Fed up of Trump, Brexit and Wars? Get a Dog.

Posted on January 20, 2017

In a week where we have seen the outlined plans for a ‘Hard Brexit’ as well as the inauguration of mad American President, it does make one wonder if we are indeed, living in a parallel universe.

What has surprised me, on both sides of the pond, is the level of hatred that human beings are showing to each other and I do wonder sometimes whether it is in our DNA to disunite and hate just to see how close we can get to armageddon.

However, I read something this week that I didn’t know before and it made me realise that we are actually quite kind but brainwashed into being aggressive by our masters. Please forgive me if you have read the book ‘The Men that Stare at Goats’ as this where I got this information came from.

A survey of thousands of allied soldiers in the Second World War came up with the following statistics.

  • Only 20% of soldiers in their first combat operation shot at the enemy, instinctively choosing to shoot above them.
  • Of that 20% who shot at the enemy, 98% of them suffered from post traumatic stress symptoms because of their actions 
  • The remaining 2% were basically psychopaths who would have killed anyway, regardless of war.  

So, whilst we are told of the brave heroes of war by commanders and politicians, most normal people don’t want to die and faced with someone in the same position as them, they don’t want to kill either, especially when all they know of the person in the trench opposite is that he too probably has a family back at home frantically waiting for news of his safety or more likely, his demise.

The commanders and politicians are miles away, dictating proceedings from positions of safety.

The best way of getting away from all this nonsense I have found, is to get a dog. A dog thinks you are great and can be known to do 40 laps of a house at the mere mention of the word ‘walkies’. Imagine getting that sort of appreciation from a human?


Of course, you have to walk a dog (it is their favourite pastime) but when you are doing so, you suddenly become aware of seasonal changes and you get to see the countryside in all its beauty. If you are really clever like me, you can even work out where there are going to be the fewest amount of humans.

Not that all humans are bad of course, since having a dog, I have met and got to know a gillie (fishery manager) and a weather forecaster for shipping, both of whom have enhanced my knowledge of the local environment and climate immensely.

Other dog owners are fine as well, I just don’t like embarking on repetitive discussions about dog food, the age of my dog and whether he works or not. I almost feel ashamed telling people that he doesn’t work (my type of dog is good at retrieving pheasants) it’s almost like I am accusing the poor mutt of sitting around on the dole, spending listless days watching ‘Homes Under the Hammer’ and the ‘Jeremy Kyle Show’.

Anyway, this week has been a spectacular example of how seasons can be enjoyed by getting outside rather than desperately spending your days hoping for a blistering summer that might not arrive anyway.

A high pressure system over the continent has dragged clear blue skies across the south of England, with temperatures struggling by day and plummeting at night. The result is some of the most beautiful scenery you will see anywhere on the planet, on my doorstep.

The Test and Anton Valley are a joy to behold on a cold winter’s day and it is no coincidence that if you are stupid enough to go to The Mayfly pub, you will often hear American or Chinese voices that are trying to work out how they have just paid £8.00 for a mediocre glass of wine.

People from across the globe come to see Hampshire and I find that great, especially as my new mate the Gillie, has told me all the secret places to go to avoid the inconvenience of having to talk to them. The tourists generally head for Stockbridge a pretty little market town that has been carefully constructed up its own rectum.

Its main features are clothes shops featuring pink and mustard slacks and ludicrously priced boutiques. I once spotted an ornamental duck in a shop window that I could have made at about the age of six, it was one of several items costing hundreds of pounds. I have heard it is now an ornament in a Beijing penthouse and its creator, Peter Sawyew Cumming, has retired to the Italian island of Capri.

I go out every day with the dog, generally for about two hours split over two walks and I have know had him through every season of the calendar year, taking on most of The Test and Anton Valley in the process. This week has been one of the best so far, cold and crisp with wall to wall blue skies.

In fact it was so stunning, I made this video. Music by The Beautiful South, which is rather apt.

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