the highlands and the hunky bunk


Hiya! It is I, Bruce. Today I am pleased, because, after a long break for the Winter, the walking and camping times have begun again! This particular walking and camping time was a surprise, because the weather is good, and Tom has not yet begun New Job. We packed up the van, and set off for West Highlands, a place in which Tom and Kate always seem very happy.


In West Highlands there is excellent walking to be had, and many interesting smells that I do not smell in other places. These smells are because of the big deer buddies, with whom I am not allowed to play. Indeed, an interesting feature of West Highlands is the prevalence of fences and gates, which are there to keep the buddies IN and me OUT. As you can see, however, the buddies sometimes get OUT . . .


. . . and (with human assistance) I can get IN.


These gates are mystifying machines. Try as I might, I cannot operate them.

The best thing about West Highlands is that we go for lovely long walks. This time we walked up hills and through woods. . .


and then we walked along the side of the water. All of this was fun.


Afterwards, we went to camp in the place that is called Bridge of Orchy.


The place is called Bridge of Orchy because of this:


The Bridge. Of Orchy.

At Bridge of Orchy it became very cold. I am often told that I have a nice thick coat, but although this is true, I do not have extra woolly clothes and fluffy bags to keep me warm in Extreme Highland Conditions. The humans have these things, and though they were cold, they were not as cold as I. Then a very exciting thing happened. Because I was cold, I was allowed to get on the hunky bunk with the humans for the first time ever! It was cold on the floor, but it was warm on the hunky bunk with three of us, and so we all slept there together! This was very good. All I can say is, now I know just how good it is on the hunky bunk, I shall definitely expect to sleep there at all times. I shall ignore all human mutterings of “this is not a precedent” and suchlike — YES! ITS THE HUNKY BUNK FOR ME!!

In the morning, there was ice all over the van, and the water had frozen in the pipes. And then we discovered that the van had run out of cooking gas. Kate was extremely worried that she would not be able to have her requisite Giant Cup of Tea, but disaster was averted by Tom, who is the keeper of all equipment, and who had the forethought to bring the spare camping stove.


Giant cups of tea were drunk, I snaffled half a hot cross bun, and everyone was happy.


See you soon, love Bruce xxx

72 thoughts on “the highlands and the hunky bunk

  1. Absolutely beautiful! I remember the place well. We were fortunate enough to spend 2 weeks in the West Highlands a few years ago. What an adventure for you all. Good luck with keeping Bruce out of the Hunky Bunk on future expiditions!

  2. Hello Bruce! Did you know that when I read your posts, I “hear” you in the voice of the dog from “Up”? Strange, huh? My collie would be jealous of the beautiful walk, but she’s currently busy hogging the heater…

  3. Hi Bruce! I just read your most interesting posting to my Westie and tried to interest her in the gorgeous photos of her homeland, but she snuggled deeper into my lap and ignored our attempt at education. I, however, appreciate it mightily. Good for you and your Folks! Thank you.

  4. Oh Kate, isn’t it splendid that you are up to these lovely long walks in the beautiful countryside again?
    (And you are reminding me of the time when I lived in a campervan. Long ago, but who knows…)

  5. Hey Bruce, Abby the Doberman here. Don’t let them kid you, I have found my way under the covers at my (cold) house simply by standing over the humans whilst they sleep, pawing the covers off them and climbing under. Especially effective if you do it at 2 am. when they are weak and just want to go back to sleep. Stay warm, my friend.

  6. Dear Bruce, you are a WONDERFUL tour guide! My human was reading this post to me and I smiled when she told me that you had been allowed to sleep in the hunky bunk. My human, and her husband, were excited to see your pictures. They have been talking nonstop about this place called Scotland and how they hope to see these same places when they visit this coming May. My advice to you is to always get in the hunky bunk before your humans do…this way you can stake out your territory. Your friend, Oscar, from Illinois

  7. I’m so glad that you and Tom were able to have an adventure before he starts his new job. I hope this new year brings many more camping trips!

  8. Well done Bruce for a wonderful tale. Hope you get to share the hunky bunk on a regular basis. And well done Tom for being so well prepared as to pack the spare stove. Cup of Tea time is extremely important and cannot be missed under any circumstances.

  9. Thank you Kate, Tom, and Bruce for sending us in the US such a lovely slice of Scotland. I forward all of your posts, Bruce, to the house where Jakey lives (who is like you but yellow in color), where he and his human enjoy your adventures very much! xx

  10. Bruce you have made my day. Such a lovely story, perhaps the humans (Kate) should consider helping you create a book of your adventures….I would be first on the list to buy that! All those gorgeous photos….what a treat (for adults as well). Thank you Kate! Delightful.

  11. Dear Bruce,
    Gracie here. My human only lets me up on the bed when my other human is gone and she is really, really, really cold (and these days she has this thing called “hot flashes” so it happens even less). I have hopes though that it might happen again, someday….

    xxGracie, the standard poodle with Kipper, the other standard poodle, who does not like to sleep on my human’s bed at all.

  12. Oh the HUNKY BUNK!! I hate to tell you this Bruce but my Irish Wolfhounds (2) and a Mastiff have always slept on my hunky bunk to the extent that I finally had to start sleeping in a sleeping bag so I could throw my legs over them and not be pinned down by Large fur-furs. You won’t tell anyone will you? But Debbie is right……….get to the bed FIRST! Like you are doing them a favour and warming it up for them hahahaha

  13. Hiya Bruce, we, the two Frenchy/Aussie poodles, CANNOT BELIEVE that your human who loves playing with the pointy sticks has not made you the coat from THE BOOK. We think you should persuade her that a hunky bunk possie /nice warm woolly coat exchange is a GREAT IDEA.
    PS a cold nose nuzzled on a neck is a terrific way to get under the covers :D
    Jules and Jim

  14. Dear Bruce, as always, I am charmed by the wonder in your eye as well as the breadth of your vocabulary. I doubt my Zoe or Dante could manage words like ‘mystifying’ or ‘precedent’. It may have something to do with the fact that they are cats… ;) Hope you enjoy many more Highland walks.

  15. Oh, the Bridge of Orchy. My heart lept off of the page when I read the post. Our honeymoon, the WHW! We had some “words” because I did not want to stop there for tea and scones, but Bill did. And they were the best ever. We stayed at the B&B just over the hill shown(the white house). Will you head on to the Kingshouse..and over Rannoch Moor? Oh, such memories! Bill wants to run the WHW 100mile race in the summer..someday.

  16. What fun! We used to camp in our little trailer all winter too.Luckily it had a little furnace but snuggling was fun and everything tasted better!
    Great post Bruce!

  17. Oh Bruce, what a wonderful place. And I definitely agree, when it gets really cold, the humans know how to be comfortable. Many more hunky bunk treats to come!

  18. Hi Bruce. I am Jess. I look a bit like you, but I am a girl. The Hunky Bunk sounds good. I am trying to perfect the art of looking small on The Lady and Man’s bed so they can’t see me and I am now getting very good at rushing through the lounge door and up the stairs when the door gets opened so I can get on it, but they always seem to find me. I also try out the littler girl’s bed from time to time when the opportunity is there (she has good soft things to get out of The Box of Good Things – I’m particularly liking a soft thing they call a Tombliboo at the moment and bring it downstairs whenever I can because I like to carry it about) but the littler girl gets a bit excited (which is a Good Thing) and that makes me excited and jumpy and then I get told I have to go Downstairs. This sounds like a bad thing, but can be quite good because if I go downstairs straight away I often get a biscuit. I have to go and sleep now so I can “recharge my batteries” as The Lady says for when I go out with her in the morning. There are funny things called rabbits where she takes me for my walk after my girls have gone to school and I need lots of energy to go and look for them. If I’m lucky, I might see the pheasant birdy thing walking about as well, so will have to do my best crawling-on-my-belly stalking. I don’t like tea. I did try it when The Lady put her mug down one day and it was half-full, but it was blllleeeuuuurrrgggghhhh.

  19. I Love You Bruce!!! I sleep under the duvet with my humans – my human mother sleeps with the window open on her side of the bunk (EVEN IN WINTER) and her water sometimes freezes in the glass by her bedside!!! She says I keep her cozy and warm even tho I am only a mini dachshund!!!

    Love, Toby

  20. Hey Bruce – full cred to you on the hunky bunk – I have only ever been to that place once… still dream of the soft sleep I had. Looks like you’re in the pink on your holidays – watch out for those deer I think they are probably a bit like the kangaroos and emus around my place – crazy jumping and swooping and booming and eating and watching and staring. Yes, that is all they seem to do. Anyway, I got a tick on my foot but the powers that be managed to remove it, I had to be held upside down for this to happen – lots of struggling – but now my foot has stopped itching….. have fun Bruce. Catcha!

  21. what a lovely adventure-the little town looks charming-just try keeping Bruce off the bed now……our two sleep in bed with us, but of course both of them wouldn’t make even half of handsome Bruce

  22. Bruce, keep at it! My husband grew up in a country where it is warm and dogs are not allowed in the house, never mind on the bedding. He did not want any labrador retrievers on the bed. However, you have it within you to do as my dogs did and make a place for yourself. One of my labs has made his presence so integral to a good night’s sleep that my husband did complain that he missed the dog on a vacation to Florida, as the air conditioning was making his feet cold. Yes, he could have turned the a/c down, but he missed his canine foot warmer. So, do your best, please, Bruce. Everyone will be much happier.

  23. Bruce, I;m so glad you got to sleep on the Hunky Bunk with Kate and Tom and were able to be warm and toasty when the weather was so cold. You are certainly a lucky dog to be loved by Kate and Tom and all of us who read your posts..

  24. oh, i love it when bruce gives an update on his adventures. my smile for the day. and i am most envious of your lovely camping trip to the west highlands.

  25. Dear Bruce, sounds like a great trip! And of course the hunky bunk is for you ;-) whereelse should we be?

    Have a great spring!
    Greeting from some germans admirers

  26. Hi Bruce!
    I love your wonderful stories.
    My beloved golden retriever left us in november last year. She was 13 years old.
    Wish you a long good life.
    (Please excuse my poor english)
    greeting from germany

  27. Congratulations Bruce! You are sleeping with the big dogs.
    Perhaps Kate could make you a lovely Fairisle jumper of your very own, with the classic stick and tennis ball motif?

  28. This made me laugh – ‘not a precedent’ indeed. I remember muttering something similar to my cats when allowing them under the bed covers to curl up behind my knees on those very cold January nights. They haven’t left, yet…

  29. Bruuuuuce! How awesome you were able to sleep in the hunky bunk with your humans! Your adventures with Kate and Tom are always fun to read and brighten my day.

  30. Oh Bruce, I am so jealous of you. First off , to be able to run those hills without distraction of skunks and squirrels , but only the big grand deer buddies ! Oh… As I say this now I am wearing a dreaded cone because I got stitches in my knee yesterday as the vet cut off a skin thing I quite enjoyed chewing on ! Still, no sympathy from my humans, and they still do not allow me to share their hunky bunk. I think Jen would have it different, but the Paw of the house insists I can’t. All is not bad, I do however, get a whole chair in the ‘sitting’ area, to call my own, next to the wood stove, and my own covered room (large dog crate with a mattress) to call my own, oh , and two large mattress-sized pillows placed in essential areas to lounge as I survey . But the Hunky Bunk… its on my secret agenda !!! (shhh… don’t tell anybody, but I oft times will lay on it when the humans are gone, and they find hair on it ( ???? ) as I do the the couches when they forget to put a chair on it before leaving the house. Silly humans… as if any of that matters in the big scheme of things !

  31. Might that be a new handknitted sweater you’re wearing in the second photo? Hmm, I’d like a sweater with those pockets in front and a hood. . . Best of luck to you, Bruce, now the precedent’s been set.

  32. It’s the little things, Bruce, that make a life. If I were a god I would grant you opposable thumbs to conquer all gates. But sadly I am not. Hang on to those humans of yours. They be handy.

  33. Dear Bruce,
    I hope your humans understand now that the hunky bunk should be yours. In my house I sleep on the couch, but I can not sleep on The Bed because it is on a high platform, too high for me because I’m a dachshund. I bet you could get on it, though.
    The Highlands look full of good things to track. My humans take me to the mountains where there are deer and chipmunks. I will get a chipmunk some day!
    Happy sniffing,

  34. The hunky bunkie is just the beginning. Next, when you leave the navigator door open, he will jump up and stare ahead, looking every bit a dog statue, waiting for the car to start; one of you will be in the back seat wondering why you are If this goes well, he will ask for the window to be full down so he can pretend he’s running and if you are in the back, all preparations for the next pic shoot will be streaming off you. Draw the line at the big tea cup Kate. He will be eying it for water and lab eyes are hard to resist. :) Take care, robin

  35. Hi Bruce!
    Chloe the half-lab half- hound here. I’m from the hills of North Carolina originally and now reside in Texas where the other dogs make fun of my mountain twang…. Anyhow… I used to sleep on the owner’s bed, but then I got old and a bit leaky and the arthritis makes it hard for me to jump anywhere, so I sleep on a soft dog bed on the floor. Sometimes my cat joins me, and I like it when he snuggled in because he’s a warm little bugger, even if he does vibrate all night with that weird purr thing that cats do.
    I can’t imagine cold anymore! It’s not cold here in South Texas ever! I like seeing our purty pictures of snow and trees..I miss snow and trees, living in the desert. Anyway, sending you a howdy y’all!

  36. I fear the precedent has been set! Young Joey was never supposed to be allowed onto our bed, but once he had pressed his tiny little feline self into its soft folds, there was no going back to the previous era, in which it had been off-limits. It’s basically HIS bed now, which we are very grateful to be allowed to sleep in sometimes! I am afraid that now he has sampled it, the HUNKY BUNK is very much now BRUCE’S LYING-ON-PALACE! How lovely to read of your adventures at Bridge of Orchy.

  37. I enjoy reading (and watching) your posts. Awesome landscapes and a good piece of reading. I’ll definitely come back later to see some more :). Keep up the fantastic work.

  38. Yeah Bruce for making it to the hunky bunk, can getting your muzzle into the cheese be far behind? I have taken over 3/4 of the king size bed here and recommend the smoked cheddar. Love Sisko the standard poodle. PS You’ve got the best places to walk.

  39. Oh yes, forgot to say – my Mom made me model her sheep heid today. She stuffed my ears up inside it and then she laughed and took pictures

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About Kate Davies

writer, designer and creator of Buachaille (100% Scottish wool)