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

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.

Postcard from London

A few years ago I sent a postcard to my good friend, Raffa the Beagle, who lives near Liverpool. It was a postcard of London with a tick list of sights to see, including Big Ben and the Tower of London amongst others.

I wonder how many I will see?

A couple of weeks ago, we heard from Raffa who said that she was going to come to London to try and tick off some of the sights, and she asked me if we would like to be guides. Of course I couldn’t think of another fur in this house who had been to London so I volunteered my service and took Lenny along to carry the bags.

It came as somewhat of a rude shock to Lenny that we were unceremoniously woken up at 6 am on a Saturday. After a very brief walk locally we were marched up the hill to the train station so we could whizz into London. Fortunately it was a lovely sunny day but it was a bit chilly. After we arrived in London, we strolled through Regents Park towards Euston Station so we could greet Raffa and her mum in true beagle fashion by a huge arooo in the middle of the station concourse. Raffa was in her chariot as she cannot walk as far as she could do when she was a young pup.

We immediately wandered off to find the tube station as Raffa had always wanted a trip on a tube train.

Raffa and her protection on the tube

We got off the tube at Moorgate and strolled to the Guildhall (original meeting place of the Guilds of craftsmen for the City of London), Royal Exchange (the original stock exchange), Bank of England (where Raffa keeps her pennies), Mansion House (official residence of the Lord Mayor of London) and then on to Leadenhall Market (poultry market from Victorian times but now a boutique shopping area) where we made our first pit stop for some coffee to warm up the humans.

We started the next leg by walking down to the Tower of London which was very busy with visitors, and where Lenny managed to see a pesky squirrel but forgot to tell me & Raffa. We then crossed Tower Bridge.

We went along the side of the river, making our way through the throngs of tourist visitors on the south side of London Bridge. We showed Raffa the replica of the Golden Hinde ship (Francis Drake’s ship), the Clink (original dungeon prison in London) and then went on to see the rebuilt Shakespeares Globe theatre.

Now for the exciting part as we crossed the Millennium Bridge, also known as the wobbly bridge, and saw St Pauls Cathedral in its glory directly ahead.

Having strolled past the cathedral we went down Ludgate Hill and into Fleet Street (famous for printing) and managed to get two tables in a pub for some lunch snacks, as well as warming ourselves away from the chilly wind. Suitably refreshed we set off and found ourselves in the middle of a wedding procession coming out of the nearby St Bride’s Church, accompanied by a brass band. This surprised us all. We continued along The Strand and dad managed to stop pedestrians crossing the road, as he told Lenny to “WAIT” and they thought he was talking to them. We continued towards Trafalgar Square to see Nelson’s Column and then off to Whitehall (government area) to stop at Horseguards Parade to see a member of the Household Cavalry, who was watching Raffa to make she didn’t misbehave.

The London Eye across the river was spied, then Big Ben and Westminster Abbey were ticked off before we ended up at Buckingham Palace. Unfortunately the Queen wasn’t at home otherwise we would have popped in for a cup of tea and a cucumber sandwich (without crusts of course).

To finish we wandered slowly up The Mall back towards Trafalgar Square and took a London Black Cab to return to the train station at Euston. We woofed a sad cheerio to Raffa and her mum as they boarded their train back to Liverpool and their home.

Our journey home on the train passed like a blur, mainly due to Lenny and I having walked nearly 13 miles in total and being very tired. It was worth being really tired though, as we showed Raffa around London and she ticked off all the sights on her postcard except one. No Yeoman of the Guard Beefeaters were seen at the Tower of London. We hope we did Raffa proud as she managed to see nearly everything on her postcard list.

So close to getting all the sights.

Finally I have to admit that Lenny was so good, given it was his first trip to London. He managed the trains, tubes and strolling around with great aplomb. We took ages getting from one place to the next as so many people wanted to say hello to us and give Raffa, Lenny and I many tickles. He dealt with the sights, smells and noises of London without fright or fear. I am proud ears of him.

Autumn is one of my favourite times

I have been here some time now and have seen the seasons come and go. I love to explore as much as possible so I can see the colours changing in the woods and fields nearby my house. As I have said before, I am lucky to live on the edge of the Chilterns, a 46 mile long chalk escarpment to the north west of London. This year I am even more honoured as I have been able to show Lenny what it is like in the summer. Now we move into the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness (thank you Mr John Keats), I shall show him the beauty of the hills as they change. The summers here are kinder than the one he encountered last year in Cyprus, where he was rescued from. Now the skies become darker, the clouds thicken and the rain is falling at a steadier rate than summer. Fruit has been picked, the crops are harvested and the creatures are scurrying about making their winter larders full of tasty food to maintain themselves during the winter that is to come.

As green leaves turn to brown and come tumbling from their lofty perches among the trees, I feel like I am walking on a carpet of warm summer goodness whilst looking out for my friends, the squirrels, rabbits and deer that now forage for their winter stores. The fields are ploughed and the hedgerows rustle with the wind. The paths through the fields and woods become soggy and the grass is springy under my paws. The horses, adorned with their thicker waterproof coats, munch the last of the summer grass in the meadow as we stroll happily past them, giving a sideways glance to show our deference and friendliness. Every now and then I look at Lenny and he seems to be trying to comprehend everything so quickly. I try to get him to understand that he will have many autumns to enjoy, strolling in the cooling breeze and finding new sights at the turn of many corners. For now though he seems intent on filling his senses with as much as he can. I think he’s enjoying it.

The squirrels are this way

Lenny and I stroll through the lanes and byways and watch the belts of trees repeat their ever changing cycle of buds to green leaves and fruits, green leaves to brown and thence to the carpet of foliage on which we walk. He hasn’t seen this change yet, certainly not here in the UK. I’m looking forward to seeing what he makes of Winter.

My house is over there

Record holders reunion

We have known for a while that we were due to go to Beaglelandia at Capesthorne Hall, near Macclesfield in the UK. It was to be a celebration event for last years Beagle World Record of which I was a part. We were really keen to go so knew we had to work on Lenny’s worries about travelling in the car. We have been taking him in the car more often so he can become better accustomed to longer journeys. He was struggling when he took his first trip in the car. We took him out to Wendover Woods and Ashridge Common amongst others. He has come on leaps and bounds so we were becoming more confident he would be ok.

An early morning start with a quick stroll around the fields is always welcome, although I did have suspicious ears as to what was going on at 6 am on a Sunday. I am not sure if my parents realised there was such a thing as Sunday 6 am before Lenny arrived. Anyway our walk was followed by breakfast and I knew this was a little different to normal but didn’t let on to Lenny as it might have worried him. When the car boot opened I leapt in so Lenny would be encouraged to follow, however he seemed to realise there was something awry and had to be lifted into the car. Off we set, and motorway followed motorway. An hour or so into the journey, Lenny settled and curled up. I was still busy watching where we were going. It was great that Lenny hardly stirred during the trip to Macclesfield for some three hours.

We arrived at Capesthorne Hall and the man on the gate showed us the way to the parking area. As soon as the car boot opened I was greeted by the same, familiar smells from last years event. I was also greeted by the song of the breed filling my ears as it had done last year. When I turned to see Lenny he was sitting smiling and looking really excited to get out and meet as many of the beagles as possible. In fact Lenny was also arooing in my ear, which was a good indication that he was ready to have some fun. However being shackled mean’t we had to be restrained in our exit from the car boot.

Excuse me Ms Raffa, my name is Lenny.

I soon saw my good friend, Boot the Spaniel, and I greeted him as you would expect. Lenny was next to me sniffing the grass and enjoying all the sights and smells. I introduced Lenny to Boot. Moments later, we saw Griff and said hello to him too. It was quite a poignant time to see Boot and Griff as we had completed the walk the previous year with their brother, Charley Beagle, who sadly passed over the Rainbow Bridge a year ago this week. We made sure we gave Charley’s mum a leg lean when we got a tickle from her. Within minutes we saw Raffa which was great as I could introduce Lenny to her also. I had warned him that Raffa is an older lady beagle so he had to be mindful and have good manners. He didn’t let me down and was very polite and gentle when he greeted Raffa with a nose bump.

We were strolling across the field and suddenly mum and dad stopped to say hello to another couple of people. It turns out that the people were the mums of Tyrrell and Tink, who are two of our great friends from Australia. It was a total surprise for all of us and we were tickled, stroked and cuddled to within an inch of our furry lives by our “aunties Nic and Annette” from Oz. Everyone was very welcoming and they all wanted to meet Lenny as this was the first time he had been allowed out. I was, as usual, happy to let Lenny hog the limelight so he could be tickled, stroked and cooed over quite a bit. Then we were off again, strolling across the lush grass toward the stalls selling all manner of dog related items. Coming toward us were Dolly and Daisy, two more of our friends from Twitter. We said hello to them in our usual restrained manner. This was a great day, and we started to think it couldn’t get any better surely. Then it did get better as we bumped into Ruby who is a 15 year old beagle lady who is another of our pals from Twitter. We were very polite because she is another older lady beagle and, whilst we can be a couple of hooligans sometimes, we do know when to behave correctly.

Raffa and Ruby – 2 grand dames of Beagledom

We had a picnic with our pals under the shade of some lovely trees and the humans ate their food and chatted whilst we all rested and preserved our energy for afternoon shenanigans.

After lunch we went to the main show ring to see Raffa compete in the Best Older Beagle Category and watched aghast as she didn’t win. Another beagle won. We were shocked.

Hurry up Lenny, follow my lead.

After we had regained our composure, we walked around the route of the Beagle World record and I managed to pull dad round the entire circuit just like I did last year. We were overtaking people who moved aside as a result of my dad telling them “Sorry, hooligan beagle coming through”. Lenny and mum walked around at a more sedate pace, along with Boot, Griff, Raffa, Dolly, Daisy and Ruby. Raffa, Boot and Ruby went round the course in their chariots as they are older furs and they need to rest their bones more often than us young whippersnappers.

The Charioteers (Boot, Raffa, Griff and Ruby)

Once the walk was finished we tucked into our dinner with some speed as we were hungry. We had to eat quickly though, as there was a group photo of all the dogs who had taken part in the day. The camera drone was put up and we all waved our paws to make sure everyone could see us in the picture.

Drone? What drone?

Only after all the shenanigans did everyone decided that we had had enough fun for the day and made plans to return home. Lenny and I tried our best to persuade the humans to stay but they were adamant that we should get back in the crates in the car and return home. People said cheerio to one another and everyone set off home. I was tired and when I looked at Lenny I could see he was out on his paws too. I remember dad starting the car and I remember arriving home. I think I slept and dreamed of having great fun with all my friends. Lenny is good in the car, he managed both legs of the trip without incident and he was polite to all our pals. We loved meeting friends again and wondered when we would get the chance to do it all once more.

We shall sleep on that thought.

Wendover Woods again

Another early morning wake up call could mean only one thing. We are off for another adventure so I can show Lenny more walks and shenanigans in some of the lovely places around the Chilterns. We went for a whizz around the garden. It was a whizz for Lenny but a stroll for me as I have managed to damage my leg so I am on light duties. A quick breakfast and we find ourselves being loaded into the car and off we set. Who knows where? We know not.

Through the town and down the lanes, up the hill and past the pub sadly damaged by fire. The road winds and twists away into the distance as we travel in a direction I find vaguely reminiscent. Lenny leant on me through our travel crate bars and I reassured him that we were probably going somewhere fun and hopefully exciting. We were going somewhere good, as its turns out. Once the car stopped and the boot opened we both arooed as we could smell all the lovely scents of the forest filling our eager noses. This is Wendover Woods I told him. He looked at me blankly. We were harnessed to a human and gently allowed out of the car. When I say gently, what I actually mean is we leapt out and tried to run after the squirrel that had darted across behind us. Mum and dad weren’t particularly impressed.

Sniff, sniff this is fun

Off to the trails, we followed the path down the hill, turning left and right, sniffing all the while in the bracken and scrub which hugged the paths and covered the ground around the trees. There were so many scents here, we were both tired after a fairly short period of time. I looked at Lenny and he had a huge grin on his face, his tongue was hanging out and his eyes were trying to take in as much scenery as they could. We stopped to have a drink of water and found we were on the edge of the woods, with the fields and small villages beyond stretching away to the horizon. Lenny was loving these new scents and sights. I was quite enjoying it as well, to be honest.

This is great, just as you said it would be

We set off and immediately got onto an uphill section of the forest track. This is where our “four paw drive” comes into effect as we helped our respective human climb the hill with relative ease. Just as we thought the walk was over we heard the words “ooh look, there’s a trail to Boddington Hill Fort there, shall we go and see what its like?” We needed no second invitation so Lenny and I set off pulling the parents along the trail.

Is that a squirrel I see?

Back to the car and loaded in for the trip home and I can see that he’s not looking at me blankly any longer. We both fell asleep with “silly grins” on our faces. Another quick whizz around the garden when we arrived home and we were happily snoozing on our comfy beds.

Lenny and I can recommend Wendover Woods, its a great place for furs and humans alike. They even have things for the children to do with tree top walks and adventure areas. And there is the big scary Gruffalo looking out over the landscape. We didn’t see him this time so maybe next time we visit.