Charley’s Bench

It was the dead of night and my parents were out of bed and making ready for the day ahead. After weeks of chicanery and subterfuge with various friends, we were at last on our way to rural Shropshire to make Charley’s parents cry, albeit in the nicest possible fashion. They were blissfully unaware of our impending arrival and this was the way it was supposed to be.

We met up with Raffa Beagle and her mum, and thence on to Charleys house. “Oh my, what are you doing here?” asks Charleys mum, whilst his dad expressed similar surprise from an upstairs window.  “Who, us? Oh we were just passing and thought we would drop by to see you”. Griff the Beagle and Boot the Cocker bounded out to greet us and the humans settled down for coffee, buns and chatter, all the time waiting for the unexpected delivery.

After an hour or so, panic sets in as there is no sign of the delivery truck bringing the unknown gift for Charley’s M&D. Off we set on our walk with Raffa and her mum having to turn back as it is feeding time. After phone calls it appears that the delivery will arrive, however not until later in the day. “Do you not realise we have people from London and Liverpool who have taken time off and driven for hundreds of miles to be here?”. The rest of us kept going around the fields and arrive at Charley’s final resting place. It is a place of contemplation and maybe some sorrow but also of great beauty, looking out over the fields where he would run, roam, laze and watch the world go by, all in the shadow of the Shropshire Hills.

“Who’s that at the door?” – action stations and all hands to the pump time. Charley must have known something was up for, as soon as the unknown package was removed from the truck, a wonderful double rainbow appeared over the house with one end landing close by Charley’s last resting place. pGeg687ySciXJBgcVb35Dw To see the look upon the faces of Charley’s M&D when the bench was removed from the crate, of joy mixed with reminiscence of some long held thoughts, was strangely comforting to us all. The culmination of a plan to honour Charley had borne fruit, and the fruit was mellow and welcomed. Griff explored the bench quizzically. Boot strolled in his nonchalant fashion toward the bench. Charley’s M&D sat upon the bench and looked at the rainbow stretching over the house and toward the fields and hills. 

  A suitable tribute, a timely reminder and a place of contemplation. All considered, it was a good day. I could return home content. I am not sure that we made Charley’s M&D cry, but I hope we made their hearts feel full of the love of their friends.

Dunstable Downs & Ashridge

What a week of walks and shenanigans. Sunday started with a great walk around the local lanes and fields. I love all the smells and sniffs, as well as all the rabbit warrens I can stick my nose into.

Having returned home and eaten my breakfast, it was straightaway into the car and we drove north through winding roads and lanes, then across the Grand Union Canal to a place called Dunstable Downs. There were many people there, enjoying the walks and sights on a warm late summer day with the wind blowing breezily through my ears. I was getting excited about visiting the woods and hill tops I could see. However we seemed to be heading toward the Visitor Centre. I had a lovely surprise when I saw Raffa Beagle and her mum waiting for us. Raffa lives in Liverpool and was visiting locally for the day. We walked and woofed with each other whilst scenting the longer grass and admiring the views. Of course we were both asked if we would like strokes and belly rubs which were not turned down. We found a great hill to sit atop and watch the gliders take off and land. It was great fun all day, however we were sad when Raffa had to leave to go home again.

 

 

Monday through to Thursday I was able to drag one or the other pawrent around the fields or lanes locally. I even got to meet some Alpaca who live on a farm near me. I don’t go near them as one of them was attacked last year by an off lead dog.

 

 

Today was another adventure, this time to Ashridge Estate and Northchurch Common. We had driven past on our way to Dunstable on Sunday but this time we stopped and I got to experience all the sounds, sights and scents of the woods and long grass. We dexplored for about 2 hours and it was great fun to see somewhere new and get all the lovely scents in my nose. I saw squirrels leaping from tree to tree and would have enjoyed chasing them, had I not been shackled to my humum. It was fun wandering about not really knowing where you would end up. Its not big enough to get completely lost in the woods, but the scents and sights would keep me occupied for some considerable time.

 

 

It was quite windy which was welcomed as the scents were blown quickly into my nose and my ears flapped happily in the breeze.

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We left after a couple of hours and I expected to return home. However we continued our adventure to the Tring Brewery for some “supplies”. I got to meet Ronnie the Lurcher cross whilst my humans made purchases. There was only one thing left to do when I got home. I had to run around my garden arooing at squirrels and making a noisy nuisance of myself.

My day is done and I can sleep soundly.

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Arooo Charley Beagle

I seem to be writing these blogs on friends passing over the rainbow bridge far too often for my liking. I wish I didn’t have to consider what to write about friends, both near and far, who I have met personally or known through the medium of social media.

I have had the privilege, nay the honour, of knowing Charley Beagle since my very early days on Twitter. He was one of my first friends and I knew immediately that he and his spaniel brother Boot were fun, friendly and good pals to know and woof with. He lived in the countryside in Shropshire, UK and was always regaling us with his tales of sheep herding, chicken corralling, chatting with cows and helping the farmers out with their daily tasks in the fields and meadows. Both Charley and Boot were wonderfully gentle and understanding with all the other creatures they came into contact with. The sheep took a shine to Boot and the various videos made everyone smile and laugh.

Charley would tell us what it was like on the hills around his house, making us jealous of his adventures, including strolling to the pub and getting tickles and food from the landlord or the regulars at the bar. He would be out in all weathers to enjoy the seasons and bring us all the lovely views and vistas into Wales and Shropshire. A good hearted country dog who had the best of all worlds with love and friendship amidst the knowledge of a warm bed and the promise of more adventures to sleep and dream about.

I first met Charley in December 2016 just before Christmas. It was an annual gathering near Sheffield in Yorkshire to place memorials to those people and their fur buddies who had departed that year and remember those who we loved and missed. There were a few of my twitter pals there. I saw Charley straight away and he was eager to get on with the walk and sniff new smells and explore new places. At the cafe afterwards all the parents were eating cakes and drinking coffee. Charley was quite happy to let his brother Boot take all the limelight, and he was happy to sniff around. I don’t think his tail stopped wagging all day.

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I met Charley again in April 2018. We were at the Beagle World Record Attempt for the biggest single breed dog walk, held at Macclesfield near Manchester. We greeted each other like it was only yesterday, he was the same happy beagle I remembered and we walked together having a great day all the while. We parted company with a brilliant friendship intact between us Beagle brothers.

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Charley had a wonderful holiday to the Scottish Islands this year and the pictures sent back showed that he was enjoying his life and adventures and showed no signs of slowing up. Live every day, and live it properly seemed to be his motto.

To wake up this morning to the horrible saddening news that Charley had taken the longest journey last evening just knocked the stuffing out of me. That he didn’t seem to suffer and “went to sleep” gives me some comfort in my heart. The pain in my heart is for his parents and his brother, Boot. He leaves a huge hole in their collective hearts as he does with all who knew him, met him and laughed with him. I patrolled in your honour today Charley.

That he will be missed will never be doubted. That he will always be remembered fondly and and with a smile is equally undoubted. Charley Beagle I salute you as a good friend and funny beagle pal with a warm and generous presence. I salute you as a fur who enjoyed life to the full, who laughed and cried with the rest of us.

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Enjoy the blackberries in the everlasting meadow, I’ve heard they are the biggest and juiciest ones. Rest easy mate. Until we meet again. Always farewell and never goodbye.

Knocked for six

There is a quote in Britain that can be applied for both good and bad news. I woke up this morning and had a spring in my paw and a smile on my face. I managed to get a wonderful long walk and came back to breakfast and then some snoozes. The day was wonderful and I was enjoying the lovely weather, patrolling my garden and chasing pigeons. Then I looked at my Twitter account and my day crashed to a most unceremonious halt.

One of my best friends, who lives in Argentina, had been ill recently and had been to the vets for various ailments. I heard he had pneumonia and he had been under review for suspected cancer diagnosis. Tommy, for that is his name, went on the longest trip this morning when the vet found he had particularly nasty and aggressive tumours along with the pneumonia. It’s not fair. It’s never fair. I will never understand why anyone or any fur gets this terrible and awful disease. Tommy, I will always remember you and always be grateful for your friendship and love. Siempre va bien, nuncio adios Señor.

Run free good friend, and know that you are always loved by all your friends.

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Knocked for six, and in the worst possible way. I have sad ears.

Sometimes.

Sometimes I wonder what life would have been like if I had not adopted my humans in December 2013. I was a lost, lonely & confused Beagle Harrier who wanted, and needed, some regimentation and guidance to set me on the straight path to happiness.

I joined Twitter and started looking for other dogs, mainly Beagles, so we could learn and understand what it is like to have a Beagle Harrier and find out the traits and likely good/bad aspects. One of the first Beagles I corresponded with was Nellie, who moved to Houston in the recent past. Her pawrents were always kind and generous with their advice to my pawrents, and we learned much about what I was like, and what I would be like. We also learned that Nellie was a rescue from a “facility” and that she was free to enjoy her life after a bad start. She had adopted her pawrents in 2006 and lived a life of love, happiness and freedom.

Sadly last night Nellie took the longest journey and her final pawtrol, over the Rainbow Bridge. She had been ill for a while and she was suffering so her pawrents took the terribly difficult decision that all pawrents have to take. We all feel bad, we all feel sad and we all miss her terribly already. However we know that she is out of pain and there is no suffering where she is now. As a member of the BeagleBugClub she also will be watching us all to make sure we don’t cry and feel sad for too long. I am sure she would want us all to think of her fondly as a happy, loved and loving Beagle who we all respected and we all felt privileged to be her friend.

Rest easy dear Nellie, we do miss you, we always will. We are proud to have you as a friend. We know its never goodbye but always farewell. So, until we meet again dear sweet Nellie, bon voyage.

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If my life is as full as Nellie’s of the fun and friendship she gave and received, I will be a lucky Beagle Harrier.

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Beagle Meet.

Usually when I awake on a Sunday morning, I take a stroll around the fields nearby my house. This Sunday just passed was no different, although we seemed to be in a hurry to get around the walk. Arriving back to see the car being packed with rucksacks and smelling my food somewhere close gave me suspicious ears. When I was loaded into the car and we set off somewhere, I knew I was in for a treat but what could it be.

After 3 hours we arrived somewhere called Capesthorne Hall near Macclesfield. The car boot was opened and the smell of beagle brothers & sisters hit me.

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We strolled about, it was a lovely morning after all and we needed to stretch our legs. There were so many Beagles there, I didn’t know which way to look first. I think I arooed at them all, and there seemed to be more arriving every minute. This was like a Beagle paradise. Suddenly I saw my friends Raffa, Charley & Boot strolling towards us. Then we saw Bryher & Tean with them. This was going to be the best day ever. All the humans were very surprised to see us as it seems that my two had decided to keep it a secret so a nice surprise. I think it worked. I arooed with all my pals as we strolled around and the humans were chatting and taking pictures and laughing and being happy. Then I looked around and there were Daisy & Dolly, Bentley, Ruby and so many others I lost count.

We were there to try and break a world record of the most dogs of the same breed walked at the same time. The record is currently held by some Yorkshire Terriers in Mexico, and we were determined to break that record. Even with my limited numerical ability (I count treats on my tongue normally) I could see that there were quite a number of Beagles there.

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This is only a very small fraction of the Beagles there. In order to ensure we got the record we had to walk around a course of 1.2 miles and must be registered with electronic tags at the start and finish.

I walked with Raffa (she has a poorly paw)IMG_2895

I walked with Charley IMG_2896

And I tried to walk quicker than my human dad. IMG_2902

There were many other Beagle friends I met and saw, and many of us walked the course and had great fun. Once we had walked and the initial numbers were counted, it seems there were about 1,100 Beagles who completed the course which, if correct, would smash the record held by the Yorkshire Terriers.

I think we should celebrate. IMG_3200

A great day with great pals for a very lucky Beagle.

Friends

Its good to surprise friends sometimes. I’m a very lucky Beagle Harrier, you might have heard me mention this before. I have so much in my life to be happy about, what with a warm and safe home, beds, tickles, fields to roam and love from my 2 human Paw Assistants and my pals, both human and furry.  And my garden, I mustn’t forget my garden.

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My life without my friends would be much less exciting, I think. And I love to surprise them sometimes. When we found out that there was a Beagle Welfare Fun day in Cirencester, we decided we would go along and see who was there. We got there and all jumped out in the lovely sunshine on a warm Sunday afternoon. Within 2 minutes I had announced my arrival with an almighty aroooo as I fairly bounded onto the premises to see my friend Raffa and her mum, auntie & one of my favourite aunties from my twitter account. They all seemed very pleased to see me. I got tickles and some biscuits. I showed Auntie K that I did paw and she looked very impressed ears.

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I watched Raffa try to arooo as loud as she could, which made me laugh.

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We met another rescue beagle called Daisy, and we woofed for hours before I was told we had to go home again.

I enjoyed my day so much, I love seeing friends and I love knowing I have friends who I can rely on. And best of all they know they can rely on me.

 

In this world, we all need friends.

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