The sun has got his hat on

It has been a tad chilly when morning has broken over each of the last four days. However the sun has made its presence felt quickly and we have made sure to pester M and D for an early morning walk. I wasn’t sure if Lenny had experienced this degree of the chilliness but I was eager to show him that it’s fun, as well as let him find out the other reason I like cold and frosty mornings. The scents are kept at ground level and we can pull and bay to our hearts content, albeit whilst attached to a human.

We are soon onto our paws and find ourselves heading towards the fields. This is going to be fun as we need to go past “cat corner” so called as there are a number of houses which have our favourite feline friends living there. We tend to be quite noisy when we get close and then try to pull and jerk the leads so we can get a better smell. Sadly, M and D were onto our little caper quite some distance before we got to the feline fun and we were walked to heel. Now, you will understand, this was extremely dull and boring. Even more annoyingly, there were no cats to sniff and bay at, so we trudged on solemnly towards the fields.

Crunch, crunch go our paws as we hit the frosty grass and Lenny’s eyes lit up as he realised there were all manner of smells waiting to be sniffed. Off we go, noses to the ground and pulling left and right. M and D are used to wrangling me, but it seems that Lenny has been watching my shenanigans as he is also good at pulling and scenting at the same time.

Wait for the photo to be taken, then charge!!!

Around the first field, through the gate, around the second field and then into the wonderland that is – the woods. I am not sure that M and D have walked this fast whilst attached to us for some time. That’s ok though, they need the exercise. Emerging from the woods and into the next field we scan the horizon for deer. Only this morning did we see them for the first time in four days, and we made our presence known immediately. Actually I think half the town heard us baying at the deer which stood there just looking at us for an uncomfortably long time for their own good. Maybe they knew we were shackled to humans, who knows. Into the next field we go, sniffing all the squirrels in the little copse and then onto the mile field which is almost a mile in circumference. Lenny has learned to sniff in the field itself whilst I ensure that the critters in the hedgerows are suitably concerned as to the presence of two beagles. Tandem snootering. All the while the sun shines through the trees and we cast long early morning shadows across the fields. In my shadow I look about ten feet tall sometimes. My brother has legs like a giraffe so he already looks about ten feet tall.

Then we are through the copse, still pulling left and right to try and make friends with the squirrels, rabbits and foxes who live there, and back down the hill towards home. For some reason they don’t seem as keen. At this point Lenny has learned that putting on the “beagle brakes” means our walk is extended time wise. I have taught him well, haven’t I?

Come out to play!

We are walked a different route back so we do not have the fun of cat corner and we soon find ourselves looking at the driveway to the house. Once we get home we resume bitey face for ten minutes or so and then flop onto our beds to snooze. Its quite dull and boring being indoors.

Apparently we are solar powered, as we are frustrated if we cannot resume our sniffing and general shenanigans in the garden whilst the sun is out.

Solar powered indeed.

You distract them whilst I poke my tongue out.

Beagle Bugs meet up in real life – England 2019

In early December 2019, Lenny and I got to meet some lovely visitors from America. Lucy’s mum and dad came to the UK for a holiday and we were lucky enough to be able to show them around a little section of London. Lucy asked me if I would give her a chance to let people know how much her pawrents enjoyed themselves. I am of course honoured to help her. Here is her blog article. We hope you enjoy it.

Hi Pals! Lucy here. Mum and Papa had a really fantastic vacation in England and they were able to meet up with some of Mum’s Twitter pals. Since Mum is busy getting back into her work and home routine, she has asked me to tell you about their trip! So, here goes.

In 2016 Mum started looking at her Twitter account more often and started to see beagles pop up in her feed. She learned about different beagles and other doggies all over the world. She anxiously looked them up each day to see their adventures and laugh when they were silly or naughty. She would fall in love with them and grieve with tears streaming down her face when one would cross the rainbow bridge.

Then in April 2019, I could hear them planning a vacation for the fall to England, (BTW I was not happy about this at all, even though I am treated like royalty at my Aunty G’s house). Mum was trying to plan a trip to include some very old churches and places that had a history of Anglo Saxon and Viking history for Papa. She saw she would have to drive to see some sites and also thought, hmmm maybe, she could meet up with some of the members of the BeagleBugClub after seeing Aunty C’s (@Pruny_thebeagle) Cata, Poly, and Alfie’s Mum’s vacation! I saw Mum (constantly) typing on her iBone to see if she could meet up with the Aunts and Uncles on Twitter and told Papa her plans to incorporate meeting some Bugs into the trip and, since Mum is in charge of everything, he said OK, (don’t tell him I said that).

Aunty H (Griff and Boot’s Mum) told Mum about a mystery series of books by a local author that included lots of history local to Herefordshire and other nearby places so Mum set to work reading as many as she could before the trip. Plans continued and were firmed up by November.

They landed in London on November 20th and took a taxi to Windsor where they enjoyed exploring the town and castle. They left Windsor, picked up the rental car in Reading, and then began the driving portion of their trip going through Cirencester with a quick stop for lunch and a peek at the Church of St. John the Baptist. There happened to be a craft sale in the church and Mum bought an apple carved out of yew wood and a couple of felt ornaments. She loved chatting with the crafters because she likes to do crafty things.

Then they were back on the road and off to Gloucester for a couple of nights. Mum and Papa spent several hours in Gloucester Cathedral, and Mum bought a book about the Harry Potter filming locations and was very excited to see the cloisters that were featured in the films. They also went to the museum and saw some Roman and Anglo Saxon artefacts in addition to many other items.

When they left Gloucester, Mum drove to Goodrich Castle, Church of St. Mary and St. David (Kilpeck), St. Michael’s Church (Garway), and then Hereford for a couple of nights. While in Hereford they, of course, visited the Cathedral. They enjoyed walking around the town and stopped into All Saints Church where there was a Bill’s Café. They had some local beer and cider and ended up having dinner there. It was very good and the kind people working there gave Mum the recipe for the carrot salad. Mum noticed a cookbook by the owner of the café but she didn’t want to carry it and figured she would order it when she got home. I am very excited for her to make this carrot salad because I always get bits of carrots for snacks and in my dinner!

Nap time!…………I’m back! The next day they drove to Worcester to spend the night, and also to see the cathedral which was amazing. On the drive there, they stopped at Saint Michael and All Angels – Castle Frome Church; unfortunately due to heavy rains they could not view the castle ruins. Mum said during this part pf the trip she remembered tons of things from the books Aunty H had recommended. Often she was able to explain to Papa some of the history when they saw certain sights in Gloucester/Hereford/Worcester, especially when she saw Thomas Trahern and Albert Elgar in books, memorials, stained glass windows, etc. 

Then, they finally headed to Shrewsbury (home of Cadfael, one of Mum’s favorite mystery books/shows)! When they arrived in Shrewsbury and got the car parked Mum and Papa met Aunty L (@companyofhounds) at the Market Hall and bought some doggy treasures for my Aunty G and Aunty B here in Arizona, plus a new collar and bow tie for me! They walked around town and visited Shrewsbury Castle which has a military museum with a focus on people from the region who have served in the military. Later on, they met up with Aunty L for some mulled wine, (Mum just said YUMMY out loud!) Eye roll BOL!

When they got back to the hotel room, Mum found a present on the night stand from Auntie L! It was local gin and tonic and some biscuits! Fanku Auntie L for being so nice to my pawrents, they wished they could have saw you more.

Yummy!

The next day Mum and Papa drove out to Aunty H and Uncle B’s (@charley_beagle), Griff and Boot’s pawrents home out in the country! Mum was able to drive up the big hill on the second try BOL and saw Aunty H waiting in the big window for their arrival! Aunty H had a plan of action for the day, which sounded great and included the boys. Before heading out Mum and Papa looked out at the beautiful view that Griff and Boot enjoy every day.

Hang on, I need to tinkle…..Whew! Good thing Mum trimmed my nails this weekend; this is a lot of typing! 

So Mum told me that Aunty H and Uncle B took Mum and Papa all over the place starting with Myndtown Church, which is a 12th century church. Then they saw Mitchell’s Fold, a 3,000 year old stone circle. Next they stopped at The Three Tuns pub for a bite to eat and a pint. This pub is the UK’s oldest operating licensed brewery (since 1642.) On to Powis Castle, which was decorated for Christmas and was gorgeous inside and out with lovely landscapes, including fairylights inside the trees. Mum petted the boys, gave Boot a kissies on his white spot and hugged Griff a lot. Griff sat on her lap all day in the car! Sorry Aunty C. 

That morning, Aunty H had also suggested that Mum leave the car at her house and she and Uncle B would drop Mum and Papa off at their hotel after dinner at a dog friendly pub. This sounded like a great plan to Mum because she could have a couple of pints since Uncle B would pick them up the next day for another round of adventures. 

When they get to the pub for dinner at the end of the day and Mum gets excited because she sew a vehicle in the parking lot with beagle stickers and she got so excited she might see another beagle (she is so silly). Then they walk inside and there is Aunty L and Aunty J with Raffa!!!! What a surprise! They wanted to give Mum and Papa a Thanksgiving Dinner of sorts since they were so far from home. Mum was verklempt. After a lovely dinner and dessert, they went back to the hotel for the night.

Thanksgiving!

The next day Uncle B picked them up and they were off to the house to get Aunty H. Mum and Papa again took in the beautiful views from their home. Then, off to Ludlow, where they stopped up on a hill to see the views of the town which included the castle and church tower. Mum and Papa went into the castle and climbed all the towers but one, Mum is clumsy and she was worried since it didn’t have a handrail. The stairs were a great workout after having cinnamon rolls and coffee at Griff and Boot’s favorite little spot. After the castle they had lunch and then went to St. Lawrence church. Heading back to Aunty H and Uncle B’s home a quick stop was made at Stokesay Castle for some photos. Then home where tea and the best lemon cake ever made was eaten! Mum photographed the cookbook and now has a copy! She wants to make the cake for our family. 

Mum and Papa enjoyed Aunty H and Uncle B’s company so much they didn’t want to leave and they were sad that they had to leave, but eventually they had to go because they were headed to Chester the next day. Mum gave Griff and Boot hugs and kissies before they left.

Hugs!

Fanku Auntie H and Uncle B for being so nice to my pawrents! They appreciate the lovely gifts and mementos! I also really love my treats!

I’m thirsty, I’ll be right back…

The next day they were off to Chester where they dropped off the car, NO MORE DRIVING! Mum and Papa visited some friends Saturday. They walked into town and went to a local pub that their friends like.  Then they walked farther into town to see the Christmas Market.  They hopped on the bus back to the house to try some of Uncle JK’s beer he has been brewing.  He is a degreed beer brewer who hopes to work in Germany one day to get the Master Brewer certification.  Uncle JK also did laundry for my pawrents!  Aunty K made a delicious Flemish stew for dinner with cheese scones.  During the week Mum was able to workout with Aunty K who has been helping Mum the last few years improve her fitness regimen.  I am really happy Mum and Papa got to see their friends again!

Sunday they took the train to Liverpool to meet up with Aunty J and Raffa (@raffa2006). The Santa Dash was going on in downtown Liverpool and Mum and Papa had a blast watching everyone and walking around, plus Mum could give Raffa pets and kissies. They had a yummy lunch in a dog friendly place and Mum saw Papa and Aunty J arguing over the paying the bill BOL. Papa won!

Classic BeagleBug pose in Liverpool

Then Aunty J took Mum and Papa to see some local churches and after that, they went to Aunty J and Raffa’s home. They had tea, cookies, mince pies, and chocolates. The mince pie was the best Mum had ever tasted. They also saw Raffa’s cabin! Sadly, they had to go back to the room so Aunty J could rest and go to work the next day. They weren’t too sad knowing they were going to see Aunty J and Raffa the following afternoon. Plus Mum was a little dehydrated from the previous days beer sampling and needed some rest also (eye roll).

Aunty J got off work early the next day so Mum and Papa took the train to Hamilton Square Station and met up. Aunty J drove them around Wirral so that Mum could see the places that Aunty J and Raffa go on walks and bike rides. There was a beautiful sunset during the drive. Then back to the house for pizza and conversation before going to trivia quiz night at The Bow Legged Beagle Pub to raise money to help rescue beagles.

Trivia Time! So Auntie J, Mum, and Papa have never been to a trivia night. It was a new experience for all of them. The pub was packed with beagles, other dogs, and people but they still found seats. Raffa always has a seat because of her chariot BOL. Hmmm, now that I think about it, I really don’t understand why I don’t have a chariot or a buggy that hooks onto Mum’s bike. Let me write this down to have a little chat with Mum about this later.

Mum and Papa got to meet Aunty K and Uncle A (@BeaglesWirral) along with Ed and George, and many other dogs whose names she cannot remember. Mum and Papa didn’t know much of the trivia because it was mostly related to the UK and Aunty J isn’t a big TV watcher so they didn’t win BOL! Aunty J did win a really nice gift basket in the raffle. Mum didn’t want to win anything because it would be more to carry.

Love at first sight.

So again, sadly, Mum and Papa had to say goodbye. Of course, Mum gave Raffa tons of kissies before they parted. Fanku Auntie J for taking my pawrents around! They love the gifts and mementos that you gave them, very much.

The next day they took a train to Manchester to see Chetham’s Library and John Ryland’s library. They saw the cathedral which had been rebuilt after being badly damaged during the Manchester Blitz (WWII) and walked around the Chirstmas Market.

The following day in Chester they decided to do laundry again because they calculated it would cover them for the rest of the trip.  They went to the same laundry place they went to when they were there in November 2016.  The lady managing the place was still there and remembered Mum!!!  She took care of the laundry for them so Mum and Papa could go to the Brown Sugar Internet Café that they had had also visited in 2016.  The owners remembered them! Mum had bought some fabric Christmas ornaments the owner made last time so she bought more this time, plus a small stuffed rabbit that the lady makes. Mum and Papa highly recommend this café, the food and customer service is amazing!  

The next day they headed to London. They did a myriad of things over the next few days, which included seeing St Paul’s Cathedral and climbing all 528 steps to the top, seeing Westminster Abbey, the Churchill War Rooms, British Museum, National Gallery, and shopping for Christmas gifts.

On Saturday, Mum and Papa met up with Mum’s friend from high school.  She took them to see Winston Churchill’s grave and Blenheim Palace which had a Christmas market and was decorated inside for Christmas. It was very beautiful and they had a wonderful day! 

On Sunday, Mum and Papa got to meet Aunty C and Uncle C (@rescuedogdexter) along with Dexter and Lenny! Mum was greeted with tons of aaroooos!

Arrooo Aunty S and Uncle J

Uncle C used to work in the City of London and showed Mum and Papa lots of little-known spots and was full of great bits of history. We met at St Pauls and then saw Postmans Park where there are plaques for brave ordinary people, Guildhall in which all the City of London Guilds would gather for discussions for over 800 years, the Bank of England (where Raffa keeps her pocket pennies), the Royal Exchange which was the first Stock Exchange, Leadenhall Market (an old poultry market), Lloyd’s of London where insurance is created and underwritten, Spitalfields Market (which was an old market founded in 1197 and sold fresh fruit and vegetables) and finally down to the Tower of London. Along the way, Mum helped Uncle C and Aunty C watch out for Lenny grabbing food and stuff off the ground and she loved giving Dexter pets because he wags his tail every time.

Police officers laughing as Dexter’s aarrooos echo through the empty street.

When it started to get dark and windy, once again Mum and Papa had to sadly say farewell, but not before Mum gave the boys kissies! Fanku Auntie C and Uncle C for showing my pawrents around, they loved meeting you and learning more about the City of London!

Very windy!

Mum and the boys!

On their last night in England my pawrents again met up with Mum’s high school friend for dinner at a place near Covent Garden called Balthazar. It was amazing and Mum was happy to get more time with her friend.

Then, sadly, my pawrents England/Beagle Bug vacation came to an end. Mum and Papa are so grateful for the kindness and generosity of everyone they met. The loved seeing their friends. They greatly appreciate the time everyone took out of their lives to show complete strangers around, welcoming them into their homes, and becoming their friends. With love and kissies, Lucy

20-20 vision

I have been a little quiet over the festive period and into the New Year. It was Lenny’s first Christmas and New Year (or is it lower case – new year?). Dad had a stinker of a cold so we were somewhat restricted as to our ability to travel. We have also been taking some time to reflect upon the last year and to wonder what is ahead now. Not in a resolution style as I take each day as it confronts me, but more like trying to get some clarity over the things we can control.

Looking out for Lenny

We tried to make it as normal as possible over Christmas with walks in the fields and lanes, along with seeing people we should see more often. For various reasons the festive period is tinged with sadness and reflection for dad especially. Readers may recall that my grandpa Chas went to the Rainbow Bridge on 28th December 2017, and that the uncle who I never met, Uncle David, had already passed away many years ago on 8th December 1974. It is a time for families and friends to try and get together and enjoy their company if they can. Lenny and I went to visit our grandparents in Sussex for a day between Christmas and New Year and he seemed to enjoy himself. In fact he settled faster than me soon after we had arrived which was a bonus as we were a little worried he may be agitated with the new surroundings. We needn’t have held any such fears. We were going to see our other nanny, however with Dads cold, we thought it better to shelve the trip until he was better. As it was, he was able to visit her in her new home on New Years Eve and checked that we would be able to go and see her soon, so that is a bonus and something to look forward to.

Snuggle up, we’re brothers after all

There are many things going on in my house at the moment that it is good to have the stability and routine of waking up, first breakfast, walk, second breakfast, snooze, treat training, snooze, run around the garden, play bitey face with Lenny, snooze, dinner, snooze, get tickles and sleep. I do seem to snooze quite a bit. Lenny has settled into the routine well, although his routine also includes performing dental lobotomies on one of my old stuffed toys. When I look at Lenny tearing into the fluffy and now deceased gingerbread toy, it does make me wonder how different and, yet how similar, Lenny and I are. Same basic breed albeit he is giraffe legged and I am a hooligan apparently. Both rescues and both full of energy. However we differ in that my energy is relentless when it comes to hunting a creature in the fields or lanes, whereas Lenny will scent it and then if he cannot get to it, he will move on. We are dissimilar in that I will walk straight through the muddiest, filthy puddle on a walk and Lenny will carefully try to avoid it. When I sleep it’s almost as if I have one eye open permanently, whereas Lenny will go out like the proverbial light. Often it is apparently like “waking the dead” when trying to rouse him from his slumber. I took some 18 months to settle when I first arrived here and Lenny seems to have taken around 6 months.

Happy New Year everyone

I cannot foretell the future, however I can say with some certainty that Lenny and I will continue to enjoy living and having fun together. We will continue to run around the garden, chase squirrels and dig holes where we aren’t supposed to. We will continue to get tickles and enjoy snoozing in our 6 beds. For my part, I will continue to try and be a good big brother and guardian for Lenny so he can feel loved and safe.

2019 highlights

The year is ending and I wanted to think things over, you know the places I have seen and things I have done in the preceding twelve months. One of the highlights for me, of course, is the arrival of the whirlwind that is now my brother Lenny. We tried to make sure he was settled in before we announced his arrival a couple of weeks after he got here. I think it’s safe to say he’s definitely got his paws under the table now. I am so pleased he’s come to stay at my house, we are a good team.

Lenny had to learn how to travel in the car fairly quickly as he was whisked around the motorway to go and meet our nan within a few weeks. He wasn’t too comfortable on the first trip but he’s much better now. He was taken to some training sessions so he could learn some recall and even try some close heel work. I think dad learned more than Lenny.

More highlights were the number of times I got to visit London. Prior to Lenny arriving I was lucky enough to show my auntie Carolina around London in late March. She was in the UK and Europe for a grand tour and I was honoured to be the last stop on her round Europe travels. I met her near to the Tower of London and then tried to show her some of the best sights of London. I think she enjoyed herself, I certainly did.

We waited for a while after he had arrived and settled in before we decided to take Lenny for some rides on the train and tube so he could be ready for trips to London. Lenny seemed to take to the train and tube rides really easily although I think it was probably my calming influence upon him that helped. The chance to put it to the test was with the visit of Raffa and her mum in early December. We met them at the train station and then strolled twelve miles around London so we could try to see everything on Raff’s tick list. She even got a trip on the tube which she seemed to take completely in her stride. The following week, we showed auntie Shauna and uncle Jay around some parts of London that visitors may not usually see. I hope they enjoyed themselves.

The number of day trips to local areas has increased which is always fun as we can see new places and there are always new sniffs. I showed Lenny some of my fun places such as Asheridge and Cholesbury. I introduced him to some great scents.

In September we managed to make the trip to Capesthorne Hall at Macclesfield near Manchester for the celebration of last years “Guinness World record Largest Single Breed Dog Walk”. We were a bit worried about Lenny being ok for the car ride but he took it all in his stride. We had a wonderful day there, and even got to meet our Australian aunties Nic and Annette from Australia. It was a complete surprise for us all, so we were privileged to meet them. In fact we aroooed all day and then collapsed exhausted in the car on the way home.

Our year of travel has been completed with a trip to the south coast of the UK to take Lenny to see nanny and grandad. We played nicely and made sure we stayed in their good books so we can revisit them next year.

There have also been bad things that happened in 2019. We were very sad to lose far too many friends including Marigold, Port Hunter, Gusterbear (Puppy), Ringo, LJ Bella Basset, Daisy and Toby.

So that’s it everyone. 2019 closes and we feel happy that we have so many great friends around the world, yet sad that too many of our friends have taken the longest journey to the Rainbow Bridge. Happy New Year one and all and remember to enjoy yourselves, you only get one chance at this life stuff.

Heres to the next decade.

Merry Christmas one and all

To conclude our celebration of Christmas in all its guises around the world, I asked Eddy in Yorkshire, Tyrrell in Australia, Marigold in the USA & Curfew in Thailand how they enjoyed themselves at this most wonderful time of the year. Thank you for reading this little series of blogs. It has been interesting to see the differences as well as the similarities.

If you had one chance to see one place in the world at Christmas where would it be?

Eddy: Lapland

Curfew: I would like to visit one place and it is Anfield, Liverpool.

Tyrrell: Mum says somewhere with snow where she can see the Northern Lights and we get to see snow.

Marigold: A place where all our pals could gather

You can meet one person at Christmas, who?

Eddy: Santa

Curfew: I want to meet all my Twitter pals.

Tyrrell: We’d like a party with all our Twitter pals together.

Marigold: Mum says she wants me back, I was a furry little person.

Best thing about Christmas?

Eddy: Everyone is happy

Curfew: The best thing about Christmas is everyone has a lot of fun and smile.

Tyrrell: Mum has a week at home with us, extra belly rubs and treats. Mums says her kindle and hammock.

Marigold: Food

Worst thing about it?

Eddy: Knowing there are lonely out there

Curfew: Fireworks

Marigold: Food.

Sprouts or no sprouts?

Eddy: Half and half in our house

Curfew: I’m not sure if it is different from here. But I like to eat all veggies. Don’t worry I’m not a Vegan. Chicken & bacon always better.

Tyrrell: Christmas dinner is not right without sprouts although the fall out can be tough.

Marigold: We don’t eat a lot of sprouts, so probably that would be a no.

One gift you could give to one friend?

Eddy: Better health

Curfew: I want to give many kinds of Thai food for them to taste how amazing is it.

Tyrrell: I’d share my Roo treats. Mum says friendship.

Marigold: A sympathetic ear

Something you would like to receive?

Eddy: Good news for me after my little op.

Curfew: Want a blessing from heaven to bring back my pals who running over the Rainbow Bridge.

Tyrrell: Anything edible.

Marigold: Mum says she wants me back.

Best Christmas song?

Eddy: Driving home for Christmas

Curfew: All I want for Christmas is you – Michael Buble

Tyrrell: Mum says White Christmas by some dude called Bing. I say Raffa’s 2016 version of 12 days of Christmas

Marigold: Any Christmas song sung by Tony Bennett.

Do you think Christmas has lost its meaning?

Eddy: Yes

Curfew: Everything in this world is dominated by business. All commercial

Tyrrell: Isn’t it just about extra treats? Mum says yes it is too commercial but the twittpack gives her hope

Marigold: Somewhat, but not everywhere for everyone.

Has it been watered down into a purely commercial thing?

Eddy: I think so

Curfew: See above.

Tyrrell: See above. No, mum just gifts me more treats

Marigold: Yes sadly.

Do you wear reindeer ears at Christmas, or should they stay on the reindeer?

Eddy: I like an antler

Curfew: I have a lot of Christmas costumes. So, yes reindeer ears. Do I want to wear? Sadly I have no choice.

Tyrrell: Mum made me wear them one year, then I ate them. She wears an elf hat with elf ears

Marigold: Only on reindeer around here. Not that there are any, reindeer, I mean

New Years Resolution or are they a total waste of time?

Eddy: Yes

Curfew: Not a waste of time. No, the happy moments are never enough.

Tyrrell: What are they for? Can we order more treats? Mum says waste of time you should always do what you resolve to do at New Year

Marigold: Its worth a shot, you never know.

Bring back one thing about Christmas past?

Eddy: To have all people and four legged pals back

Tyrrell: My pals over the rainbow just for the day. Mum says her mum, she is over the rainbow too, probably with all our pals she loved dogs.

Marigold: Kids shopping for one or two presents in a printed catalog. It’s out of control.

Home Alone or A Christmas Carol?

Eddy: A Christmas Carol

Curfew: I’ve never been home alone.

Tyrrell: Christmas Carol every time.

Marigold: Christmas Carol with Patrick Stewart

Would you rather have Christmas with friends or with your parents?

Eddy: Parents

Tyrrell: I would rather with our mums as they have my treats. Mum says with friends as no parents left.

Marigold: Mum says she would love to have Christmas with her parents.

Do you get turkey shares?

Eddy: Yes

Curfew: No turkey here, but every time there’s a New Year celebration in my home there’s usually many different types of food on the table. You have no idea how much.

Tyrrell: No turkey as we have Prawns, crayfish or crab. I get a tiny bit.

Marigold: Pups always got turkey shares—not a lot but yes. I wish Marigold could be here and have whatever she wanted

Do you think you will have snow at Christmas? Do you like snow at Christmas?

Eddy: No, I pray for snow at Christmas that’s why we got married in December but it didn’t snow

Tyrrell: If we do the world is in serious global warming trouble! We are expecting 36°-39°. Mum says she would like to be somewhere with snow.

Marigold: Maybe a tiny bit way early in the morning… forecast doesn’t look promising.

Cluedo or Scrabble? Who wins?

Eddy: Scrabble. Not mum

Curfew: No games played at all, only whiskeys, wines and beer.

Tyrrell: Cluedo and mum wins

Marigold: Never heard of Cluedo. Scrabble… sometimes I win.

Trivial Pursuit or Monopoly? Who wins?

Eddy: Trivial Pursuit and again, not mum.

Tyrrell: Both.

Marigold: Monopoly. It usually doesn’t ever end, so nobody wins.

Fairy or a star on top of the Christmas Tree?

Eddy: We’ve got eyeore cos we’ve a Disney tree

Tyrrell: Neither we has a Scotsman playing the bagpipes.

Tis the season to be jolly

I have many friends around the world and I asked some of them what they thought of Christmas and, if they celebrated, who they did so. This is the third instalment so I thought I would ask some more overseas pals.

Lucy lives in Arizona. Dixie lives in New Jersey. Gracie lives in Massachusetts. Pruny’s mum, Carolina, lives in Argentina.

If you had one chance to see one place in the world at Christmas where would it be?

Lucy: Wherever I am at!

Dixie: Anywhere in the Caribbean, we spent Christmas on Bonaire one year and it was fantastic!

Gracie: Not sure — maybe Finland or the UK.

Carolina: Any place cold with snow and not hot.

You can meet one person at Christmas, who?

Lucy: My mum again.

Dixie: It would have to be my Mom who never stopped believing in Santa for her whole 82 years

Gracie: My mom. She died unexpectedly in 2003, and we weren’t able to be together the Christmas before she passed.

Carolina: Oh my favorite singer or any Twitter pal.

Best thing about Christmas?

Lucy: The decorations.

Dixie: Making people smile simply by wishing them Happy holidays

Gracie: The lights and the feeling of peace. And watching Roscoe and Gracie open presents. Roscoe loves it.

Carolina: Lights, decorations and movies.

Worst thing about it?

Lucy: Grumpy shoppers and drivers.

Dixie: Road rage and parking lot crazies.

Gracie: People. They get so angry so quickly over things that don’t matter.

Carolina: People arguing where to spend the night, what to eat and fireworks.

Sprouts or no sprouts?

Lucy: We don’t do spouts much in the US but fried with bacon they are amazing!

Dixie: I don’t eat them but they were always on the table when I was young.

Gracie: No sprouts however Gracie says yes to sprouts. Roscoe likes to shred sprouts and make a mess then walk away.

Carolina: No sprouts for Christmas here.

One gift you could give to one friend?

Lucy: I wish I could give a friend of mine the gift of forgiveness about her marriage failing, it has been 13 years and she has not moved on.

Dixie: I like to make people laugh (or at least try to) so they can forget their worries if only for an evening.

Gracie: Something handmade.

Carolina: Something special for him/her that surprises him/her but not necessarily expensive.

Something you would like to receive?

Lucy: Magic weight loss

Dixie: Hmmm, that’s really hard, more kindness in the world.

Gracie: I don’t know. I think this year I have everything I need.

Carolina: A ticket for my and my pups to travel.

Best Christmas song?

Lucy: O Holy Night sung by Nat King Cole

Dixie: Mum says Silver Bells (showing my age there)

Gracie: White Christmas

Carolina: All I want for Christmas is you.

Do you think Christmas has lost its meaning?

Lucy: I don’t think Christmas is much about religion anymore. However, I have seen it bring out generosity that lacks during the rest of the year.

Dixie: It hasn’t lost it’s meaning for me so I can’t really say how others feel about it.

Gracie: Not to me it hasn’t. But to the world in general… maybe.

Carolina: Yes, definitely.

Has it been watered down into a purely commercial thing?

Lucy: In general, yes.

Dixie: Yeah for some it is

Gracie: It has definitely gotten more commercial.

Carolina: Sure! Kids only want presents, they don’t know Christmas meaning.

Do you wear reindeer ears at Christmas, or should they stay on the reindeer?

Lucy: I have been known to wear a Santa hat

Dixie: No, but a Santa hat and lots of red, yes.

Gracie: Reindeer need their antlers.

Carolina: Nope, only for pups. (Dexter says bad luck pups.)

New Years Resolution or are they a total waste of time?

Lucy: My resolutions are to recognize when someone needs help and provide it. When we travel and I see people taking pictures of each other individually I step up to take a picture of them. It’s a tiny thing that makes people happy.

Dixie: New Year resolutions are ridiculous unless they lead to a good habit that will make the person happier.

Gracie: Reflections are useful, but resolutions. I’m so horrible at them that for me they are a waste of time.

Carolina: Not waste of time for people who want to make them possible. Personally don’t think about them.

Bring back one thing about Christmas past?

Lucy: They have been all over the place, in the military, as a police officer, with friends and family! Someone has always been kind enough to share.

Dixie: Not sure about bringing back one thing from the past, not really my thing.

Gracie: Family who have all passed away.

Carolina: A happy Christmas, when I had a bigger family and was fun.

Home Alone or A Christmas Carol?

Lucy: What a Wonderful Life

Dixie: Sorry but it has to be White Christmas with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye.

Gracie: Christmas Carol

Carolina: Christmas Carol

Would you rather have Christmas with friends or with your parents?

Lucy: My parents are passed but Lucy says with everyone, no other dogs, so she gets all the pets and tickles.

Dixie: The more the merrier, friends and family works

Gracie: I wish I could have Christmas with my family.

Carolina: Friends. Too many not very happy Christmas with family.

Do you get turkey shares?

Lucy: Always.

Dixie: Dixie here: No because they have ham at Christmas

Gracie: White meat turkey shares for Roscoe and Gracie! Arrroooo!

Carolina: Not turkey here. Each family eats different things but for sure vitello tonnato and English sandwiches.

Do you think you will have snow at Christmas? Do you like snow at Christmas?

Lucy: No, it will be 60 F. We’ve never had it.

Dixie: We don’t usually have snow for Christmas here, I always had snow when I was young. When I was young I liked it but now that I’m the one driving, I’m just as happy without it

Gracie: I hope so! It doesn’t really feel like Christmas to me if there’s no snow on the ground.

Carolina: We expect 36 °C for that day. I would love snow.

Cluedo or Scrabble? Who wins?

Lucy: We don’t usually play games.

Dixie: We don’t play board games at Christmas. There might be a card game or two going on depending on the crowd, but it all fun so who cares who wins.

Gracie: Scrabble. Don’t know what Cluedo is. I would probably win at Scrabble.

Carolina: Scrabble, my mum wins.

Trivial Pursuit or Monopoly? Who wins?

Lucy: We don’t usually play games.

Dixie: See above.

Gracie: Trivial Pursuit. Mark might win, but I would put up a good fight.

Carolina: Monopoly, I win.

Fairy or a star on top of the Christmas Tree?

Lucy: Neither

Dixie: Always a Star

Gracie: We have a star on currently, but I would like to find a nice angel.

Carolina: Always a star here.


A Christmas for Border Terriers

The next instalment of my investigation into Christmas as enjoyed around the world. As I have a large number of pals who are Border Terriers I thought I would make this blog purely on their views. In fact I am an honorary member of the BT Posse, a fine and venerable group alongside the BeagleBug Club.

For reference Moss lives in New Zealand. Topa lives in California. Hamish lives in Scotland.

If you had one chance to see one place in the world at Christmas where would it be?

Moss: I would like to meet my grandad. M would like to meet David Bowie

Hamish: My sofa with friends and family.

You can meet one person at Christmas, who?

Moss: I would like to meet my grandad. Mum would like to meet David Bowie.

Topa: My Mums parents. I’ve heard they love dogs but they live 3000 miles across the country and I’m too big to fly.

Hamish: You Dexter!

Best thing about Christmas?

Moss: Lots of fuss from the family and helping them unwrap their pressies. I’m a big help and Christmas ham is always tasty. Mum says it’s being able to legitimately ignore work emails

Hamish: BTPosse Secret Santa…..all these furs and people who haven’t met do something kind and fun for someone else. It’s lovely and it’s all thanks to Hamish HRH who is a logistical genius!

Worst thing about it?

Moss: Me – what’s not to love about fussing and Christmas ham? Mum says she doesn’t like the commercialisation of it and pressure on families to have Instagram perfect Christmases

Topa: This year my Mums are going away without me.

Hamish: Thinking about the furs and little humans not as fortunate as us.

Sprouts or no sprouts?

Moss: Sprouts! With almonds and pancetta

Topa: Hmm. Sprouts aren’t really a Christmas thing here in the US, but I always love a good raw, smelly brassica to crunch on!

Hamish: M used to hate them when she little, now she loves them! Her taste bugs getting old I think

One gift you could give to one friend?

Moss: I would like Frank the BT living with Mr Mike to get better and for my other pals who are sick to get better. Mum has a colleague who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. He has a young family. She would like him to have more time. (Sorry to be heavy hedgehog as Hamish would say)

Topa: I would give my pal Gracie Rae Good Girl, my Border Terrier friend here in my town, no more operations or health issues for the rest of her life.

Hamish: We wish we could give a thank you to all the folk who have to work on Christmas Day.

Something you would like to receive?

Moss: squeaky pigs please Mum wants an email wizard who would clear up her inbox and file everything correctly

Hamish: This is a tough one but I’m 11 soon and I feel time be flying in. So the gift of time please.

Best Christmas song?

Moss: Fairytale of NY – no contest!

Topa: Anything that my Scottish pal Roky Boyd (@RokAndWag) has written.

Hamish: The Coventry Carol.

Do you think Christmas has lost its meaning?

Moss: We’re not a religious household at all so it couldn’t lose that meaning but it’s definitely more commercial. For us it’s about time out with family and friends.

Topa: I don’t know. I’m only three.

Hamish: Yes and no! I guess it’s up to each and everyone of us to keep what it means in our hearts and try to live up to that all year round.

Has it been watered down into a purely commercial thing?

Moss: See above.

Topa: See above.

Hamish: Again it is but only if we let it!

Do you wear reindeer ears at Christmas, or should they stay on the reindeer?

Moss: I don’t wear reindeer ears. Mum does. I have also been known to nom them if she leaves them lying about.

Topa: Definitely for reindeer only. I hate things on my head.

Hamish: They can keep their antlers !

New Years Resolution or are they a total waste of time?

Moss: You can make resolutions at any time of the year but there is something appealing about re-setting the clock.

Hamish: Just to keep trying to have fun and be the best terrier I can be!

Bring back one thing about Christmas past?

Moss: Gooseberry creme from the Quality Street tins!

Hamish: Remember the satsumas wrapped in the wax paper: bring them back!

Home Alone or A Christmas Carol?

Moss: Neither – Die Hard! Ok – Home Alone.

Hamish: Christmas Carol (the muppets version)

Would you rather have Christmas with friends or with your parents?

Moss: We are lucky and do both. It would be nice to have Christmas with the UK family.

Topa: Definitely with my Mums because I love them best. But I love Gracie and her Mums, too, so perfect Christmas would be all 6 of us.

Hamish: We now do Christmas with family and Boxing Day with friends! It works well!

Do you get turkey shares?

Moss: We don’t have a turkey but I get Christmas ham!

Topa: Not so far. I’ve only had two Christmases with my Mums and they haven’t had turkey at either one.

Hamish: I get a little bit.

Do you think you will have snow at Christmas? Do you like snow at Christmas?

Moss: We will never have snow in a million years. Beach baby! I think I’d like to try it. Mum doesn’t like it. It’s a pain to drive in.

Topa: Not where I live in Southern California! But we do get snow in the mountains near here. I think it would be fun to play in, but I don’t really know first hand.

Hamish: It seems really mild so probably no snow.

Cluedo or Scrabble? Who wins?

Moss: Can we have both Cluedo and Scrabble please? Mum and Dad fiercely contest Scrabble but Dad is tricksy and usually wins. Mum wins Cluedo

Hamish: My mum can’t spell so scrabble a disaster for her.

Trivial Pursuit or Monopoly? Who wins?

Moss: Trivial Pursuit. Can’t stand Monopoly as it goes on too long.

Hamish: We likes trivial pursuits

Fairy or a star on top of the Christmas Tree?

Moss: Star. MERI KIRIHIMETE!

Topa: We have a wooden yellow bird with a scarf around its neck on the top of our tree.