Chapter 12
(Pentecost 2002):

Of Butter, Perfume and Biiig Seagulls

Dear Family and Friends,
I have to tell you about my day today, one of the most exciting of my 2 1/2 years.

It actually began as usual: at 6:30 Their Highnesses dragged themselves off their mattresses and I thought: as usual, soon they'll disappear for "work" and one of them will show up again around 2:00. So I stayed in my crate, opened one eye and closed it again for a few more zzzzzzzzzzzzzs. Nope - suddenly Daddy said "Coming along?" and I was out of the box like a flash of lightning, down the stairs in a leap and into my car in a dash. Well? And now? What's up?

Well, after a good hour of driving we were standing on the dock in Bremerhaven with this huge white seagull in front of us, which we climbed onto up a ramp. Man, was I nervous; what was this going to be? Then the ship's horn gave such an earsplitting toooooot that I shivered and shook. Look there: the shore was scared away, too!

Aftera few goodies I got myself calmed down again and tried to get used to this new situation, always with my ears in tune for more info or another goodie. Huh? Going to buy butter on the island of Helgoland? I thought we got butter at the grocery store.

Perfume for Mummy? I like her best when she smells like me. It's a good thing I didn't know what was awaiting me: that big old seagull didn't pull up to the dock, but just stopped and anchored off shore. Then a fleet of wooden motor boats descended on us like vultures. One at a time, the other passengers were heaved out of a hole in the side of the seagull down into one of these little nutshells by the elbows, a sailor on each side. They call it Ausbooten: de- boating, and I was going to have nothing to do with it.


But my opinion wasn't asked. Mummy fastened my lemon yellow life jacket in case I panicked and struggled loose, picked me up, and down we went into the nutshell, which was rocking and pitching like a roller coaster (Yes, I've been to a fair, too!). 

I did not feel like my exuberant self, but the trip to the Big Red Rock was short and I was very glad to have solid ground under my feet again. I claimed it immediately with a pile, which Mummy snatched away in a plastic bag. Gee, can't a Wheatie even leave a memorial?

We had a great walk down to the mole, then up a steep red cliff; I pulled Mummy up because she's getting feeble in her old age. We walked around the back part of the island but they wouldn't let me off the leash. A sign said: out of consideration for the sheep, but I was the only sheep we saw. Mummy said it was because of my habit of chasing seagulls and the steep cliffs. 

Then we joined the ranks of the other passengers who were carrying plastic bags of duty-free goods. Mummy had 22 lbs of butter in her rucksack. I love butter, so I distracted the officials at customs: "Oh, how cute, look at the sweet, woolly dog!" Back into the yellow life jacket and the rocking-boat, to be heaved up into the seagull again, this time in Daddy's arms. I was so exhausted, I had to sleep almost all the way back (2 1/2 hours). Mummy and Daddy chatted with a couple that had fallen in love with me, and warned them about what a devil a Wheaten is. They didn't look convinced, because I was an angel all day.

Folks, I can really recommend a trip to Helgoland; they say it's part of a dog's socialization program: Seebaederschiffsozialisation is the name of this chapter. And I got promoted to seaman first class. I've attached a few pictures of my conquest and now I have to

... get a few more zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzs.

Wheaten Greetin's from
Grainne, Peter and Roberta

Back to my homepage            Proceed to next chapter