Tomorrow I will be twelve. At least, I think I will be twelve as no one is completely sure about my actual date of birth. My microchip says 2010 but being a rescue I don’t really know for sure when my birthday is.
In any case I will celebrate it with my usual aplomb by eating my breakfast, having a walk or two, playing bitey face with Lenny and getting plenty of treats from my parents. Just like last year I wont be doing anything special as I have everything I want or need. I will enjoy my day because I know I am loved and I am safe. I also know that Lenny is safe and this makes my day happy.
He’s been here three years today and I, for one, am very pleased he’s here. When he crashed through the front door in 2019 I wondered what exactly had just happened.
We squabbled, bickered and chased one another around the garden for the first weeks much to the concern of our parents. Once we had been able to settle ourselves we have lived noisily alongside each other, again much to the concern of our parents.
He is here to stay and I am so happy that he has a safe home which will let him live a good life.
I am aware that I haven’t blogged any of my adventures recently. In order to rectify this situation I made sure I was accompanied by a responsible adult and they took some pictures.
It was a bright and warm morning to explore the lanes to the west of the village. We set off at a quickened pace to ensure we didn’t miss any rabbits, squirrels or cats that may want to stroll across my path. We turned right at the end of the road, avoided being run over by the Sunday morning traffic and then right again onto the lane which took us to the edge of the village and beyond. We are lucky that there is a belt of greenery around the village and once past the houses, we can look across the fields toward the South Downs. Along the lane we marched, all the while with my nose no higher than 3 centimetres from the ground.
Up the hill we went, one of us scenting and the other puffing. Past the church and turn right again at the top of the hill.
This is where we would ordinarily continue to Thakeham which is the next village along. Here the instruction was given to me that we would only go to the first gate. I would usually squabble and pull a bit, however I was already warm and feeling a bit tired so I compliantly turned for home. I did managed to eat some greens though.
We managed a quick view of Chanctonbury and then descended the hill and back toward the village.
A sharp right meant a quick stroll through the village itself and I could try to introduce myself to a certain tabby cat that sits in a garden. Sadly he wasn’t around so the walk went without a hitch.
We returned home and a quick session of beating up Lenny ensued before our breakfast. It must be my age though, as I was pretty soon fast asleep on the floor.
A good walk was had. I wonder where I will go tomorrow.
It has recently become more obvious, to me at least, that Lenny and I are very different.
We have been going on our walks and meeting various other four legged pals around the village. We have some new buddies called Bear and Loki who are a Chocolate Labrador and a Caucasian Ovtcharka respectively. At this point you may need to look up Loki’s breed as I am not sure how to describe him, apart from fun, large and boisterous. Bear is a big lad and a friendly happy dog to boot. I don’t mind happy pals and I’m content to try and play rough house with them, albeit whilst shackled to one of my parents. Loki is only four months old but is already twice my size and twice my weight at thirty kilos. He is going to be an even bigger lad than Bear. In any case, I met both Bear & Loki yesterday and I was quite happy to see them. Fast forward to this morning and Lenny is out for his stroll with dad. As they turn the corner of the road, Bear & Loki are coming toward Lenny. He sounded the alarm immediately and tried to hide behind dad when Loki came to say hello. The fur near his tail was raised and Loki’s mum gently put Loki back on the lead. Lenny doesn’t like boisterous dogs, either puppies or adult. Yet he is quite happy to be boisterous with me, as can be seen from previous blogs where we spend the majority of our waking hours have extended snout jousting in the garden. Yet he meets Bear and Loki and retreats behind his human for safety. We are still trying to work out the difference between rough housing with me and with other pals.
That’s just one example. Another occurred yesterday when Lenny watched a squirrel run across the road ahead. He stood and watched a squirrel, without a sound, without a leg quiver as it scampered left to right, five metres ahead of him. I would have been doing an impressive impression of the Town Crier if the tree rat had been in front of me. Now, whether he knew he couldn’t get to it or he was just stunned to see one, I don’t know. I will be having words with him though.
Finally, for the time being, I submit the following evidence that my brother is a strange sort. He has just had his dinner and is now curled up snoring in the cave bed you see in this picture. He likes to be covered and have the sunlight removed so he can snooze. I actually wonder if this confirms my fear that he is a vampire.
Compare that to this picture where I cannot handle being covered in any way, preferring instead to remain in the sun, with merely a blanket and a throw to keep me comfy.
I have never liked being covered by blankets or have clothes put on me. Only if its freezing cold or pouring rain will I reluctantly allow a jacket of some description to be attached to me. Sometimes I am not sure he’s even a beagle.
As it will soon be Spring properly here in the UK, it seems appropriate that the weather has decided to play ball and get a bit warmer during the day. The early mists are quickly dissipated by the sun which means we can get out into the garden to relax on our soft beds on benches. Anyone would think we are spoilt.
It is supposed to get a bit chillier next week so I, for one, will be enjoying the warm early Spring weather whilst it lasts.
Now all I have to do is wait for the seeds and bulbs to be planted so I can accidentally dig them up again.
Lenny decided that he would take dad on a mystery tour on Friday. We split up as usual and Lenny pulled across the road toward the village whilst I ensured mum and I made good time on our way toward the stables. I shall let him tell you about his little adventure.
Along the lane and up the hill toward the church which sits looking south toward the north flank of Chanctonbury. Normally we turn left and descend into the hollow amongst the gnarled trees replete with squirrels and rabbits. I decided that we would turn right and explore the lane leading to the farm at Thakeham. There was the expected grumbling about it being muddy, having the wrong footwear and me having four-paw drive, that I knew this may only be a temporary detour. Only to the first gate I was told.
As I strolled along, pulling the reticent parent behind me, I saw that the quagmire that used to resemble a track had dried out. The farmer had filled in some of the larger holes with broken house bricks and, thus, the path was navigable. Oh joy of joys, we can go through and get to Thakeham for the first time in around three months.
Through the gate, along the track, through the next two gates and finally we are back on the tarmac and I can see St Marys church sitting resplendent to my right.
I resumed some serious pulling on the lead as we strolled along the little back lane toward the green.
Left onto the green and then down the steep steps and we are back on The Street. I was determined that we wouldn’t turn for home as that would be really boring so, trying not to listen to the constant grumbling about “only going as far as the little path”, we turned right and headed toward the end of the village. We went through the small wooden gate onto Woodland Walk and I made myself ready to stroll quickly down toward the mushroom farm. Foiled again, there was a big tree across the path. This gave dad the excuse to turn around, which he grabbed gleefully of course.
Retracing our steps, we marched briskly along The Street and thence back through the farm toward the wonderfully named Church of the Holy Sepulchre at Warminghurst. Before we got to the church I wanted to take another detour to have a look over the brow of the hill, so I dragged dad around the edge of the field to see if the view was any good. It was ok, I suppose, but was obscured by a large and overgrown hedge. My tummy was rumbling by now so we headed for home.
Once I had got home, I couldn’t wait to tell Dex about my adventures. However he was more interested in playing snout jousting so I gladly obliged, of course. I had a good day with a decent walk that I will repeat when the weather improves enough for the track to be passable every day. Hopefully I will be able to go along the lane with Dex next time.
Today I noticed that Lenny seemed to be eager to get out and about on his walk. Its strange as he is usually somewhat hesitant about getting his harness and double leads clamped around his person in the morning. It’s something to do with feeling restricted and uncomfortable in his harness. Apparently it’s for his own safety and so he doesn’t run off “like an idiot”. Yesterday he went to Knepp and saw some big deer and he was keen to see them again. Dad took his camera in the hope of getting a decent picture, instead of the grainy images we have become used to.
Off they set along the road and down the lane, whilst mum and I went in the opposite direction for a few miles of sniffing squirrels and rabbits. Lenny said the scent was high as they strolled along the lane, past the stables and the farms and then across the little bridge over the river. Turn right into the farm yard, say hello to the horses in their stables and then the fun was to commence. Dad told him to shush as they didn’t want to frighten the deer although he seemed to have forgotten that he was wearing a bright yellow jacket so the drivers could see him and Lenny as they walked along the road. In any case, they ventured through the big gate, along the stony track and turned left onto the bridleway. The scent was still high as Lenny pulled this way and that, with dad trying to keep as quiet as possible. With his hand poised on the camera they trod carefully, scanning side to side for signs of deer. They went along the track to the lookout landing which people use to have a hidden view of the wildfowl on the little lake. Nothing, not a sausage, was seen so they decided to retrace their steps back to the farmyard. As they exited the big gate they looked at the sign which had been pinned up after Lenny and dad had gone adventuring which said “Keep to the paths, Deer cull in operation”. That would explain why they deer weren’t coming out to play this morning. Sadly they plodded back along the road and after a seven mile walk returned home downcast.
I tried not to laugh at their misfortune but it was difficult. There was only one thing left to do, sun puddle and sleep off our exertions. Oh well, maybe another day.
With the world in such mess it seems that whatever I think about writing is trivial. My life goes on whilst countless other people are having their lives abruptly halted through nefarious means. Hate, war, death and hardship stalks far too many people and I feel somewhat insulated from it all here. I have a comfy life with walks, food and (probably) too many beds to sleep in. I will not go into the politics of it all, as many others have already done so, and I am merely a beagle.
Lenny and I are getting walked every day come rain or shine. The routes are becoming more familiar each day and we are looking forward to Spring arriving so the off road paths can dry out somewhat. Then the number of trails will increase and we wont be walking the same three or four routes as we are now. I’m a regular jogger with mum now as we bimble past the barn, stables and then a couple of farms on our four mile a day jaunt. Lenny is becoming very good at walking on a lead without pulling according to dad. This doesn’t include the two occasions when cats have been spotted ahead and Lenny’s enthusiasm has been stifled by dads quick reaction in sliding his hand down the lead. He has got close however he is continually restricted in his efforts to “play” with cats. He is also being tired out through having walks between five and seven miles. I have certainly noticed my ears haven’t taken such a battering from his teeth recently.
Thankfully the wind of recent times seems to have left us alone for a couple of weeks now and we need only look forward to the Spring rain making our garden into a soggy mess so Lenny and I can get way too much soil under our dew claws. We have some plants in the garden too and, of course, Lenny and I have helped to water them. We can gloss over a story about a certain rufty tufty beagle who was caught (allegedly) eating a mixture of clay, manure and potting compost which had been used to try and give the shrubs a good head start.
And there it is, my current life in a couple of paragraphs. It pales into insignificance when I see and hear what other people and their pets are going through just to survive. I shall report again when, or if, something happens which is worthy of mention. In the meantime I’m off for a nap.
Having survived the wind yesterday, we decided we should go and explore the lanes to see if there were any trees down or blocked roads. We know there was a tree that fell over close to our house yesterday afternoon as we heard the chainsaws chopping it up. The pieces of trunk were stacked, Jenga style, alongside the road as we left this morning. Our parents decided that Lenny and I should go our separate ways and I went with mum toward Knepp whilst Lenny accompanied dad southwards along the lanes.
At this point I will hand over to Lenny as dad took some pictures whilst mum was busy taking me for a walk and ensuring that we avoided trees which might be a bit loose rooted or had already fallen over. So, with much trepidation, Lenny it’s all yours.
Hello everyone. I decided to take dad for a walk along the lanes today to see if I could find some fallen trees to play amongst. Don’t worry, I was on lead all the time and he was very careful. Anyhow, we wandered along the lane and hadn’t reached the top before the first large tree piece was laying in the road. It was surrounded by cones but wasn’t being chopped up and removed. Maybe the authorities thought that the cones could chop up and remove the trunk?
On we plodded, up past the church, and we were just about to drop down into the dingly dell when the next branch was laying in the road. This one had been pushed to one side a little so it was easier to get past. I wasn’t allowed to explore it to sniff out squirrels because it was on a dangerous corner of the road and dad doesn’t want me getting run over. He’s no fun.
In any case we turned the corner and saw a tree with loosened roots so we quickly walked past that one and down the lane.
There weren’t any trees down but there were plenty of branches and tree tops that had been removed by Eunice yesterday. As we made our winding way past I made sure I sniffed all the tree pieces to see if there were any traces of squirrel. We turned for home just as we reached the bottom of the next small raise in the road. This was my chance to double sniff all the places I had walked past. As we started to climb the hill toward the church I spotted a squirrel and started to pull on my lead. I didn’t need dads encouragement to “squirrel get it, go on, get it” but it was welcome anyway.
We retraced our steps passed the debris and back along the lane past the church. As soon as we got back to the edge of the village I caught scent of a c-a-t which sent me into wild eyed overdrive. At this point I think dad decided we had scented sufficient creatures and it was best for me to get home quickly so I could rest. I didn’t agree with him however he’s bigger than me and I was attached to him.
We saw Dex and mum just as we approached home so we had an impromptu bout of bitey face snout jousting. Dex & myself I mean, not our parents as they are quite dull really.
We hadn’t been in long before the rain started. I can sleep and dream of my fun morning walk. I need to recuperate and then tell Dex what to expect tomorrow. I think we are swapping over our walks.
As we were tucked into bed last night, we were told that there was an early walk on the cards due to a visit from Eunice. We aren’t averse to early morning strolls, however looking out and seeing the strong winds and lashing rain, our fervour for a stroll was lessened. Being rufty tufty beagles we braved the elements which, thankfully, had eased and we had only the wind to contend with. Usually I like the wind as it blows all the scents into my nose and I dont have to work too hard sniffing them. Today was a little extreme though and it felt like the scents were being propelled by a leaf blower, on its highest setting.
We returned and ate our usual (small) breakfast, we ran around the house playing, got told off by being noisy and then quietly laid next to each other silently chewing on our opposing ears. This of course was noticed and we were told off again. Ugh, boring. Then I heard it, a whistling and rumbling, all around the house and across the garden. The wind had picked up considerably and was blowing heavy stuff about in the garden. One of the benches was being moved almost as if a poltergeist was present. Dad went off to move the bench, flower pots and other heavy items to places of relative safety. We were allowed out to explore and we noticed the strength of the wind in our ears. Lenny was into the garden and then back in the house quickly whilst I was strolling about having a good snooter. Back indoors and the wind whistled and rattled around the house. I heard crunch and crash as a tree fell over outside and within ten minutes there were tree fellers cutting up the remains of the tree to take it away. No one hurt and no damage so all was good. It wasn’t even lunchtime and I was wandering around worrying about the wind. I hate the noise it makes. For some reason it really unsettles me. Lenny, on the other paw, couldn’t care less, snoozing away in my chair.
After lunch we returned to the garden, had another explore and found loads of sticks and twigs to chew and play with. The wind still howled at times, although I was more comfortable outside in the garden than I was in the house. Apparently I am a strange boy sometimes. As the wind abated my fears receded and I could relax a little. I thought I could relax, but Lenny was still occupying my chair so we had to have a session of noisy bitey face snout jousting to sort out who’s chair it was. I lost so slinked away on to the sofa to get complimentary ear tickles from a parent.
Eunice seems to have disappeared now, although her legacy will last for a few days yet. The possibility of trees being weakened means that it is unlikely Lenny and I will get walks in the woods for the foreseeable future. Hey ho, we will just have to make do with pulling our parents around the usual routes.
Nice knowing you Eunice, but feel free not to call again.