As if yesterdays sad blog wasn’t sufficient for the near future, I heard today of another kind and happy soul who has made their way to the Rainbow Bridge in a distinctly untimely fashion.
My friend Fred lived in Germany with his parents. I came across Fred early in my Twittering career and he has remained a resolute and funny pal ever since. Most weekends I would see that he was accompanying his mum on her Parkrun and he was clearly the centre of attention for the volunteers who were there to make sure everyone got around safely. Let’s be honest, he was always going to be the centre of attention, the handsome devil. Even when it was time for dinner I would see Fred waiting im-patiently beside the counter for his mum to hurry up and make the food, cut up the fruit and ensure that he had something tasty to eat. Typical beagle you may say. There is nothing wrong with making sure our parents do things right and on time, say I. Whether it was sunshine, rain or snow (I wonder if he ever had all three?) he was outside and enjoying his life running around being silly and making everyone smile.
His parents were supposed to be married last year and Fred was to be the ring bearer. I suspect they will be sad when they do finally have their lovely day and there is no four legged pal to accompany them to make sure they do it all correctly.
So when today I saw that he had succumbed to a number of nasty tumours, I was saddened to see that he had made the longest journey. His parents made the bravest, and the most difficult, decision to release him to the company of those who have passed to the Rainbow Bridge before him. As with Lucy yesterday there will be far too many of our friends and allies who will be awaiting his arrival. He leaves behind a legacy of fun and a life lived fully. Run free Fred, free from cares, woes and troubles. You are once again young, healthy and you now have the warmth of the everlasting sun upon your fur.
We only get one go at this life. Live that life like Fred. And Raffa. And Gunner. And Lucy. And Pruny. And Charley. And Seb. And Bean. And Port Hunter. And far too many others that I apologise for not mentioning.
It was a lovely crisp start to my day. The rain of the previous couple of days had cleared to the east although for many people in the Midlands and north of England it was still sadly pouring down, causing flooding and misery aplenty. Our walk was nice as there weren’t too many people out and those that were seemed a little cheery due to the blue skies and chilly wind. Lenny and dad saw a rainbow in the distance, away toward the horizon.
Once we had returned and our second half breakfast was consumed, we went about our daily routine of messing about and playing bitey face before looking to snooze on our beds. Suddenly dad looked up from his computer and told mum something that made them both very sad. He had seen that Lucy Beagle whose parents visited the UK from Arizona in December 2019 had been taken ill quite suddenly. The most difficult but kindest decision had been made to release Lucy from her suffering and she went across the Rainbow Bridge to seek out far too many of our friends who have already made the journey.
I first came across Lucy a few years ago and when we spoke she was always polite friendly and clearly had a love for life and everything it involved. She would complain about toe nail theft, she would badger her parents for food and then look at them pleading for more in case they had forgotten that she had just had something. She would wait and listen for her parents to return from this work malarkey that they all seem to do, and then curl up and revel in the love that she was, quite correctly, given. Even when she damaged her cruciate ligament later in 2020 there was never a bad word from Lucy. She enjoyed the life she was living and the friends who she shared it with. When her parents visited the UK, both Lenny and I had the privilege of trying to show them some interesting things in London that maybe people aren’t aware of when they visit. I hope they enjoyed their trip. Lucy wrote a guest blog, which I was more than happy to publish, about her parents adventures in the UK.
I will miss Lucy, she is a good buddy. I say “is” because she may be gone from sight but she will remain forever in the hearts of her parents and many other friends around the world. I chased a squirrel in her honour today and mum said I nearly got it. Run free sweet Lucy, you are released from your worldly duties. You are free from pain and suffering, so seek out the friends who are on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge to look after you and show you the way. Dad just looked at me and I think his heart hurts a little as he knows I am getting older.
I am a beagle, you may have noticed. This will be my eighth Christmas with my parents so I have had plenty of practice in extracting love and food from them. Or so you would think. Beagles are renowned for having bottomless stomachs, hollow legs and probably the most expressive and irresistible eye contact. I am no different and I am certainly trying to teach Lenny to be equally as persuasive with his peepers.
I’ve been a bit unwell recently and there have been days and nights where a number of trips to the garden have been needed to avoid indoor accidents with significant clean up required. The parents were concerned over the food I was eating and wondering if it was one thing or a combination so dad was taken with taking me outside in the garden whenever I needed to. He felt a bit foolish when, on the only occasion I wasn’t attached to the lead at 03.30, I forgot what I was supposed to be in the garden for and started baying at the top of my lungs at all the lovely scents. Seeing him chase me around trying to quieten me was amusing.
The worst thing was having all treats removed from my diet. The best thing was that I went onto a chicken, rice and potato diet. I love chicken. Anyway the guilty food source appears to have been located and removed from my diet. It seems simply that as I am getting older my metabolism is changing and I cannot accommodate certain foods in the same way as when I was younger. Also I am not quite sure how the parents have managed it, however I am being fed delicious chicken at the same time as Lenny is being fed his normal food. He does cast the odd envious look at my food bowl but I ignore him as my face is usually busy and he cannot get his muzzle near my food. Anyway dad usually stands guard when we are eating so Lenny will be growled at if he makes a sideways movement toward me. Having said all of that Lenny eats his food like he’s never going to get any more. He inhales his food. He’s not quite up to Labrador speed of consumption but he’s nimble even for a beagle. I haven’t had any emergency trips to the garden over the past few days so it seems I have settled down again. Lenny seems to have become more aware of my desire to exist in a quieter place sometimes. We still practice our bitey face shenanigans but we break off and then shake at each other more readily.
The change of food on my part as well as my beagleness have allowed me to practice the use of “the eyes” on the parents. They are aware of the visual pleading tendencies. They have also cheated by telling one another that Lenny and I have had breakfast, treats, dinner or supper biscuits. This is grossly unfair as we cannot take advantage of one parent over the other.