After I had experienced the theft and then return of all my toys, beds and food, it was apparently time to settle in to my new home. I call it my new kennel but my parents insist it’s a home. In any case it is warm, comfy and very different to my previous kennel, sorry I mean home. For a start its on two levels and has these strange things called stairs. Lenny and I have wasted no time in chasing each other up and down these strange stair contraptions that take us to another place called “upstairs”.
Lenny and I also wasted no time in taking our parents out to explore the local area to try and sample the delights it has to offer. So it was that dad woke up with a beautifully executed beagle kidney pounce nice and early on the first full day and he was dispatched to make a cup of tea. We don’t want him slacking now, do we? Within a short time we were exploring the village and met a beagle who lived close by. He was very well behaved and wasn’t on a lead which was both surprising and disappointing. Surprising that he was well behaved and equally as disappointing that he wasn’t up to shenanigans. I suppose we will have to make up for his polite behaviour. Not yet however as we still had to scent where the local critters lived. We went down the road, across a road, up a road, across another road, under a bigger road, over the bridge, along another road and then found another road to walk along. All the while our noses were no more than 5 centimetres (that’s 1.9685 inches to old money aficionados) off the ground. We had to take in all the new smells that the village had to offer us. We had to be careful though as street lights were in different places to those we were used to and we found ourselves too regularly almost upon them. We returned home and rested whilst mum and dad did some unpacking of their belongings. Our stuff had already been unpacked and put away in cupboards, so it was good to see them get their priorities right. We went out a couple more times on the first full day and fell into our beds for a long lazy snooze. In fact I was so tired that I snoozed on Lenny’s bed which was a bit dangerous as he is a bit of a vampire. I think he was equally tired so didn’t bother trying to attack me.
The peace and tranquility was shattered on the first Sunday we were here however. We went out across the fields and were having a great time exploring and seeing new places to enjoy in the future. Suddenly Lenny was pulling and jerking on his lead whilst all the time baying at the top of his voice. Whatever could have possibly caused this commotion. As I looked up, there were seven Roe deer prancing through the field in front of us, maybe 100 yards away. It would have been rude of me if I hadn’t joined in the general commotion so I duly obliged mum and dad by doubling the volume of baying. I am not sure they were all that impressed as we were swiftly turned around and we walked a different path all the time listening to mum and dad muttering something about “why didnt we get Labradors or Poodles?” Then we went out on our final constitutional of the day and a fox must have wandered past the front of our home a short time before. We managed to bay, pull and jerk for the entire walk around the block whilst conveniently forgetting that we had “things” to do. We were quickly reminded of our duties however. Apparently it’s lucky we don’t have neighbours yet.
Then, during the week, we found the lane which leads to the path which leads to the pub which isn’t open yet. Mum and dad seemed happy to have found the path to the pub.
We have behaved ourselves really well so far, even if I do say so myself. There has been quite a bit of disruption to our daily routine. There has been so much unpacking and moving things about that we sometimes didnt know if we were coming or going. We haven’t yet been allowed out into our garden as the turf and soil need time to bed in apparently. It is tantalisingly out of reach for another week or so.
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.