No Tears – Just Smiles.

Staffies often get a bum rap and unfortunately their most often unmerited ‘reputation’ frequently precedes them. But if ever there was an example of why a book should not be judged by its cover, then Gem was it.

She was a gentle, loving wee soul who could sense when I wasn’t feeling myself, and genuinely did show signs of concern. That wasn’t very often, though. Normally, she was a bundle of hyper activity – especially when she saw the chance to chase and fetch a tennis ball.
UK readers of a certain age will recollect a television advert for a well known brand of cigar, where the dog chases a ball through an open top-storey flat. Gem wasn’t far from that – I’m just glad that where we walked there were no trees or walls. As it was, there were a couple of bushes that had Gem-shaped silhouettes forcibly imprinted on their foliage as she frantically followed an escaping ball!

Her (sort of) brother, Sam the cairn terrier was the opposite. Well, regards being ultra friendly, they were similar. But Sam was not the active type. he was more into mooching and letting any doggie pals know how may blades of grass he’d passed by. But he too was a gentle wee thing, although when push came to shove, he was quick to let Gem and Ozzie (the beardie ‘half brother’ from the same household as the others in the photo)  just who was the boss.

Sadly, Gem passed away almost two years ago, and Sam a couple of months back.

Their owner had asked that Gem’s ashes be returned to her , but no similar request was made regards Sam, simply because she was too upset to scatter Gem’s and couldn’t face going through it all again.

Consequently, I was asked if I’d mind disposing of Gem’s remains. I’d never been requested to this before, but in a funny way, I felt quite honoured.

In fact, I didn’t feel sad at all. Memories of the seven years or so I walked her with Ozzie and Sam came flooding back. I knew the perfect place for her.

And so there she was. Back in her old haunt on Gleniffer Braes, looking over the town of Paisley, early on a bright and chilly November morning. And at the spot where Gem knew that, clear of any obstacles,  I could launch a ball for a good seventy yards. She’d bound up and down on her hind legs in excitement and anticipation, letting out pleading yelps until I drew my hand back and released ball into the air.

The spot was chosen carefully. Gem never did this ‘rest’ thing.








Run in Peace wee Gem. 

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Amusing tales of a Scottish dog walker. (99 cents till 17th August.)

Sample Amazon review from USA reader:
Mrs. G on October 1, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

Oh my goodness, what’s not to love about this book? The author is supremely Scottish and it’s all about antics with animals. I haven’t laughed this hard in a long time. I’d hire Mr. Jackson to care for my pets in a heartbeat–except I think I’d prefer to go along on the walks to see all the adventures myself.

This marvelous narration takes the reader through the ins and outs of life as a Pet Care Professional. Dog, cat, and bunny lovers will all find moments they recognize as well as plenty of surprises. The writing is engaging, real, articulate … in a word–BRILLIANT! My kindle’s pages are marked all over with passages that had me in stitches. Mr. Jackson could surely make any profession or commonplace activity sound far more entertaining than it really is, but when the spirited cast includes these special dogs (and one alarming hamster in particular), it’s even better.

Since this is a real life story, I don’t know how we wrangle a sequel, but I certainly want to read more from this author!

Just over eleven years ago, redundancy struck for the second time in two years. Ten unemployed months later, and with little demand for ex branch banking managers, I decided to set up Leading Petcare.

‘DAMP DOGS & RABBIT WEE‘ documents many of the amusing and sometimes poignant moments from the first eight years of what was, at the time, a relatively new type of business venture here in the West of Scotland.

To date, the book has garnered twenty-nine, 5-star reviews across Amazon UK and Amazon USA, and in celebration of its second anniversary, you can buy the Kindle version for only 99 cents ….. until 17th August.

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Night Night wee Roxy.

Wee ‘shakybum’ Roxy with Ted.

Roxy the Schnauzer was my wee pal. She was the first dog (well, with her late ‘sister’ Cassie) that I walked when I set up Leading Petcare over ten years ago.

She had been unwell a few months ago, but rallied well after treatment. Recently, she was back to her kindly, and perky best, her whole hind quarters wagging throughout our walks with her young ‘brother’ Ted.

Sadly though, last week, after a short recurrence of her illness, Roxy had to go to sleep.

I walked Ted on his own last week – it was sad to see how he evidently missed his big ‘sister.’

He’s not the only one.


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Sorry, lads! Am I keeping you awake?

This gallery contains 3 photos.

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Just another dog-walking day.

Tuesday, 25th July 2017 – in and around Houston and Kilbarchan, Renfrewshire.


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Re-decorated office.

I decided to re-decorate my ‘office’ with a predominately blue sky today.

Redecorated office. - 24th July 2017

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Things You See Whilst Dog-walking: #1

Sumo wrestling bulls in rural Renfrewshire, Scotland:

(The black bull won, when after about ten minutes of shove and counter-shove, it pushed the white one into the hedge. The youngsters gathered around the victor in obvious celebration, while the vanquished acted as if it really didn’t care, casually walking off whilst whistling to himself,  to stand alone in the centre of the field.)



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