Paul, you know how tae scare the shite right oot o’ us.

  8. Delighted to hear that Ginger is alive and well. The Gaelic Map arrived today and Mr MicCoinnich is VERY pleased with it. Many thanks, Paul.

  9. Feck, I hadn’t read the rumour & thank heavens I hadn’t – Molly & I would have been dressed in black & wailing all weekend

    Joking aside, we’ve lost three dogs in the time we’ve been married & it’s awful, they are family. The first one, Sonny, was the first time I realised grief could be physically painful

    Anyway, young Ginger is fine & fit as a butcher’s fiddle – and I say young because Molly had her 16th birthday in May and can still leap like a ninja up the two steps into the house fae the garden. She can also spot a rodent at 30 feet, she jist can’t run quickly enough tae catch the wee critters noo

    Anyway, all’s well so let the Lord be thankit

    And bring on the referendum, there’s folk ‘n’ dugs here wanting their freedom 😉

  10. Andrew Davidson says:

    About the maps and data. One thing I do is all my really important data I put in a folder that automatically synchronises with – in my case – Dropbox. That way I know if the computer / room / house goes up in smoke at least I can always recover the absolutely critical data.

    Plus I don’t have to *actively* do anything to get that data ‘security’ because it just happens automatically whenever anything changes in the folder.

    (As to your comments about dogs and family… damn straight although with me its cats. Glad your wee man is doing fine)

    • Muscleguy says:

      I run an old iMac with a big HD attached. It automatically backs up the iMac and this laptop over the wifi through the magic of Apple’s Time Machine. Except the iMac HC is dead and needs replaced and the feckers I ordered a new one from on ebay don’t actually have stock of it. Basterds!

      People who do that should taken out the back, put up against the wall and given a very stern talking to.

      • Andrew Davidson says:

        Yeah, that’s also a good idea, however I like an off-site backup. If the house goes up you are covered. Plus a cloud storage gives you easier portability if not recovery.

        But yes, Time Machine is an excellent on-site backup, better than any similar thing I’ve seen on Windows that’s for sure.

  11. hettyforindy says:

    Very happy to hear that Wee dug is OK and to see him all cosy on his settee. 😀

    My cat used to cuddle in, under the covers and hold hands (paws), when she died of cancer in Dec it was just terrible. I found a good site online with a few tips on how to deal with the deep sadness.

    It’ll be back to normal for you Paul, countering the dead tree scrolls and the moving picture propaganda invading unsuspecting peoples’ living rooms in Scotland.

    Lots to catch up on. Oh and Scotland won a cricket match, against England for the first time, the Britnats don’t like that either.

    • Muscleguy says:

      That caused both astonishment and absolute delight in the Muscleperson household. Since we both grew up in NZ where cricket is played by just about everyone (the others play softball) it doesn’t have the English public school cringe it does here in Scotland.

      Though Forfarshire CC’s ground is two properties and a fence away from us and it being summer the thwack of leather on willow and cries of howzat! waft over the garden fence. It’s as much the sound of summer as the swifts screaming in the sky as they do acrobatics. I know it’s summer because the swifts are here.

  12. Whitburnsfinest says:

    Relieved to hear your wee guy is alive and licking (sorry), just look at the poor wee soul tho. That is a dog who’s been deprived of cuddles and/or biscuits for SEVERAL WHOLE MINUTES AT LEAST!!! Paul, how can you live with yourself having committed such a heinous act? 😂

    Seriously tho, my thoughts are with wee Toffee’s family. I lost my wee Pip 3 years ago and it honestly felt like the bottom had fallen out of my world. If they somehow happen to read this, my heart goes out to all of you ❤️

  13. Macart says:

    Welcome back. 🙂

    Dodged one on the desk top battery, but yup. A portable HD or a sinc to dropbox is a must these days.

    Don’t really do twitter so missed all the hoo ha aboot ginger. I can however confirm that dug has health to spare and is indeed a star at charming an audience.

  14. Movy says:

    For a horrible moment when I read the headline I thought the worst. I too have lost dogs in the past and I am so sorry for Toffee’s family. But it’s great to know that Ginger’s fine and I look forward to again seeing him work the room as he did at a recent event. Starved he is not!!

  15. Welcome back, Paul.
    The Guinness stains in the shag pile have nothing to do with me, honest.
    I blame a certain Eire Freedom Fighter for that.
    WGD ‘must be pushing eleven’.
    Until this morning, I lazily thought that 1 dog year equalled 7 human years.
    I looked it up. I was way off the mark.

    There are charts.

    According to the scale which I consulted, WGD is a ‘medium’ 11 year old, a sprightly 60 in ‘man ‘ years.

    It occurred to me that if we measured our politicians’ active political lives in ‘dog years’, Davidson who joined the fray in 2009, would still be only months old, taking her first faltering steps unaided, Patrick Harvie, active since 2003 would just be celebrating his first birthday and managing a few monosyllabic grunts like ‘Mama’, and ‘more’, Richard ‘The Scarf’ Leonard, a 2016 newbie, is still a few months old, screeching and bawling,still attached to his umbilical cord, terrified and exalted in equal measures by the bright world into which he has been delivered, Willie Rennie, who has been around politically since 1990, is a mere 3 years old in doggie terms, and Nicola, who entered Parliament in 1999, is still a two year old pup, snapping at the heels of her WM Handlers.


    Sam was his customary brilliant in you absence.

    • PS I consulted wiki for the dates.
      It is clear that some of our less scrupulous politicians have altered their wiki entries…Or was it Cross?

  16. Ian W says:

    Hi WGD – I’ve just asked dropbox to invite you to join – if you don’t already use it (it’s free) it’ll keep all your files backed-up automatically, as long as your laptop is on wifi … you can work offline in your dropbox folder in the laptop and then, if you’re already online, when you ‘save’ it saves in both locations. If offline, you can save to your ‘cloud’ dropbox folder next time on wifi … I use it all the time and it works well – I have the folders on office pc as well as laptop so whatever I do on one, gets updated to the other .. enjoy!

  17. TSD says:

    Glad to hear the Ginger is well, although I hadn’t heard to the contrary, either. Scotland will have a national day of mourning when The Dug does go to doggy heaven cos he’s wormed his way into our hearts as our National Dug.

  18. #monthedug

    Sent from my iPad

  19. Jan Cowan says:

    Good to know you’re home and that the ginger boy is in fine fettle.

    Delighted with the Gaelic map. Now I’m ready for anyone foolish enough to claim that Caithness people never spoke the language.

  20. MI5 Troll says:

    Jeez!! What a week for the reaper. First Tony Bourdain(of Man v food), then Pat Lazarus Lally and the the Dug too. Good to see one of the three has bounced back to full health. I raise a toast to the Wee Lazarus Ginger Dug. Cheers

  21. AnnieM says:

    Welcome back Paul and glad to hear that the wee ginger dug is still around to welcome you back too.

    Completely off topic, a friend of mine is returning to Scotland from Spain for July and August during which time he intends to go on at least one Indy march and he would also love to hear you. Is there anywhere I can find dates and venues for talks during these two months?

    • weegingerdug says:

      I’ve not got much organised for July because I’ve been called for jury service at the beginning of the month and my partner is arriving from the USA at the end of the month for a week. I am due to speak in Inverness on July 28 though. In August so far all I’ve got arranged is Islay on 8 August.

      • Anne Martin says:

        Thanks Paul. He was hoping to get to Inverness on 28th July so he’ll be oleased about that.

  22. Marconatrix says:

    Nice to have you back with us, and to know the Dug is still here too. You make a great team together and I sincerely trust that you’ll both be guiding us along the sometimes bendy and confusing path to Indy. Onwards then 🙂

  23. Macart says:


    For anyone reconsidering their no vote of 2014 reading?

    This is what contempt for the devolved legislatures looks like.

    Labour abstention and Tories? Do what they do best. Stab their constituents in the back.

    Not a day that’ll be forgotten quickly to be sure, but people needed to see it. They needed to see how Westminster regards them and the very notion of partnership. They needed to see Scotland’s representation and how they voted.

    Domino 1 down.

    No pooling and sharing. No broad shoulders. No devolution journey. No leading with… No consideration. No partnership. No respect. No empathy.

    What they’re doing today in that chamber isn’t democracy. We can use your help to put this right.

    • Patience is a Virtue says:

      For someone whose job description, of Secretary of State for Scotland, is (lest ye forget) to ‘protect the devolution settlement’ – his contribution to events today being

      BBC News: “Scottish Secretary David Mundell said he was “very disappointed” by the lack of devolved consent, but insisted that “the bill can prevail without it”. .. there is a pattern forming here, where (‘no’ = ‘your consent’).

  24. Stookie says:

    Scotland tonight ; Interviewer asks Douglas Ross what he thought of Westminster’s power grab- I timed it at 12.98 secs before he mentioned “Independence”. There’s only one political party in Scotland constantly talking about Independence….

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