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.
Ginger 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
The 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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. http://www.indyposterboy.scot/ You can now access this blog simply by typing www.weegingerdug.scot 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.
Wee Ginger Donations & Speaking engagements
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 email@example.com 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.