Cyprus Beagles

As people will be aware, little Lenny was adopted from Cyprus Beagles. Now he is well and truly esconced in the house with his paws firmly under the table, we thought it would be a nice idea to try and find out some more about Cyprus Beagles. As he is the main recipient of the kindness and love of the ladies at Cyprus Beagles, I am going to let him loose on the blog, so over to you Lenny.

Hello again friends, I am honoured to be asked to do a blog on Dexter’s behalf. He asked me what I would be interested in finding out and I, of course, said the lovely people who rescued me.

There are two ladies who organise the rescue of Beagles from Cyprus. Erin Scott (ES) in Cyprus and Joanne Mason (JM) in the UK. I am proud to ask the questions Lenny Beagle (LB).

My first question was “When did it all start?

(JM) In July 2013 my mum posted a picture on Facebook of a lovely Beagle that was in danger of being PTS she simply wrote “number 5” as we already had 3 Beagles and a Sausage! I managed to get in contact with Erin who was the author of the Facebook post. I told her we were going to be out on holiday and would like to help if welcome. It turns out Erin knew my mum as she used the vet clinic Erin works at. We arranged to meet and Wilson became our first foster. He arrived in the UK on 17th September 2013. I didn’t keep Wilson, he was rehomed. I know where all our dogs are and I’m in touch with all but one.

Wilson

My love for the breed started in May 2011 when I got my first Beagle puppy (Mabel), having done no research and quickly developed a love for the breed. The rest as they say is history. Hank quickly followed Mabel in Februry 2012 as a 6 month old pup that had already had 2 homes.

Fostering isn’t always easy on the heart, each and everyone holds a very special place in my heart. Some you bond with more than others, for instance one thing I’ve learned is that if you let them sleep on your bed, you’re done for. Some of these hounds have been through so much and have every reason not to trust a human ever again. Yet they love and trust us. It’s an absolute privilege to be the UK part of Cyprus Beagles.

(ES) I started working as a vet nurse in Cyprus in 2008. I saw many cases of abuse and neglect, particularly for the hunting dogs here. However it also made me realise what amazing characters they have. I adopted my first rescue Pointer mix, but sadly he was poisoned (a fairly common occurrence here) a year later. I then adopted another, and feeling that she needed a friend, I decided to adopt a buddy for her. Having dealt with Beagles in my job, I started looking for one, and along came Jeremy Beagle. It was then that my love for Beagles began. Thereafter I went on to foster a few dogs for other rescue groups, and also created a Facebook page to share the many posts of Beagles needing homes in Cyprus. I rehomed 2 Beagles in Cyprus, prior to meeting Jo. Wilson came along, I met Jo, and Cyprus Beagles came about. In the beginning it was a learning curve, ensuring that we were doing everything correctly in terms of travel, preparing our dogs and making sure they were as healthy as possible. For example, even though blood testing is not a legal requirement we still do it. There was never a question of cutting corners or not doing things properly. We also had to find a way to fund our venture but still make it an affordable option for UK adopters. We are extremely lucky to have the support we do now, but in the beginning it was sometimes touch-and-go whether we would have the funds necessary.

(LB) Thank you for the extensive responses, I have a question on the airlines that carry the beagles to the UK. It sounds a little strange, but was there any problems with arranging the transport? Was it fairly straightforward thanks to the “connection” between Cyprus and the UK?

(JM) No problems whatsoever. The staff at the ARC’s (Animal Reception Centres) at Gatwick and Heathrow are fantastic. They care passionately about the dogs, they are always let out of their crates, allowed to go to the toilet and clean bedding etc is put in their crates before they are released to their owners or consignee. I know most of the staff by name and they know me which helps to build a good relationship.

(ES) Flights are always booked through our fabulous flight coordinator. That way we get group booking/rescue rates. I can only imagine the work and juggling involved for her especially, recently, with airlines going bust and others imposing new rules at the last minute. Check-in here usually goes OK from our side of things, with most of the staff quite interested in all these dogs turning up.

Sherlock arriving at Heathrow.

(LB) How many beagles have you rescued and re-homed to the UK?

(ES) The numbers are high, but there are always more beagles waiting. So far we’ve re-homed 56 Beagles, and one very special Jura Hound. If you include those that never left me it’s another 4, plus Snoop, who we sadly had to have put to sleep here because of his medical issues. Currently I have 2 fosters here in Cyprus, being 1 hound and 1 Beagle. So altogether it’s 64 dogs rescued under Cyprus Beagles.

Todd, Henry, Wilson and Daisy

(LB) Apart from being in love with the breed (who can blame you!), is there any other reason for focusing on Beagles?

(ES) A reason to be a breed-specific rescue is for the sake of my sanity. The number of stray, abandoned and abused dogs here in Cyprus is prohibitive. I had to find a way to limit our focus, as it was driving me slightly crazy not being able to save every dog. We still can’t help every needy Beagle that we are informed of, but we try and help those most in need or in danger.

(LB) If you could change something, what would it be? For instance, do you think the authorities in Cyprus do enough to protect the beagles on the island?

(ES) Cyprus needs to enforce its existing law on microchipping and registration, and be much tougher on those flouting the law. The permissable ‘standards’ for how to keep a dog should be raised, especially for hunters dogs. It’s common to see metal cages in the middle of the fields, housing 1 or many dogs. The cages are often full of poop and only a bucket of green water for drinking. The dogs are mostly only taken out to hunt. Pet dogs are often kept on chains in yards. There needs to be a positive drive for neutering. Every day I’m aware of a Beagle in need and it makes me upset. Those that obviously have Leishmania (*see footer note*) we just cannot take on, as the chances of rehoming are very small, and the potential expenses very big. I can only keep so many myself and those I have already have problems, which cost me a fortune! Thankfully we had space to take on Bosley, knowing full well that he was a serious case, but it seems that Watson is not a rehoming prospect either, which leaves me with 5 permanent dogs.

Fred (sadly no longer with us)

(LB) Do you think that any changes will actually be undertaken to alleviate the suffering and subsequent re-homing of the Beagles?

(ES) I don’t think the authorities will be making any positive changes soon. There have been rumours of new legislation but it actually doesn’t address the major issues.

(LB) Finally, what do you think would be the most help to you, outside of additional donations and funds.

(ES) What would help us most? This is a tricky question really. As we are, with Jo and myself doing what we do, we are limited as to the number of dogs we can help. However this keeps it more personal and I really see the two of us and our adopters and of course the Beagles as a big Cyprus Beagles family. If we had more people to foster, in Cyprus and the UK, we could potentially rehome more dogs. But I’m not sure we would be as successful.

(JM) I totally agree with Erin on what would help us. Because we are so small we can have a much more personal relationship with our adopters. They really are like family to us. A lot of the Beagles come back to me to board when their new mums and dads are on holiday. As such I truly believe we are as successful as we are, because we are so small, and we are extremely lucky to have a very lovely group of supporters.

Lola. Now living her life in Northampton.

(LB) So it’s a case of having more people to give homes to Beagles like me then? That’s more than reasonable. One final, final question. You mentioned two of the Beagles who couldn’t be homed here in the UK, can you let us know a little more about them?

(ES) BOSLEY. At the end of November 2017 I was tagged in a post for a very sick little Beagle. I knew straight away from the pictures that he had leishmania. I also knew we had to help him. He captured people’s hearts and due to the amazing donations that our supporters sent we were able to give him the best treatment possible. Bosley pulled through but has been left with limited vision. He has also had a couple of seizures. Leishmania is a lifelong disease so he will most likely be on medication for the rest of his life. But he is the most Beagly, stubborn, greedy little boy there is, and he lives his life to the fullest!

Bosley (when he was initially rescued)

WATSON. Watson was an inmate at a local pound. No-one claimed him, so he came to us. His nose was cause for concern, and after a lot of investigation we found out he has lupus, an autoimmune disease. It’s a constant battle to keep on top of his nose problem; currently he’s on a grain-free diet and two kinds of supplements, as well as steroids. We’ve also fixed one ruptured cruciate ligament, with the second one to be done also, but it’s a balancing act with his treatment protocol right now. Watson is a strange little Beagle, but his zest for food and walks is second to none.

Watson (in the pound before rescue)

(LB) Ladies, thank you for giving us a better insight into how you do the rescues, why you do them (of course its obvious) and that you will continue to do them. And from a personal point of view, thank you for rescuing me. I am now in my forever home with my brother and parents with whom I am happy and contented. Without your efforts, I would be probably still be a street dog and I much prefer my life now.

If you would like to find out more about Cyprus Beagles, please visit their Facebook page and contact the ladies directly. I am sure they will be glad to hear from more prospective adopters for Beagles like me who need a new home with love and tickles. And food.

*Leishmania* is due to protozoan parasites from the Leishmania species. You get leishmaniasis from being bitten by an infected sand fly. The parasite lives and multiplies inside the female sand fly. This insect is most active in humid environments during the warmer months and at night, from dusk to dawn. Symptoms can include Skin lesions – particularly near the head and pressure points, Lymphadenopathy – Swollen lymph nodes, Enlarged spleen, Weight loss, Fever, Abnormal nails, Epitaxis Renal disease symptoms, Anaemia

Where’s dad, I need a tickle.

Over the last few months, I have been looking after my new little brother, Lenny, who has come to live in my house. He’s alright, is little Lenny, and we are starting to get on better the longer he’s here. I am hopeful he will be here forever to be honest. I am getting readjusted to having him here. Its been interesting for me, mum and dad to see how each of us has adjusted individually and collectively to the new furry pupster in the house. We have become calmer in our actions, the longer he’s here. This is particularly striking with dad as he struggled considerably when I first arrived.

In any case, dad and I have been having little chats over the past few weeks and months. We’ve always had quiet chats with each other on numerous matters. Mum also has many serious and fun chats with me, but on this occasion I am going to pick on dad and make him blush by telling you some of the things we speak about. At this point let me woof that I am his first dog so dad has had to learn from scratch what it is like to have a canine companion, with the accompanying upheaval it brings. According to some people, mum and dad picked one of the most difficult breeds to rehome, however I have no idea what these people mean. I am mums second dog as she had a beautiful Weimeraner when she was younger, and she loved Jade very much.

Dad has told me how proud he is of me, for altering my life to allow Lenny to come and live here in late April 2019. I have been an only child since December 2013 so to have a pup come bouncing into my life is a big change. Its been mighty disruptive but I think I am doing ok. Dad told me the other day that I have changed an awful lot since I first arrived. Apparently it was touch and go if I was staying after the first few weeks and months when I wouldn’t settle, I couldn’t relax and I was permanently on high alert for anything that I didn’t understand. I didnt listen to commands, and I did my own thing pretty much permanently. For goodness sake, I escaped three times in the first 12 months and gave them kittens. I don’t mean I actually presented small cats to my parents but you know what I mean. My routine gradually, and I mean very gradually, put paid to my tearaway lifestyle as I settled and found a rhythm to live my life here. After a while I knew this was my permanent home and I did manage to relax. Now of course, I feel safe, loved and I am very content. They tell me that it is wonderful to see me more relaxed and comfortable within my own fur. These are all the traits I am trying to pass on to little Lenny. I think he’s taking my guidance on board, but sometimes it’s quite a struggle to get him to understand things. Then it occurs to me that, in some ways, he is quite like me when I first arrived. He’s a little confused, skittish, without routine and wanting to explore everywhere and everything. In other ways however, we are very different.

As I have got older I have got into a habit of burying my head into dad’s chest when he gives me ear tickles. He gently rubs my chin and says he can see a little smile of satisfaction on my face when he does it. My eyes close slightly and I go all soft. It makes me feel secure when we can connect like this. It makes me feel loved.

He does great belly rubs when I am in the garden on a warm day. I can roll around on the lawn and then this pair of hands descends upon me and I can forget any cares for a while. I get to wriggle around and give myself back scratches. I am then pounced upon by dad who manages to scroffle my ears and give me belly rubs at the same time. I do wonder sometimes how many hands he has, but I don’t mind as it’s great. Usually I lay there, ears akimbo with a silly grin on my face. Sadly I am still not allowed to roll around on the grass when it is cold and wet and the garden is all soggy. Spoilsports.

He puts his bonce on mine and tells me that I am the best, most handsome Beagle Harrier that lives here. I think I am the only Beagle Harrier that lives here. I hope so. In any case, I can quite happily jump up onto him when he’s chilling out and I get gentle ear tickles. He can feel my heart beating when I get a cuddle, and when I rest my head on his chest, I can hear his heart. I think it’s full of love for us all, to be honest. Apparently I have the softest ears in all of beagledom so, sorry Lenny and every other pal.

Anyway that’s enough embarrassment for dad at the moment.

I said earlier in the blog that Lenny is different to me. We are the same breed but he has had a thing about human touch and attachment from the off. When I arrived I was, well, maybe a little aloof or rebellious and didn’t really have the contact and bonding feelings toward mum and dad. We were living with each other, they fed me, I walked them and we all got along together, pretty much. It was only after a fair amount of time that the bonding became more apparent and I felt I could be happy being stroked and tickled or sleep with my head on someones leg. Lenny on the other paw seems to have arrived, walked into the house and wanted to get strokes, belly rubs and ear tickles immediately. He will quite easily fall asleep, for instance, with his head under mums arm whilst she is working. If I am getting belly rubs, he will nonchalantly wander over and walk straight in between the tickler and me. I wonder if the difference is that I spent the few years without direction, guidance, love or affection and Lenny has been lucky with being rescued after a shorter period of time. Maybe he hasn’t missed out on so much of his puppyhood, however we don’t know what it was like for him on the streets in Cyprus. He has learned quickly that mum and dad will proffer head scratches, belly rubs and ear tickles quite readily when we are good. He has learned that if he does something right at training, he will get a sausage treat and a rough tickle. Maybe I missed out on this, maybe if I had gone to training, maybe if I had been rescued earlier, things might have been different. Maybe I am just learning to live with another dog, and finding out that I can share mum and dad with Lenny and I should just accept what I have and love them all.

Now, where’s dad? I need a tickle and a belly rub.

Marigold, our friend

I was going to write a blog this week on another set of wonderful people who rescue dogs and bring them to the safety and security of loving homes here in the UK. However, I heard some awful news overnight about one of my dear friends, who I never met, but whom I felt I knew.

I am writing too many blog articles about friends who are going to the Rainbow Bridge. Today is no exception and it fills me with dread and quite some sorrow to be tackling the subject once more.

Marigold lived in Midwest America, she was 13 and a half which is a pretty good age for a beagle. Marigold was one of the happiest, laid back, most outgoing and friendly pals I have ever woofed with.

Marigold happy as usual

Marigold was always out exploring the lake, the park, the parking lot and even the takeaway section of the local burger joint. She loved life, she never had a cross woof for any body or any pal. She is a thoroughly decent, kind and lovely friend.

Enjoying a stroll by the lake

Everyone loved Marigold and Marigold loved everyone. She passed to the Rainbow Bridge peacefully and with a piece of her mum and dad’s hearts going with her. If I am truthful, she has taken a piece of all her friends hearts with her. It is an honour to know of you Marigold, and it is an equal honour to know that I am one, amongst many, of your friends.

Come on, the critters are over here

Run free dear sweet Marigold for you are out of pain and suffering. Farewell my friend until we meet again and you can show me the way across the Rainbow Bridge. Today I patrolled in your honour.

Farewell sweet Marigold

Farewell but never goodbye, Marigold my friend. The world seems a little emptier today.

I have something in my eye.

Big brother is watching you, Lenny

I’m getting used to this being a “big brother” idea. Ok, so I am not his brother in the strictest sense of the word. However he needed help settling in and as the senior beagle, I could step in.

Once we had recognised more fully that Lenny’s initial position was pretty much the same as mine when I arrived, the ideas started to come back to us. For instance how had mum and dad handled walking me? Did that work? If not, let’s see if there is something different can be done. How did they resolve the walking? What happened when I didn’t want to sleep in my bed, but on the big bed? How did they sort it out. How long did it take for me to become used to waiting for my food instead of diving straight in? Could I help or hinder their attempts at ensuring Lenny wasn’t the same as me. Hang on, what’s that last one all about!

There is a significant difference though. When I arrived there was no other dog to greet me and to show me the ropes as it were. I wandered into mum and dad’s life and apparently turned it upside down. We were all learning as we went along and we all made mistakes along the way. However there were also little triumphs which became more and more frequent. When Lenny arrived on the scene I was in a position to lend mum and dad my expertise in handling rescue beagles. Whether they wanted to listen to my woofs of wisdom, I don’t know, but I offered them anyway. It seems they already had a pretty good idea of handling a disruptive influence so they were able to use some of their knowledge on little Lenny. Hang on, that’s another slight on me isn’t it? Ugh good grief.

His training has helped him understand that he has a home for life here. He has to brush up on some manners such as not snatching treats from mum and dad’s fingers as well as waiting for the ok before eating his food from his bowl. He is doing really well on these, and even I have impressed ears for him. This also means he is more likely to listen to commands, unlike me on most occasions. Dad said that Lenny had understood “leave” very quickly when he was at training last week. I know they are practising regularly as I hear “Leave” and I even I have to double check the command isn’t for me. Having said all this, I am ahead of Lenny in some respects. I do know to sit at the kerb when crossing the road and waiting for my food bowl to actually be placed on the floor before I inhale my food. I know to walk close and I do know about not pulling hard when we go down slippery slopes. These are just some of things I have learnt, as I am often times told that I am a good boy when I do the right thing. I think it comes from repetition and knowing that I will get a tickle or some treats for being good. Lenny will have to learn these things too, along with many other new tricks it seems. Not that I am enjoying watching him being put through his paces each day, of course. No, not me.

Did someone say “Leave” or “Dinner time”?

I have been watching mum and dad since Lenny arrived and it occurred to me that the relaxed aura which had come into our life recently and prior to Lenny was regressing a little. We had become much more accustomed to one another and I was relaxing sufficiently to ensure that they weren’t on the edge of their seats every time I went out into the garden or wandered off to lay on a bed in another room. Now some of the concern seems to have crept back into their lives. I suppose it doesn’t help that Lenny and I usually follow each other around the house, trying to nibble each others ankles and ears to provoke the other into a squabble. We are reducing the number of times we start picking on each other for a squabble though. He is gradually understanding that he can stroll about and snooze in whatever dog bed he wants to, or lay on the rug and sun puddle. I think that, once the training has taken more effect, he will be able to wander around without thinking that he is being watched all the time and without mum and dad wondering where the little tyke has got to. Again though, they are relaxing with him as he is becoming more comfortable in the house and garden.

Chewing on an after dinner stick

I am not sure I am the model big brother for Lenny. We do tend to mess about quite a bit and the squabbling and silliness can continue for some time. We enjoy our time out in the garden. Once the rough and tumble of play fighting has eased we can do our own thing which usually means me sniffing for squirrels and Lenny chewing sticks. The first walk in the morning is sometimes the best as we are both scenting all the intruders in the garden from the previous night. Sometimes I want to play and other times I am lending mum and dad a paw when they are trying to teach Lenny to calm down and rest for longer periods during the day. I am quite excitable sometimes and this may have an adverse effect on him. As I said a short time ago, we are getting better at leaving each other alone for longer and the level of play fighting has subsided. We can wander around the garden minding our own business. We eat together and don’t try to steal each others food (as much as we originally did) and we can snooze in our beds close together. Often I lay and watch Lenny when he’s snoozing. I wonder if I was like that when I was a pup, if I was pesky and always wanting to find out where the boundaries are and how far can I push those boundaries before getting told off. I wonder if I can do things differently to help mum and dad with Lenny’s settlement into the house and routine. I know what they would say to that.

I wonder if he is happy? What I mean by “happy” is, content in his heart and knows that he is safe and loved, rather than just thinking “its a nice garden and there are beds and food so this should be alright”. I hope he does know that he is safe and loved because that is precisely what he is.

He’s alright I suppose

Yes even by me, his naughty big brother.

He’s growing on me. I suppose.

It’s been eight weeks since my little brother arrived in my house. Eight long weeks of getting used to each other and giving Lenny a chance to find his paws in a new home. When he arrived, no one really knew what was going to happen. In fact it’s still like that, sometimes. However, even I have to admit, that things are changing albeit gradually.

We are his first proper home and he would need some time to adjust and settle. Indeed we would also need time to adjust to having a lively young pup in the house. I have regaled you all with the early days of trials, tribulations and shenanigans as well as Lenny getting his first experience of training with local professional trainers. Dad is included in the training and we still aren’t certain who exactly is being taught sit, stay, down and leave it.

Anyway they postponed the second training session by a week as the weather was really bad and as the session is outdoors so everyone would have got very wet. Dad decided it might be a good idea if Lenny went to visit his grandma. I have met her quite a few times and she is really nice. She even has tasty ankles which I always try to lick. It makes her laugh and I know she loves me. I told Lenny to get her ankles if he could as she would laugh and love him like we do. So, they set off in the car only for dad to notice after 15 minutes or so that Lenny was drooling and looking quite frightened and trying to pace around in the car boot travel crate. When they arrived at Grandma’s I am sorry to report that Lenny was ill and was very eager to get out of the crate. This didn’t bode well for the return trip. However he managed to get home without further problem. Mum and dad started looking up what might be wrong with him and it seems most likely that he gets motion sickness. They also asked some of our many friends if any other beagles suffered from motion sickness. If so, how did they get round it. There were some very helpful replies especially from other Cyprus Beagles parents. So mum and dad decided they would block out his peripheral vision in the car in time for his next visit to the training sessions. Dad reported that Lenny seemed far more comfortable and happy travelling this time. Lenny even half heartedly wanted to get into the car for the return trip from the training. I think it helped that they had a full on session so his brain was probably quite tired from all the thinking he had to do.

Proud ears at learning new things

It seems that pups are fairly susceptible to having motion sickness and we hope we have gone some way to helping him in his plight. This is a shame and I want him to grow out of it. I have woofed with him that he isnt allowed to have this motion sickness as we have way too meet ups with friends for him to be being ill. He woofed he will try to get better.

Now that was funny.

In the meantime we have been tearing around the garden like a couple of banshees, chasing everything we can find and generally being very beagley about life. We are getting on with each other far better than we were a few weeks ago. He’s even managing not to bite my ears so often, so that’s all good.

A beagle centipede? No, just my brother in hot pursuit

Time and patience. We march on.

Lenny’s learning – yes he is.

As you may know, I have a little brother. I say little but this isn’t true as he is as tall as me and has longer legs than I do. We actually think he is related to a giraffe.

We believe he’s around 8-9 months old so his puppy-ish brain should be capable of processing information and instructions given to him by the various people who now run his life, or believe they run his life. Since he has been here, we have tested different methods of possible training for him. One of the current methods is being loose lead walked by mum each morning, whilst I am dragging dad around some of my favourite places and getting my hunting fix. Lenny is then taken out for more loose lead walking around lunchtime so that he can remember some of the things he has picked up on the earlier walk. Mum says it’s quite frustrating sometimes as she has to stop every time he pulls hard on the lead but often times he can walk quite nicely. There are always distractions such as squirrels, cats, people and cars on his walking route so it is taking some time for him to understand what is required of him. He’s getting there but its just a bit slow sometimes.

Come out and play all you rabbits

However we are ratcheting the pressure up somewhat as he is going to training school for the next 6 weeks with dad and he has no idea. I mean Lenny has no idea, not dad. Although maybe I need to hold that thought until the training school has done their thing to both of them. I think that mum and dad are looking forward to seeing Lenny become better able to understand basic commands and actually react well to them. Apparently it is too late for an older beagle in the house, but I have no idea who this other beagle is.

Wonder if I can hide from training in here?

Lenny and dad have come back from their first training session and dad is smiling. My little furry brother, however, seems to be quite tired. Somewhat disconcertingly his breath smells of treats so this requires some interrogation. Am I allowed to do waterboarding if he doesn’t admit he’s been fed copious quantities of sausage treats? Dad said it was very interesting, good fun and he’s picked up some good tips and ideas. This all sounds a little ominous for my brother. Should I tell him though?

He’s going to be clicker trained, has learnt sit, down and basic recall. Also he’s going to be socialised as much as possible every day. Dad was advised that Lenny needs to be walked toward other well behaved dogs and their owners to try and get him used to being around other furs and not over-reacting or baying and pulling. This could prove interesting as there are also cats and squirrels on his circuit walk and he always pulls and yelps at them.

Concentrating on my “down”. Ooh a leaf, delicious!

What will he make of it all when the training days are finished in five weeks? We will just have to wait and see. I will keep you all updated, I promise. In the meantime there are regular training sessions in the garden when mum and dad teach him to sit, recall and lay down. Even I have worked out that if I sit, lie down and come back when called, I can get treats too.

Do the training, blag some treats.

Win win.

Farewell Port Hunter

It is with sadness that I must write of another beagle friend who has passed over the Rainbow Bridge. Port Hunter lived in northern California. I never met him, but I was honoured to be able to communicate with him regularly and call him my friend.

His love of life, his sense of adventure and spirit of freedom always shone through. His life was full of fun and adventures. His mum was his rock, and PH was hers I think. They were inseparable, as often as possible being out on the hills and trails enjoying the sights and scents of the countryside. PH became ill over the last few years and soldiered on despite being poorly. He was determined to enjoy everything he possibly could at his mums side.

Lovely poppies

I patrolled in his honour today. I walked the fields and byways near where I live. I smelled the scents, admired the views and peered from the top of the hills just the same, as I know PH would be doing on his patrols. I even managed to chase a squirrel up a tree. I hope he would be proud of my efforts.

In your honour PH dude.

It is a privilege to know friends like PH. I never met him but I feel as if he was a good friend. We spoke on many things being good, bad or funny. Always polite, always approachable and always as happy as possible, he will be missed.

Farewell dear, sweet Port Hunter, travel well to the Rainbow Bridge. We shall meet in the future and be able to patrol together. In the meantime rest easy dear friend, for your time down here is done. Gone from our sight but never absent from our hearts. Always farewell and never goodbye.

Why?

I have sad ears.